Sunday, November 20, 2005

Site to Visit - New Link

Got an e-mail on Sunday night from Mark Spearman about his site, Ohio Sights.

Ohio Sights has some beautiful photography on it! I'd strongly suggest that if you like what is going on on at Ohio County Project to head on over to Mark's page.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Am I a Liar?

Wow, so here I was telling Nanina in the comments on an earlier post, that this was going to be a good week to visit Ohio.


It was 75 degrees on Monday afternoon.

This afternoon, it will be lucky to hit 40.

And it snowed.

Sounds like a good night to kick-back and catch up on some of those county reports I'm missing from earlier this summer.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Licking/Muskingum County: Longaberger Homestead

The wife and I are establishing a ritual where we both take our Anniversary off and head off on a short little “honeymoon” trip.

Last year, we took a long weekend and spent it at the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and loved every minute of it. This year, with the new puppy, we didn’t feel right about taking off for a long weekend and leaving her.

So we elected to make the two hour drive east along State Route 37 to Licking County and Newark, Ohio.

We actually passed through Newark on 16 to the Longaberger Basket Company’s headquarters. The giant “basket” can be seen from at least a ¼-mile away and provided some interesting chatter. The corporate headquarters was not that exciting as they only allowed you to visit the downstairs.

The people at the front desk were very nice and quick to share a story about the building. The Cherry wood was cut down from where the Longaberger Golf Course sits and was milled in the company’s own mills. And the baskets’ handles weight 18 tons and are equipped with a special heating mechanism to keep them from allowing icicles to form that could fall through the glass ceiling on the building.

They also made it a point to share the experience that could be had at the Company’s homestead located about 15 miles east of Newark in Dresden (which actually lies in Muskingum County).

We took them up on the offer and made the easy 15 minute drive to the Homestead. Visiting on Halloween was a very good idea, as the place was nearly empty. The Homestead is set-up like a park – with a lot of gift shops. You enter and they have a “welcome station” with another smiling face – you see a lot of those – that gives you the explanation of the grounds and where everything is. It could easily take you 4-5 hours to get through everything. But don’t worry about getting hungry they even have two full-service restaurants on the grounds and numerous snack shops.

We saw the world’s largest basket of apples (photo right) and it was a big basket of “fake” apples. You could take a free walking tour of their basket making facilities and for only $59.99 you can weave your own basket, on the hour. Fortunately for me – and unfortunate for her – we got there about 11:05 and didn’t want to wait 55 minutes to make a basket. There are also several of the original buildings – and replicas of others – where the family got into the basket making process. There is a long building, nearly the entire front of the facility that lays out how you could use Longaberger in every room of your home – and you’d be surprised they also sell the stuff there. While most of it was of little interest to me, they did have some neat foods additives and sample sections in the kitchen section. They also provided entertainment in the “foyer” while we were there. The young lady singing was pretty good, singing a Shania Twain tune.

We left there with a couple of baskets – and $100 lighter – and considered our course of action. There was still the barn, memorial garden, and several other sites that we could examine before heading off into the sunset.

Unfortunately, we’d packed the day very full – wanting to go hiking, pick apples, and make it home in time for trick-or-treat.

We chose to continue our explorations another time and headed off to find our next destination -- which is another issue of "The Ohio County Project"!

If You Go: Be prepared to spend money. They offer some good freebies, but lots of Longaberger baskets and eventually most people have to buy one. This is in a very rural section of the state, so if you are not interested in eating at Longaberger, I’d suggest stopping at Ms. Miller’s Restaurant in Newark.

What’s Special: Nothing too special, for me. They were quick to point out that there are several baskets that you can only purchase at the Homestead. Sounds like an EBay project to me!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

It's all over...

The winter season appears to breathing down our neck.

This is one of the few trees on the block still with its leaves, in the light of a streetlamp.

With the way the wind is hitting the house this evening, I'm afraid our "solitary traveler" will soon join its friends in its winter coat.

One nice thing to the cold front, was that we had three deer walking across our back yard last night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm now an authority on Ohio?

Scary thought. But, I was browsing sites that link to Ohio County Project and, an ecological travel site, has included the Ohio County Project as one of only two sources for Ohio travel news with "Ohio Tourism" being the other.

You can check out Planeta:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ohio County Project -- The Plan

Change of seasons, change of plans.

My wife purchased me a beautiful Nikon D-70 camera for our Anniversary. It takes a lot better photos than my old HP point-and-click digital that I was using.

So with that I’m going to change the format of the Ohio County Project a bit, and for a couple of reasons.

First, There are some beautiful courthouses in Ohio, but I’m finding that after a dozen they all have very similar traits and items. Plus – despite living in one of the nation’s fastest growing counties – I’m a rural type guy. So going into downtown Mansfield and taking a photo has me wondering why? I’ve got the opportunity to head to beautiful Mohican State Forest, Malabar Farms, Gatton Rocks outside of Butler and instead I’m taking pictures of this “boring” building in downtown Mansfield.

So I’m no longer “tying” myself to simply putting the photo of the court house up.

This will also allow me to have a little more fun with the blog and the writing. I have a lot of updates to get on here and I’m hoping to make regular updates to the site and developing another side of my “story”

If you’re bored, take a moment and visit Connect2 OWU, it is a six-week old publication that we’ve created in the Office of Public Relations at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Falling into Winter

This was supposed to be such a beautiful time of year. The leaves turn their glorious colors and the Indian Summer gives beautiful days to enjoy the color.

Umm...somebody forgot to share that with the weatherman, and I don't mean the local one, you know that one upstairs.

We got our first killer frost on a Friday morning and the rain and wind came through that weekend and the majority of the leaves were gone. The ones that survived were gone this weekend with the 20 mile-per-hour gusts that visited Central Ohio after causing havoc on those poor people in Indiana.

The photo above is of our new puppy - Sadie Lynn - was an anniversary present for my wife and she joined us about three weeks ago and is now 10 weeks old. She wasn't too fond of the "cameraman" trying to get a cute picture of her with the pumpkin.