Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ohio - Day 21 - southcentral Ohio

Rocky Fork State Park, near Hillsboro
Tuesday, 21 May 2019

On our early walk today, Dexter alerted me to a possible wildlife presence and, sure enough, when I started looking for it, I found the wake of an otter swimming in the lake.  And then suddenly the otter dived - probably for a fish - and his tail smacked the water surface and the sound echoed which, of course, terrified Gracie.  But it was a nice thing to see.

I noticed in a CNN report online that Logan County, OK, had severe weather resulting in "power polls down."  So of course I wondered if their politicians were having trouble with not having those polls available.

As I was leaving Scioto Trail State Park this morning, I noticed a sign that said, among other things, that this area was once a primeval forest, the largest deciduous forest in the world.  Sadly, it's not quite like that any more.

By the lake as we were driving out I saw 3 pairs of Canada Geese, each with several goslings - so sweet.  This isn't my photo, but this is what I saw, times 3.  There's always at least one lookout when they're feeding.

today's route
I drove on county and state roads the whole morning.  I passed what looked like a small lake with houses built all around it and noticed the lake was so full some of the houses were nearly flooded.  Most of them looked like they'd been there for a while so I guess they were used to it, but I think I'd build farther back or higher off the ground if it were mine.

One of the lotteries here is called OH! Lottery.  Very clever.

I stumbled on the Farm Report by the Extension Officer on the radio and found it very interesting.  I came in while he was reporting what sounded like the number of acres in terms of each crop planted so far this year, compared with previous years' averages.  And he did that for Michigan, too, and Iowa, Indiana, Illinois - lots of other farm states.  It sounded like planting was slower than usual this year, apparently because there'd been so much rain.

He said, "Some crops are in the ground, some are still in the bag.  Sometimes I wonder which is better."

He said because of the mild winter last year they're expecting a bad fly season so encouraged farmers to get busy inoculating their cattle herds.  He said it's important not to keep using the same method or the same ingredients year after year because the flies develop a tolerance.  He noted that some flies (he rattled off a bunch of species) lay eggs in fresh cow manure but if farmers feed cows specific minerals the eggs aren't viable and they can break the cycle.  He said farmers should consult their vets.  All this is a concern because flies carry diseases so it's important to stay on top of their herds.

All that made me wonder about the pills I've been giving Gracie for her arthritis.  She's been getting Cosequin every day for several years and it's made a dramatic difference in her life.  Before, she'd been limping a bit and had trouble getting up and down the 3 steps that led into Momma's house.  A few weeks after she started taking the pills,  those symptoms were gone completely.

I give it to her in her food, but I've noticed that now and then she'll eat all her food except the pill, which makes me think she's tired of taking them.  Her shots are due in a month or two and I think I'll ask the vet if there's an alternative we can switch to for a while.

I got to Rocky Fork State Park soon after noon and explained my problem to the woman at the registration desk.  She said this campground has 4 spaces set aside for walk-ins and 2 of them are already taken from now to Memorial Day.  So of course I grabbed one of the others and paid for a week's stay.  The majority of the campsites are empty right now, but the ones surrounding me are already occupied - with people with dogs, wouldn't you know.  It's not an ideal spot - not a vestige of shade, for instance, with a week of warm days predicted - but it's close to the entrance so it looks like we can get to a place with room enough for us to walk without parading past a bunch of dogs, so I can't complain.

Ohio - Days 19 & 20

Scioto Trail State Park
Sunday, 19 and Monday, 20 May 2019

I spent both these days in the campground, the name of which I think is pronounced sy-OH-toh.

It's a fairly small campground, and when I was choosing a camping site online, I chose one at the beginning of the campground, rather than one of those deeper in.  I've learned that when I pick a nice spot at the end of a cul-de-sac, and we have to walk past the dogs at all the other campsites just to get somewhere we can walk, it doesn't work.  Both my dogs go nuts when they see other dogs.  I've learned to pick a spot where I can walk past the fewest campsites and still get somewhere where there's room to walk.  And it turned out to be a valid concern because a whole lot of people had dogs, including all those in spaces around us.

