“OHIO EMBRACING BIG SOLAR” (Wednesday, November 17, 2010)

Got an early morning call from NBC news affiliate WHIZ (which Paul had emailed in advance of my arrival) wanting to do an interview. So rolled down the old National Highway and met them at the historic “Y Bridge.” You can watch the video and see a photo slideshow at these two links:



Learned from the WHIZ reporter that one of the nation’s largest solar farms is being developed in Zanesville. This popular project, fittingly called “Turning Point,” is expected to bring up to 600 jobs through local manufacturing of the solar panels needed for the nearly 50 MW solar farm. Even more fittingly, it is being sited on a former coal mine. The project is slated to go online in 2012.

Also learned I had arrived just in time for Zanesville’s 52nd annual SERTOMA Pancake Day, a fundraiser for local charities. Followed the news van there for some breakfast.

What a scene. The cavernous basement was packed with people. Later learned they served 6,500 people pancakes and sausage over the course of the day. When the servers heard I had biked all the way from Colorado, Jim Drake (thanks for the contribution) stacked several extra flapjacks onto my already full plate. After devouring those, went back for seconds. Have never eaten so many pancakes in my life. Really enjoyed meeting Scott & Robin Obenour, Cindy, Chuck and Dee Dee.  Before leaving, was approached by a local radio reporter who had heard I was there and wanted to set up an interview for tomorrow. Gotta love small, friendly communities like Zanesville.

From Zanesville, pedaled down the road to New Concord, home of Muskingum University and boyhood home of astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth. John Glenn’s historic achievement helped unleash the best of the American spirit. We need a new generation of earthnauts today to unleash that same American spirit to achieve a modern day, green energy “moon shot.”

From New Concord, rolled down the road to Cambridge, which I easily made before dark. Beautiful day for riding. Low 50s and sunny. My buddy Paul had located a campground for me in Cambridge, right off Interstate 70, which was a real score (thanks, Paul!). With the late start getting out of town, only logged 38 miles today, but looking forward to a good night’s sleep. If it rains tomorrow like it rained yesterday, I’ll need it.

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