Friday, April 16, 2010

Backroads Tour
Day 1
The Buckeye State

Staying far away from the big cities the day starts with a short detour from our Ashtabula hotel to the Hubbard House Museum, a late stage safe-house on the Underground Railroad.

We follow the south shore of Lake Erie west a few miles and land at the Nifty 50's Diner in Madison for a hearty breakfast prior to heading into the heart of Amish country.

Now Amish country wasn't the joy I thought it would be. No fault of the Amish who could be seen in their horse-drawn buggies holding up traffic on various roads. The problem was in the "Amish towns" which were really towns near Amish farms making a living off people like me who detour to see something authentic.

Lehman's Hardware in Kidron was worth the stop. Picked up a cast-iron frying pan. It was heavy. Some interesting 'way back' stuff in there if you want to pay $8,000 for a vintage round-edged fridge.

Berlin was too busy to stop and a little hilly so we moved on to Millersburg for food and a $12 Kodak Brownie camera that will find a place in my curio cabinet once it's nice and shiny, if never operable.

In Roscoe Village (near Coshocton) we came across a quilt...ahhh, this is the perfect memento of a trip to Amish country...except it was made in China. So much for authenticity.

Unfortunately we woke up to a chilly morning, snow threatening and wind blowing hard. This made it a little difficult to comfortably meander the streets in these little towns so perhaps I'm not being fair. Of course, the can just counter-blog if they feel hard done by.

We did come across a dangerously interesting, if a little paranoid, display of American liberty in action. This guy has some issues.

Heading to South Charleston we close the day with a trip to the Indian Burial Mound. When the Smithsonian excavated this site in 1840 they discovered 10 skeletons surrounding one 7 foot tall skeleton. Significance of that, I don't know, except that I'd imagine they were good at basketball as well as lacrosse.

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