Day 52 - Kent to New Castle - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 24, 2016

Day 52 - Kent to New Castle

Today was a day of meditation long awaited.

But first, I had to finish off Jan’s peach pie for breakfast.
We visited a bit, then Gordon loaded me up.
He was heading over to spend the day with his Mom.
Jan offered to drive me to Kent - which gave us time to visit.
Too soon we stopped at a coffee shop in downtown Kent.
Pictures, hugs, and goodbyes.


Each generation has its searing event.
For me it was the shootings at Kent State on May 4, 1970.
I was only in junior high school, but it was shocking.
So to be at Kent State and to walk where the protesters were shot -
Was an overwhelming experience for me.

Whatever your view - four young lives ended far too soon -
Allison Krause, WIlliam Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer, and Jeffrey Miller.
Almost 50 years later, you would have thought we might have learned.

It was a summer Sunday morning, so the campus was empty.
I first walked to the bell, which was used to assemble the protesters.
If I had a bell, I’d ring out warning - - and I did, albeit softly.

Then I walked up Blanket Hill to the Pagoda -
Where the Guardsmen turned and fired on the students.

I left a broken shell on Drumm’s Solar Totem sculpture at the bullet hole.

And then I walked down to the parking lot to the memorials to the four killed.
For almost 30 years, cars continued to park where they had fallen.
Now they are enclosed - with posts and granite markers.
I left a Pacific shell for Allison, Bill, Sandy, and Jeff.

The Bell Used to Announce Protests
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The Pagoda - The Point Where the Guardsmen Turned and Fired
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Don Drumm's Solar Totem Sculpture with a Bullet Hole
Drumm said, "I wish that all the bullets had hit my sculpture."
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Bill Schroeder's Memorial in the Parking Lot
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The Iconic 1960s Architecture of Taylor Hall
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The remainder of the day proved quiet.
I cycled the wonderful Portage Trail to Ravenna.
Then I took back roads to Newton Falls.
Got there just in time to avoid a huge gully-washer storm.
I stayed dry at the McDs, but my bike had scant cover.

Newton Falls Covered Bridge
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Afterwards, it was a Turkish steam bath.
I cut through Lordsburg of GM production fame.
UAW town if there ever was one - and full of Trump signs.

On to Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
This was once the steel capital of the world.
The factories and rail lines have been replaced by weeds.
Derelict houses sit next to empty lots with stairs leading nowhere.
A few are still kept up.

Mahoning Valley Houses
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Just before the Pennsylvania line, I picked up the Stavich Trail.
It heads all the way to New Castle. Poor in Ohio, nice in Penna.
Except, except - - why is there always an exception?
Brutal hill leading into New Castle - only to zoom down to a stop sign.

There must be a moral to the story.

Allison, Bill, Jeff, and Sandy
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Today's ride: 64 miles (103 km)
Total: 2,912 miles (4,686 km)

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