Category Archives: Travel

Ohio to Erie Trail Day Five Reaching The Lake

Ohio to Erie Trail

 

Early Morning Start Massillon


Ohio Erie Towpath

I was eating breakfast at 6am at the Hampton Inn and out the door at 630am. There were 70 miles to arrive at Lake Erie.

C&O Towpath

Most of today’s miles would be on the C&O Towpath. I have previously biked 50 or so miles on the trail, this would be mainly familiar territory to me.

Barberton Ohio Erie Towpath

The section from Massillon to Barberton was a portion I had not biked. I got to yell at my first human through here. He was walking, looking at his phone, I was trying to pass on the left, he almost veered right into me.

Next gaggle of humans was a running race in Canal Fulton. Now I’m a previous runner, so I had the moral high ground here. They were not running yet, just walking to the start line. It’s amazing the dirty looks I got as I rang my bell and yelled “passing on your left! passing on your left! Still passing on your left!”

I got away from the humans (my goal for the entire bike ride) and the towpath was almost deserted in the 9am hour.  Soon I was at Summit Lake, where the towpath goes across a huge boardwalk.

I’ve biked through Akron  before. They have good signage through here. You go right behind the baseball stadium for the Akron Ducks.

 

I now run into my second running race! This is the “Bold and Bright” Color Run. Luckily, I’ve blundered into the very back of the pack, so it’s just walking. I carefully steer my way through the colorful runners/walkers, and am happy when the race veers off into Lock Three and I exit Akron.

It’s a nice downhill out of Akron, to the planned detour which won’t be complete for another year, and back to familiar towpath for me.

Lots of folks are out around the Beaver Marsh.

I can see the interstate bridge and know I am close to Boston Store. This is the new bridge that was just reopened right before my trip.

The other detour is at Hunt Farm which was advertised on the NPS website. No problem, I pull out onto Riverview Road. I bike up the road, and then re-enter the towpath where construction equipment has put in a temporary driveway. By the amount of bikers in this section, I’m not the only one doing this.

New Territory for Me

This is the farthest north I’ve biked on the towpath, the Route 82 bridge,  onto new territory for me!

Henry

I’ve been in contact with a friend from the Buckeye Trail Association, Henry. He is a long time biker and offered to meet me around Cleveland and escort me to Lake Erie. I’ve been sending him texts with location updates, and he meets up with me just south of Harvard Blvd.

Kim Henry

 

Cleveland Metropark

The Cleveland Metroparks starts about Rockside Road. The trail is all asphalt here. These are the two new bridges that cost slightly over budget, Henry tells me.

Henry is a great tour guide! He keeps telling me history of the area, the trail, local Cleveland news. He points out the former Crawshaw Plant that refined uranium in WWII, and the ground is contaminated and can’t be moved around. (Sounds like the Peter Cartridge Factory in Loveland!)

STeelyard Commons

We come to the end of the bike trail as it is know. Now we will be heading through Tremont and other local landmarks, like the “Cleveland Sign” and West Side Market on our way to Edgewater Park.

The Cleveland Sign

Henry suggests we stop and take pictures at the Cleveland sign!

No Pictures Through West Side Market!

I had printed out maps to maneuver through the streets to the lake. With Henry as my guide, I just had to follow Henry.  Henry is a bit more confident and risk taking thru busy Cleveland streets! I just blindly followed him and tried to keep up! My energy was starting to lag a bit-I’d been riding my bike since 630 am, and he told me the final bit to Edgewater was a downhill-and it was!

Lake Erie

I did it! I biked from the Ohio River to Lake Erie! I decided to roll my bike up onto the pier for my official picture. As I didn’t do the dip the tire in the south, I wasn’t concerned about doing it in the north!

Lake Erie Ohio to Erie Trail

Myka’s Poses

 

Boy was I ready to be done riding my bike! I will  have some conclusions about my trip. The Ohio to Erie Trail is a good way to see Ohio!

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.

Millersburg

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?

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!

Dalton

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

Westerville

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?)

Salvation

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

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 overdoses in the city. And Columbus Police data shows prolific drug use has led to an increase in human trafficking.

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!

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

Milford

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.

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

Bridge

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.

Micro Adventure: Visit a New Town: Dayton

Greetings reader, as I stated in my last post, do something new this summer, visit a “new-to-you” town within your own state. We had a micro adventure, visiting a local town on the other side of the state, Dayton Ohio.

Daycation Vacation

Daycation Staycation

We decided to head over to the western side of Ohio, Dayton.  I have not been to Dayton since my college years of visiting a friend’s home, this was all new to us.

What To Do in Dayton

There is quite a bit to do in Dayton! First, it is the home of the Wright Brothers, printers, inventors, successfully launched the first flying machine. There are five Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Parks in the Dayton area.

Parachute Museum

The Air Force Museum is located in Dayton.  There is the Carillon Historical Park, which is a museum complex with more Wright Brothers history, the history of Dayton and of cash registers. Does anyone remember NCR-National Cash Register?

There are tons of outdoor activities! Kayak on the Miami River,  hit up a bike trail, or go hiking. Dayton is an authorized “Trail Town” by the Buckeye Trail Association, meaning it is friendly to hikers and has great amenities for your hike.

Antique Malls on the Way

We traveled west on I-70 to Dayton. There are three big antique malls to hit up on your travels if you are into that sort of thing-we are. I scored some new political buttons, and a new set of Staffordshire Spaniels!

Air Force Museum

If you are interested in history AND aviation, you have come to the right place! There are four hangars full of planes to marvel over. These are not small hangars either. Be prepared for LOTS of walking. Perhaps plan out your visit.

air force museum

This could take you four to six hours or two days in case you end up watching a movie while you are there.  But you know what? Admission is free, so take two days to take it all in!

Wright Brothers

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

 

Wright Brother Quote

Parachute Bear

Anniversary Dinner

We wanted to go to a good restaurant that was not a steak house in Dayton! (It seemed the restaurants with the best reviews all were steakhouses.)  We went to Kitchen Corner in the Oregon district, and had the tasting menu.  I thought it was very good, my husband was not that impressed-except for his addition of poutine-that was really tasty!

Aviation Day

It was a fun weekend out of town, we left Saturday morning at 8 am and returned home about 5pm on Sunday. Even though it was just one night out, it did feel like we had “gotten off our hilltop” and had a small break in the regular schedule.

Have you gotten out of town for a small staycation?

Celebrate the Summer Solstice Spend a Night in a Fire Tower

 

fire tower

 

I am celebrating Summer 2017 by spending the night in a fire tower.

Why? Because it’s there. It sounds cool. A cool adventure indeed.

This fire tower is located at Seneca State Forest in West Virginia. It is patterned after a western style fire tower. It was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935 to provide better coverage of the Greenbrier River Valley. It stands at 53 feet with 69 steps to get to the 14′ X 14′ living quarters.  This is at 3445 feet above sea level, one of the highest standing towers in West Virginia.

There is no bathroom or electricity on the tower. There is a toilet and fire ring at the bottom of the tower, on the ground. I guess I will make sure I will have taken care of *everything* when I climb up for the night!

Stay tuned for the night in the clouds report!