From Xenia, Ohio, we had only a short drive to our next destination, Richmond, Indiana. Just over an hour, in fact. Short drives are great and are part of our plan for this phase of our travels. No more 8+ hours behind the wheel and arriving at a destination exhausted already. Another plus was that our hotel in Richmond had a 1pm check-in time. 3pm is more common and sometimes means that we are stuck in between places if we leave the previous spot too early, so we have to be careful with our timing or find a place to hang out in between that is okay with a dog in tow.
With the short drive, we arrived in Richmond a little early and drove to a nearby park for a quick picnic lunch. Then we headed over to the hotel get checked in, situated, and out on a short bike ride that afternoon. We wanted to find the closest trailhead for the Cardinal Greenway, a rail-trail that brought us to this city we knew literally nothing about!
The trailhead was about two and a half miles from our hotel, so we rode our bikes over, but had a hard time finding it. We ended up in Veteran's Memorial Park. We found a sign for the trail, but not the trail itself. So we looked around the park for a bit. There were monuments for each war, plus a few others, and some tanks. Not really my cup of tea, but Barry seemed to enjoy it!
Eventually we realized that there was a bike trail going off to the south. Turns out this was a spur of the Cardinal Greenway running through the Whitewater Valley Gorge Park. It was only a couple of miles in each direction, but was beautiful, mostly meandering through deep green forest beside the East Fork of the Whitewater River.
One part goes through a more open area and included views of one of the old Starr Piano Company's manufacturing buildings. Very cool!
There was also a very colorful and interesting mural in this area...I'm not sure if it is an official mural or "grafitti", but I liked it either way...
...especially this part of it. What a great message!
Finally, after riding to the end of the southern spur of the trail and back but still not finding the actual trailhead to the much longer northern section (the two portions are not quite contiguous), we asked a couple of cyclists in the area, and they directed us to turn a couple of times to find it. We were SO close so many times we couldn't believe we'd missed it! But now we knew and would have no problem finding it the next morning for our long ride.
Of course we couldn't resist doing a few miles on it. Actually, by the time all was said and done and we got back to our hotel, I had 32 miles on the odometer on this "short" ride!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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