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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, Mar 28, 2014.
I get my central Ohio towns mixed up, but I think Bucyrus has quite a few murals.
Yeah there is one on the town square. The 3-D ones on the ground though have always fascinated me with the sight for perspective.........
Xploring Southeast Ohio -
Could be the last ride of the year. Sometimes I'm able to squeak one more in during November, but the weather often has it's own ideas. Besides, it's been a busy year, so this ride will be relished as if it'll be the closer for the year.
Initially I'd planned on heading north to Sleeping Bear Dunes and M-22, hoping to see some fall colors. Most indicators this year left me doubting that the colors would be all that spectacular; it's been dry and we still hadn't seen a cold morning, let alone a frost. The trees along some of my daily routes that I'm usually marvelling at by now have also been lackluster this year .... so, I had decided to just head for Southeast Ohio.
Take Friday off work and head down to Marietta on the Ohio River. Set up headquarters in the Red Roof Inn for the weekend and go out exploring each day; seeking out the twisty and flawless blacktop and gravel and dirt roads within and around the Wayne National Forest. The versatility of the GSA would allow a vast array of terrain to be traversed.
The mode of this ride, and hopefully into the indefinate future, will be to slow down and enjoy the little things. Slow my roll. Finding and staying in the essence. Following backroads and byways. Stopping and spending the extra moments at places that I'm often hurrying past. Conquer and let go of that pressing feeling of being in a race against time ... trying to fit in as much as possible before death.
Keeping in this spirit, the urge to press on was overcome while passing through my old town of Genoa - and I stopped into R Cafe for breakfast. Not much has changed.
As I sat there soaking in the long ago familiar vibe of this laid back environment, I couldn't help but reflect on my own feelings of growing up there. Although I miss this simple small town life, when I was a young teen, my restless nature and longing for adventure was too much to hold me. That was one of the reasons for hitting the road and accepting the hardships that were to come with my father. That and the fact that I'd go to the ends of the earth with him, unconditionally. That is the kind of son that I was. Whatever happened to those kind of kids ? His manipulative and charismatic personality probably helped. That was simply the path my life was meant to take; the experiences that formed me. I've recently realized that it's more about honestly accepting who I am, instead of impossibly striving to be something I'm not. To overcome the fear of failure and loneliness - quite possibly the two most haunting forces. They often drive us outside of our true selves.
After breakfast, a southeast direction was persued. Loosely following the most appealing roads that were discovered along the way. Through Amish country. The best gravel and dirt roads are often within the predominately Amish communities. Their lands are left as undeveloped as possible. Simple beauty. While I know that our modern complicated lifestyles couldn't adapt to theirs, I do envy their old ways. Something you would need to be born into in order to not be tempted by todays world.
Stayed on small curvy blacktop and gravel roads all the way across the state. Corner to corner. Till I ran into the Ohio River and the historic city of Marietta with West Virginia sitting across the river. It will take a few posts to share all of the pictures. Hopefully the pictures of the wonderful roads that I followed on the way down, while there, and during the journey home, along with the locations visited, capture at least some of the essence and charm of rural Ohio.
Jeez Louise we musta crossed paths on our passage south into the land of Buckeye this past Friday Jeff! I met up w/ a buddy of mine for breakfast at the Speedtrap around 9 (getting there via Rt51 & South River Rd.) before we headed towards our lodging for the nite in Coshocton. Saturday was spent sampling those twisty ribbons of tarmac down around McConnelsville, ending up staying in the Amish village of Charm for the nite. The whole weekend was definitely a gift to be savored, especially on two wheels!
as one that was out on m-22 and up by sleeping bear dunes I can tell you that there wasn't much color to be seen
We definitely were in close proximity, probably most of the day. It was around 9:30 AM Friday morning when I rolled through Woodville and past the Speedtrap Diner.
Was also very near Coshocton and Charm en route to Marietta, although mostly on gravel. Usually when I'm in Charm, lunch is had at Grandma's Kitchen.
Hey Jeff what do you think of the new Goldwing?
PS I look at my 'Wing and the ST and unless I win the Lotto I'm still well equipped......
Love the new Wing. As I posted over in the 2018 Wing thread: All things considered, a simple fact, as far as touring road bikes are concerned - The (new) Wing is (still) King.
Looks like Honda has addressed all of our desires with the new Wing: Lighter, smaller, narrower, electric windshield, six speed transmission, removable trunk, much better fuel economy (thought I read 20%) and a nice updated electronic package - besides all of the other upgrades.
And I hear you on the cost. Not in my price range. At least responsibly. Spent that much in the past on new Harley's, although irresponsibly. Considering the fact that I like to trick out and set up my bikes (which adds to the cost) my comfortable MAX limit is about 10K. Preferably less and generally used. That way I can have some money in my pocket for travel.
