Saturday, May 28, 2016

William Howard Taft NHS, Entertrainment Junction and National Museum of the Air Force

May 13 We left our cozy camper at WPAFB. The gate closest to the FamCamp was closed for the weekend and we had spend fifteen minutes driving to the base's main gate. Whoever laid out the roads for this base didn't do a very good job. The roads have no set pattern. Anyways, after a quick stop at Ace Hardware to fill the propane tank we drove down to Cincinnati.

Our first stop was for some food. Of course we went for barbecue. A quick Google search found JimDandy's BBQ.
Yum! Brisket, collard green and potato salad + corn bread!
Then it was on to the Taft House and if you do a Google search the first thing that comes up is Taft's Ale House, while I can't speak to the reputation of this establishment, it looks like a fine place to spend some time. We navigated the maze of streets to find William Howard Taft NHS. The house was bought by Taft's father, Alphonso to move his family from the filthy river district to the more posh high top suburb. He remodeled the house into a mansion and his second wife gave him William.
William went on to be the 31st president, 35th attorney general of the US and the chief supreme court justice making him the only man to do so.
 Beside the house is a visitors center. Both are accessible but the parking lot is on a hill and is steep.
Below is a fireplace that was in the bedroom of Alphonso's father, Peter Rawson Taft. He was put in charge of construction and maintenance of the home. He also taught young William about Aesop's Fables and after reading each one, he ordered these special tiles from Europe to go around the fire place.

Peter Rawson Taft kept immaculate journals of everything in the home. He knew the dimensions of every room, kept an inventory of everything in each room and serial numbers on every piece of equipment and furniture. These journals were stored in a desk that was sold at auction when Alphonso sold the home. The new owner of the desk found them and kept them. When they heard that the house was being restored they donated the journals back to the Taft House.
William's mother, Louise, sent detailed letters back to her family in Connecticut detailing the wall paper, furniture, drapes, their colors, patterns, and intricacies. When they restored the home, they were able to go the the journals and letters and replicate everything as it was in the home down to the gas light fixtures and carpet. Louise was the one who wanted to make the parlor for something other than a room to view a casket, she brought in lively colors, carpet, and drapes and a piano then hosted parties in the room, from her we get the term "living room."
Patrick's favorite trivia about William Howard Taft is that the man was so fat that he got stuck in a bathtub.

William's son Robert went on to be a star in his own right. He was elected to the Ohio House then the Senate and from there became a US Senator responsible for the Taft-Hartley Act, Senate Majority leader and tried to run for President.
I thought this quote was fitting for the country right now. Seems there really is nothing new under the sun.
After the Taft House we rolled back north on I-75 to Entertrainment Junction. The largest indoor train display in the world. 90 G model trains running in a 25,000 square foot building with three distinct epochs in U.S. history, from the earliest days of steam-engine railroading up through today’s modern diesel locomotives. The layout includes railroading’s Early Period (1860’s through the 1900’s), the Middle Period (1940’s to 1950’s) and the Modern Period (1970’s to the present).
   We took pictures as we walked around. Becky had the camera and I had my cell phone. It was interesting to see the differences in what we photographed. She focused on the details, the buildings and the scenery and I liked to take pictures of the overview capturing the scale of the place.
A note about the pictures, some seem darker than others because the lights periodically dim and brighten to simulate day and night. 

In many of the scenes they hid these rabbits and dinosaurs. There were plaques giving a list of objects to find so that people could see the detail that was put into the  making of the place.

All the water was real flowing from a waterfall and traveling through the scenes.

 There is an upstairs, accessible via a lift, where one can look down and view the whole layout. They also have a replica of Coney Island upstairs.

They camouflaged this support pole as the Space Needle.

I showed this to Becky. A kind woman equals crazy cat lady!

We made it back to the trailer and spent the rest of the evening being lazy. 

May 14 we went over to the National Museum of the Air Force. We've been to this museum about four times over the past few years and it is one of the nicest museums in the country and I highly recommend a visit. We went through the early years covering Orville and Wilbur's triumph over gravity over to the space stuff and then back to WWII.
The museum is opening a fourth building on June 16th. If you do come plan to allocate at least two days to see this place and read all the information. 

A-10 Warthog living the Braaap life.

 During WWII the US lent Russia hundreds of aircraft and other war material. Russian makes no mention of this and I think that Patton was right we should have steam rolled right over those punks. Probably why he died in a car crash...hint conspiracy?
 Two of my favorite WWII airplanes. The P-38 Lightning and the P-51 Mustang. My third is the F4U Corsair flown by Pappy Boyington in Guadalcanal of the famed Black Sheep Squadron. This plane isn't here because it was a Marine Corps aircraft.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wright Patterson FamCamp and Serpent Mound

May 12th we drove to Wright Patterson Air Force Base to stay at the FamCamp. Its about a two hour drive from where we are staying at my parents. Becky drove down because we don't have the hand controls in the truck yet. (as of 5/26 they are still not in). The trailer swayed quite a bit more than behind the Tahoe. We hadn't emptied the black and grey water tanks yet and that was the cause of the problem. I bought an antisway bar but I will hold off on putting it on until I have driven the rig to see how she handles.

May 13, Friday the 13th and a full moon! We drove down to Serpent Mound to see it once again. Scientist think that the mound was built by one of three cultures, the Adena, Hopewell, or Fort Ancient Culture. It winds over the terrain for eight hundred feet and seven coils. The coils align with the summer and winter solstice and two lunar events. The mound also corresponds with the star patterns in the constellation Draco.

  There is a tower so one can get a bird's eye view of the snake. The tower was built almost one hundred years ago and they keep it in good shape.

 We meandered on the way home and had to drive through a town marked as Bacon Flats. It was just two houses on a T junction.
 We made a loop around connecting through Peebles, Ohio and then over to Seaman. We headed north along Ohio 247. All along the drive and all over Ohio is this infectious weed called rape seed that they farm to make canola oil. Now its everywhere in every field, along the roads and in flower beds and yards. Its pretty but invasive or maybe its pretty invasive.

 Back at the trailer, the cat made her escape. We've been letting her out a little bit and she has been exploring. She used to be an outside cat but has lost to taste for mice. She knows where to get food for free.