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America’s North Country Trip~Part 6

18 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 6 (Wednesday)

 

I headed southwest on I-94 this morning. I had been noticing, for the last couple of days as I traveled through the North Dakota and Montana plains country, that the round hay bales were everywhere I looked! They were all over the fields, in huge stacks (40-50’ high & 200-400’ long) and even in the right-of-ways along the Interstate. This was a very unusual site for me, as I was used to the right-of-ways in Florida mostly being swales full of water.

 

 

My first museum visit today was the Range Riders Museum located in Miles City, MT. This was one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen! There were some 20 separate galleries under one huge roof, with 8 additional buildings outside. Every inch of every wall was covered with Indian, Pioneer, Homesteader, Westerner and Rodeo artifacts. I was informed that every single item in this entire museum had been donated by someone over the years, including the large main building.   I couldn’t begin to explain all there is or to try and show you about this museum adequately. Just Google “Range Riders Museum” and click on “Exhibits” to get a slideshow for a better idea of just how much there is to see.

 

 

On down the road a ways I saw a sign advertising the Brinton Museum Store located in Hysham, MT and decided to run up U.S. 10 a couple of miles to check it out. This turned out to be a one-room museum store consisting of a beautifully restored antique soda fountain and some local historical artifacts. The museum was closed but I was able to get a photo thru the front window.

 

 

Next I took a small side-trip, south on SR-47, to visit the Big Horn County Historical Museum located in Hardin, MT near the Crow Agency Trading Post. This museum is another frontier type museum with 24 relocated and restored buildings arranged to represent a 1850s Montana frontier village, with artifacts depicting those of that era in each building.

 

 

Another few miles down the road I visited the Battle of the Little Big Horn Monument, commonly known as the location of Custer’s Last Stand. This monument was packed to overflowing with visitors. At the battlefield there is a monument commemorating the 1876 engagement between the U.S. Army and the combined forces of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes. There are headstones positioned on the hill where the 7th Cavalry solders died and were originally buried. There is also a new section set aside as a National Cemetery.

 

 

I was interested to learn that several relatives of General Custer were among those who died with him during this battle. There was Captain Thomas Ward Custer his younger brother, Boston Custer his second brother, 1st Lt. James Calhoun his brother-in-law, and Henry Armstrong Reed his 18-year old nephew. History seems to indicate that most of the Custer relatives (including General Custer) looked upon this trip as an opportunity to experience the west in all its grandeur and beauty. I think they got a lot more than they expected!

 

 

Now I headed northwest on I-90 to visit the Moss Mansion Historic Museum located in Billings, MT. I thought this was going to be a museum I could just walk thru, but no, it was a one-hour guided tour and I didn’t think my knees would be able to handle all those stairs. So I just took a couple photos and went to find the next place on my list.

 

 

That turned out to try to find the Boot Hill Cemetery there in Billings. When researching this trip I had discovered this location was going to be a little difficult to find, but I thought Greta (my Garmin) could handle it. However, now that I was relying on her to get me to the exact location, she was confused and was leading me in circles. I finally found it, using my trusty paper map, and was not impressed. I’ve seen much better Boot Hill cemeteries on other trips.

 

 

I tried to find the Rimrocks there in Billings, but here again Greta was unable to locate a specific address. I thought it was a city or county park, but as it turned out it was an area of high cliffs cut into the mountain side by the Yellowstone River that borders the east side of Billings.   I finally found the right road and enjoyed the natural beauty as I followed the road from the river level to the top of the high plateau.

 

 

By now it was time to head for the motel there in Billings, get checked in and relax while I enjoy my leftover CC’s Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy with Apple Crisp for dessert. Yummm!!

—–To Be Continued—–

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 5

11 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

 

Day 5 (Tuesday)

This morning I headed west again on I-94 a short distance, to visit the Fort Lincoln Trolley Co. located in Mandan, ND. This is an attraction that utilizes 1890s open-air trolleys that travel from the old Third Street Station in downtown Mandan to the Fort Lincoln State Park and back. Since they weren’t open and I didn’t have the time to wait for the next trolley (1:00pm), I saved that ride for another trip.

 

 

While I was there in Mandan, I decided to check out the North Dakota State Railroad Museum. This turned out to be another small museum which was also closed. Their website indicates the museum displays mostly local railroad memorabilia; however, they do have several nicely restored items of rolling stock outside.

