August 25 – William McKinley Monument and Presidential Library

Our first destination was the William McKinley Monument whose dome is clearly visible from I-77 which runs through the heart of Canton.

After reviewing more than one hundred proposals, Harold Van Buren Magonigle’s design  was selected for the construction of a Monument and final resting place for martyred President, William McKinley.  His vision was for a large monument at the center of a large cross.

It was begin in 1905 and completed in 1907.

The blade of the sword, symbolizing the president’s war service (the last president to have served in the Civil War), was formed by what was called the “Long Water”, a 575-foot lagoon made up of five levels, each 20 inches lower than the one before it.  The water cascaded down the levels and ended in a reflecting pool.  The water lagoon was replaced with a grassy lawn in the 1950s due to poor drainage.

The McKinley Memorial that contains the 25th president’s tomb stands on a grass-covered hill overlooking the city of Canton.  The circular, domed pink granite building rises 96 feet above ground and measures 79 feet in diameter.

The construction process was truly a national and international effort.  Nine states contributed material for the project, arriving in Canton by rail and then brought on horse-drawn wagons to the site.  Ohio supplied the concrete, all of the brick (hidden by the monument’s double wall separated by 15 inches of open space) and labor force.  Massachusetts provided the pink Milford granite for the exterior.  The interior marble walls, pedestals for the statue and part of the marble floor came from the Grey Eagle quarries in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Artisans made the original plain glass skylight, though the current skylight was produced in Canton.  All of the Bronze work, including the entrance doors, was cast in Rhode Island.

Workers for the project were from many nationalities and races.  There is even an account of African-Americans traveling from the southeastern region of the US to ask for employment because of their deep admiration for President McKinley.

108 granite steps lead up the hill to the mausoleum.

Midway up the steps is a large, 9-foot bronze statue by Charles Henry Niehaus of President McKinley delivering his last speech in Buffalo.  The chair behind him is draped with a 45-star American flag.

The double bronze doors of the entrance were the largest in the nation at the time of installation..

Colored marble laid in a cross pattern forms the floor of the mausoleum.

Above the entry doors is a bronze lunette representing  Victories of Peace.  The seated female figure is the Republic protecting her domain with her cloak.  On her right, War lays his sword and  shield at her feet.  On her left another youth offers the products of industry.  In the back a laurel tree spreads its leaves, expressing the flowering and fruition of Peace.

The interior lunette represents the power of the President in both Peace and War.  The circular President seal sits above a sword, obscuring its blade.  There are stylized faces on each side, symbolic of supreme authority and power.  On the far right and left are cornucopia which stand for the abundance of Peace.

In the center of the monument is the double sarcophagus carved from dark green granite from Vermont.  It is carved from a single block but designed to appear as a two-in-one.  It rests on a base of “Black Berlin” granite from Wisconsin.  Lion’s heads carved into each of the four corners “guard” the President.  Around the double top of the sarcophagus is a gold band of gilded laurel symbolizing the triumph of love over death.

The bodies of McKinley and his wife lie side by side in two polished, dark-green, granite sarcophagi, resting atop a ten-foot-square of polished dark maroon granite in the center of the space.

Their two young daughters who died, Katherine at the age of four

and Ida who was born prematurely dying at just four months

are also laid to rest in the rear wall.

At the top of the inner dome is a magnificent red, white and blue skylight

It contains 45 stars representing the number of states in the union during McKinley’s presidency.

A short distance away is the Presidential Library & Museum.

 

The William McKinley Library and Museum is the presidential library of the 25th president of the United States.  The museum contains the McKinley Gallery, containing the largest collection of McKinley artifacts in the world and chronicles the life and career of the 25th president, from his birth to his death at the hands of an assassin.

William and Ida McKinley

 Recreation of their home in Canton

McKinley always wore or kept a red carnation on his desk … which is now the state flower of Ohio

A photograph of their daughter Katherine who died at age four.

Various artifacts from McKinley’s life and death

An exact duplicate of the gun Leon Czolgosz used to shoot McKinely twice in the abdomen

A telegram sent two days after McKinley being shot … and six days before he succumbed to his wounds.

