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Driving the National Road from Columbus, OH to Richmond, IN

July 19, 2007

I have an engagement at Ball State University in Muncie, IN tomorrow, so I decided to ride my motorcylce for the trip. Its no fun riding on the interestates, especially if in construction, so I decided to ride across Rt. 40, the National Road.

Unfortunately, the weather forcast for today was 80-100% chance of thunderstorms. Even more unfortunately, I made the drive in the Cadillac to avoid the rain, and it didn't rain. I was in about a 2 minutes of rain - a light sprinkle. I'm just so miffed by this. I could have easily made this ride with no weather trouble. Of course, you don't know that starting out, and you have to make a choice. I'm not to the point where I will ride regardless of the weather, so when I see an 80-100% chance, I don't ride.
A typical view driving across Rt 40 West of Columbus, OH. This is actually just outside of West Jefferson

Anyway, it was a nice drive. I didn't see anything really terribly exciting. I drove past Taylorsville metro park in Vandalia and then realized that the ruins of Tadmor is there, and turned around and went back (back tracked only three of four miles). Tadmor was a town at the juncture of the National Road, the Miami-Erie Canal, the Miami River and the Dayton & Michigan Railroad. It was abandoned in 1922 after river was dammed for flood control protection for Dayton as a result of the 1913 flood in Dayton. Now the dam is no longer in operation, and the remnants of the town are accessable.
This is a concrete arch bridge over the Big Darby Creek just West of Columbus.

Old Building in Summerford, OH. Date on building is 1903.

So I parked, hiked for 15 or 20 minutes but never found Tadmor. I'm not sure if I was on the wrong trail, or simply didn't go far enough. Unfortunately I didn't see any information that would tell me how far I was supposed to go down the trail.
This shows a bike path that follows the old rail bed and canal tow path. The canal can be seen to the right.

It was about 80 degrees and very humid so I was nice and sweaty by the time I got back to the car.

What I saw:
- Concrete Arch bridge just beyond West Jefferson.
- The Rt 42 & 40 interchange which is somewhat of a cloverleaf, but was built before interstate highways and cloverleaf interchanges were built.
- The Pennsylvania House in Springfield - on register of national historic places - just drove by it.