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Showing posts from August, 2011

Days 33-36: Not Yet in the Mid-West, But Certainly in the Mid

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8/24 Day 33: Brandenburg, KY to Hawesville, KY 50 miles (1401 miles)

          We had a quick, heavy shower come upon us unexpectedly in the night that forced us to scramble and get the tents under a nearby shelter, but other than this minor interruption we had a very peaceful sleep at the fairground. When we woke, there were signs of the community waking up all around us: a tour bus was loading in the parking lot while we brushed our teeth, cars zoomed by on the nearby state road 79 as we ate our breakfast, and just as we finished packing up our bikes, a couple of men arrived to clean out one of the nearby concession booths-presumably in preparation for some upcoming event on the grounds. The heat and humidity, which had been so merciful the last couple days, seemed to be oozing back into the morning as we set out for the day. By 11, temperatures were already creeping up toward the 100s and by noon it was 105. The day's route had barely any relief from the heat in sight, as much …

Whoops!

Thanks to our handi-van ride, riding some long days, some bad estimation on our part, and the realization that the underground railroad maps we have been following are based on historic symbols not geography... We are going to reach the post office a few days earlier than anticipated. We will be probably be there on Monday so if you haven't mailed anything yet please wait. And if you have mailed something please let us know so we can have things forwarded if we arrive before them. Sorry!

Days 28-32: Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way, and Kentuck-Y? Because We Have To

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8/19 Day 28: Paint Creek State Park, OH to Deer Park, Cincinnati, OH 0 miles

            We realized that the UPS truck wasn't going to arrive first thing in the morning to such a rural location, but we still had high hopes when we woke up. As soon as the camp store opened at 9AM, Ben went up to ask about the delivery. They said that normally the truck doesn't arrive til noon or even later some days. While certainly frustrating, this wasn't the worst thing we could have heard, so we went about our morning at a relaxed pace and went up to one of the pavillions by the front of the park to wait. We waited, and waited. The group suggested, around noon or so, that Ben make a phone call to Velocity to see if they had a tracking number for his part, so we could see what the package's status was. He seemed confident that it would be on time, sent an e-mail, and we continued to wait.
         Finally, around 1:30 we decided to call Velocity and hear the bad news. While, yes, th…

Days 24-27: Cliffhanger in The Buckeye State

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8/15 Day 24: Barnesville Guest House, Barnesville, OH to Blue Rock State Park, Blue Rock, OH 56 miles (1040 miles)

         After a lovely day of vegging out at the house, we were all but decided on moving in and staying. However, there was a storm on the way in the morning when we woke up ready to greet us on our return to the ride. After loading up the bags and having some toast and bagels for breakfast, we got outside and made it the 500 meters down the road to McDonald's where we had some coffee and waited out the worst of the morning rain. While we waited, we got to chatting with a few friendly Ohio truckers who were taking a break from driving for a little breakfast. They gave us a little advice about the upcoming roads, cracked a few jokes, and, mostly, cracked themselves up. They were a jolly bunch and good company. The people in the Ohio farm country we've had a chance to stop and talk to have been fun to talk to, even if it's just a short exchange of a few words;…

Christmas x 2

We will be in Carbondale, Illinois at the end of the month if anyone wanting to send us something the first time missed out or if you want to send something else. Baked goods and snacks are always appreciated,and we do love getting mail, but please keep in mind we have to carry everything we get.

Please plan to have any packages arrive by Aug 31 to be sure they don't miss us, and send it addressed to me.

MANDI BLEIDORN
GENERAL DELIVERY
1301 EAST MAIN ST
CARBONDALE ILLINOIS 62901

Days 20-23: EmanciPAtion and Into Ohio

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8/11 Day 20: Ohiopyle, PA to Cedar Creek Park Free Campground, Somewheresville, PA 40 miles (875 miles)

        We didn't have to be out of our cabin today 'til 10AM, so we decided to take full advantage and sleep up until 9:30. We ate light breakfast and hauled our bikes back down the torturous gravel trail we had come up the night before. It wasn't until 11 that we reached the rail trail, since we had taken our time getting everything together. The trail, we learned, stretches all the way from Pittsburgh to D.C. and was already teeming with short run tourists, families on day rides, joggers, dog-walkers, and anyone looking to get a quick walk or ride in during their day. Our late start didn't spur us on any faster, we kept a steady, easy pace until Connellsville where we had a pretty mediocre lunch at the Valley Dairy Diner, and had our bikes looked over at the local bike shop. Ben had his spoke fixed for good and got some new tires while I found out the source of my …

Days 17-19: When It Rains, It Pours... Otherwise It's 100 Degrees

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8/8 Day 17: Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA to Fairview Lutheran Church, Hustontown, PA 50 miles (717 miles total)

            Our day off was a little soggier perhaps than we would have liked, with one big thunderstorm rolling through in the early afternoon, but we made the most of it; we ate some delicious bacon cheeseburgers Ben cooked over the campfire, had some blackberry wine, played some rummy, did some bike maintenance, and generally just hung out. The next day it was back to business. We broke down our longest-standing campsite yet with a little reluctance, filled our water bottles up, and got on our way once more. We were all pretty gung-ho to get 60 miles in and, feeling mostly pain free after our day off, proceeded to crush the first 10 miles of the day. We decided to take a pit stop at McDonald's to pirate their wireless and electricity so that we could upload some of the massive amounts of photos we have. This wound up taking us about 2 hours. We ended up regr…