Trapped in a Flood (USA Day 22)
It’s hard to leave a house when there’s a cat; I know that much.
Anyway. Deep, deep into the morning, Amy, Frisbee and I pedalled away from that rural idyll, polishing off those demonic hills in our first five miles and descending to the increasingly flat landscape of Western Ohio. The predicted rain had once again held off, so our only scourge was a stiff headwind that will most likely blow us back where we came from until we reach the Rockies. We chose East to West for many valid reasons that I can’t remember right now, but suffice to say that I don’t regret that decision. Yet.
We paused for lunch at Eagle Pizza, a little place right at the edge of the Columbus urban area that was proud to have had a shop right on this very spot way back since the…1970s. To celebrate, the place was filled with Civil War memorabilia that the server said I could touch if I wanted. When I asked for some sauce for my crust, I received two whole paper bags full of sauce sachets: at least forty of them. I guess she maybe thought her crusts had been around since the 1970s too.
Halfway into Columbus, our path was blocked by a flood. The rain has been pretty intense recently, and in this case the river had entirely overflowed its banks. Around us, a wood of trees sat at least a foot underwater. Luckily, there was another path that crossed this river, but less luckily that one was also flooded. This required either the fashioning of a rudimentary raft (Amy’s idea) or a quite considerable detour (mine) so we split up and agreed to meet on the opposite shore.
Our re-route took us through miles of quiet suburbs, the kind of prim, preened, plastic front porches you see in adverts or on Netflix, then quite suddenly an impoverished district with dilapidated yards and doors hanging open. I had massive success in 1-2-3-Spy due to the quantity of passing cars, progressing all the way from 61 to 86 in the space of an hour. To be honest, that’s probably one of the best things that’s happened to me since landing in JFK.
Once well into town we found our way to our hosts, who plied us with veggie chilli and broke out a spicy selection of board games, to our delight. We played our way long into the evening, then climbed into bed, only at that point realising we’d reached our third rest day! This is the first time that we’ve reached one without physically needing it, and that’s magnificent progress. In fact, we’re stopping this time because we’re well on schedule, and Columbus is a city we want to explore.
Today: 48 Miles
Total: 779 Miles