I've always really liked the Goldwing line. Cut my teeth, as far as out of state touring goes, on an 84' 1200 Wing. Rode every model over the years. And ever since the 1800 came out in 2001 - I've always wanted one. Had many test rides and been ever so close to pulling the trigger. Always get distracted by something else though. Don't be surprised if someday I pick up a bargain priced older 1800 Goldwing and open another chapter.
Harmar Village -
Another neat feature of Marietta is the fact that it is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers. Multiple bridges cross the Ohio River into West Virginia and the Putnam Street bridge crosses the Muskingum River and lands you in Historic Harmar Village.
I'd discovered this quaint village nestled between the river and hillsides inadvertently while exploring various streets within Marietta. When I first crossed the bridge, I thought it was another section of the Ohio River and that I was in West Virginia. But quite the contrary, I was still in Ohio.
You can also access the small village from Marietta by foot via the distinctive Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge; the oldest operating railroad swing bridge in the country which delivers you to a brick street and historic restorations.
While I didn't visit the museums or restaurants this time around, a stroll around the area was made and a few photographs taken of interesting subjects.
Saturday morning outside of the motel, a couple of the cleaners were looking and pointing at the dark sky, on what was supposed to be a clear day. It looked like a storm was rolling in. That is when I asked them if some abnormal weather front was approaching. They informed me that there was a factory fire across the Ohio River in Parkersburg, West Virginia the night before, and that it was still burning and billowing smoke over into Marietta.
Later I found out it was the Ames plant and that there is concern of chemicals burning and possibly causing respiratory threats to nearby citizens. It was a devastating fire leaving areas covered in ash. You can Google it and there is still a lot of activity and videos concerning this unfortunate event.
A shot of the dark sky above a Mexican restaurant across and down the street from the Red Roof Inn as I was heading for Route 26 and a day of exploring. There just so happened to be a mural in the picture.
In this picture you can see the cut off in the sky, where the smoke separates from the normal clarity. This is towards the end, after the main fire was put out. The main fire started in the night. The worst of the smoke was probably masked under the cover of darkness. Supposedly, small fires burned for days.
Gravel Travel -
A different route (than usual) was taken from Marietta towards the extreme Southeast Ohio quadrant and Wayne National Forest; WNF is broke up into three different locations throughout Southern Ohio. So, even though Route 26 was a planned eventuality, first I'd explore some remote gravel roads while working my way south towards 26. Ohio's winding and hilly roads make for certain that it will be awhile before reaching a destination. Perfect. Hardly any traffic down there. Such a peaceful experience wandering this area.
Over the years, many journeys have been made down to this region. It is always exciting to inadvertently come across a distinctive road or quaint location that you remember from long ago. Then, every trip also brings with it new and exciting discoveries.
One such familiar road brought a smile to my face: As I passed a small farm along a gravel road that followed a creek with a low water level, the road took a sharp left turn down into the creek and over a poured concrete slab just above the water level and across to the opposite side.
There were three kids sitting on the edge of the concrete, feet dangling, with fishing poles in hand, as the Boxer twin growled past them (they turned to watch) and up the other side.
Such a unique and remote setting that if 20 years went by, you would know the exact spot - if you could find it. This time through I didn't stop and take a picture. But, in one of my photo albums, I've a picture of Scott on his 2006 GSA and my 1995 BMW 1100 GS parked on that exact cement creek crossing. Memories ! If I grow old, money I won't have much of - but I'll be rich with memories.
Long-Distance Riding -
Some of you may remember the high-speed Northwest ramble that Kenny (FJR) and I went on in the summer; I've yet to find the time to finish posting those pictures. The other day I received an excited text from Ken with an attached picture of the contents from the thick envelope he received from the Iron Butt Association.
Ken texted, "It's official, I made the Gold Medal record book !!! YEEHAW !"
It made me very happy to feel his enthusiasm. We have been riding together a long time. Back in 2007 I'd introduced him to his first Saddle Sore with the Lake Michigan 1000. Since then we have ridden together in 9 certified endeavors. Plus, I felt guilty during Easter when I ran the Bun Burner Gold from California without him. He couldn't be there, but I know he wanted to be. So, I made it up to him on this summer tri-fecta run.
After congratulating him, I reminded him that it was no easy task, and the culmination of over 10 years of hard riding is what made it so seamless and successful. Not just that the BBG was accomplished, but that it was done so efficiently, safely, and with virtually no ride hangover; we continued on to tour the Northeast (albeit at an acccelerated pace) along with continuing on to satisfy a SS2000, then wrap up the week-long ride with a brisk SS1000 home.
