to Bowling Green, OH

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 09/06/2004 - 00:00

I knew I was overdoing it yesterday, but I couldn't seem to stop riding... so today in addition to a strong headwind, I had a lot of muscle cramps and that special kind of fatigue you get when yesterday's sunburn meets today's sun.

I got an early start because I kept mistaking the glow from my hosts' security light for dawn, because they hadn't offered me a restroom, and because I didn't want to still be there when they woke up.  I was in Ohio by about 9:00 and in Waterville (southwest of Toledo) by noon.

The Michigan-Ohio border is very visible west of Toledo, because there are housing developments right up to the line on the Ohio side and crops right up to the line on the Michigan side!

I found Ohio Bicycle Route #5 easily as soon as I was across the border and followed it all the way into Waterville.  Ohio is crisscrossed by marked bike routes, a handy shortcut for determining which roads will be paved and have adequate shoulders.  Along the way I crossed two of the rail trails as well, and they look great -- I'm looking forward to tomorrow's ride!

By the time I got to Waterville, I really needed a rest, but I didn't find a park that met my needs until I reached Haskins, about 2 miles farther on.  There I found shade, picnic tables, and running water where I could do my laundry from yesterday!  The air is so dry today that the laundry dried in a matter of hours.

I pulled into Bowling Green around 3:00 and stopped to use the phone book: I wanted to make sure the campground shown on my map actually existed.  It didn't.  However, I called the "Portage Quarry Recreation Club" and learned that they charge only $4 to camp, on top of $4 admission.  Especially after last night, when I turned down a $27 site, this sounded great

Passing through downtown Bowling Green, I was struck by how similar it is to Grinnell, Iowa, only about 3x bigger.  Downtown is in good shape, but there are a handful of big box stores south of town.  There's even a Pagliai's Pizza, though I'm sure there's no relation to Grinnell's Pagliai.

The Portage Quarry Recreation Club turned out to be pretty great.  People use the flooded quarry for scuba diving, diving, and swimming.  There are no showers, but the water in the quarry is very clean and warm.  The campsites are at least as good as the ones I paid $20 for in Michigan.  And all the drunk college students are going home in a few hours, so I'll have the place to myself!

Total distance: 37.11 mi


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