As with other presidential libraries, its Ramsayer Research Library is a repository for documents related to McKinley’s life in general and his presidency in particular and open for research by academics and historians.

However, unlike any other presidential museum building, McKinely’s houses artifacts from Stark County and the City of Canton.

Streets of Shops – provides a feel for life was it was in the 1800s.  The recreated shops include a pioneer-era cabin, general store, gas station, hotel lobby, doctor’s office, dental office, saloon and many more.

Stark County Story – chronicling 200 years of Stark County industrial, military and leisure life.

1921 Holmes Automobile manufactured by the Forest City Motor Car Company

Ribbon worn by local resident S.S. Gaskill at the funerals of Presidents Lincoln (1865), Garfield (1881) and McKinley (1901) – Interestingly, one person, Lincoln’s son Robert, was present at all three assassinations

E. Howard Clock Tower Movement No. 2 (Made in Boston, Massachusetts – Circa 1886)

There is an extensive model train layout depicting historic sites of the Pennsylvania Railroad as it once traveled through Stark County.

 

Further, it also serves as a science center with some wildlife and fossils in the Discover Center and hosts the Hoover-Price Planetarium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 24 (Afternoon) – A Christmas Story Home

Leaving the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame we spotted Great Lakes freighter moored at a quay nearby the Hall of Fame

and then a plaque honoring a survivor of the December 7, 1941 attach on Pearl Harbor,

located in front of the local U.S. Coast Guard station.

Back to our car, we decided to eat out “picnic” lunch (which we always pack while on the road or sightseeing).  Suddenly, Debbie spotted

just down the street from where we were parked.  The quarter-mile trip took us by a lake-side airport where two F4 jets were on display.

The submarine was the USS Cod (SS-224), a World War II “boat”

Nearby was a

From there we headed for our next planned stop, only four miles away.  However, Debbie’s ever-sharp eye spotted the FirstEnergy Stadium where the Cleveland Brown play,

the Terminal Tower, a residential building and the second tallest structure in Cleveland,

examples of soeme interesting architecture,

a number of bridge and building murals,

and decorated electrical boxes controlling street and traffic lights.

We arrived at the house on Cleveland Street

which was used as a setting for Gene Shepard’s “A Christmas Story” … and a young boy’s dreams of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas;

a story based to some degree on his own childhood.

Actually, the house was discovered by Shepard and his partner when they got lost looking for a steel mill.  Once they spotted the house, they knew it was perfect for their use.  Finding no one home, the retired to the local tavern across the street

to wait for the homeowner to return.  Luckily, when asking the bartender about who owned the house they were overheard by none other than the owner, himself.  After several rounds of drinks, the owner accepted an offer paying him three-times what he was earning at the steel mill where he worked for the rental of his home and immediately handed over the keys.

Once inside, however, Shepard discovered the interior was far smaller than he’d anticipated.  Nevertheless, by adding a dining room on and shooting some of the interior scenes in Toronto, the house worked well and, based on the movie’s enduring success, it has become an iconic location.

For those who have seen the movie, they will recall these settings.

The original car Ralphie’s father drove is in Canada, but a duplicate 1938 Oldsmobile is parked in a garage across the street.

Some trivia:

  •  The winter of 1983, the year the movie was made, there was NO SNOW in Cleveland.
  • The snow on Cleveland Street was created using a mixture of soap detergent, potato flakes and a chemical used in fire extinguishers.
  • If you look closely at that scene, there is a 3-4 second clip in which you will see a red house (center photo on bottom row) at the end of the street with no snow on it … as the owner wanted nothing to do with the movie.

  • The other winter scenes, including the fight, were shot in Toronto.
  • As the house had no dining room, one was added.
  • There were three original “leg” lamps.  Two were broken, one accidentally and one as part of the movie script.  The third was lost and years later discovered in pieces in a landfill.
  • The bowling ball was blue.  However, in the time period of the movie, all bowling balls were black.
  • If you look closely, when the box with the leg lamp is opened it has no electrical cord.

