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Sunday Drivers

October 1, 2015
By John Wharff

Sunday drivers! What’s up with these people anyway? They window shop from their cars, they pack the whole family in the car to go nowhere, they drive down city streets staring at old homes as if they’re lost. The kids behave just enough so Dad doesn’t “have to pull this car over.” Then at the end of it all they pull into the B & K for a Brown Cow. Oh wait, there is no B & K, and come to think of it, that ice cream cone Sunday drive is a lost art as well.

Jumping in the car for a Sunday drive may not be as popular as it used to be, because there’s too much to do, and so many places to be. But if it were to make a comeback, the Marietta area would offer a card deck of ventures to rival any small town. For instance, State Route 26 along the Little Muskingum boasts three covered bridges in 23 miles. Downtown Marietta and historic Harmar Village offer charmed history, 676 to Churchtown, Glendale Road to Stanleyville, 550 to Bartlett, 821 to Whipple, and County Road 11 through Bonn. Devola River Road is a classic, and across the muddy Muskingum, Oak Grove to Lowell is a sleepy treasure.

If you’re one of the fortunate few who can squeeze an extra hour to pull over and get out, then it just gets better. Along each road you’ll find a trail to hike, a Buckeye tree to gather beneath, or a store you haven’t been in. You can spend hours trying to catch a leaf before it hits the ground, and as long as nobody’s watching, eventually you will. If you have a favorite drive, you know it changes with the seasons and there’s something magical about fresh apple cider right from the farm, the peak colors of Fall, pumpkins, and leaves chasing each other into the air. 

It’s the best time of year to get lost in a day. Old cemeteries are chock full of stories throughout the county. Take a seat high atop Mound Cemetery in Marietta or visit Big Bottom State Memorial outside Beverly and you can't help but wonder what those before us did to honor that day of rest. Naw, those Indians must have worked all their lives (24/7) building those mounds, and the Pioneers never rested... they had a settlement to establish. Hmm, settlement, there’s something in that word that provokes peace of mind. Kind of like rolling the windows down and just driving.

But of course, there’s too much to do, and why on earth would you jump in the car with nowhere to go? Gas is too expensive. . . It looks like rain. . . Should probably stop at the office. No, no wait, work all week, spend Saturday in the yard, cleaning the house and having a dinner party. Then on Sunday. . . A nice quiet drive might just be in order. “Hey, can we get an ice cream cone back here?”


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