Tag Archives: #Roadtrip

2022 Road Trip-Part 10B

30 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 10 Continued (5/25/2022)

While I was in Lincoln, I wanted to take a look at the World’s Largest Railsplitter Covered Wagon.  This tribute to Abraham Lincoln, and the historic western movement, was built in 2001 by David Bentley and was displayed on Historic Route 66, in Divernon, IL until 2009 when it was moved to this location, for all to see and appreciate.  I have to agree this IS the largest covered wagon I have ever seen.  I think it is much more impressive in some of the other photos I have seen, with the canvas cover in place.  The photo below will give you some perspective as to its actual size.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only about four miles from the World’s Largest Covered Wagon to the Lincoln County Airport where I wanted to visit the Heritage In- Flight Museum, but they were closed.  So, I headed northeast another 10 miles on I-55 to visit the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum located in Atlanta, IL.  This is a fully restored, and operating, 1903 wooden grain elevator (amazing) that was used to store locally harvested grains until the Illinois & Midland Railroad could load and transport it to places like Terre Haute, Indiana and other destinations on their early 1900’s rail route.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

While I was in Atlanta, IL I wanted to visit the 19-foot-tall ‘Paul Bunyan’ holding a giant hot dog statue (one of the many Old Route 66’s mythic Muffler Man Statues) that was supposed to be located on SW Arch Street.  Greta (my Garmin) took me to the correct address, but the Paul Bunyan statue had been replaced by a large Golden Eagle Statue.  I took a photo of the eagle thinking I could read the wording on the plaque later, but the words came out blurred, so I’m not sure what the eagle is supposed to represent.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northeast 20 miles on I-55 to visit the Prairie Aviation Museum located adjacent to the Central Illinois Reginal Airport in Bloomington, IL.  This museum is filled with model aircraft, photos, and aviation memorabilia, while their outside airpark has a collection of several restored civilian and military aircraft on static display dating from 1945.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next, I travelled 50 miles southeast on I-74 to visit the Illinois Terminal located at the Event and Meeting Center Plaza in Champaign, IL.  This famous MTD terminal was originally built in 1896 by the Terminal Railroad Co. to serve the railroad needs of the city of Champaign and the surrounding Champaign County during the late 1880s.  The old Terminal and Meeting Center have been renovated several times over the years to their present status as the Illinois Terminal.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was time to head for my motel for the night.  I gave Greta (My Garmin) the motel address and it only took her a few minutes to get us to the Urbana, IL location, which was only a couple miles east, on the outskirts of Champaign.  I got checked in, got my things into the room, heated up my leftover Riblets Dinner from Applebee’s, and enjoyed that delicious meal again.  YUMMMM!

Photo Credit: https://yahoo.com/applebees+riblets+plate

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip-Part 10A

23 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 10 (5/25/2022)

This morning after breakfast, I headed east 15 miles on and I-55 to see what The Largest Catsup Bottle, located in Collinsville, IL was all about.  It turns out it is this huge 170-foot-high Collinsville water tower (100,000 gallons).  Built in 1949, in the shape of a catsup bottle, it has the name ‘Brooks’ painted on it, to honor the Brooks Catsup Company, that was in business there from 1907s to 1959, when the company merged with the P. J. Ritter Co.  The Suppiger Bottling Company moved its operations to Illinois in the early 1960s, and their name also appears on the water tower. Collinsville is also the self-proclaimed Horseradish Capital of the World, and hosts the annual Horseradish Festival held there in the city.

Note: Collinsville, IL was originally founded in 1837 as Unionville, IL. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was northeast 45 miles on I-55 to visit the Litchfield Museum located in downtown Litchfield, IL.  This small museum is the Official Route 66 museum in the area, as Old US-66 ran thru Litchfield, but was bypassed by I-55.  The museum has a large displays of early Route 66 artifacts, memorabilia, and curios.  The curator and I had a nice time remembering the Route 66 days of our youth.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