  • There were six Red Ryder rifles purchased for the movie.  The original was kept as a “real” Christmas present by the then young Peter Billingsby  (Ralphie).  One was damaged and discarded, three are missing   The sixth is in the museum across the street from the house.  It was never used as the stock is warped.

  • When  Ralphies’s  father is sitting in the chair reading the funnies (before the dogs ruin the turkey), there is a small gold lampshade sitting on the table next to him. In the first shot, there is a Christmas bow on it. In the following shot, the bow has disappeared.
  • Towards the beginning of the movie when Ralphie’s dad is in the basement fixing the furnace and the entire family is staring at the door, you need to keep an eye on the left side of the screen.  There is a crewmember in the family room, who is on the screen by mistake.  You don’t see the person right away, but it is in that sequence when you see the mom in the shot, then you can see the leg of the person very quickly in the background.
  • The flag pole was a piece of PVC pipe painted silver and Ralphie’s tongue was held to the pole because there was a vacuum attached to the base creating the suction to keep the tongue attached.
  • In the playground scene when Ralphie first sticks his tongue to the flagpole, the street in the background has been snowplowed. The kids all go back in to the classroom without Flick. When the teacher asks “Where’s Ralphie?”, and looks out the window and sees him at the pole, the same street in the back ground has not been plowed.
  • The first “take” of the flag pole scene, there was a delay before the bell rang and the kids returned to their classroom required a retake.  During the retake, the bell rang immediately and the kids ran back to class … but no one turned the vacuum off so Ralphie was truly “stuck” on the pole.
  • When Ralphie’s mother breaks the lamp, it is broken into many pieces, but when his father is gluing it back together it is now in much fewer and bigger broken pieces. Obviously different broken lamps were used.
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August 24 (Morning) – Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

A products of the 1950s, we lived through the “early” years of Rock N Roll.  Thus, a visit to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame was a “must’ destination.

On the outside plaza, you are greeted by Johnny Cash’s RV.

I found the most interesting parts were the ones which covered the eras of the Blues and Rockabilly which preceded and laid the groundwork for the emergence of the Rock N Roll era.

However, as these types of popular music morphed into Rock N Roll, displacing the “Big Band Era”, religious and socially conservative groups felt threatened.

Perhaps one of the most interesting presentation was a video on American Bandstand.  Sorry that some of the following photos are so grainy … but the original video clips were pretty grainy when recorded and photographs of them merely exacerbates the problem.

However, no one hosted more pop singers and groups over its 24-year run than Dick Clark

Again, growing up in the 50’s and early 60s, some of the singers/groups we remember most included:

As the first decade of the Rock N Roll era came to a close, a look back of its highlights and lows …

Then came the 1960s.

Elvis’ custom motorcycle

Looking at the early inductees reflects those we were most fond of during our youth.

First Year – 1986

Second and Third Years – 1987 and 1988

I’ve included the following as they seem to be popular/favorites with our kids or grandchildren.

Neither Debbie nor I ever realized just how many different styles, shapes and colors of guitars there were (just a small sample).

The there were the endless (and eventually boring to me … not Debbie, however) suits, dresses and costumes … reminding me of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

In one room, we saw a group (“Garage”) jamming

and in another two rock-n-roll wannabees.

Somewhere in the mid-1960s, what I consider the end of the true years of Rock N Roll gave way to the folk and anti-Vietnam War genre.

After that I, for one, lost interest in most, (particularly heavy metal to rap and hip-hop), but not all popular music … up to the present.  Debbie, to her credit, has remained more open-minded and in-tune with the popular music over the past five decades.

However, we’d both agree that if in the Cleveland area, a visit to the Rock N Roll of Fame is well worth the time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 23 (Afternoon) – Zoar Village, Zoar, OH

This afternoon, we headed south of Canton

to the quaint and historic village of Zoar,

 

where even the parking lots have rules.

