Not a great night's sleep. Air was very still and hot in the tent. Frequency of trains didn't help. Had camp breakfast around 6, packed up the truck and headed out of town in clumps. The initial few miles on Hwy 6 provided views of commercial activity. But eventually, we were treated (on the left side of the road) to the likes of well-established mom and pop motels along the lake. Once in a while, there would be a break in-between the buildings and you could see Erie. We had a bit of a tailwind - clouds moved right along - and the blue sky was nicely reflected in the water. When we came upong what appeared to be a grassy knoll available to the public, several of us pulled over for photos opps. I ran down the bank to the sand and water to check out the view, and to look for rocks and any stray shells. It was so restorative to hear moving water (and not from a shower head), and to have the expansive view of the lake. I had forgotten how many miles of mountains and prairie were between me and the Pacific. I had really missed those familiar sights and sounds.
As we rode further east, the lakeside property was taken up by large, and larger homes. It would have constituted a training ride to reach the front doors of some of these estates. Enormous shade trees were strategically positioned in deep front yards. Landscape crews were hard at work. The area reminded me of spots along Lake Washington, Madison Park and further south. Ou lunch stop was at a park with a fishing pier. Made and ate a sandwich, and took some photos of the water. Tracy, Rosie and I then left the pb&J behind and continued on into Cleveland. At the outskirts of town, we located a Starbucks and stopped to enjoy a cold drink. (On the way, went through the town of Vermillion. Very pleasant, nautical feel without feeling too contrived. Too bad Sandusky hasn't yet pulled this off).
Then onward through Cleveland. It was an urban maze. We asked for, or confirmed directions, on several occasions. Our journey seemed to attract drivers who either disliked cyclists or chose to drive as though we were not present. We wound through a few diverse neighborhoods - stopping in one for yet another cold drink (sub and chips for me). Our release from the grips of city traffic involved a few miles to and within Shaker Heights. It was then that the terrain began to change - as we had been forewarned: the return of contours, hills, rollers - whatever you'd like to call them. They appeared as ocean swells until you were in the trough - and then the ascent actually wasn't too bad. I enjoyed the chance to use a broader range of gears, and to feel the breeze during the downhill portions. The ups and downs continued for the next 25 miles into Burton. It was hot out, and we made another cold drink stop. By late afternoon, Tracy, Rosie and I finally made it to the Geauga County Fairgrounds, our camp site for the next 2 nights. It was a relief to set up the tent, and take a shower. After a very tasty chicken curry dinner made by Sharon and dinner crew, I headed up the hill to the town square to get some laundry done. Clean clothes are always a good way to start a layover day.