Day 67 - Rocky River - Milton Lake, Sept. 20, 2015
15 - 25
Mike accompanied me for about 33 km to a hill near Brecksville where we said farewell. In Cuyahoga Falls I noticed some festivities going on in the main street and stopped. It turned out to be an “Oktoberfest”, including German beer (which I did NOT taste!) and about ten of those strange American beers … But there was also a stand with Bavarian flags and a sign offering “Bratwurst” and other European (Old World) varieties of sausages. I ordered a Bratwurst with Sauerkraut in a bun. The young attendant asked me if I would like to taste the German Kartoffelsalat and tell him my opinion on it. It actually did resemble the sour, or vinegar variety of potato salad I know but the potato pieces were far too large in size and not peeled. Since he had asked me for my opinion as, quote, “the only German he might get hold of this weekend”, I told him that and added that to my taste there wasn’t enough vinegar in this specific salad. He thanked me and said: “I’ll tell our cook what you said. He’s Polish.” So maybe that explains the discrepancies …. After having my lunch accompanied by a band of four who were giving their very best to play the kind of German folk music that is played at Biergarten, or rather in the plural, Biergärten, and especially the Oktoberfest in Bavaria I tore myself away from upcoming melancholy thoughts and turned to the road again.
It was a relatively long ride to Milton Lake, my computer said 138 km, so I was glad to finally reach my campground. Tonight is the first evening that I don’t feel like sitting outside because it is getting too cold. But sitting inside the tent is always a good isometric workout for my abdominal muscles, so I’ll just try to see it from that side. (Actually I am writing these lines inside the building with the showers and restrooms, standing up and seeing myself in the mirror all the time because that is where the power outlets are …)
People: Two little details intrigued me today about the people at the campground. When I got to the office and asked for a tent site the lady told me the price. “But I didn’t want to buy the whole place,” I answered when I heard the fee was 25 $. She laughed and said, “but I have so many bills to pay and I didn’t even increase the fees in June when we bought the campground!” We joked around a little and I felt she was a good-natured lively person who, it turned out, was born in Brasil and lived for 15 years in Canada before she and her husband decided to buy this campground - in the middle of nowhere, or so it seems to me!
Two elderly people in a golf cart came up to me while I was putting up my tent and politely inquired if everything was ok. “Yes, everything’s fine,” I replied, wondering what their function was on the campground. They called themselves “hostesses” and basically live on the campground all season, helping campers with any problems they might have. This is the very last week of the season, the natural pool is drained, lots of caravans have already been pulled out and the rest will leave until coming Saturday – another reminder to me that my season is also definitely coming to an end.
I asked these friendly people if there was a plug to charge my phone and laptop and they did not hesitate a second but said, “Just plug them in at our camper, it’s the one with the yellow flag over there. If you’re not planning to leave before six you can plug them in inside, otherwise we have an outside plug, too.” And when we shook hands, the lady said, “My, your hands are cold, but I’m sure you’ve got a warm heart, haven’t you?” We laughed and I hurried to get on with my tent to get into the shower.
Brecksville near the towpath on the canal in Cuyahoga County - very scenic, and full of birds, including the bald-headed eagle!
I would have liked to follow the towpath longer, but it would have taken me off my route ...
Hank, of "Stark Enterprises" is an architect I met in Kent. He oversaw the construction of the buildings asround us and would love to buy into Clifton Beach in Cleveland, where Mike took me three days ago!
Cuyahoga Falls: Actually, I am not a fan of this Bavarian tradition - and it does not represent German culture as such ....