A forest, a whole bunch of driving and a shrine

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Oct 24, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When I left Kane, I drove through the Allegheny National Forest - WOW!  It was gorgeous and there wasn't much traffic so I finally got some great pics which show the riot of colour - cherry, orange, yellow, green - for some reason it makes me think of lifesavers, lol!

I hit the border and entered Ohio!  I didn't find an open tourist info centre so I found a secondary road, Route 224, and just kept driving west.  Went though a lot of small towns but didn't see anything interesting.   Was going to call it a day and find a hotel when I saw a sign for a shrine, 9 miles north.  I hit the brakes, skidded around the corner and was off to the shrine!

The Sorrowful Mother Shrine was established in 1850 by Fr. Francis de Sales Brunner, a priest of the Society of the Most Precious Blood for the purpose of fostering devotion to the Mother of God under the title of the Sorrowful Mother.  It is in a quiet and peaceful forest setting which reflects places of pilgrimage in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany.   There was a fire in 1912, so the current chapel was built just after that fire.  

There is also the outdoor Pieta Chapel which was constructed and dedicated in 1968. Since then it has become a devotional landmark in northern Ohio.  The shrine is on 120 acres of land.  Amongst the pathways and trees there are grottoes and religious sculptures. Each grotto is dedicated to a saint or a mystery of Christ's or the Blessed Virgin's life.   

I got to the chapel just before close so just had enough time to go see it.  It didn't have the same comforting vibe as the shrine in Mabou but the grounds sure did.  It was so peaceful to walk through the forest and see the different statues and grottoes.  Some were truly unique.  Every time the wind kicked up, leaves and nuts would rain down.  After almost being beaned in the head a few times, I went over to the outdoor chapel which was also something I hadn't seen before.  It was getting late and I was the only person there so headed to the nearby town of Bellevue and got a hotel.  There was a Mexican restaurant next door so went there for a bite.  The food was decent and very reasonably priced!

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