Ohio

A Day for Everything in Ohio!

Saturday we kind of rested after we got to Coshocton. Sunday we were late getting started and just managed to see Roscoe Village and take a ride on the canal boat. Today, we made up for it. We visited the only inland lighthouse in Ohio, found a covered bridge, went to a cheese factory, toured an Amish farm and went to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton – all in one day and we didn’t even leave the campground until 10:00. Oh, did we take time to eat? Nope, not all day!

Our first stop was the only inland Lighthouse in Ohio, the Gospel Hill Lighthouse located in Warsaw, Ohio at Gospel Hill Church. The minister had a vision from the Lord in 1976 to build a lighthouse for others to see the light of Jesus but it was not until 2002 that it was erected. The story of the construction was quite interesting and involved many people from engineers, to silo builders, state inspectors, and electricians to name a few. It was amazing to see how the pieces fell into place as the planning and construction progressed. Obviously the Lord was in charge and He opened many doors for this lighthouse. It’s not a terribly tall lighthouse rising only 74 feet to the top of the cross, 65 feet to the top of the dome, a 7 foot cross on top and a 2 foot ball that the cross sits on. The cross is pointed directly to the road coming in. There are three levels and on the second level is a prayer section where members gather to honor prayer requests.

I stood behind to give some perspective and depth to the sculpture.
Outside is a building where Saturday night singing is held every other Saturday night. The backdrop for the stage is a steel image of the Last Supper. It is indescribably beautiful and touching. The gentleman who built it was near death and called the minister asking him if he would take it because he didn’t want it included in his estate. Amazingly the image was built in just 2-3 months. It is cut from a four foot by eight foot sheet of 3/16” steel and was all done freehand. If we had done nothing else today the day would have been great!


Glad we were in the car and not the motor home!
Our next stop was one of the covered bridges in Ohio. Well, I think I have found out the difference in a state maintained road and a township maintained road. Also, it has been a while since we’ve been on a graveled road adventure so we were due and today was the day. We wound and twisted up and down a sometimes narrow hilly lane hoping we wouldn’t meet anyone. We saw few houses, no cars and no people but we found the bridge, Hemlick Covered Bridge.

Originally built in 1863, the bridge was a fundamental part of commerce for the village of Helmick. During those early days it provided access to two grist mills that were used by farmers from as far as 25 miles away. As a result of decay the bridge was closed in 1981. Citizens raised over $250,000 to restore the bridge completing the project in 1996. Today it is one of Ohio’s oldest covered bridges and the only one in Coshocton County. After taking a couple of pictures we realized in order to continue our trip to Canton where the Football Hall of Fame was located we were actually going across that bridge! The only posted warning was to not use it when it was flooded. Well, duh!

We continued on and arrived in Millersburg. I had commented earlier that there were several interesting things to do in Millersburg so we decided to try some of them out. Our first stop was the Guggisberg Cheese Factory. We thought we were going on a tour but there were no tours because of the open vats. We sampled some of the delicious cheese and ended up buying two different kinds, an Amish butter and a buffalo wing cheese. Both are really tasty. Because they are vacuum sealed we could buy them today and leave them in the car while we wandered around the rest of the afternoon.

We then decided to go to Yoder’s Amish Home which was a tour that included two Amish homes, a tour of the barn, a buggy ride and a tour of the schoolhouse. We learned even more about the Amish from our guide. In Holmes County there are nine orders of Amish, the most conservative being the Swartzebtruber. They are very strict and very self sufficient. Of course they use no electricity and have no running water in the house. Often their yards have fruit trees and berry bushes which serve as some of their food. They wear very plain clothes, dark colors with no patterns. Their dolls have no faces because they see dolls with faces as graven images or idols.

Among the other orders are the New Order which is the least conservative and the Old World who are sort of middle of the road between the New Order and the Swartzetruber.

The Amish children can either go to a public school, a public school that has the Amish separated or a parochial school which only goes up to 8th grade and is taught by one of the Amish. They do not have to be certified. The teacher we talked with likened it to home schooling. All Amish children must learn to read German as that is the language their Bibles and music are in. Pennsylvania Dutch is spoken in the home.

