Ah, the sweet familiar feeling of a good old fashioned 4:00am wake up. It would surprise nobody to learn that when we woke there was a sprinkling rain shower falling outside. It'd be an understatement to say that we've had more rain on this trip already than that of my other two cross-country trips combined. And that is why I love Gore-Tex.
The early morning wake up was in effect for one reason only: Cleveland. We'd be passing through before arriving at our new host, and more than a handful of riders wanted to check out, explore, and see why Cleveland rocks. It was a van day for me, behind the wheel of the good old support vehicle, and I did my duties collecting groceries before finding a perfect little park to set up lunch. The park was right on the water and had a covered picnic bench area perfect for hiding from the inevitable lingering rain clouds.
Once everyone had come and gone from our perfect picnic spot, I drove on to Cleveland. It didn't take me long to realize I would never find a place to park my fifteen passenger van hitched to a trailer. After looping around and around in a slightly lost state, I got back on the trail towards Avon Lake. Here, I would find the most amazing host ever, ever, ever, ever.
If I had the power to king people, places, or things, I would label the folks of Avon Lake the Kings of the Pot Luck. We had a spread tables and tables long, and the biggest turnout we've had yet. We were staying across from a water park, we had host families to connect with, and this town had a rockin' bike shop that took good care of us.
We ended the evening at the family home that took in myself and my co-leaders, on Lake Erie, looking across the water at the best sunset of the trip, and we couldn't be happier.