Tag Archives: Travel Series

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—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 9

1 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Cross Plane

 

Day 9 (Friday Oct.7, 2016)

After a few direction problems with Greta, my first stop this morning was to visit the National Automotive & Truck Museum located in Auburn, IN. This museum consists of 200+ vehicles, located on two levels, representing mainly cars from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The cars were packed so close together that it made it difficult to get a good photo of any individual car or truck.

 

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In the same block, was the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum. This was one of the most fascinating museums that I’ve visited. It has 7 galleries which display some 125 beautifully restored 1903-1937 cars. I was surprised to learn from one of the roving docents that, during these years, the Auburn was what today we would have considered the Chevrolet of its time; the Cord was considered the Oldsmobile; and the Duesenberg was considered the Cadillac.

 

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Each of these cars was beautifully designed, and technically advanced for its time. What little I had known about these cars, over the years, had led me to believe that each one was to be considered at the top of its class for its time.

 

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    1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster

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                                                     1936 Cord Convertible Coupe

 

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1932 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe

 

These two museums were among several auto museums, in the Auburn area, that had put together a “Museum Passport” type brochure, to advertise each of their museums. When I showed my passport, each museum would give me a discount on their admission price and stamp my passport. This handy passport had the name, address, and phone number for each of the eight cooperating museums in the Auburn area.

 

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This really helped solve the rest of my direction problems with Greta, in Auburn. When I arrived at the next museum location, I discovered that four of the other museums, I wanted to visit there in Auburn, were all located in this same museum complex.

 

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First on the list was the Kruse Automotive & Carriage Museum, which features a variety of vehicles, including beautifully restored Classic Cars, Custom Hot Rods, TV/Movie Super Hero cars and costumes, Indy race cars, and Monster Trucks. There were also early antique horse-drawn carriages of all types (including several British Royal Carriages) dating from the late 1700s.

 

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Next was the National Military History Center, located in the same building. This museum has a great display of military vehicles, equipment, and memorabilia to help present future generations with a better understand of the unique role of the U.S. Military Armed Services.

 

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Located there in the same Museum Complex, was the Gallery 326 Antique Mall which was closed the day I was there. However, it appears from their web site, that this is an auction center which boasts of over 100 dealers of high-quality collectibles including vintage automobiles.

 

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Next I visited the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum, also located there in the Museum Complex. This small museum consists of the history of the Ford Motor Company vehicles produced from 1903 to the present, with emphasis on the 1932-1953 Ford cars, utilizing the flathead V-8 engine and its many variants.

 

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Next I visited the Hoosier Air Museum, located a short distance from the Auburn Museum Complex. This was a very small museum, with about a dozen aircraft in one hanger. The tour guide was, I believe, the curator and part owner of the museum, and had lots of details about each of the museums aircraft.

 

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By now I was getting pretty tired and decided to head for tonight’s motel, located on the outskirts of Montpelier, Ohio. After checking in, I asked the desk clerk for recommendations about a good restaurant in the area and he said, “Try the Four Seasons Restaurant next door, they have good food.”  Well, the restaurant next door looked to me like a pretty small Mom-&-Pop type place, so I drove down the highway into Montpelier and found no restaurants. I turned around and drove the other way down the highway for a ways, and found no restaurants. So, I gave up and went back to the Four Seasons Restaurant, and had one of the best Lasagna dinners I’ve ever had. I should have known. Right?

 

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I had saved half of my Shoofly Pie from last night, and had that for dessert again tonight back in the motel. That really went well while I watched TV. Yuuum!

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous~Trip Part 8

22 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Stars Plane

 

Day 8 (Thursday, Oct.6, 2016)

Last night was a little hectic. DiVoran and the rest of my family were all dealing with hurricane Matthew, as it heads for our homes in East Central Florida. And here I was, trying to do my part to help them by remote control in Indiana. It was after midnight when I finally got to bed. I was only able to sleep until 3:30, when I had to get up and make notes about more things I needed to remember to tell DiVoran about house preparations.

