Sunday, November 16, 2008
If you live in Columbus, Ohio you readily recognize one of the major features of the region. The Scioto River meanders through the area.
For most people, in their minds it begins at the Columbus Zoo and courses through downtown Columbus. In places, it is deep and wide enough for boating and skiing. Downtown, the Riverfront is being primed to become a focal point for daytime and evening activities.
Yet few people realize that most rivers, whether mighty and wide or simply as large bodies of water begin as a trickle somewhere many miles upstream.
Today we journeyed to the headwaters of the Scioto River on the Hardin/Auglaize County line. We arrived just before sunset on a chilly and blustery November Sunday. The sky was a dull gray. So gray the navy could hide destroyers and battle cruisers in the sky if needed. We experienced the evidence of winter earlier in the trip while driving through the high point in Ohio, Bellefontaine. That area had a thorough dusting of snow. A noticeable chill was in the air.
The river, according to a sing begins as a small drainage ditch in a farm field. Although the sign claims it marks the beginnings of the river, the ditch continues for some distance back into the field. I'm not sure whether the sign marks the official point where the river begins or it's placed there to satisfy those of us who are curious.
There is a farm road that runs parallel with the ditch/river. We attempted to drive the road, but the past few days have been rainy and the road, while appearing solid had a soft and slimy mud covering on the surface. After traveling what seemed to be almost a mile, I decided to turn around.
The ditch/river didn't seem to be getting smaller and the slimy mud coating on the farm road surface began to become deeper and slipperier as we traveled. I had no desire to get stuck in the middle of a farm lane and Diana was getting impatient with the journey. It was a combination of dinner time and fear of getting stuck. Since the journey to the area is not that far, I decided to wait on better conditions to follow the ditch/river to it's initial trickle.
The last official state sign that memorializes the river is on a bridge on State Route 385 about 1/2 mile away from where the marking sign above is located. While this isn't the first time we've been to the area, this is the first time we've seen the sign in the pictures above.
We've been to other river origins. Like the Olentangy, the Great Miami, the Wabash and the Sandusky. Each have there own unique places of beginning. In later entries, we'll try to capture so photos and post what we note.