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America’s North Country Trip~ Part 3

20 Sep

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

Day 3 (Sunday)

 

This morning I headed north on I-29 and west SR-34 to visit the Historic Prairie Village located in Madison, SD. This is a reconstruction of a turn-of-the-century South Dakota village, with some 40 antique-filled buildings, located on 120 acres. The buildings were rescued from the surrounding area and maintained as museum pieces. The village was too spread-out for me to walk around the whole area so I asked the lady, where I bought my ticket, if I could drive slowly thru the area and take photos. She agreed, and that allowed me to see the entire village from the comfort of my car.

 

 

Now I continued north on US-81, across the border, to visit Bonanzaville USA, sponsored by the Cass County Historical Society and located in West Fargo, ND. This museum consists of some 47 buildings moved from the surrounding area and placed to form a frontier town. Situated on 12 acres, the homes and buildings are furnished with period items. I was overwhelmed by literally hundreds of thousands of artifacts that make up the museum’s collection. There are displays of antique horse-drawn vehicles, firefighting vehicles, medical and dental equipment, law enforcement items, a telephone exchange and a small newspaper office. There are also buildings filled with antique aircraft and automobiles.

 

 

Several years ago I watched the movie “Fargo” and was not prepared for the difference between what I saw in that movie and what I experienced of Fargo today. The movie was filmed in the winter with snow everywhere and people bundled up in heavy clothes. Today in Fargo the temperature was 94 degrees (it felt like 104) and I was looking for places to cool off. The air conditioned portion of the Bonanzaville Museum wasn’t cool enough in my opinion, and most of the “Frontier Town” was outside and open to the hot air of the day.

 

 

On today’s segment of this trip I had traveled a lot of miles (275+), and was looking forward to visiting the Fargo Air Museum to cool off. However, Greta

(my Garmin) was having issues with locating the address, and by the time I finally found the museum it was closed. So I headed for the motel there in town, where I knew I could get a shower and crank down the A/C. After cooling down, I went looking for a place to eat dinner. I finally found a Denny’s restaurant where I enjoyed one of their delicious Ground Turkey Meatloaf dinners, which came with green beans, potatoes & gravy and a home-made biscuit with honey for dessert.

 

 

—–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—–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America’s North Country~Trip Part 1

6 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Prolog:

 

Growing up in the Southwest (New Mexico), I have always been interested in the development of the western United States. I have visited all of the southwestern states many times, but have never ventured north. I had always wanted to visit the Western Plaines states or America’s North Country/ (as I call them), so I decided to take this opportunity to checkout this part of our beautiful country. During my research for this trip I quickly discovered that this area of our country is still pretty much wide-open and the trip was going to be much different from many of my recent trips. Whereas, I was accustomed to having multiple airplane, auto, railroad and maritime museums to choose from, I now found very few of these type museums. What seemed most prevalent in these states (Nebraska, North & South Dakota, Montana, Idaho & Wyoming) were Frontier type museums. This consisted of Historic Site & Town restorations, Pioneer Villages, Lewis & Clark Historic Sites, Territorial Prisons and Dinosaur museums. There would be a few airplane, car and railroad museums scattered along the way, but very few. What did I expect?

 

 

Day 1 (Friday)

The only city in any of the six states I was going to visit, into which I could get a non-stop flight on Southwest Airlines, was Omaha, NE. I was amazed to find the curbside check-in stand at the Orlando Airport with less than a dozen people in line to check their bags. The security check line was also minimal, and I was at the gate before I knew it.

 

 

My 2-hour, 10-minute Southwest non-stop flight from Orlando to Omaha, NE was smooth and comfortable. The Honey-Roasted peanuts were fresh and went well with two glasses of apple juice. I had brought along a couple of Roasted Almond Crunch bars to supplement the peanuts, so was not too hungry by the time we landed in Omaha.

 

 

At the rental car desk, the agent asked me where I would be traveling to, and I just picked Fargo, ND off the top of my head. I was informed that the rate I had been quoted by my travel agent would not allow me to take the car out of any state that did not border Nebraska. What kind of scam was this? What could I do? The agent said she could give me a “Commercial Rate” which would allow me to travel in any state I wished, for only $250 more! I said, “No Thanks” and went to another rental car desk. There I was able to rent a top-of-the-line car that I could travel anywhere in, for only about $40 more than my originally quoted price. That car had more “Bells & Whistles” than I knew what to do with.

 

 

With that task finally settled, and since I had gained an hour during my flight, I still had some time left to visit a few museums before they closed for the day. I headed across the Missouri River to visit my first museum. It was only about 3½ miles to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, IA. This museum, located in the old, beautifully restored, Council Bluffs Carnegie Library, has several exhibits covering the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in the years after the Pacific Railway Act was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and the ultimate growth of the Union Pacific Railroad system.

 

 

I had chosen to go to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum first because it closed early, so now I headed back across the Missouri River, to visit the Lewis & Clark Historic Trail Headquarters in Omaha, NE. I found it very interesting that this area, on the west bank of the Missouri River, was originally obtained by the U.S. Government in 1854 from the U-mo’n-Ho’n (Omaha Indians) or “upriver people.” I really had never related the word “Omaha” with an Indian tribe before. Doesn’t say much for my American History knowledge does it?

