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I forgot about writing this post and so it’s being written two weeks after the event. It’ll be just a short post reflecting my thoughts then. I’ll write another one in a few days to update with current thoughts – March 29th

Chad & Loren needed to head to Kroger to buy some things soon and with me heading that day decided to join me. While they’re thinking of buying bikes to go grocery shopping, we’d be going in Chad’s truck. Living in a remote place like they do means that you need to drive 30 minutes to get to a real size store. When I get south of the border, there’ll be times when I’m climbing Andean mountain passes and the nearest big store will be more than a week away, but that’s not here in the US.

With the rain coming down hard, we had breakfast, threw my things in the truck and headed north to Walton. The windscreen wipers were swishing back and forth and I was glad to be sheltered from it, especially when I heard the distant thunder. It also gave me a bit more time to talk with Loren & Chad who had been a really interesting couple to stay with.

It was overcast and drizzly, but starting in Walton meant it was only about 3 hours to get up to Abdul’s place in Cincinnati. I’d not seen Abdul since July when he flew out to Madison to see me. We met back in 2001 when we were both at university in Manchester and hung out a lot during our 3 years there. He’s in the last few months of wrapping up his PhD in Biomedicine at UC and had let me know that I’m welcome to stay as long as I want.

Riding up to Cincinnati, the main thing on my mind was working out a plan. I figured I’d hang out with Abdul until the Sunday or Monday, and then head east. If things went well, I’d make it to DC for just after my birthday, and then up to NYC for either the end of March or the start of April. That’d give me a couple of weeks in New England. I might not get to see all the states, but it’d push me towards 44 and make North Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Hawaii and Alaska the only 6 I’d not been to.

I crossed the Ohio River and made it into Ohio, my 35th state. The biggest disappointment was the lack of a Welcome to Ohio sign. The majority of traffic was coming into Cincinnati on I-471, a bit further along the river where I could see the elusive sign but my lack of a huge zoom on my camera meant it was impossible to photograph.

I made my way along the river, and up to Abdul’s place. It was great to see him and after cleaning we headed out to play pool and hit the bars and it felt like I was back in Manchester at university. Good times were ahead!

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