On the Towpath Trail, a few points further north

Between assignments today, I managed to squeeze in a little time to hit the bike trails. Spring seems to be in full swing, finally. Everything is green and vibrant, the air is thick with pollen and the scent of flowers. The taller trees have not yet filled in, which gives the lower-lying stuff a chance to soak up some sun before the trees start to shade in. All part of nature’s brilliant “design.” (By design, I mean the plants that could sprout early, withstand early spring frosts then gather enough nutrition in partial or mostly shade of summer forests, evolved into denizens of forested areas. Take ferns, for example. Or flowers found exclusively in swamps.)

Yup, it's a red barn, all right.

I took a little different stretch of the Towpath for a little variety. Nice change of pace, some interesting sights (I could have shot more, but this is a start). These photos were shot between mile markers 18 and 23. I started in Peninsula around mile 23 then turned around a little past 18. My endurance is improving, but I’m not ready for a 40-mile trek. That’s my goal. I know, I’m a piker compared to the maniacs who finished the TOSRV (Tour of the Scioto River Valley) a few weeks ago, logging more than 100 miles each way. Still, it’s better than nothing. I felt the heat a little bit as temps crept up toward 80 today. I remember living in South Carolina and looking forward to a “cool spell” in the 80s. But today was nearly perfect. Definitely worth the effort.

Tree-on-tree violence.

And now for some video. Actually it’s the audio part that’s more rewarding. Too bad it’s not in stereo.

This is a part of the old Jaite paper mill. It was built in 1905 and closed in 1984, according to a sign posted nearby. Most of the building was demolished in 2006 to eliminate contamination. The plant used to make multi-walled bags for cement mix.

Another part of the paper mill. This mill's primary product was layered paper sacks that held cement mix. Like the stuff you buy at Home Depot or Lowe's.

This is the first of two shots of a particularly dramatic series of turns in the "Crooked River" along the Towpath. My camera did not have a wide-enough angle lens (or I didn't have far enough back to stand) to capture the full curvature. So you'll have to imagine placing this and the photo below next to each other and maybe canceling some overlap.

This is the right side, part 2, of mega-panoramic view of the u-turn the river took at this spot. Put this and the photo above next to each other and you have an idea or the dramatic series of turns.

This particularly swampy expanse is somewhere near mile marker 20 (I think) along the Towpath.

This is a remnant of Lock 33. Known locally as the Wallace Lock, it was surrounded by farmland, while most locks had some sort of commerce sprout up around them – hotels, stores, etc. These days the Towpath attracts gift shops, restaurants and bike shops. Or preserved locks. Some of them have (obviously) new concrete sections. I think they detract from the look.

Bonus!

This image comes from one of the assignments I chased down today:

This was not shot in the valley. This is actually a deer I spotted on land that is about to become a Walmart in Copley Township. They're going to drain wetlands to build a Walmart and Sam's Club, replacing one that's probably less than a mile away. The Ohio EPA just approved plans to develop "mitigating" land to make up for the lost wetlands. Nobody asked me, but I think it's a dumb plan that benefits nobody. And this particular deer is screwed. Not that there aren't too many deer around here already, but that's another issue ...

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