Day 1: April 25, 2014
Going Underground

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My planned route involved a little bit of US-42 and a lot of US-68. Since US-68 passes by the Sunrise Cafe, a great breakfast spot, I decided to put it on the agenda then lucked out by finding an open parking spot right in front. I have tried some of the product coming from the Yellow Springs Brewery but had never seen the place. After breakfast, I drove by but it was too early for them to be open and way too early for me to give them any business.

The rain, which I'd really hoped would have stopped by now didn't. I had left home early enough to do some walking around in Yellow Springs and elsewhere but that wasn't happening. When I passed a big Ohio Caverns arrow indicating that the caverns were just three miles off my course, I turned around and followed the arrow. I signed on for the next tour and was soon headed for where you can't tell whether or not it's raining. The walkway that leads to a new entrance seems to bend and loop unnecessarily until you learn that wheelchairs can negotiate the first sixty or so yards inside the new entrance and the bends and loops reduce the slope of the walkway and make the entrance handicap accessible. Nice move, OC.

We were underground for about an hour and covered about a mile. Besides me, "we" included a mom, three kids, and the guide. The guide was great and the youngest girl's excitement was contagious. I've been here a few times in the past but it has been years. Today's visit was a lot of fun.

Available information indicates that the arch at the entrance to Bellfontaine's Court Street may be a little misleading. The first concrete street in America was indeed laid down in Bellfontaine and it was in 1891 but Court Street itself was paved much later -- in 1893. Even so, Court Street is the "oldest concrete street in America" as the 1891 pavement, on Main Street to the left of the photo, was covered long ago. It's too bad that the storage space for the street barricade is right in front of the statue but I could get behind it for a clear view of the monument to the man responsible for the paving, George Bartholomew. I also grabbed better shots of other items in the picture of the arch. The amount of pavement patching seemed minimal considering its 121 year age. The decorated "Doors of Encouragement" that line Court and many other downtown streets are part of a cancer related project explained a little bit here.

While in Bellfontaine, the Roadside America app on my GPS alerted me to another significant street in the town. Roadside America claims that McKinley Street is but fifteen feet long. That seems to be a bit of a stretch or, more accurately, a shrink, but it sure is short and is certainly the only street I've ever photographed in its entirety in profile.

With time still to be killed, I continued on US-68 to Kenton rather than head directly to the night's lodging as originally planned. I turned east in the town then turned back to check out an old motorcycle I'd caught a glimpse of in passing. That motorcycle was just the tip of the tip as I learned when I entered and asked the girl at the desk if this was a museum. "No", she said with a chuckle. "This is just the tip of the iceberg."

At that point a fellow appeared who I later learned was Ralph Brim. He and brother Tom operate Brim's Imports which includes sales, parts, and service with main stream later model imports providing most of the sales action but some older and rarer machines available, too. Ralph indicated that Tom was the guy responsible for most of the items that give the place its museum flavor. Yes, that's Evel Knievel's reassembled bike from his failed 1975 Wembly Stadium jump. I forget how old the pictured Indians are but both run. It's an iceberg with a most impressive tip.

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