Wednesday, September 28, 2011


On Saturday and Sunday (9.17-9.18) I biked from Rochester to Syracuse. Saturday night I stayed at a KOA (Kampground Of America, or, as someone suggested, Kamping On Asphalt). My campsite (excuse me, kampsite) wasn't asphalt... it was more of a sand pit. I set up my tent in the dark, warmed up a can of Chef Boyardee 'Beefaroni' for dinner (not recommended), and, exhausted, crawled into my sleeping bag. As my eyelids drooped, a low growl floated into my tent. I sat up. A yowl joined the growl, and a few seconds later a sharp 'hisss' completed the dissonant choir. Cats. I unzipped my tent and poked my head out. Across the way, the escalating, atonal meows leaked out of a saggy, weatherbeaten camper. In front of the camper, an equally saggy, weatherbeaten woman (seemingly deaf to the feline choristers) slumped in a tattered lawnchair. A Coleman lantern dimly illuminated her Einstein hairdo and walleyed, Igor visage. She looked like the crazy cat lady from 'The Simpsons', come to life. Maybe she was...

I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Syracuse. I drew, painted, went to a few galleries, and scoped out the MFA program at Syracuse University.

On Thursday I biked east out of Syacuse, and towards Utica.

Saturday 9.17 mileage: 39
Sunday 9.18 mileage: 75
Total trip mileage: 1,467

Coming soon: Utica

The 'Crucible' factory in Syracuse

An abandoned warehouse

At the Jerome Witkin show

New tire time! (this is a picture of my old rear tire...I'm rather chagrined I let it get this bad before replacing it.)

Pear break on the way to Syracuse. The pears were twelve for two dollars. I bought six.


Potato building

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


(In which I can no longer truthfully utter the sentence: "I have never, as an adult person, pissed myself.")

I arrived in Rochester on Thursday evening, and checked into the Radisson Inn. (My several attempts to find a place to stay through had proved fruitless.)

On Friday morning, after several cups of weak 'complimentary' hotel coffee, I gathered my painting supplies and headed to Rochester's historic 'Brown's Race' District. I situated myself next to the Genesee River, looking toward an abandoned factory. After a couple hours I had finished my painting and went in search of a snack. I found a convenience store, where I bought a bag of fritos and a big-gulp-size orange soda (which I drank and then surreptitiously refilled when the clerk wasn't looking). Hunger sated and thirst quenched, I headed back to Brown's Race for round two of painting.

I parked myself on the Pont De Rennes pedestrian bridge, which overlooks High Falls, a spectacular 96-foot waterfall that spills into the Genesee River Gorge. In 1892, an ancestor company to Rochester Gas and Electric built a steam and hydroelectric plant on the northwest edge of the gorge. The plant is still used for hydroelectric power today.

As I painted, streams of people wandered across the bridge, snapping photos of the Falls and leaning over the railing to look down into the Gorge. A couple walked past me, holding hands. I overheard a snippet of their conversation:
Woman: "You know that other waterfall? It's like this one, only a lot bigger...what's it called?"
Man: (after pausing for a few seconds to think) "Oh, you mean Nigger Falls."
I nearly dropped my paintbrush. I tried to think of something to shout after them as they walked on, but my stupefied brain refused to come up with anything.

Stunned, I continued painting. I mixed colors and measured angles. As I worked, my bladder reminded me (with growing urgency) of the whale-sized soda I had consumed a few hours before. I scanned my surroundings: there were no nearby public restrooms, and the constant pedestrian traffic across the bridge eliminated any possibility of inconspicuously relieving myself. I could either pack up early and seek out a restroom, or cross my legs, hope for the best, and keep painting. I chose the second option.

I painted (while choreographing my own particularly urgent version of the potty dance) until I could no longer ignore the protestations from my distended bladder. Belatedly, it occurred to me that drinking nearly a gallon of soda and then staring at a waterfall for hours on end was perhaps not the wisest idea. I pronounced the painting 'sufficiently finished' and scrambled to pack up my easel, wondering if it was too late to start doing kegel exercises. It was. As I loaded my painting gear onto my bike, my weather-balloon-sized bladder declared enough to be enough, and pulled its own plug. I stood, paralyzed with embarrassment, as warm ex-orange-soda streamed down my legs. I tried to squeeze my bladder shut again. Unsuccessful. If you've ever pissed yourself, you know that once you start, it's REALLY hard to stop. Meanwhile, throngs of people continued to walk by. I glanced down and saw a pool of liquid rapidly spreading at my feet. I yanked a water bottle off my bike and and emptied its contents on myself, saying loudly, "Oh no! I've spilled my water bottle all over my legs! Just water! This is definitely just water! Which I have spilled on myself!"

