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Open road from inside the car

"On the road again, we just can't wait to get on the road again." - Willie Nelson

We headed out of Detroit around 11:00 am toward Cleveland. Brandee and I both loved Detroit, but we were excited to be on the road again continuing our adventure.

Keeping our eyes peeled for interesting and unique stops, we started our drive through the 6th state. Along the way we spotted a sign for the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. We decided to stop and we’re both glad we did. This was not a planned stop or destination so figuring out what there was to see was first on the agenda. The visitor center is a fantastic way to do this in new places. It gives you great information and helps you to get a feel for the area. 

We grabbed a map and checked out some interesting facts about the wildlife in the refuge. What we learned is that the refuge provides habitat for a large variety of waterfowl and migratory birds and covers 6,500 acres of wetland, grassland, and wooded habitat. I also learned to appreciate Brandee’s keen eye for adventure along the road as we’re driving.

We hiked down a couple of the trails and bridges exploring what there was to see. Does anyone else appreciate crunchy leaves in the fall as much as I do? Once we had our fill of this, we got back on the road.

Ottawa Wildlife Refuge

Cleveland Here We Come

We had quite a few offers from hosts in Cleveland and we decided to stay with Zach. I had accepted his offer several days in advance and he was great at communicating with us. One of his recommendations was that we try to get there in time to see the Cleveland Museum of Art. In order to do that we had to arrive before 5:00 pm. We made it to Zach’s place around 2:30 pm. Zach was incredibly knowledgeable about the local attractions and history in Cleveland. He shared some history of the Art museum and we opted to take his advice and visit the museum

Zach decided not to join us in visiting museumbut did volunteer to drive us. He dropped us off and picked us back up at closing time. Three cheers for Zach, we’re getting plenty of windshield time so his offering to chauffeur us around the city was AH-MAZ-ING. Thanks again Zach! He even took the scenic route to the museum. He did this to show us some of the other attractions in town. One interesting highlight was a park that had different gardens for the different countries. I’m sure would have been absolutely stunning had we been there during the warmer months. I’d also love to share the name of it with you but I was so busy admiring the views that I didn’t take note of the name of it.

Cleveland Museum Of Art

At the art museum we wandered through the many different galleries housing works from some of the most famous artists of all time; Monet, Picasso, Cazin, Van Gogh, and Rousseau to name a few. According to Wikipedia The Cleveland Museum of Art is known for its very large holding of Asian and Egyptian art. The museum has a collection of over 61,000 works of art from all over the world. And since we are seeing the country on less than $75 per day, the fact that the museum doesn’t have an entrance fee makes it a must visit attraction.

One of my favorite exhibits at the museum was the sculptures made out of rawhide. I’ve never seen anything like that before and the detail was astounding. Brandee enjoyed the paintings immensely. There was plenty there for each of us to appreciate and admire.

It's All About The Experience When Your On the Road

The art was awesome and the energy was calm and relaxing. This was demonstrated by the bean bags placed in the center of a circle of speakers. You can find people lounging comfortably on the bean bags listening to the calming classical music that was pouring out of the speakers. There is a “try it” section with easels, sketch pads and pencils to relax and try your hand at art creation. If neither of those options tickles your fancy, there’s a little café and seating area to relax in. 

Laying on a bean bag chair

We still had plenty of pre-prepared food, thanks to Brandee’s thoughtful preparation prior to hitting the road. Once we got back to Zach’s place we dug in the cooler to see what we could find. We found the taco meat that we have been carting around with us and had Walking Tacos for dinner. For anyone that isn’t familiar, they are tacos made inside single serve bags of Doritos. Quick, easy and very tasty. Emptying out the cupboards at home and precooking meals for our first week on the road has been fantastic. Not only has that been great for the budget but a quick easy way to eat on the run.

Time to Reroute?

After dinner Zach helped us reroute our trip a bit. This was specifically to take advantage of the views and attractions he thought we would enjoy. There are so many great things about couchsurfing that I can’t say this is one of the best parts, but hearing about things to see and do from a locals perspective is one of the best things about couchsurfing.  Well that and all the new friends you gain along the way. Again Zach had a real passion for the history of the area and was very helpful. So we decided we would change things up a bit. See the updated route here.

Next stop, Buffalo New York!

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