 

 

On the way to my next museum, I saw a sign for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and decided to stop in and see what it was all about. The park is located in western North Dakota where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. There wasn’t much to see from the Visitor’s Center, and I didn’t want to take the time to drive around the “Loop” which would have passed the Maltese Cross Cabin where President Roosevelt once lived.

 


After using the restroom there at the Visitor’s Center, I continued west for a visit at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum located in Medora, ND. This museum tells the story of the northwest plains horse and cattle culture which is a unique way of life in western America, and includes the Native Americans of the area, Western Ranching and Rodeo history.

 

 

 

 

In the Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees area I saw several photos mentioning the “North Dakota Six Pack” of Rodeo champions spanning the 1850s-1960s, when North Dakota rodeo riders ruled the National Rodeo Circuit. When I asked the curator where I could find additional information about these men, she directed me to the “Cowboy Café down the street, where the wife of one of the sons of a “Six pack” was the owner.

 

 

 

So I walked down to the Cowboy Café and ordered one of their special Buffalo Burgers. I asked the waitress if the owner was there, and she said she would get her from the kitchen. It turned out that she was the daughter of Thomas J. Tescher, who was one of the “North Dakota Six Pack” champions. His family had been cattle ranchers there in North Dakota for generations. She was very nice and gave me a quick run-down of the family history and their involvement in the National Rodeo Circuit. Her father, Tom, one of 15 Tescher children, entered his first rodeo at age 17 and went on to be ranked in the top 10 saddle bronc riders from 1955 to 1958, and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Dallas in 1959.

 

 

Note: “The North Dakota Six Pack” was a group of North Dakota rodeo competitors who dominated the national rodeo scene during the 1950s and 1960s. They included (L to R Below) Tom Tescher, Duane Howard, Dean Armstrong, Joe Chase, Jim Tescher, and Alvin Nelson.

 

 

With a full tummy, I now headed west again, crossing the border into Montana, to visit the Wibaux Railroad Museum located in the little town of Wibaux, MT. This museum turned out to be one train car (the museum) one caboose, and a monument sign telling about Pierre Wibaux, the founder of the town of Wibaux.

 

 

Heading west again, I next visited the Frontier Gateway Museum located in Glendive, MT. This was a small museum that was a mix of displays including fossils recovered from the local area, Native American artifacts, homesteader’s items, settler’s tools, cattlemen’s paraphernalia, and Northern Pacific railroad information.

 

 

Located just down the street was the Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum. This museum has more than 23 full-sized dinosaur and fossil exhibits. It claims to be the largest dinosaur and fossil museum in the United States to present its fossils in the context of biblical history. This unique museum also sponsors “Dig-for-a-day” fossil digs in the badlands close to Glendive, which gives participants an opportunity to experience paleontology first hand as they learn how to identify, collect and interpret fossils from a Biblical creationist’s perspective.

 

 

While I was in Glendive, I stopped by to check out the Makoshika State Park. The word Makoshika (Ma-ko-shi-ka) is a variant spelling of the Lakota phrase meaning “bad land” or “bad spirits.” The park was closed and from the map at the visitor’s center, there didn’t seem to be much to see. So I headed for the motel, to get checked-in and look for a place to eat.

 

 

The motel clerk recommended CC’s Family Café down the road, so I headed that way and enjoyed their delicious Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravey with Apple Crisp for dessert. Very satisfying!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

America’s North Country~Trip Part 4

4 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

Day 4 (Monday)

 

Before I left Fargo this morning I stopped for a quick visit to the Fargo Air Museum, just a few minutes from my motel, located at the Hector International Airport. This was a nice museum consisting of many aircraft which the museum keeps in flying condition. Their collection included the famous DC-3 “Duggy” and a full-scale prototype model of the Northrop-Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk.

 

 

Now I headed west on I-94, about 25 miles, for a quick stop to visit the Cass Regional Airport in Casselton, ND. As it turned out I couldn’t find a museum at the airport, but I saw an open hanger door and ducked in to ask about a CAF Squadron. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a Japanese Zero getting a touch-up paint job by Roy Kieffer. He informed me that he had painted several Warbirds for various people and organizations there in that one-plane sized hangar. Who would have guessed?

 

 

On these trips I am always on the lookout for brochures advertising museums that I might be interested in visiting. That is how I came across a brochure for the Rosebud Railroad Visitor Center located in Valley City, ND. This turned out to be a very small museum (one restored 1881 Superintendent Rail Coach) housed in a replica of a 1850s freight depot. There wasn’t much to see, but they had a very nice restroom.

