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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, Mar 14, 2020.
Thanks, brother! You just made my day.
The Ride Down - (5 September 2020)
Rode down to Ohio with Will (he on his ST) on Saturday morning. Routed down through the Historic U.S. Route 20 to US-250 to OH-60/39 to OH-83 south. We would separate once we arrived in Coshocton; he'd pursue paved roads, I'd pick up the Trans-Ohio Trail for the remainder of the day, before exiting the trail and meeting back up with Will in Marietta. That was the itinerary for day one.
Stopped in Bellevue on US-20 for a break and found an inspiring throwback scene.
Spent some time shooting different angles in regard to the soft glow of the morning sun, while trying to get the spider-web on the tail-fin of the "Caddy" to pop and contrast against the adjacent Oldsmobile, as well as the closer weathered morphing of paint to rust.
An old Knucklehead grabbed my attention, even at 55-mph and across the divided highway, forcing me to turn around and pull into Roeder, which used to be an authentic Harley Davidson dealer. Last time I was in there, around 2008, we were looking at their motorcycles and buying parts; Kenny bought a lay-down license plate mount and bolted it on his 2003 in the parking lot, as we were embarking on a trip. It pains me that these small shops have lost their ability to be H.D. dealerships; it’s the small shops full of character and individuality that sets them apart, and makes for an appealing and memorable experience. These days, walking into a Harley Davidson superstore in Toledo, Ohio or Kingman, Arizona leaves you with an identical experience. And that ain’t right! This place may have lost it's dealership license - but it still had charm!
A fine display of natural patina. Man ... I'd love to restore that machine.
George Roeder set a land speed record out in Utah on the Bonneville salt flats back in the 1960's and they had his streamliner sitting in an area of the shop that's been designated a nostalgic shrine.
They did have an assortment of used bikes. The white one looks like my old 2003. Will Smith is browsing around the shop.
We packed a lunch and took a break at a roadside park at the junction of US-250 and OH-13. Note my cute zebra-striped lunch bag with teal-ish pastel piping and trim; that was my daughters in 7th-grade. Now, (ever since covid) we no longer get a lunch break at work and our refrigerators have been removed, so it carries my daily lunch for work along with an ice pack. Some of the guy's at work have made a point to tease me about it. When they do, I relate this story to them: You know ... my daughter used to take this bag to school. Then she was bullied about it and hid it deep within the cupboard. Now I bring it to work and get bullied also. The other day I had to go home and tell her that now I understand and wish that I would have been more empathetic towards her whole ordeal. Of course they know it's just another of my colorful stories and we all laugh out loud! But there is some truth in the story ... it's just embellished a little.
Something you rarely experience happened as I was in the turn lane to access Jitters coffee shop in Millersburg: An Amish horse and buggy was waiting on the other side of the light and facing me, amid the busy traffic. Perhaps they just went through the drive-thru at McDonalds!
Picking up the trail in Coshocton:
Picking up where I left off, the last time that I rode the TOT up in the northern sector of the route. I've been bouncing around on the route due to the fact that I prefer to stage out of Marietta as much as possible. The town appeals to me immensely and cheap (and mostly clean) rooms at the Red Roof Inn are generally available.
-The purple line is the TOT. The black arrows are my start and end points for the day - before heading off to Marietta. I'd be riding parts of Section 3 & 4 on this first day. Coshocton to Zanesville falls within Section 3 and then Zanesville down to the Big Muskie Bucket is part of Section 4.
Coshocton Fire Department:
Having an affinity for art and murals, an unquestionable stop was in order for this one-of-a-kind firehouse. This is the most appealing small town fire department that I've run across. Unique architecture, brick, block, glass ... the whole works.
Wasn't long before I was riding on a thick bed of marbles. Many of the roads that I'd traverse on that first day had copious amounts of fresh gravel. Thick, loose gravel on a big, loaded bike is always disconcerting. I keep the speeds moderate, don't make any hasty moves, and let the bike subtly float around when it insists. Real easy in the curves and corners ... leaning to the outside instead of the inside. It always takes some time to get your gravel legs under you after transitioning from asphalt.
Remote, Expansive, and Serene:
On Township Highway 145 or 118. South of Plainfield and just east of OH-93. Section 3 of the TOT. This is an idyllic "adventure touring" scene, to my mind; those are the roads and landscapes that I crave.
