Monday. Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Headed out of Decatur, Indiana around 7:00am after a jim-dandy continental breakfast. America's Best Value Inn's get a pair of giant thumbs up. Very nice place to overnight. Eleven miles along Route 33 East brought me back into Ohio. Feels good to see Ohio license plates. Stopped at the Rockford Post Office to send home some excess Quayle souvenirs which were taking up limited space and basically pissing me off. That is never a good thing based on the dearth of available of space on my touring machine, Pigbike.
A little backstory on Pigbike. She is a 1993 Cannondale T-700 I bought back when I was professionally leading bicycle tours. Outfitted with four oversized, custom-made Beckman panniers, a rack pack and handlebar bag, her gross vehicle weight is 103 pounds when she is loaded to travel distance. Needless to say, with my 200 pound (m)ass on her back, she just doesn't want to go into the wind very well.
Fortunately today I had a 5 mph tailwind. That may not seem like much, but I laughed out loud more than once today when I saw flags in people's yards blowing in my direction. I covered 45 miles by noon given the light tailwind and pancake flat terrain. A great day for a travelling cyclist is being a member of the "50 Mile by Noon Club." Today was a pretty fair day with an average speed of 13 mph.
I knew that I had to locate the Wapakoneta Masonic Lodge as it is the 'HAMER Lodge'. The W.M. at our Lakeshore Lodge is Brother HAMERcheck. Riddle me that Batman. Luck being on my side, the Lodge appears on my left as I enter Wapak. I stop to leave a Special Olympics T-shirt, greeting letter and card. Having only one crumpled card left, I write the blog info from the card on the greeting letter and hang the shirt and letter on the Lodge's door.
Walking my bike, I am in awe of the beauty of this 175 year old town. It is just one of those places that just feels good. That good feeling almost immediately played out. Passing a small print shop, I see a woman walking inside and I ask her if she works there. With an affirmative reply, we step inside, I tell her my story and show her my one remaining crumpled Masonic business
card. She tells me to come back in fifteen minutes. I return and she places three dozen perfect business cards on the counter. Asking the tariff, she replies, "These are on me. I appreciate that you're helping the kids." God, I love the road!! I went to my handlebar bag and grabbed a fresh chocolate chip cookie I had just bought and paid my tab to Mary with a smile. Thank you Mary Beech at Image Masters in Wapak. You are a Road Angel.
Found another of my planned waypoints further down the road, just west of I-75. The Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. It is a place I have always wanted to visit...just be advised it is closed Mondays. I only have about a 40 mile jump tomorrow so I plan to tour the Museum in the morning and get a late start for Bellfontaine, and the highest point in Ohio. Closing tonight with two words...Waffle House. One of my Dad's faves is right next door to where I am staying...we always had grits. Peace