It became America’s 17th state on March 1, 1803. Birthplace of seven American Presidents, including three of the eight who died in office. Also the birthplace of Clark Gable, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Orville Wright and Steven Spielberg. It’s also the birthplace of Thomas Edison and is home of the largest Amish population of any American state. Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Birthplace of Roy Plunkett, inventor of Teflon. Home of the first American institution of higher learning to admit female and black students regularly alongside white males. And it’s home of the world’s largest basket. Yes. Seriously. Today, we’re in the Buckeye State, Ohio.
Ohio is a state in Midwest America, bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is the 34th largest state at nearly 45,000 square miles, with the 7th largest population with 11 and a half million people. The name of the state comes from the Iroquois word ‘ohi-yo’, meaning ‘great river’ or ‘large creek’. The motto of the state is, ‘With God, All Things Are Possible.’
The state flag is the only non-rectangular American state flag. The stripes represent the roadways and waterways of the state. The stars represent the state’s hills and valleys. Apparently. The thirteen stars around the ‘O’ also represent the original thirteen states. And that ‘O’ stands for something, too. Although I can’t quite put my finger on what…
Ohioans are, generally, a courteous, down-to-earth, friendly, proud and polite folk, who love their beer and sports. Every city has its own unique culture, making Ohio a state of extreme diversity. It’s also a state of hugely underrated quality food and music.
The landscape of Ohio is one that is largely flat. A state sprinkled with the occasional hill, but also one with large expanses of plateaus, plains, large forests, caves and plenty of rivers and lakes. It’s a gorgeous place, indeed.
There are sights to see such as Franklin Park Conservatory, a prelapsarian wonder nestled at the heart of the city of Columbus. It’s quite spectacular, almost screaming a Victorian grace and elegance, quite unlike anywhere else. You also have Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, it’s gleaming white waterfall cascading into a chasm of rock, surrounded by a ring of the most beautiful trees, a raimentless force beating down on the gentle landscape, yet somehow sooths and compliments it rather gracefully. Then there’s Marblehead Lighthouse, a quaint white gem sitting cute and pretty on the water’s edge. The serene nature of the building and its surroundings creates something rather special, an empyrean canvas that is a beloved icon of the state. And then there’s the Cincinnati Museum, a dramatic and grand semi-circular building, built from stone and adorned with a large glass facade. It’s striking stature creates a scene of the highest splendour.
But I think the best sight of the state is Hocking Hills State Park. It is quite possibly the most unearthly jewel I’ve ever seen. A fairytale widdendream of the utmost delight and gorgeousness. The enormous caves, genteel waterfalls and luscious trees of a thousand greens combine to create something that is truly alien. A majestic landscape rich in suavité and a raw unending beauty. It’s like a movie set or some wild dream, a land draped in a glow isangelous. It is an unbelievably ethereal and truly wonderful place.
Ohio. The state of diversity, aviation and baskets.
1) The flag of Ohio (credit: wikimedia.org)
2) Hocking Hills State Park (credit: backcountrygallery.com)
3) Hocking Hills State Park (credit: backcountrygallery.com)
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