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Author Topic: Road trip report: County collecting in southern IN and eastern OH  (Read 188 times)

A.J. Bertin

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Road trip report: County collecting in southern IN and eastern OH
« on: September 26, 2020, 04:09:03 PM »

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a 3-day solo road trip which gave me the ability to finish off the remaining counties I needed in southern Indiana (6 counties) and eastern Ohio (9 counties). I thought I'd share a report from my trip. Overall, it went very well. I had beautiful weather all three days of the trip, and I was successful in getting the counties I needed without overextending myself.

Day 0 - The evening of Friday, September 18: Grand Rapids MI to Plymouth IN
Local roads in the Grand Rapids area -> I-196 west (then south when U.S. 31 joins up) -> I-94 west/U.S. 31 south -> U.S. 31 south -> local roads in Plymouth IN to my hotel for the night.

Not really much to report on here... this is a drive I've done many times over the years.  (This was my second time spending a night in Plymouth.)  The only thing of note that I can mention is that, at one point along southbound I-196/U.S. 31 near South Haven MI, there was a really bad accident on the opposite side of the freeway that looked like it could have resulted in at least one fatality.  All northbound traffic was diverted off the freeway at one point.  I wasn't impacted in any way by this, but I felt bad for whomever was involved that terrible-looking accident... and all the drivers who had to be diverted.

Day 1 - Saturday, September 19: Plymouth IN to New Albany IN
Local roads in Plymouth -> U.S. 31 south -> I-465 west then south -> I-70 west -> U.S. 231 south -> IN 46 east -> I-65 south -> U.S. 50 west -> U.S. 231 south -> IN 164 east -> IN 145 north -> IN 56 east -> IN 56/U.S. 150 east -> IN 56 east -> IN 135 south -> U.S. 150 east -> I-64 east -> local roads to my hotel in New Albany.

My new counties on Day 1 (all Indiana counties): Owen, Brown, Lawrence, Dubois, Orange, and Washington

I left Plymouth at around 7:15 or 7:30 a.m. and had a great day on the road overall.  I was minorly inconvenienced when I attempted to exit I-70 at U.S. 231 south because there was a detour which prevented me from taking U.S. 231 south after exiting I-70 west.  Not a huge deal, but I had to continue west on I-70 for another 4 miles, hop off, hop back on in the eastbound direction for the same 4 miles back, and then get off onto U.S. 231 south.  In a separate thread on AARoads (possibly the Road Trips board), someone mentioned that Brown County is kind of like Indiana's equivalent of Michigan's "up north".  I could see that.  It felt scenic and recreational.  At one point there was a very long convoy of motorcycles riding together (probably a few hundred) in the opposite direction along IN 46, accompanied by the police.  I didn't know what was about, but it was interesting.  For some reason, I rather liked passing through the Bloomington area along IN 46.  Southwestern Indiana is kinda pretty in spots.  I arrived at my hotel in New Albany at around 5:30 p.m. and had the evening to explore that area.

Day 2 - Sunday, September 20: New Albany IN to Marietta OH
Local streets in New Albany -> I-64 east -> I-71 north -> I-75 north -> I-275 east -> OH 32 east -> OH 160 south -> OH 325 south -> U.S. 35 east -> OH 7 north -> U.S. 33 north -> OH 13 north -> OH 37 east -> OH 60 south -> local streets in Marietta to my hotel.

My new counties on Day 2 (all Ohio counties): Jackson, Vinton, Gallia, Meigs, Perry, and Morgan

This was another great day on the road.  I left New Albany at around 7:45 a.m. and had a good drive overall.  A few weeks prior to taking this trip, I was reading about the terrible school bus accident that had occurred along I-71 near Carrollton KY back in 1988 and insisted on getting a photo of one of the signs along that stretch of I-71 commemorating that accident.  The signs commemorating that accident can be found on both sides of I-71 between milemarkers 40 and 41.  I was, of course, driving north, but I missed the sign, so I had to get off at the next exit (#43), backtrack the 9 miles in the opposite direction to the next exit (during which I got a good photo of the southbound sign), and then turned around and got a photo of the northbound sign as well.  I was a bit frustrated at the fact that it was 9 miles between those two exits, but no biggie really.  When I got to eastern Ohio, I enjoyed the sections of OH 32 that had little traffic and where it felt more like Appalachia.  Some of the rural two-lane state highways, especially OH 160, were really fun to drive with the hills, twists, and turns.  One town, in particular, that I stopped in for fuel and a snack was McConnelsville... a cute town along the Muskingum River.  I arrived at my hotel in Marietta at around 4 p.m., so I had plenty of time to check out that area.

