May 2, 2005

Route 50 Road Trip: Day 2, Ohio to Indiana

Woke to an overcast day in Parkersburg, WV. It had rained overnight. Got up, ate a granola bar, packed and headed out before 9 am, planning on breakfast in Athens, OH. A short trip across the Ohio River led to clearing skies and a missed exit. Made a quick u-turn that wouldn't have got me a job stunt driving in the movies, but that did get me going in the right direction and back onto 50. Eastern OH looks like Carroll and Frederick counties in MD, with a bit of Allegheny county thrown in. Very pretty. I wonder when I'll get to the point that the area I'm driving through will no longer remind me of anything familiar. Maybe at that point the magnitude of what I'm doing will hit me and I'll actually get excited. So far, it's just like one of my annual trips to western MD-- I'm eager and enjoying everything, but not jump-up-and-down excited.

Breakfast in Athens at Casa Nueva. Just the sort of college-town, hip/hippie place I'm hoping to eat in as much as possible. Had eggs sunny-side up, marinated tofu, home fries, toast and fruit. Excellent.

Detoured down route 41 under a variably cloudy sky to check out Serpent Mound. Had a nice-but-short meander along Ohio Bush Creek and took photos of the mound,...







...then back up route 73 to catch up with 50 at Hillsboro, OH. Finally noticed a distinct change in the landscape and geology. The mountains of WV and OH are gone, replaced by scenery more reminiscent of where 50 runs through the eastern shore of MD, only more so.

Very quaint, Arts-and-Crafts-style Mariemont, OH, is the home of Milestone #1: The first Starbuck's I've seen since home.

Passed around and through Cincinatti so fast I that I couldn't get any pics. Thought about going back and cruising the city, but was on a roll. West of Cinci, pastoral views have been replaced by a long industrial stretch with road construction, cutting four lanes down to two and slowing the pace considerably.

The passage into Indiana was uneventful, so much so that I didn't even realize I had changed states until I looked around and realized I was surrounded by IL license plates. After an aborted 25 mile detour to find Clifty Falls State Park (too far, gave up, added 50 miles to the day), stopped at a family-style joint in Versaille for a pork chop dinner. The long distance between highway signs inspired today's worn out phrase: "I sure hope I'm still on 50..."

Approximately 360 miles today (drove extra to make up for Serpent Mound and aborted Clifty Falls detours). I'm tired. But, I'm getting used to the automatic transmission of the Mustang. Actually, after two 5000 rpm passes of slower cars, I'm beginning to really enjoy the Pony. If Ford were to come out with a hybrid model of the 'Stang, I might consider giving up my Honda.

A bit beyond my dinner-stop in Versaille, I drove past the American Dream: Dad, in denim overalls, tossing a baseball with Junior on the front lawn of a ranch-style home.

Checked in to a Holiday Inn in Seymour, IN, just before 8 pm.




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