Stop this suicidal hot dog!

Day 14 – Erie PA to Ashtabula OH

I’m in Ohio already. Does that mean I’ve made it officially to the Midwest? I think so.

I can’t believe I slept in until 8:00 AM today. In a crowded campground. On the ground. Must have been more tired than I thought and I can attest that my earplugs work well.


We camped in a lot of places like this when I was a kid, but in an RV, not a tent. Folks were generally very friendly here.
Someone stop this suicidal hot dog! Just wrong in so many ways.

I started off with a loop around Pesque Isle State Park. It’s an odd low peninsula off Erie PA that draws a lot of local tourism. It’s got nice bike trails and lagoons for kayaking and fishing, and beaches. Lovely spot but don’t sit still – the black flies around here seem to love taking big hunks out of my calves.

One of the lighthouses on the Isle

While I was out there I ran into Aaron who is taking two weeks to loop around Lake Erie. Really nice guy who’s planning on catching up with the Bike Across the US for MS crew tonight at Geneva by the Lake.

Aaron and his trusty ride
More vineyards today


Ohio welcomes me! Thanks Ohio.
Ohio does not welcome me with open arms exactly. Here is the border, and where the shoulder ends. Fortunately my route in Ohio follows a lot of rails to trails routes so I hope it’s not a big issue.

Then it was an easy pedal down the coast. I had lunch at this cool little drive-in, the white turkey. I never heard of a drive-in specializing in white turkey before, so I had that of course. It was kind of exactly what you’d expect a shredded white turkey sandwich to be. But the rootbeer was great and they were moving a lot of floats that were huge but not my thing.

And who should turn up at the White Turkey but the MS crew that I’ve been seeing since Vermont. A couple of them said hi but I was kind of surprised that they weren’t more chummy. C’est la vie. I guess when you’re already in a big group you feel less like meeting others.

Welcome shade – it hit 85+humid out there today

You know who was friendly? Ralph and Joanne who are on their way from their home in Kentucky to NYC. We swapped route notes and Ralph sent me a link to their route across Ohio which they liked a lot. I think it’s the same as the one I was on but now I have turn-by-turn directions on my phone.

Ralph and Joanne don’t think I’m crazy. I don’t think they are either.

From there it as an easy cruise to Ashtabula which is where the Ashtabula river meets Lake Erie. Like many of the towns around here it looks like manufacturing has dried up. The old waterfront area is cool looking – and I even had to wait for the “Lift Bridge” as they call them here, to come back down so we could cross the river.

Ohio has one of the highest percentages of their power from coal compared to other states. Hard to say if this is active or not but I think so judging by the newish sign out front. Otherwise it’s a mess.
Old downtown and the lift bridge
The Ashtabula as it enters town.

But there was nowhere really to stay downtown so I had to trek out to the old highway. Now I’m next to CVS and Applebees. Yuck. Guess I’ll have to get back on the bike to find my non-chain dinner. And a screen to watch the Warriors put an end to the Cav’s season. I’m actually in Cav country now so I may skip the sports bar tonight and watch in my room at the lovely Edge-o-Town hotel. Smells funny but it’s a clean funny smell not a gross one if that even makes sense. Actually it smells exactly like an old motel. Oh god surely everyone has stopped reading by now. Sorry for the minutiae. Something will happen tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “Day 14 – Erie PA to Ashtabula OH”

  1. I liked your minutiae, gives your blog character! Great game last night. I hope your ride turns better today.

  2. That hot dog is so very wrong in so many, many ways – yet also provokes so many unanswered questions. Guess we will never know who made it and most importantly – why? What was the inspiration (too much weed)? How amazing that the person who made it was motivated enough by the idea to have actually finished it – it must have been a ton of work. That is strangely inspiring.
    Enjoying your posts Jim! Even the minutiae and absolutely the pictures. Have a great ride today!

  3. Remembering my first VW beetle trip from NY to California. We passed Chicago the first evening our and I thought we were halfway there. You have a better concept of the Midwest. The hot dog is funky; hope you see many more.

  4. Hi Jim,

    You’re getting good at taking people photos! Great pictures, although the “eat me” hot dog was disturbing in a multitude of ways. Everything else was charming. I talked about you to an avid bike-riding woman who works at another company on my floor yesterday. She was totally envious of what you’re doing. She said to wish you well and God speed. We’re with you in spirit!

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