WEEK 12: RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA STARTS TOMORROW
Segment 30: Bowling Green OH to Strongsville OH
Segment 31: Strongsville OH to Meadville PA
Segment 32: Meadville PA to Bradford PA
This week, from Bowling Green Ohio we’ll travel south of Put-In-Bay, a historic vacation resort town on the shore of South Bass Island in Lake Erie and Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, which is a must–do destination for roller coaster ride enthusiasts throughout the world. The area surrounding the route is fertile farmland; you’ll see soybeans and corn as well as other field crops, dairy cows, beef cattle, and sheep among other livestock. The most important livestock product is milk; wool is also a leading product.
The route continues south of Cleveland, Ohio, the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on the south shore of Lake Erie. The city is home to the 2016 NBA Champion Cavaliers basketball team, Indians MLB baseball team, and Browns NFL football team. If there were time to take side trips on our journey, a visit to Cleveland would be well worth a delay for the reason of stopping at the amazing West Side Market. It doesn’t receive as much attention as Seattle’s Public Market, but surely is equally as wonderful, if not more, in my experience.
Then we’re on to Strongsville OH, a suburban city on the Ohio Turnpike, to which the family of John D and William Rockefeller, later co-founders of Standard Oil Company, moved when JD was in his teens. The first oil refineries of their pre-Standard Oil Company were built in nearby Cleveland. Beautiful Rockefeller Park in Cleveland is part of the vibrant city’s Emerald Necklace of metro-parks, an extensive system of nature preserves, which has long served as a resource for area runners.
The road from Strongsville to Meadville, Pennsylvania takes runners, walkers, and cyclists through rolling hills, past horse farms east of Cleveland into the quaint village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio on the powerful Chagrin River. From there you’ll pass through Ohio and Pennsylvania Amish country areas with its lush farms, horse-drawn buggies, and plainly dressed folk. Middlefield Ohio, just south of the route, is famous for its fine Amish Swiss cheese.
Meadville, located about 40 miles south of Lake Erie and 90 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, known for its steel mills and bridges. The Drake Well is nearby, the site of the first commercial oil well in America. We will continue on through the Allegheny National Forest to Bradford, a city in the Allegheny Mountains very close to the border of New York State. This city, like Meadville, experienced booming growth in the country’s oil rush years. It is also known as the home of the Zippo Manufacturing Company, which has produced the iconic windproof lighter since 1932.
Before cell phones were around, lighters like the Zippo (also Bic) and matches had been used to light up the night at concerts. A wonderful Beat.media article explores the history of this practice, for those who wonder how it began.
The past several weeks journey will have taken us along the relatively flat and green glacial plains of the Great Lakes region, and then up into the wooded heights of the Allegheny/Appalachian Plateau. With little more than two weeks remaining of this challenge, next week we will soon enter upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region, then move on to New England and our final destination!
RUN & MOVE & VACATION HAPPY!
*Full disclosure, Michigan is my home state; West Michigan my favorite place in the world!
I've loved times lived in the Cleveland area too, frequently traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Maryland. That's why there's a bit of insider detail in these last 2 weeks posts.
YOUR insider information on places the route passes through or near, would be amazing to include. Please share.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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