Got an early start on Sunday and headed out to photograph barns at 6 am on the 9th of August. First stop - Miamisburg to pick up Chris and Ann Long. I arrive at 7:00 and Chris serves me up a stout espresso before we hit the road. As we gear up and prepare for the long day ahead, I realize that this will be my first ride with bike to bike communications. Autocom with FRS radios make it possible, and I must say more enjoyable and more efficient. I had sent Chris a route from Mapsource, the software that comes with the Garmin GPS, so we had all of our intended barns loaded into our GPS’s. Chris led us out of Miamisburg with our first barn, Union (#44) as our first stop. It kinda sucks when the first barn is hours away, but that the nature of this game when you already got the ones close by. We take the back roads to Springfield and catch Route 4 and head north. The Union barn is on the left and the painted side faces north for those without GPS help. We pull right up to the barn and are greeted by a dozen or so cats. This barn also has a Bicentennial Barn gift shop, but is closed on Sundays – dang-it. Chris was quick to notice that Bob Taft had also signed this barn.
We hydrate and have breakfast bars for breakfast, mount up and head north to the next barn – Marion (#80). As we reach Rt 47 the road is closed and we proceed north. I’m in the lead and the GPS is confused because I didn’t make that right hand turn. GPS’s are a great tool, but common sense should always override what it tells you. I make a right at the next road (GPS said to) and we go down this really nice road along the Scioto River and reach rt 47 – right where the bridge is out. Dang – it again. We make a big circle to get back up rt 4 to where the detour sign say to go, and cross the river and back down to Rt 47. Hey, it’s all about the ride right?
The Marion barn (#80) is on the right side heading east on 47 and there isn’t much of a shoulder, but there is little traffic as we snap off a few pictures. This barn houses a few horses and they were peaking out the barn door at us as if they were photographed all the time by motorists. The barn is located just south of “Where’s” Waldo, OH. No Waldo stores or bicentennial shops as we storm by.
Barn #73 is next up in Morrow County. On 95 northbound this barn will be on your right side. There's not much around, but you can definitely pull in for the shot. The residence is across the street and it looked as if nobody was home. Any barn you can pull off the road to get your shot is a good barn. It also allows you a little more time to rest and check the barn out.
We head north to the Crawford (#18) barn. After gassing up, we head north on 98 a ways then cut over county roads towards the east for the barn, which is located on rt 598 just above rt 30. This is a nice barn to park in front of with a gravel driveway on a not so busy street. To the right of the barn we could see the owner outside doing something, but he never came over to talk... probably gets allot of travelers pulling in. That's ok because we have an aggressive pace going. We head back to rt 30 and head east for the Ashland barn (#8).
The Ashland barn is a shot from the shoulder of I71 northbound. Unless you have a GS or Multistrada,
Get the shot like me without getting off the bike.
We get off 71 in a hurry and make our way south towards the Richland County (#42) barn. This was one of my favorite barns and I suggest that you plan a lunch stop as we did at the Malabar farms. That’s not Ma LaBar in the kitchen, but the food and hospitality were excellent and the Cocoanut merang pie was quite tasty.
We talked to a few arriving riders that rode in with a mixed bag of bikes but one guy did have a nice blue K1200RS. It was getting hot and we had more barnage ahead. Once we took off, things cooled down in a hurry with our mesh jackets. With Chris leading, we head east to Holmes County (#47) through some beautiful county south of Wooster. Our GPS route was programmed for the shortest distance which lead us down gravel and dirt roads. CR318 to CR329 to CR320 - Amish Central. We saw a half dozen or more horse drawn buggies loaded to the gills with the whole families and it seemed like we were in a foreign land or in a time warp with our gas powered motorcycles equipted with all the high tech gadgetry. No need for the radar detector, but glad to have the GPS. The fields are well manicured with teepee styled piles of hay for their horses. I shoulda got a picture. It seemed that a fawn had been resting in the middle of the dirt/gravel road and when it saw us coming, got up and was running right at Chris & Ann. We both slow way down as the cute little vermin darted off to the right and out of harms way. We pop out of Amish world and into the 21st century as we head south on rt 83. Coming from the south just below Holmesville on the left is the magnificent Holmes County barn (#47). We pull into the driveway for this shot and re-hydrate and discuss the next barn .
By this time it’s getting late in the afternoon and we decide to bybass barns 11 and 20 and cut our route short two barns to head in a more south-westerly direction. Chris and I punch up the next barn waypoint into our gps’s and we’re off for barn 25 – Knox County . We passed the Mohican State Park which looked very interesting and a bit out of place. A small stretch of shops and camping areas lined both sides of the busy street. May have to come back an check it out... maybe buy a pair of moccasins. Click here for more info on Mohican State Park. Ohio sure has some funny names for towns. We rode through Homer, Nashville, Bangs, & Jelloway.
The Knox County barn photo op gave us little room on the shoulder so it was very quick. Ann stayed with the bikes as they were both standing pretty much straight up. Thankfully no semi came roaring by. Note to self… avoid power lines in your picture.
On to the last barn of the day barn 24 Licking County. This barn has a driveway to pull into and that's what we do, but I pull in and onto the grass for a closer shot.
Some barns aren’t much to look at but some are, and we don’t seem to take enough time to check out the barns themselves and the history behind them. From there we begin our journey home down 62 towards Columbus and eventually on to 71. Nine barns in one day is a good day. “Come in Mike - I’m showing a barn on the radar screen just ahead in 1 mile. I don’t have it so put your flashers on.” I answer, “Roger – Roger. I’ve got that one already.” Did you know that you can temporarily activate your flashers by pressing both turn signals together? We safely pull onto the shoulder to snap a picture of the Madison County barn (#7).
I just can’t say enough about bike to bike (BTB) communications. It’s not like we chatted all the time, but if we saw something interesting, or were going to make a quick turn, or best of all, discussing routing options on the fly without stopping. Think of the possibilities with our group rides? No more loosing the back section of riders in unfamiliar territory. As we parted ways on I71, we talked as long as we could until we were out of range – not far; a mile or so.
Now to utilize the most important gadget the radar detector. The flow was moving right along at 75 mph so the V1 with audio in the Autocom allowed me to keep a steady pace ahead, with the peace of mind of not getting ticketed. I arrived home at 8:15 as Kim open the garage door and handed me a well deserved, ice cold beer.
508 miles in 14 hours and 10 barns photographed.
A “Barn” good day!