I was born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio. I never liked it much while I was growing up, and couldn't wait to move away for college. After being gone for several years, it is nice to be back in town and around all the familiar things that I used to take for granted. For one thing, I missed how scenic southeastern Ohio is. The Chicago suburbs are a flat concrete jungle, with every big box store you can imagine crammed into each square mile. I missed the rolling hills, green landscape, and yes, occasionally the cows and horses. I also missed the "mom and pop" businesses and the general sense of hometown pride. Since tomorrow is our last day in town, Daniel and I wanted to do something different today. We decided to become tourists in our own town. The first stop was the Y-bridge. For those who are not familiar, it is a y-shaped bridge that spans the Muskingum and Licking rivers in downtown Zanesville. It is the only bridge of its kind that is in use in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I have driven over the Y-bridge thousands of times, but never stopped to take a picture before today. We went to the top of the hill at Putnam Park and spent some time looking over the city.
The next stop on our tour was to the Longaberger headquarters to see the "big basket". Longaberger baskets are a Southeastern Ohio staple. The locally owned company manufactures handmade wood baskets and is a major employer in the area. Expensive baskets are not quite my thing, but the architecture of the headquarters is impressive. Though technically located in Newark, the basket is a must-see on a Zanesville tourist adventure. I stood next to the basket for scale; can you find me in the picture?
The last stop on our tour was Blackhand Gorge, a state park with a sandstone formation that the Licking River flows through. It is located midway between Newark and Zanesville, and is the perfect place to have a picnic or go for a walk. We didn't stray too far from the main path today since the poison ivy was out in full force, but we were still able to take in some great views. According to my father-in-law, it is a hidden gem.
You can see more of our pictures from today on flickr.
The icing on the cake for us was being on the local news last week. A lot of people have found out about our trip, and WHIZ offered to interview us about it. We aired on both the six and eleven o'clock news, and our story is also on their website. We've gotten a bit more blog traffic from the exposure, and it is exciting to have people follow our story.