A weekend getaway

Posted By on January 16, 2008

Karen and I were in Adams County, Ohio last weekend, getting away from it all at Murphin Ridge Inn. That’s a kind of expanded bed and breakfast in West Union, a speck of a town about 75 miles north of Cincinnati. It’s 250 miles south of our house, so it took four-and-a-half hours to get there. It was worth it.

Anchored by an 1830s brick farmhouse, Murphin Ridge Inn features a handful of cabins, none older than seven years and some of them named. We stayed in the Frolic, a 2004 cabin with a big Amish king bed, a Jacuzzi, one of those neat electronic fireplaces, a glass-enclosed shower with a rain head shower head, a coffee maker and some furniture. No TV; semidecent WiFi. Breakfast was part of the package. We ate it in the farmhouse, and it was great, like dinner was. The first night Karen had tiger shrimp, while I had steak au poivre. Nice wine, too, served by our hosts, Darryl and Sherry McKenney.

We spent Saturday at the Serpent Mound, an eerie earthworks in the shape of a serpent, dating from about 1100 A.D. We visited Miller’s Furniture, an Amish empire featuring gorgeous furniture (natch), a killer bakery and a bulk-foods building. We wound up at Herb Erwin’s barn sale. Herb’s a hustler; a realtor and auctioneer, he lords it over a sprawling farm where he keeps peacocks, mules, goats, sheep, hens guinea and otherwise—and raises Newfoundlands. We might get a dog, though I’m still mixed about this. We went back Sunday to tell Mrs. Erwin we might be interested in a Newfoundland pup.

The countryside in this Appalachian-Amish region is hilly, winding, the poverty deep and inescapable. How little Adams County towns like Peebles and Meigs and Franklin survive, I have no idea. But I do know how Murphin Ridge Inn gets along: Quite well, thank you. It’s a magnet sure to draw us back.


4 Responses to “A weekend getaway”

  1. dan cook says:

    Carlo, have you talked to Hartman lately about the Deadbeat Poets? Pretty fascinating stuff, the way the old dog is finally having his day. They’re supposed to play Liverpool in May, I think, go to Germany for some pop shows, and “then something called South By Southwest in Austin, I’m not sure what that is.” I was able to explain the significance to him. He has been out of touch. But his songwriting is still the best ever. If you need contact info, let me know. It’s a great story.

  2. dan cook says:

    By the way, I visited the Serpeant Mound years ago. Very cool. Love the blog. You old dog.

  3. a local says:

    Adams County is a beautiful place to grow up and live in. I would known as I am a born and bred local. My family has been here since the 1700’s. Adams County does have alot of poverty, but ti is not inescapable. I agree with you that Murphin Ridge Inn is lovely place but they do not give back to the communities. Neither does Herb Erwin for that matter. The majority of the Local businesses are concerned about the futures of the children of Adams County. They donate monies, resources and time to programs such as 4-h, band, choirs, theater groups, etc. They set up sscholarship and endowmant funds to help these kids pursue their educations and dreams….But not Murphin Ridge Inn or Herb Erwin.

  4. Carlo says:

    I can’t wait to go back. We got our dog there, and she’s fabulous.

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About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff