We finished up our High Trestle Trail Tour in Iowa with a lovely ride to see the bridge lit up for evening. It was definitely worth the 33 miles we rode that day.
The next day we headed for Dayton. Why Dayton, you ask? We were definitely on the Trail Tour now and enjoying riding the bikes 20-30 miles a day. That might seem really boring to some people, but to us, it is the ultimate in relaxation, exercise and sightseeing.
Jim had struck up a conversation at the FCA convention in Kansas City with Ed, who lives in Dayton and he said “I think the bus would be really cool in our driveway for a few days.” He lives near two trails we wanted to investigate, the Greater Miami and Little Miami River Trails, and we did some research. I’m not sure if he realized we would take him up on it, but after Iowa, when we contacted him, he gave us the go-ahead.
I don’t know what we have done to deserve the kindness that has been flowing our way, but we made our way to their house on a quiet cul-de-sac and Jim backed it into the driveway perfectly, right next to Cindy’s beautiful side garden. After we backed the bus into their just-long-enough driveway, we proceeded to get to know them better. And boy, are we glad we did.
We knew we would have a good time with them; when we arrived, Ed came out to the driveway and said, “You know you’re crazy!” We laughed and the visit got off to a good start.
Cindy has beautiful gardens, full of all the plants I left behind at our house; hosta, phlox, black-eyed-Susans, surprise lilies, along with a lot of others. I enjoyed every minute of our borrowed bus garden. Their neighbor, Nit also had phlox, cannas, balsam and lots of hummingbirds.
And the hospitality! They were so kind and Ed even lent us his truck to get to the trails with the bikes. This turned out to be a real blessing as the traffic and route may have been a bit difficult on the bikes. The first day we parked at Carillon Park and rode north toward Dayton. The trail was immediately closed due to construction so we turned around and headed south. There we also encountered many ROAD CLOSED signs on the bike path but we just rode around them.
After that, when we came to the CLOSED signs, we just kept going past them and the way was clear through to Miamisburg, where we had lunch and toured the town.
The day was cool enough but it was humid. Once we got back to Cindy and Ed’s place, we treated them to dinner but they cheated us! We went to a famous local pizza place, Marion’s Pizza, where they were celebrating their 49th anniversary with a 49% off offer! They do this every year and discount the pizza as many years as they have been in business. We chowed down on two delicious pizzas with thin crust, loaded with toppings and a pitcher of Yuengling beer, an Ohio product. Ed and Cindy are both Ohio natives and gave us the scoop on all the local sights and attractions. Gracious Hosts and Tour Guides all wrapped up together. And friends extraordinaire. How did we get so lucky?
Ed has been retired for eight years but he still works for some local businesses. One of them is a high-end funeral home where he serves as limo driver and doer of all necessary tasks. He is an extremely personable guy, perfectly suited for the job. When Jim was getting stuff out of the bays on the tight side, Ed commented that it was a good thing that we were skinny. He said something that really stuck with me; “Being in the funeral business, I have buried a lot of old people and I have buried a lot of fat people, but I haven’t buried a lot of old fat people.”
Cindy is a retired school superintendent and an accomplished musician, besides being a very good gardener. She is second chair violin in their local orchestra and has an amazing singing voice. She had a performance coming up and was practicing into the night for it. We enjoyed visiting on the deck of their beautiful home and, at the risk of repeating myself, we were awash in friendship and hospitality. Their driveway was also the perfect length for the bus. Nice and level too.
The next day we explored the Little Miami River Trail and rode from Xenia to Yellow Springs, the home of Antioch College and a cool town “stuck in the ’60s” as Ed and Cindy described it. Not such a bad thing. On the way we rode under the Hyde Road Covered Bridge. Built in 2014, it is a testament to the commitment of the community to the bike trails.
More Yellow Springs:
On the trail on the way back this lady was chauffeuring her two terriers on her recumbent. I must admit that when I came up behind her, I thought there were three dogs, but the middle one turned out to be her…
This day was cooler and much less humid. We rode about 26 miles, a few extra since I missed a turn on the way back and Jim took a while to catch up to let me know of my error. OOPS!
The trail head had a beautiful garden attached and I got to enjoy more August beauty.
We had breakfast at The Golden Nugget the next morning where we saw a lot of people that Ed will probably be burying before they get old… Note to self: Don’t eat there too often.
Before we left, Ed had to go and drive for a funeral, but as he was saying his goodbyes in the driveway, he took both my hands and said “I hope you don’t mind…” and said a heartfelt prayer blessing us as we had told them that our bus had been blessed by Deacon Scott in Farmer City last year. So touching and added to our gratitude for these fine folks being our friends and coming into our lives.
On to Rocketfest!