 

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So, this morning after I talked over my list with DiVoran, I got ready and headed east to visit the Studebaker National Museum, located in South, Bend IN. This was an absolutely fabulous museum, consisting of three levels of beautifully restored Studebaker automobiles and associated vehicles/products, which the Studebaker Corporation has manufactured over the years.

 

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The chronological history of the Studebaker Corporation, there at the museum, begins with the original hand-built Conestoga type wagon that John C. Studebaker designed and built, around 1835, to move his family from Pennsylvania to Indiana.

 

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By the time I got finished looking at all of the fabulous Studebaker cars and associated vehicles/products, the morning was almost gone. So, I decided to skip The History Museum there in South Bend (which was just around the corner from the Studebaker Museum), and head straight for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at the Notre Dame University located in Elkhart, IN. To my regret, I discovered that vehicle access near the Basilica area was restricted, so this photo, from a distance, was all I could get.

 

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Next I checked out the National New York Central Railroad Museum, also located there in Elkhart, IN.  This turned out to be a very small museum with mainly local historical railroad memorabilia and a few pieces of well-worn rolling stock. I didn’t stay long.

 

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Yesterday while visiting the Old Michigan City Lighthouse, a couple I met there, mentioned that if I was heading to Elkhart, I should be sure to visit the National RV Museum while I was there. So, that is where I was headed next. This turned out to be a very interesting museum, consisting of examples of RV type vehicles dating from the early 1920s to the present day. It has always amazed me how creative people have been, when it comes to designing and building mobile recreational vehicles over the years.

 

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By now time was getting short, and I headed for my next visit at the Hall of Heroes Museum, also located there in Elkhart. This amazingly small museum was really fascinating (Check out the “Hall of Heroes” website for the amazing details of this unusual museum). The owner and curator, Allen Stewart, gave me a private tour of his museum, which houses over 60,000 comic books, 10,000+ toys and figures, and tons of other superhero related memorabilia. Allen’s collection includes a copy of the very first Action Comics comic book, which introduced the Super Hero, Superman, in 1938.

 

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Recently I’ve been watching the “Fast N Loud” TV series, on the Discovery channel, and was surprised when one of their episodes happened to be when Richard Rawlings (Owner of the “Gas Monkey Garage” in Dallas, Texas), went to Elkhart to buy Allen Stewart’s ”65 Iron Man Shelby Cobra” from the Hall of Heroes Museum collection.

 

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I had been told that this area contained a large population of Amish and I was anxious to try some Amish food at a local restaurant. As it turned out, I had researched this idea before my trip, and had decided to try the Amish Acres Restaurant Barn, located some 15 miles south of Elkhart, in Nappanee, IN. This restaurant is part of an 80 acre Old Order Amish* farm, homesteaded by Moses Stahly in 1873, and whose nine original buildings have been relocated and restored to create an attraction. The Amish Acres attraction includes a restaurant, the Round Barn Theatre, a one-room school, a blacksmith shop, an apple cider mill, a maple sugar camp, a mint distillery, an ice house and bank barns.

 

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* Wikipedia: The Old Order Amish are a North American ethno-religious group consisting of some 2000 local churches. There is no formal church organization to bind them together, but they are linked by common faith, traditions and ancestry. In 1693, led by Jakob Ammann, the Amish separated from mainstream Mennonites.

 

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I was pleasantly surprised with the food, but disappointed because it was served family style. There was way too much food for me to eat, but I was not allowed to take any of their delicious food back to the motel with me. They did however let me take a slice of their wonderful Shoofly Pie with me for dessert. Go figure?

 

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So, with a full tummy, I headed for the motel to check on the status of Hurricane Matthew, see how DiVoran was doing, record today’s activities, and prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

 

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip Part 6

8 Feb

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Bill Cross Plane

 

 

Day 6 (Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016)
I headed west, out of Dayton this morning, on my way to visit the first museum on my list for today. The Wayne County Historical Museum is located just across the border, in Richmond, Indiana. This was one of the most interesting historical museums I have ever visited. Created by Julia Meek Gaar (at age 71) in 1930, she selected the 1865 Hicksite Quaker Meeting House for her museum. She filled the museum with many of the items she had purchased, over the years, during several of her worldwide trips.