I'm pretty sure my charade did not fool anyone.

Moral of the Story: the karmic justice for stealing soda is remarkably swift and harshly ironic. Always pay for your refills.

Jen's Handy Camping Tips-Tip #2: if you are going to piss yourself in public, wear black pants. Black hides a spreading urine stain better than lighter colors.

Coming Soon: Syracuse

'High Falls' (6"x8")

An abandoned factory in Brown's Race (8"x6")

Genesee Brewing Company (6"x8")

Sketch of the Tap and Mallet Bar in Rochester

View of Rochester from the Genesee River

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday 9/15: more Erie Canal...

On Thursday I again rode along the Erie Canal. The pancake-flat path along the canal offers an unrestricted and fairly monotonous view: water, water, water, bridge, water, water, water. I began to wonder if I might be stuck in some sort of groundhog day, doomed to an eternity of biking along the obsolete waterway...

After a couple hours of riding, I stopped and set up my easel facing the canal (although I probably could have painted the canal from memory by this point). As I began painting, a parade of dark clouds marched across the sky. They took turns jumping in front of the sun, causing the light to change every thirty seconds. "Just pick one place and stay there," I instructed the clouds. They ignored me. "Stay still or else...!" I shouted, shaking my fist at the sky. In response to my threat, the clouds pelted me with heavy, over-sized rain drops. Frustrated, but unwilling to surrender, I kept painting. The rain came and went, and the clouds continued to play shadow puppet games with the sun. As I finished the painting, the rain stopped completely and the clouds vanished, leaving behind an expanse of uninterrupted blue. "Well NOW you decide to behave," I grumbled at the sky, and settled myself comfortably into a grumpy mood. A man (whom I will dub the Annoying Comment Fairy) ambled by and stopped to inspect my painting. "Very nice," he said "but why did you put all those clouds in there? It's such a beautiful day!" He beamed at me. Still dripping from being rained on five minutes before, I gave him my steeliest stare. The Annoying Comment Fairy smiled back at me and walked away, an annoyingly cheerful spring in his step. I resisted the urge to paint a bright yellow 'Kick Me' sign on his back.

Wednesday (9/14) mileage: 50
Thursday (9/15) mileage: 41
Total trip mileage: 1,355

Coming soon: Rochester

Painting of the Erie Canal (with clouds!)

Northernmost point on the canal (which looks just like the other less-northerly points on the canal)

My newfound traveling companion. She needs a bath. So do I.

'Butts Road' (which passes over the canal)

A boat on the canal

Tuesday 9/13: The Erie Canal

On Tuesday I biked north from Darien Lakes campground outside of Rochester to the Erie Canal. I joined the canal at the 'I know how quaintly cute I am' town of Medina. As I approached the canal, the wind, which had been a mildly annoying headwind, grew into a ferocious gale. It whipped about unpredictably, coming at me from unexpected angles. I'd brace myself against a blustery outburst from the west only to have the wind suddenly, and recalcitrantly, change directions, nearly toppling me. I thought back on a malicious game I had played as a child: blowing ants off-course as they earnestly ferried crumbs and debris back to their holes. "I'm so sorry," I apologized, feeling very ant-like as I maneuvered my loaded bike (almost equal to my body weight) through gusts so harsh and capricious they may well have come from the lungs of a giant, mean-spirited seven-year-old. Karma, I guess.

I found a park bench next to the canal and leaned my bike against it, thinking to take a break from biking and draw. My drawing 'break' proved to be even more frustrating than biking. The remorseless wind snatched at my sketchbook, flipping through its pages as I attempted, distractedly, to draw a bridge. I sketched for one blustery hour, and then quit, declaring the drawing a success because the wind had not blown the ink right off the paper.

Tuesday mileage: 40
Total mileage: 1,264

Coming soon: more Erie Canal...

Bridge over the Erie Canal

Wind face

Erie Canal Corridor Sign

Bike Barn! (on the way to the Erie Canal) Should I switch to a trike? Might be easier to stay upright in the wind...

