Arriving in Dayton, Ohio

Hank – It was all trains all the time last night. Man, was it hard to sleep. We had set the alarm for 5:00 but called off the early start so Kathy could try to get an hour nap in. Besides, a thick fog set in so even after sunrise we wouldn’t have felt safe on the road. When we finally got under way we were on roadways for about eight miles. Then we got on the Great Miami River Recreation Trail at its southern terminus. (The trail runs along the Great Miami River, which has some really high water right now.) The sign at the trail said the trail was closed but there were cars in the parking lot and a man was unloading a bicycle from a truck. We asked him about the trail closure and he said there were a couple low spots that might be underwater but if we didn’t mind riding with him he could show us how to get around them. Perfect!

Mark Aulfinger shepherded us for the first nine miles of the trail. There were a couple of low spots, one of which was real muddy. He skirted that one while we could ride through it. Mark and I chatted the entire time. He’s done some supported mountain bike rides in North Dakota and Utah. He’s interested in touring and asked me all kinds of questions, which I was happy to answer. We reached the “end” of the trail, which is really a break in it, and said our goodbyes as he turned back.

We had about two miles of highway to follow to get back to where the trail picks up. The shoulder was 12 feet wide so there were no issues there. Once back on the trail we stayed on it all the way to Dayton, OH. It continues another 35 miles north of Dayton and has other trails connecting to it. We really liked the Great Miami River Trail.

We stopped to take a break in Franklin, OH where a log Post Office built in 1805 stands next to the trail. Mary, the volunteer at the Post Office, filled me in on the history of the place. The post master, his wife, and five children lived upstairs where they had about 900 square feet of living space. When child number 6 came along they built a larger house to live in.

Continuing on the trail we passed through Miamisburg, West Carrollton, and finally arrived in Dayton. The trail is such a pleasant ride. Kathy’s brother, Stan, and his wife, Rhonda, showed up with their pickup truck and saved us the last 10 miles to Wright-Patterson AFB.

And now we get to enjoy relaxing with family.

Kathy – We rode 40 miles to Dayton, Ohio. It varied between overcast skies and sunny skies today. Our ride had about 300 feet of elevation so we really never felt it much because it was just a gradual increase over the entire day’s ride (no continuous up and down hills). We spent most of our ride on the Great Miami River Bike Trail, which was fabulous!

We will be spending a few days in Dayton, Ohio with my brother Stan and his wife Rhonda. They picked us up in downtown Dayton and drove us the last ten miles to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where Stan is stationed. My brother Stan is a big-wig in the Air Force now. He is the Command Chief which means he is over all the enlisted folks at the base here, along with seven other Air Force Bases. He stays quite busy being over 80,000 people, or as Stan says “I work for them.” My questions to them are “What do you need?” and “How can I help you?” The only future career move Stan could possibly make would be to be over all the enlisted people for the entire Air Force. We are very proud of all is accomplishments. He has two executive assistants who help keep his schedules, frequent travel and many meetings under control. Stan is also a very humble, kind, caring, compassionate and just a funny down-to-earth guy. He has worked hard during his time in the Air Force and I am extremely proud of all my “little-big” brothers success.

Rhonda (Stan’s wife) is pretty special too. She has supported Stan throughout his career. They actually met in high school, both finished their college degrees, and they have raised two wonderful adult children. Rhonda is involved in many activities through the base and has done a fantastic job of supporting their two girls and Stan as well. She really is an amazing gal. I am thankful they can take some time out of their busy schedules to spend time with us for a few days. Looking forward to our time together. 💗

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