In this campground, I was in space #1, near the camp store and the boat ramp and the fishing lake.  It would have been a good spot except that lake turns out to be a very productive fishing spot, and Gracie's fear of little kids has gotten worse.  She now doesn't wait for them to start shrieking or crying; she freaks out and tries desperately to get away when she even sees one, even from a distance.  And little kids like to fish.  So Saturday after we got here and all day Sunday were tough for her on walks.  We didn't get any peace until Monday after most people had left.

most spaces were taken when we arrived Saturday afternoon; this photo was on Monday; the lake is in the background
Oddly, even though by Monday there were only 2 other campers left in the park, there were at least 4 kids, all riding bicycles and yelling at each other as they rode along.  I had to time our walks until they'd gone in to eat supper or something.  Gracie's psychotic.  And there's nothing I can do about it while we're on the road.  Maybe never.

This is an odd little campground.  There's only a very few water spigots, and none at the campsites.  There're no showers.  I couldn't find any TV stations.  We're in a sort of valley so I'm not getting any cell phone reception or wifi reception.  The campground has a wifi signal, so that kept me from cracking up.

Of course there aren't any flush toilets, but the latrines weren't like any I'd seen.They're easily handicap-accessible because the floor of the latrine is the same concrete slab it's sitting on.  There's one toilet inside and it looks like a regular toilet but doesn't flush water.

 On the back side is a port where the pumpout service hooks up.  I didn't see a brand name anywhere.  When I asked the guy from Bud's Septic Tank Cleaning where these are made he didn't know but said they're very common in this part of the state, which seemed to be all he knew.

By Monday, I could extend my right arm a lot more than I had but still had no strength in it.  Good to see I'm improving, though it's a real nuisance not to be doing it faster.  To compensate, when I walk the dogs I hold both leashes together with both hands wrapped around each other, and I hold them up to my chest, both of which make me stronger and able to hang onto the dogs even when they charge at each other and wrestle for a bit.

Brown-headed Cowbird
I saw a flock of black birds that weren't Red-winged Blackbirds so I looked them up.  The only one I could find in the bird book that was the right size and could reasonably be expected to be in Ohio right now is the Brown-Headed Cowbird.

What gave me pause is that I didn't see the brown head on any of them, but it was the only one that could fit, so I guess I was just looking from the wrong angle or in the wrong light. 

It also gave me pause because the bird book says they're parasitic - they're like the Cuckoo and lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.  A female can travel up to 4 miles through woodlands to lay several dozen eggs during a season.  I'm not a fan of this habit because I know Cuckoos can kill the baby birds that belong in that nest and take all the food for itself, which is a pretty ugly thing for a guest to do.  I assume the cowbirds do the same thing. 

What I saw was a flock of at least 9 or 10.  How do they know how to get together if they're not raised with others of their species?

On Monday morning I was trying to figure out where I wanted to go next and suddenly realized next weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  As much as most Americans look forward to their 3-day holiday weekends, that's how much I loathe 3-day holiday weekends.  For those of us who are full-timing RV living (and there are a lot of us), these are a real problem because everybody and his aunt Lillian wants to go camping.

So instead of looking for someplace to stay tomorrow night, I started looking for someplace to stay next Friday-Monday.  And what I learned is that almost every single space with electric hookups in every single Ohio state campground is already reserved.  There were only 2 exceptions: one campground still had 3 spaces available at equestrian sites (completely out of the question because both dogs flip out at the sight of horses), and most campgrounds also had several walk-in sites available.

I couldn't find anywhere that explained the procedure for how walk-in spaces could be allocated so decided I'd better get to a campground fairly early in the day tomorrow to get on a list or whatever it was.  I picked Rocky Fork State Park, a fairly large campground that has spaces available for the next few days and that's within a reasonable distance of Cincinnati, near which are several places I want to visit.  I'll head there tomorrow.

Once the campground here cleared out I was able to walk the dogs more during the daytime (we can go almost anywhere early in the morning, but are more limited the rest of the day).  There's a road on the backside of the campground that the ranger told me leads to a logging road that's closed now, so we walked out that way several times.