Passed through wide-open, green meadow, forest, and then followed a river in to the Wills Creek area.
Township Road 145 (Tyson Road)
Just east of OH-83, as I'm approaching Wills Creek Road and Wills Creek Lake.
Trail that parallels Ferncliff Road (Challenging Section)
This was the most challenging section of the TOT that I've encountered so far. The climb up and out the far side (riding east to west) is a narrow trail that is rocky and has some slight erosion in areas that kept me up on the pegs as the GSA clawed it's way to the top. At the top, the trail leveled off into a two-track with overgrown weeds and wildflowers deflecting off my handguards.
Wills Creek Dam (AD-1935)
Due to the road closure on the south side of Wills Lake, I had to backtrack and also run the trail on the north side of the lake past Wills Creek Dam before exiting the area via Stone Church Road. Approaching the dam, you travel along on a slightly elevated road across what appears to be a flood plain.
Black Snake Lane:
While running through this expansive area on fast gravel roads, this dirt two-track that climbed up a hill caught my eye. There were no signs of life anywhere out there, so I figured there'd be no harm in riding up and down this hill. It would make for some big bike adventure training. Plus there was sure to be a view from the top. Still in Section 3 at this point.
There was indeed a great view from the top, allowing you to take in more of the vastness of the area. The trail also exited down the other side of the hill and back out onto the gravel TOT.
Just northwest of OH-284 and The Wilds. This is Section 4. Love the ridges with green, grassy meadow that are littered with ton-bales.
Just west of OH-284 and The Wilds. The camhead idled as I sat staring at this house. All indications were that it was an abandoned homestead, with the roof falling apart, wood siding separating from the walls, the porch appeared to be long gone, and the glass in one of the windows broken, but then a large white dog stepped out from behind a tree. He quietly and gently sat down there and just stared at me. He never made a sound. The dog appeared to be healthy, so I figured the house must not be so abandoned and moved on.
Shortly after arriving at my destination of the Muskie Bucket on OH-78, this local cat rolls up with this 1975 MG convertible. Two guys on Triumph motorcycles followed him in to the park. He seemed tickled that I walked past the bikes to inquire with him about his cool convertible rat-rod. Back in my early mechanic years I'd spent many hours rebuilding calipers and various other parts for a few of these British classics. Since I'd taken some pictures of the monstrous Muskie Bucket on a preceding trip to Ohio, I didn't bother this time; those pictures will be posted in a subsequent report.
After a break at the Musky Bucket, I'd break from the TOT and start working my way to Marietta. Will and I had reserved a room there and were also planning on making it to the Marietta Brewery for dinner.
So, I headed south on a gravel road by the name Gerlach. Wouldn't forget that. Especially as a big deer crossed in front of me while I was barreling down it in broad daylight. Not too close, but it woke me up.
And we will close out day one with a few shots from the historic section of Marietta.
-Waiting out in front of the Marietta Brewery.
Marietta Horse and Buggy:
This is a common occurrence in the streets of Historic Marietta. The stop (as pictured) is on Front Street, just outside the lobby of the Haunted Lafayette Hotel.
I too find these glitzy motorcycle dealers disdainful, must be showing my age, they are certainly not bike shops, that’s for sure,
40 plus years ago a high school friend of mine went to machinists school, his first job was at HD factory in York PA. I went up to visit him and for what reasons now I don’t remember, he probably needed more parts for one of his dilapidated iron heads, so off to an HD dealer in New Oxford Pa. we went, although my memory is a bit foggy from then,I believe it was right in the middle of the town, almost like a row house, wood floors gas and oil smells and very crowded, bikes packed in tight. No doubt corporate terminated their franchise long ago.
You guys are lucky to be close to the buckeye, it’s a great place to visit, and overlooked by many.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (6 September 2020)
Sunday: Picked up Section 10 of the TOT right in Marietta (as it just happens to conveniently pass through) and headed southwest. Even though I had the location function turned on for my pictures, the locations turned out to be inaccurate for some reason; maybe the remoteness of the area. Anyway, all of the TOT pictures from the second day (this post) were taken on Section 10. It starts out by traversing a pristine stretch of rolling farmland on OH-676 while passing through Churchtown and Watertown. That is a wonderful (paved) road that is often my departure route from Marietta, when heading back north, so it's a road that I'm already intimately familiar .
