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.