Cycling With The Mentzers

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Sunday, August 7, 2011

After a terrible night we emerged from the drowned tent to a beautiful morning in the woods. The cycle out of Yellowwood Forest was much more enjoyable than the breakdown we suffered last night when we arrived.  Today we started blind, not really knowing where we were going and not sure if we were making sufficient progress east to New York City.  We needed to get to a town and get online to do some mapping. 

Nashville was only 8 miles away but it was 8 miles which really hurt.  Huge hills in the morning sun tested the legs after a long 70 mile day yesterday.  Considering it was Sunday, the roads were very busy and it wasn't a relaxed start we wanted.  On reaching Nashville we managed to get some maps and decided that Columbus was the next town to head for.  The challenge at the moment is trying to keep heading east,  we are doing so many extra miles north and south to try and find a place to stay.  This makes the day long on the bike and at the end we are not much closer to New York.  Columbus however was the obvious target so we left the extremely pretty town of Nashville on a randomly selected side road.

Unbelievably we were then joined by some other cyclists who had chosen the same road out of Nashville.  We were so lucky to spend half an hour cycling with the wonderful Mentzer family.  The three kids, Everest, Aurora and Leaf were on tour with their parents and grandmother, the very brave Bonnie. They were a real team and proved that cycle touring is for all ages.  They were on a two week trip and having a great time.  Nathan and Everest were attached and pulling a trailer (I’m not convinced that Everest was helping out too much pulling the weight!) and Fay was towing the two other family members in a trolley.  Extraordinary! Wonderful to meet you and keep in touch.

Energised by our meeting we hammered our way to Columbus which was big and needed some navigation to get out of.  A few miles out we passed a sign for a town called 'Hope’.  It was clearly a sign that should have been taken note of as 13 miles later we were still going around in circles looking for a campsite which despite being on Google Maps, clearly did not exist.  It was time for another meltdown.

It is a real problem at the moment.  We cycle for 5 hours or so and then when you need to stop and camp, there is nowhere.  We then find ourselves going 10 miles out of our way and doing another hour.  Tonight was typical of this.  Around and around the fields we went.  Camp Clifty was nowhere to be found and so we put our heads down again and went on to Greensburg, a bigger town where hopefully we could find something.  Polly led the way, I had crumbled and followed 20 meters behind in a real sulk.

Greensburg produced nothing until we were redirected to the bypass by a sweet old lady in the gas station, where we found a pretty grim looking motel.  Actually, The Lees Inn turned out to be a gem.  The lovely receptionists gave us every discount under the sun and we wheeled our bikes in to a very acceptable room.  As the rain came down outside, we were pleased to not be camping tonight.  We celebrated another very long day on the bike with pizza delivered to the door.  This was followed by two tubs of ice cream.  So much for keeping in shape.

Miles Cycled; 65, 13 of which were on a wild goose chase looking for Camp Clifty

No. of times beeped and sworn at:  two F OFFS, how nice!
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