On May 31st, a friend and I decided to take a ride to Slate Run Gift Shop and have a sandwich and continue on through the forest to Leetonia. The sandwich was the best but what we encountered along the drive was quite a mess….total confusion and lack of planning. The trip was uneventful until we reached the point where Bear Run Road intersects with the Frying Pan Road out of Leetonia.
At this hair pin “U”, there were cars across the road and yellow caution tape hung in the trees. Until this point, there were no sign indicating a detour because of the block in the roadway. It was obvious that this road was being used as a rally vehicle course. Upon asking a man who was taking pictures how long we would be held up, he had no idea. We asked several people if there was a marshal or someone in charge with a radio because there is no cell phone service in this area. There were none.
We arrived at this location around 1:35 p.m. and were told the blockage could be up to 3 hours. There was an emergency and someone needed to get to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital? While we were sitting there, an Amish man and two women arrived. They were riding bicycles on their way to Bradley Whales Lookout. The time was now 3:50 p.m. If the road had been open, these folks could have made it there by 6 p.m. to connect with their pick up to Selinsgrove. My friend and I had to leave and could not wait for another race at 4:30 p.m.
I was familiar with the area so I knew we had to backtrack to the Reynolds Spring Road and to the Gamble Run Road and down to Rt. 414. That was fine for us because we had a vehicle! What about the Amish visitors from Selinsgrove? They were just given an extra 20-mile trip because there were no signs indicating the road closure!
These folks were concerned they may need to spend the night in the woods and miss their ride home. Next time a road rally is planned, put up signs and have someone in charge. There are people using these roads that are not interested in the rally.
Submitted by E-Mail