Today I saw in 2 separate locations 2 pairs of butterflies - all of them a beautiful glossy blue-black and all perched on the feces of some unknown source sitting on the roadway.  I was glad I saw the butterflies, in fact, because without them I might have stepped in the poop.  Because of this incident I found a funny website that explains butterflies eat poop, which is apparently what these 4 were doing.  When I looked closer, trying to figure it out for myself, I saw a whole batch of greeny-silvery flies crawling around on the feces.  Odd to think 2 little piles of poop could generate so much interest.

Ohio - Day 18 - Columbus

Scioto Trail State Park, near Chillicothe
Saturday, 18 May 2019

today's route

Columbus close-up

Yellow-throated Warbler
I was lucky and started the day with a visitor on my picnic table: a Yellow-throated Warbler.  Really pretty.  And nice of him to hang around long enough for me to get a good look at him.

I was heading south to another state park today, with several sightseeing stops in Columbus, the state capital.

On the road
I started picking up even more religious radio stations than usual in the central part of the state.  I've noticed in a number of states that many of them are on the part of the radio dial (back when there was a dial) where the NPR stations are usually found, which is why I keep finding them.  Today I listened for a while until the speaker explained that liberals don't believe in freedom of religion.  Her proof?  That liberals don't want private schools to fire homosexual teachers.

As I was leaving a highway rest area, I saw a sign saying, "Buckle Up.  This may be your last chance."  I got in the habit of using my seatbelt back when I was teaching my teenage stepchildren to drive and decided it was a habit worth keeping.

Ohio has areas along the highways designated as Truck Parking.  The one I passed this morning had 20 semis and a tanker truck parked there.  My guess is that these separate areas unclog the parking lots at rest areas.

The Ohio Highway Patrol uses silver cars, and I've noticed that these are very unobvious - not easily identifiable in your review mirror.

There were long stretches of road where I couldn't find an NPR station, and I got tired of the religious and country music stations, so I had plenty of silence to think in.  The deep philosophical result of that was to notice that Ohio's major cities are: Columbus, Cleveland, Chillicothe, Cincinnati - and Dayton & Toledo?  What?  Did they run out of C names?

Topiary Park
In Columbus I once more planned my own route, with interesting results.  First I took a detour past something I'd seen on the map labeled Topiary Park.  I found the park easily but could only see one piece of topiary work from the street.  Even if the dogs and I had gotten out to walk around, I don't think I'd have appreciated it as much in real life as I can from other people's photos.  The park is said to be a recreation of Georges Sarat's famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte," which of course I'd never heard of.  But when I looked up the painting, I recognized it right away.  The re-creation is impressive, isn't it?
Sarat's painting
Topiary Park

The park is on grounds that used to belong to the Ohio Deaf School.  When it was established in 1829, it was one of only 5 in the US.  There's a historical marker on the grounds now.

Ohio Statehouse
It would be hard to say whether I had the most trouble driving in Columbus because of the construction blockages and detours or the road closures due to the 2019 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure (for which hundreds of people turned out).

Ohio's Statehouse
A good chunk of downtown was closed because of one or the other, especially the chunk around the Statehouse.  I'd really wanted to see this building because it's different from any capitol I've seen so far and was sorry to miss it.  I've included an online photo so you can see what I mean.  Different, isn't it?

I was really proud of myself for being able to find an alternate route to get to the Aquatic Center north of downtown.  Of course, I wasn't interested in swimming but in the recycle bins I'd read were in their parking lot.

Ohio doesn't seem much more interested in recycling than West Virginia was, and that was starting to be a real problem for me.  I still had recycling that had accumulated since the middle of last month, and now I'm halfway through this month with no places to dump it.  And I just haven't been able to bring myself to throw it all into the trash bins.  But the only extra storage space I have in the RV is behind the toilet in my bathroom, so you can see the accumulation might be a problem.