'Awsome Motor's' sign seen on the way to the Erie Canal. Apparently the school system here is 'awsome' too...

My shadow on the grass, taken on the way out of Darien Lakes state park.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Erie...and beyond

On Thursday morning I woke up to discover I had left my stove out overnight. In the rain. The pilot wouldn't light, which coffee, a potential disaster (I have werewolf tendencies that are activated by lack of coffee instead of the presence of a full moon).

As I packed up camp and fought off a fast-approaching caffeine headache, a man walked over from his camper across the way. "Hi," he said, "looks like you're on some sort of a bike trip."
"Where you going to?"
"New York City."
"My son works as a carpenter in Wyoming."
"Oh," I stammered, flummoxed by his complete non-sequitor, "that must be very...woody for him."
The man turned and walked back to his camper.

I pedaled out of the campground, thinking I would stop at a gas station or a fast food joint for some coffee. No such luck. I rode twenty miles without passing a gas station or convenience store or fast food restaurant. Just corn fields, mobile homes, and rusty heaps of car corpses. I didn't have a map of the area, and was relying on the GPS on my phone. The reception dwindled from meager to none. The sky flickered and grumbled, unleashing a stampede of large, heavy rain drops. I waved at a passing truck, hoping to ask where to find the nearest gas station. He slowed down enough to give me the finger, then zoomed on, spraying me with a sheet of muddy water. As he sped into the distance, I noticed a pair of steel 'testicles' dangling from the rear hitch of his truck. Probably a prosthetic, indicating complete lack of the real deal.

Finally, in the miniature town of Pierpont, I came across a saggy Shell gas station. I leaned my bike against the crumbly cement facade, creaked open the screen door, and walked into the dimly lit, cavernous interior. Miscellaneous car innards lay scattered on the floor. A geriatric Oldsmobile sat atop a hoist. Several naked incandescent bulbs hung, bat-like, from the ceiling. In the corner a scoliotic rack sagged under the weight of candy bars, lighters, road maps, and engine oil. I picked out a Pennsylvania map and a Snickers bar and set them on the counter. A wispy-haired man tottered in from the back room. "Good morning," I said, "I'd like to buy these." "Well," he said, "I was just going to give those to you. I saw your bike out front. You're on a trip?"
"Wow...thank you. And yes, I am on a trip. To New York."
"You be careful out there. Say, you want some coffee?"
"Yes please!" (This guy was a mind-reader.)
I drank the coffee while he (Bob) regaled me with tales of his youthful wanderings. He'd hitch-hiked to New York City and slept on park benches. "Gives me the willies thinking about it now, but at the time I didn't know any better," he said, shaking his head. "So you watch out. There's a few scoundrels around here. A few years ago I sold some gas to a woman and she drove off in the same direction you're going. They found her body the next day. Murdered."
I promised him I'd be careful, thanked him again, and got back on my bike. I'll send him a postcard when I get to New York. If I make it alive...

I spent a rainy Friday, Saturday, and half of Sunday in Erie. On Sunday afternoon I headed north, and into New York. I've been biking through the countryside, suburban sprawl, and saggy rust belt towns of New York State.

Next up: the Erie Canal

Thursday mileage: 67
Sunday mileage: 42
Monday mileage: 45
Total mileage: 1,224

Sign outside Pierpont, OH

Sketch of Erie at dusk

Sign in Erie, PA

A shack near Lake Erie Beach State Park in New York

The inside of the shack

A bird's nest I found in the shack

House outside Lancaster, NY

NY welcome sign

Monday, September 12, 2011


On Wednesday, after a day's respite at Mosquito Lake, I packed up and headed to Youngstown.

The heavy morning air gave way to rain as I pedaled away from the campground. I stopped to put on my rain jacket and then continued into the corpse-gray fog. A gauzy mist blurred the road ahead. Passing cars sprayed me with tidal waves of oily road sludge.

By the time I got to Youngstown, the rain had stopped, leaving behind a flat, monochrome gray sky. I tooled around briefly and then set up to paint next to the Youngstown Thermal Corporation Steam Heat Plant.

