– Indianapolis, Indiana to Buffalo, New York –
We tried to get up at 6am today. We really did. The alarm went off and everything. Unfortunately, since we were operating on a couple of nights of short sleep, we decided, after turning on the light and looking around, that it would be much better to sleep for another hour. Mark reset the alarm, and the whole family went back to sleep until 7am.
This time, when the alarm went off, we actually got out of bed. We were dressed in our running gear and out the door by about 7:20. Last night, we picked out the Fall Creek Greenway for our run, so we drove about 10 minutes or so over to the local Boy Scout headquarters, where we’d decided to park. It wasn’t the right place, but since we had some trouble finding the right place on the map, we settled for a place where we probably wouldn’t get into any trouble.
The parking lot ended up being almost entirely empty, and nobody bothered our car at all, as we expected. We did have to cross a road to get over to the trail though, which wasn’t ideal, but we survived. The Fall Creek Greenway is a great place to run, and the trails were well-paved and wide. We saw a bunch of other people out enjoying the path while we ran. My only complaint is the occasional lack of shade, and the close proximity to the road, but overall, it was a good spot, and I am sure we will run there again someday.
On the way back to our hotel, we stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for a quick breakfast. Nothing like sweet, sweet carbs to do away with all of the good you’ve done by exercising, right?
When we got back to the hotel, just as we parked, Ripley puked up her post-run water all over her car seat (which is covered by a dog sling), so we spent probably thirty minutes cleaning that up. It wasn’t too messy, since it was mostly water, but puke is unpleasant no matter the circumstances. I figure she just had too much water after her run. Tomorrow we will be a little more careful.
The puking adventure added a bit of time to our morning, so by the time we left our hotel, it was nearly 10. We usually like to leave by 9, but since we’d slept in and spent time scrubbing the car, we weren’t doing too badly, considering.
By the time we made it to Dayton, we needed gas, and we needed some Febreze. Sure, we’d used water to scrub up the puke, but that slightly sour smell still lingered in her sling. The Febreze fixed it right up, thankfully, and we were back on the road feeling much better about our morning after that.
In Columbus, we stopped for lunch at a Pita Pit right next to Ohio State University. Since we didn’t really have any major planned stops for the day, we walked over to the university and wandered around to take some pictures. It’s a gorgeous campus- it’s covered in enormous shade trees.
We visited the library as well, since Mark is attracted to libraries like a moth to a flame, and I must say, it is lovely. When you walk in, you can look up and see the floors above you through a giant glass wall that goes all the way to the ceiling, and on each level, all of the books were stored in compact shelving. If you aren’t a librarian, that may be an unfamiliar term. Compact shelving rests on a set of tracks, and each shelf can be moved closer or farther from its neighbor, depending on which section a library patron needs to use. It allows for more storage space for books, since the shelves can be packed much more tightly together.
We ate our pitas outside the library at a little red table and chair set under a tree. The whole Oval (as it’s called at OSU) in front of us was filled with grass and beautiful trees, and the grass was covered with sunbathing students. I assume they were students. I guess anyone could be hanging out on campus greenery in the middle of Ohio in a swimsuit. It’s as weird as it sounds. I hope they were wearing their sunblock. It was a sunny day.
With Columbus behind us, we drove north toward Cleveland, although we skirted the city. At Cleveland, we ran into Lake Erie, so we turned east and followed the lake out of Ohio and into Pennsylvania. We still didn’t have any plans to stop, but as I was looking at the map, trying to decide where we wanted to stop to take a couple of pictures of the lake, I spotted a state park just on the west side of Erie.
It sounded like a good place to visit, so we turned north off of the highway and drove off of the mainland and onto a little peninsula out in the lake. The park is called Presque Isle State Park, and it was a very popular place to be today. We were surrounded by cars as we drove out to the larger part of the peninsula, and all of the parking areas were packed with people. A bike trail ran alongside the road, and people were making ample use of it on this very pleasant Sunday afternoon.
The parking areas are mostly for beaches. I wonder how cold the water is. I wasn’t brave enough to check, but it seemed like the visitors were enjoying it. Sometimes I think people from states that don’t touch the Gulf of Mexico must have much stronger constitutions that I do. If the water is colder than the gulf, I don’t want to be in it.
It’s a pretty little park, and all of the people seemed to be having a great time. Ripley really enjoyed hanging her head out the window. A couple of times squirrels ran across the road, and she went rather loudly insane as we drove past them, panting and whining and thrashing in her seat as she tried valiantly to get the squirrels. If only her mean parents hadn’t strapped her into the car.
Our last stop before we left the park was the Presque Isle Light, which was built in 1872 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. We didn’t get to go inside, although you can tour the lighthouse earlier in the day on the weekends. It was already 6:30pm, so we’d missed out. Ripley couldn’t have visited anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. It’s not the most attractive lighthouse I’ve seen, but it was still worth the stop.
We met a lady near the lighthouse that was pretty excited about it. She said she and her husband love lighthouses, and they try to see as many as they can. She said they were going “lighthousing” in Maine in a few weeks. I love it when people verb nouns. “Lighthousing” is a hilarious word. I like it when people say “birding,” too. “I’m going birding.” It can conjure up strange images if you don’t get the gist of what they are saying. “Do you mean you’re going to flap your arms and jump out of a tree to see if you can fly?”
Erie is a bigger town that I’d realized. Despite its size, we didn’t make good choices trying to find our dinner, so we ended up getting Panera. I know we had that on Friday night, but on Friday, we had sandwiches. Today, we had black bean soup. We got drinks and brownies, too, which made up for the fact that we were eating it again a bit too soon. Mark had an iced coffee, and I ended up with white passionfruit unsweet tea. It’s a bit strange, but I’ve decided I like it. It’s a pretty pale gold color, too, which is fun.
From Erie, it isn’t far to the New York border, and as soon as we crossed, our interstate turned into a toll road. That’s one of my least favorite things about New York. Why does everything have to have a toll? It cost us $3.15 just to ride the highway to Buffalo. If we’d had more time, we’d have taken the slower route closer to the lake and avoided I-90 through New York altogether. It would’ve been more scenic, too, but were already not going to make it to our hotel until just after 9pm.
Tomorrow we drive up to Burlington, Vermont. On the way, we’re hoping to see some of the mechanics of the Erie Canal. That should be neat. We’ve got plans to get up at 6am and run, too, and then Mark’s promised me Tim Hortons. If you read our Alaska blog last summer, you’ll know that I’m a minor fangirl of Tim Hortons. I’m excited.
– Trip Total : 1,434 miles –