Pennsylvania and the Virginias 2021:
Day 5 - Heading Home [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Pennsylvania and Virginias 2021: [Day 1 - West Virginia] [Day 2 - Virginia] [Day 3 - Pennsylvania] [Day 4 - Ohio] [Day 5 - Heading Home]

Friday, April 9, 2021: We were on our way by 7:00 AM.
It wasn't raining anymore so we got a decent photo of the campground sign this time.
We placed a take-out order at this unusual-looking McDonald's, ...
... and were thrilled to find our beloved Steak Egg and Cheese Bagel on the menu for the first time since the pandemic began.
We headed to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It had been here all along, hidden among the suburbs of Cleveland, but we never knew about it until we compiled our list of national parks to visit.
Our first stop was the village of Peninsula.
A cute little train station is a stop for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that runs through the park.
The Cuyahoga River is just on the other side of it. The remains of an old mill are visible from this vantage point, ...
... and remains of the old canal locks can be seen up ahead.
We headed over to the parking lot there ...
... so we could see the locks and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath up close.
This sign showed what Lock 29 used to look like ...
... and here it is now.
This 3D representation had Braille on it for vision-impaired visitors.
We crossed a bridge ...
... and looked upstream toward the train station and mill remnants (right), ...
... then downstream.
A Canadian goose kept her nest cozy nearby.
Next, we drove north through the Cuyahoga Valley. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs along this side of the river, ...
... and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail runs along the other side.
We headed to the Boston Mill Visitor Center next.
There are several historic canal-era buildings in this area, ...
... including this cute gas station across the river from the visitor center.
Here's the Boston Mill. We didn't go inside, ...
... but we did use the restrooms and visit this pretty river overlook.
Small birds were nesting in the rafters above us.
See? This little guy looks like a swamp sparrow.
This is the Boston Mills ski resort. We were surprised to see that there was still some snow remaining on the ski runs.
This sign points to Ohio & Erie Canalway America's Byway.
Turnpike? Time to get out one of our transponders!
Debbie saw a bald eagle but didn't get a picture of it in time, so here are some trees similar to the one it was in, ...
... and here's Tom making the Bundlings sign for "bald eagle" so we'd remember later.
There's an Ohio oil rig. They're in every state, we're certain.
Early in our trip, Debbie had been looking up information on the neighbors who were really close to Tom's family when he was a child, Ferris and Modelle. Ferris died in 2000, and Modelle died in 2011. Debbie noticed that the headstone pictured on Find a Grave for Modelle didn't have a date of death engraved on it, even though the picture was taken a year after her death.
So we looked up the location of the cemetery and added a detour to our trip to visit and confirm.
The cemetery had a great search feature that told us what section and row their gravestone was in, but we couldn't tell which section was which, so we looked up gravestones, one section at a time, until we found the right section.
Debbie recognized the stone from behind almost immediately. Sure enough, Modelle's date of death had never been added.
Here's a photo of the rest of the cemetery from the gravesite if needed to help locate the gravesite in the future.
The cemetery is separated into two areas: the older cemetery shown here where the chapel is located, and the newer cemetery across the road where Modelle and Ferris are laid to rest. We contacted the cemetery when we got home and made arrangements for Modelle's headstone to be updated. With no children of their own, Tom and his siblings were treated like beloved grandchildren, so this was the right thing to do.
We tried to find a regional fast food chain, but in the land of small towns, a trip to Long John Silver's is the best we could do. It is rare that we encounter a drive-thru that can fit our rig, but we just barely squeezed through this one.
We headed to Wapakoneta next, where they're used to making the claim of being First on the Moon, ...
... because it is the home of the Armstrong Air & Space Museum ...
... and of astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Tom and his family had driven past this distinctive building many times when he was growing up in Dayton, but this was his first visit.
A statue of the man himself, Neil Armstrong, stands outside the museum named for him.
Let's look around!
Neil's high school yearbook was one of the exhibits, ...
... with one of the pages displayed. You'd think he would be the most accomplished student in his grade, but the other students shown here all had impressive activity lists as well.
Tom loves timeline displays like this and reads every single word on them. Every single one.
Here's an Aeronca Champion aircraft flown by Neil Armstrong.
Check out these groovy pilot boots.
This cool memento contained a piece of the Gemini 8 heat shield.
This Gemini VIII capsule was Neil Armstrong's first spacecraft.
This space suit was worn by Armstrong during the Gemini VIII mission.
It's always fun to see Sputnik I replicas at air and space museums.
While Tom pores over the aeronautics stuff, Debbie focuses on the mundane aspects of space flight, like space food, ...
... space hygiene, ...
... and space sleeping.
This statue is a 3D replica of Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Fifteen of these statues were created and displayed in Major League ballparks in 2019, then moved to museums like this one. And no, we are not going to attempt to see them all.
This is his back-up spacesuit, on loan from the Smithsonian.
Tom loved this display that included equipment used to collect lunar samples ...
... like this Apollo 11 Moon Rock.
We laughed when we encountered this fragment of the meteor that formed Meteor Crater in Arizona, because we had just seen it the previous month.
There was no real space reason for this fun light-and-mirrors display, but we enjoyed it anyway.
This domed theater is what is inside the white sphere you see from the freeway and parking lot. No films were being shown due to COVID-19, but a little astronaut statue stood guard anyway.
This excellent display contained photos of each astronaut that was stationed on the International Space Station at this very moment.
Another great food display and this one features specially designed cans of Coke!
Of course, Tom had to try the lunar landing simulator.
Steady ... steady ...
... boom! The screen put it a little more nicely: "Oops! You didn't quite make a successful landing."
There was an art gallery featuring moon-related artwork. This 1970 mosaic was made completely from small pieces of wood.
This 1969 oil painting featured a very thick and textured moon surface.
This piece was made from shiny thumb tacks and was created in 1969.
This display on the late Judith Resnick reminded us that she was an Ohio native.
This long wall included the pictures and bios of lots of Ohio astronauts.
Outside the museum is a Gemini spacecraft mockup.
Tom looks like a real astronaut, doesn't he?
Here is one of only two Skylancer aircraft in existence. Four were built originally.
We passed Astro Lanes on our way out of town. When you're in Wapakoneta, you stick with the local astronaut theme.
We happened to see a North Carolina license plate (edited to change the plate number) and Tom pointed out that what once used to say "First in Flight" now says "First in Freedom." Looks like Ohio won the Wright Brothers feud with North Carolina after all.
It was late and we hadn't planned to go by Dayton so we didn't stop in to see Tom's mom but we waved as we went by.
Welcome to Indiana - Crossroads of America.
We were so close to home but we needed to keep up our streak of one thing going wrong with The Ocho every day. Today, we finally witnessed the oft-discussed phenomemon of the sunroof coming open slightly when traveling at highway speeds. We rarely have the shade pulled on it, so we didn't notice that it had happened right away. Fortunately, the shade went right back to normal, there's a known temporary fix, and a known permanent fix, so this one's not a big deal.

We were nearly at 12,000 miles when we dropped off our beloved The Ocho at the storage facility. Total state count for The Ocho: 20.

** THE END **

Pennsylvania and Virginias 2021: [Day 1 - West Virginia] [Day 2 - Virginia] [Day 3 - Pennsylvania] [Day 4 - Ohio] [Day 5 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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