Shoei Qwest -
On another note, my road weary Shoei Qwest needed some attention, so I decided to try out a pinlock shield while doing so. The Qwest is a full-face helmet designed for touring in a more up-right seating position, as compared to most full-face helmets engineered for sport bikes.
This being the case, the Qwest is very quiet with a nice field of view. I'm very happy with it and most likely have over 80,000 miles on this helmet. Technically it should probably be replaced, but I decided to just replace the base plates on the sides of the helmet that attach to the shield and the shield itself.
The base plates contain the pivoting mechanisms and detents to allow the lifting and positioning of the face shield. The detents (small plastic teeth) were wearing out. Equally on the base plates and the corresponding shield as they mesh together. This would cause my shield to slam closed in the wind as I was riding; in nice weather I like to ride with the shield open while wearing sunglasses - receiving copious amounts of fresh air. The incredible airflow characteristics of the GSA complement this practice.
The pinlock has pros and cons. This is my first experience with a pinlock. Right off the bat on the (dark) morning commute to work, there were many irritating reflections and distortions in the shield from the lights of cars and also street lights. On the way home during daylight the distortion or subtle glare was very faint but still present. Absolutely zero fogging though, which is why I purchased the pinlock. That was really nice. At first I'd considered returning the pinlock, but once I accepted the glare, it seemed like I became used to it and it didn't really bother me. We will see over time. I've read reports from other riders of the same distortions that I am experiencing, while others have no issues whatsoever. The last few years my eyes have been fatiguing and getting sensitive to light, so I suspect that may be the contributing factor as to the disparity between various riders. Twenty years ago, when my eyes were stronger and more resilient, there would likely have been no issues.
Marietta, Ohio Mural -
Shortly, I will get some more pictures up from Southeast Ohio. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this mural that I discovered in the heart of the historic district of Marietta while bombing around the local streets.
The Wakefield Hotel once stood on this corner at Third and Putnam Streets during the early 1900's. The landmark has been recreated in this mural at the same location. This mural was done in Y2K and is starting to peel.
I just rode in through that tunnel of trees.
In a chaotic world - man must have some secret spots. Yesterday in rainy (but warm) Southeast Michigan. Some pretty gold and yellows amplified by the rain.
Beautiful pics and thoughts Jeff.
My father in law, who lived in Saline passed a couple of weeks ago. My wife was able to be back there with him, and for the services afterwards. I was unable to attend, (time related business matters, taxes) but I made a commitment to her that I would go back with her next year sometime.
The picture of Southeast Michigan, looks so peaceful and serene, it captures a certain spirit for me. Thanks again, brother.
sorry for your loss UTRIDER
The Mail Pouch Barn -
Shortly after hooking up with Ohio State Route 26, the old three-story Mail Pouch barn and Biehl's general store came into view in Moss Run - about 11 miles north of Marietta.
I've seen it before, but it was looking exceptionally vibrant this time around, since a mural painter from Millersburg had recently taken to the scaffolds, freshening up the barn that was built in 1935 with chestnut lumber.
A grant from the Mail Pouch Barnstormers was provided to pay for the paint, while the Biehl's covered the labor. There is a push to preserve these historic old barns representing a simpler time.
The Biehl's (in their 80's now) own the old general store across the street and the barn. The general store has been closed since 1993.
It was a peaceful October afternoon with nobody around. And for a change, I was in no hurry. The only thing I had to do today was wander around until I felt like running back into Marietta for dinner. So the time was taken to look closer into this interesting location that usually only consists of a quick snapshot before tearing back down SR-26 at a brisk pace.
First in order was to look through the old dark mirror like glass and catch a glimpse of the inside of the long-ago closed general store.
The glass and conditions made for some incredible mirror-like reflections. I'd spend some time playing with angles while shooting pictures into the glass. The glass was spotless clean. It seemed like a special glass. Maybe because it was so old, or maybe because it was under an awning with ideal lighting.
Leaving the Bumblebee Beemer parked at the store I hiked over to the barn to snoop around. The doors were latched but not locked. So one by one I made my rounds to the various doors and levels, having a look inside.
The first large compartment housed a couple of old tractors. A Ford and a John Deere.
The loft next to the tractors had some lumber, bicycle, wheels, and an ancient looking wheelbarrow.
One of the lower sections had a rusty old plow.
Adjacent to the old plow was a livestock holding area for cattle from an era when this was a working barn. One of the support poles inside is a tree complete with bark.
After walking back to the bike, I'd decided what the hell, I'm riding the bike across the pasture and positioning it up along the barn for a picture.
Looks like a great location for the American Picker duo.
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" The glass and conditions made for some incredible mirror-like reflections "
and the lighting, I got the same effect with this pic. I didn't want my face to show so I moved closer to the window. probably could have eliminated the shadow by taking the pic from the opposite window