 

 

History seems to suggest that the wandering Omaha Indians established their first permanent village west of the Missouri River around 1734. I was impressed to learn that the Lewis & Clark Expedition Trail extends over 3700 miles, thru 11 states, from the St. Lewis area to Fort Clatsop in Oregon Country on the Pacific coast. As part of the Historic Trail, it is said that the Lewis & Clark Expedition traveled, camped, hunted and fished around this area. They also met and traded with the Omaha Indians, and held council with many of the Indian Chiefs in the middle Missouri River area. My travels on this trip would follow much of the northwestern portion of the original historic Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

 

 

Next it was just a short drive to where I visited the Durham Museum located in downtown Omaha. This museum is housed in the beautifully restored former Union Pacific Railway station, and has several displays depicting the early days of the Union Pacific Railway system during the growth of the city of Omaha. The museum also has a nice selection of restored rolling stock outside.

 

 

Next I visited the Omaha Memorial Park, located another few miles west of the Missouri River. This memorial park was dedicated in 1958 to honor all of the men and women from Douglas County, Nebraska who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

 

Then I drove a couple more miles to visit the Lewis & Clark Landing, located on the west bank of the Missouri River, also near downtown Omaha. The landing represents the original 1804 landing site, in the Omaha area, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition as they explored some of the vast lands (828,000 sq. miles) which made up part of the Louisiana Purchase for the U.S. Government.

 

 

As an interesting side note, there was a “labor” sculpture adjacent to the landing to honor the many men who had been a part of the lead refining industry that operated in this area, by one name or another, from 1871 to 1997.

Note: See the man with the hammer raised over his head in the photo below? When I Googled this sculpture, I came across a photo of this same sculpture during the Great Flood of 2011, showing the water level so high that only his hand and the hammer were above the water, when the Missouri River crested between 30-35 feet above normal.

 

 

Another interesting area in downtown Omaha was the Pioneer Courage Park. This park represents the many struggles and hardships the early pioneers faces on their trip west thru this area. The picture of these stalwart pioneers is beautifully rendered in several bronze action sculptures, one of which is shown below.

 

 

On my way to visit the CAF Museum in Council Bluffs, IA I happened to spot sign for the River City Star. I stopped to see what it was all about and discovered that the “Star” is a passenger excursion riverboat that sails on the Missouri River and is docked at the Miller’s Landing & Yacht Club. The Yacht Club was closed, but a group had chartered the “Star” for a party and people were going aboard.

 

 

Since I was not invited to the party, I headed back across the Missouri River to check out the CAF Museum located at the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport. Unfortunately the museum was closed by the time I got there, so I just headed for my motel located there in Council Bluffs. However, before I got to the motel, I spotted a KFC restaurant and decided to have dinner with the Colonel. Yummm! I do like his chicken. The 3-piece chicken dinner came with green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy and one of their homemade biscuits with butter and honey for dessert. I had a very happy tummy after that delicious meal.

 

 

 

 

—– 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—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 10

8 Mar

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

Day 10 (Saturday Oct.8, 2016)
This day did not turn out anything like what I had expected. Here it was another beautiful Saturday morning, when I thought everyone would be out and about, but no, that’s not the way it was.

 

The first stop this morning was to visit the World War II Victory Museum in Swanton, OH. As it turned out, this was the location of the 180th Ohio Air National Guard base, but there was no museum. At least Greta and I couldn’t find one anywhere in the area. Just this sign at the entrance to a closed gate.

 

 

So I headed up the road to visit the Snook’s Dream Cars Museum, located in Bowling Green, OH. As luck would have it, this museum is closed on Saturday and Sunday. I couldn’t believe a classic car museum would be closed on the weekends. Is that out of the ordinary or what? What do YOU think about that!  I was really disappointed!

 

 

But what could I do except head on down the road to visit the Toledo Firefighter’s Museum in downtown Toledo, OH. Now I had made such good time this morning, because I expended no time at the first two museums, so I got to the Fireman’s Museum at 10:30. And, you guessed it! They didn’t open until 12 noon. Well, I wasn’t going to wait around 1-½ hours for them to open, so I got back in the car and headed down the road again.

 

 

Next on my list for today, was the Colonel James Schoonmaker Ship Museum located on the Maumee River, just to the north-east of Toledo. This museum is part of the National Museum of the Great Lakes Maritime Center there in Toledo. It consists of a visitor’s education center, and a tour of the grain and ore carrying ship. The visitor’s education center was quite interesting, with lots of historical maritime memorabilia associated with the Great Lakes shipping industry. I opted out of a tour of the ship, as the access ladder to the visitor’s deck area was WAY more than my troubled knees would have carried me, and there was no elevator.

 

 

Next I headed back into Toledo, to visit the Toledo Police Museum located in the small quiet Ottawa Park.  This was a small, but interesting, museum consisting of historical memorabilia associated with the Toledo Police Department, some of which dates back to the late 1800s.

 

 

When I headed south to visit my next museum, I was surprised when Greta said, “continue 119 miles on I-75 south.” I exited at my first opportunity and checked the location on my Ohio map. I discovered that I had miss-placed this museum entry address, for the WACO Museum on my “Trip Itinerary.” I had actually visited that museum on day 2 of this trip. Dua! I wonder how that happened?

 

As you can see, I spent a lot of time on the road today, but this did not turn out to be a very productive day for museum viewing. So, I gave up any further attempt at sight-seeing, in the Toledo area, and headed for this evening’s motel which was located in Perrysburg, OH. Dinner tonight was leftovers of some of that most delicious Lasagna, from the Four Seasons Family Restaurant last night. Double Yummm!!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

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