Plain Folk Café, Ohio SR 132


How many times have you traveled down a two-lane highway, passing through a small town, and come upon a place on the side of the road that looks so inviting? You stop, or maybe pass by saying, ‘I’ll stop next time.’

The Plain Folk Café in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, is one of those places. Giving rebirth to the two-room school house, built in 1913, the café serves up coffee, meals and music.


The walls, lined with album covers and musical venues, remind one of the former days when patrons wore tie-dyed shirts and drove VW vans. It’s a little bit of nostalgia, and a little bit modern with the free wifi. About half of those album covers are very familiar, for they reside at my home protecting the vinyl LPs inside.


After passing by so many times, thinking I will stop next time, today was the day I stopped. I’m glad I did. I’ll be back.


Ohio River at New Richmond

Recently, the Ohio River was near flood stage. It has gone down quite a bit. Here in New Richmond, southeast of Cincinnati, flood stage is at 52’ the same as Cincinnati. You can see on the flood stage marker how high 52’ is, and almost detect the recent waterline mark. That’s a lot of water.


See you on the highway.


Visiting a special place

Destinations can offer up plenty of activities and things to do, but sometimes, all you want is a place to sit.


In downtown St. Joseph, Michigan, which sits at the mouth of the St. Joseph River on Lake Michigan, city leaders were wise enough to preserve the bluff overlooking the lake in a park like setting. Below the bluff, there is some development, but also the greatest asset of the city, Lake Michigan and its beaches.

On the bluff, there is an opening in the trees with a park swing facing the lake. It is the best, uninhibited view of the lake. You can sit and feel the breeze come in off the lake full of the aroma of a large body of water. It’s a sweetness like no other.

Sailboats and fishing boats make their way out the protection of the river into the lake past the St. Joe Lighthouse. It is very calming, relaxing, and near euphoric. Cost of parking: 10 minutes or more of driving around waiting for a spot. Cost of sitting in the park overlooking the lake: nothing. Value of the moment: priceless.

See you on the highway.


Rails to Trails through the countryside


There was a time when people feared the conversion of abandoned railroad beds into bicycle and walking paths. The fear was that crime would increase. Adjoining properties would be impacted by lower property values. How wrong were those naysayers.


Photo: Little Miami Recreational Trail, Morrow, Ohio. The LMRT is 75 miles long connecting multiple small and larger cities—all paved.