Church is held in the homes and meets every other Saturday. They have a truck full of pews that is delivered to the hosting home each week. Since there are no instruments all music is acapella and sung in unison.

Jerry and I had noticed that a number of homes had solar panels so we asked about that. We knew they couldn’t be used for electricity since the Amish don’t have that. The panels are used to charge batteries that can than be used for washing machines, sewing machines, etc.

After a short tour of the barn which was full of various animals, e.g puppies, bunnies, horses,, foals, miniature ponies, sheep and goats we went over to the buggy ride. It wasn’t a long ride but it was nice. I sat in the front with the Amish gentleman who drove the horses. He was very polite and we chatted for a bit.

A short visit to the school house where we chatted with a teacher and then it was time to end our sightseeing for the day. Our original plan was to go to Canton but we began to see that that trip probably wouldn’t happen so I suggested that we leave from Coshocton Tuesday morning, spend the night in Canton and visit the Football Hall of Fame. When we realized that it was 4:00, Canton was only 45 minutes away and the Hall of Fame stayed opened until 8:00 we decided we could make it so off to Canton we went.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is very impressive even to someone like me that knows little about football. We entered through panels of football cards and the worth of each was explained. Boy, I wish baseball cards were that valuable as we have boxes and boxes of them! We watched two videos, one with “joe Namath” narrating. Good but loud. The second video was the Road to the Super Bowl. He recapped the 2017 game between the Patriots and the Falcons. Even though I knew the outcome of the game, I was sitting on the edge of my seat during the entire game as the Falcons led most of the game.

A full day and the only thing we left out was eating so as soon as we got back to the coach we scrambled some sandwiches together. Not exactly a full meal and not exactly filling but it worked. Off tomorrow to Fletcher for the annual Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show.

Any wonder why we were concerned about driving over this bridge?
Home Away From Home, Ohio

Roscoe Village, Ohio

As usual for us we got a late start trying to decide whether to chance the impending rain. We finally decided to go into Roscoe Village which is basically a historic village with a lot of little shops, the general store, a candy shop, a leather shop, etc. Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center which housed some memorabilia from days past plus we watched a video detailing how Roscoe Village became a canal town. Originally Ohio was virtually cut off from the major cities because of the rugged terrain until the canal system was instituted in the 1800’s. Along with other towns along the canals it began to flourish until the railway came along. Then the trip from Portsmouth to Cleveland which had taken about 8 days (and only day travel) on the canal could be accomplished in a much shorter time and more comfort as well thus the beginning of the demise of the canals.

We wandered around a bit and then decided to follow the advice of a fellow camper and have lunch at the Warehouse. Both Jerry and I had heard about the onion rings so along with his burger and my grill cheese we got a half order of rings. I can’t imagine what a whole order would be like because the half order was more than we could eat. The were delicious, served with a sauce that was reminiscent of a blooming onion from Chilli’s.

After lunch we wandered around a bit more looking for the usual magnet and we finally found one. Lots of t-shirts, hats, mugs, but no magnets until we finally found one in a dress shop. Go figure!

Our next stop was the horse drawn canal boat ride. The boat was the Monticello III and we floated down a restored section of the Ohio-Erie Canal. It was an interesting 45 minute ride but toward the end the mosquitoes got pretty bad. The men who dug the canal were Irish and German immigrants and were paid $.30 a day and they worked from sunup to sundown seven days a week. What a difficult life. Many died, many from malaria. The horses were steered by young boys 12-14 years old and they often had cuts on their feet from the jagged rocky ground and many of them died also.

When we left the canal ride we decided to ride over to the Village of Sugarcreek. It’s a Swiss Village but upon reading about it I felt that it was probably just a little town with nothing of significance to entice us to ride over. Jerry said either that or go back to the coach and read. We elected to go to Sugarcreek. We had been told that this area had a lot more Amish than where we were in Indiana but I had not seen any until our ride to Sugarcreek. We got behind several buggies in the hilly roads and had to follow them for a while until we could pass them. That proved to be a bit challenging at times due to their slow speed and our inability to see around them.

