Erie to Geneva

The ride today was pretty uneventful. I followed the Erie coast Eastbound towards Cleveland. I guess the highlight was crossing the border from Pennsylvania to Ohio. It's not the first time I've been to Ohio. I've been plenty of times. But, I don't know, it's just a thing when you cross over an imaginary line into a new state. So yeah, I entered into the fourth state of my journey. 

Imaginary line

Imaginary line

The ride was mellow. I was so thankful that the hills of Pennsylvania were gone. It was my impression that drivers in Ohio were generally accommodating of bikers. I felt safe and was in good spirits as I coasted towards Geneva. 

Before arriving at my host's house I stopped at one of the many beaches along the lake. There was a single pick-up truck in the parking lot. Upon further inspection I noticed a couple in the driver seat making out pretty heavily. That was such a high school move. But, you know what, it was sort of nostalgic to see that.

Beach on Erie

Beach on Erie

It made me think. Man. I sort of miss those days when making out in the car was the thing to do. Maybe I'll do that when I get back to DC. Hmm, well, I'll need to get a girlfriend. Yeah, I'll also need to get a car. Hmm, you know what, maybe I won't do that when I get back to DC. Yeah, no. This was a dumb idea. I'm just going to let the past be past. 

On slow days I clearly have lots of time to think... 

Anyways, I arrived at the home of my host, Richard. Richard was a great guy. He and his cat Spot (sort of feels like a dog's name, doesn't it? ) live in a home just a few blocks from the lake. He lives a peaceful life. Aside from bike touring he enjoys fishing, elk hunting, gardening and making homemade maple syrup. 

Learning about Richard's lifestyle was really interesting to me, particularly because of my urban/suburban upbringing. Right now, the concept of sustainability is really fashionable in DC. People want to decrease their carbon footprint and eat a diet of organic, locally produced food. These behaviors are supposedly part of a sustainable lifestyle.

My host, Richard, grows vegetables, makes maple syrup, fishes and hunts deer. He told me that a single deer produces 70 lbs of meat, enough to last the year. Sure, he picks up groceries here and there from Wal-Mart, but, quite frankly, he lives the most sustainable lifestyle of anyone I know. In the city we make elaborate and expensive efforts to eat local, know where our food comes from, be humane to animals, etc. Whereas Richard just happens to do all of those things without really trying. He lives a genuinely sustainable lifestyle. I realized that this is part of the appeal of having a rural lifestyle.  

 Like I said, it was an uneventful day.