GOE XVIII- Day Five: Heading Back Home
Just as it is exciting to see the bikes roll in for Gathering of Eagles, it is sad to see them pull out and head for home. Lots of these people I won't see for another year in a different place. At the meeting we decided that location would be Lake George, New York.
Before we pack up and mount up, we try to find everyone we can to say good bye to. Some we had wanted to see had left already, but we were able to talk to most of them. The skies looked calm and empty of rain, so it was going to be a good day to get some miles on the tires.
The beginning of our route followed the Poker Run we had embarked on just two days earlier. I had thought the ride to the asylum was more enjoyable, but now as we ride through Wayne National Forest with only the dew lifting as the moisture in the air, I will change my mind. There wasn't anything about this stretch that I didn't like. The smooth pavement that rose and sank, switching back and forth, the lush tree that would occasionally give way to views of lakes and fields, and the smell of nature flowing in under the helmet.
We ran the full length, from south to north, of the National Forest on Ohio State Road 26. Woodsfield is at the apex of the forest, and we continued north on 800. These were great winding roads in pretty good shape. We were lost in all the scenery. The only thing that let us know where we were is when 800 meets Interstate 70. We could hit that super slab, and head west and pass nearby our home, but not going to do it this time.
We took a short stretch on 108 and then back to 800. It was getting on about time for some lunch, and we had spot marked, but we couldn't find where it was? The next town we came up on was preparing for a festival and the couple of spots we could see that might have served a meal were closed because of the set up blocking the path to the eatery. After making a few circles, we stopped for fuel, and asked inside for a place to eat. On these trips, when you are in a small town, I have learned that if they mention a place that has a woman's name and cafe after, you had better go give it a try. With that in mind, we had vague directions to just a certain cafe.
We were not disappointed once again. I wish right now I could remember the name, it was something along the lines of Nadine's Cafe or something. I wasn't even sure what town we were in. We continued on 22, 78 and 258. Making our way across the Buckeye State. We eventually met up with Interstate 77, far north of Parkersburg, just east of Newcomerstown, Ohio.
From there, our way west was made on State Route 751, and made our way through West Lafayette, Ohio. With our final destination being Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana, it did get our hopes up for a second that we had found some extreme shortcut, or a wormhole of some kind.
Coshocton, Ohio would be our last gas stop before we made it to the hotel for the night. The tanks were full and our legs were stretched, so we made our up to US 36, and meandered north and west. Though it is designated a highway, it is one of the old style highways, devoid of a lot of traffic, and passes through a variety of towns. In Mount Vernon, we would take turn north, leaving town on Ohio 13.
In one of these town along the way, we ran into something I had never seen before. We are all very familiar with the standard intersection controlled by a traffic light. We have also been around circular intersections, whether you call them rotaries or round abouts. One thing I had not seen, was both at the same intersection. We hadn't a clue of what the hell to do? Do you observe the laws of the rotary, or those of the traffic lights?
We didn't have any reason to avoid Fredicktown, but we turned onto Bryant Road, then Mount Gilead Road was is also designated Ohio 95. After crossing one the country's newer highways, Interstate 71, we arrived at Mount Gilead. We continued on 95 into the Marion, Ohio, home to the Comfort Inn that would be home for the night. It wasn't a bad hotel, and our window had the best view that the outdoor supply area of a Rural King can supply.
We took a short ride over to a sports bar for dinner, filled the tanks, and turned in for our last night on the road.