North 40 miles on I-55 I visited the Chatham Railroad Museum located just off Main Street in Chatham, IL.  This small museum is situated in the old restored 1902 C A & M station, that replaced the original 1852 C & M Railway Depot, and displays local railroad artifacts, memorabilia and photos associated with the railroad’s influence on the growth of the city of Chatham and the surrounding Sangamon County area from the mid-1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was only another 10 miles northeast on SR-3 to where I visited the Air Combat Museum located at the Lincoln Capital Airport outside Springfield, IL.  This museum consists of the private collection of Mick George and has 18 beautifully restored aircraft, most of which are in flying condition.  Their latest project is the restoration of a WWII P-40N Warhawk, which is being restored to flying condition.  The crew were very friendly, showing me around their restoration hanger, and I invited them to visit our Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville the next time they were in our area.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next it was only a couple of miles over to visit the Lincoln Memorial Tomb Site located within the 180-acre Oak Ridge Cemetery there in Springfield.  Wikipedia tells me that the National Lincoln Monument Association was formed by citizens of Springfield on April 15, 1865 (the day Lincoln died) and has maintained Lincoln’s tomb ever since.  It is a magnificent mausoleum to our 16th President.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After touring the rest of the beautiful Oak Ridge Cemetery, I headed east another 30 miles on I-55 to visit the Postville Courthouse Historic Site located in Lincoln, IL.  This is the site of the 1839 Postville Courthouse that served Logan County until 1848.  As a member of the Traveling Bar of the 8th Illinois Judicial Circuit, young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, attended court here twice each year until the county seat was moved to Mount Pulaski, IL in 1848.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip Part 9B

16 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 Continued (5/24/2022)

Next on the list was The National Museum of Transportation located in the Twin Oaks area of St. Louis.  This museum is laid out over a huge 42-acre rolling hills park that could really be called a four-museums-in-one arrangement.  There is the Lobby Area with its antique streetcars, the Miniature Train Station, the Automobile Collection, the Train Yard, and the Roberts Pavilion.  This museum has gone a long way to protect and interoperate North American’s Transportation Heritage.  There is something for everyone, including a miniature train ride around the park perimeter.  A family could easily spend a whole day here, and sill not see everything.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

In the main lobby area, I was impressed with the 1870s Bellefontaine Railway ‘mule car’ and the 1880s Boston & Providence Railroad coach.  There was also a selection of framed model history scenes depicting the evolution of transportation in America, as well as the McDonnell Tribute Exhibit.  For the antique car collector, there was a 1924 Ford Model ‘T’ there in the lobby being showcased as a give-a-way (Sweepstakes).  A real prize for someone!

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Within walking distance of the lobby, I checked out The Carl G. Lindburg Automobile Center, which displays some 60+ beautifully restored cars and trucks dating from the early 1900s.  Two of the most unusual cars in this collection are Bobby Darin’s Dream Car (Designed and built by fashion designer Andy Di Dia) and a 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car (only 55 produced).  And yes, Jay Leno has one that runs (#34) that he bought from Chrysler.

Photo credit: Bill Lites        Bobby Darin’s Dream Car

Photo credit: Bill Lites        1963 Chrysler Turbine Car

A little farther up the hill was the museum’s huge historic Train Yard.  This collection of 45+ pieces of restored rolling stock, includes the 1939 General Pershing Zephyr streamlined ‘Silver Challenger’ and the Union Pacific #4006 ‘Big Boy’ steam locomotive, considered to be the world’s largest (successful) steam locomotive

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I was walking back down to my van, I passed the Miniature Train Station, filled with excited young passengers waiting for their turn to ride in the museum’s Miniature Train. The train travels around the perimeter of the park and gives visitors an opportunity to see where all the exhibits are located.  Everyone loves that train ride!  This is truly a family attraction.

Photo credit: https://www.ksnt.com/news/miniture-park-train/

After that informative visit, I headed over to visit the James S. McDonnell Prologue Room located in the Boeing/St. Louis Headquarters building adjacent to the St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  This prologue room displays full-size Mercury and Gemini capsules as well as hundreds of models, dioramas, photographs, and videos that tell the story of the milestone events that the original McDonnell Aircraft Company was instrumental in, that helped shape America’s early manned space programs.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was time to get something to eat and head back to the motel for the night.  I stopped at an Applebee’s in the St. Johns area for a plate of their Rib-Lets with French fries and coleslaw.  I had enough left over to enjoy that delicious meal again tomorrow night.  Greta (My Garmin) acted like she knew the way to the motel, having been there before,

and took me right to it.  I recorded today’s adventures and went to bed.  I didn’t even turn on the TV.  I was a tired puppy.

