Southern Ohio, Mid-October
From the very heart of downtown Cleveland, running southward through the state, to the eastern fringe of Marietta — Ohio's oldest city — the winding expressway ribbons of Interstate Highway 77 bend and roll through the foothills of Appalachia. This highway route provides direct access from Cleveland to such southern destinations as Charleston, WV, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Jacksonville, FL.
Begin this journey beneath the big sign of Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians, and enter the snakes' nest of on- and off-ramps, merge and exit lanes to move toward Cleveland's southern suburbs. After a short while, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Garfield Heights, Macedonia, Independence, Bath, and eventually Akron fade in the rear-view mirror. Akron-Canton Regional Airport whizzes past and the city of Canton approaches. Soon, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with it's iconic and distinctive football-shaped memorial hall passes on the right. One then reaches Navarre, and urbanized Northeastern Ohio fades.
Continuing along this route, one next traverses the remaining agricultural fields and dairy farms of exurban and rural Ohio. The terrain increasingly trades its flatness for gentle rising swells and broad valleys. You are now paralleling much of the Ohio and Erie Canalway of the 1800s, long since abandoned for rail and doubled bands of asphalt. Slopes and peaks are peppered with family farms, tending varied crops and scatterings of livestock, as they have since settlement in the first decades of the 19th Century.
Slowly the blanketed hills of dun and ochre and rust and viridian give way to ever-encroaching stands of timber. Steeper terrain fosters dense stands of deciduous and evergreen, fighting the farmers' efforts to clear the land. These regions are much more likely to foster coal or gas extraction or timber farming or syrup production than livestock, dairy or crops.
As one moves farther and farther south, one passes the turn-offs west toward Columbus and east toward the casinos of West Virginia's northernmost cusp. Steel and coal country lies to the east and increasingly to the south. There are no large cities along this stretch of road. Dover and Cambridge and Athens lie this way and that, close enough to sense but not necessarily to see. One is left to enjoy the colorful changing and relatively unbroken scenery of Southern Ohio's wooded rolling hills in mid-October, from New Philadelphia to Marietta.
Each arcing bend of the highway presents another vista, another hillock or mound or rising slope layered in multi-colored trees running to the horizon. Reds and purples and oranges and limes and browns and deep dark greens compete for attention, dazzling the eyes. Yes, it is prime leaf-peeping season, when each unfolding panorama is every bit as interesting as the last.
Presented here for you is a selection of views of the striking fall raiment of the Buckeye State's southerly reaches.
- Charming Marietta, Ohio
Main street in a small Midwestern community In 1783, by means of the Treaty of Paris, the young United States acquired the Northwest Territory, a broad swath of Midwestern North America lying north and west of the Ohio River. That Northwest...
- Cleveland: A Cluster of Communities
Cleveland and some of its surrounding communities I was born into Cleveland, Ohio when it was one of the nation’s ten largest cities, as its urban population peaked at almost 915,000, and the city had been named an All-America City for the first...
- Ohio: Home of the Buckeye!
Native Ohio flora It’s not for nothing that Ohio, that Midwestern state positioned along the southern shore of the Great Lake of Erie, is nicknamed The Buckeye State. For Aesculus glabra — more commonly known as the Ohio buckeye, the American...
- Tour Cleveland's lakefront (and riverfront)
Cleveland Browns Stadium You might start your tour of Cleveland's lakefront (and riverfront) at the foot of West 3rd Street where it meets Lake Erie — well, almost, anyway. There you'll find Cleveland Browns Stadium, among a cluster of other fine...
- The Terminal Tower: A Cleveland Landmark
The Terminal Tower's distinctive cap in the Cleveland skyline As Cleveland continues to struggle with its identity and future, one landmark remains unchanged. Since its completion 80 years ago, the grand...
- Cleveland's Public Auditorium
Cleveland's Public Auditorium Situated in the heart of Cleveland’s business district is a concert venue that has hosted such royalty of rock as Queen, The Beatles, R.E.M. and Madonna. At its opening in 1922,...
- Cleveland's Justice Center
Cleveland's Justice CenterOntario Street & Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio Lakeside Ave E & Ontario St, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA The City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Justice Center is a substantial development in neo-Brutalist...
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