When I had finished painting, I went to check out a brewing company I had caught wind of -- the Rust Belt Brewing Company (so very appropriate). I locked my bike to a sign post outside the brewery and walked up to the door, where I was greeted with a 'Closed' sign. The brewery was only open Thursday through Sunday. Bummer. Still determined to try some of the Rust Belt Brewing Co. Product, I stopped at several local bars till I found one that served it. I ordered a bottle of 'Coke Oven Stout' (named after the Youngstown coal ovens of yesteryear). As I drank my beer, a blues duo performed on a small stage at the front of the bar. I got out my sketchpad and drew the musicians as they played. When I had finished drinking and drawing (sometimes a good combination, sometimes not) I packed up and headed to Pymatuning State Park to camp for the night.

Wednesday mileage: 61
Total trip mileage: 1070

Youngstown Thermal Corp. Steam Heat Plant

Painting and Plant together

The blues guys at the bar

Coke Oven Stout

According to several banners (and 'Entrepeneur Magazine') Youngstown is a 'Top 10 City for New Business'

Abandoned Building (maybe a good site for one of those new businesses...)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mosquito Lake

On Sunday night I couldn't sleep. (I am plagued by occasional vicious bouts of insomnia.) I read, played 'Words with Friends' scrabble, took a shower, did some yoga, tossed, turned, read some more, tried not to panic about not sleeping. When 7am rolled around, I gave up on a visit from Mr. Sandman and made myself some coffee (good strong moka pot coffee with lots of cream, a luxury, as I can't have this when I'm camping).

Cotton-headed, I started packing my stuff and readying my bike to head out of Cleveland. I made a list of things to do because I didn't trust my brain to remember anything on its own. The list said: pack stuff, inflate tires, leave.

The stuff-packing went fine, although slowly. When I got to the tire-inflating part of the list I discovered that my back tire had mysteriously gone flat overnight, all on its own. I cursed and kicked the tire. This did not solve the problem. So, grumbling, I took the wheel off the bike and clumsily changed the innertube. Finally, after much bumbling, I had everything sufficiently put together. I got on my bike and zombied out of Cleveland.

After 58 miles of robotic, semi-conscious pedaling, I reached my destination: Mosquito Lake State Park Campground. Mosquitos are on my list of Things That Are Horrible And Shouldn't Exist (also on the list: skunks, biting flies, fat-free coffee creamer, Kelly Ripa, vagazzling) so I felt wary about camping at a place that used the greedy blood-slurpers as a namesake. But Mosquito Lake State Park turned out to be wonderfully absent of mosquitos...probably because of the recent twenty degree nosedive in temperature.

I parked my bike at the campsite and a sharp wind bit through my sweaty spandex. No longer pedaling, I immediately caught chill. I yanked my clothes out of my pannier and pulled on long underwear, socks, pants, t-shirts, arm warmers, hats, everything I had with me. I looked like a fashion-blind sausage bursting out of its casing.

Still shivering despite my technicolor layers, I set up my tent, inflated my thermarest, and unfurled my sleeping bag. I ate a quick dinner of canned refried beans, stale cheetos, and a mushy banana. (I've never been a picky eater, but my current bike-touring-induced willingness to consume anything I can fit in my mouth has reached goat-like levels.) When I had finished eating 'dinner' I dragged my tired body to the shower room. I stepped in the shower stall and was reaching to unzip my pullover when a sudden blast of icy water hit me between the shoulder blades. I yelped and spun around, hands poised to throttle the trickster who had snuck in and turned on the shower. No one was there. A small blinking red light next to the temperature knob caught my eye...the shower was motion activated. I backed away from the blinky light and plastered myself against the shower stall door, attempting to remove my soggy clothes without triggering another waterfall. Once naked, I stepped under the shower head. Nothing came out. I moved back and forth. A short burst of water erupted and then stopped. It turned out that when I actually WANTED water to come out, the sensor required a lot of constant motion to keep the shower running. By 'a lot of constant motion' I mean vigorous dancing with lots of side-to-side movement. 'Thriller' and 'Sexyback' both seemed to work pretty well...

Monday mileage: 58
Total mileage: 1009

Next up: Youngstown

Jen's Handy Camping Tips- Tip#1: Unless you make tiny dainty little rabbit poops, do NOT take a number two in a porta-potty because the germ-ridden, swampy porta-potty water will splash back up and hit you in the bum and then you will have to go to the shower to rinse off so you don't get some mysterious, festering ass infection. And if you happen to be at a campground that has motion activated showers you will have to move your butt back and forth in front of the motion sensor in a lap-dance-like manner in order to get it properly washed off and clean. (I am not saying this happened to me. I am just saying that it is a good thing to keep in mind.)

