Category Archives: day trip

Driving into the Ohio Covered Bridges Scene.

Spending so much time in the Midwest, it’s kind of remarkable that covered bridges and I have never crossed paths. That changed recently as I drived (dived) into the covered bridges scene while roaming around the extremely rural roads of north-central Ohio.

My first stop was the Parker Covered Bridge just north of Upper Sandusky. Getting there involved going onto one remote county and township road after another, each one usually less kept up than the last. I actually didn’t see another car or person either to or from the bridge once I got off the main highway.

Wyandot County, Ohio, rural country road

Upon arriving at the bridge I quickly realized many were one way and built back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

The Parker Covered Bridge, a part of Township Road 40, was originally built-in 1873 by J.C. Davis and spans 172-feet over the Sandusky River. It is one of two bridges in the county on the National Register of Historic Places.

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

I turned around to look back at the countryside route that brought me here and then walked through the wooden bridge to checkout the other side. Some say these bridges were built and covered so that horses wouldn’t here the river underneath and be scared to cross.

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

About fifteen miles away sits the other covered bridge in Wyandot County that is historically registered, the Swartz Covered Bridge. I was out on the open road approaching the bridge along County Road 130A.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

This covered bridge also sits over the Sandusky River, being originally built-in 1878 by Moses Weymouth. The average daily traffic in the 1970’s was just over hundred. The fact that no cars went by while I was there leads me to believe that the people passing through is still minimal.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Shot overlooking the Sandusky River. Due to the recent snow meltage, lots of rain, the muddy waters and nothing blooming yet, didn’t really check out the riverfront at either stop. 🙂

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio, Sandusky River

Covered bridges definitely bleed romance. I don’t know if it’s the river that flows underneath, the history behind them, the remoteness and privacy of the timber built structures or the surrounding colors of Spring and Autumn (which I need to see), it’s just a beautiful scene up close. Besides romance, back in the day they were also used for meetings, rallies and dances.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

This covered bridge, like the one before, naturally has a weight limit due to how it’s constructed.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

I look forward to uncovering more historic covered bridges in the future. Look how many this map of Ohio highlights! The Buckeye State is only second to Pennsylvania.

Any recommendations on covered bridges to checkout in Ohio, the Midwest and beyond?

Photo of the Week: The Alaskan Open Road.

What being out on the open road in Juneau, Alaska heading towards Mendenhall Valley looks like. The greenery, mountains, blue sky and lack of traffic on the Glacier Highway (Egan Drive, Alaska Route 7) made for a scenic ride as I looked back.

Juneau, Alaska road trip

Out on the Open Road in Rural Ohio.

This past weekend I spent some time out on the open road in rural Ohio between Findlay and Tiffin. It was cold and wintery and the road was pretty quiet as I drove past farms and fields. It was the calm before the storm, as another major snow event was descending on the Midwestern US. I stopped alongside the road and even on the road, as there was no traffic, at various points to capture some of the scene. Another day, another fun road trip!

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Road Trip, rural, country Ohio

Thinking Romance Walking the Lakeshore in Cleveland.

Every time I’m in Cleveland, usually once a season, I gravitate towards Edgewater Park which sits just west of downtown. This week was no exception. I made a stop there right before sunset on a cold, wintry day. Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, was there to greet me front and center. No land as far as the eye can see.

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

The pier was closed, but makes for a great spot for hanging out, chasing pigeons and soaking in the views in the warmer months. More on this in a moment. 🙂

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

I slowly starting walking along the frozen lake, changing my view-point from due north to east. Two things were starting to come into view.

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Straight ahead now was an open snowy path and the Cleveland skyline! I was out on the open trail towards downtown.

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Due to the amount of snow in the Midwest this season I didn’t get very far as the snow pack was deep. That didn’t stop me from just standing there and taking the scenery in though.

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

After a little bit it was getting closer to sunset so I turned to the west and was greeted with something beautiful.

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio, dusk, sunset

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio, dusk, sunset

Edgewater Park, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio, dusk, sunset

Back to the pier, this park makes me smile even more, because it’s where I fell in love with the love of my life. A few years back we were in the initial dating stage, hanging out at the park. She was busy chasing some of the aforementioned pigeons off the pier. I was watching her in action and I thought to myself for the first time, “I am falling in love with this girl”. 🙂

Edgewater Park pier, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Now wonder I keep coming back here. It’s not all about travel and scenery at this spot along Lake Erie, but romance too. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Are there any memorable parks, trails or spots along the water that you have spent time in around home or in your travels?

