Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012. Cuyahoga Valley Day 2.

We ate breakfast early so we could drive to Rockside in time to put the bikes together and catch the 9:00 AM train... We were all pretty excited to finally ride on the train when we had been talking about it for days!

They loaded all the bikes on the train car, and we boarded for the one hour trip to Botzum station.

It was a pleasant ride for all; the adults drank coffee and the kids ate their snacks while we rolled down the tracks stopping at the stations and picking up more bikes and riders all along the route. We were glad we had boarded at the northernmost station. And it was only $2 each! What a bargain!

We unloaded the bikes at Botzum station and the train went on its way to Akron.

After we detrained we noticed Francis had a flat tire. We changed it while kids ate a snack and we all took turns using the pit toilets. That is until Erika dropped a 20 dollar bill in it! She would not let anyone enter until she at least TRIED to get it out. Of course it was about 6 feet below the sitting surface, but she could SEE it on top of all the @#$*! After several unsuccessful endeavors, and much well-meaning help from passersby, she finally fished it out by pinching it between 2 long sticks! Here she is washing her hands.... the  20 is wrapped in a baby wipe in her bike bag until it can be properly cleaned.... By then the tire was changed and we got on the trail about 10:45.

We stopped at a couple of locks and a beaver dam along the way. The lock you see above is the deepest, at 17 feet, commonly called the deep lock.

Grandpa took a rest at our lunch stop at Boston. He pulled the trailer today and said he did not find it nearly as annoying as I did yesterday. But I think it wore him out nonetheless. By then we had pedalled 10 miles, halfway to our destination. It was shortly after lunch that Laura's handlebars came off in her hands! Fortunately they were not going very fast at the time and she did not panic. Bill and Erika put them back on and the tandem was back on the trail in no time.

The trail passed under this highway bridge and several others. We crossed the occasional road, but most drivers were extremely accomodating of our large group. 
Near the end of our day we stopped at the Canal Visitors' Center for a break. There was a lock there, and an interactive display in the museum. Erika had been trying to explain to Laura how the locks worked,but she could not picture them... the guides let her have a truly hands-on experience with the model canal and lock--it was filled with water, and she got to operate the gates and move the boat through the level changes. Very cool!
Alison and I and the little kids walked over to the train station at Rockside while the guys loaded the bikes. All told we pedaled  22 miles on the dirt trail today, quite enough for the 2 little kids for sure.

We stopped for ice cream before heading back to the hotel. After showering and resting up a bit we went out to dinner. Tomorrow we head for home while Alison, Francis and their kids drive to Connecticut to visit with relatives there. Bill and I, Erika and Laura and Toby will probably ride in the morning and head home noonish. What a great trip this has been!

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