Sep 16, 2010


Here are some buildings I liked in my recent and epic wanderings in southeastern Ohio. Also, the Amish hill country north of here, around Wooster and Millersburg, is gorgeous in an agrarian way. To try to hang on to a theme, the campuses at College of Wooster and Kenyon College (in tiny Gambier) are extremely attractive, too, as are their towns.

“Maps are a way of organizing wonder.”
Peter Steinhart, “Names on a Map” (1986)

Color season has begun. Shake a leg. Here is the southeastern quadrant of Ohio. Could you name as many as five towns prior to this map? Can you picture the towns or the hill country? Click to enlarge (though only a little, I'm afraid).

I recommend these fine drives on southeastern Ohio’s back roads (there are more, but these will get you started):

from just north of the quadrant:

Rt. 800 Urichsville to Barnesville
Rt. 83 Millersburg to Coshocton to Reinersville to Beverly

Within the quadrant:

Rt. 339 Macksburg to Beverly
Rt. 36 Coshocton to Gnadenhutten (mostly 4-lane, but open, rural, pleasant)
Rt. 147 Batesville to Sarahsville.
Rt. 285 Winterset to Caldwell (averaging about 30 mph).
Rt. 513 Middlebourne to Batesville
Rt. 78 Woodsfield to Caldwell to McConnesville to Glouster
Rt. 564 Caldwell to Harrietsville

western part of the quadrant:

Rt. 60 Zanesville to Marietta
Rt. 550 Marietta to Athens
Rt. 13 Athens to New Lexington
Rt. 7 along the Ohio River is sometimes beautiful, sometimes pocked with industry.



-K- said...

I spent several pleasant years in Athens County. This time of year it is at its best.

Banjo52 said...

So there are two of us! If you care to share, I'd be interested if you grew up there, or went to OU, or what took you there.

I know it's not as remote as I make it sound, but I'm still surprised when people so far away know the area at all. Also, I must say that the drive from Athens to Pomeroy feels VERY remote indeed.

Anyone who hasn't yet been to K's L.A. photography blog--you should go. Great stuff. The man's even got a book, for pity sake.

Jean Spitzer said...

The closest I've ever been to Ohio is Goodbye, Columbus. I haven't even been to Athens, Greece.

Banjo52 said...

Jean, have I made you think you're missing something?

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm familiar with Zanesville. It's the great epicenter center of commercial pottery.

I know that people refer to Peoria as a joke, but I took a train from LA to Peoria in the fall and I found the midwest to be extraodinarily beautiful. I was able to experience an Indian sunset over a cornfield. The same way I felt riding over the sand hills of Nebraska during a two week stay at a cattle ranch

Banjo52 said...

PA, near Zanesville is the little town of Crooksville. Their high school sports nickname is the Ceramics. Three miles from there is the more pottery-famous Roseville. As a kid, I hardly knew (or cared?) that the pottery biz was so big there. I visited a couple places a few years ago, and it's very commercial, as you say. It's also a business that's fading, can't compete with stuff from overseas.

Midwestern beauty--yeah, I guess I harp on it just because so many people seem to think there's a vast wasteland between the two coasts or two mountain ranges. I drove across Nebraska a few years ago, and found it stunning, at least once you get a bit west. Ditto S. Dakota.

Jean Spitzer said...

I have limited experience driving across country--just LA to Austin, but that drive makes me suspect that there's plenty to see, enjoy and marvel at that isn't on the coasts.

PJ said...

I used to live in SoDak and the only thing that saved me from going bonkers was taking long drives in the country, so beautiful. I hated every other minute of it.

I'm intrigued by your road trips as I'm on the definite upside of healing my right heel and one of the things I"ve done to move me along mentally is take up Geocaching. I haven't done a lot - yet - but when I get back to walking really well and traveling I will be doing lots of it, both finding and planting. Have you done any? If the only GPS you have is for your portable car it can be switched to "off-road" mode. I'm learning!

Banjo52 said...

Jean, I'm sure you're right. I've found good sights, people, experiences everywhere from south Georgia clay to the Las Vegas to Phoenix route (not at all my preferred landscape, but still very interesting).

How was it from L.A. to Austin?

Paula, Geocaching might be too technical for me, but I'll look into when I'm more awake.

I haven't forgotten your forays on the two-lanes in Alabama, which you helped the rest of us to enjoy.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Let's go!
The roads, the names of the towns, the colors - are all inviting.
Let's go!

Lovers' Lane