August 16-31, 2010 – Shreve, OH

We left Cheyenne on Monday morning and drove to Lincoln, NB where we spent the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Tuesday we drove to Princeton, IL where we again stayed in a Wal-Mart parking lot. It rained hard all day Tuesday and when we stopped at a rest area somewhere in Iowa for lunch Rex noticed one of the tires of the 5th wheel was low. When he was airing it up he found that the wheel rim had split- so he had to change the tire in the pouring rain! We called DRV, the company that manufactured our 5th wheel and they had one wheel rim left that we could have. They are located in Howe, IN, which will only be about 100 miles out of our way. We figured we would have a hard time finding a wheel to match any place else and we knew we were not going to make it to Ohio in time for Rex’s stepfather’s funeral, so we decided to take the time to go get the wheel. We got to Howe at 4 pm on Wednesday, just in time to get the wheel before the plant closed for the day. We spent the night at Grand View Bend RV Resort in Howe, IN and headed out early the next morning. We arrived at Rex’s mom’s house in Shreve, OH around 3:00 pm on Thursday. We are staying in her driveway parked in front of the shop – we have water and electricity but no sewer hookup so we are showering in her house. It is really nice here – she has a 1 ½ acre wooded lot. You have to dodge the falling acorns when you walk across the yard. We also get serenaded at night with the acorns falling on the roof of the 5th wheel.

Rex’s stepfather was 90 and had suffered from Alzheimer’s for a number of years. He had stopped eating about 5 days before he passed. His death was not unexpected but it is still hard. We were sorry that we missed the funeral. Rex’s mom is doing well and we are glad we are here now to help her. Rex has been busy taking care of her “honey do” list – fixing things, painting, mowing, trimming trees, etc. He spent a couple of days just cleaning up the shop and sorting tools.
We attended his mother’s family reunion cookout on Saturday where we got to see many of Rex’s relatives. We had a good time even though it rained most of the afternoon.

We visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park which is north of here between Cleveland and Akron. It is a beautiful park that follows the Cuyahoga River valley. The park is 33,000 acres along 22 miles of the river. It was created by Congress in 1974 as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area and named a National Park in 2000. The park has over 125 miles of hiking, biking, skiing and horseback riding trails. We hiked along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath trail which follows the historic Ohio & Erie Canal route through the Cuyahoga River valley. The Ohio & Erie Canal opened in 1827 and ran 110 miles between Cleveland and New Philadelphia, OH. It replaced the Cuyahoga River as the primary transportation artery in the area. The Towpath Trail is the path the mules used when they pulled barges up and down the canal. You can hike or bicycle the full 110 miles if you are energetic enough. Our hike took us by many locks – this is lock #39.

After our hike, we rode the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from the North end of the park to the town of Penninsula in about the middle of the park. We had lunch and took in the visitor’s center and some of their shops. We then caught the next train back North to the station where we had parked the Jeep.
After the train ride we drove the length of the park and stopped at Brandywine Falls. We didn’t have time to visit any of the other sites in the park but plan to visit again when we return to Ohio.
The next day we went on a 19 mile bike ride on the Holmes County Trail with Arnie and Cheryl, mom’s neighbors. The trail is unique because it is shared by hikers, bikers and Amish horse buggies. This is the first time we have had to dodge road apples on a bike trail and had to give the buggies the right-of-way. We started our ride in the town of Millersburg and rode to Fredericksburg passing through Holmesville. We haven’t ridden our bikes much in the past couple of years so this was a challenge. We had a great time and got to see the beautiful countryside. This part of Ohio is very hilly and wooded with lots of corn, soybean and hay fields between the woods. The roads are very narrow and curvy so you have to really pay attention when you drive.


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