Suddenly It’s the Midwest

After spending a while by the river, I plotted a course to Xenia — no highways, no tolls, as usual. My route west covered about a quarter mile of the Triple Nickel from yesterday’s motorcycle ride. I’m amazed at how quickly the geography flattened out, though. Yes, I know that Ohio is where the hills of the east transition into the plains of the Midwest. That transition is quick when you’re speeding through on the interstate like I’ve done in the past. But it’s also quick on the back roads. Not instant, but certainly faster than I expected.

So here I am, suddenly driving 55 mph on back roads with no problem, occasionally slowing for a rare 40 or 30 mph curve. Its pretty easy driving, with just a bit of extra concentration to stay in my narrow lane at these speeds. There’s little need to pull over and let people pass. Passing zones are common, long, and easy to use. Plus, most people who travel these roads aren’t going very far on them. I’m the strange one who prefers to travel this way.

I pulled into Xenia around lunchtime. Unhappy with food I had with me, I tried a few fast food joints. Taco Bell’s doors were locked with a long drive-thru line. Here we go again with the COVID shutdowns. Some signs would’ve been nice. The pavement transitions to other parking lots off Business 35 were too steep for me to get in and out of without scraping the motorcycle carrier on the ground. I ended up at a sit-down Mexican place instead, and still managed to get my tacos.

After that, I cruised over to West Side Park to hang out and give Lister some outside time. With few trees, there’s little shade, which is great for my solar power generation but not so good for staying cool, so he hid under the van much of the time. I got some more writing done and made my own shade inside the van, though with everything open for maximum ventilation. Then I remembered I have a hammock, so I set that up between one of the few trees and a post.

No sooner than I set up did a couple of guys show up to fly model rockets in the field. This was not a bother, but awesome! I played with model rockets quite a bit as a kid. I even did two successful science fair projects on them, because I’m that much of a nerd. So I turned around and enjoyed the show. I even recovered one of their rockets for them when it soft landed right next to me. I had so much fun with these as a kid. Seeing these grown men having just as much fun now as I used to makes me think about taking this up again once I settle down somewhere.

It was a quiet evening at Chateau Walmart in Xenia. At least, until I woke up to the generator of a truck parked right next to me. He had the entire lot to himself, and parked there? Really? Anyway, since I was up, I showered at a nearby Love’s and coordinated plans with Eugenia for the Air Force museum. But that’s a story for another post.

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