 

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The Lindemuth collection was added to the museum in 1954. There were also automobiles and an airplane, included as part of the museum’s collection. Many of these items represented the early industrial years in and around the Richmond, Indiana area.

 

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Just around the corner, there in Richmond, I visited the Model “T” Museum. This small museum displays 14 Model “T” Fords spanning the early years (1908 to 1927). This history of the Model “T” production industry provided me with many new and interesting details about the early manufacturing processes, and body style variations, of Henry Ford’s Model “T” automobiles.

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Next on the list today, was a visit to the Wilbur Wright Birthplace & Museum in Hagerstown, Indiana. Born in 1867 Wilbur said, later in life, that he and Orville were initially drawn to an early interest in aviation by a toy helicopter (based on an invention by French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Penaud), that their father gave them as a gift when he was 11 years old.

 

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Wilbur and Orville of course, went on to improve on the design as their interest in aerodynamics grew, and their creativity turned out to be endless. I was also interested to learn that Wilbur Wright’s father was a traveling minister in the Ohio region during the middle to late 1800s. As it happens, my grandfather was also a traveling minister, in Louisana, about that same time period.

 

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Just a few miles north I visited the National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Indiana. Even though the National Model Aviation Association headquarters is located on a 1000+ acre site, I was surprised to see how small the headquarters and museum buildings were. I was however, impressed with the museum’s collection of model aircraft and model aircraft engines, dating from the early 1900s.

 

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Next on the list was a visit to the Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum located in Kokomo, Indiana. This was a very impressive museum that displayed 300+ beautifully restored automobiles, from many different manufactures, dating from the early 1900s to approximately 1970.

 

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The Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company was located just down the street from the Kokomo Automotive Museum there in Kokomo. This glass company prides itself in the creation of beautiful original stain glass windows, decorative art pieces, and blown glass creations. I was unable to get a tour of the factory while normal working operations were going on, but I did talk to one of the stain glass workers at length, about how the glass company created custom orders and speculation pieces.

 

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Dinner tonight was a great meal, at the local Kokomo Cracker Barrel restaurant, where I had their grilled catfish, green beans, sweet corn, and one of their famous biscuits with honey for dessert. Yummy! There was plenty left over for a repeat tomorrow evening. Double yummy!

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 5

1 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 5 (Monday, Oct. 3, 2016)
Since I had attended the 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Airshow, and seen the many existing and new aircraft additions at the Museum of the United States Air Force (my two main reasons for this trip), I was a little ahead of my planned schedule for today. So, I decided to visit several local Wright Brothers affiliated locations there in Dayton. First on the list, was to check out the Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center located just down the road a short drive from the USAF Museum. The Center’s exhibits and films focus on the early achievements of the Wright Brothers, that took place at the nearby Huffman Prairie Flying Field.

 

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Next I drove over to the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, to see the actual field where Orville and Wilber performed about 150 flights during 1904 & 1905. This effort is what led to the development of the 1905 Wright Flyer III, which they considered to be the first practical airplane (the original 1905 Flyer III is now housed at the Wright Brothers Aviation Center).

 

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Now I made my way a few miles south, to visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.  This Park commemorates three of the important aviation historical figures; the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar, and how their lives came together.

 

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The center also exhibits re-creations of the Wright Brothers engineering office, work shop, and one of the Wright Brothers bicycle shops across the walkway.

 

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A short distance west across I-75 I visited the Wright Brothers Aviation Center, located in the Carillon Historical Park. This is where the original 1905 Flyer III is housed, along with many other Wright Brothers artifacts.

 

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The beautifully restored 65 acre Carillon Historical Park is home to many historic buildings and exhibits, associated with the history of technology that has taken place in and around the Dayton area. It also honors the contributions of the many Dayton residents who have been part of that history, dating from 1796 to the present.