The arrows mark the extremities of the section (all within 10) that I'd explore on this day:
This section of the TOT turned out to have a lot of pavement and perhaps less inspiring gravel. It's still a decent route, but comparatively, so far it's the least desirable section of the TOT that I've ridden to date. Part of it may be that I've been spoiled on the rolling farmlands and pastures that are so prevalent in much of Ohio, and this area had less of that and it's nowhere near as pristine. Less wealth may be a big contributing factor. There are some nice areas and farms, but less of them. I'm not complaining, just trying to be as descriptive as possible, and it's still good riding.
More gravel roads with fresh gravel. Many of which were the bigger pieces of stone that don't tend to interlock as well (more and bigger air gaps that promote movement) as the finer grades. Until they get beat down and lodged into the earth.
Came across some interesting old farm houses; they always captivate me.
Henry Covered Bridge - which is not actually functional and instead sits adjacent to the TOT gravel road of TR-61. The bridge spans the West Branch Little Hocking River. This old bridge dates back to 1894!
Another defunct farmhouse in which nature has taken a stranglehold. Often there is a newer home in somewhat close proximity to these old ones, and it appears that the owners generally possess a lot of acreage, so I suspect they are the homes that belonged to their long gone ancestors and have been left to sit and rot over the years.
This unique Hanesville sign was at a crossroads, with no town in sight, fighting to keep the ghost-like illusion alive.
At one point, another somewhat close, and this time unique, deer experience transpired: A doe was on one side of the road. Her fawn was on the opposite. As I approached, they were both scared and looking at me. Each went for the other and met in the middle of the road while colliding. The fawn went down for a moment as the doe continued to the other side. When the fawn regained it’s footing, it followed and re-joined her mom. Fortunately, there was time for me to stop and watch all of this unfold. Again, in the middle of the day. The deer were everywhere and most were small.
An observation that I've been experiencing for years, but that particularly stuck in my head during this ride, is how distinct and welcoming certain smells are as you transition from the woods and fields into an urban area. When you go from no contact or smells all day long other than earthy and woodsy aromas to the contrasting and homey smell of a pungent perfume, cologne, food, or fabric softener, as you roll through a small village - it can really send your emotions reeling.
Just south of US-35 and just west of Rio Grande, I lost the trail. While following Tyn Rhos Road, and anticipating hanging a left on Coal Hill Road, it never presented itself. Back and forth I searched. Coal Hill Road is gone; completely overgrown. This was over 100-miles of TOT from Marietta, so I’d decided to call it a day and spend some time leisurely riding back to Marietta. It was kind of a blue day for me anyway; I was in a mental/emotional funk. For no apparent reason, and during any activity, depression can overtake me for a spell. It used to send me reeling, but now I’ve become so accustomed to it, that I don’t fight it, I just ride it out until it passes and don’t make any rash decisions. But from experience, I’ve come to realize, that after a day like this, tomorrow is usually better than ever - as my spirit climbs.
Ohio River Scenic Byway - (OH-7) This is near Cheshire, Ohio along an industrial stretch of OH-7 where the Gavin Power Plant (AEP), Harsco Minerals, and Kyger Creek Power Plant reside. These smoke stacks are a few among them. The smoke billowing out of the industrial stacks along the Ohio River always mesmerizes me as it contrasts against the crisp blue sky.
“Ohio’s Smallest Church”
While cruising along OH-7/US-50 near Coolsville, convincing myself that I should relax and enjoy this magnificent day, I saw a sign for a rest area. Since it was late afternoon coffee-time, I took the exit, figuring I’d take a break and brew up a cup. As I was rolling through a sweeping curve into the rest area, a strange micro-church was sitting isolated in an otherwise vacant grassy lot and turned my head. I blew it off as I dismounted and headed for the facilities. As I walked out of the bathroom and into the lobby of the rest area, I’d noticed an article hanging up which described the small church called “The Healing Chapel” and stated that it was always open to the public. The way I was feeling, I figured I’d go sit for a spell over there and sip my brew ... and it was Sunday. I’m generally stumbling through life with one foot in the spirit world anyway.
