A Travellerspoint blog

Bikes, Bones and Staying in Shitsburg....

IMG_5765.jpgI’m in Hamilton Ohio right now at a nice new Marriott on some river. This is what Wikipedia has on the town ‘Hamilton was laid out as Fort Shitsburg in 1794, but took the name of Fort Hamilton later. The industrial city is seeking to revitalize itself through the arts and porn shop's and was officially declared the 'City of Sculpture,' due to its efforts to bring many sculpture installations to the city.’ (FUNNY! ) Hamilton is the largest town I’ve been to. Hamilton looks a little rough. The first time I have felt a little uneasy walking around.
The day started with attempted breakfast by the shores of Grand Lake. The carp stick pushed me back to the car. They have a serious farm run off that has polluted the water. I drove around the lake and saw many fishing. I sure wouldn’t eat it. I had lunch at St Mary’s coffee shop. There was a group of Red Hats grousing about their food and etc. It made me think of mom’s old group . Across the street was a covered bridge that was made by wood supplied by NC farmers for thanking Ohio farmers for supplying hay to them during a drought years ago. What a nice gesture of thanks. The Erie-Miami canal replica was there also. They just recently found another canal there while building a new bank. There is a 40 mile walking trail that links all of the canals. Sounds like a fun hike.

Next, the Bike Museum in New Bremen. Sounds dorky. Well… It was on the way.
I walked in and asked about the admission fee. The curator said “Oh, the group just left” huh? “ Aren’t you with the newspaper?” “No” There were an old Chevy car group there and he thought I was the media.LOL! I got the grand tour complete with the guy riding some of the bikes. He then took me out to see their canal. While we were outside the car club drove by waving and I snapped away!

This is the land of the 30 Cross-tipped catholic churches. The farm skyline is sprinkled with these churches among the silos. I stopped in to the Maria Stein Church & Spiritual Retreat that the Bike-guy said had bones of saints there. After visiting Italy and hearing the wars that broke out between towns over stealing saint’s bones, I had to check out. It was a beautiful church. The receptionist said no fee but to pray for her grandchildren who do not have jobs. I told her I would. The floors were so creaky. I tried not to be too loud as I walked into the chapel. There were a group of women there possibly nuns. After my non-catholic prayers I went up stairs and viewed the museum. No bones only nun-art and pope paraphernalia. The gardens were very nice and it was perfect weather.
St Charles Seminary is one of the 30 churches. It is massive. It is now a retirement home for priests.
On to Ft Recovery. Kind of boring but the town was cute. I started to then make my way south. I met up with the car club again in Greenville which was a nice larger town. I had dinner there at the “Back in Time” restaurant and headed south again. The weather is suppose to be bad tomorrow. I am going to jump the line and work my way up through Indiana.

Posted by CSchoon 19:33 Comments (2)

Crossing the Line!

Or disproving the hypothesis that Ohio sucks...

IMG_5464.jpgHoosiers love the joke: " Why do all the trees in Indiana lean to the East? Because Ohio sucks!"...Naaaa...It really doesn't.
I think my GPS hates me. I would venture off so much from all the excursions that she stopped giving me directions. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear“ Well, smart pants just find your own freakin way. I’m takin a smoke break”

I am relaxing in a Holiday inn in Celina Ohio. I have been through quite a few towns. I think the best photo I got the whole day was about my first. I crossed the state line and saw this white church off the road. Sitting on the steps was an old lady by herself reading a book in a blue hat and dress. My first town destination was Pioneer. I like the name. I think its claim to fame is that it has the longest ( and only) stoplight in the state. I kid you not I could have toasted a grill cheese sandwich for as long as I sat there. The downtown was dead other than a junky garage sale. The nearby town was Cooney! The name of our beloved family cat growing up. There was not much to the town other than one old building with the sign “Doggone it’s fun to save at Cooney’s discount” Cooney would have hated that.
Roundhead, Ohio named after Chief Roundhead. Not much there other than a fire dept and a church and not one picture of a Roundheadian.
Jumbo Ohio! You gotta love a town that named itself after an African elephant displayed by P.T. Barnum. I thought I would find an elephant statue or “Jimbo’s Jumbo Discount Tires” What did I found? A boarded up building and a trailer park. Hmmm…Possibly retired carnies?
Notes:
I saw no farms for sale. Yeah, for Ag! Many farmers were in the field today. I saw hay being cut! The country roads in Ohio are straight unless there is a graveyard in the way.
Tomorrow I am going to check out Grand lake. We stopped here at a Wendys one time traveling through and Aaron refused to eat because the town smelled like carp. Sheesh! ...What a goof.