 

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After leaving Carillon Park, I swung around a few blocks to check out the historic Patterson Homestead. This beautifully restored mansion was built by Robert Patterson on part of the 2038 acre Rubicon farm, where three generations of Patterson’s lived. As it turned out, Patterson’s grandsons, John and Frank Patterson , who also lived in the house as young children, would eventually go on to found the National Cash Register Company (now NCR Corporation) in 1884. I wasn’t interested in touring another mansion today, so I opted to head for the next museum on my list for today.

 

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Now it was back across I-75 a few blocks, to take a look at the Paul Laurence Dunbar house. This was the home, for a short while, of the famous African-American poet, that in 1890 wrote and edited The Tattler, Dayton’s first weekly African-American newspaper. As it happened, Dunbar’s newspaper was printed by his high-school acquaintances Orville and Wilbur Wright in their fledgling printing company.

 

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Next I stopped by the Veteran’s Memorial Park there in Dayton to take a photo of the Park. I was impressed with the mottos of the various U.S. Military Services. I had not remembered that each of the services was originally created in 1775 to fight the Revolutionary War.

Since things were going quickly, and I had run out of things to see in the Dayton area, I decided to head south to Cincinnati, Ohio. I had never been to Cincinnati, and since it was only about 40 miles south of my last stop, I thought I would drive down and have lunch there and see what things of interest I could come across.

 

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While I was having lunch I Googled “Things to Do in Cincinnati” and one of the first things to catch my eye was the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. But when I got there the center was closed.

 

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Another place of interest was the Cincinnati Union Terminal, which was listed as one of the Great American Stations. I have to admit the beautifully designed Art Deco terminal building was something to see. But as an active train station, it only had room to display a small amount of Cincinnati Union Station historical memorabilia.

 

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Next I tried the Cincinnati Fire Museum, not too far down the road, but like a lot of museums that stay open on Saturdays and Sundays, they were closed. This was a small building and I’m sure they would not have had room for a large display.

 

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Just a few miles away I checked out the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, but here again this was another “Closed on Mondays” museum. As a matter of fact, there didn’t seem to be much of anything going on in Cincinnati today.

 

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Well, my score for places to see in Cincinnati wasn’t going too well, and it was getting on in the afternoon, so I headed back to Dayton. Greta took me on some backroads on the way, and as I rounded one bend, I saw the strangest structure I believe I have ever seen adjacent to a farmhouse. I couldn’t begin to describe it. You will just have to guess what it is, like I did. Stretches your imagination doesn’t it?

 

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By now, it was time to head for the motel and warm up my wonderfully delicious repeat of the El Morro Special Mexican dinner from last night. Yummm!

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

 

My 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 4

25 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 (Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016)
I was up early today in order to make the drive to the National Museum of the USAF here in Dayton, Ohio. I knew I was going to spend a lot of time at this museum today, and because of that, I wanted to be one of the first to get one of the many electric carts they provide for visitors with bad knees like mine.

 

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I believe this is the largest military aviation museum in the world, with 360+ aircraft, and is laid out (mostly) chronologically in four huge hangers. All of the aircraft in this museum have been beautifully restored, and displayed, in such a manner to allow photographs to be taken from the best possible angles. In the first Hanger, are aircraft examples from the beginning of American aviation history, through those used during World War I (The Early Years Gallery).

 

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 The Early Years Gallery

 

And then, there are the huge variety of aircraft used by the USAF during the WW II years, which are displayed in the (World War II Gallery).

 

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World War II Gallery

 

The second Hanger, consists of aircraft used by the USAF during the Korean War, and are located in the (Korean War Gallery).

 

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Korean War Gallery

 

The aircraft used by the USAF during the Vietnam War era, are also located the second hanger, in the (Southeast Asia War Gallery).

 

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Southeast Asia War Gallery

 

The third Hanger houses a large variety of aircraft used by the USAF during the Cold War era, and are located in the (Cold War Gallery). Also located in the third Hanger are many of the modern aircraft being used by the USAF as part of their current operations.

 

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Cold War Gallery

 

The third and fourth Hangers are separated by the (Missile Gallery), which displays many of the USAF offensive and defensive rockets and missiles which have been developed and deployed over the years.