This church is located in Torch in Athens County between Belpre and Coolville on US-50. The chapel is only 10 x 14 feet! The church with its little steeple and bell at the rooftop is nondenominational and open all hours of the day.
Just before riding back into Marietta and calling it a day, I rode up Harmar Hill to Look-out Point. From here I could gaze across the Muskingum River and down upon what is becoming a home-away-from-home these last handful of years. The vantage point makes for a panoramic cityscape as you look over Marietta and the Ohio River. You can see the Lafayette Hotel and both bridges spanning into West Virginia. The furthest bridge is Interstate 77; just past that bridge is the Red Roof Inn that I frequent. This hilltop was included in the tract of land designated as “commons ground” by an act of the Ohio Company of Associates on July 9th, 1788.
And then a putt through Harmar Village to see if anything has changed or if something new catches my eye that I've overlooked on previous visits.
Historic Harmar Village:
Harmar Village is situated across the Muskingum River from Marietta, which is also at the confluence of the Ohio River. Note the bicycles hanging from the tree. These artsy scenes with vivid colors, impressive architecture, flowers, foliage, and bizarre oddities are always impressive to my mind.
The Fearing House: This still impressive home was built in 1847 for Henry Fearing who was a prominent businessman and also the son of Paul Fearing who was the first lawyer in Northwest Territory. There is a sign out in front of the house commemorating his son, Brigadier General Benjamin Dana Fearing who fought all over the country while accumulating many serious wounds throughout various battles. After the war, he entered business in Cincinnati, but his military service had taken a toll on him and he died there from complications arising from his war wounds at only 44-years-old. He and his father, Paul, are buried at Harmar Cemetery.
Will and I linked back up and closed out a lazy Sunday evening with dinner at Tampicos; this is a mexican restaurant in Marietta. Even though I was stuffed from the combination platter, that I washed down with a Heineken, I'd decided to splurge on the Mexican fried ice-cream, as while I've known about it for decades, it's something I've never actually tried. It was good, but a bit too sweet.
As we walked back to our bikes just outside the door, a group of couples were waiting outside to be seated and had obviously been looking over the bikes, as one of the guys sincerely asked me what kind of route one would embark on to ride 1,500-miles in less than 24-hours. They had obviously noticed and been discussing the Bun Burner Gold license plate backer on the GSA. They were genuinely interested and intently waiting a response, so I spent a few minutes describing a 23-hour ride from Detroit to the far side of Wyoming (on the Utah border) as they listened in disbelief.
Went back to the room and passed out before 9 o'clock; guess I'm getting old.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (7 September 2020) Section Four:
Monday: Will and I woke early in Marietta. He would head home on pavement, while I would seek out another section of the TOT; my plan was to ride the TOT until late afternoon and hopefully make it to where I'd left off on Saturday (coming from the other direction) at the Big Muskie bucket, before turning my attention towards heading home. One of the reasons I choose to wield that huge GSA (and suffer the consequences) is for just such occasions: The ability to knock down miles on the interstate after squeezing in a days adventure. It's like a security blanket; no matter where I'm at, or what time it is, I know that I can knuckle down and get wherever I need to be ... and do it relatively comfortably.
The day started with my morning ritual of brewing up a cup of strong, black coffee with my Jetboil and Aeropress under the glow of the parking lot lights. While sipping my coffee, I watched four young raccoons climbing in and out of the dumpster while scavenging for morsels of food. Then a cat came walking out from behind the dumpster as well. That explains the garbage strewn across the lot yesterday morning. I've a soft heart for cats and dogs, so I started scrounging around for something to feed the cat; all I could find was a half-melted ice cream sandwich that Will had left in the subpar freezer of the micro-fridge. That would have to do. The cat ate half of it!
I will tell you right from the start that this turned out to be a fantastic day - and my spirit did indeed soar as the day progressed. I love Section 4! So many cool pictures were taken that it's going to take a few posts to squeeze them all in.
On the way out of town, I'd make another quick stop (with a vantage) at look-out point, while saying goodbye to Marietta - as the sun was climbing in the sky.
To get to the trail from Marietta: I'd run OH-550 west to OH-555 north ("The Triple Nickel") and then pick up the TOT where it crosses OH-555 just north of Chesterhill.
