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We had spent the morning straining our eyes over the open water of Lake Erie. Looking for Bessie, the reported Lake Monster of these parts turned out fruitless. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else to do in a town that really didn’t embrace their local lore. We had put a few hundred miles behind us since then, and now a new adventure had presented itself. Seek out and explore this "Gravity Hill" we had been reading on billboards for the last 20 miles.
It may just have been an excuse to get off the Interstate. As intrepid legend trippers will share, the Interstate is not where the adventures lie. Off the Interstate we happily pulled. A few turns and 15 miles later we were defeated. The phone number on the billboard wasn’t being answered and the adventurers in the rental this trip were forced to become lost tourist. You may have heard Chad Lewis discussing Legend Tripping on Coast to Coast am with George Norey and you may have heard Terry Fisk co-hosting the Unexplained Radio Show broadcasted out of Eau Claire Wisconsin. I was hoping to not have to hear them both rib me the rest of the trip if I couldn’t remember the 10 minutes of directions I had just received from a very friendly local. Through heavy accent and all, I was guided back and forth across the countryside with landmarks such as “…a big bus parked on the corner, then go right.” To much of my chagrin Chad had found a brochure, map included, at the same gas station where I was quickly making friends with the locals.
We promptly head out of the small berg once again in search of a mystery. Between Chad’s brochure and my landmarks we were swiftly hitting every turn on what we’re told is a 20 minute drive to “the middle of nowhere”. I have to pause and think how many times in my short life I have been to the middle of nowhere. Looking and finding nowhere so often has had a lasting effect on me, though I’m sure I can’t verbalize it.
With each turn this sunny day we are sent down darker and narrower roads, some gravel, most paved. The rental follows roads cutting along rivers, shadowed by ever growing hills on either side. After determining we have made our final turn and are on the desired road, we all start reading out loud the small numbers off of the electrical poles. Of course we get closer and closer as the numbers count down to what the most wittily written brochure ever, tells us is the starting point. For anyone who has never experienced a Gravity Hill, the basic premise is you roll up them.
Image: Paranormal Investigator Noah 'Winchester' Voss
Yup that’s right, the directions you get will have you coming to a stop in your adventuring vehicle of choice, placing it in neutral and more times than not rolling backwards what seems to be a hill. Naturally most people are able to come to the quick realization that this is an optical illusion. This is traditionally despite the ghost story that has a spirit pushing the car from unseen harm or large meteorite buried beneath the roadway explanation. The most unusual thing so far about this Gravity Hill is that non of us have been made aware of the otherworldly explanation that normally draws car loads of teens to just such a place. Of course all of us live several states away and have only known of this hills existence for about an hour now. Back to the electrical pole numbers. They have disappeared.
Most likely they were a free souvenir for a previous Gravity Hill visitor. No time to worry about that as there is a strange marking ahead in the road. As we slowly draw nearer, a large spray painted “X” along with a straight line becomes visible. Clear to anyone who has ever been in a back road street race, this is a start or finish line. We quickly determine this being at the “bottom” of the hill it must be a start line.
No one exits the car yet. We all want to see if this is even worth getting out and gaining another perspective. Already at a stop, the car is placed in neutral. A hush falls over the vehicle as we all wait in anticipation of movement. It happens. Slowly we start to roll what seems to be back up the hill we just drove down. We pick up speed too. Terry is first to make a few exclamations of excitement. Chad and I both look around bit more, surveying our surroundings. It does really appear that we are rolling quite affectively against gravity, up a hill. I’ll admit it, Chad and I both were also impressed. I hold my hands up framing the roadway blocking out the surrounding hill and horizon. This can sometimes help to remove the appearance of moving uphill. Even with this simple method it does still seem that we are rolling against gravity. We roll over 100 feet backwards in neutral. We could have gone further but we were quickly approaching a blind corner, moving backwards and the wrong way for the lane we were in. Figuring it was best to try again, we quickly reposition the car. Back at the spray painted start line I hop out and grab a meter and video camera. No odd readings immediately appear, but the camera is rolling for the next attempt. Again, the vehicle, Chad and Terry roll as if no one had told any of them about gravity. Before our third attempt we grab some water from the car and pour it on the road at the start line. It too seems to defy gravity.
We were informed of a second gravity hill just up the road from the first one. Well we have come this far and there is no question that we have to check that one out after the success of the first one.
As we make the short drive down the road, we all discus the ranking of gravity hills we have visited. Out of the dozen or so that at least one of us has been too, this one so far ranks on the top of our list for best by far. We don’t have too much down time before we reach the second gravity hill again, marked in the road with paint.
Even with the success of the last gravity hill only a mile back, we all had our doubts that this one would work, noticing that the hill seemed to be even more inclined. Again we all sit quietly and wait with the car in neutral. Sure enough It works. It seems that again we are defying gravity and rolling up a hill. With a few more comments of praise for the hill and a quick re-ranking of our top ten gravity hills, this second one pulls into the number one spot. Just to make sure this mind bending experience wasn’t a fluke we pull back ahead and try again. I hop out and film one more time. Success. It works just as if gravity doesn’t exist. Optic illusion, probably, but our energy level is raised and we are left impressed and reinvigorated.
With that we are back to finding our way out of the middle of nowhere and onto the next legend trip. We only hope this rare find is not the last on our trip.
Until next time, remember, adventures come to the adventuresome!
Noah Voss (Bio)
But wait there's more!
More than a dozen Legend Trippers Journal entries! Follow the Legend Trippers on such adventures as:
Unexplained Gravity Hills in Pennsylvania
The Mystery of the Michigan Paulding Lights Solved
Lake Monsters of the Mississippi River
Satanic Murderous Murmurs Investigated in the Bridgewater Triangle of Massachusetts
Werewolves in Wisconsin
The Lost Port of Ulao discovered on Lake Michigan
Looking for the Lost in the Bennington Black Hole of Vermont
Phantom Baby's Screams in the night at Cry Baby Bridge of Illinois
West Virginia's Mothman Sightings
and many, many more!
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