Posted by CSchoon 18:36 Comments (3)

Ready....Set.....

Consumer Report Rating: Don't buy a Studebaker

overcast

“Is that candy apple red?” asks the old guy sitting next to me at Quick Lube. “I’m not sure what color it is. I think candy apple red is a lot brighter.” I say. “My first car was a ‘32 Studebaker and they sold it to me with a cracked block.” “Swore I’d never get another one” I wanted to say “Mister, I don’t think you need to worry” but instead..”Oh that’s too bad.” Deep in dread that I need to get the stupid novel-size car manual out to reset the stupid high tech oil change light.
My candy apple red car (I’m going with that because it sounds cool), camera and I are ready to hit the blue highways. Some of the towns on my list: Worstville, Patriot, Milan, Minister, Farmer, Jumbo, Roundhead, Zulu, Domestic, Peppertown , Friendship, Alert and Petroleum to name a few. How did they get their names? Are the residents friendly, alert or round of head? Do they even exist anymore? Stay tune and we will find out.
Rod is off to Brazil. He wouldn’t even pack a pair of shorts. Oh, brother.

Posted by CSchoon 15:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Waiting on the Brazilians

IMG_4957.jpgI have been waiting on the date of Rod’s Brazil trip to set my travel dates. Finally the Brazilian govt has allowed him a visa. I am going the day after mother’s day. I don’t know how long I will be and where the maps will take me. My plans are to update this blog each night with the adventures of the day. Could be boring or could be interesting. I just hope it is Swine flu and mugging free. I will have my phone and yes, Bonnie I will charge the batteries.
This week we had Andrew Rush ( andrewrush.com) a photojournalist from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette do a feature of Rod & I for the Coalition for Christian Outreach which we support. I was thrilled when he came in with the same model camera as mine. Although I have a 40D Cannon and his was a 5D (a price tag different of $1,000.) He was a quiet guy but that didn’t stop me from being a full fledged dork and asking a million questions. I realized afterwards that I must have driven the poor man nuts. A few things I took reassurance from: he never uses a tripod (unless night), he never uses a light meter and he uses AF. He did help me set up the studio lights. I felt like a 3 yrs old showing my scribbles to Monet. I will never have the knowledge of a 4 yr degree and 10 years of field work. I is what I is! 

Posted by CSchoon 14:03 Comments (1)

Angel Wings for an Old Guy....

Or.....Wisdom can be had from Dirty Old Men

IMG_4595.jpgWe have all heard some wacko story of angels visiting some poor sap to show them their way out of the woods so to speak : George Bailey’s Clarence in It’s a wonderful life. I met my very own Clarence.. Let me explain and it will tie in like a neat little bow. I promise
Last fall I decided to veer off from my well worn path to Wal-Mart to take some pictures of the windmills and at Kendallville Windmill Museum which I had never visited. Mentally I was in a real turmoil. with thoughts of my desire to jump into photography with both feet. Was I good enough or just lucky with a few good shots. I set up my tripod in the deserted park and was snapping away when an old man walked over. “ You are following your passion! Good for you! Most people never see what you see.” I was kind of freaked out . It was like he read my mind. He introduced himself and we talked a little. He said he worked at the park a few days a week. He asked if he could give me a hug. Ok, you’re thinking Cathy, no angel more like a park perv. We hugged and it was sweet! He started to walk away and said. “Never stop doing what you love, Ok?” I promised him I would never stop.

Angel, God, Old chatty guy, Perv,? Who was this guy that just gave me more confidence than any individual could?

Posted by CSchoon 19:21 Comments (3)

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