Also stopped for a photo opportunity at Mill Branch Covered Bridge in Barlow on OH-550.
OH-676 is another fantastic paved road that leads from Marietta to OH-555 via perfect, windy asphalt that subtly rises and falls through pristine farmland, but since I'd ridden it the day before (it's part of the TOT) I'd elected to follow OH-550 on this morning.
This is at the western terminus (at the intersection of OH-555 which is 3-miles southeast of the village of Chesterhill) of this 26.5-mile road. The eastern terminus is in Marietta. Constructed in 1937.
It occurred to me that there was a new-ish diner called the Triple Nickel Diner in Chesterhill, so maybe I'd stop in there for some breakfast. The diner ended up being closed, so I just continued railing through the corners on this twisty section of asphalt until we reached the trail; even with a Shinko 804 front tire and a Mitas E07 rear the GSA corners so gracefully; perhaps it transitions into corners even quicker. Remember that diner, as I will receive some feedback about it later in the day from a local that I converse with, although it will be in a subsequent post.
Where I picked up the trail, there is a notation on the map of the trail being closed after you get a handful of miles in, and while I could've easily bypassed it, what would the adventure be in that?, let's go explore the situation and see what transpires. Let's see where it leads.
Just getting into Hoffman Road (55)
Just off OH-555; to the east of it. I'm liking it already!
The road (Hoffman(55) was very rustic with a mix of dirt and stone. It crossed a small stream (just a trickle of water) in two places as it ran along a valley floor before climbing up a slight finger to the ridge where it flattened out for a stretch. Through here it passed a tiny cemetery at the edge of the forest. The McVey cemetery had a lone, tall, stone monument for John (died 13 May 1882) and Elizabeth McVey (John’s daughter). Then there were a few small stones, each standing about a foot tall, behind them; those were too weathered to read.
First Small Creek Crossing on Hoffman Road:
Second Small Creek Crossing on Hoffman Road:
Then an ascent up through a forest and to the grassy clearing where the McVey cemetery is situated.
Contrary to the bold spelling on the sign, McVey is indeed spelled McVey; I did the research - as you will soon see! Hell of a place for a misspelling.
This location is within Marion Township in Morgan County.
John McVey was born in 1808 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He married Lydia Brown in 1849 and the record resides with the Lancaster County's First Presbyterian Church. Lydia was born in Maryland and was 17-years younger than John.
In that same year of 1849, John and Lydia moved from Pleasant Grove to Morgan County, Ohio. Now, that was a tall task back in those days ... before Henry Ford came on to the scene. From my estimations that would be approximately 400-miles or better. They had to drive all the way in a 2-horse wagon! It took a whole month to accomplish the journey.
In the 1860 census, John and Lydia showed 7-children, one of which was Elizabeth (whose name is etched on the headstone below John's) who was 9-years-old at the time. The other children were 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10.
The value of their real estate in 1860 was $4,000.00 and the value of their personal estate was $750.00!
John is listed as a farmer. No kidding, hell ... almost everyone was a farmer in those days.
Elizabeth dying young at 10 or 11 was obvious as she was also on that stone. While sifting through information pertaining to her siblings, I was stunned to see that her brother George McVey also died within 2-weeks of her! He was 11 or 12. My God, could you imagine losing two children within two-weeks of each other. That would destroy me. While there is no explanation ... I suspect smallpox.
Just like the stone portrays, John died on 13 May 1882 at 73-years-old. In mid-June, The Athens Messenger published: John McVey, one of the pioneers of Marion Township, an honest and respected citizen, died recently.
Lydia died some 23-years later as an 80-year-old widow while living in the home of her son-in-law in Rock Springs, Maryland.
Now, as you pass by, or stop at this sacred location ... you will view it in a different light. The experience will carry with it more weight.
The trail momentarily broke out of the forest and ran alongside an open field with an old tractor silhouetted against the sky on a grassy berm. Perhaps John McVey toiled on this exact field.
Then the trail became a rutted and fairly steep descent down to the road block along Goshen Creek and Newburn Road (58); there was a sign (from the Buckeye Trail Association) stating that it was for non-motorized travel only.
