Friday, June 10, 2011
June 9: The owner of Happy Hills, Daren, drove me back to 33 in the morning where I resumed my trek. Almost immediately I started examining the bottom of my shoes and checking to see if I had lost control of my bowels. I was clean, but the air was not. The stench continued for two miles until I reached and moved upwind of the local landfill. In honor of Nelsonville's assault on my olfactory sense, here is the band Live with your song of the day.
I didn't have much higher expectations of the next town I would pass, Haydensville. I stopped at Dee's Diner to find a listless crew stuffing their gobs with chow. While I was eating my own grub some more interesting customers arrived. Wood carver and local historian Bennie and his wife Luticia. They had lived in the area for decades and recited a bevy of information about the region. Bennie also offered me a walking stick, which he had on sale in the diner. I picked one out and dubbed it "Snarling Dog Smacker."
Now equipped with my my little friend for canines to say hello to, I entered Haydensville and added some details to what Bennie had told me. Haydenville is in Hocking County, which comes from the Delaware Indian word for river, hock-hocking. Those with a sinus infection will have no trouble pronouncing this word.
Haydenville is blessed to be surrounded by terrain with a variety of raw materials. Clay, iron, coal, and sandstone are all abundant, making the place a natural center for both brick and tile production. The town flourished in the late 19th century thanks to a national trend towards fire-proofing buildings that made demand for brick shoot sky high. A floating brick designed to reduce the weight of a battleship's boiler room was also manufactured there.
For much of the 20th century Haydenville was a company town, owned by Natco, a fire-proofing business. Natco finally relinquished control in 1964, making Haydenville the last company town in Ohio. Nowadays all the town has left is a palette manufacturing facility, which I passed shortly after exciting my pallet at Dee's Diner.
The rest of the afternoon was spent hopping amongst the few shady spots between Haydenville and Logan. Trying to stay cool was a challenge in the ninety degree heat and I guzzled water like an elephant that had just consumed a plate of habanero chiles. Mercifully, I reached Logan after the one thousandth person asked me "if it was hot walking like that" and received the grand prize, a whack over the head with my new cane. Sure put me in a better mood.
Fourteen more miles puts us at 620 for the trip.