16.07.2015 - 17.07.2015
I am finally on my way home to Colorado - I think.
As it took me two days to get out of Pennsylvania and four days to get out of Ohio, it is anybody's guess on how long it will take me to go through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and half of Colorado.
My plan is to take the Interstates most of the way and detour only if there is something unusual or interesting within 50 miles either side of the highway.
I saw the exit sign for the McKinley Memorial too late as I was traveling down I-77. Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to exit later and still find it.
He might not be our most well known president, but somehow I think we could do just a tad bit better as a memorial. Apparently, he was a rather unpretentious man, but is this all we can do?
You push a button and the two mannequins bob their heads as a recording plays.
The monument on the hill and the statue are impressive. However, the wreaths in front of the tomb are so obviously artificial you feel like you want to wash the dust off them. Frankly, they look like something I might have made.
People from Canton come to these steps to do their exercise routine - run up and down, do lunges on each step, do squats on each step, etc.
My left knee gave out on the way down and I had to inch my way down like a toddler - two feet on each step. It took me forever, and I was so embarrassed as the children slid down the railings on their stomachs and backs.
I noticed the Salt Fork State Park just a few miles off the Interstate, so Google took me the backroad way to get there. I didn't see a grocery along the way, so I turned when a sign pointed to the lodge.
Even though the parking lot was filled with hundreds of cars with Ohio plates, it didn't seem like much of a place until I tried to find my way through the 1980s-style halls and levels. I could smell the chlorine pool and restaurant. I could even see them through glass windows, but it took me quite a while on stairs and ramps until I found the entrance to the restaurant.
The waitress approached me from the back for my order and several times to check on my needs and progress. Each time, she would come up and stick her head over my shoulder and say "I don't want to startle you, but I am behind you!" and then she would put her hand on my shoulder.
It drove me nuts!
I could only register for a campsite on line. Couldn't find anything without electricity, so I paid twice as much to get a camp spot.
I paid for it, so I darn well used it to charge my phone and computers. By the way, I have misplaced my camera rec-harger somewhere along the road. Am having to use my Surface Pro computer as a camera now. It is not quite as efficient and I don't think the photos are as good.
All my life, I thought President Eisenhower conceived the concept of an interstate system after all the navigation problems in Europe during WWII.
When I stopped at the National Road-Zane Gray Museum near Zanesville I learned that George Washington had even hoped for such a road leading from the east to the far west. By 1806, President Jefferson initiated such a plan. Construction began in 1811 and ended up at Wheeling, now West Virginia in 1818. It then continued through current Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Today it is US Highway 40.
This museum covers every bit of local history, I learned all about the National Road.
I examined dozens of display cases of Ohio Art Pottery.
I reminisced about Zane Gray and looked at the copies of books that had also sat on my father's bookshelves. I learned even more about him from this link.
But that is certainly not the fault of the volunteer docent. If you traveled with me in Virginia a couple of months ago, you might remember how I scolded all the male retirees who volunteer at museums across this country. Well this one certainly makes up for all of those disinterested ones!
He cherishes his responsibilities with enthusiasm.
When he told me the school in the National Road diorama did not have a privy and started to demonstrate how the girls squatted in the bushes and the boys aimed toward the center of the canal, I told him I thought I got the picture without the demonstration.
I shot a video of traffic moving over the Y in the middle of the river, but I can't figure out how to upload it. Tom's was a friendly and fun place to lunch. They tout their cleanliness, but I am telling you this was the dirtiest place I have eaten in during the past 16 months - including the campgrounds!
I also drove a bit along The National Highway and stopped to look at part of the original road which is now a hiking trail.
All this and George Jones duets on a CD kept me driving safely through Ohio. (My CD is after his divorce from Tammy, so the duets are with other singers. This link gives some oldies with Tammy Wynette which are fun to hear if you have had enough rock and roll.)
Eventually, I made it to Indiana and was welcomed by thunderstorms and flash flood warnings beeping over my phone.