Day 1: December 23, 2016
A Gray Start

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I'm sure some readers will remember the name Oven Master Mary. Her gifts of baked goodies supplied more than one Christmas Escape Run and she's done it again. She said she had made "some gingerbread men" and I expected a few cookies. This is what she showed up with on Thursday evening and she was delivering similar boxes to other friends as well. How sweet it is.

Headed east on a gray US-50.

A splash of color greeted me at the edge of Hillsboro and nourishment awaited downtown at the West Main Street Cafe.

At Seip Mound I could walk directly toward the cloud filtered sun without even squinting. There are numerous informative signs at the site one of which gives an idea of what's inside the mound. I've followed the trail around the mound in the past but didn't today. The last picture, taken on the way back to the car, shows the outline of one of the buildings that once stood at the site.

Before leaving the Seip Mound parking lot, I noticed the name Knockemstiff on the map and decided today would be a good day to visit. As seen on the church, tThe name Shady Glen has replaced the more colorful one that led me here. The intersection in the second picture, shown from the view point of the church, is more or less the center of town. A Wikipedia article offers a few theories about the origin of the name but my money's on the one involving moonshine.

Chillicothe served two "terms" as Ohio's capital. The building used as the statehouse was located where the current Ross County courthouse (the tower in the first picture) sits.

In Athens, I decided to kill a little time before checking into my motel. I'd never been to the taproom at Jackie O's production brewery so headed there first. Then I made a stop at Little Fish Brewing. I don't know this for a fact but I'm guessing Little Fish's name comes from sharing Athens with Jackie O's, one of Ohio's most successful breweries. Both taprooms were friendly and filled with good brews.

I'm fairly certain the the Hometown Inn once sat right on US-50 but turning off of the divided highway one intersection east of the motel ls now required to get there. That little trick is just about the only even slightly negative thing to say about the place. Friendly owners, reasonable rates, and an easy (once you know where to turn) shot to downtown Athens. My room is here.

Dinner was a salad made of local produce at Jackie O's Brewpub. This wasn't my first visit and I'm confident it won't be my last.

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