Easy Spinning Down the Lake Erie Coastline
After taking a very pleasant & restful 2 days in the truly wonderful city of Cleveland, I was both hesitant to leave and ready to get cycling again.
Before I could leave the city though, I needed to make a couple of stops. My couchsurfing hosts had shown me – on the map – another spot with the “Cleveland” sign by the waterfront (photo opportunity!), and I wanted to get another massive $2.25 apple fritter and some fresh fruit from the West Street Market.
On the road, I found going easy – the road was flat; keeping the lake to my immediate right meant that navigation was a doddle; and with no stresses to fret over, I was free to let my mind wander away from the task at hand.
New business opportunities and regional politics are always fun topics for letting my mind roam and pass time, productively in thought, as the miles tick – subconsciously – by.
Before I knew it, I had passed out of the Greater Western Cleveland area, through the coastal towns of Lorain and Vermilion, and was crossing the bridge into Huron. At that moment, it very suddenly hit me that this was going to be the last time for 2 months – until I reach the Pacific Ocean, some 2,500 miles away – that I would see any other large body of water.
Dismissing the fact that I’m already 20% of the way across the country, this realisation – 2 MONTHS away from a large body of water – was probably the moment the penny REALLY dropped as to just how monumental a task, and just how huge the US, is.
While checking the map in Huron for my route towards Indianapolis, I noticed a spit of road jutting out into Lake Erie at the mouth of the river – I decided to check it out.
The lighthouse that now stands at the end of this point, built 3/4 of a mile out from the river’s mouth, is the 3rd lighthouse to be located thereabouts in over 200 years. The prior 2 were replaced due to poor construction (it fell down) and poor site selection, respectively.
I started ‘inland’ in a roughly southwest direction, really with no end-point in mind, confident that somewhere suitable would emerge down the road. I passed several farms and houses with large gardens & garages – places in & behind which I could make myself unseen (always getting permission first), just so not to be bothering homeowners by pitching tent in view of their house (their privacy & mine). Plenty of possibilities, but knowing there would always be another opportunity just down the road, I kept ticking the miles by.
I have come to realise that there are always plenty of places to pitch tent, and plenty of people willing to allow such pitching of a tent – just a case of asking politely and not being disrespectful and/or disheartened is they say no, someone will always say yes.
Rechecking the map, I found an aptly named “Portland Road” just past the hamlet of Bloomingville (about 10 miles due south of Sandusky) and following this road, I came to a gas station with large truck park for truckers to rest up for the night. There was also a patch of grass which I deemed suitable for pitching my tent, so I asked inside for permission and was told to go right ahead. So I did.
Sure, being right behind a gas station, within a truck stop, and with a couple of roads within about 50m in every direction, there was a fair volume of noise – but inside a tent, certain of being in a bear-free area, breakfast & hot coffee only a minute away, I couldn’t care less!