It took me quite a while online to figure out where I could take it - I don't think in computer terms so don't search for the right things - but I finally learned that many Ohioans are able to recycle through their local trash collection programs and, for the rest of us, there are publicly available bins in a few locations around the state.  And one of those locations was supposed to be at this Aquatic Center, so by gum I wasn't going to let a little thing like construction blockages and detours discourage me.  And I found it.

Turns out the Aquatic Center is a very popular place on Saturday mornings and I couldn't find a parking place.  But seeing my goal (aka the bins) right in front of me, I had no hesitation in parking where I wasn't supposed to.  And got rid of 3 bags worth of paper and bottles and plastic and metal.  What a relief.

What's more, I managed to get past a few more detours to get back onto the highway to get out of town.

Back on the road
At a rest area near Chillicothe (the final e isn't silent) I saw a sign saying Route 23 (which I was on) has been designated United Spanish War Veterans Memorial Highway.  This struck me as odd.  The Spanish-American War?  The Spanish Civil War? Weren't they both a really long time ago so unlikely too many veterans alive to be memorialized?  (1898 and 1936-39, respectively)  But when I looked up the highway, I found almost nothing about it online.  I did find an article that said the reasons behind the special designations given Ohio highways have mostly been lost in time.  There's not even a legislative paper trail to follow.  Apparently including this one.

I've been seeing increasing numbers of hills on the horizon as I've gone south.  There are still plenty of farms, but there's a lot less flat land in the south of Ohio than in the north.

I passed an area with a sign saying it was an ODOT Pollinator Habitat Area.  So of course I had to look that up and am glad I did.

I didn't know what milkweed looks like, so I found this
The state DOT has begun a limited project of planting native prairie plant species along rights-of-way intending to restore habitat and food sources for pollinators.  They say there's still a strong agrarian contribution to Ohio's economy, and crops need pollinators.  They're especially trying to encourage monarch butterflies, which are endangered.  The DOT plans its mowing schedule around monarch migration patterns.  Incidentally, they've found they're saving about $1.8 million by not mowing as often as they usually do. 

ODOT did have a wildflower program but found the wildlife population actually decreased.  That's when they switched to this predator habitat project.  I found an interesting article online from a woman in Wisconsin who has many different kinds of milkweed in her garden and some very picky monarchs. It sounds like gardeners would want to experiment with a variety when trying to promote monarch habitat.

You never know what you'll learn when you drive down our country's highways.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ohio - Day 17 - Berlin: Amish country

Mt. Gilead State Park
Friday, 17 May 2019

today's route
I'm sorry to report that my right arm is still essentially not usable.  I can't lift it and can't use it for most things.  Apparently the muscles that got strained are very important muscles for day-to-day living.

A complication is that I have what I think is bursitis in my left elbow and have had for months.  A few weeks ago it started hurting with even the slightest touch, making my left arm not quite as helpful as it would otherwise be.  And it means it's harder for me to find a comfortable position to sleep in, with both arms being so sensitive.

Combined with that persistent tiredness that I'm still experiencing, I've been having a tough time of it recently.  I decided that since I now know the tiredness isn't caused by an ulcer, I need to assume I'm anemic and eat more iron.  So yesterday when I stopped at a grocery store I bought some spinach to replace the lettuce I'd been going to buy, and I'll see if that helps.  And I'm paying more attention to the iron content of the foods I'm eating.  Probably just need more sleep.

Today my goal was the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin (pronounced BURR-lynn).  Turns out my online directions were nearly useless.  Roads said to have a state or county route number and a name didn't seem to exist; several routes were under construction and detours went miles and miles out of the way; several roads weren't labeled at all.

Even when I finally found Berlin, I stopped at the local Fire/EMS Station, figuring they'd be bound to know where the road was, only to find inside a group of Amish women with their hands deep in bowls of cole slaw.  Only one of them knew where the Heritage Center was.  As I left I saw the sign: Fish Fry tonight 4-8 PM.  Very sorry I won't be here.

The highway sign said Berlin is the ♥ of the world's largest Amish community.  I saw many horse-and-buggy outfits on the roads.  I ended up behind one myself at one point and didn't have the nerve to pass, but at another time I saw a big tractor-trailer pass one going uphill.

Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center
trivets that become baskets
explaining the trivet intricacies

These trivets were among the many handcrafts displayed in the lobby of the heritage center.

The primary focus of this center, and the primary reason I came, is an incredible mural they have.  They charged $8.75 for a tour, and it'd have been nearly useless to look at it without the guide.  They wouldn't let us take photos, so you might want to check out this link for at least a glimpse of the thing.  The only artist was Heins Gaugle.

The mural runs all the way around the room - there's no obvious beginning or ending, except the guide showed us that it starts with the beginning of Christianity, and includes events like the Crusades, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible, the Church's 15th century selling of indulgences, and Martin Luther, but I was most interested in learning about these unusual religious orders.  Here's a nutshell version.

In 1522 in Switzerland, a small group of Christians began a study group that compared Latin, Hebrew and Greek versions of the New Testament.  They came to believe that the practice of mandatory infant baptism was wrong, that baptism shouldn't happen until a person was old enough to be able to make the choice for himself.  The first documented adult baptism occurred in 1523.  The government labeled them pejoratively as Anabaptists, those who were re-baptized.

By 1527 there was full-scale persecution of these folks, including death sentences.  Some escaped to Austria, some to the Netherlands, some to what's now the Czech Republic.  In 1537, a man named Menno Simons was asked to be a leader and he was especially noteworthy for seeking out the scattered followers and not just preaching to them but actually uniting them.  The government called his followers Mennonites, and he and his wife lived the rest of their lives in hiding.

In 1605 Europe was overrun by Turks, who found the Hutterites - those of these folks who were living in the Czech Republic - to be easy targets: they lived communally and were committed to non-violence.  There were few survivors.

By 1660 the government halted public executions of these folks, but children were taken into State custody and men were sold into slavery (I don't know what happened to the women).

In 1682, William Penn invited them to move to his land in the New World.  A hundred years later, Catherine the Great invited some to move to Russia - she promised religious freedom in exchange for them being willing to farm there.  When the military draft's religious exemption for pacifism was revoked, Mennonites and Hutterites emigrated to the US, bringing turkey red wheat with them.  This hardy grain became the primary wheat planted in the central plains states.

The religion continues to spread; for instance, there are almost as many Mennonites in Mexico as in the US.

In general, these three Christian denominations believe the same things, including adult baptism and pacifism.  Hutterites are still living communally, while the others are community-oriented but believe in private property rights.  The Amish use little of modern technology, while the other two are fully integrated technologically.  Similarly, the Amish stick to horse-and-buggy outfits while the others think tractors and cars are useful.  The Amish educate their children only to the 8th grade, while the other two want their children to be educated.  This difference in education leads to Amish children following careers as carpenters, caterers, timber harvesting and farming (though only about 30% are farmers).  Children of the other two denominations enter many varied fields of work.  Amish attend church in individual homes; Mennonites and Hutterites attend church in buildings designed for that purpose.

The area is home to about 280 church congregations.  Berlin is 80% Amish and Mennonite.  They use four different versions of the Bible in their worship services and study.

Women's bonnets are partly based on scripture and partly tradition.  Men's hats and the buggies are strictly tradition.  Many of their practises are simply tradition, not parts of their religious beliefs.  They find it a way of honoring who they are and what they believe, rather than prescribed by those beliefs.

The guide expressed some frustration that almost sounded like bitterness at the portrayal of their religion by the media and popular culture.  He said they're just people, no better or worse than anybody else.  They're not living idyllic lives, they're just living their culture.  He himself is Old Order Amish, which he said was a more conservative branch of the Amish denomination.

He covered much more ground than this and packed it all into less than an hour, talking very quickly so that I wished he'd slow down so I could take it in.  It was really interesting and I'm glad I braved the problems with getting there to do it.

As I walked the dogs around the grounds, I took a few more photos.
one-room schoolhouse

explains the school

pioneer barn built into hillside

explains the barn

Peace Oak - the sign explains it

More on the road
A primary business in this area seems to be cheese and I passed signs for at least 5 farms that advertised their cheese (Guggisberg claimed to have the #1 cheese in America).  The Holmes Cheese Co. is building a new, larger building and hiring workers.

