No Vacancy

Once upon a time, the nation was not crisscrossed with interstate highways. Instead, roads like the National Road were the routes you took to get places. As such, there were plenty of motels, truck stops and diners for the weary traveler to stop and take a load off for a meal or for the night.

The construction of I-70 to parallel the National Road all but killed businesses and towns along this route. There are still a number of interesting things to see and do along this road and nothing makes my heart sing quite like going out to find them.

I have traveled it through all of Indiana, Ohio and part of Pennsylvania. One of these days I’m going to see the whole thing.

Meanwhile here’s an old motel near Norwich, Ohio. The Siesta Motel dates to the fifties. It’s been closed for a while but the sign is still fantastic.

You might see it if you visit John Glenn’s home place in New Concord (which I just realized I haven’t told you about) or the National Road Zane Grey Museum.

South Denmark Road Covered Bridge

Last month’s road trip to Jamestown, New York was topped off by a day of rambling around Ashtabula County, Ohio looking at covered bridges.

They have nineteen covered bridges including the longest in America. Some are along main highways and others a little further off the path but all are easy to find thanks to a driving tour. It takes about a day to hit them all but I didn’t want to devote my entire day to this endeavor so I made my own abbreviated tour.

The bridge above is the South Denmark Road covered bridge which was built in 1890. The design is called town lattice. Here’s the view from the window.

It’s 81 feet long and was bypassed with a new bridge in 1975. The cool thing is that you can still drive the original road through the bridge if you wish. If you’re a covered bridge nerd it’s a dream come true to veer off the highway to slowly motor through while the rest of the world zooms by.

Check back. I’ll show you more bridges soon!