A village in what is now Zoar, Ohio was founded by German religious dissenters called the Society of Separatists of Zoar in 1817.  It was named after the Biblical village to which Lot and his family escaped from Sodom and was a communal society, all property was communally owned, and the farms, shops, and factories were managed by regularly elected trustees.

The Separatists, or Zoarites, emigrated from the kingdom of Wurttenberg in southwestern Germany due to religious oppression from the Lutheran church.  Having separated from the established church, their theology was based in part on the writings of Jacob Bohme.  They did not practice baptism or confirmation and did not celebrate religious holidays except for the Sabbath.

A central flower garden in Zoar

is based on the Book of Revelations with a towering tree in the middle

representing Christ and other elements surrounding it depicting other allegorical elements.

The leader of the society was named Joseph Bimeler ( born 1778), a pipe maker as well as teacher from Ulm.

His charismatic leadership carried the village through a number of crises. Bimeler led the society until his death, which occurred in 1853.

An early event critical to the success of the colony was the digging of the Ohio and Erie Canal.

The Zoarites had purchased 5,000 acres of land sight unseen and used loans to pay for it.  The loans were to be paid off by 1830.  The Society struggled for many years to determine what products and services they could produce in their village to pay off the loans.

The state of Ohio required some of the Zoarite land to be used as a right of way and offered the Zoarites an opportunity to assist in digging the canals for money.  The state gave them a choice of digging it themselves for pay or having the state pay others to dig the canal.  The Zoarites then spent several years in the 1820s digging the canal and thus were able to pay off their loans on time with much money to spare.

The society attained its greatest prosperity in the 1850s, when it owned over 10,000 acres of land and was worth approximately $1 million.  Many German-style structures that have been restored and are part of the Zoar Village State Memorial. There are presently ten restored buildings. According to the Ohio Historical Connection, Zoar is an island of Old-World charm in east-central Ohio.

Bimeler’s death on August 31, 1853, led to a slow decline in the cohesion of the village. By 1898, the village voted to disband the communal society and the property was divided among the remaining residents.

While the community members were pacifists in their beliefs, a number of young men did serve in the Civil War.

For some of these men, the first time they ever heard English was when they joined their military units.

Brick sidewalks

with its short, triangular-shaped fire hydrants

line both sides of the main street … where many of the community’s historic buildings are found.

 

Other buildings on a few of the side-streets which dated from the mid-19th century are still standing and many of those are currently used as residences.

The porches and yards also yielded a wealth of mostly old relics and antiques

as well as more birdhouses than we’ve seen in any other similarly small area.

 

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August 23 (Morning) – NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame

This morning Debbie was enthusiastic about plans to visit the

Interestingly, the first [temporary] exhibit is a 1920 Hupmobile

Why does a car rate such important positioning in a Hall of Fame dedicated to all things football?

“It’s because one just like it witnessed the birth of what became the National Football League.

By 1920, professional football was experiencing growing pains, many of which stemmed from the fact that there were myriad state and regional leagues, each with its own guidelines and schedules. As salaries rose, players migrated from team to team and league to league in search of the largest payday. There were also varying policies and issues regarding college stars playing pro football while still attending college.

Ralph Hay, an Ohio car dealer with a Hupmobile showroom at the corner of Second and Cleveland streets in Canton, became the owner of the highly successful Canton Bulldogs in 1918. Over the next few years, he and other pro football team owners began to realize that an organization to oversee many teams on a national level that could also standardize the rules was the next logical step for the sport.

The result of an August 20, 1920, meeting at the Ralph E. Hay Motor Company in Canton, Ohio, which was attended by representatives from the Akron Pros, the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Indians (Tigers in 1920 but Indians before and after), and the Dayton Triangles resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference.

Less than a month later, on September 17, a second meeting was held at the same location and drew reps from teams beyond Ohio’s borders – the Hammond Pros and Muncie Flyers from Indiana and the Rock Island Independents, Decatur Staleys (the team George Halas served as a player-coach for prior to being renamed the Chicago Staleys after he became its player-coach-owner and then became the Chicago Bears), and Racine Cardinals from Illinois were among them. Some sources indicate that The Rochester Jeffersons rep and the Buffalo All-Americans rep could not attend but sent letters of intent to join the league. By the end of the meeting, the American Professional Football Conference became the American Professional Football Association, and 1912 Olympic Gold medal winner and star player for the Bulldogs, Jim Thorpe, became its president.

