Thursday, March 19, 2009

Southeastern What??

If you were ever fortunate to spend time with Larry Grodsky, you know that he was a big proponent of the southeatern Ohio region. Any time a discussion of "best roads" would come up, you could count on Larry talking up the roads in the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia triad.

Clearly, Larry was onto something. Years ago, when I commuted between Virginia and Cleveland for work, we’d often fly over the area. As the plane breezed over ridge after countless ridge, I’d feel the same thrill as an Old World explorer. “Look at all those twisty little backroads,” I’d exclaim. Sometimes out loud. “How about those double-switchbacks on that road there! That’s something!” Fellow air passengers gave me a wide berth on those flights.

I’ve only passed through the area briefly on a few runs to elsewhere, but I recently discovered that Google Maps has mapped the area extensively in its Street View function. If you've played with Google Maps and haven't yet tried Street View, you're in for a treat. Give it a try.

Open Look up "Pennsville, Ohio". See that little "person icon" just above the zoom control? Click and drag that icon over to the map. Wherever the road turns blue, you can tour the road. Drop that little guy on OH-377 somewhere north of Pennsville. Once the first picture loads, you can use the cursor keys on your keyboard to navigate up and down the road, or stop for a moment and use the right or left cursor key to pan around 360 degrees.

Motorcycle Journeys Through the Appalachians is due for an update this year, so I'll be spending a lot more time in Southeastern Ohio, sampling those roads firsthand. From what I've seen from the air and from Street View, I'm really looking forward to it.

Have you toured in the Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV region? Send your ideas and suggestions for routes to

1 comment:

Slingblade9119 said...

Dale - I enjoy your blog and your book on Motorcycle Tours of Appalchia is one of my favorites. If you decide to do some road hunting in Pennsylvania - please check-out my own blog and read the route reports at:

I think you will see your influence on the author !