Morrow, Ohio, is this quaint small town with some historical character. It was laid out in 1845 and named after Ohio’s ninth governor, Jeremiah Morrow. The town was created when the Little Miami Railroad laid enough track alongside the Little Miami River to reach this spot.
Today, US 22/Ohio SR 3 passes through the town and intersects with Ohio SR 123. What was originally the rail line is now the Little Miami Recreation Trail, which starts near Cincinnati and ends in Springfield–74 miles of paved Rails to Trails.
I have always found this piece of Morrow fascinating. Although the depot is in very good shape, it does not appear to be used on a regular basis. It has aged well since being built about 1852. Originally, there were two rail lines meeting at this spot. The Little Miami Railroad on one side, and the Pennsylvania Line on the other, giving the building its odd shape. Careful observation reveals the Pennsylvania Line route including abutments for brides that no longer exist–something easily discovered while motorcycling near and around Morrow.
Speaking of motorcycling, the depot is a great place for a photo op. And across the street is Miranda’s Ice Cream Shop. That’s worth a stop too.
Some people travel the world to learn or experience new cultures. Some travel to find themselves. Some never leave home. But like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz said, “There’s no place like home.”
There is nothing wrong with expanding one’s horizons. It is good for the soul and personal growth, but what about exploring one’s own backyard? For me, it started with a presentation at a fly fishing club dinner meeting with a topic that renewed my interest of “rediscovering” the Little Miami River near my home.
The Little Miami Wild & Scenic River “has the distinction of being the first river in Ohio to be included in the National Wild & Scenic River System (1974), and the first to be added to the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program (1969).” Little Miami Conservancy.
Alongside the river is the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a Rails-to-Trail route that is 78 miles long and connects with other recreational trails.
I am sure that I am not alone in overlooking what is in my own backyard. We dream of places far away. Adventures into the unknown. Testing our limits. And yet, here is this incredible, river in my own backyard, and I want to know more about it. To enjoy its stream and the communities that it flows through. This is not a tall order, for it is truly in my backyard, just a hike down a hillside path through a nature preserve, or a quick drive down the road.
One of my favorite motorcycling roads follows the river, and I am always on the lookout for river access to wet a line with one of my fly rods. This year, I am going to spend more time fishing the river, and visiting the communities along its banks. Places like Clifton, Ohio, where the river passes through a spectacular gorge, and one can visit the Historic Clifton Mill for a meal and to step back in time. And then there is Yellow Springs, Xenia, Loveland and Milford, and others all ripe for exploration.
Maybe, just maybe, I will finally use one of the river canoe and kayak companies to canoe down the river. To see the wildlife and the river from a different perspective.
An incredible site to behold, even from the convenience of your home, is the Little Miami Conservancy Eagle Nest Cam. It is mesmerizing to see a pair of eagles build the nest, lay an egg or two and watch the chicks grow into maturity and then leave the nest after testing their wings. January is when it all begins.
This nest can be seen from the road along the river where I wander. It’s huge and most visible when the trees are barren of their leaves, but you have to know where to look.
Even though I have lived near this river for nearly 16 years, there is so much more I want to learn and experience. It’s going to be a rediscovery of my own backyard.
Who doesn’t like a good donut or two, pastries included? In my opinion, there are two uses for donuts. First, they are a delightful treat often bringing joy as that doughy delight hits the tongue for a little self-satisfaction. Second, donuts and pastries can be a valuable relationship-building tool for the benefit of friendships. Stay with me on this one.
I occasionally buy a coffee and donut for friends. It is a simple gesture to show appreciation for the friendship. I have also been known to show up with donuts at places of business that I frequent—mostly motorcycle shops. Also, very much appreciated. To me, it is appreciation for their friendship and for the work they do. The apple fritters seem to go over the best. My wife calls this act schmoozing, something she claims I do very well.
We have contracted to build two homes during our 37-year marriage, and both times, I went the extra mile with showing appreciation to the builders. I would show up with a box of donuts while the house was being framed. Then the plumbers and electricians. The drywallers too. In all, I think I invested about $100 of donuts each for both houses, and I still claim those investments resulted in a better built house. Why? Because the craftsmen felt appreciated. They weren’t building just another house, they were building a home for the guy that shows up with donuts! The builder of our home in northern Indiana became my best friend, and I mean best friend that lasted until he passed several years ago, and I still miss him.
I am not the only one that thinks donuts have more capability than just a doughy delight. Donuts, like other food and beverage items, can be the focus for tourism. For example, take a look at what the shops in Butler County, Ohio did.
Want a donut? You have to have a coffee or tea with that, and that’s why Butler County in Southwest Ohio county created the Donut Trail. Visit all the shops, get them stamped on your “Donut Trail Passport” and you get a free t-shirt. Makes you want to wander through Ohio, doesn’t it.
So, the next time you think you want a donut, maybe you should think about buying a donut for a friend. Show a little appreciation. Don’t forget to use the tissues.
See you on the highway … or maybe at a donut shop.
Wind in my face to a place of rest. A calmness comes over me, soothing, relaxing, restoring my soul. Quiet except for the sound of Spring. Birds chirping. A slight breeze blowing. Escaping the drama of the world, ending with wind in my face going home.
I have traveled down New Burlington Road many times while out for a leisurely ride on the motorcycle, and have passed this cemetery without much notice. But, the other day, I noticed and turned in to the New Burlington Cemetery, wondering what I might find on the hillside. Curiosity was my guide.
It appears that the cemetery began as the Jenkins family plot circa 1806. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 opened up the Northwest Territories and pioneers began settling the land now known as Ohio. Many old cemeteries began as family plots.
I pulled to the middle of the cemetery, noticing more recent burial plots and modern headstones. But there in the middle was an unexpected memorial. It was a tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who are buried there. The names on the list was extensive. Both sides of the memorial gave honor to those who served. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. I noticed that the U.S. Coast Guard was omitted, perhaps an innocent omission.
A cemetery that began in 1806 must certainly have an older section, and I found it at the very back in the corner of this peaceful piece of land.
I walked amongst the headstones looking at the records of birth and death. I also noticed the recognition of military service with the placement of small American Flags. Such is the final resting place of so many, and buried with them their family history.
I wandered back to my motorcycle, and rolled out of the cemetery pausing to take another picture of my curious adventure into history.