July 14, 2009
Cleveland to Champagne Urbana Illinois.
Up at 6:30 and on the road by 8:00 but wandered through downtown Cleveland, going North to the Lake and back through industrial lowland Cleveland before we got on the highway. Cleveland has stunning architecture and even the old factories and warehouses near Lake Erie are full of fancy brickwork and great woodframed windows. There was still a lot of work happening in downtown Cleveland, despite all the dire economic data we see.
Cleveland Heights, where Po and Terre live, has hundreds of tremendous homes stately with stone and wood and stained glass windows. Po and Terre’s house is full of fine woodworked details inside like great built in window seats. Every detail of their house is beautiful, a celebration of life, birds, words, colors, ideas, sounds, and flavors. In the morning we biked about looking at grand homes and fine gardens. In the evening we walked around a small lake, watching big catfish snurfle about in the muck at shore and a great blue heron floating along the banks. We saw several tremendous trees. In fact, Cleveland Heights has a remarkable number of excellent trees because they are “field grown” meaning they have grown without any competition from surrounding forest forces. My favorite was a huge beech just a few blocks from their house.
The drive to Indianapolis was long and we were irritable. Egg salad sandwiches at a rest stop helped revive us enough to do the final hour of the five hour drive. Cary made a satellite connection for a conference all and did some other work while I did a walking tour of art deco buildings downtown. Looked in the Borders for the book about hikes in Wyoming that I’ve left behind but all they had were the most standard travel books: Fodor, Lonely Planet, nothing interesting.
The highway is both tedious and fascinating. I saw an 18 wheeler of tiny piglets sticking their noses out the slats. I saw great huge metal pipes. Now It is very very flat and our mileage has improved from a low of 16mpg to 24.6 mpg. We’ve paid $2.85 and $2.35 a gallon. We saw a station which had $2.18 a gallon but the gas was “E85” which, apparently, reduces your miles per gallon by 8% so, in the end, it isn’t any savings.
Mr Gramin (the GPS) has been uneven today and we have decided it is like having a third person on the trip. We reprogrammed him so that he shows north as up, instead of up being the direction we are headed in the moment. It is suprising how much we rely on the paper maps despite all of our new age tools.