Photo Credit: https://yahoo.com/applebees+riblets+plate

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip-Part 9A

9 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 (5/24/2022)

I was up early this morning, had breakfast, and headed for downtown St. Louis to visit The Gateway Arch and Museum.  I wanted to get there early to find the right parking garage which I had not been able to locate yesterday.  As luck would have it, I found it on the first pass and even with the three-block walk, still arrived at the Arch before the doors opened.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The prelude talk before the ride to the top was long and took us from one level to the next, but we finally arrived at the trams.  The 6-minute ride to the top of The Arch was knee-to-knee crowded in the tram, but when we got there, the view was worth the ride.  The windows were small, but the view (30 miles in any direction on a clear day) was spectacular!  I was amazed to feel the floor under my feet move slightly at one point.  We were only allowed about ten minutes at the top before we were herded back into the trams for the 4-minute trip back down.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As we exited the trams, we were guided onto the museum floor and the exits.  The museum is a very impressive layout.  There are six-themed exhibit areas that chronicle 201 years of American Western Expansion history as was witnessed by the St. Louis area from 1764 to 1965.   The displays are informative and explain each of the six periods in detail, with hands-on items for the younger visitors.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After completing that ‘Bucket List’ adventure, I walked over to check out the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France church (known as the Old Cathedral).  This cathedral’s roots date back to 1764, when St. Louis founders Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau dedicated land (church block) to the people of St. Louis for religious purposes. The log cabin built on that site was the first church west of the Mississippi River and the first church in St. Louis.  This 1831 Cathedral (renovated over the years) is the fourth structure to be built on this site and tells the story of the early history of St. Louis.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed off to explore some of the other museums on my list there in the St. Louis area.  First on the list was the Jefferson Barracks POW & MIA Museum located in the 405-acre Jefferson Barracks Park which was founded in 1828 as part of the Jefferson Barracks Military Post.  This museum is housed in the old restored 1905 Post Exchange building and is designed to honor those men and women who did not return from the war they fought, with personal and military artifacts and memorabilia.   

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving the Jefferson Barracks Park, I visited the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum which is situated in an original restored 1896 building.  This building was originally designed as a two-family duplex, and was part of in the ‘Officers Row’ housing section, within the U.S. Army Jefferson Barracks base.  The museum features an extensive collection of telephones, and telephone related equipment dating from the late 1800s to 2012. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next, I drove out to the Creve Coeur Airport, not far from the Missouri River, to visit the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum.  As I was pulling into the airport complex, I saw a sign for the Army Aviation Heritage Flying Museum which I didn’t know was also located in this complex.  I looked for their museum all over the complex, but couldn’t see any other indications as to where their museum was.  So, I tried the Restoration Museum.  This museum was closed, and I was really disappointed to miss a chance to see their collection of beautifully restored ‘Golden Age of Flight’ aircraft.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

 2022 Road Trip Part 8B

2 Nov

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Day 8 Continued (5/23/2022)

After that quick ‘Trip to the Past’ I left Paduca and headed back north 50 miles on SR-13 to visit the Gateway Classic Cars collection located in O’Fallon, IL.  This is a fabulous collection of beautifully restored cars, ranging from the 1930s Hot Rods to the present-day Muscle Cars.  I never get tired of drooling over the finished product of someone’s ‘Dream Car.’  I’ve been there and know how hard it is to sell that car you have put your heart and soul into restoring. 