We made it to Sugarcreek and it was closed! Seriously, not a store was opened but we did notice what we later realized was labeled as the Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World. We were lucky enough to be there when it chimed at 4:30. What a show! A three-foot-tall couple on tracks danced the polka to Bavarian music played by a five-piece robot oompa band and that occurs every 30 minutes! It made the drive over well worth it. From what I’ve read Sugarcreek has a lot more to offer, just not on a Sunday.

We took a different route back to the campground – isn’t GPS great – you never know where it will take you but apparently the Amish were using the same route because we continued to see them driving along. Since we had such a nice lunch we chose not to have a big dinner so just enjoyed our quiet evening.

Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

I woke up about 5:00 this morning and heard the soothing pitter patter of rain on the coach. I read yesterday that waking during the night had different meanings at different times of the night. Waking up between 4:00 and 6:00 indicates a time for prayer so pray I did until I fell back to sleep until 7:00. Since we had not hooked up the septic but had attached the car it was fairly easy to break down. It was still raining when we left, in fact rained the entire trip to Coshocton. All planned activities or the day were outside so …

I generally input the destination details into the GPS on the night before so last night I entered the information into the Garmin that I use – 180+ miles. What? Good Sam and MapQuest both said 123. I entered the information into the Clarion and it was 123 miles. What was the difference? I couldn’t get to the atlas to look at the routes so we decided to go with the Clarion. Both routes were going to take about the same amount of time. Well, the Clarion route was closer but the last 40 miles were two lane, sometimes looking narrow to me, small towns, hilly road and 35 mph speed limit. Think we should have followed the Garmin! By the way I mentioned the curvy roads to a couple of people and they both said “Oh, you took 81. Guess it’s well known for its meandering road. Sometimes I just closed my eyes but as usual Jerry did a terrific job. In addition to that the TPMS alerted us that the inside passenger tire was not responding. Talk about stress. There was absolutely no where to stop, no where, so we kept on. I turned the system off and rebooted it. When the system is turned on it cycles through several times, no a lot of times until all of the tires register and this time two of the tires didn’t register. Finally just the inside passenger tire was still not registering. We came to an intersection, stopped at the light, turned and voila – all tires were fine.

We arrived at the Coshocton KOA RV Park at 11:45. I never did find it on the GPS and I think it’s only been a KOA for a short while, maybe was formerly Colonial Campground. It is a small campground but nice. Check in was very quick and the staff was friendly. They have several activities going on today, a cookie decorating class and ice cream social among several others.

As we were setting up we began chatting with two of the campers. Apparently there are two Good Sam clubs meeting here this week-end. One fellow suggested that since it was raining we might want to go to Canton to the Football Hall of Fame. I could see Jerry’s eyes light up at that. We talked with another man, a Dutch Star owner and compared Newmar notes.

Came in for a small lunch and decided that we both were too tired to go to Canton which was an hour away. Two weeks of travel must have taken their toll on me because I laid down on the sofa to read and slept two hours and would have slept more if Jerry hadn’t kept insisting that I wake up. It was good sleeping!

Deciding dinner was a bit difficult. Do we chance grilling steaks or go out to eat. The Warehouse in Roscoe Village had been recommended but we needed to cook the steaks.

Finally around 6:30 we realized that it had stopped raining and the sun was trying to shine so we decided to chance grilling. In the microwave convection it only takes about 25 minutes to bake the potatoes so with some sliced cucumbers we were ready to eat a delicious dinner.

I think today was a catch up day after having been on the road for two weeks. Both Jerry and I took naps and then I crashed before 9:00.

