Monday, March 23, 2009

Top of the World

In Bellefontaine, Ohio you'll find a couple of Ohio treasures. The first concrete street in the US as well as what has been described as the shortest street in the US.

The latest treasure explored was Campbell Hill, the highest point in the Buckeye State. At 1549 feet above sea level, a small marker and a historical sign are what marks the top of the world in Ohio.

No, it's not like a beautiful snow capped mountain peak or as famous as Pikes Peak or the peaks in the state of Washington or Alaska. But it's the closest peak to me.

Campbell Hill is on the campus of the aptly named Hi-Point Career Center.

Scioto Endings

Last November a road trip took us to Auglaize County in western central Ohio to the origins of the Scioto River.

Saturday, our road trip took us to Portsmouth where the river empties and ends in the Ohio River.

The Scioto enters from the right center of the picture and joins the Ohio to flow under the bridge toward Cincinnati and finally to the Mississippi River.

It was a pretty early spring day (the second day of spring). We arrived in the early evening. The rush of the winter thaw had long since passed and both the Ohio and the Scioto were gently flowing. No swift currents were noted.

The new bridge that carries Route 23 across the Ohio into northern Kentucky is a beautiful marvel. Sort of reminds me of the bridge in Boston that crosses the Charles River and is used as a backdrop when politicians from that area are interviewed on the national cable infotainment shows.

We were also treated to a empty coal barge returning from one of the down river electric generation plants or possibly the coal dock in Cincinnati. It was swiftly moving up river possibly to be filled once again with coal from the Eastern Kentucky or Western West Virgina coal fields.

Olentangy Origins

The Olentangy River flows into Columbus from the north. It is fed from it's origin in Morrow County near the Richland County line and flows into Crawford County, the city of Galion, then back into Morrow County, Delaware County and finally Franklin County and Columbus where it empties into the Scioto River near downtown Columbus at Confluence Park.

Sunday we traced the river to what we believe is it's origin. Near the village of Blooming Grove, it appears the river begins as a combination of run off and possibly a spring in a farm field near Blooming Grove Road near Route 97. We believe the pool of water in the left of the photo is a spring, while the sunken area in the center of the photo is the beginning of the field run off.It crosses under Blooming Grove road and from there, it meanders in a mostly northern and western direction through farm fields and finally crosses under Route 97 as it heads toward Galion.

Finding the origins of rivers, since they are prominent landmarks in Columbus, is interesting in a different way. Earlier last fall, we found the marked origins of the Scioto River. We hope to one day to take the trip to Minnesota and find the origins of the Mississippi.