Friday, June 30, 2017

June 29--Day 17--Soup's On!

Today's post could have many titles--"Welcome to Ohio", "Not One, But Two Major Rivers", " A Lot Less Corn Now", "Defiance County--Isn't That From Scandal?", or "What Are Those Critters?". All good, 


There was a little excitement as I left the Community building in Monroeville Park this morning. As I opened the door to wheel Tilmann out, I was met by 5 Allan County Sheriff's Deputies. I thought, what did do? Of course, it wasn't me they were after. They asked me if any of the other doors were unlocked. I told them not to my knowledge. Clearly they were looking for someone. I decided my best move was to pedal off to the Blueberry Pancake House for breakfast.


After a delicious breakfast of French Toast with bananas, I next stopped at the library to use the wifi. Although the library wasn't open, Chris was there and came out to talk to me. He gave me a little more insight into small town living (namely, don't piss off any of the big families that run the town).


Just a few miles into today's ride, I hit the Ohio/Indiana Stateline. In fact, I rode along the state line for a few miles before officially entering Ohio. I took this shadow picture. 

Riding along the state line

Technically, I'm in Ohio, but my shadow is in Indiana! I came to a main highway, and saw the Welcome to Ohio sign. I took a photo with that sign, even though I wasn't going on the highway. I wasn't sure if the road I'd be turning on would have a sign (like how Indiana didn't). Well, it did, so I took another photo, this time with Tilmann. This sign wasn't as fancy as the highway one, but at least there was one.

The highway fancy sign

The real road I was on with Tilmann



Once I actually entered Ohio, the road angled Northeast. That was to be the case for most of the day. Lucky for me, the wind was blowing from the southwest, and it was blowing hard today! That was good because I had a lot of miles to do. 


Although I continued to pass cornfields and soybeans, they were not nearly as prevalent as the last several days. I also went through a lot more towns. Payne was the first one which wasn't much of a town, but not too much further was Paulding. This is the county seat of Paulding County, and had this nice courthouse building.

Big building for a small town



Awhile after Paulding, at Junction, I turned to follow the Auglaise River. It's a pretty good size river.

Auglaize River

I followed it into Defiance County, and the town of Defiance. Defiance was ringing a bell. Wasn't that the county on the TV show, Scandal, that they rigged the presidential election so Fitzgerald Grant won the election? I'm pretty sure it was. Who knew there was a real Defiance County?

The Defiance County of Scandal fame

As for the town, it was the largest town I've been in since Muscatine, Iowa. There was even a REAL grocery store! I was finally able to get some bananas, apples, and avocados! It's a good thing I had that awesome tailwind, because I added a lot of weight to the food panniers!


Outside of Defiance I came to Independence Dam State Park. There's no camping, but I checked it out anyway. Now I was riding along the Maumee River, another large river. I saw two great herons in the river.

Independence Dam

Great Heron

If I'd read the narrative a little closer on my map, I could have taken a canal tow path for a couple of miles, then gotten back on the road. Oh well, it was just a short bit of backtracking (into the wind) to the road. 


I was continuing to make my way toward Napolean, when I saw this bike fix it station, seemingly in the middle of nowhere! I'd been thinking I should add some air to my tires as I hadn't since I started. How convenient that there would be a bike pump just waiting for me on the side of the road!

Bike pump!



As I came into the outskirts of Napolean, I saw a bike path, but the problem with those is I don't know where it goes. On a short day, I'd check it out, but today was not a short day. Besides, if I had gone on the path, I would have missed getting ice cream at the Frosty Boy. Very similar to the Whippy Dip in Monroeville, they had all kinds of goodness. I got a turtle sundae and a big cream soda. I was going to go for my favorite soft serve, but it was so hot that I would have just had to gulp it down before it melted. I like to savor my ice cream just a little!


I crossed the river in Napolean, and turned to continue following it on the south bank. Just a couple miles out of town I came to the Campbell's Soup Company Factory. It is huge! There was even this huge can of Tomato Soup! If only I had a huge grilled cheese sandwich to go with it! I had no idea Campbell's was in Napolean, Ohio. They had a Visitor's entrance, but I didn't see anything about factory tours. Might have been cool to see.

BIG can of Tomato Soup!



I finished the last 13 miles to Mary Jane Thurston State Park. It was a little strange because I didn't see anything mentioning a campground. I went to the park office. Yes, there is camping, but the campground was another half mile down the road. Still, I registered (back to expensive camping at $20), then rode on to the campground part. The tenting area is right on the river in a nice grassy area that cars can't drive on. There's only one other family in tents.


There is supposed to be a storm coming through, but it's not here yet. But, I'm ready for it if it does show up.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the critters! I saw four of these furry brown critters with kind of beaver looking faces, low to the ground squatty bodies, and a tail that looks like it was an afterthought. I saw all of them when I was riding along the rivers. I'm guessing, maybe muskrat???


So, as you can see, this post could have had many titles. I chose one about Campbell's because it was a complete surprise to me that this is where Campbell's Soup is made!


Total miles for today: 75.7



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