Home Away From Home, Ohio

Spiegel Grove, Home of Rutherford B. Hayes

It felt so good to sleep until 7:00 this morning – two more hours! We were supposed to check out at Building 16 at 8:00 but shopping at the Newmar parts store delayed us a bit since it didn’t even open until 7:30. We picked up a replacement light, some floor tiles and some floor protectors. (BTW, on the way out of the store a guy told us the floor protectors -we had to buy 7 – weren’t worth a dollar, we’ll see). It was 8:50 before we were checked out, paid up and on the road to Port Clinton, Ohio. We stopped once for a break and then once at Flying J in Perrysburg, Ohio for gas. Gas is significantly cheaper in Ohio than in Indiana by nearly $.25 a gallon (at some places – we found it varied a great deal). That is a significant savings! People occasionally ask me how many miles we get to the gallon. I used to check and it was a bit depressing, certainly less than the salesman told us it would be. Go figure. I finally decided that we were going to travel so it really didn’t make any difference what the mileage was. We try to conserve, drive at a reasonable speed and look for less expensive gas though but we do like Flying J because they have the RV gas line, easy in and easy out.

We arrived at Cedarlane RV Park in Port Clinton, Ohio around 1:30, quickly set up, ate a bar for lunch and then headed out for Spiegel Grove, the Rutherford B. Hayes home, museum and library. Unfortunately the library was closed due to flooding. We never did get any details on the flooding but there were large fans sitting around to dry things out.

The house is quite large with 18 bedrooms and they were all beautifully appointed. President Hayes’ uncle built the house albeit a bit smaller and it was added onto later. President Hayes lived there on and off until his later years when his uncle gave it to him and it became his permanent home. There are numerous paintings and portraits throughout the house of not only Rutherford and his wife Lucy but also their descendants as members of the Hayes family lived in the house until 1965. It then became a private resident until sometime in the early 2000’s. It has been lovingly restored to its original look with some furniture that belonged to the Hayes and some that is authentic to the times. The house is four stories although we were only allowed to view two. Interestingly enough Hayes only served one term and that was by choice. He wanted to accomplish everything he could in one term and not worry about running for re-election.

The Presidential Lecturn
It was quite interesting to read about the Hayes’ election as it paralleled with our most recent election. Hayes’ opponent won the popular vote but did not win the electoral vote. In fact Rutherford and Lucy went to sleep the night before believing that he had lost the election. The story goes that they had a very restful night!

Hayes’ wife, Lucy had a stroke at Spiegel Grove and died there three days later. Hayes continued to live there with his daughter Fanny and son Rutherford but he wrote that “the soul has left it”. Three and a half years later Hayes suffered a heart attack while in a railroad station in Cleveland. He had been in town conducting business for Ohio State University. His son Webb encouraged him to go to a local hospital but Hayes told him he would rather die at Spiegel Grove than live anywhere else so they returned to Spiegel Grove where he died three days later.

Secretary belonging to Grant
The museum was quite interesting with a lot of memorabilia from the family. Also in the museum is a replica or the rotunda. Upon entering there is a bust of Rutherford and to the left is a replica of an office. His desk was beautiful and the walls were covered with notes written by former presidents all the way up to Barack Obama. One of the prettiest pieces of furniture was a secretary desk purchased by the White House in 1869 for use in the cabinet room during the Grant administration. The massive secretary and chair were acquired by Rutherford’s son Webb in 1903 at an auction of excess furniture from the White House.

On the right side of the rotunda was a room with family memorabilia. Fanny had a quite large doll house that I could imagine my granddaughters enjoying a great deal

It was 5:00 when we left Spiegel Grove and we knew we couldn’t get into the Marblehead Lighthouse but we wanted to see it so off we went on a 45 minute drive – again! It is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the United States side of the Great Lakes having guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822, and continues to be an active aid to navigation. We enjoyed gingerly climbing over the rocks and putting our fingers in Lake Erie. We walked around a bit enjoying the warm sun and the breeze.

Navigating the Rocks
I told Jerry that despite all of our touring and running around I didn’t feel like I had hardly been in the sun. For just a few minutes I sat at a picnic table with my face toward the sun just enjoying a small bit of relaxation and stress relief.

When we left we were both pretty tired so other than a stop at a grocery store we headed back to the campground. We had planned to grill a steak but it was late, we were tired and we had some spaghetti sauce. It was a nice evening and would have been a nice night to sit outside and read but we were both spent so we never set foot outside! An early night for us as we want to be on the road fairly on the way to Coshocton.