East of the Mississippi
5 August - 22 August
2670 - 3840 miles

Illinois Farm

This was a typical scene across the Illinois and Indiana countryside. The terrain had flatten out after we left the western region of Illinois and the Mississippi river bluffs. Then it was farm after farm of corn and soy beans fields.

Dowtown Cleveland

Bill lives in a suburb of Cleveland. We decided to route our way to his place. Bill's wife was not home at the time and he wanted to make sure that he was the first one there so that no one would have to wait to get in. In order to do that, Bill rode 150 miles the day before our arrival. He told us of taping a flashlight to his handlebars and the ordeal of riding until 11pm at night. Fortunately, he arrived safely. We spent an extra day here and Bill took me into downtown Cleveland to the waterfront and Science Museum. The second night we had dinner with Bill's son you had been on one of the inaugural 1976 Bikecentennial Trans-America rides. We left on a Friday morning and here Bill is navigating us through early morning rush hour traffic in downtown Cleveland.

A Welcome Home

A few days later we were aiming for the Rochester area. Art and Maureen went to see the local old warplanes exhibition on the way to my house. Bill was very interested in seeing a working canal so I gave him the Rochester bike mini-tour. This included the RIT and U of R campuses, Mt. Hope Cemetery (yes, in Rochester there is so much to do we give visitors tours of the cemetery) and seeing a working lock on the Erie Canal. We called Charlene while we were enroute and arranged for her to bike out on the canal path to meet us. Here we get to meet each other after two months and over 3500 miles.

A Foggy Morning in the Catskills

After Fairport, the four of us were going to split up. All of us had different plans for arranging our end of trip logistics. We had a lay over day in Fairport and I had to make sure that I got back on the bike after that second day because it would not have taken too much to convince me to just stay at home. I went south through the Finger Lakes and into the Catskills. People who ask what was the toughest part of the trip are surprised when my answer is not something in the Rockies but rather the day I traveled from Ithaca to Walton, NY. This was a 90+ mile day in which there was never more than a 1 mile stretch of flat road. I was constantly going up and down ridges. The final insult was at the end of the day when I had a 2.5 mile climb at a 10% grade to get to Bear Spring Mountain State Park. (One should shy away from all campgrounds that have "Mountain" in their name!) This was the steepest climb of the entire trip. This photo is of the foggy morning that greeted me the next day as I continued on and went down the other side of Bear Spring Mountain.

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Last changed: 04 June 2003; jvallino@rochester.rr.com