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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Google Earth meets Nancy Drew and Sue Barton

There’s a house on a pond, there in clear view from the Ohio Turnpike. My friend Linda, who packs a rod and tackle box to go to a show, has developed serious pond envy of that property. “You've seen it,” she told me recently. “Right there on the north side of the turnpike, after Warren, before Ravenna.”

Last trip home from her house I kept look out, and there it was, a brown building on a pond. I snatched my pen from the dash board and wrote the mile marker on my hand, where I keep my important notes. Back at home I fired up Google Earth, blew up the turnpike until I had match box sized cars, got on at Warren and commenced looking.

By golly, there it was. No matter how big I blew up Google, however, I could not find a road name past Newton Falls Braceville Road. I emailed Linda, “I found it. South on Newton Falls Braceville Road off Route 82. Let’s go look!”

She emailed back, and this is an unedited cut and paste: “So I finally decided you have tracked this property using the GPS as you went past it..Right?  you are amazing.” And, I answered “Bwahahahahah. When pigs fly.” Perhaps my phone could do that, but I can’t. I can't even turn Google Earth around or tip it for a full frontal view.

We met this morning at the Route 5 exit from the turnpike, left her van at a marginally OK motel and set off to find a house and a pond, north of the turnpike, west of Warren.

With some ingenuity we found the Braceville end of Newton Falls Braceville Road. We drove here and there a few minutes, but didn't turn up a road to be north of the turnpike, west of Warren. Our third trip through Braceville I announced Enough, and pulled into the town hall,

and intercepted this fellow coming out the door. Hmmm, north of the turnpike, eh? He gave Linda some direction possibilities and off we went, again.

The next time we gave up by this store about hunting and guns and stuff. We went in and Linda got some more directions,

to no avail. We passed a barn I thought I should add to my collection, so I made a couple of U turns to bring it back in sight.

A policeman stopped to see if he could help the old ladies. By now I had no idea where we were, but this was a Newton Falls officer, so obviously at the other end of the road.

He gave us direction to go back and see if Oviatt Road was what we needed. We went back. To Braceville. This being our third turn around the center of Braceville this morning, I was noticing more than the town hall. I saw the sign to the road department. Of course, the road department! They know everything.

Nice  New Holland. Nice truck. Nice guys. North of the turnpike, between Warren and Ravenna, eh? This youngster hauled out his phone, and made the same Google Earth journey I'd made. He found it. He was not completely sure of its location, but suggested a road to a gravel road, hopefully not one behind gates, like we'd already passed.

"Slow down!" she said. "I can see it over there. Through those trees. Here's the road. Turn here."

No one was home. Linda wrote them a note and we went off to find some lunch.

Mushrooms (toadstools?) in the yard.


On the way back down the lane, a weed in the field.

And a very old statue climbing from the ditch.


  1. Like a scavenger hunt.

    I hope they get back to you.

  2. Nothing like two old ladies driving around in search of adventure, lol. Hope you had fun and that your friend gets what she is looking for? I think she'd like to buy the property :-)

  3. Eagerly awaiting the next instalment !
    Jane x

  4. I hope this is at least a two-parter! I love the line "the road department! They know everything" Not biased a bit, are you? hee hee

  5. I will wait to see if I hear from the owner..Wish I knew how many miles we did today-just in run-arounds. The road department were the ones with the info-although not even in their town. Because of last nights rain many homes had "ponds" but not stocked like this one. oh how I wish- but there are more ponds and more fish to be fried.

  6. Such pretty flowers! You could be detective! You "solved" this case to get to your destination :)


  7. Echoing jenny_o. Not for the first or the last time.

  8. It's a beautiful place. Are you planning on buying? Or just renting the deck for Linda to fish from?

  9. Perseverence pays off in the end. Looks lovely.

  10. Now don't forget where you found it lol...maybe they'll invite you to go fishing.

  11. Hari OM
    Hhehehehhe - yup; been in that position a few times. As they way, 'joy of the hunt' ..and all that... YAM xx

  12. What an ideal setting. Thanks for taking us on your adventure.

  13. Haha. You have a funny bone.

  14. Nothing like an adventure with a friend. I'll bet after a while finding the pond was probably just secondary!

  15. I feel in need of a cup of tea now - whew - thoroughly enjoyed the journey, though. The barn and that little statue are wonderful.

  16. What's sticking up from each end of the barn? I understand Nancy Drew, but what does this have to do with Sue Barton? Will someone need medical care or become a nurse and marry a handsome doctor?


  17. I believe it's the other side of the barn roof.
    Sue Barton was one of the girl heroines and a nurse, and my friend Linda was a nurse for the first half of her career. Everyone knows Nancy Drew, but Sue Barton is a bit more obscure.

    1. I loved Sue Barton. I liked her better than Nancy Drew. I liked Cherry Ames, too.

  18. There's an adventure. Even though I'm GPS savvy, there are times when it's a lot more fun to navigate by map or even by instinct.