 

 

Now I made a short side-trip, off of I-94, northwest to visit the Midland Continental Depot located in Wimbledon, ND. This turned out to be pretty much a waste of time, since the museum was a very small restored depot building, which was closed, and a caboose out front.

 

 

On the way to Jamestown, ND to visit the National Buffalo Museum, I stopped to get a photo of the World’s Largest Buffalo Monument (26’ tall, 46’ long & 60 tons). I can’t imagine why anyone would put together something like that! I guess it is an advertising gimmick for the buffalo museum there in Jamestown.

 

 

However, one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing on this trip was the large herds of buffalo that the TV documentaries have been showing for the last few years. So here I was at the National Buffalo Museum to checkout that herd of buffalo. Well, you guessed it. There was not a single live buffalo to be seen. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see the first live buffalo during my entire trip. My friends tell me they are all somewhere in South Dakota. Right!

 

 

After leaving Jamestown I picked up I-94 and headed west again to visit the Historic Town of Buckstop Junction located on the outskirts of Bismarck, ND. This was another tourist trap setup to look like an early North Dakota pioneer town. One look at “Main Street” of the town and I was ready to mosey on down the road.

 

 

My first stop in Bismarck was to visit the Lewis & Clark Riverboat, located at the Port of Bismarck on the Missouri River. This turned out to be a dinner cruise type riverboat that took people and groups up and down the river daily and by charter. Since I wasn’t interested in a dinner cruise, I took a couple pictures and headed into downtown Bismarck.

 

 

I almost missed the Camp Hancock Historical Site there in downtown Bismarck. The original site was built-up as an infantry post in 1872, to help guard the construction of the railroad thru that area of North Dakota. In later years it was used as a quartermaster’s station and then as a weather station. The small site now consists of a restored church, weather station building and a locomotive.

 

 

I stopped at the Former Governor’s Mansion long enough to take a photo, and then swung by the North Dakota Capital for another photo.

 

 

Since it was after 5:00, I thought I would look up the local R/C Model airplane flying field to see if anyone was flying this afternoon. Even though it was a beautiful evening, no one was at the field, so I headed for my motel there in Bismarck.

This evening Greta had no trouble finding the motel and, after getting checked in, I settled down to enjoy my leftover Denny’s Ground Turkey Meatloaf dinner with all the trimmings.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—-

 

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 2

13 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 2 (Saturday)

After a nice hot complimentary breakfast of orange juice, scrambled eggs, sausage links, biscuit & gravy at the motel, I headed north on I-29 to visit the Sergeant Floyd River Museum which is surrounded by Larson Park and located in Sioux City, IA. This dry-docked towboat was built in 1932 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage the nation’s inland waterways, and is now a museum exhibiting historical artifacts about its use over the years on the Missouri River.

 

Sergeant Floyd Museum Boat

 

Next there in Sioux City was a quick visit to the Mid-America Museum of Aviation and Transportation. This was a small museum with a few nicely restored aircraft, buggies, automobiles, trucks and a 1981 Moni-Motor glider built by Monett Experimental Aircraft Co. hanging from the ceiling.

 

 

Another place I wanted to visit there in Sioux City was the Sioux City Railroad Museum near the Riverside area. As it happened, a film crew was there making a documentary about the Museum, and they had several young women dressed in period costumes being used as models. It was interesting to watch them bustling around trying to get the gals to pose just the way they wanted, and in just the right light, for their photos. What a bunch of prima donnas!

 

 

As I was leaving Sioux City I, stopped by the Chief War Eagle Monument to take a photo and learn a little more about this Yankton Sioux Chief. History records him as “Friend of the White Man” and a scout for the U.S. Government, as well as a mediator with the native tribes during the war of 1812. He was one of the tribal leaders selected to go to Washington D.C. to negotiate peace treaties, and was awarded the Silver Peace Metal by President Martin Van Buren in 1837.

 

 

Now I headed north on I-29 stopping by the South Dakota ANG, located adjacent to the Sioux Falls Reginal Airport, to see if they had a museum. They didn’t, so I had to be satisfied with photos of their static display aircraft from outside the fence.

 

 

Next on my list was a visit to the Battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) Memorial located there in Sioux Falls, SD. This was an unusual memorial in that it had displayed many individual pieces of the ship (a 16” gun barrel, a 40mm gun mount, ship’s anchor, etc.) around the grounds. Inside there were many artifacts and memorabilia displays of this historical ship and its crews.

