(photos: signs of things to come; local transportation option; steel mill boiler; flame on; local produce)
Last night, it took me awhile to get to sleep. Was it the coffee at dinner (perhaps not truly decaf)? Was listening to music for 30 minutes too stimulating? Seems like I finally fell asleep around 11 or so. Woke up a bit after midnight to hear an electric storm in route. First the thunder - sounding like bowling balls rolling down a hardwood hallway. Then infrequent flashes of lightening. Then mixed together. The wind started to blow - but it seemed to be doing so in the distance. Didn't take it long though to move right over to us. The rain was slow to start but within a few minutes came down with power. Felt like someone was aiming a hose right at the top of the tent. As these storms tend to do, it slowly slid over our camping spot within 20 minutes or so. The morning air seemed refreshed by the midnight show.
We were sorry to leave the calming enclave of the Geauga County Fairgrounds - but move on we must.
The route had gentle rollers in the morning, taking us through some more Amish country. Saw caution signs noting presence of buggies, saw farms with buggies, and even a few out on the road. Went through a very contrasting area - the town of Warren with a steel mill on the edge of town. Our first close-up encounter with factory-type industry for awhile. The homes in the vicinity of the mill were run down and commercial area looked a bit distressed. I tried to take some photos at the mill. In the process of doing so, a security guard emerged from his station and asked that I not do so as he might get in trouble. So I moved on down the road (and found a couple of other good shots away from his line of sight).
We encountered several Farm Markets (e.g. fruit stands) and I stopped at a couple of them. Bought some local apples at one, and a container of homemade granola at another. Stopped in the town of Columbiana to have a calzone at a local bakery/cafe. That fueled me for the remaining 15 miles to Terrace Lakes Campground. Our designated site was up on a ridge, above the lakes and the very active office/pavilion. A bingo game was in full swing as I rode up the road to our site. When I returned to brush my teeth at dusk, a shuffle board game was in progress.
Sharon and the cook crew made a wonderful fajita dinner for us. Riders worked on their bikes and sat around to chat. Others took it upon themselves to create their own entertainment. Some of the younger guys decided to pull a prank on own of their own. They captured about a dozen lightening bugs and released them into his tent while he was busy chatting with someone at the other end of camp. As he approached his tent, he could see the flickering light within and knew that he had a challenging task ahead. Turns out that he could only get all of the bugs out by emptying his tent of belongings and then twirling it over his head. A bit of centrifical force seemed to do the job. I wonder what his retalitory efforts will be?