June 24: Occasionally when I walk into a place with my massive sack of doom the reaction is sort of like one of those Westerns where all the eyes of those inside are drawn to the entering protagonist.
Such was the case when I opened the door to the Mount Orab library this morning. Like lightning, I was immediately immersed in several conversations at once. The dialogue that lasted the longest was conducted with a middle aged woman named Velvet, who has a son in the military and was interested in my saga. She is attempting to form a non-profit organization which would allow people with huge amounts of frequent flier miles to donate them to members of the armed forces so they are able to visit their families more often.
I also learned during our talk that Steve Newman, the first man credited with using just his two feet to get around the entire world, is from nearby Bethel, Ohio and his epic jaunt originated there. I think that Ohio is the most gigantic place in the world right now - I dare not contemplate Russia and all the other land masses he traversed. Just wondering, do you think he walked on water between continents or did he swim?
Once I quit blabbing and hit the road most of my day was spent on the Tri City Parkway. This particular set of three includes Mount Orab, Williamsburg, and Batavia.
My most exciting moment on an otherwise drab stroll was listening to a woman in a passing car who must have been suffering from Tourette's spout a long list of obscenities at me that would have made John Gotti blush. Maybe she thought my appearance was her cue to begin auditioning for a mafia flick.
On another topic, as I approach my most populated area for the last say, six hundred miles, I observed some things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. For example, the ice cream vans here play either "Turkey in the Straw" or "The Entertainer," but do not play David Lee Roth's "I'm Your Ice Cream Man."
I also managed to notice the largest house I have seen on the trip thus far, Daydream Manor just outside of Williamsburg. I just barely saw it though, since it was only to my right for about a mile. The million acre property was breathtakingly ostentatious. I was thrilled to see that the absurdly wealthy can still find it in their hearts to build such obscene monuments while the majority suffers from the latest economic downturn. I later learned that the grounds are occupied by one single elderly resident. Bravo!
Slowed by a laundry stop in Williamsburg, I was only able to reach the eastern edge of Batavia, where I found a hotel and broke for the evening. Twelve more miles have me at 792 thus far.