 

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Missile Gallery

 

The huge new fourth Hanger houses aircraft used by past U.S. Presidents while in office, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, and are located in the (Presidential Gallery).

 

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Presidential Gallery

 

The many different types of aircraft used by the USAF Airlift Command, to move personnel and equipment where needed around the world, are located in the (Global Reach Gallery) of the fourth Hanger.

 

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Global Reach Gallery

 

There is a Space Shuttle Exhibit, including the CCT-1 Crew Compartment Trainer, various satellites, and a Titan IVB Rocket located in the (Space Gallery) section of the fourth Hanger.

 

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Space Gallery

 

The museum’s largest aircraft, the XB-70, and other aerospace related vehicles that the USAF has sponsored, for research and development projects, over the years are located in the (Research & Development Gallery) of the fourth Hanger.

 

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Research & Development Gallery

 

The majority of these aircraft had been on display somewhere in one of the three hangers, or outside, the first time I visited the USAF museum in 2009. With the opening of the new fourth hanger in 2016, many had been rearranged or relocated to new areas within the four hangers. As a result, it did not take me as long to go through, and view all the aircraft in the four hangers, as I had originally expected. It still took most of the day to see everything.

 

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Since many of the Wright Brothers aviation historical points of interest here in Dayton are close together, I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting as many of those locations as time allowed. These short visits to many of the sites on the “Aviation Trail” included stops at the Dayton Aviation Heritage Historical Park, the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the Wright Brothers Aviation Center, and the Aviation Trail Museum. Stay tuned for details about these visits in tomorrow’s blog.

 

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On the way back to the motel I stopped in Englewood, Ohio for a delicious meal at the Cazadores Mexican Food Cantina. Their EL Morro Special, consisted of grilled chicken strips cooked with pineapple and Mexican pork sausage, topped with shredded cheese and fresh green onions, served over a flower tortilla. I had a small side salad with guacamole and sour cream. The combination made for an outstanding meal. Then I topped it off with a dish of Mexican Flan for dessert.

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

 

 

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous~Part 1

4 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

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The name for this series of blogs is the main subject of my most recent road-trip. Every two years, several WWI enthusiast groups come together to put on what is called the “WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous” airshow. This fabulous event takes place adjacent to the USAF Museum located in Dayton, Ohio. They have full scale WWI flying replica aircraft, German, British and American field hospital re-enactors, restored WWI vehicles, and all types of WWI memorabilia for sale.

 

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The local model airplane club brings and flies many of their ¼-scale WWI R/C model airplanes. This sounded like just the kind of event I was looking for as the main attraction for my next road-trip. Since I found several museums to visit in the Columbus area, I gave myself a couple of days before the air show, to scout them out and then get over to, and situated in, Dayton for the October 1-2 “WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous” air show.

 

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Day 1 (Thursday 9/29/2016)

 

My Orlando airport check-in and security check this morning was a breeze, compared to my last trip (I’ll never fly on Friday again). The Southwest Airlines flight to Columbus, Ohio was smooth and we arrived right on time. (I flew non-stop to Columbus, not available to Dayton). Baggage claim at the small Columbus airport was a little slow, but not a real problem.

 

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I took a shuttle bus from the airport to the Days Inn hotel, and called Enterprise Rent-A-Car (the “We’ll Pick You Up” guys) for a free pick-up from the hotel. Somehow my reservation turned out to be at a different Enterprise office from where I expected to rent my car. They said the hotel location was outside the radius for their office pick-up (?).  They told me they would transfer my reservation to a closer office for the pick-up.

 

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It took them some time to do the transfer, work out all the details, and get a car to the hotel to pick me up. After finalizing the rental agreement I put my bags in the car and was getting ready to leave, when I noticed that this car did not have cruise control. The agent wanted to increase the rental price for a car with cruise control, but I told the manager that I had requested a car with cruise control at the price they quoted. He was kind enough to switch cars for me at the same price.