Day 3 - Monday, September 21: Marietta OH to Grand Rapids MI
Local streets in Marietta -> OH 821 north -> OH 145 north -> OH 565 east -> OH 260 north -> OH 537 east -> OH 26 north -> OH 800 north -> I-70 west -> I-77 north -> U.S. 36 west -> OH 83 north -> OH 39 west/60 north-> OH 179 north -> OH 95 east -> OH 89 north -> U.S. 30 west -> U.S. 23 north -> OH 15 west -> I-75 north -> I-475/U.S. 23 north -> U.S. 23 north -> I-96 west -> local roads in Grand Rapids to my home.

My new counties on Day 3 (all Ohio counties): Monroe, Coshocton, and Holmes

I left Marietta at around 8 a.m.  I particularly enjoyed some of the narrow state routes northeast of Marietta... especially OH 821, OH 145, OH 565, OH 260, and OH 537.  Those roads were fun to drive.  Once I got up to U.S. 30, I knew I was in the home stretch because I'd been on that section of U.S. 30 before.  When I stopped at the rest area on U.S. 30 less than a mile west of the interchange with I-71, I estimated that I had about 5 more hours to go before I was home, and it turned out that my estimate was very close... I was within about 10 minutes.  The drive went smoothly, but the only thing I got tripped up on was something that happened when I made it to Upper Sandusky.  I wasn't looking closely enough at the map or at my piece of paper that had my route written on it, but I ended up incorrectly following the ramp for westbound U.S. 30 (on the northwest side of Upper Sandusky) rather than the ramp for northbound U.S. 23.  I knew I was eventually going to OH 15, which is something I'd done a few times in the past, but for whatever reason I was thinking I needed U.S. 30 to get to OH 15 instead of U.S. 23.  Not a big deal... I just got off at the next exit along westbound U.S. 30 and hopped back on in the other direction so I could pick up U.S. 23 north.  I eventually made it home in Grand Rapids at around 6 p.m.

I was glad I had the opportunity to take this trip!  I now have all the counties completed in Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Ohio.  For my next state to complete, I'm thinking either Wisconsin, Kentucky, or Pennsylvania... heavily leaning toward Wisconsin.  Maybe I'll be able to do that in 2021. :)
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-A.J. from Michigan

Flint1979

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Re: Road trip report: County collecting in southern IN and eastern OH
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2020, 05:41:09 PM »

I was probably one of the people that mentioned Brown County, Indiana being like an "up north" Michigan type feel. It was a conversation in a post that was mentioned by someone from Indiana but without looking I can't remember who and I agreed with him since I have clinched Brown County, Indiana already and loved it there. I remember someone else being confused about it and then it was explained.

When I was in Brown County I was on IN-46 coming out of Bloomington. I remember once I crossed into Monroe County I looked and Brown County was next so I put in a route to Nashville (Brown County seat) and was coming from Martinsville when I crossed into Monroe County on I-69. That is also the first time that I have driven on any part of the new I-69. I had spent the previous night in Cloverdale in Putnam County.

I think I've mentioned this before as well but I enjoyed the Yellowwood Forest and Brown County State Park two very scenic areas of Indiana. As far as a state highway in Indiana I think I agree that IN-62 is the most scenic highway in the state.
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A.J. Bertin

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Re: Road trip report: County collecting in southern IN and eastern OH
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2020, 10:06:55 PM »

I was probably one of the people that mentioned Brown County, Indiana being like an "up north" Michigan type feel. It was a conversation in a post that was mentioned by someone from Indiana but without looking I can't remember who and I agreed with him since I have clinched Brown County, Indiana already and loved it there. I remember someone else being confused about it and then it was explained.

Yeah that was me. :) I was confused about how Brown County could be like "up north" to people who live in Indianapolis when Brown County is due south of Indianapolis.  Then it was explained.
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Flint1979

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Re: Road trip report: County collecting in southern IN and eastern OH
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2020, 12:12:12 AM »

I was probably one of the people that mentioned Brown County, Indiana being like an "up north" Michigan type feel. It was a conversation in a post that was mentioned by someone from Indiana but without looking I can't remember who and I agreed with him since I have clinched Brown County, Indiana already and loved it there. I remember someone else being confused about it and then it was explained.

Yeah that was me. :) I was confused about how Brown County could be like "up north" to people who live in Indianapolis when Brown County is due south of Indianapolis.  Then it was explained.
It really does have the feel of an up north Michigan county and so far I think it's the most scenic county in Indiana I've been in. I still have 10 counties to go which are all in the southwestern part of the state and I'm planning on getting that done soon. But yeah I agree with the statement that Brown County has that feel.

I liked the area over by Switzerland and Ohio counties too in Indiana.
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