Segment 27: Ferry from Milwaukee WI to Holland MI
Segment 28: Holland MI to Coldwater MI
Segment 29: Coldwater MI to Bowling Green OH
Segment 30: Bowling Green OH to Strongsville OH
Segment 31: Strongsville OH to Meadville PA
Segment 32: Meadville PA to Bradford PA
WEEK 11 + WEEK 12 ARE COMBINED ON THIS POST to accommodate Earned-Runs two-weekend full week of vacation advance posting plan!
WEEK 11 BEGINS WITH A HIGH SPEED ferry ride across Lake Michigan, from the terminal in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to one in Muskegon, Michigan. The trip takes 2.5 hours and allows travelers on their way into “Pure” Michigan (advertising slogan of my home state) to avoid Chicago area traffic. Upon arriving on the eastern shore of the Big Lake, you will be at the far edge of the Eastern Time zone, with sunsets occurring just before 9pm in early August, and twilight extending the light of camping and picnicking trips at State Park beaches even further. You will travel through blueberry country as you move south to Holland, Michigan; the nearby fields will be in the height of production for the year. This charming college and vacation town, which boasts a Dutch heritage and spring Tulip Festival, hugs Lake Macatawa and its channel to the Lake, with humble, quaint, and stately cottages built into graceful sand dunes at the shoreline.
As the route heads south and east to Coldwater Michigan, walkers and runners will pass through farmland and around inland lakes. The most productive fruit, vegetable, and landscape plant growing areas are in West Michigan because of the moderating effect of Lake Michigan on the climate, which acts to extend the growing season longer than in inland regions. The state is third in the nation in apple growing and is a leading grower of blueberries, cherries, peaches, grapes, and other fruit. You will skirt this area and travel through farmland where dairy, livestock, and corn are also of agricultural importance.
Kalamazoo College has been home of the Boys Junior National Tennis Championships since 1943, one of the most important events for 16-18 year olds in the US (“Nats at the ‘Zoo”), held in early August.
The trip to another college town, BOWLING GREEN OH briefly runs through the very tip of Northeast Indiana, another Midwest apple growing area, and into Ohio, north of Amish country.
STARTING WEEK 12 you’ll travel eastward through Ohio, south of Put-In-Bay, a historic vacation resort town on the shores 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 this route is fertile farmland; you’ll see fields of soybeans and corn as well as other crops, dairy cows, beef cattle, and sheep, among other livestock. The most important Ohio livestock product is milk; wool is also a leading product.
Traveling south of Cleveland, Ohio, the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as Home of the 2016 NBA Champion Cavaliers basketball team and Indians baseball team you arrive at STRONGSVILLE, OH. The family of John D and William Rockefeller, later cofounders of Standard Oil Company, moved to Strongsville when JD was in his teens. The first oil refineries of their pre-Standard Oil Company were built in nearby Cleveland. Rockefeller Park is part of the city’s 'Emerald Necklace' of metro-parks, an extensive system of nature preserves.
The road from Strongsville, Ohio to MEADVILLE PA takes runners through the rolling hills and 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 more of Ohio and Pennsylvania Amish country with its lush farms, horse-drawn buggies, and plainly dressed folk. Middlefield Ohio, just south of the route, is famous for it’s fine Amish Swiss cheese.
Meadville Pennsylvania is located about 40 miles south of Lake Erie and 90 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, known for it’s steel mills and bridges; the Drake Well is nearby, site of the first commercial oil well in America. You will continue on through the Allegheny National Forest to BRADFORD PA, 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!
The past few weeks' journey will have taken you along the relatively flat and green glacial plains of the Great Lakes region, up into the wooded heights of the Allegheny/Appalachian Plateau. With a bit more than two weeks remaining of this challenge, next week you will enter upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region, then move on to New England!
Maps are posted in the RESOURCES page
References: much of what was discussed came from my experiences in the region and Wikipedia entries , with facts checked against other specific sites. There are so many bits and pieces that they won't be listed.
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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