Hoffman Road (55) to Newburn Road (58) Transitional Descent:
The transitional descent down to Goshen Creek and the road-blocked trail. Had to detour around, which allowed me to stumble across some more fantastic roads.
No problem, you can either climb back out via that gnarly road (which would be fun) or take this other inviting gravel road (Goshen Run Road (52) around the other direction, along a ridgeline until it links back up with the TOT. I'm glad I took the chance on the quaint gravel road as it climbed and wound it's way through interesting terrain, farms, and homesteads.
Goshen Run Road (52) Detour (alternate?)
You can see my little blue dot scanning ahead and deviating from the purple TOT.
Saw an Amish man walking around his farm and noticed a sign out front pertaining to handcrafted rugs, soaps, and eggs for sale. Almost stopped. Figured I'd buy some soaps as an excuse to get a better look around the farm. But was having too much fun riding, so instead, made a mental note to return. Along this road, I passed a small house situated near the road that had a good dozen cats (half of which were black) all sitting on or nearby a car with there focus intently on me; it was a bizarre scene, but when I stopped for a photograph, they all scattered.
I’d propose Hoffman Road to Goshen Run Road to Westland Road back to the TOT as a worthwhile alternate route for anyone who wants to ride Hoffman Road up to the roadblock, but doesn’t want to backtrack. Nothing wrong with backtracking along Hoffman Road though, as it’s a gem!
Westland Road (39)
Near the intersection of Goshen Run Road (52) and Westland Road (39). Looking out across pristine rolling farmland; I can never get enough of this. Out wandering this terrain at a relaxed pace ... all my worries simply melt away.
I love how you make your rides come to life. The abandoned homes the fenced off family cemeteries and quiet trails. Places where only the locals or curious spirits wander. I think I can enjoy your reports even if they didn’t have pictures. The pictures are great though. Thanks for this nice read on this cold and rainy day.
you were sleep a little after 8pm that day, closer to 9pm for me so you wouldn't be awaken by the TV. i told you that you looked beat while we were having dinner
Always enjoy your posts! Thanks!!
Michigan October Leaf Peeping -
Last weekend the colors seemed to be peakin' and the weather wasn’t as yet freakin’ - so I saddled-up and made a run north - to do some leaf peepin'.
Even forced myself to fiddle with the GoPro - and did manage to get some footage; don't know yet if any of it is worthwhile or even what I'll do with it in the event that it is; maybe pull some stills.
Of course, a slew of pictures were taken. Many will be satisfactory and will accompany a report (that I'm working on). At least one of the pictures is epic ... perhaps two.
Throughout the year, I've become inundated with photographs and partially finished reports. First I have to finish up the last day of that Ohio TOT report which will probably consist of a few more posts. Then I will work on getting this fall color tour of Michigan report together before working on getting caught up over the winter on the balance of the material. That is if we aren't out fighting a civil war somewhere by January.
too bad the sun wasn't out more...........
For sure, we've had some decent colors, but the weather hasn't been exceptionally conducive for lighting them up. Seemed like a short window for quality leaf peeping this year; and not an abundance of deep, vivid reds; a lot of the available reds or crimsons that I viewed while traveling were muted. That being said, I was able to capture a few decent shots where the sun peeked out from the clouds for a while. It doesn't help that I'm in the forest much of the time.
Manistee National Forest:
Did you run the trail of trees near Petosky or were you in the U.P. ?
Yes, I stayed in the lower and did ride the "Tunnel of Trees" and while that's always a good ride, the colors were not spectacular this year, or at least not last weekend. The foliage along most of M-119 was just a light green.
As a long time lurker on your GS/St trippin thread i'm glad to see you started a new one. I'm a fellow southern michigan resident (over by Kzoo) and i've borrowed a few ideas, routes and visited a few more places i likely wouldn't have if i hadn't stumbled across your writings a few years back. I just Did the Empire bluff hiking trail in september after seeing it early on in your old thread and also hit Hocking hills state park a few weeks later. I never knew so much neat stuff existed so close to home but you seem to find it and document it. Keep up the good work, you've got a knack for it.