New bike shoe covers! (not exciting, but apparently the only picture I took that day...sorry!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


On Friday I rode away from the mosquitos and skunks and flies of Marblehead and into Cleveland. As I traveled east the roads unflattened themselves and the farms morphed into suburbs. After fifty miles I stopped to do a quick painting of the Avon Lake Power Station, and then pedaled the rest of the way to Cleveland.

The next day, well-rested and well-caffeinated (thank you, Laura, for hosting me) I biked downtown to the 'Cleveland Flats', an industrial area (and increasingly an entertainment and residential area) along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The streets adjacent the river were cartoonishly steep, and threatened to backflip me as I granny-geared my way up and pitch me over my handlebars when I zoomed back down. I rollercoastered around looking for a drawing venue, and found a shady park perched on the edge of the river. I sat down on a bench and surveyed my surroundings. Bridges zig-zagged overhead, lacing together the east and west banks of the Cuyahoga. Across the river an abandoned railroad bridge jutted into the sky like a steel skeleton. I sharpened my pencils and began sketching the railroad bridge. As I drew, more people wandered into the park, sitting on the other benches and leaning against the railing at the river's edge. They all seemed to know each other, and most drank beverages from brown paper bags (I considered putting my water bottle in a paper bag in order to better fit in with the crowd). A man leaning against a nearby tree watched me warily as he drank his paper-bag-cloaked beverage. After a while he un-leaned himself from the tree and shuffled over to check out what I was doing. Head cocked, he peered skeptically at my drawing. "Fuckin' Michelangelo cracker," he mumbled, and plodded off.

An hour or so later, as I was finishing my drawing, a fellow who introduced himself as "Zachariah the homeless man" plunked himself down on the bench beside me. "Hey!" he said, putting his face between me and my drawing, "you drawing that bridge! And it's good! You sure know how to work that pen, baby-doll." (After a ten-minute conversation with Zachariah, I had been called 'baby-doll' more times than ever before in my life.) "You should put me in the drawing," he suggested, and jumped up to stand in front of the bridge, arms raised overhead in a 'V'. "Draw me holdin' up the bridge," he instructed, "and if anyone asks 'Who is that in your drawing?' you will say 'That is Zachariah the homeless man.' And then you will sell the drawing for a million dollars." Zachariah held up the bridge for a few minutes, taking frequent breaks to nurse his paper-bag-wrapped drink. "Hey, you ain't put me in," he cried, sitting down beside me again.
"That's because you keep moving."
"So what?" He bent over to pick a 'Milwaukee's Best Ice' can from the sidewalk and gave it a shake. A few drops splashed in the bottom. He held it out to me: "You want a beer?"

(Side note: several people have emailed me to tell me that the 'Support' button wasn't working on this blog. Well, the problem has been solved and now it is!)

Mileage for Friday: 88
Total trip mileage: 951

Drawing of the railroad bridge (sans Zachariah the homeless man)

Painting of another railroad bridge

Painting with its subject

Painting of the Avon Lake Power Plant

The Cleveland Flats (seen looking down from a bridge)

Another railroad bridge

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Day at the Beach

On Wednesday I pedaled out of Toledo and into the Great Ohio Wilderness, which turns out to be very...flat. And farmy. And flat. And farmy. Over and over*. I felt like I was riding on a stationary bike in front of a projection screen displaying a fifteen-minute loop of cornfields and ranch houses. After forty-six skull-numbing miles of pedaling past farm clones, I arrived at my destination: East Harbor State Park in Marblehead, OH. My plan was to take the next day (Thursday) to rest, recover from the half-cold I had, swim in the lake, tend to my 'Words with Friends' Scrabble addiction, and eat Sun Chips.

After tooling around the campground to make sure I had picked the Absolute Best Possible Campsite, I unpacked my things and set up my tent. As I made dinner (undercooked pasta with semi-rancid cheese and limp carrots) the sun drifted below the horizon and several armies of mosquitos emerged. I slapped at myself and did the Spastic Mosquito Dance (imagine a marionette operated by a drunk epileptic). Unimpressed with my dance moves, the mosquitos continued biting. So I busted out the big guns: no-deet lemon eucalyptus hippie bug spray...which the blood-suckers ate up like A1 sauce. Cursing (and still slap-dancing) I put on all of my rain gear. I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head and cinched it tight. After a few minutes spent fruitlessly poking at my rain suit, the frustrated vampire cloud mobbed my face, biting my eyelids, nose, and cheeks till I scratched at myself like a methhead.

