Monthly Archives: May 2018

Ohio to Erie Trail Day Four Cooking in Amish Country

Day Four Ohio to Erie Trail

Levi Duke

It was hard to leave my buddy Levi in the morning, but it was time to get on the trail as early as possible. I had many miles to bike, and the hilly Amish section of road to get through.

Gambier Start

The morning was cool and humid. It was easy to click off the miles on the nicely maintained Koskosing Trail.

Historic Howard

Famous little structure in Howard. Headed toward the Bridge of Dreams, the second longest covered bridge in the US.

The Kokosing Trail ends in Danville, which a small road section through town. I pick up the Mohican Valley Trail.  I came across the Covered Bridge, the Bridge of Dreams. I paused to let an Amish gentleman get through.

Bridge of Dreams


I then begin the Holmes County Trail which will take me to Glenmont.

After a bit of an uphill, it was fun to coast down the trail. I popped off the trail in the small village of Glenmont.

I stopped at the Glenmont Market for a Gatorade and some cold water. I knew I had a few road miles coming up, and I wanted to make sure I was hydrated.

Glenmont Market

The road section was not too bad. Very little traffic and it wasn’t quite noon yet. I was on Route 520. I overshot the turn and got an extra mile or so. In Killbuck, I decided to stop at Snowside for lunch as it was high noon. I had a nice BLT wrap, homemade coleslaw, iced tea, and a scoop of ice cream-for eight bucks!

Snowside in Killbuck a great place to eat!

Leaving Killbuck, it was back to trail on the Holmes County Trail. Being from the local area, I didn’t spend any time in Millersburg other than a restroom break and water top off at Hipp Station.


Afternoon Heat

I knew this was going to happen. I got shaded trails in the morning, when it wasn’t too hot out. The afternoon was going to be in the open countryside.

Route 83 Tunnel

I passed under the Rt 83 tunnel. Then it was through Holmesville and Fredericksburg, out into the sunlight. I spotted an Amish grocery store shortly outside of Fredericksburg, and stopped in for a lemonade and another bottle of cold water. You can’t have too much cold water!

Apple Creek to Dalton

I made it to Apple Creek! I didn’t go into town. I stopped at a gas station, and drank a cold Gatorade in their air conditioning. Now all I have to do is get to Dalton. Ten Miles. Then another ten miles on the Sippo Trail, but it’s trail, shaded, and a downhill.

Cooking in Amish Country

I thought it was hot on Thursday. Nope! I was cooking out here on the asphalt. Nice blue skies, not a cloud in sight. Now I’m climbing up a gradual hill. An Amish man on a bike blows by me. When I look up, dripping sweat, he’s almost out of sight up the hill!

The above picture doesn’t look like it, but this is the high point in the area. I have gotten over my fear of fast downhills. There is nothing like being tired and overheated to drop my fear factor. Zoom! Downhill I go! That means I don’t have to pedal! And my sweat dries slightly!

I walk up about three hills. Not that the hills were that big, but it was to manage my body temperature. I’m about red-lining. I stop in every other spot of shade that I find. Am I ever going to get to Dalton?


I finally reach Dalton. I don’t have many pics, because all I wanted to do was cross Route 30, get into town, and find the factory, because I know the Sippo Trail is behind it!


Sippo Trail

My secret weapon is I’ve biked the Sippo Trail. From the Dalton end to Massillon, it’s a slight downhill. I’m ten miles or so from Buffalo Wild Wings, air conditioning, and my husband.

Sippo Trail Dalton

I book it down the trail. These pics are from my previous bike trip. I wasn’t stopping for anything this day.

Sippo Trail

What was great, when the Sippo Trail ended, and the Ohio&Erie Towpath begun, I could see the Hampton Inn from the trail. Sweet! I had arrived!

My calculations add up to my penultimate day being 68.74 miles, with 9.28 hours on the road. Last day will be about seventy miles to Lake Erie.

Ohio to Erie Trail Day Three Halfway There

Ohio to Erie Bike route Leaving Columbus Day Three

After my late afternoon drama, I was happy to be leaving Columbus for Day Three on the Ohio to Erie Bike Route. I believe I could consider I was halfway there!

Columbus Ohio Start

I was still concerned on the few miles of road I had to travel through downtown Columbus. But first I follow the lovely Scioto Trail through the downtown.

Downtown Columbus Scioto Trail

Downtown Columbus Scioto Trail

Downtown Columbus Scioto Trail

However, I do overshoot my turn. Consulting the smartphone map, I know I can just cut up High Street and make my way over to Nationwide Blvd. I decide to ride the sidewalks.