The town of Sugarcreek claims to be the Little Switzerland of Ohio and says it has the world's largest cuckoo clock.  I'd have loved to check out all these things but I was already exhausted and still had to figure out how to get back to the campground.  Turns out there's heavy traffic in the area at 1 PM on a Friday afternoon.  I have no idea why.  This isn't exactly a metropolitan area.

I've been seeing lots of blooming things in the last couple of weeks (spring seems to be coming so much later here than in VA or WV).  Dogwoods are still beautiful, iris are really coming out, tulips, a law office had a large mass of blooming white azaleas.

Bridge of Dreams
As I neared the small town of Brinkhaven, I knew to look for something called Bridge of Dreams.  I'd expected to see it on this morning's drive, until I got detoured or rerouted in some way.  This time I saw it.

Except that all the leaves I saw were green green instead of fall brown, this is what I saw.  It's a 370' covered bridge.  Its highway sign says it's the longest in Ohio, but Wikipedia says it's actually #2 in Ohio, but it's the 3rd longest in the US.

I passed a lovely little place with a home and pond and ducks and beautiful horses and all looking very idyllic.  And a For Sale sign.

I saw a pair of Canada Geese feeding in a field with 3 downy little chicks.

I passed through the town of Mt. Vernon, which is actually quite large and obviously very old.  Founded in 1805, the buildings seem to date from around then, though it's all very nice and well-maintained.

I've been surprised to find not much litter along the roads of Ohio.  It's got multiple cross-country roads running through it, and then a whole maze of local roads crisscrossing it, but not much litter.  Either their adopt-a-highway program is very effective or Ohioans are much more responsible than Virginians (all the litter on their roads still hurts my feelings).

Monday, May 20, 2019

Ohio - Day 16 - Mansfield, Malabar Farm, Mt. Gilead

Mt. Gilead State Park
Thursday, 16 May 2019

Remember I said when I first got Lily how odd her tail seemed?  She's such a big fluffy cat she should have a big fluffy tail, but instead it's just a skinny little thing.  Well, this morning I actually managed to get this photo and you can see that tail for yourself.  It just shows she's contrary in more ways than one.

On our second morning walk today, Gracie was walking behind me as usual (drives me crazy) and Dexter suddenly decided to attack her (their version of playing).  Behind my back.  While I held her leash in one hand and his in the other.  They're both strong.  The falling over into the mud part wasn't so bad.  It was the serious straining on the muscles in my upper right arm that was the problem.  I was very lucky because no permanent damage was done, but it seriously hurt.  And kept on hurting.  I haven't been able to lift my arm all day or, in fact, use it for much of anything.  Driving with it like this is now a nuisance.  Except we have reservations at another campground that I've already paid for so off we had to go.

today's route
Driving south from Sandusky I saw miles and miles of flat fields.

After a few miles I started to wonder just where I was when I passed Groton, which I'd thought was in Connecticut.  Apparently it's also here.  And then I passed a sign showing the road to Greenwich.  A little later on I came to Shiloh, then to Shenandoah - an abrupt leap southward in the ol' naming game.

I met the first railroad crossing in Ohio that actually wanted me to stop for a railroad train - all 131 cars of it.  (I had plenty of time to count.)

The farther south I went the more I started to see small rises in the road - a change from the flatness near Lake Erie.

In Ohio, cities seem to be called corporations.  I saw a sign that said I was entering Mansfield Corporation, and I've seen many others.

Note that the greeting is written on grain elevators.  This is an internet photo, and there were many more of those things to the right of the photo.

Mansfield has several claims to fame.  The one most people know about is that this is where most of "Shawshank Redemption" was filmed.  I've never seen this film but apparently there's a very committed audience out there, because there's a Shawshank Trail that leads folks to all the important sites of the movie.  And this year there's a big celebration planned in August for the 25th anniversary.  Here's the link, if you're one of the fans.

