With the promise of nice weather and a free day, I decided to head north to visit a museum that had been on my wish list for quite awhile. Ohio Route 48 would get me most of the way there and passes right by "The Breakfast Club" in Lebanon. This is a great place to start a journey. Despite the name, the menu isn't limited to breakfast items. I know that breakfast here is superb and I'm pretty sure that lunch would be too. On top of that, some very good coffee, roasted on site, is available to feed the home coffee maker.

A few miles up the road is Centerville, more or less a suburb of Dayton. As indicated by the sign, there are plenty of stone buildings around. Pictured here are the Vincent and Beck houses that sit along side Route 48 and the Walton house a short distance east on 725; all from the 1830s. The Walton house is a museum, home of the The Centerville-Washington Township Historical Society, and a very visitor friendly starting point for Centerville exploration.

Another stone Centerville building is now the Routsong Funeral Home. Benjamin Robbins, one of the three Centerville founders, built a log cabin at this site in 1797. Around 1803, when a storm destroyed the cabin, it was replaced by a small stone house. In the period of 1814 to 1820, the house grew significantly with a two story addition. Even later additions brought it to its present form but the original two story stone section remains an integral part as does that turn of the century (3rd one back) stone structure.

As I was looking over the rear of the building, the door opened and Jim Becker invited me in for a look see at this elegant building. A delightful and informative visit ensued. Although not as necessary as when they were originally constructed, the house's five fire places are quite functional and the two in the main entry room are put to use in appropriate temperatures. If two panels on Centerville seems excessive, my excuse is that Benjamin Robbins was my g-g-g-great-grandfather.

The new Riverscape area is just one of many things to like in Dayton and just one aspect of Five Rivers MetroParks. Those five rivers (OK, 3 rivers & 2 creeks) are represented by the five towers that make up the largest river based fountain in the world. At show time, colored lights and lasers are synchronized with music and the five huge water jets in a really B-I-G production. A full schedule of events and plenty of other features make this a real center piece.

West Milton lies along the Stillwater River about 15 miles north of Dayton. At least one canoe livery operates here to provide a closer look at this officially designated state scenic river. If you have a classic lamp with a missing piece or two, the "Old Mill Exchange" is the place to go. Globes, fittings, and even some complete lamps.

I was lucky enough to catch John Bookwalter detailing an eagle in front of his shop/gallery at 15 S. Miami St. This place is chock full of unique wood carvings that John makes with a chain saw and a delicate touch. He's been creating and selling his art at this location for seventeen years and says some town folk have been trying to get rid of him the entire time. Seems to me he is one of the best reasons for taking note of the town.

Just south of Covington, I spotted this one of a kind barn with the house and a newer out building done up to mimic it. In the heart of Covington, "Buffalo Jack's" is another one of a kind. Jack features North American game meats and does a land office business in alligator meat. I had not planned on a lunch break but, having spent nearly five hours covering fifty miles, I couldn't pass up the chance to try a buffalo burger. Quite good and leaner than beef. More conventional fare is also available but neither the menu or the decorations are quite what you might expect in a small Ohio town.

As I said, SR 48 covered most of the distance but not all. When it gave out, it was time to get some kicks on Route 66.

This was the day's goal: the Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen. Seconds after I walked in, Annette appeared from around a corner and invited me to join a tour that had just started. Two floors filled with bicycles, things related to bicycles, and things that looked like bicycles, tricycles, quadcycles, & unicycles. The museum web site shows many of the more interesting bikes but it's really just a peek.

The tour that I joined was made up of members of the Silver Wheels on a weekend outing. After the entire group posed around the adult pedal car, two brave souls took it on a lap of the upper floor and only had to use the Fred Flintstone style reverse a time or two.

Since it was only a few miles further, it seemed like a visit to St Marys and Grand Lake was in order. Completed in 1845 as a reservoir for the Miami-Erie Canal, the lake was made irrelevant by railroads then returned to importance by power boats. In between, it had a stint as an improbable oil field.

Of course, no one should drive a Corvette to St Marys without dropping by Bud's so I did.

I just couldn't resist this sign in downtown St Marys. I believe it's pushing a deal on "printing" - half off.

At the other end of the lake is Celina. There are some truly interesting buildings here including the 1890 city hall. There's even a light house although its' a small one that probably couldn't find work on Lake Erie.

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