Downtown Columbus

So far, so good. I find the little 1-670  Downtown Connector Trail. This takes me from Cleveland Ave to the Alum Creek Trail. I admit it felt pretty good pedaling on my safe trail while the car traffic poured into the downtown area.

670 Connector Trail

Alum Creek Trail is lovely to bike on. It’s nice and cool in the early morning, I bet it gets buggy as it warms up!

Alum Creek Boardwalk

Alum Creek Trail

I stop for lunch at Panera Bread around Schrock Road. It’s nice to take a half hour downtime to eat, take off my shoes, and recharge a bit-plus my phone!

Good Signage on the Ohio to Erie Trail


My only complaint-or second complaint, the first complaint is how MANY people blow red lights-Westerville seemed to use their own signage for the OTET. I prefer to just keep looking for the distinctive OTET signs.

Ohio Bike Sign

Westerville Bike Depot

I continue down the OTET/Genoa Trail, bike thru Galena and Sunbury. I’m not finding water too readily available through here.

Road Miles

After Sunbury, there are ten road miles before I reach the Heart of Ohio Trail. It’s hot out. It’s exposed. It’s terribly warm out. I stop in some shade and realized my cleat screw has fallen out, and it’s now impossible to remove my right shoe from the bike. Oh well.  This means I have to slide my foot into the shoe, tie it, and keep biking. There is nothing to do about this now.

I hit a section of gravel road. It is horrible. I’m biking on big wide tires and skidding all over. I stop in some shade to consult the map, I sure hope I am still on track. I see that the gravel section is only 1/3 mile long. (Why some weird little gravel section of road, surrounded by asphalt?)


I start down the Heart of Ohio Trail. Not very far into it, I pass a sign that says “free water at shelter”. I pedal a few strokes and turn around. I have nothing to lose but a few minutes.

Thank you for the water Centerburg Church of God

I am stunned to see cold bottles of water in the frig! I drink some water, then pour water down my back. Yooow! I now know how HOT I have become. I drink down an entire bottle. I pour more water on my back, and into the my bike bottle. This stop probably saved me from some sort of heat stroke/exhaustion. Now I understood how hot I was, and that I needed to control my temperature the best I could. Thank you Centerburg Church of God!

Thank you for the water Centerburg Church of God

I am pretty glad to get to the outskirts of Mount Vernon. I call my friend Ron to arrange where to meet, I’m spending the night at his house. I’m too tired and hot to visit the Ariel Foundation Park

Mount Vernon

or climb up the observation tower!

Mount Vernon

Ron mentions there is a bike shop right in town, and sure enough Y-Not Cycling Shop extracts and fixes my shoe for me-thanks so much!

Shoe Stuck

I get to hang out with my friend Ron and his best buddy Levi for some good food and drinks for the night!

The Dukes Family


Ohio To Erie Trail Day Two Country to City

Day Two on the Ohio to Erie Trail

Other than the last hour or two on the bike, it was a very nice day on the trail.

Day Two Leaving Cedarville

I was trying to time my arrival in Columbus to meet a friend about 530 pm at the Boathouse Restuarant, which is right off the Scioto Trail. I did not leave Cedarville until about 9 am, since it would only be a 50 mile ride.

It Should be Called Wild Asparagus Trail

Prairie Grass Trail

JRA, just riding along on the Prairie Grass Trail, I saw a person ahead venture into the weeds, then re-emerge. As I passed her, I spotted the familiar sight of asparagus in her hand. Sure enough, as I started looking,there was wild asparagus all over this section of the trail!

Prairie Grass Trail

I battled a bit of wind on this morning. While it kept me cool, it made it slow biking.

A short little stop in South Charleston. Where is North Charleston?

Riding along next to the railroad tracks.

Trail Next to Tracks

Still Shady

Despite the flatness of the trail, the trees have grown tall enough to give some shade and I was not out in the open all the time. It was an uneventful ride along with a bit of wind.


London Ohio

London has a great rest stop on the trail for riders! I was meeting a running friend, Steve here. We had lunch at McDonalds in London. Then the two of us rode north up the trail chatting away.

Battelle Darby Creek

Camp Chase

It seemed like in no time we arrived at Battelle-Darby Creek Metropark. Steve rode with me thru the park, then turned around to start back toward his vehicle.

Thanks for the miles Steve, it made the afternoon fly by!!

