September 17, 2009...
Today was a day of character.
The ride from Columbus to Zanesville, Ohio was the first day I noticed the leaves starting to change. With the hills starting to increase...and my speed therefore decreasing...I had more time to notice.
The scenery is really striking in this part of the country. It feels so peaceful and every turn has so much character. I wish I had a camera on the front of my bike and I could just keep clicking as I pedaled. Every turn...every hill...there is a picture.
It only makes sense that with such character in the scenery...the residents would be equally unique.
There was Brenda Sue. She always wanted to sing at the Grand Ole Opry and because she never did...she made her own version: the Central Ohio Opry. With her picture on the sign of her restaurant out front...it made sense to go in for a visit. I was rewarded with an amazing voice and an old Patsy Cline song.
Then there was Sue...at Bud's Produce. Her and her husband owned the place and they were open 360 days a year. (No way was she ever going to miss Bowl games on January 2nd.) She had a sign on her produce: "Grown Local...like right down the street."
And I'll never forget Joe Brown. A crusty ole guy who was up for conversation. He had a big antique shop in a former barn right next to the road. It was faded pink with paint peeling. We sat in a porch swing under the shade and talked about his son's big shrimp and fish farms up the road. "I take a buck and spend it. My son went to college...he takes a buck and makes another." Joe was super proud of the Christmas sleighs he made, too. He's sold three and they are pretty neat. When I asked Joe about whether he roots for the team down in Cincinnati or Cleveland, he responded, "I don't root for a football team. Someone loses...someone wins...someone's happy...someone's not...that's all that football is." And that was Joe Brown.
Fun day with people. Good day on the bike.