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

Now it was only about 15 miles west on I-24 to where I had planned to visit the old 1831 Campbell House Museum located in the Lucas Place neighborhood in St. Louis, MO but they were closed by the time I got there.   Just a few blocks away I stopped to see if the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was open.  They weren’t, so it wasn’t far to where I checked out the Moto Motorcycle Museum.  This museum is the private collection of famous architect, Steve Smith, and displays mostly motorcycles made before 1975, and mainly from European countries.  It is a beautiful collection of motorcycles with names not commonly heard of in the United States.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

On the same block I noticed the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum, and stopped to take a photo.  They were closed also, so I headed a few blocks to check out the Laclede’s Landing Wax Museum located not far from the Gateway Arch, adjacent to the Mississippi River.  This museum has five levels and displays over 250 wax figures of some of the most famous persons in history, including movie stars, presidents, world leaders, religious leaders, and inventers just to name a few of the categories of wax figures.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

By now I was getting hungry, so I gave Greta (My Garmin) the address for the Blueberry Hill Diner located in the Delmar Loop district across from the Ackert Walkway leading to University City.  The Blue Berry Hill is a longtime pop culture–themed diner where live music is played several nights each week (Not tonight – Bummer).  They advertise that Chuck Berry walked across their stage, in their ‘Duck Room’ over 200 times.  I enjoyed an order of their famous French Dip, accompanied by a lot of Chuck Berry’s recorded music in the background, while I ‘people watched’ the crowd who came and went.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

After that exciting experience, I walked across Delmar Blvd to take a photo of the bronze statue of Chuck Berry that guards the entrance to the Ackert Walkway leading to University City.  I was amazed at the crowd of people filling the sidewalks on either side of the street.  They consisted of people of all ages dressed in every conceivable type of clothes, from shorts to dinner attire.  What a sight that was!

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

Greta was again employed to take me to tonight’s motel there on the outskirts of St. Louis, and she did a good job.  After I got checked in and got my things into the room, I recorded my day’s activities, and went to bed.  I had to get up early as I had reservations for the first timeslot at the Gateway Arch tomorrow morning and wanted to get a good night’s rest.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip-Part 3B#

7 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 Continued (5/18/2022) 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

I asked about the two names for the museum and the curator of the museum told me all about the Three Notch Road that is part of the history of Andalusia.  Seems that in 1824 the US Army built a 230-mile road from Pensacola, FL to Fort Mitchell, AL part of which (90 miles) went thru Andalusia.  Legend has it that the surveyor, a Captain Daniel E. Burch, used three notches cut in trees along the route to guide the construction workers that followed, and the name stuck.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

After that quick history lesson, I headed west another 55 miles US-84 to visit the Old Monroe County Courthouse located in Monroeville, AL.  This famous structure was built in 1903 and served as the Monroe County courthouse until 1963 when government offices were moved to a new building on the town square.  The town of Monroeville and the courthouse are famous as the location where, in 1962, Gregory Peck and Mary Badham stared in the Award-winning movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was filmed.  I also learned that the Pulitzer Prize Winning author of that book, Harper Lee, grew up in Monroeville, just a few blocks from the old courthouse, where the movie was filmed.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Now it was another 35 miles northwest on US-84 to where I visited the Clarke County Museum located in Grove Hill, AL.  The museum is housed in the Alston-Cobb antebellum house that was built in 1854 and is nestled in the piney woods of southwest Alabama.  The museum houses artifacts and memorabilia from prehistoric, Native American, pioneer, antebellum, and Victorian periods about Clarke County’s history. 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Pioneer Day is an annual event on the grounds of the Clarke County Museum where local re-enactors, dressed in period costumes, demonstrate many early 1800s tasks the settlers had to perform, such as syrup making, shingle splitting, clothes washing, butter churning, flint knapping, cotton spinning, basket making, horse shoeing, corn shuck doll making, and games for the children.  Blue Herron, a Creek Indian, sets up an authentic replica of a Creek hunting village there on the grounds of the museum where visitors can experience some of that local native culture’s historic activities.

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/51650726950719578/  

After leaving Grove Hill, I continued west on US-84 another 20 miles, where I planned to stop at the 4-Gal’s Restaurant in Coffeeville, AL for a meal, but they were closed (Covid-19 I guess).  So, needing to get to my motel before all the rooms were taken, I just kept heading west on US-84 passing thru Silas, AL and across the border into Mississippi, and thru Waynesboro before finally arriving at my motel in Laurel, MS for the night.  After I got checked in, I asked the motel clerk if he could recommend a good place to eat.  He said, if I liked sea food, that the Blue Crab Grill was not too far, so I tried it.   I had their Fried Catfish platter, with a sweet potato, corn-on-the-cob, and a side of onion rings.  It was delicious!  I give the Blue Crab Grill a 5-star rating for their food!

Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com/Blue Crab Grill/Laurel,MS  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road-Trip Part 3A

31 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 (5/18/2022)

This morning, after breakfast, I headed west 25 miles on US-84 to visit the U.S. Army Aviation Museum located at Ft. Rucker, AL only to find that the museum was on the base and took a special pass to enter.  The visitor office didn’t open for an hour, and I didn’t have the time to wait around and deal with the paperwork, so I just headed west about 10 miles on SR-248 to check out the Boll Weevil Monument located in Enterprise, AL.  The monument turned out to be situated in the middle of town at the intersection of S. Main Street and W. College Street.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I looked around the intersection, I noticed that there was a Boll Weevil Café on the corner, and a Boll Weevil mural on the side of a building.  Not being a true Southerner (I was born and raised in the southwest) I needed a little explanation for why a town would erect a prominent monument to such an insect.  Then I spied a historical marker.  “Herald of Prosperity?”  That inscription only increased my confusion.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The internet told me that the boll weevil was the most devastating insect to hit the southern cotton industry during the early 1900s.  The cotton industry tried everything they could think of to get rid of the boll weevil, but nothing worked.  Then in 1916 a local Enterprise seed broker named H.M. Sessions suggested alternate crops as a way to combat the boll weevil.  Peanuts and other crops, such as tobacco and potatoes, eventually turned the economic disaster around (Ref. George Washington Carver & the peanut).  However, it wasn’t until 1958, with the help from scientists with the USDA, that a synthetic blend of the boll weevil’s pheromone (chemicals produced by the glands in insects) was finally developed.  As it turned out, it was the boll weevil’s own pheromone that did them in.  This product is now used to lure boll weevils into traps where they can be sprayed with pesticides.

Photo Credit: sandiegouniontribune.com/boll-weevils-begone/

I only had to walk one block from the Boll Weevil Monument to the Enterprise Railroad Depot Museum.  This small museum is located in the original 1903 Alabama Midland Railway depot which serviced the growing Coffee County and surrounding south Alabama areas during its early years of growth.  The interior of the depot is unchanged from when passenger service was terminated in 1958 and is filled with local antique railroad artifacts and memorabilia.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Heading west another 45 miles on US-84, I passed thru the small towns of Opp, Babble, and Sanford to visit the Andalusia Railroad Depot Museum (also called the Three Notch RR Museum) located in Andalusia, AL.  This small museum is located in the original restored 1899 Central of Georgia Railway depot and is filled, top to bottom, with local railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from the late 1800s.  The depot served Andalusia and the surrounding Covington County area until 1983 when the last train left the station.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip

10 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Prelog 

This year’s driving road trip is really a substitute for the trip to the northwestern U.S. & western Canada trip that I have had planned, but have had to postpone, for two years now because of Covid.  I hope the Canadian tourist restrictions for Americans entering into their country will be lifted by next year so I can visit that part of northwest America and parts of western Canada.  The main motivations for this road trip were to visit friends in Lester, AL and to visit The Arch in St. Louis.  I missed a visit to The Arch last time I was in St. Louis because of Arch construction, and I really wanted to visit that Iconic structure.  The other motivation for this trip was a visit the Museum of Transportation, also in St. Louis, the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN and The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY.  I have been told by many friends The Ark Encounter is a must-see attraction.  The map below will give you an idea of the approximate route I have laid out for myself during this road trip.

Image Credit: https://mountainhighmaps.com/products/usa-eastern

The idea was to travel mostly on rural roads rather than Interstates to enable me to see more of each state I was passing thru.  I had been in parts of most of the states I would be passing thru on this trip, during previous road trips, but this route would allow me to see new and different parts of the states I wanted to see.   As I was finishing up my packing, our cat, Thea, came in and checked out what I was doing.  Then she jumped into my suitcase and gave me a look that I took to say, “OK, I’m ready to go.  When do we leave?”  I told her she had to stay home and take care of DiVoran while I was gone, so she wouldn’t get lonely.  I guess she was okay with that, as she jumped out of the suitcase and went to search for DiVoran (or a treat that I didn’t have for her).

