July 24, 1999 - Day 45 - Coshocton to Cadiz, Ohio

76 miles , 14.7 mph average, 39.1 mph max speed, 3071 total miles

32 roadkill

    The odometer decided to work today; I don't know why.

    Well, I had to wait for my surprise yesterday and so did you.

The Hakes
Joe and Sue Hakes
    The Hakes family and I go way back. Joe and I really got to know each other well through working on staff at Coach Joe Bean's Premier Soccer Camp, starting in the late 1970's. Joe was the soccer coach at North Park College (Chicago) and I was coaching at Lewis University and later Aurora University. Joe and I are humor soulmates. The way it works is Joe says almost anything and I laugh like an idiot. Joe likes me.
    Sue is a saint. They have two daughters, Samantha (who turned 20 yesterday - Happy Birthday, Sam!!) and Heidi who is 14 going on 25. Sam and Heidi spent a lot of time in yesteryears playing with my daughters, but then Joe took the job as soccer coach and then athletic director at King College in Bristol, Tennessee.
    Which brings us to Coshocton, Ohio. They had called Lois and told her they wanted to intercept me en route somewhere and surprise me. I was messing things up, though, because of my route changes in Indiana and Ohio. So Lois told me I had to have the cell phone on Friday afternoon after 3:00, and that's all she'd tell me.
    Sure enough, when I was talking to the family in Knox County that was getting their sheep ready for the fair, the phone rang and I found out who was calling and what they were doing.
    They phoned ahead and reserved a room in Coshocton and we met there and had a wonderful visit together. Joe said stuff and I laughed, and Sue put up with it like she always does. (You know, Joe, I think one day she's just going to snap.)

Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village
    As it turned out, Coshocton was a lot more than just another dot on the map. Originally called Roscoe (after an English poet - maybe the name struck someone's fancy), it came into existence as a canal town on the Ohio and Erie Canal, built in the 1830's after the completion of the Erie Canal and the realization that canals meant incredible amounts of money.
    The Ohio and Erie Canal connected the Ohio River and Lake Erie on a roughly south/north line, running up to Cleveland. And Roscoe was on that line.

Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village
    The city of Coshocton rehabbed about four city blocks that ran along the canal and turned it into Roscoe Village. It's excellent. We toured it this morning, then had lunch, and finally parted ways around 2:30.

Broadhead Massacre
Broadhead Massacre
    I hope this is readable. I saw this marker on the way out of Coshocton. It's so interesting to me that we can just write this stuff matter-of-factly. Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way, but I can't see any justification from this description for the massacre or any of the events before or after it.
    Lewis Wetzel - I remember reading a kid's book about him, all rah-rah stuff. I wonder what he was really like.
    This part of Ohio was some of the very first to be parceled out as part of the Northwest Territory (1785). Note the date on the marker. We didn't wait very long after defeating the British to begin clearing out the Indians, did we? The Treaty of Paris hadn't even been signed yet.
    This "clearing out" was always done by "hardy pioneers".

House new Newcomerstown
Cool House
    It was the setting, which doesn't really show in this picture. This house is not in town. It's about a mile west of Newcomerstown, and it just sits all by itself. Wow!

Newcomerstown
Newcomerstown
    Interesting name. Can any town of this size in America boast two such famous sports names? I'm not sure Woody Hayes is highly respected outside of Ohio anymore, but Cy Young sure is.
    I was going to make a point of asking about that house and about the name of the town, but I got so excited about the root beer float at the Chilly Willy's I completely forgot. It's the heat.

Pastoral Countryside
Pastoral Symphony
    It's Beethoven's 6th, and I think he must have written it in a setting very similar to what I rode through today.

Scenic Hillside
Bicycle Touring Brochure
    Isn't this just made for the cover of a bike touring brochure? Well, it was beautiful, but it doesn't show the heat and humidity, or the steepness of the grades (steepest I've had on the entire trip). It was just up in the highest possible gear, then immediately crashing down, scrambling into the lowest possible gear, then... you get the idea. It was very "busy" riding. I termed it "manic/depressive bike touring".

Westchester Store
Westchester General Store
    Meet Carol McKay (owner, on the left) and Judy Bear (Carol's friend who's helping behind the counter today). This store is just really sweet. Carol's done a great job with it, AND it's online (http://web.tusco.net/store). So go ahead and take a look.
http://web.tusco.net/storeCarol is a retired special ed teacher, and Judy has been teaching English for 30 years at Claymont High School in Uhrichville, just up the road. We had a nice chat.
    Judy, you win "Good Samaritan" honors for the day for advising me on the alternate route. It was excellent.

    At least the part I followed before I made the wrong turn. But it turned out ok because I ended up on Kennedy Ridge Road and it was just beautiful up there.
    But I went at least ten miles out of my way. This part of Ohio doesn't line up in a straight line anywhere. I bet it's 35 miles as the crow flies between Coshocton and Cadiz, but I spent 76 miles getting here.
    Got into Cadiz after dark to find the only motel booked. They recommended the only B&B in town, and so that's where I am.
    The guy in the room next to mine lives in Naperville about 1/2 mile from our house (up by the Goodyear store).
    Cadiz is the hometown of Clark Gable, and George Armstrong Custer was born just a few miles north of here.
    I always like to wonder about these people and think about them as children playing by the river or walking down the street. What was it that set them apart? Heredity? Environment?

    Sixty miles to Pittsburgh and I should see my sister, two nephews, a niece, her husband and two sweet grandnieces by tomorrow afternoon!!

BackPrevious Day (7/23) Next Day (7/25) Next

Home