Road Trip


On a recent road trip I had the misfortune of having to drive through a large portion of Ohio. Ohio, the boring state. State motto: We’re bored and we want you to be too. Ohio starts right out by sticking it to you on the highway. There’s a big, flat highway with nothing else around, hardly any traffic, and the speed limit is 65. Yup. Ohioans feel that if they have to live here, they’re going to make anyone passing through feel like they live here too. Why hurry anyway? It’s not like there’s anything else to see farther along on your trip. Just massive expanses of flat boring land. The most beautiful thing I saw in the entire state was a wind farm. Surprisingly picturesque, it stretched out for miles across the otherwise dreary farmland, windmill blades as big as semis twirling in the wind.

But, I digress. Though geographically a boring state, Ohioans have done their best to make their state more interesting. First, by giving their cities and towns interesting names. Uniopololis. West Milton (no doubt populated by stapler-bearing nerds.) Wapakoneta. Lima. Van Wert. Delphos. Ottoville. Dayton (just one letter shy of being Daytona. How different it might have been, had they added that “a.”)

Ohioans know that their state is not all that fun. No enticing sandy beaches, except for that little part along Lake Erie in Cleveland, which doesn’t really count. No mountains, except near the bottom, when you’re almost ready to leave. So Ohioans made a reason for people to come: Ohio is the museum state. There is a museum to just about anything in Ohio. The Neil Armstrong museums. The Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wright-Patterson Air force Base. The Christmas Story House. Yes, a museum dedicated to the movie “A Christmas Story.” The Bicycle Museum of America. Hey, that’s one I should probably go to. Butch’s Cola Museum. The Museum of Postal History. Dr. Bob’s Home. The list is endless. Who wouldn’t want to go to Ohio now?

Besides, Ohio is not all flat roads and odd museums. Finally, when you think you can’t stand it anymore, there’s Cincinnati. Nestled between hills in a scenic valley, old row houses undergoing gentrification speckle the hillsides. Skyscrapers juxtaposed with old brick storefronts. So many factories billowing white puffs from their smokestacks that you’d think we had a new pope.

So, give Ohio a chance. After all, you have to drive back through it to get home anyway. Let’s put the “OH” back in Ohio. Oh wait, I guess it never left.

 © Huffygirl 2011

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19 thoughts on “Road Trip

  1. Funny post. I had never been to Ohio until I met my fiance and its his hometown. We’ll be flying there soon for Christmas and it is costing an astronomical amount. Every time I think about it, I tell him that I can’t believe it is costing that much to fly to CLEVELAND! In the WINTER! Somewhere warm and tropical, fine. But just Ohio. Oh well, it’s his home, so there we go!

    • If you’re spending a lot on a trip, it’s definitely a downer to spend it on going somewhere cold and boring, over warm and fun. But hey, growing up in Ohio is what made him who he is today!

  2. I know what you mean. I travel through OHIO everytime I take a trip to and from Michigan. Where are the windmills? I go through on 75, although not since April 2010. I have seen scenes like that though in California and a couple states on the drive back along the Southern route. Really cool.

  3. We love south central and southeast Ohio. But, like you said, you’re almost somewhere else at that point.

    Also, northern Ohio, about 30-40 miles south of the Sandusky area, is full of charming little towns.

    But the highways are giant yawns.

    • Yes, perhaps I’ve not given Ohio a fair shake. If we had gotten off the highway, it might have been a more pleasant experience. But that doesn’t get you to where you need to go.

  4. Loved this post! I especially loved Ohio’s state motto. Too funny! My husband and his family are from Ohio and every time we went to visit, it was in the winter. Gray skies galore. I couldn’t stand it. The people are nice, though, and many, many of them are very creative. I guess that goes with living in a dull, cold, gray place—you stay indoors and shear sheep, spin yarn and then knit pretty things. Michael said, “it’s only gray because of the lake effect.” I say back, “whatever.” 😉

    • Thanks Cindy. I know it’s a fine line between poking fun at Ohio and offending Ohioans, so I hope I struck the right balance. I do have to admit thought that on both drives through this weekend, at least it was sunny and not gray. The sun does shine on Ohio after all, just not when you are there.

  5. Beautiful windmill photos! The dusting of snow on the ground is pretty too. I’ve never been through Ohio, but if it’s that flat I’d have to stop at a few of the museums. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sounds interesting.

    • Thanks Theresa. The windmills really were a stunning sight to see. One good thing about Ohio is that you have to drive through it to get to many other places, so if you actually WANT to go there, it may be on your way to something else anyway.

  6. I grew up in Indiana and my husband, son and I lived for many years in Pennsylvania. On our first trip to see my folks that my son was old enough to comment on the trip, about an hour into Ohio – though he was always a great traveler – he looked away from his out-the-window view and said with frustration, “There’s too much corn!” I said, “Welcome to the Midwest. There’s plenty more corn to come. Maybe some soybeans.” (I might not have said it quite like that, but it’s what I meant 🙂 )

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