Day 11 - May 14 - Senecaville OH to Zanesville OH - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 14, 2023

Day 11 - May 14 - Senecaville OH to Zanesville OH

What a Difference a Day Makes

Ed’s Story

A great subtitle - the sun was out; and  it was much warmer than it had been. We were able to leave camp with just shorts and a jersey.

Then we remembered we were at lake level. Just climbing out was a mile long and 100’ of elevation. Yep, I’m not proud - I walked. Then we had to tackle the hills on Skyline Drive that John talked about in yesterday’s journal.

We eventually found ourselves back on the route to Zanesville, and believe it or not we ran into more hills.  This is eastern Ohio so the hills were expected. I was able to ride up some of the climbs including one that got up to 15% grade; how I did it I’ll never know.

We stopped for coffee at a BP about 5 miles out. It was a refreshing stop. We met one older man who told us we could get a ticket if we rode too slow on state highways. All the debating in the world couldn’t get him to change his mind. After all he said he has 17 cousins who are highway patrolmen.

View from our lunch stop at the closed Carlwick Stop and Shop, about 5 miles from Zanesville.
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We got into Zanesville and went shopping at Riesbecks for dinner items. We found a brewery  but it was on the other side of the river with no short safe way to get there. We ended up at Tumbleweed Tex-Mex grill for a beer and chips with guacamole.

We headed and got to Wolfies campsite and guess what it was at the top of, a hill. 

Great sleeping accommodations
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We met Marianne who is riding her trike solo across the U.S. (for the sixth time). I will let John talk about her.

A little while later, Peggy shows up on her bike. She also started in Washington DC and is on the same Eastern Express  route that we are. She is also riding solo. I won’t give ages, but both John and I are younger than the two women riders we’ve met.

Peggy with her trusty steed.
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As I noted in the beginning of the journal, my sons challenged me to not shave, and to grow a beard on this trip. For those who are interested here I am at day 9.

Day 9 - I have never been much good at growing facial hair.
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Tomorrow we are headed to the KOA campground at Buckeye Lake. It is only a 32 mile ride so hopefully we can get in fairly early in order to wash some clothes.

Well, it’s dinner time so I need to close. Until next time happy biking.

John’s Story

Ed is being conservative about the climb out to Skyline Drive from Seneca Lake this morning. By the time we got to the campground entrance we had climbed 270’. I managed to ride all the way out by steering serpentine from one side of the road to the other to lower the effective grade, something I couldn’t have done on a busy road.  There was another 130’ of climbing before we got to the highway and the beginning of today’s route. So we climbed to the top of a 40 story building before we had our morning coffee.

Beautiful sunrise across the lake this morning.
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So what did we see today? Picturesque southeast Ohio, meaning hills. The hills were just as much fun (?) as yesterday, but they came more often and in different forms. There were of course the stealth hills like yesterday. You know, average grade of 3.5% with some 12%-15% sections included for seasoning. Then there were the insidious hills. The ones not even identified as climbs by the Wahoo, but which slowed you to a stop on the way up nonetheless. But we did have some good rollers that allowed us to use our downward momentum to push us most of the way up the next summit. Those were fun for real. Today’s 3,000’ of climbing was packed into 42 miles of riding, as opposed to yesterdays 3,500’ stretched over 60 miles.

Where’s Waldo? The Wahoo informed us of this long hill and pre-empted the map view from the screen to show the profile of the climb and keep track of progress riding up. I rode up to the point where I took this shot of the hill and Ed. While waiting for Ed I switched to map view and discovered I had missed a turn down near where you see Ed. I was able to warn him off from climbing up to me, but of course in the other direction there was another face of the hill. So I got to summit it twice.
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So how about some more pictures of picturesque southeast Ohio? After all, that’s what we saw today.

Pretty farm on the hillside.
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Pretty flowers on the hillside.
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Hillside with a road on it.
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More hillsides.
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Even steeper hillside with a road on it.
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After cramming in all that hill climbing we thought a cold beer would be nice when we got to Zanesville. The bartender had trouble tapping my beer.  Too much head. When I had drunk it halfway down she refilled it. Then she wouldn’t charge me for it because of the inconvenience! Extra beer is an inconvenience? People in southeast Ohio have odd ways.