 

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It had taken me longer to get from the airport, and rent my car than it had taken me to fly from Orlando to Columbus! I plugged in “Greta” (my Garmin), and we headed for the Wagner & Hagans Auto Museum located there in Columbus. This was a small museum of approximately 20 cars, consisting of several early 1930s Packard automobiles and 1950s Classic cars. Steve Wagner gave four of us a private tour of his and Mark Hagans Collection.

 

Steve informed us, that the cars there in the museum were only half of their collection. He explained that they only had room for the cars displayed, and had to rotate the others into the museum from time to time.

 

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Next on the list for today was a visit to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame located in Pickerington, Ohio. This was a large two-level museum, displaying hundreds of motorcycles of all makes and models. The majority of the museum’s collection, were modern dirt bikes and racing bikes. This museum reminded me of the recent mini-series I watched titled “Harley and the Davidson’s” except there were very few vintage motorcycles in the museum.

 

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Now I headed south to visit the McDorman Automotive Museum located in Canal Winchester, Ohio. This is a small museum created by Bob McDorman, who was a local Columbus Chevrolet dealer for years, and known for his Corvette collection.

 

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As it turned out, this museum was closed, even though their sign out front said they were open Wednesday-Saturday 1:00-5:00.

Next it was on over to visit the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, which is an American cartoon & comic art museum affiliated with the Ohio State University library system. The location of the museum/library, there in the bustling university area, made it impossible to find a place to park, much less avoiding almost running over six or more students. So, I just took a picture of the library building and headed for the next museum on my list for today.

 

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A few miles south, I wanted to visit the Rickenbacker Airport, to see if I could find the Rickenbacker ANG Museum that I assumed would be close to the airport. Well, the museum was nowhere to be found, and there were no signs to indicate that the museum was anywhere close. I guess I’ll have to Google the museum again for better details when I get a chance.

 

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By now it was getting late, and I headed for the tonight’s motel located in Obetz, Ohio. On the way I saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, and decided to have dinner with Colonel Sanders this evening. Boy, do I like their fried chicken! I had their two piece dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy, and a biscuit and honey for desert. Yummm!

 

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—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 17

26 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

Day 17 (Monday)

I had left a wakeup call, with the motel desk clerk, for 6:00 AM, but was awakened at 5:53 AM by the loud slamming of a door across the hall. I got up and shaved, showered, dressed and had a cup of yogurt, when at 7:05 the phone rang with my wakeup call. Good thing I wasn’t on a tight time schedule!

 

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I finished packing and was ready to leave the motel, for the airport, by 8:15 AM. I had made a test run to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport the night before, so I wouldn’t fall for one of Greta’s wild goose chases this morning, and possibly miss my flight. The morning traffic wasn’t too bad, and the trip was uneventful. I didn’t want to have to roll my suitcase that long distance from the Thrifty Rental Car return to the main airport lobby, so I stopped on the “Departures” ramp long enough to use the Southwest Airlines curbside check-in (nothing like the mess I had to endure at the Orlando airport on the day I left on this trip).

 

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All went well and I was on my way to return my rental car. Rental car return was a breeze and I even got a courtesy ride from the rental car building to the main airport lobby.

 

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I had checked-in for my flight online the night before, and had printed my boarding pass, so I didn’t have to check in at the Southwest ticket counter. I stopped and had another cup of Yogurt and an apple before going through security. I couldn’t believe how easy and quick the security check was! I arrived at my departure gate at 9:15 AM.

 

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Boarding for my flight to Orlando began at 9:45 AM and we were pushing back from the gate, right on time, at 10:10 AM. The one hour and 20 minute Southwest non-stopped flight, from New Orleans to Orlando, went very quickly and very smoothly until we approached Orlando International Airport, at which time the cloud cover caused considerable turbulence until just before we landed.

 

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DiVoran picked me up and we headed for SR-436 to find a place for lunch. As luck would have it, we spotted a Panera’s Bread restaurant and enjoyed a great lunch while we caught up on what we each had missed during the last 17 days.

It sure was good to get home and have time to take a nap for a change. I missed a lot of those on this trip and will have to get caught up on my rest before I think about considering another trip anytime soon. Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as I did. See you next time for my next road trip adventure.

