A trip to Northeast Ohio was required, so in keeping with the goal of never returning the same way we went, we headed south on Ohio 11, exiting at Lisbon and continued west on the Lincoln Highway, US Route 30 to the town of Hanoverton, and a well-known restaurant there, the Spread Eagle Inn.
The inn was built in the early 1800s, and still has overnight rooms, as well as the restaurant. The restaurant itself is decorated with dead animals on the walls, and all things republican. In fact, many well-known republican politicians have been there. The food was good, the atmosphere was weird as hell, but amusing.
After lunch we continued through the winding hills of Eastern Ohio, through the small town of Carrollton and on to Urichsville and I-77.
The roads we took went through 50 miles of fracking territory. Many of the hillsides had new oil well equipment, and large hoses laying along the ground, along with more oil company trucks with Pennsylvania plates than you could ever imagine.
Once we got to Cambridge we exited the freeway to take the old National Road, US Route 40. This road goes through the middle of Cambridge, the county seat of Guernsey County. At the county courthouse there was a statue decorated with a ski cap, and scarf.
Leaving Cambridge on the National Road we passed through New Concord, the home of John Glenn (which was closed), and Muskingum College, as well as the National Road – Zane Grey Museum (which was closed).
Having failed twice to find something to do we continued on into Zanesville to see the world famous Y Bridge. We did that, in about 10 minutes, but while driving around I noticed a building with a large amount of sculptures outside. Stopping to check it out we found that it was an artist studio, and it was open.
Alan Cottrill grew up in Zanesville, but left town after school. Having done well in life, he decided at age 40 he wanted to be an artist. He quit the day job, and starting learning his new craft.
The studio is a 17,000 square-foot two-story building in downtown Zanesville The first floor of his studio and gallery is littered with works in progress, some finished, featuring soldiers, animals, religious figures, nudes, natives of the land and more. Some pieces are so large working with them enters an element of danger. Upstairs is his gallery showcases his entire body of work in a very spacious open floor setting with an abundance of natural light pouring in to highlight pieces atop white pedestals in a way that accents each piece with incredible visuals.
Alan was a hoot to talk to, and spent all the time we wanted to discuss himself, the process, and his views on the world. It was a great ending to an unusual day.
If you find yourself in Zanesville, Ohio I highly recommend stopping by to meet Alan and check out his amazing talent.