Columbus, OH to Yellow Springs, OH
We were all sad to leave Columbus this morning, but we were all excited for a shorter day--only 57 miles! It's hard to believe that I'm now considering a 57 mile ride an easy ride... Before everyone started heading out for the day, we did our first ever bike & build cheer. It definitely needs some work but it made for a pumped up start to our day. I rode with Casey, Ella V, Matt, and Jeff today and we had an amazing ride! Since Jeff went to school in Columbus, we rode out of town with one of his friends and toom what he thought was a short cut. Unfortunately the path he thought connected to the one we wanted didn't, so we had to detour slightly. Surprisingly however, we ended up over 5 miles ahead of everyone anyway because the path we were supposed to take was covered in mud and undergoing construction so everyone ended up walking their bikes through it. Being so far out in front, we took our time, chalked all of the turns, and took lots of fun pictures. We spent most of the day on flat bike paths or flat roads and experienced our first real headwind.
We arrived at lunch in the town of London, OH around 9:50, grabbed more of a snack than lunch, and got our photo taken for the local newspaper. London was a really cool small town and they were all super excited for us to be there. They also had an amazing bike path network, something that not many towns have yet. In the afternoon since we knew we had a lot of time left over we spent an hour or so at Clifton Gorge hiking to a waterfall. It was definitely an experience hiking in our cleats on slippery rocks and mud, one that I would recommend no one ever do if they can avoid it. However, seeing the waterfall was worth it and it was an exiting adventure off the beaten path.
They also had a nature preserve at the Gorge with lots of animal skins and stuffed animals. We were super excited about this because the sweepstakes challenge that day was the best picture with an animal. Obviously we won with our pictures at the nature preserve.
When we made it to Yellow Springs, we headed to Antioch College campus. I had never heard of the college before, but it had an amazing story. I'm going to summarize it the best I can here, but if you're untested I would check out the Wikipedia page about the college for more in depth information. Basically, the college was intended to be very democratic and a place for young activists. They were the first predominantly white colleges to actively recruit students of color, and one of their most notable graduates is Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr's wife. The college started seeing hard financial times and the student body started to get too argumentative for their own good, so in 2008 the college shut down. They reopened in 2012 and for all students who enroll before 2016 tuition is free. There are still some kinks they need to work out and they currently aren't accredited, but it seems like a very cool place. We ate in the dining hall with current students (there are barely over 100 of them) and it was delicious. They have a garden they maintain so most everything was fresh and local. After dinner some students took us into the Glen to hike to the yellow springs that the town is named after. It was a cool experience, minus all of the mud.
Everyone at the college and in the town were very excited about us being their. Not to mention, sleeping in the dorm beds was possibly the best thing in the whole world.