Day 41 great day and a Great Lake. 

Well the fun meter continues to soar. Yesterday, last night, and today go down in the memorable books with near perfect scores. We’re still shooting below par, swinging for the fences, and pitching a no hitter. 

Yesterday we left Niles Ohio under heavy clouds and just after a light rain fell. Most of us went into full rain gear mode but never needed it. I kind of wished for a little rain after putting all that rain crap on. 

We were quickly out of town and riding wet roads but some of the best of the trip yet. Barely a car passed it seemed and almost no trucks. We were again riding in farm lands and yes, more corn. We did see crops begin to change finally, some strawberries and Concord grapes. 

One of my favorite visuals is always the random classic car, truck or old tractor. We’ve seen some great muscle cars and yesterday the first Dodge Gremlin in decades. 

On the favorite list also are each states collegiate flags and banners. By a long shot the most seen was back in K-State territory. Everyone worn their colors in tees and ball caps. I was surprised we didn’t see more Bukeye support but you know it’s there when Old Blue coming into town. I missed a classic photo and one I regret not going back for. Yesterday we had just passed into Pennsylvania and I saw a barn right next to the road. Painted on it I read “We love our Lions” and a paw print on the side. Then the front facing the street was a ” We ❤️Penn State ”  it was really well done and cool. Darn I wish I got a picture.  A great public display of their Nittany Lions loyalty and allegiance. Joe Pa would have loved it. 

Many of the roads on many days bring back boyhood memories. I frequently see homes, ponds, woods and streets that remind me of the towns around where I grew  up. I’ll be cruising along and it feels like I’m riding along in Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, or Allendale New Jersey. It’s great going back into that time capsule. 

It’s also really fun hearing from people in texts, emails, and blog replys telling me I’m near or in their towns and ares where they grew up or went to school Etc. That puts places into a different perspective often. Thanks all 

So yesterday we had our single best Sag stop. It was at an old fashioned Root Beer road side stand. It’s called the White Turkey Drive in and it’s right in the Ohio – Pennsylvania state line. It’s family  owned since 1952 and we met and talked to the owner for a long time. Yeah, the root beer floats were insane. 

After a Turkey sandwich and Float we stopped for pictures at the state line. Little did we know as we rode towards and into Erie Pa the fun fest night we’d be having. 

On Main Street Erie one of our rider shouts for us to stop at a Starbucks. So we U-turn and I spot the oasis. Right next to Starbucks I see Molly Brannagan’s Irish Pub. So I tell the group that I’ll be in THERE while they get coffees. So Jim says, I’m in, then Paul, then Sebene.  The next thing we know we’ve texted other riders telling them where we are. It was a classic spur of the moment that fun times are all about. We met new local friends, drank tasty Irish beers and ate Shepards Pie. Ian was the only Brit who jointed us but he enjoyed the traditional pub atmosphere. So we leave a little tired and a few brews in and coast down to our hotel right on Lake Erie. It’s the best hotel of our trip by far. 

We shower and meet for dinner and walk back up main St to the Tap House. Sure enough it’s beer time again and we enjoy a few along with really good wood fired flat breads. So 8 of us get up and after many laughs walk out. 4 guys start to turn right and say they’re headed back to bed down while 3 guys ask me if I’m up for ” one more beer” so yep we turn left and hit a dive bar. I switch to high test Crown Royal as I’m beered out. The dive bar doesn’t cut it so I suggest we revisit Molly B’s and go back a see our new local friends. After 2 Paddy’s Irish Whiskeys we get last call and close the place down. Table chairs all turned upside down on tables, floor mops start to swish so we leave after hugs and handshakes with the clan. So it’s stagger and swagger back down Main to have ” one more” at our hotel bar. Back to a tasty hop before we hear our second ” last call gents ” of the night. We pry our saddle sore butts off the bar stools at 1 am to head up and sleep it off like Rip Van Winkle. Thankfully today’s a rest day but the brain cell damage can’t be undone Many of last night liquor topics were how lucky we are to be doing what we are with such a great group. With only 8 riding days left all of us share a melancholy mind set of feelings. No one wants this magic adventure to end but everyone misses their loved ones. It’s a mix of emotions and pensiveness.  All of us knowing it’s not the destination but the journey. 

Until we roll tomorrow. 🚴🏻

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