Mt. Olive Covered Bridge

Just a few miles down the road from my home sits one of my community’s four remaining covered bridges.

Mt. Olive Covered Bridge dates to 1875 but it has been closed to motor vehicle traffic for many years. The county engineer actually rerouted the road around it, preserving the historic structure for pedestrians to enjoy.

People pass by this bridge every day but probably don’t know some interesting things about it.

First of all, the bridge is located on Mt. Olive Road which is just a township road today but was once a major artery for travelers from Marietta to Chillicothe.

Also, it was designed and built by a local engineer named George Washington Pilcher who was considered one of the best in the region. He famously contributed to the construction of Manasseh Cutler Hall on the Ohio University campus.

At the time of construction, the area around this bridge was owned by a family named Grandstaff so some called it by that name for many years. When I ran the county visitors center I would occasionally encounter someone who called it the Grandstaff Bridge and it always made me smile.

Age and vandals had taken their toll by the early 2000s when the county received a grant to have it restored. As part of the project, the natural wood bridge was painted this very pretty green – a suggestion of my mother’s.

One more picture- this is my favorite image of the day.

Snow Day

We received a decent snowfall Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

I went down to the mailbox before work and got to enjoy the sunrise.

There were lots of tracks in the snow to enjoy along the way.

On a break from work, my dad gave me a lift to see this nearby covered bridge in the snow.

It was nice in the sun but frigid in the shade and when the wind blew. It’s nice to stay in and be cozy on a snowy winter day. That tea cup contains baked banana in case you wondered.

The birds ate hungrily from the feeder and the ground around it so Scout had an exhausting day keeping tabs on them through the window.

He hardly even had time for a nap!

A snowy day feels different to me. Quieter. Cozier. It makes me extra grateful for my warm home, pantry full of supplies and a desk by the window.

Tomorrow I’ll show you more pictures of the bridge.

Airport Art

Isn’t this pretty?

You see it when departing the John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio.

I was dying to get on a shuttle to my car but mosaics always catch my eye. The airport wasn’t at all busy so I had to snap a photo to share since there weren’t a bunch of people behind me.

It’s quite the gateway to our state!

Guernsey County Courthouse

Guernsey County has one of Ohio’s most beautiful courthouses. The sandstone building is enormous. It doesn’t just sit in downtown Cambridge, it presides over downtown.

They put on an incredible light show timed with music as part of their Dickens Christmas Victorian Village every year. I haven’t been in a long time and badly need to add this to my wish list for 2021.

If you go, it’s right on the National Road. There are some great shops downtown and good restaurants too including Theo’s Restaurant where there’s no vegetarian menu but a PIE list that will make you forget all about that! Salt Fork State Park is just outside of town and provides a wonderful backdrop for relaxation and recreation. Try the pizza at the lodge and if you go in summer spend a day at the beach.

A friend directs their tourism – she and her staff at the visitors center would love to hear from you. Oh, and if you go, be on the lookout for Bigfoot! They claim he lives there!!!

Clingman’s Dome

If you ever find yourself in the Great Smoky Mountains, be sure to stop by Clingman’s Dome. At an elevation of over 6,600 feet, it is the highest point in the national park and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail.

The observation tower was built in 1959 and resembles a concrete spaceship landed on top of a mountain. Odd as it seems, it provides a panoramic view of the area. On a clear day, you can see about a hundred miles.

So they say.

Sadly, I have been a few times but never had much of a view from the tower, thanks to air pollution. The highlight for me at this part of the park is the access to the Appalachian Trail.

It’s a nice section and the whole experience is a pleasant reminder that it’s better to get down on the trail where you’re close to nature than to stand on a man made pedestal of concrete and look at it.

Beautiful view, isn’t it?

If you go, there is ample parking and the trail to the observation tower is paved but it is rather steep. Consequently, it isn’t handicap accessible and if you have any kind of health or mobility problems, be sure to take it slow and rest if needed.

The road to this area of the park is scenic and offers some pull offs but it is closed during winter months.

Thinking about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains? It’s an interesting place as it offers plenty of room to get out and enjoy nature alone. There’s also a lot of trails and overlooks overpopulated with people and lots of tourist traps in the form of dinner theaters, shopping and museums.

Dolly Parton, the unofficial patron saint of Appalachia has her Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. Plus, Paula Deen, the patron saint of Butter has a nice restaurant there too. It has been a few years since my last trip down but I may trot out some of those stories if anyone is interested.