The refill.
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For going above and beyond the call of duty, bartender Nicole gets today’s Road Angel Award.
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When we arrived at Wolfie’s Campground (a really nice place!), a woman came over to talk to us. Marianne was camped at one of the other tent sites. She left Barstow, California alone on March 3 riding her recumbent trike. She is headed to Philadelphia. When she gets there she plans to ride north to Quebec, then ride west across Canada before turning south at last to ride back to California. This is her 6th self supported transcontinental bike tour. She is older than I am. Lynn, your records are in danger!

Marianne in camp.
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Kelly IniguezHow amazing to meet two solo women on the same day. Extra happiness that they are of silver hair age. Does Marianne have E assist on her trike? I would guess 99% of the trikes I see in Tucson have E assist.
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6 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo Kelly IniguezNo E-assist. She talked about getting over some hills at 1 mph!
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6 months ago

Not sure of the raccoon situation here so we have our foodstuffs locked away in our critter sacks for the night.

Personal Note

One of my grandfather’s Pennsylvania Polish coal miner brothers apparently rode the rails during the Great Depression looking for work so he could send money home to his family. Once I heard that story I thought that might explain my wanderlust tendencies. I refer to my condition as inherited hobo-somes. 

I became so enthralled by this idea that several years ago I travelled to Britt, Iowa to see the National Hobo Museum and attend the Britt Hobo Days. Since 1900 Britt, Iowa has hosted a National Hobo Convention. This year it will be held August 10-13. Check it out at Britt Hobo Days. Fascinating, to me anyway.

Some definitions:

  • Hobo - intentionally homeless person who travels to find work
  • Tramp - intentionally homeless person who travels but doesn’t work
  • Bum - intentionally homeless person who is too lazy to travel or work

Song about hobos, from Don McLean’s Solo album.

Homeless Brother

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 3,534 miles (5,687 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 6
Jane Chimahusky*waving from NW Ohio* Good luck with the hills!!!
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6 months ago
George HallI met Marianne in 2021 on the Northern Tier route - at that time she was making her 5th continental crossing! She had a little dog in tow with her then. I'm not able to post a pic in a comment, but there is a photo of her and a conversation with her in the video on this page; My, what a small world it is!
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6 months ago
George Hall"She also started in Washington DC and is on the same Eastern Express route that we are." I'm sure you know this, but just in case; you aren't actually on the Eastern Express yet. The EE runs from Indianapolis to Walden, CO - you are currently on the Chicago to New York City route and should commence on the EE in about 230 miles. You are riding a route that I researched recently for consideration as a potential future tour, so these details are fresh in my mind. Enjoying your journal, best of luck!
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6 months ago
Ed ChimahuskyTo Jane ChimahuskyThanks Jane…I waved back.
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6 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo George HallGeorge, you are correct in the we are not yet on the Eastern Express as Adventure Cycling has defined it, but ACA only took over the route earlier this year from those who developed it. Before ACA took it over, there was a stand-alone website dedicated to the Transamerica Eastern Express. It was under development for 5 or 6 years before that.

On the website the developers laid out a suggested daily itinerary from Washington, DC to Walden, Colorado that avoided a lot of the big hill climbing in the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains that you find on the original Transamerica to Yorktown, Virginia. I laid them both out in Ride With GPS and the Eastern Express had 40,000 less hill climbing between the East Coast and Walden than the original Transamerica.

The developers included on their website day by day Ride With GPS routes from DC to Walden with detailed logistics information along the way. That’s what I used to develop our tour route over the past two years. So, yes, we are on the Transamerica Eastern Express route as envisioned by those who developed it, not as ACA modified it to suit themselves.

The Eastern Express route presented to ACA started in DC and followed the C&O Canal towpath to the GAP to the Montour Trail to the Panhandle Trail; on to Wheeling, WV, across the Ohio River into southeastern Ohio where we are now; then roughly west between Dayton and Cincinnati to Terre Haute, IN, Effingham, IL and across the Mississippi River at Alton, IL. The rest is pretty much as ACA has presented it.

I talked to ACA and they told me they cut off the eastern part and routed it up to Indianapolis for two primary reasons: 1) the C&O and GAP are already very well defined and described, and 2) they wanted to tie it into their existing Chicago to New York City route.

When I get back home I may put our route out there as a single Ride With GPS route, to show what it looked like in the minds of those who did the work to create it.
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6 months ago
George HallTo John ChimahuskyThanks John, that's very interesting! I didn't know the history of the route development. I've ridden the Transam so I certainly concur that there’s a lot of climbing on it in VA, KY, and MO - plus you'll miss a couple of significant climbs in Colorado. I'll be following along as you make your way to Walden and join the Transam.
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6 months ago