Also in attendance at that historic meeting was a 1920 Hupmobile, just like the one pictured here. Dubbed “Pro Football’s Most Significant Automobile,” according to the placard next to the car, Hall of Famer, George Halas, recalled that there weren’t enough chairs for all who attended the meeting, so some of the representatives of the teams sat on the running boards of the Hupmobile while making pro football history that night in Canton. Two years later, the American Professional Football Association was renamed the National Football League.”

The Hall, itself, does an excellent job of tracing the history and hundreds of highlights

not only of the League, but also the evolution of the football,

equipment to protect players

 

and League’s racial stain of banning African Americans before allowing them to again play … and the slower ability to join coaching staffs and team and League management positions.

However I was personally disappointed in the room where the busts of the 346 inductees, primarily because of the lighting and etched names which were very difficult to read.

That said, a quick quiz … can you name the following nine players, all of who I watched dating back to the early 1950s?

In the center of the rotunda stands a larger-than-life statue of perhaps America’s “greatest athlete” and the first president of the NFL … Jim Thorpe.

Just before the season-ending series between the Canton Bulldogs and the arch-rival Massillon Tigers in 1915, Bulldogs general manager Jack Cusack signed the most famous athlete of the age, Jim Thorpe, for the princely sum of $250 a game.

Thorpe was everything Cusack expected him to be – an exceptional talent and an unparalleled gate attraction. With Thorpe as star and coach, the Bulldogs claimed unofficial world championships in 1916, 1917, and 1919. His mere presence moved pro football a giant step forward in the public’s estimation.

In 1920, when the National Football League was organized, the charter members named Thorpe league president. While Thorpe’s exploits tend to be exaggerated with the passing years, there is no question he was superb in every way. He could run with speed as well as bruising power. He could pass and catch passes with the best, punt long distances and kick field goals either by dropkick or placekick.

Often he would demonstrate his kicking prowess during halftimes by placekicking field goals from the 50-yard line, then turning and dropkicking through the opposite goal post. He blocked with authority and, on defense, was a bone-jarring tackler.

Of mixed French, Irish, and Sac and Fox Indian heritage, Thorpe was born in a one-room cabin in Oklahoma, but when he was sixteen his father sent him to the Carlisle Institute, a school for Indian youth. His Native-American name was Wa-Tho-Huk, meaning “Bright Path,” something he was destined to follow in the sports world.

Excellent at every sport he tried, he gained his greatest fame by winning the decathlon and pentathlon events at the 1912 Olympics, only to have his medals taken away because he had once been paid to play minor-league baseball (the medals were restored posthumously in 1982). Although he played six seasons of major-league baseball, football always remained his favorite sport.

 

 

ANSWERS:

  1.  John Elway
  2. Lawrence Taylor
  3. Joe Green
  4. O J Simpson
  5. Joe Namath
  6. Brett Farve
  7. Peyton Manning
  8. Otto Graham
  9. Bobby Layne
  10. Gale Sayers

 

 

 

 

 

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August 21 – Fairway (Erie), PA to East Sparta (Canton area), OH

To allow Debbie to have her weekly Zoom call with friends from back home, we delayed our departure for the relatively short drive to East Sparta (just south of Canton), Ohio until around 11:00 AM.

First stop was at a gas station across the street from the campground where we also hitched up our Jeep.  Then onto I-90 … and the first of a number of areas of road construction

However, we were soon out of Pennsylvania.

As all but the last five miles of our trip were along Interstates there were limited “sights”,  the best being the stern of a wooden sail boat

How I’d love to see the boat unwrapped and in the water.

Naturally, Debbie spotted one of her favorite types of buildings.

As we drove through Canton, we passed close to two of the places we are planning to visit over the next couple of days.

