On Saturday we did more riding than picture taking. I wish I could learn to take pictures on the fly but my camera (Canon G10) is probably not the right camera for that. Someday I need to pick up a pocket cam for this purpose.
The plan was to head to Zanesville Ohio following route 60 up the Muskingum river. This is a road I have traveled a 1000 times but this time was different. I was on a bike.
It is a nice two lane road that meanders along the river. It gives you a good slice of rural mid-western America. Lots of farms, produce stands and small towns.
We stopped for a Red Bull break on the way out of town. No, my friend isn't a cop, but this is a police bike. It was a demo model and has been stripped of all the lights and siren. Too bad, could have some fun with those.
There use to be a lot of single wide trailers along the river and there still are, but there are many more campers these days. Lots of people setup for the summer. I could really see me being a river rat. I would love a camper on the river, a boat at the dock and a bike in the driveway. Could it get any better than that?
Once we got just below Zanesville the road was blocked for construction and there was a detour that took across the river. Lo and behold, it took us right to route 555 which is where we were going anyway. I didn't know exactly how to find it but it turned out I didn't have to worry about it. It must have been divine providence.
Route 555 started out kind of boring so I was starting to wonder why they call it the Dragon of Ohio. After a few miles we found out though I would compare it more to the Snake than the Dragon.
Ohio doesn't have mountains, but it has rolling hills in this area. You start up a curvy hill and pop over the other side. In many cases you can't see which way the road is going to go until you crest the hill and find out in a 200' you have to turn left or right.
I was sitting up as straight as possible to try to get an early look at which way the road would go.
I am not use to that kind of riding. I usually ride in SW Virginia, West Virginia and East Tennessee where we have mountains. You wind your way up a mountain and down the other side. The rolling hills were more like a roller coaster. It was fun.
But soon the fun was over, we ran into more road construction and another detour. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
The detour put us back down by the Muskingum river but on the opposite side of route 60. On the way down, I was in the lead so I pulled over to take a nature break and a photo.
On the left hand side of the photo below you can see the start of the gravel area I pulled into. The ground in Ohio isn't hard, red clay; it is soft, black dirt. I guess that is why the mid-west is the bread basket to the world. Anyway, I didn't have any problem, but my friend lost his footing in the gravel and dropped his Road King.
At that same time, two other riders showed up behind us, one one on a brand new Road King. He was embarrassed more than anything. Fortunately the engine guard and saddlebag guards prevented any damage. We righted it and continued on our way.
Looking back the way we came.
We didn't rejoin 555 but stayed on the river road and ended up back in Malta where my grandparents use to live. We crossed the river and stopped in the McConnelsville square to take a few pictures.
I don't know who this guy is but he is rudely standing in the middle of traffic.
This is the Opera House. Pretty high falutin for a little town like this.
Historic court house. Buildings just have no style like this anymore.
We headed down route 60 to Beverly and crossed the river again to take a different route back to Marietta. We passed this late 1800's church on the way. Churches don't look like this anymore either.
This picture doesn't fully convey it, but when I am in Ohio I get such a sense of the sky being all around me. Notice the skyline coming down to the base of the church? I know that doesn't make much sense, but living in a mountainous area, there is always a mountain or ridgeline preventing you from seeing very far on the horizon. But riding the hilltops in Ohio, the sky comes all the way down around. They say Montana is big sky country but I say Ohio could give it a run for its money.
We got back to camp after this and hung out for a while. I laid out on top of one of the picnic tables and thought maybe I dozed for a few minutes. My friend said I was out for 45 minutes.
We had a little time to kill before going to dinner so we rode up number 7 along the Ohio river to Newport. We passed Willow Island on the way. There is a huge lock there so we stopped for a few pics.
Willow Island dam.
Willow Island lock.
This is a power plant on the WV side near Willow Island.
That is it for the photos. We crossed over to Marysville WV and followed route 2 back to Williamstown WV. We crossed the Ohio once more to get back to Marietta. We ate at the Marietta Brewing Company and took another growler of beer back to camp.
We chatted with Randy some more before hitting the sack. We had almost 300 miles to make the next day so it was time to get some rest.