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I’m driving my 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan again this year on the trip instead of renting a car, because it served me well on last year’s trip and is so much more comfortable.  Of course, after all these years, I fit the van, and I like sitting up a little higher for better traffic viewing.  I don’t get quite the milage in the van a new rental car would give me, but if the route weather is as cool as predicted I should be able to keep the A/C turned off for better milage than is usual here in Florida.

So, I’m looking forward to starting this road trip tomorrow, when I’ll beSee the source image‘On the Road Again’.5in x 4in Black Double Eighth Note Sticker   I will keep you up-to-date on the many and varied experiences I encounter along the way.

                  Image Credit: on the road again clipart – Bing images

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 17B

26 Jan

A Slice of LIfe

Bill LItes

Day 17 – 7/28/2021 (Continued)

In another 20 miles south on US-17 I visited the Barberville Pioneer Village located on the grounds of the Barberville Central Highschool in Barberville, FL.  This settlement is the culmination of years of work to move a number of restored historic buildings to this location, to help visitors visualize and understand the way pioneers, to this area, lived and worked.  Some of the 11 structures include an 1875 log cabin, an 1885 Post Office, an 1885 Depot, an 1890 church, and an early 1900s country store.

It was only another 5 miles to the Lake George State Forestry Station located on US-17 at the edge of the Lake George Forest.  At one time in his young life our son, Billy, had wanted to be a Forest Ranger and he was lucky enough to climb one of the Ranger Station towers with a Ranger during a tour of their facility.  After that experience, forestry stations had always interested my too.  I really didn’t want to interrupt the folks at the station, so I just stopped long enough to give my back a rest and to take this photo.  Then I continued south.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

My next stop was just down the road on US-17, to visit one of my favorite family campgrounds, now known as DeLeon Springs State Park located in DeLeon Springs, FL.  From the early 1970s to around 2000 our family fell in love with camping.  Most of our camping took place up and down the central part of Florida at the many fresh-water springs.  One of our favorites was DeLeon Springs campgrounds, with its 1930s Old Sugar Mill Restaurant.  In the 1970s the property was privately owned, and we got to know the owners quite well.  Now every time I pass thru DeLeon Springs, a family camping memory pops into my head.  Oh, what fun we all had camping at the springs!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 10 miles south on US-17 & east on US-92 to where I visited the Deland Naval Air Station (DNAS) Museum located on the southern end of the Deland Municipal Airport.  This small museum is housed in the former Chief Master-at-Arms house and is dedicated to the honor of the men and women who have served our country in U.S. Naval Aviation.  The museum displays U.S. Naval military training artifacts and memorabilia dating from 1942, when the Naval Station was in operation.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I drove around to the north end of the Deland Municipal Airport, where I was hoping to visit the Commemorative Air Force Museum (Florida Wing) and get photos of their restored (flying) AT-6 Texan and restored (flying) T-34 Mentor, and talk airplanes with CAF members that might be there.  However, that part of the airport was closed off and Greta (my Garmin) couldn’t find the hanger.  I had to be satisfied with the photo below.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I got back on US-17 and drove 20 miles south to visit the last museum on this road trip.  This last stop was to visit the Florida Postal Museum located in Orange City, FL.  This small museum is housed in the old restored 1876 Heritage Inn, which just happens to be the very same building where the first Orange City Post Office was established in 1876.  Yep, the post office was moved several times over the years, but the museum ended up in the very same building where it had all started.  The museum has a variety of postal artifacts, along with a collection of framed envelopes, lining both sides of a long hallway, with dates from the inception of the U.S. Postal Service to the present.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was finally time to head southeast the last 50 miles on I-4 & SR-46 to my home in Titusville, FL.   I had called DiVoran to let her know about what time I thought I would be home, and she had a great ‘Welcome Home’ meal ready for me when I got to the house.  It was great to eat a home-cooked meal for a change and sleep in my own bed.  As much fun as these road trips are, I always look forward to getting home and relaxing in familiar surroundings with someone I 

love and appreciate.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures on this road trip as much as I have writing about them.  Putting these museum visits and traveling experiences into words always brings back visions of all the amazing things I have seen during this trip.  Thank you for riding along with me on this road trip, and I hope you will join me on the next trip for some more new and exciting museum adventures.  Be safe out there!