She also took a fancy to the decorative panels on some of the roadside sound barriers as we passed through Canton along I-77.

Once off the Interstate, we found ourselves on other narrow, rural, roller coaster roads

with “attractions” typical for such areas.

Just as we were checking in to our KOA campground, we were treated to a a few sprinkles.

By the time we reached our site a minute or two later the heavens opened up!

So, we just sat and delayed hooking up to power, water, cable and sewer until the rains passed.

An hour later, the sun was out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 21 – Erie Maritime Museum – USS Niagara – Presque Isle State Park

Erie is the one corner of the state we’d never visited, thus it became our first major destination for this trip.

Our first stop was the Erie Land Lighthouse.

The Erie Land Light, also known as the Old Presque Isle Light, is a lighthouse on the shore of Lake Erie.  Overlooking the lake it is one of the three lighthouses in Erie, along with the Presque Isle Light and North Pier Light (unfortunately the road to the North Pier Light was closed).

The lighthouse was originally constructed in 1818 becoming one of the first to be built by on the Great Lakes.  The tower was replaced in 1851 for the first time; in 1858, due to its poor foundations and soil quality, it sank into the ground.

The current structure was built in 1867 and remained in service until 1880.  It was reactivated five years later before being permanently decommissioned in 1899.  Both the lenses and lantern were eventually removed.

Sixty-nine narrow steps took us to the top of the lighthouse

where we had spectacular views,

including the North Pier Light

and Commodore Perry Memorial

across the harbor.

Our next stop was at the Erie Maritime Museum

whose highlight is the US Brig Niagara from which Commodore Perry commanded a US fleet which defeated the British in a naval battle in 1813, during the War of 1812.

As with many US cities, Erie was able to obtain a section of steel from the World Trade Center for a 9-11 Memorial, which is located just outside Erie Library which is adjacent to the Museum.

Unfortunately, although the Niagara was “in port” at the museum’s pier, it was covered and not open for tours, in part due to COVID precautions.

However, there were scale models

replicas of the top two section of the main mast

a life-size diorama of the 2 canons and cannonades the ship carried.

The museum also has an amazing collection of other Great Lakes naval memorabilia.

US Navy Emblem

There was also an exhibit on Fresnel lenses, which since their invention in the early 19th century, have been used in lighthouses throughout the world up to and including the present time.

We then took a detour from our planned route to investigate two gold roofs on what we, correctly assumed were the upper structures of an Orthodox Church.

Russian Old Rite Orthodox Church

We next headed for Presque Isle State Park

Internet Photo

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its 4,000,000 annual visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating.

Presque Isle is a day-use park that provides year-round recreational opportunities. Overnight accommodations are available nearby.

The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. The park creates Presque Isle Bay, a wide and deep harbor for the city of Erie. The bay attracts many pleasure boats and worldwide freighters — making Erie an important Great Lakes shipping port.

A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state’s endangered, threatened, and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

The road network snakes around the perimeter of the peninsula and for most of its length is lined with an arching canopy of trees.

Easy water access is never more than a quarter mile away.  We found a pull off and enjoyed a scenic lunch.

A memorial honoring Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, which we’d seen from a distance earlier, appears to be the tallest structure in the park.

The Perry Monument is a 101 foot structure located at the eastern end of Presque Isle. Standing next to Misery Bay, named by the men of Perry’s naval squadron, who wintered here 1813-1814 after the crucial Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813.

The Monument is dedicated to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who was a prominent naval squadron leader during the War of 1812. Oliver Hazard Perry, along with Presque Isle, played a vital role in the victory over the British in the War.  Perry strategically used the peninsula’s bay as a natural protection for his men, and a place to construct 6 of the 9 ships in his fleet.  Using this location would force the enemy to travel all the way around the peninsula, leaving the enemy vulnerable.

Continuing our tour of Presque Isle, we suddenly spotted

Stopping, we were blown away with the colorful beach umbrellas

and the number and types of kites soaring high above Sunset Beach

Our final stop was the 68′ Presque Isle Light on the outside of the peninsula overlooking Lake Erie.

