Our first two days of classic touring has been a bit of a challenge, thanks to the terrain, weather and traffic.
Even though we are more than 50 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, we still have urban sprawl. Coming out of Coraopolis we had a nine mile detour on less than cycling friendly roads due to a bridge closure. There are lots of ups and downs (it seems like more ups than downs) in this area. It makes for slow going.
Martha was a little apprehensive about some downloads she's been working on, but it was wasted worry as everything worked great and she did a wonderful job keeping up with the GPS, the maps and helping me watch for road signs, all simultaneously. Oh, did I mention that she was also pedaling the fire out of Barney?
We missed a turn Wednesday at the end of the day looking for our motel. Martha was mortified, but vows to never make that mistake again. When we got into the motel we were really tired and got to thinking of ways to make things easier. EUREKA!! We decided that we won't possibly be needing our camping gear for at least a few weeks until we get further west. We wound up shipping the camp items to a friend's family that lives on our route in Michigan. Thanks Jennifer and Dawn. The dumped weight amounted to 32 pounds! Barney could really tell the difference.
Today (Thursday) was used as a semi-rest day. After we dropped our stuff at the UPS store, we rode only 18 hilly miles to our motel here in Mercer. It was a rainy, gloomy day. The local weather guy says they're 6 inches of rain ahead of average. Yeah, we know. So glad it was a 'rest day'. Using the ACA maps, we think we can plan our days to end with overnight accommodations. We just have to be careful with the 'jumps'. Sometimes it could be short days followed by long days. We'll be okay.
Finally, after we cleaned up and walked to lunch, upon return to our room, as soon as we opened the door a terrible smell greeted us. What is that? Has something died? Is it coming from the room or our stuff? This is bad!! After a very short investigation, the odor offender turned out to be my cycling shoes. Seems like a murderous mix of sweat, old sunscreen, toe jam and C&O Canal swamp gas has taken over. Don't tell the EPA. Martha (Mrs. Clean) is in a quandary as to what to do. She's thinking about it. In the meantime, the shoes are in 'time out' in the closet.
Crossing the Ohio River.
We first thought Martha was having some kind of bad break-out. Turns out that Barney is just shedding.
Trail Angel Pat at The Shipping Depot + store. 32 lbs of camping stuff see don't need right now. See you again in Howell, Michigan.