Photo Credit: https://www.clipartmax.com/cartoon-driver-waving/

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip-Part 17 A

19 Jan

A Slice of LIfe

Bill Lites

Day 17 – 7/28/2021

After breakfast this morning, I headed south, out of Jacksonville, 20 miles on I-295 & US-17 to visit the Military Museum of North Florida located in the Reynolds Industrial Park, adjacent to the former US Naval Air Station, in Green Cove Springs, FL.  This museum has a large collection of military jeeps, trucks, and amphibious landing craft, as well as military artifacts, weapons, and equipment honoring all U.S Military personnel from WWI to the present.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

To my surprise, the North Florida Railway Museum is also located in the Reynolds Industrial Park, there in Green Cove Springs, so I just checked out that museum while I was there.  The museum displays railroad exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia telling the history of the railroad’s influence on northern Florida dating from the mid-1800s.  They have several pieces of rolling stock which they are restoring, including a GE 44 Tonner locomotive.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Continuing south 25 miles on US-17, I was absently heading for the David Browning Railroad Museum in Palatka, FL when suddenly Greta (My Garmin) said, “In ¼-mile turn right.”  I said out loud, “What?”  

Now let me tell you how it is with Greta.  She normally takes me on the shortest route to my destination.  Sometimes that is not always the best route.  More than once, she has taken me thru back streets or thru residential neighborhoods, finally delivering me to my destination.  Well, this time it was onto a dirt road.  “Why?”  Was my question, but I kept on going.  Then she had me turn onto a well-rutted dirt road.  The next turn was onto a barely visible rutted muddy dirt road.  I said, “Come on Greta, where are you taking me?”  There was nothing around me but a deep pine forest and a muddy dirt track with potholes.  It had been raining and the potholes were full of water.  I was afraid I was going to get stuck!  The next time she said, “Turn left.”   I said, “NO!”  And kept going straight.  I finally came out of that mess onto US-17 (the hiway I had been on before turning off onto the first dirt road) and eventually made it to the museum there in Palatka.  Whooo!  That was not a fun experience.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

At the museum I discovered that it was situated in the old 1908 Florida Coast Line (FCL) Union Depot and displays antique railroad exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia about the history of the railroad in Palatka and the surrounding Putnum county area dating from the early 1800s to the present.  The museum also houses a large model railroad layout depicting the city of Palatka in its early railroad days.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only a few blocks to where I checked out the Mariner’s Museum located on the banks of the St. Johns River there in Palatka.  This large museum was closed, so I took a stroll over to the Riverfront Park to take a short break and watch the river traffic.   The center piece of the park is an impressive 40-foot-high Millennium Clock Tower.  What a relaxing few minute that was. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After my short rest, I continued south, across the St. Johns River, 10 miles on US-17 to check out the Georgia Boys Fish Camp located on the banks of Dunns Creek in Satsuma, FL.  I discovered the camp was off US-17 (their sign didn’t say how many miles), so I decided since I didn’t have time to do any fishing, I’d just be on my way.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I went 15-miles out of my way to visit the Welaka Maritime Museum located in Welaka, FL.  Greta (my Garmin) took me to the correct internet address, but either the museum was in a boat repair shop at that address (that was closed), or it no longer existed, as there was nothing there but the boat shop.  That turned out to be a big waste of time and gas!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

So, I found my way back to US-17 and headed another 25 miles south to visit the Barberville Pioneer Settlement.  A few miles down the road the internet had told me there was a Biker Bar in Crescent City, and I had planned to stop for a photo.  When I got to the address, I found that the business had changed hands, and was now The Farmhouse Bar & Grill.  Good thing I wasn’t hungry, as the place was closed.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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