Thank you! It's humbling that I could give some direction and insight to another rider. For all of my emotional and mental struggles in life, a restless pursuit of exploration has been a constant, even though it complicates my life immensely. Perhaps it's the French blood. I've been pouring my heart into writing and "freezing the moment" for a long time and sometimes the demands and frustrations of life take a toll on my psyche to the point that I want to quit. But there is a part of me that feels an importance or meaning in the contents, so I'm compelled to continue; if the pull wasn't so strong I'd stop. There is so much to say ... hopefully someday I can get it all out. Hearing comments such as yours is energizing.
The forest is always calling me into her sanctuary. Lessons await you under her canopy. She envelops your soul. She starts every lesson with a taste of loneliness; this ensures that she has your undivided attention; she demands that. She maintains an element of danger. She projects footage through your mind's eye, revealing long-suspected intuitions, with a deeper understanding; one that can't always be elaborated with words or sentences, for they can't possibly carry enough weight. Her truth etches itself into your own essence.
Every visit, every session ... she whittles away at the misconceptions that society has pushed on your psyche. She is truth and purity. She takes some things from you; some of those things you don't want to give; she takes them anyway; they leave you feeling vulnerable and defeated; it's a tradeoff, a form of death. But in place of those crutches, she leaves you with something more valuable; something eternal. And over time ... you start to understand the wisdom in her evocations.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (7 September 2020) Section Four:
The day and the weather was perfect; all morning and early afternoon, while riding the rural Ohio countryside, the temperature stayed in the 70's, with partly sunny skies, and a strong gusty breeze. This was day three of being on the road. These sections of the TOT turned out to be highly desirable - and I was feeling in the groove!
McNally Road (103)
Janes Road - An appealing gravel two-track which slightly descends to lower ground. This was the beginning of a notably desirable stretch of the trail.
This old broken-up Massey Ferguson was laying in a sad state of disrepair at the edge of the forest along Janes Road.
Perhaps I should have grabbed that huge tractor seat for Luftkopf's Valkyrie.
Janes Road veers to the left. What appears to be a lane through a farmers field (going straight) is actually Wade Tower Road and lucky for me, a continuation of the TOT.
Wade Tower Road (107)
Found a break in the treeline, while traversing this quaint gravel two-track, that opened up into an expansive meadow full of wildflowers and a few large round "ton bales" of hay.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (7 September 2020) Section Four:
A left turn must be made at this cambered intersection (below), containing thick gravel, to stay on route.
Vanhorn Union Road (Union Township 119) continues down through a farm and then climbs up a hill on the other side; that road looks inviting and I'm going to go back and explore that along with some of the other roads in this area on a subsequent trip.
This was the prize of North Kincaid Road. Short but so sweet! The tight, gravel two-track meandered between a forested ravine to my left and then a high, grassy, rolling meadow to my right. And to think that all of these years that I've blasted down OH-555, this road was in such close proximity - and I never knew it. Roads like these, passing through terrain such as this, are rare.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (7 September 2020) Section Four:
San Toy Covered Bridge:
Originally built in 1875 to span the San Toy Creek. The Adams - San Toy Covered Bridge located in Union Township, Morgan County, Ohio was closed for over 20-years due to past flooding problems, but has recently been restored. The covered bridge is located on Morganville Road. Just to the north, upstream, is the ghost town of San Toy - which was a coal mining boom-town around the turn of the century.
Remnants of San Toy Ghost Town:
The old jailhouse still stands inside a patch of woods along Township Highway 452.
One of a few crumbling foundations that remain. This was a coal town created by the Sunday Creek Coal Company.
A piece of the puzzle. An old brick from the local Townsend Block Z.O. Company. The "Z.O." represents Zanesville, Ohio.
This is the unique and notable gravel intersection at Township Highway 452 and San Toy Road. Never experienced one quite like this. These rural Ohioan's are patriots; this fact is made distinctly clear just about every time I come into contact with a local; most discussions bring to the surface their old values of simplicity and minimalism; it often shows in their lifestyles as well.
Trans-Ohio Trail - (7 September 2020) Section Four:
Sylvester Pletcher Road (just off OH-555) and Haver Hill Road are just beautiful and pastoral. As soon as you turn onto it you're greeted with green pastures and a herd of cattle, then the flawless gravel road keeps climbing in multiple increments with freshly mowed, hilly pastures, trees, and a panoramic view - to the south - as the ascent plateaus to the north.