Day 1: April 10, 2009
Lost in Cleveland
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After work on Thursday, I high-tailed it up I-75 to Bowling Green then continued on the expressway this morning to turn east on US-20 at Perrysburg. The road was two-lane today but it won't be shortly. Those trucks are loaded with asphalt that will top the two lane foundation that's ready and waiting.

I ended up eating in a chain restaurant, Fricker's, last night. It's a "local" chain, started in Dayton, Ohio, with only a couple of stores beyond Ohio's borders, but it's still a chain. This was my compensation. It's at the east edge of Woodville, is named the "Speed Trap", and has a vintage Plymouth police cruiser on its roof. The inside is interesting, too, and my French omelet (Swiss cheese & ham) was great. The food was a bargain. The smile from Robin was free.

I was pleased to see several older motels along Twenty. The light rain discouraged me from photographing the others but I really liked the sign at the Old Orchard Motel. I also liked the look of the motel itself and wouldn't mind staying here if I have the chance.

There were two surprise bonuses in Monroeville. Since taking the picture of the brick octagon house, I've learned that it was built around 1862 and found a photo of its marvelous spiral staircase.

On the east side of Monroeville, I turned off of US-20 on what I thought might lead to an area where I could photograph a dam on the Huron River's west branch. It didn't. I was about to turn around when I encountered this brick section and realized that it led back to Twenty. Its relationship with the current US-20 and the fact that it's named is Norwalk (the next town) Street are reasons to think it might have once been the US route. The stone honors the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Calvary which was organized here early in the Civil War.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum had sort of been my target for the day. The air was wet when I reached it although it wasn't actually raining. It had been and it would be so it was a good time to be inside. I guess that's true for oversized guitars, too. I understand that the decorated instruments spend sunny days outside. That's "Rust" (Neal Young) on the right.

Photographs are only permitted in the lobby area. "The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen" just opened the first of April. That's his Corvette under the Phish hotdog with a better look here. No photos beyond that doorway but man, what a cool place!

I was cruelly reminded of just how much I've come to depend on my gadgets today. My current GPS locked up on me during our first trip together in 2006. On that occasion, the reset procedure did not work and it only recovered after the battery was completely drained. I convinced myself I knew why and quit doing that. It also locked up in Florida in December. It took multiple resets but it did recover. Same thing this morning. It announced "lost satellite" and froze just as I reached US-20 but a few resets had it going again. Then, as I neared the Hall of Fame, it again "lost satellite" and again froze. But this time it's as impervious to resets as it was in 2006. I'm currently working on running the battery down.

My planned route was neither intricate nor particularly obscure so I figured I was OK. I had followed US-20 into town and intended to follow US-6 out. Easy. Until I reached this intersection. I had anticipated a left turn so was originally in that lane. I had to follow through with the turn but was convinced that was wrong. I knew that Six & Twenty ran together somewhere but if this was it, the arrows should point the same way. Right? So I turned around, passed through the no-left-turn intersection, then turned around again in order to make a right turn onto what I thought was US-6. Not so. Before long I was lost on some winding residential streets and did what I should have done back in the Hall of Fame parking garage. I got out the laptop, hooked up its GPS, and found my way out of Cleveland.

I think the road east of Cleveland would have actually been somewhat pleasant if it hadn't been raining and I'd had the comfort of my Garmin. I managed but it was really rough. I have memories of traveling hundreds of miles without a GPS or a laptop or even a cell phone. I know I did it but it's sure hard to imagine. I must have been more reckless in my youth.

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