The reason I was interested in Mansfield is, of course, their carousel.  Not having gotten tired of them at the museum yesterday, I had to get another fix.

Mansfield is an old town

the carousel building downtown
Mansfield has ample free parking downtown, which meant the stores and restaurants were busy.  Nearby was the Hursh Pharmacy, since 1898, they say.

This carousel was made by Dentzel which, I now know, made the Philadelphia style of carousels.  Not that I can tell the difference.  But I do appreciate the carving and detail a little more than I did.

This carousel uses a Stinson Band Organ, not the Wurlitzer Organ made in North Tonawanda, NY, that I usually see.  (I only noticed because I'd learned about them when I was at North Tonawanda last year.)  Stinson is made in Bellefontaine, OH, and says they produce the "Happiest Music on Earth."

This little town is a few miles west of Mansfield and I was there looking for a shop, which didn't seem to exist in real life - only in internet life.  While I was driving around there I saw Vitro, The Glass Company, a claim I thought worth investigating (there are other glass companies after all) and learned they say they're Mexico's leading glass manufacturer and one of the world's largest, and they have plants all around the US.

I passed a very large garden with quite a few people working in it and learned that a nonprofit called Emmanuel's Bread, that helps gather food and supplies for the needy, has Emmanuel's Garden, more than an acre that grows produce to donate to the community.

I passed a company called Hempy Water and, of course, assumed it had something to do with marijuana so, of course, looked it up.  Quel disappointment! - they sell water softeners and water filtration systems.

Back on the road
I passed a sign saying I was on the Historic Lincoln Highway Byway.  Not being too clear what Lincoln had to do with Ohio I looked it up and learned something different.  The Lincoln Highway was begun in 1913 and was the first roadway system created for the new automobile.  It was intended to go from New York to San Francisco.  In Ohio the route has been changed as new roads are constructed, but it generally runs from a point near Pittsburgh, PA, across the state on its way to Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  In some places you can still see the original bricks of the roadway.

I passed another sign saying I was on the Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway.  I do know a little about that, which is that the last confirmed tree to have been planted by Mr. Appleseed (aka Mr. Chapman) himself is still growing on private property in Nova, OH.  I passed the road that goes along there today but didn't go down because I knew I'd never be able to see the tree.

Speaking of which, not far south of Nova is Jeromesville, where the world's largest sycamore is growing, also on private land.  It's worth taking a minute to go to this link just to see this monster tree.   https://ianadamsphotography/biggest-tree

on Stout Road
Online directions took me down some roads I shouldn't have been on, but one of them was really pretty.  I couldn't find anywhere to pull over to show the trees making a canopy across the road, but at least you can see how green it all was. 

And you can see that when I say the road had no shoulder, it really didn't have a shoulder.  This one also didn't have a center line, but I guess they're more casual about that here.  What was also casual was the big white mastiff or something that was walking casually down the middle of the road.  He finally noticed me and stepped to the side.

Malabar Farm
I was heading for this place for the sole reason that this is where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall got married and I wanted to see what it looked like.
Malabar Farm, owned by Louis Bromfield
he was Bogart's best man 

It's being run now as a place to stay and a resource for conservation of various kinds - I picked up a brochure about how to build a nesting box that a Bluebird will be able to use without much competition.
the swallows are happy here too

They also rent out their facilities for weddings for others who are interested in that famous marriage.  This article includes a sympathetic account of that event from 1945.

On the road to the campground I passed a sign saying the Mid-Ohio Atheists were participating in the Adopt-a-Highway program, which I found sufficiently startling to look up.  This is the 7th year they've done so, and they do it to demonstrate to the community that atheists are also good citizens. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Ohio - Day 15 - Sandusky

Camp Sandusky
Wednesday, 15 May 2019

today's route
Sandusky is bigger than I thought, with 25,000+ residents.  And I was also surprised to learn it has several points of interest.  I was only interested in one of them but took the long way around to get there.

Barn Swallow
I drove along the shoreline to Battery Park Marina, where I found quite the population of Barn Swallows.  Later on I found a condominium of them, with lots of them perched outside their holes.  Pretty birds.

