Ohio’s Easy Plains & Open Farmland
I was slow to arise from my gas station campsite. Despite waking first at about 5am with the first light, I saw no particular reason to move. I was comfortable where I was, albeit slightly chilly in the early dawn. And soon enough, the noise of the morning traffic started picking up, further reducing my intent to get out and join them on the road.
So it was gone 9am before the traffic noise started to calm and I emerged from my tent, promptly setting myself up with some breakfast tortillas of hazelnut-spread and sliced-bananas, and gas station coffee.
As I was getting my bike packed up with panniers and tent, a couple arrived for their breakfast from the hot-food trailer (beside the gas station). I got chatting with the pair of them, particularly once the girl introduced herself as working in the wine industry – and her place of work having just (a couple of days ago!) hosted the US brand ambassadors for the Glenfiddich and Balvenie Scotch Whiskies.
On the road, I ticked by the miles with plenty of easy spinning through the open farmland. The scenery through Ohio is very pleasant, but after a while very samey, thus not too many photos – same combination of blue sky, plowed fields, forests in the horizon, maybe a windbreak line of trees, a painted farmhouse (and silage tower), with the road cutting through the middle.
About mid-afternoon, I had done 90km and knowing that my days target was within only an hour of cycling decided to rest up – no point pushing big miles at this point in the trip, nobody’s counting (although you can check my Strava stats at bottom of page!!!). So I stopped at the Walmart supermarket in Findlay, stocked up on some provisions – tinned sweetcorn, tinned ravioli, fresh fruit, dried papaya, replacement tub of hazelnut & cookies spread, and a large bottle of chocolate milk – then sat by my bike outside, ate, drank and read my book Prisoners Of Geography.
Realising the time was nearly 7pm, considerably later than I had anticipated, I packed up and got going again, though still not with any idea of where I was cycling towards. I simply found a route which was going in the general direction to the southwest and cycled. After about an hour, I started looking for appropriate camping spots, and on Google Maps identified a public park in a small village with a local fire department immediately beside it. So I aimed for there and not long later was knocking on the door of the fire dept office.
Asking permission to camp in the park, the Station Chief started dialing the Village Major, but cut off to say that I could camp in his backyard – the village’s football/soccer pitch, just a minute away. So I aimed for there, found a spot to pitch up, and within a couple of minutes was joined by Fire Chief Eric Wilkins, his wife Jenna and son Clint. Not long after, I was also joined by one of their neighbouring families and invited to come spend the evening with them – which was both very welcome company and immensely enjoyable. Many thanks to you all.
You should also check out Jenna’s blog: “Humans of Findlay”