Instagraming My Coffee Consumption in the Buckeye Capital.

On an early morning recently during the holiday season I decided to take a day road trip and coffee shop hop in Columbus, Ohio. While there I Instagramed my coffee consumption in the Buckeye state capital.

My first stop, in the early morning, was at Yeah Me, Too in the Clintonville neighborhood. Their store front is simple with the one word that will always grab my attention. Coffee! I grabbed a coffee to-go which is the norm there. They are cash only and there is no wi-fi or indoor seating. They have a menu of one: french press coffee, hot or cold, large or small. Very simple and yet very good. Was a great way to get the day started. The place to go to grab a coffee on the way to work. 🙂

Yeah, Me Too, coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

It was time to go to a place with atmosphere within to do some travel writing. There isn’t a better place in town for that then Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in the Grandview Heights neighborhood. Upon entering you’ll notice their space is divided evenly between a cafe and a retail storefront, both offering plenty of seating options. For coffee, I went with appropriately named “The Buckeye”. Peanut butter and chocolate coffee deliciousness.

The Buckeye coffee, Stauf's, coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

The place was hopping with locals, people on their laptops and holiday shoppers. I setup my #coffice in the retail store front and soaked in the holiday atmosphere. Along with my coffee beverage, I bought some beans from amongst the dozens of choices. The customer service throughout my stay there was exceptional, offering me tips on the best beans and coffee to get based on my interests. 🙂

Tip: The place fills up fast and there are not a lot of outlets, so if you’re looking to get work done, get there early. Their wi-fi is great even with the traffic.

Stauf's coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

Right after lunch I moved right down the street, staying within the Grandview Heights neighborhood, to Luck Bros’ Coffee House. It’s off the beaten path and provides a quieter alternative to Stauf’s. It little longer to get my pour over, but that was because of the great care they took in making an individualized coffee. I enjoyed the Guatemala Pour Over while also checking out the neighborhood right outside. Each person there made sure I was satisfied with my coffee choice.

The perfect true neighborhood coffee stop I found on this day. It’s where I would go to read the Sunday morning paper and relax. 🙂

Luck Bros Coffee House, Columbus, Ohio

Whenever traveling, no matter the itinerary, I always seem to wind up somewhere random and unplanned. This day was no exception. Later in the afternoon I decided to take a coffee break and visit the foodie paradise known as North Market. Whether buying food for home or looking for something local to eat, this market in the Short North section of town is the place to be. Passing one delicious food stand after another I wound up at, surprise, surprise, a coffee shop stand within the market called A Touch of Earth. The java and I always seem to find each other.

A Touch Of Earth, North Market, Columbus, Ohio

I sat on a stool at the counter and went seasonal enjoying a Pumpkin Cappuccino while people watching. Lots of conversion was also had with the baristas about coffee, the market, the weather and whatever else was going on that day. Other customers were ordering pumpkin and other various types of lattes. Something for next time! You’ll also find a good loose tea selection along with chocolates, candy and other snacks.

Pumpkin Cappaccuino, A Touch Of Earth, North Market, Columbus, Ohio,

Throughout the year of 2013 my goal was to visit one-hundred non-chain independent coffee shops. My last stop of the day in Columbus happened to be stop #100 for the year. Cafe Brioso was the lucky spot right in the heart of Downtown. The lucky drink was the Ohio Maple Latte, just one of the many unique coffee drinks on the menu. A delicious way to complete the day and year in coffee drinking.

Ohio Maple Latte, Cafe Brioso, Columbus, Ohio

I sat on a stool looking out into downtown, watching business people come-and-go. During my stay at Cafe Brioso I also had my eye on the bags of beans that were just outside the door. You better not leave anything coffee related unattended around me haha! 🙂

When Cafe Brioso is brought up, their salads and lunch are often mentioned, along with coffee. I should start a series on the food of coffee shops. Hmmm. I consumed food from home on this day.

Cafe Brioso, Columbus, Ohio

The evening rush was beginning and it was getting darker outside, so it was a good time stop the coffee flow and start the several hour drive back home. Of course I would have no issues staying awake with the amount of caffeine consumption.

It was a great day in the Buckeye state capital and I look forward to getting back and exploring more of their thriving coffee scene.

Columbus, Ohio coffee shops

Any coffee shop recommendations in Columbus or through out the state of Ohio? What cities would you say are coffee shop hopping worthy that you have come across in your travels?