 

 

On my way through town, I stopped to take a photo of the Sioux Falls Old Minnehaha Courthouse Museum. It was a majestic structure, but I didn’t take the time to go in as I expected it would display mostly city historical items, and I was sure my knees wouldn’t appreciate all those stairs.

 

 

After checking into the motel for the night there in Sioux Falls, I went looking for someplace to eat. As luck would have it, I saw a Panera Bread restaurant and stopped in for a delicious Pick-2 Meal of a Chipotle Chicken sandwich and a cup of their great Broccoli-Cheese soup. One of their oversized chocolate chip cookies topped off my meal for dessert. What a wonderful way to end a day on the road!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critter in the Attic

19 Apr

 

A Slice of Life

By Bill Lites

DiVoran and I moved to East Central Florida in 1965 and bought our first brand new house. At the time, the area was booming with the Manned Space Program, and the construction industry couldn’t keep up with the demand for new houses. Our new house was located in a small new sub-division, and was typical for the time and area; concrete block construction, with pitched roof, jalousie windows, and minimal insulation.

 

 

Having both been born and raised in the southwest, we were not used to the heat and humidity here in Florida. As a result, I spent a lot of my spare time during those first several years in the attic building board walkways, installing lights, and wiring ceiling fans for every room in the house.

 

 

There were stories of how the contractors were cutting corners to meet their schedules and reduce costs. We didn’t pay a lot of attention to the stories at first, as we were just happy to have been able to find and buy a new house in such a “Buyer’s Market” so quick. However, working in the attic gave me a good idea of some of those shortcuts.

 

 

For instance, the attic insulation was very flimsy. It was made of Aluminum coated corrugated craft paper! Try to imagine, in the picture below, that the top and bottom layers are corrugated craft paper (somehow bonded together) with the aluminum coating on the outside surfaces. The aluminum coating, we were told, was supposedly to reflect the radiant heat from of the sun. The open area between the top and bottom layers was an “insulating air space” to keep the heat from reaching the ceiling. I can’t imagine how any building industry standards organization could have ever approved such a flimsy and ridiculous design. But, there it was. And of course, there was NO insulation of any kind over the garage area.

 

 

DiVoran and I always had pets while growing up, and of course we had to have a pet to go with our new house. Our beautiful long-haired gray and white tabby’s name was “Pepper” and he was a very active in-door addition to our family. I can’t remember just when the following episode occurred, but suffice it to say it was some years after our move to Florida.

 

 

In the middle of the night, I woke to hear what sounded like a small critter in the attic above our bedroom. It sounded like it would scurry around quickly, on that flimsy craft paper insulation in the attic, and then it would stop and I could hear it gnaw on something. Then it would scurry around some more, and then back to gnawing. For the next few nights, I pondered on how I was going to get rid of that pesky critter. I could just see it gnawing through the insulation on an electric wire and starting a fire. And, I didn’t want it to make a home in our attic and start raising a family to add to the potential problem. Then I believe God gave me an inspired idea!

 

 

The next evening I put Pepper in the attic and closed the access door. He circled the access door a few times, meowing. When he finally realized I wasn’t going to open the access door and let him out, I heard him walking across the craft paper insulation to the vent holes in the soffit.

 

 

He kept moving from one vent hole to the next, looking for a way to get out of the attic. He progressed around two whole sides of the house until he got to our bedroom, when his movements stopped. All this time our pesky critter had been busy gnawing and scurrying around its usual area of the attic, just above our bedroom light fixture. There was silence from Pepper for a full minute, while the critter kept gnawing. Then there was a loud thump! And then complete silence. We heard no more sounds from the attic for the rest of the night.

 

 

The next morning, I opened the attic access door and called Pepper. It took him a while, but then I saw him walking toward me on the walk-way board, meowing all the way. I lifted him down and he seemed happy to be back in the house with his family. As it turned out, we never had another problem with critters in our attic. Who knows, maybe Pepper left his scent up there, and it deterred any other adventuresome critters from making a home in our attic. Whatever the case, we are happy they have stayed away. Just in case you were wondering, we did put some real insulation in our attic not too long after that.

 

 

 

—–The End—–

 

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 15

12 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 15 (Thursday Oct.13, 2016)

 

I was up early this morning, and had a delicious breakfast at the Bob Evens Restaurant just down the road from the motel. With a full tummy, and since I didn’t have to be at the airport until after lunch (2:00 pm), I decided to drive around the Columbus area, to see what I could find of interest.