Done with dinner (and done acting as Blood Buffet for the mosquitos) I withdrew to my tent. As I read about fun and exciting local tourist attractions (a drive-through African safari/petting zoo! Kids love it!) I heard a rustling near the picnic table. I set down my brochure and pointed my headlamp toward the noise. A small black-and-white striped creature stared back at me while sorting through my table scraps. Bravely, I shrieked and ran (in my underwear) to the bathroom to hide from the skunk. Pinned to the bathroom door was a helpful poster warning against skunks and advising campers to stow all food in their cars. This did not improve my mood.

After half-an-hour of cowering in the restroom, I cautiously returned to my campsite to find...TWO skunks. Fighting. I scurried back to my bathroom hideout. Fifteen minutes of self-pity later, I again crept back to my tent. The skunks had gone, and I cautiously inspected the wreckage: they had rifled through my handlebar bag with their dirty skunk fingers, pulled out a baggie of vitamins, and chewed through a packet of watermelon Pop Rocks. I hope they got indigestion.

Exhausted, I went to bed. I slept restlessly, visions of thieving skunks and tomato-juice baths dancing in my head.

I spent the next day at the beach; no skunks there. I laid out my washcloth-size 'quick dry' towel on the sand and surveyed my surroundings. Miniature waves lapped lazily at the shore. Rotund bodies wrapped in colorful swimsuits dotted the sand like a handful of spilled bonbons. A pair of bored-looking border patrol guards tossed ho-hos to a growing swarm of seagulls.

After swimming to my heart's content, I returned to my towel to airdry and do my only "work" for the day: writing this blog post. I had planned to write as I sat peacefully on the beach, enjoying a calm summer breeze. But the late afternoon retreat of the sun brought out gangs of stinging flies. I tried to ignore them. Unsuccessful. I did the Spastic Fly Dance (which is very similar to the Spastic Mosquito Dance). When that didn't work, I resorted to typing while half-running down the sand, squishing any sandcastles in my wake and playing a losing game of hopscotch with the seagull poop.

Exasperated with the flies and unable to concentrate, I left the beach and retreated to my fully-screened, insect-free haven (a.k.a. tent). As I sat cross-legged on my thermarest typing, a man and a woman walked past my campsite. The man paused to examine my pannier-laden bicycle. "Hello," he said with a German accent. "You are a bicycle tourist?"
"And you are...American?" (said with barely-disguised surprise)
"'s just that we don't see so many cycle tourists here in the U.S. Many in Germany, but not so many here. So it's very good that you are riding a bicycle. More Americans should ride bicycles; it would solve many problems, I think."
I agreed.
We chatted for a while and then he (Clive) wrote his address in my sketchbook and told me that if I ever find myself 30 kilometers west of Berlin I have a place to stay.

*Yes, yes, I know not all of Ohio is flat farmland, but the section I biked through today definitely was. I look forward to meeting the un-flat/farmy portions of Ohio.

Mileage for the day: 46
Total mileage: 863

The beach (pre-black fly invasion)

Friday, September 2, 2011


I spent Monday and Tuesday in Walbridge, Ohio (a few miles south of Toledo) painting and drawing and laundry-ing.

Most of Toledo's industry is concentrated along the river, so on Monday I biked next to the waterfront, eyes peeled for intriguing painting subjects. I cycled through a circuitous maze of construction, detours, and torn-up roads until I came to a network of wide, houseless streets. A snaking chainlink fence separated me from a zoo of factories, vats, and tanks. A few turns and a few streets later the fence ended and I spotted a Clanky Blue Machine with a "Toledo Shredding" sign. On one side of the Clanky Blue Machine sat a motley collection of discarded automobiles piled into a rusty deathrow. Jump-suited workers hoisted the creaky victims into the Clanky Blue Machine, which banged and hummed and thumped and spat out piles of shiny dust.

On Tuesday I did a quick painting of the SunOil Plant (whose inspired motto is: we make gas) and then readied myself to head into the Great Ohio Wilderness the next day...

Coming soon: thieving skunks, biting flies, and friendly Germans.

Drawing of the Clanky Blue Machine

Toledo SunOil Plant