 

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—–The End—–

 

 

 

My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 16

19 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 16 (Sunday)

 

I began the day with a nice drive west on I-10 from Mobile to Gulfport, Mississippi. Since it was Sunday, I didn’t expect any of the museums to be open, and most of them were not. But I wanted to take a look at their locations anyway. My first stop was to check out the Busted Wrench Garage & Museum there at Gulfport. The building was closed and very small, and didn’t look big enough to house a lot of cars. But, when I Googled the museum, I was surprised to see photos of a nice collection of beautifully restored cars that I missed.

 

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Just down the road a ways was my next stop at the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. Here again the museum was closed, and the building was not very large.   I could see through the window that they had a good sized model railroad layout, but not much room for anything else.

 

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Next I drove a sort distance south of I-10 to check out the Gulfport Dragway strip. The fellow attending the entrance gate informed me that they had drag races on Wednesdays only, and no other races were scheduled for today. That made three closed attractions in a row so far today.

 

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As part of the planning for this trip I had contacted my son about the possibility of meeting my granddaughter in Gulfport for lunch. Lacey is attending college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about 65 Miles north of Gulfport, and this would provide the perfect opportunity for us to meet and spend some time together. As it turned out, she was able to meet with me and we had a delightful lunch at Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach Restaurant on U.S. 90 overlooking the beach.

 

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After lunch I took some time to drive around the beautiful Gulfport Marina, and took some pictures. There was a large ship tied up at the Gulfport docks, which looked like it might have been a cable-laying ship. I had never seen anything like it, and couldn’t figure out how it might work.

 

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Then I headed west again on I-10 for New Orleans, LA. I tried the Cars of Yesteryear’s Museum in Metairie Louisiana, but here again they were closed.

 

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Next I took on the 24 mile long Lake Pontchartrain Causeway from New Orleans to Madisonville. My objective was to visit the Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum.  This was a very nice museum filled with a large verity of local historical memorabilia.

 

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Of course, there was also a considerable amount of information about the Civil War. This included a replica of the 2-man Confederate submarine CSS Pioneer (1861), which was a predecessor to the famous Confederate Civil War submarine, the CSS H. L. Hunley (1864). I had never heard of the CSS Pioneer and was surprised to discover that during initial sea trials, it sank with the loss of the crew of 2. After being raised and refitted for more sea trials, it was scuttled, for fear of capture, when the Union Army advanced on New Orleans in April of 1862.

 

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More well-known is the Confederate Civil War submarine CSS H. L. Hunley, which was even more deadly than the Pioneer. During the sea trials of the Hunley, it sank on two different occasions, with the loss of the entire crew of 8 both times. Each time the submarine was raised, improved and refitted for more sea trials. Then finally, in February of 1864, when the Hunley was successfully used to attack and sink the Union ship USS Housatonic, it became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship during wartime. Unfortunately, the Hunley was lost, on that sorte the final time, taking all 8 crew members to their death, including the inventor Horace L. Hunley. Interestingly, I saw a full-scale replica of the CSS H. L. Hunley when I visited the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL just yesterday.

 

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As I was leaving Madisonville I noticed a complex of unusual condos over-looking a small bay and marina. The owners had their living quarters on the second floor and underneath each condo was a protected slip for their private boat moorings. How convenient.

 

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Driving North from Madisonville, back across that 24 mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, seemed to take a lot longer than it did going south. I was curious about the construction of the causeway and found the following details on Wikipedia. The two, 2-lane bridges that make up the Causeway qualify it, in the Guinness World Records, as the longest “continuous” bridge over water in the world, at 23.83 miles long. The two spans were built between 1955-1956 & 1967-1969, and the two causeway bridges are supported on 9,500 concrete pilings, and 40,000 cars cross the Causeway daily.

 

 

By the time I got to the motel, I was ready to relax and have some supper. I had enough of the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza left over from last night to satisfy me. Then I had a cup of Blueberry yogurt for dessert. That did the trick for my hunger, and I headed to the motel’s computer to check-in for tomorrow’s flight home.

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

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