 

 

I drove up and down what looked like busy business streets, but came across nothing much of interest in the area where I had stayed. I Googled “Things to do in Columbus,” and one of the things recommended was German Village. So I picked the Schiller Park, which was said to have an interesting “Umbrella Girl Fountain” on display. It turned out to be a beautiful but small park, and the fountain display was very restful.

 

 

By the time I got through checking out the Schiller Park and the “Umbrella Girl Fountain” it was getting close to noon, and I thought I better get something to eat to tide me over, on the Southwest “Peanut Flight” back to Orlando. Google had also informed me, that one of the best places to eat, in the German Village area, was the “German Village Coffee Shop” located on Thurman Street. I found it (it was tiny) and tried one of their grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I’m not sure what all the “Hoopla” is about?

 

 

Then I headed for the Enterprise Rental Car office to turn in my car. That process went well, and I tried to call an Uber ride. That didn’t go so well, until one of the Enterprise agents helped me out. I had a ride within ten minutes, and was delivered to the John Glenn Columbus International Airport in another fifteen minutes. What a great service!

 


The non-stop Southwest flight from Columbus to Orlando was on time, smooth, and the peanuts were fresh. Those peanut bags are really small, and I had to ask for an extra bag. I was in the first row isle seat on the left, so was one of the first off the plane in Orlando. The walk from the arrival gate, to the tram into the main terminal, and the wait at Baggage Claim took almost as long as the flight had.

 

 

My lovely wife, Divoran, picked me up at the arrival area, and we headed north on SR-436 looking for somewhere to eat dinner. She let me know that she had her mouth set for pizza, and we were able to find a small Pizzeria not far from the airport. We enjoyed the food and time alone together, bringing each other up to date, mostly about her adventures with Hurricane Matthew.

 

 

The trip home to Titusville was uneventful, and I was glad to be home where I could unwind and sleep in my own bed for a change. Living out of a suitcase gets old in a hurry, and people’s loud TV at night doesn’t help. And as they say, “Home is where the heart is.” At least until I can plan another of my exciting travel adventures. Hope you have enjoyed hearing about this road trip and will join me for the next trip, when I will be exploring the many museums of the American North Country.

 

 

 

—–The End—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 14

5 Apr

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

Day 14 (Wednesday Oct.12, 2016)
Today was more or less a free day, since I had visited some of the museums around Columbus, scheduled for today, on the first day of this trip. I started

with the hope that I could visit the Waco Aircraft Collection of Anthony M. Morozowsky, there in Zanesville, before I headed toward Columbus. A month before this trip, I sent Mr. Morozowsky a letter requesting a visit to his collection. However, I never did receive an answer and the only thing I had to go on was the address on the FAA Registry, for his 30+ aircraft. When Greta informed me that we had arrived at our destination, I was disappointed that it turned out to be nothing more than a vacant lot and a couple of rusty broken down vehicles.

 


So I headed west on I-70, to visit the Historical Aircraft Squadron located in Carroll, Ohio. This was a small one hanger museum with six nicely restored airplanes, and a collection of retired ex-military volunteers sitting around the coffee machine sharing war stories. What a great bunch of guys!

 


Next on the list, was a visit to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, located a few miles north in Pickerington, Ohio. I have visited so many museums, in the last two weeks that it was sometimes hard to remember which ones I had already visited, until I actually pulled into the parking lot. This was one of the museums I had visited earlier. That’s OK, since I was headed that direction anyway.

 


Just a few miles west, I went to visit the Bob McDorman Automotive Museum, located in Canal Winchester, Ohio. This museum was closed when I tried to visit it on day 1 of this trip (even though the sign out front said “Open Wed-Sat 1-5”). As it turned out, it was closed again today (Same sign was outside; Go Figure), and I missed out seeing Bob’s fine collection.

 

 

Now it was on down the road, to visit the Motts Military Museum located in Groveport, Ohio. To say this was the most extensive display, of military memorabilia that I have ever seen in a museum, would be an understatement. There were two large wings to the museum absolutely chocked full, from floor to ceiling, of memorabilia on both walls covering the U.S. military services dating from the Civil War through current times. The museum also had a very nice display of restored military vehicles and weapons displayed outside.

 


Now I headed into Columbus to visit the Ohio Village & Museum, at the Ohio History Center. The portion of the Center that housed the museum was a massive edifice, and would take the average person hours to go through it. Once I got a look at a museum layout map, at the visitor’s desk, I decided not to spend the time there and move on to the next museum.