Camp Chase Trail

I continued following the Camp Chase Trail toward Columbus. This was an amusing sign to see:

Cute Sign Ohio to Erie Trail

Crossing Interstate 270

Crossing 270 Ohio to Erie Trail

As I approached Columbus, literally over the bridge of I-270, the sirens began. So much for the quietness of the prairie. I’m back in the big city.

Missing My Signage

Have I mentioned I hate riding on streets/roads? Vehicles make me very nervous. This is one of the positives of the OTET, all but about 50 miles are on bike trails. However, there are some road sections involved.

A Very Wrong Turn

Sitting here in front of my PC with Google Maps open, now I see what I did. I turned left onto Industrial Mile Road. Then I turned right on Georgesville Road, a very busy road with no sidewalk. I rode with traffic. The Camp Chase Trail was just past the turn onto Georgesville BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF the busy road. I didn’t look over there. I was just freaked out being in heavy traffic.

I *knew* I needed to follow Sullivant for a bit, so when I rode by the OTET trail and saw Sullivant again, I turned right onto Sullivant…and into the Hilltop neighborhood.

Wrong Neighborhood

Allison had mentioned something about Hilltop in a previous conversation, that it wasn’t good to go through. I’m glad I didn’t have all this knowledge about it on Wednesday:

In Columbus’ deadliest year since 1991, a cluster of 11 homicides have occurred within a single square mile, in an area referred to as Central Hilltop—generally located between West Broad Street and Sullivant. As a whole, the Hilltop neighborhood has seen about that many murders in the last three years.

According to data from the Franklin County Coroner, this area has the highest rate of fatal opioid-related addictions and overdoses in the city. And Columbus Police data shows prolific drug use has led to an increase in human trafficking and more people registering for rehab near them.

I was not amused. I was downright unhappy. I kept stopping to check the map on my phone-my OTET map wasn’t helping because I was pretty much off the grid.  I knew it didn’t look good for me to stop riding and peer at my phone. I’m sure people could tell I was lost. Lost people can be vulnerable.

Made it to Broad Street

A school bus with lights flashing got the traffic to stop in both directions. I darted across Sullivant in to the quiet neighborhood. Off the busy street, it gave time to focus and regroup and figure out my exit stragey. From my smart phone, I knew Broad Street was north (or up) from me and Broad Street had to be better from where I was.

Sure enough, Broad Street was better, I finally figured my way across the Scioto River, jumped back on a blessed bike trail again, and found the Boathouse Restuarant.

Alls Well That Ends Well

My friend Allison pulled into the parking lot seconds later and took me off for some much needed decompression time! Thanks Allison, for dinner and a place to sleep!

Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty One Triptych


Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty One Triptych

Art Journal Challenge Week Twentyone Triptych


The usual definition of a triptych looks like this:

a picture or relief carving on three panels, typically hinged together side by side and used as an altarpiece.


My Definition of a Triptych

Since I was going on a “trip” I decided my triptych would be a mixed media page about my journey. Maybe it will be in three pieces. I doubt it.  I’m sure it’s going to be messy and disorganized and wild.

Art Journal Challenge Week Twentyone Triptych

I made it through the state of Ohio! I collected some ephemera along the way, but not as much as I thought I would.

Art Journal Challenge Week Twentyone Triptych

Art Journal Challenge Week Twentyone Triptych

I supplemented with pictures taken along the way.

Voila, my triptych of my Ohio to Erie Trail trip!

Ohio to Erie Bike Trip Cincinnati Day One

Day One of my Trip Biking from the Ohio River to Lake ErieDay One

My husband and I stayed in the Millenium Hotel near the Convention Center, close to the Ohio River. I was off early, as I wanted to be through the street section of Cincinnati as quickly as possible.

Ohio to Erie Trail

I staged the bike at Smale Park, then caught a quick selfie with General Cincinnatus Pig to show I did start at the Ohio River. Posing with the Piggy

Riding Along the River

I was familiar with the first eight miles along the Ohio, from running and driving in the area. Right past Lunken Airfield,

Ohio to Erie Trail

I got a little turned around, but consulting the map I rode on. I used both sidewalks and road, depending on my comfort level.

I love Skyline Chili

The weather was warm but not too bad. I was not too comfortable on the very busy Wooster Pike Road before I started on the Little Miami Scenic Trail. at 13.3 miles, I turned on the bike trail.

Little Miami Scenic Trail

This is a wonderful bike trail. Wide, great asphalt, nobody around on an early Tuesday morning. Lots of wet blossoms knocked onto the path from the violent thunderstorm from the night before.

