8/12/12 Cleveland (Independence) to Canton, OH – 63 miles along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
We left the Cleveland area under cloudy overcast skies. However, the forecast indicated that it will be clearing, so not so concerned about rain. It was very cool, in the 60’s. I got the sense that I had come full circle – started with cool mornings in Oregon and progressively got warmer up to and through the midwest, then back to cooler mornings.
Today’s ride was one of my very favorites of the trip. The entire ride was on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga River valley. There are meadows, forests and wetlands that wind alongside the old canal. The scenery was stunning and in some places caused me to catch my breath in a way I hadn’t really felt since Oregon. We read up a little on the history of the canal posted next to the old canal locks and various buildings that once housed paper mills and other commerce related items. We saw many great blue herons along the way, several of which seemed to actually pose for their pictures to be taken. I have loved blue herons for some time, ever since I lived out on a ranch for a short period of time a few years ago.
I felt very happy, joyful and carefree as we cruised along the trail path. I could tell Randy was having a good day as well. Since it was Sunday, there were tons of bikers, joggers and walkers on the trail. At various points, there were little towns where you could get off and find an outdoor market or cafe. The weather gradually cleared up as we biked along. Once again, we were stopped or approached over and over by people curious about the ride who were supportive and/or envious. We continued to get a lot of “thumbs up” coming at us from the opposite direction.
We finally got off the trail at Missolun. After stopping by a bike shop to get maps and directions, we continued another 8 miles to Canton, where we stopped for the night.
Tomorrow we continue towards Pittsburgh.