 

 

The Camp Chase Site and Confederate Cemetery, located some four miles west of downtown Columbus, was surrounded by a high brick wall and I almost missed it. Wikipedia informed me that the camp was established in 1861, during the Civil War, as a staging and training base, and included a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. Named for Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, the site was closed in 1865 and the buildings were dismantled. The cemetery arch was erected as a memorial, to the many Confederate soldiers who were imprisoned at the camp, and to the 2200 that died there before the war ended.

 

 

The Ohio Railway Museum, located in Worthington, Ohio, some 12 miles north of Columbus, was the last museum on the list for this trip. As it turned out this was a very small museum, consisting of local railroad memorabilia and some very weather-beaten rolling stock.

 

 

 

Since it was still early afternoon, I headed for the motel, to get settled in and, so I could use their computer to print-out my boarding pass for my Southwest flight tomorrow. Because the Enterprise Rental Car office, where I rented my car, did not provide transportation to the airport, I had to come up with some way to get there on my own.

 

 

There was the taxi option, or possibly the Uber option. I liked the sound of the Uber option better, and spent quite a bit of time registering an account with them. I just hoped I would be able to use them tomorrow. We’ll just have to wait and see how that works out.

 


Dinner tonight was another delicious (leftover) dinner of Grilled Rainbow Trout with corn, green beans and one of their Cracker Barrel famous buttermilk biscuits with butter and honey for dessert. Yuuum!! Again.

 

—–To Be Continued—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 13

29 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 13 (Tuesday Oct.11, 2016)
This busy day started out with a visit to the MAPS Air Museum located in North Canton, OH. This museum reminded me a lot of the Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville. They had many of the same airplanes, engines, and military vehicles that the VAC has.

 

 

The big difference between the two museums, is that all but two of the VAC’s aircraft are beautifully restored and hangered, whereas many of the MAPS aircraft are permanently displayed outside, and are the worse for wear by constant exposure to the weather. Three of the more interesting aircraft at this museum, as far as I was concerned, were their 1908 Martin Glider, their Sopwith Triplane, and their B-26 Marauder.

 


Down the road a few miles I visited the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum located in Canton, OH. I was amazed at the extent this city has gone to, in honoring their hometown man, William McKinley.

 

There is a huge memorial edifice, as well as the large presidential library. The museum is beautifully laid out on three levels, and shows many different examples of McKinley’s life and his time as President.


Next on the list was a visit to the Canton Classic Car Museum, also located there in Canton. This museum displays some 40+ beautifully restored rare and unusual classic/special interest cars, as well as a large variety of historical automotive memorabilia.

 

 

While I was in Canton, I had Greta direct me to the First Ladies National Historical Site (Museum). I didn’t realize, until informed by the tour guide, that this museum was physically located in the original restored 1841 McKinley residence.

 

 

I was truly impressed with the story of the saving and restoration, of the residence, and all of the information displayed about the First Ladies of our American Presidents. I think DiVoran, or any woman would have enjoyed the tour much more than I did. The decor of the residence and the styles of the time period displayed and referred to, during the tour, I think would be of great interest to most any woman.

 


Heading south on I-77, I was planning to make a short visit at the Schoenbrunn Village, located in New, Philadelphia OH. But when I got there, this early American village looked too spread out, and would have taken way too much time to see it all. I learned from their web site, that the Schoenbrunn Village is a reconstruction of the early Delaware Moravian Village that was started by David Zeisberger in 1772. The current village consists of 17 reconstructed buildings, including Zeisberger’s cabin, his church, and the first village schoolhouse.

 

 

A few miles to the southeast I visited the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum located in Denison, Ohio. This was a very small museum, with local railroad memorabilia and some very nicely restored rolling stock. The museum is one of the only remaining examples, in the nation, of a railroad canteen that reflects its WWII heritage. I learned from their website that the Dennison Depot was built in 1873, and became an important central rail hub for many years.

 

 

During WWII the “Dennison Depot Salvation Army Servicemen’s Canteen” (operating 24/7 from 1942-1946 by some 4000 volunteers), served millions of military service personnel free food and coffee, which eventually earned it the nickname, “Dreamsville, Ohio.”