I assume there was once a Battery at Battery Park, though I didn't see one now.  They have several community facilities there, including a marina, which is flanked by the Sandusky Yacht Club on one side and the Sandusky Sailing Club on the other, both of which have their own marinas.  Lots of boats along there.

I could see across a little bay what looked like a very large amusement park.  From online research I'm guessing it's a place called Soak City - a sort of Schlitterbahn, maybe.
view of amusement park beyond marina
Soak City

Sandusky was ranked #1 on Forbes's 2011 list of Best Places to Live Cheaply in the US.  So there you are.

As you can see from these markers, which were all side by side at Battery Park, Sandusky was once an area of great innovation and industry.

One industry they still have is a place called Industrial Nut Corporation, which I thought sounded odd enough to look up.  It's a 111-year-old company that makes custom manufactured nuts, locknuts and machined parts.  Seems odd that it could be so specialized and yet still be hanging on after so many years, but it is.

What I was really headed for was the Merry-Go-Round Museum.

The museum is in the old post office building, which probably seemed the perfect location, given its round front.

The museum explained there are three main styles of carousel, made by different craftsmen.
I visited the Herschell-Spillman Co. in North Tonawanda, NY, and thoroughly enjoyed their carousel, made in the country fair style.  The one here at the museum was made by the Dentzel Carousel Co. and is an example of the Philadelphia style.  I think it's a Charles Looff carousel I rode in Rhode Island, an example of the Coney Island style.  And despite these detailed descriptions shown here, I haven't got a clue how to tell these styles apart.  It looks to me like they're all detailed and bejeweled and so forth.  Obviously experts can do it, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all just magical fun.  But when you look at my photos below, see if you can tell which is which.

from l-r, these horses were made in: 1912, 1912, 1905, 1903, 1912 (blue saddle, silver mane)

the dark horse with light bridle and the tan horse, both in rear, were on 1995 USPS carousel postage stamp
That tan horse is one of the largest horses ever carved and is the cover image for Art of the Carousel, by Charlotte Dinger.

During the reign of Louis XIV, there was an annual tournament to showcase equestrian talents.  A favorite game was to use a lance to snare a small dangling ring while at a full gallop.  Of course, horseriders wanted to practice before competing in the tournament and devices were made for this.
the actual lancing is behind the pole (sorry) but all the pictures show the recreational side of a carousel
The greatest of these tournaments was called Le Grande Carousel, and was held in 1662 in the area of Paris that is still called Place au Carousel.  By the mid-1800s, the craze had spread throughout Europe, and had even migrated to America (probably via immigrants).  In 1867 a cabinetmaker opened a carousel manufacturing shop in Philadelphia.

The Golden Age for carousels was 1895-1928 (ended with the Depression).  During that period more than 3,000 were made in the US; less than 100 still survive.
l-r, these deer were made in: 1905, 1907, 1907 (others in next photo)

l-r 1907, 1900, 1900, 1905
Note the painted panels above the deer: those are all in original factory paint and came from the carousel in Crystal Beach Park, Vermillion, OH.  That's some paint job, isn't it, to have survived so long.

Those with sharp eyes may have noticed the photo of Michelle Obama who, as First Lady in 2014, featured that first deer as part of the "Holidays at the White House" display, which she designed.  It's shown in the photo behind the deer.

the lion on the far L was made in 1880; the zebra is from 1895; the lion behind the zebra was made in 1900 and weathered the 1938 hurricane on the boardwalk at Long Beach, NJ; the chicken is from 1902

I was partial to this sea monster from 1905
Note that these animals are mostly older than the horses they have - I'm sure there are old horses but they don't have them in this museum.

I've never been much interested in the animals, partly because they're usually stationary and where's the fun in that.  But there were 3 men visiting the museum when I was there, and one of them wandered over to the animals when I was taking photos, and I heard the other two find him and say, of course he'd be over there, he lo-o-oves the animals.

A British merry-go-round operates clockwise; all others in the world go counterclockwise.  Go figure.

yes, a 1917 airplane landed on a carousel
the sign behind the horse explains