Here we climbed the 78 steps

to the top where we were rewarded with some wonderful views.

Heading back to our campground, we stopped to check out some murals,

one of the many “frog” statues scattered throughout the city

and a sculpture at a local middle school entitled “Timeless Possibilities“.

Finally, at a traffic light, a message from the motorcycle in front of us was crystal clear!

 

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August 20 – Wellsboro to Fairway (Erie) PA

We woke to  a dense fog which had descended into the valley where the campground is located.  While it had begun to lift as we got underway, several low-hanging clouds shrouded some of the nearby hills.

Although some fellow campers recommended a route consisting mainly of Interstates, we opted for the more rural US Route 6 despite its occasional long uphill grades, winding sections and narrow bridges.

Politically, while we spotted a lone “BIDEN-HARRIS” sign, we knew we were deep in

county, with every type of flag, banner and even hand-painted signs proclaiming 2020 and even 2024 support for the former president.  One die-hard Trumper went so far as to plaster one side of his house with a home-made banner, “F*** BIDEN”.

However, more interesting were signs of the Amish influence

in the area (although we never saw any horse-drawn buggies on the road).

Living in the Philadelphia suburbs, it is easy to forget the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is heavily dependent on farming.

We spotted our third drive-in movie theater,

and in-town movie theater still showing recent releases

in the past two days, bringing back memories from our teenage years.

We also spotted

letting us know that the fire danger was LOW.

We considered but ultimately passed on visiting

In many of the small towns we passed through, banners honoring veterans dating back to World War II lined the main streets.

Oh, can’t forget the caboose

nor the lurking Sasquatch whose silhouette appeared in several yards.

Heading to our site at our campground for the next two nights we saw a “first” …

a pontoon boat which has been “docked” and converted into a park model.

 

 

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August 19, 2021 – Off on Another Adventure

It was fortuitous that we delayed our departure from Wednesday to today and had we left  yesterday, we’d have ended up in the midst of  the remnants of Hurricane Fred and dangerous weather.

The first 80% of today’s route were along three Interstates

and US Highways.  There was Lehigh Tunnel, above which runs the Appalachian Trail … a section we’ve both hiked.

The trip was remarkably uneventful, much of it through rural farm country.

And what would a trip be without Debbie’s fascination with old barns.

 

Driving through Williamsport, we passed right by

The area was mobbed as the annual Little League World Series were in full swing.

Then it was onto a series of narrow and winding secondary roads.

Where we caught our first glimpses of fall, albeit the calendar says it is only mid-August.

With less than ten miles to our evening’s campground our GPS decided to play games with us … routing us over eight miles of very narrow, one-lane pot-holed wet, dirt roads lined with deep shoulders.  We were so focused on getting through this area, where turning around was not an option, Debbie took zero pictures.

The Stony Fork Creek Campground is located in a deep valley where cell and television connectivity was absent.  However, that was its only drawback and it was a beautiful location.

 

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May 9 – Ashland to Home

We decided on an early start this morning in hopes of getting into and around Washington before there was any apprecaitble traffic, even thought is was a Sunday.

Surprisingly the traffic was very light and had virtually no slowdowns around DC and even up and over the Francis Scot Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Debbie spotted two "unusual" vehicles along teh way, a "differnt" motorhome

and care with what at first appeared as spiked hubcap bolts … which turned out to be "bullets".

We continued to make excellent progress and it looked like we'd be home before noon, in a record of 4½ from Ashland.  That is until we were a mere 21 miles from home!

When we finally got up to the scene of the apparent accident, we couldn't figure out what had happened.

Finally arrived back to ShadYBrook before 12:30.  A couple of hours to unload and ready to relax when Debbie discovered we'd had soem "visitors" in our absence.  After tracking and cleaning up the hundreds of little black droppings, we discovered a dead mouse! 

For the moment, we think we're rid of the rodents, but are now chasing down the source of some ants.

Oh well … home safely and stayed COVID-free all winter.

Now looking forward to our next trip, leavin gin mid-August.

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