 

 

My next stop was to visit the Hopalong Cassidy Museum located in Cambridge, Ohio. I had talked to the curator of this museum a few weeks ago, to find out what their hours of operation were. So, I was completely surprised when Greta informed me that I had arrived at the museum location, only to see a burned-out two story building! I asked a lady on the street if that was the museum location, and she informed me that it was, and that the museum had been destroyed by fire just two weeks ago. What a bummer for everyone!

 

 

Next on my list was the National Museum of Cambridge Glass, also located there in Cambridge. The museum displays over 6000 pieces of beautiful classic glassware creations by the Cambridge Glass Company from 1902-1958. There is also a small interpretive area where visitors can see how glass was made; from the gathering and shaping of the glass, to the etching and engraving of the final product.

 

 

Now I headed south a few more miles, to check out the Byesville Coal Mine & Train Museum located in Byesville, Ohio. This was a very small museum (part of the M&P Railway system in 1871), with local railroad memorabilia and a few items of restored rolling stock.

 

 

There was also a monument and memorial to the many Ohio coal miners of the early 1900s to mid-1900s, who filled the coal cars of “The Route of the Black Diamond” trains, and helped put this area of Ohio on the map.

 


Now as I headed west, my next stop was to visit the John & Annie Glenn Historical Site located in new Concorde, Ohio. This small museum consisted of memorabilia from the lives of John & Annie Glenn, displayed in their former residence there in Concorde.

 


After putting all those miles on the rental car today, I finally headed for tonight’s motel located in Zanesville, Ohio. Dinner tonight at the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant, was a serving of their delicious Grilled Rainbow Trout with corn, green beans, and one of their famous buttermilk biscuits, with butter and honey for dessert. Yummm!

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous~Trip Part 12

22 Mar

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

Day 12 (Monday Oct.10, 2016)
I awoke to another brisk Ohio fall morning of 36° with a high expected today of 60°. I bundled up, and headed southeast to visit my first museum of the day, which was the National Packard Museum located in Warren, OH. I have discovered that quite a few museums are open on Saturdays, but closed Sundays and Mondays. This was the case for this museum. I was not too disappointed about missing a visit to this museum, as I had visited the American Packard Museum in Dayton on the second day of this trip. That’s not to say I would not have enjoyed viewing more beautifully restored early Packard automobiles at this museum.

 

 

Next on the list for today, was a visit to the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, also located there in Warren. This turned out to be a relatively small museum founded by Ernie C. Hall in the early 1900s. Information on an Ohio Historical Marker indicates that Ernie Hall was a good friend of the Wright Brothers and other early aviation notables.

 

 

His web site says that Ernie Hall holds the distinction of being actively involved in all aspects of aviation longer than any person in the world. What an honor!! His website also says that as a member of the exclusive Early Bird Club, Ernie was one of the many early aviation enthusiasts that helped birth the American aviation industry. He established the Hall Flying School in 1915, and during WWI joined the Army Signal Corps as a flight instructor. It was during this time that Ernie trained many well-known aviation greats, such as Jimmy Doolittle and others, to fly.

 

As I headed back east toward Akron, Ohio I stopped at the Kent University to visit the memorial to the May 4, 1970 shooting of students, by members of the Ohio National Guard. The students were protesting the Nixon Administration’s “Cambodian Campaign” there on campus, when the Guardsmen opened fire, killing 4 students and wounding 9 others.

 

 

Down the road a ways, my plan was to visit the Hale Farm & Village Museum located in Bath, OH. This farm and museum was closed, so it was difficult for me to find out what their main emphasis was. However, I did find out from an Ohio Historical Marker, that the Hale family settled in this area in the early 1800s, and was instrumental in the founding of the Bath Township, also considered part of the “Firelands” (Northwest Territory).

 

 

 

Now I headed south, to visit the Bethlehem Cave & Nativity Museum, located in the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Catholic Church in Akron, OH. A very friendly escort informed me that Father David Halaiko had created the Bethlehem Cave from photographs, and collected many of the memorabilia items on display. Also a number of Father Halaiko’s parishioners had brought back memorabilia items, from their trips to countries all over the world, to add to his display.

 


Next I checked out the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad Station located on the north side of Akron, OH. This is part of the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad Scenic Railroad System that stretches from Independence, OH, through the center of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, to Akron with seven stops at smaller stations along the way.

 

 

 

While researching for this trip on the Internet, under a “List of things to do in Akron Ohio,” the Glendale Cemetery was listed. I wanted to see what was so interesting about this cemetery, so I drove through and took some pictures of some of the stately mausoleums.

