The OTET . Day 4

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Millersburg, Ohio to Centerburg, Ohio . 54.5m

Across the street from the Hotel is a Carriage Connector Trail that leads you straight to the Holmes County/OTET. The morning is early as we begin to watch another day unfold. Daylight quickly creeps upon us as we approach the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area and onward to the small town of Killbuck. Here we have an 8m stretch of road making our way to the village of Glenmont where the OTET once again connects you to the Holmes County Trail.

Taking a small break in Glenmont, Ohio…

Outside of Glenmont, this newer section of the Holmes County/OTET, begins with a slow gradual climb for approximately two miles before the short steep climb up to the Baddow Pass, through a tunnel under US 62 and onward to the Bridge of Dreams.

Riding through the Bridge of Dreams, this 370 foot covered bridge crosses the Mohican River. It was originally built in the 1920’s as a railroad bridge, and was covered in 1998. It is the second longest covered bridge in Ohio and the third longest covered bridge in the United States.

Soon we follow the Mohican Valley Trail for 4 miles into the village of Danville where a street route takes us to the Kokosing Gap/OTET. The Kokosing Gap Trail is a paved 14 mile recreational trail built on a former Pennsylvania Railroad.

Between the villages of Howard and Mt Vernon, we ride beside the Kokosing River. Kokosing translates roughly to “River of Little Owls”.. We didn’t see any owls today…

Stone bridges are the most durable and strong bridge type. The Stone Arch at Howard, Ohio is no exception. Built in 1874, this arch bridge is for U.S. Route 36 which travels over the old Cleveland, Mt. Vernon, and Delaware Railroad bed. We take a nice lunch break here.

We enter the city of Mt Vernon and after some street riding we join the Heart of Ohio/OTET. The Heart of Ohio Trail begins at the beautifully restored Cleveland, Akron & Columbus (CA&C) Railroad Depot, which dates back to 1907. 

One of the most unique vantage points in Mount Vernon, Ohio is the Rastin Observation Tower at Ariel-Foundation Park.

The observation tower is a steel, spiral staircase that coils around the tallest structure in Knox County, PPG’s industrial smoke stack built in 1951. The historical chimney served Pittsburg Plate Glass (PPG), from 1951 until its closing in 1979 and was constructed of reinforced concrete by the Slip Form Method.

The former Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company’s Mount Vernon plant sits on seventy acres which opened in 1907 and was operated by PPG, or through one of its divisions, until 1976. Abandoned and scheduled to be demolished, this site was recovered and is now the home to the Ariel-Foundation Park. A park I would like to visit again someday and take more time exploring the grounds.

Riding through the Ariel-Foundation Park are many earthen terraces.

Today was a re-supply day for us when we reached the half-way point of the Ohio to Erie Trail in Centerburg, Ohio. A week earlier we had compiled four days worth of food for each of us and mailed it out to ourselves for pickup at the Centerburg Post Office. Before arriving, we knew already that we did not have any plans of where to tent for the night.

The PO clerk was very helpful in filling our water bottles, throwing away our trash and helping us to pack up our items we were shipping back home! We had gathered those gear items earlier and had them ready to be boxed and shipped. The PO is open till 4:30pm and it was already after 4:00. Like any re-supply box you pick up…you quickly get the new food items packed to go and the 4.56 pounds you are shipping home done, done and done!

Having backpacked extensively over the last several years, it is common for me to find a church and tent behind it..I went back inside the PO one last time to inquire about any local churches close to the OTET. The clerk again was helpful in suggesting a large church about a half mile away and close to the trail. Now I’m not one to just stealth camp anymore in some locations. I will always call or contact someone from said church to ask permission first. While I walked the grounds scouting out tenting possibilities, I mentioned to Linda to keep an eye out for anyone leaving or entering the building. Just then, a old pickup truck drove up to where Linda was standing and she asked if it would be ok…he then went in and asked the pastor and came back out and said, “Go for it”…

Awesome! This church has a large property with swaying pine trees, a playground and a picnic shelter. We opted for the shelter where the morning dew would not soak our tents and we could sit and eat at the tables.

We are thankful for God’s provision each and every day…and as I was scouting…I was praying. Thank you Father for answered prayers.

Full of gratitude,

Yvonne

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