Of climbing goats and trotting horses (18 June)

In the photo above, those two mountain goats, Chris and Emil, are enjoying the steep rollers between Butler and Wooster. The day was hot and at 97 miles one of the longer ones, but the countryside was absolutely beautiful. The route wound through rich farm country, green forests and picturesque towns. And the wind was friendly, too, mostly moving the riders smartly along.

I also enjoyed a bit of cycling this morning along the Jim Simmons Memorial Trail in Marysville. This popular path follows a creek, passing through woods, along golfing tees and lawns sloping down from tract houses. These houses remind me of the song: little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky, ...little boxes all the same. Actually, these were pretty big boxes but they really did look all the same. The lyrics of the song go on later: ...and they all play on the golf course...This could also fit, because there is a disc golf course stretching alongside the path.

After my ride I paid a quick visit to pretty Marysville and was delighted to find an excellent espresso at the Fifth Street Bistro. Then it was time to wend my way towards our days goal: Wooster. I had almost caught up with the group and the second SAG when I was thrown grievously off course by a detour sign. I had no idea where I had landed, but I stopped a kindly driver who couldn't give me directions, but said he had just passed several cyclists with flashing red lights. Taking off in the direction indicated, I found the stop and could hand over the (ice)socks Mary had handed to me at the last turnoff.

We are now in Amish country: Amish settlers farmed for a living and were sefl-sufficient. Their way of life is based on the simple and natural. A visitor's guide summarizes the premise at work here: when the hands are involved in crafting things - with time and faith and patience and passion - it more deeply touches the heart. The Amish have a German-based word for their way of life: "schlicht", which means simple and pure.

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