Ohio to Erie Trail

First I thought these were sculptures along the trail, but realized these were old structures probably left over from the railroad.

Ohio to Erie Trail


Ohio to Erie Trail Milford

I hit the famous all trails sign at Milford and stopped for a quick pic. The town of Milford was 0.3 miles away. I decided to keep biking and stop for lunch in Loveland.


Ohio to Erie Trail

I had a chicken burrito for the trail price of 12.00! (Contrast this with my meal in Killbuck a few days later, BLT wrap, ice cream, ice tea for 8.00!!) In Loveland, there are a few road/street intersections, and drivers were very courteous with stopping to let me pass- thanks Loveland!

Peters Catridge Company

I came acrouss this interesting structure.

Ohio to Erie Trail

This was an interesting structure. An old WWII factory manufacturing ammunition. It is listed on both the Historic Register AND on the Superfund Site List because the ground is contaminated with copper, lead, and mercury!

Not too far from here, there was a tree down from the strong thunderstorm of Monday night. Luckily I was able to duck around this right at the side of the bike trail.

Ohio to Erie Trail


I pass under the iconic interstate 71 bridge.Ohio to Erie Trail interstate bridge It’s a quiet day by myself on the trail. I am pleasantly surprised to have tree coverage along the trail.After the interstate bridge, it’s just cruising along until I get to Xenia Station.Xenia Station

Xenia Station

I am happy to get to Xenia because it’s been 68.5 miles on the trail..and I am going on to Cedarville. Xenia looks much different than the last time I visited, January 6, when the temperature was 4 degrees F.  I am tired, ready to be done, but there are more miles to go! I miss an OTET sign in Xenia, but from previous trip I know I can cut over a street and pick up OTET again. I am now on the Prairie Grass Trail.

The sky is looking a bit dark to the west, I pedal as quickly as my tired legs will allow. I check on the smart phone, how far to Cedarville? I finally arrive at my destination, Hearthstone Inn, which is right on the bike trail,  order a pizza, salad and collapse. Day Two will be a shorter distance of about 52 miles.

Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty Mystery


Art Journal Challenge Mystery

Ha! It’s a mystery I got this done at all!

art journal challenge week twenty mystery

I’ve been crazy busy in my “spare time” trying to plant a garden, clean house, and get organized for my 326 mile bike ride next week.  I just realized I might want to have a light with me, now I have to go scramble and look for that.

art journal challenge week twenty mystery


Mystery Hack

Most of this page came from a previously made mixed media in a “junk journal” aka an old Judy Bolton mystery book. This image immediately came to mind, and since “there are no rules” in

art journal challenge week twenty mystery

my mixed media challenge, I pasted them into the “52 in 52” Art Journal. A few more doodles, and voila, Mystery Challenge completed! Whew!

Yes, I am going to art journal on my bike ride next week! Stay tuned!

Art Journal Challenge Week Nineteen Tree Graffiti

art journal challenge tree graffiti


I have a odd little side hobby of photographing tree graffiti. This started on trail runs years ago. I would ponder, whatever happened to MW and CJ? Do they still love each other? Are they together? Do they remember their time in the park, and carving initials on trees?

art journal challenge tree graffiti

Tree Graffiti is Wrong!

I do not condone carving anything into trees. It is one way to kill a tree faster! Please don’t do this! That being said, what is done is done. I wasn’t the person who long ago carved a word, initials, or a heart into a tree.

art journal challenge tree graffiti

Historical Tree Graffiti

A British student has been studying and tracing military tree graffiti, sometimes being able to trace the graffiti back to the soldier and family.

Another cool story from tree graffiti in a Dutch Village to a family in Toronto.

Arborglyphs are tree carvings. The Basque sheepherders in Nevada carved ornate pictures into the aspen trees. Here is a link to those stories, pretty cool!

Supplies Used

Since I realized I didn’t like unused white space, I first painted the page green. Then I doodled in my tree trunks, with my initials and true love “carved” onto the page. Perusing my little art journal folder, I found some actual pieces of tree bark (foraged from the ground, not peeled off the tree!) and glued those in.  I  printed out some of my tree graffiti pics. I got the idea to make a raised “carving” on my actual tree graffiti page. This was done with Elmer’s Glue and paint. Which didn’t work! art journal challenge tree graffiti I then smeared it into a square and added more graffiti on the top.

My printed tree graffiti pics are a bit dark, which doesn’t show too well when I took a photo of the finished challenge, but I am happy with the way this week turned out.

art journal challenge tree graffiti