 

 

 

This cemetery dates from 1839, and I was amazed at the size and complexity of some of the structures. Many of the mausoleums are modeled after Egyptian, Greek and Roman temples or Gothic churches.

 

 

On the way to the motel, due to road construction, Greta kept directing me in a figure eight of exits/ramps trying to get me on I-77 north. That was really frustrating! I finally stopped, got out my Ohio map, and worked out a way to get to the motel area, without taking the route that Greta was insisting upon. That made for an extremely long day, before I could stop, relax, and call DiVoran, to tell her about the adventures of my day.

 

(This cartoon from the Internet expresses just how I felt!)

By then it was way past time to heat up the leftover Baby Back Ribs, sweet potato, and green beans for another delicious Applebee’s dinner. Yummm again!

 

—–To Be Continued—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 11

15 Mar

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

Day 11 (Sunday Oct.9, 2016)
Weather Note: The temperature this morning when I awoke was 38° with a high forecast for today of 60° at 3:00 pm. I’m sure glad I brought jeans, heavy long sleeved shirts and a windbreaker on this trip. They sure will come in handy for the next few days.

 

My first stop this morning was to visit the Liberty Aviation Museum located in Port Clinton, OH. This was a small museum, with only about eight beautifully restored airplanes. They also had a variety of nicely restored military vehicles as part of their collection, and this was the home of the Art Deco styled Tin Goose Diner.

 

 

Next, I headed east for a visit to the Sandusky Maritime Museum located in Sandusky, OH. This was another very small museum, consisting of local maritime memorabilia and a couple of outside boat exhibits. I didn’t spend a lot of time at this museum.

 

 

Down the road a ways, I visited the Mad River Railroad Museum located in Bellevue, OH. Here again, this was a very small museum consisting of local railroad memorabilia. However, they did have several nicely restored pieces of rolling stock. I have been amazed to discover, how much railroad activity there was in Ohio during the steam engine hey-day of the 1920s through the 1950s.

 


Across the street from the Mad River Railroad Museum, was a large beautiful church that I just had to get a picture of. Its architecture reminded me of many smaller castles had seen in Europe.

 

 

As I headed east, out of Bellevue, I spotted a small sign on the side of the rural road advertising the Historic Lyme Village Museum. I had miles to go today, and didn’t have time to stop to see what the museum was all about. I Googled the museum later, and discovered the Historic Lyme Village and museum depict life in the Firelands (Northwest Territory-1787) of the first settlers (from Connecticut) in the early 1800s.

 

 

Next on the list for today, was a visit to the NASA’s Glenn Research Center located on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. The guard at the gate informed me that the museum is not open to the public except for monthly one-day tours, which had to be made on the Internet ahead of time.

 

 

As I was leaving the Glenn Research Center, I passed the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant and decided to stop and use their restroom. I wish I’d had time to stay for a meal at this aviation themed restaurant, which salutes World War II heroes, and gives their guests a view of the Cleveland/Hopkins International Airport runway while they eat.

 


I headed east again, to visit the International Women’s Air & Space Museum located, on the shores of Lake Erie, just to the northeast of the city of Cleveland, OH. As it turned out the Browns vs. Patriots football game was being played in the Cleveland Browns Stadium, about a half a mile to the west of the museum. Several of the roads in the area were blocked to traffic, and every parking lot within a ½-mile radius of the stadium was full by the time I got to the museum. They had even closed the museum and locked the building, because of the deluge of after game people, trying to use their restroom that had created horrible problems for the museum in the past. I was disappointed not to be able to visit this museum, as I was curious about how women have been portrayed in the Air & Space rolls by this museum.

 

 

Next I tried to visit the USS Cod (SS-224) Submarine Museum, just down the street from the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, but was again disappointed to find that this museum had also been closed because of the crowds attending the Browns vs. Patriots football game.

 

 

I had noticed a sign for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum, as I was heading for the USS Cod Museum, and thought I would see if I could find it. However, I had made too many turns, on too many streets, and could not find it. I was however, able to find the following photo and (interesting historical marker) on the internet.

 

 

So, I just headed for tonight’s motel located in Warrensville Heights, OH.
After I got checked in at the motel, I headed off in search of a restaurant for dinner tonight. I ended up having Baby Back Ribs, sweet potato, and green beans at the Applebee’s Restaurant down the road a ways, in the little town of Bedford, OH. There was more than enough left over for another meal tomorrow evening. Yummm!

 

—–To Be Continued—–

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