Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ohio - Warren


On August 31, 2018 we headed to Warren, OH and ten days with family. This time we did not stay in our RV so no campground information. We stayed with Linda, Nancy's sister and our RV got a rest on the Lyda Farm. Kathy Lyda, our nieces mother-in-law let us park our RV there.

Becky ~ Linda ~ Frankie ~ Nancy
It was so nice to have a relaxing time together. Usually when we are with family it is for a few days and during some event where we are all busy. We got to just relax and enjoy each others company. Hanging out with Becky, Jeff and their boys Luke and Grant is always fun. Plus, our great-niece Frankie came to visit with her two boys Preston and Keegan. Fun was had by all.
Becky ~ Frankie

Preston ~ Luke ~ Grant ~ Keegan 

We did do a little sight-seeing while here.
Linda joined us on a couple of our trips. We found the Pennsylvania, Peter "Wolf" Toth Indian carving at a rest stop on I-80 just across the state line. This one does not have a name, the plaque dedicates it to the Seneca Indians. He was carved from an Elm tree in 1973, the 6th carving on the "Trail of Whispering Giants". He stands 7-feet tall.
On this same outing we found Big Foot outside a garden center in Hermitage, PA.

In Niles, OH is a 20-foot tall sculpted Steelworker at the entrance to the Niles Iron and Metal Company.

The artist, Sydney Rackoff created the piece when he was 74-years old. 

It's a good thing Sharon, PA is so close to Warren, OH because we had to go there twice to get a picture of the Giant Chocolate Turtle and other chocolate creations at Daffin's Candies.

The 400-pound turtle is just one of the items in the Chocolate Kingdom.  Our first trip there was on Labor Day and the store was closed. So, we went back the next day and wandered the town, finding other roadsides.

It was surprising how much art there is in this little town. That is due in part to the Random Acts of Artists Inc (RAA). It is a non-profit group of artists in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

A wonderful mural at the end of a shopping center. So much going on in the picture

The Art Walkway from a parking lot to the main road is filled with portraits and funky chairs.

There are also metal and bronze sculptures around town. We found two Knights and their trusty steeds.

There is a Music section in case you want to dance a little.

The Shanango River is lined with fire buckets that are used during the WaterFire Festival, held three times a year.

Outside the library are "Book Poles", each one designed to represent an author or book. More information can be found in the link above for the RAA. The Giant Coffee Cup is a beacon to a new coffee shop opening soon.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has been on our bucket list for many years and every time we planned to go something always came up that interfered. We finally made it! But, like on other attempts a number of the trails were closed, many washed out from the heavy rains.
The Cuyahoga River twists and turns for 90-miles, if it flowed straight it would cover only 30-miles. The parks 33,000-acres lines 22-miles of the river. Preservation of the valley started in the 1960's and it became a National Recreation Area in 1974 and a National Park in 2000.
Due to the closed trails we decided to take the train so we could at least see some of the park. The trains first arrived in the valley in 1880, changing the landscape and lives of those who lived and traveled here.

We started our journey at the Peninsula Depot, which has a gift shop and snack bar. Heading north we stopped at the Canal Exploration Center. It was a short walk on a paved trail to the museum.

In the mid-1800's, the Gleason family ran a tavern and general store in this building. It was a rest stop at Lock 38 for those traveling the Ohio & Erie Canal. The history of the canal which opened in 1827 is told through many exhibits.
From the building of it, to traveling it and the impact it had on the surrounding area. It helped to develop many towns and businesses as product was shipped south and west from here.

Lock 38 is one of the few restored, working locks left along the canal. State engineers designed 44-locks to deal with the 395-foot rise in elevation from Cleveland to Akron. Heavy wooden gates enclosed the boat sized chamber, with the water being raised and lowered manually as needed.

From that stop we headed back south to the Botzum Station in Akron. We passed many bridges along the way, both walking and auto bridges.

The train travels under both I-271 and the turnpike I-80. You know Nancy loves to get pictures from under bridges, thinking maybe she was an engineer in a past life!

L: Beaver Marsh ~~~~ R: Indigo Lake
Along the way we saw the river, swamps and some rapids. Plus, Indigo Lake and Beaver Marsh. The area where Beaver Marsh is was actually destined to be a parking lot. But, Mother Nature and the Beavers had other plans. The area was cleared and prepped for the lot but the beavers kept damming up the water and it would flood the site, so after a couple of attempts the construction was stopped and the beavers had a new home.

So we got just a little taste of the park which means we will have to go back again at some point. With 125-miles of biking and hiking trails to explore we can't wait.

While it was sad saying good-bye we were pretty excited to head to Michigan next and time with Katrina and Steve along with other family and friends.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way. 
~ Keeping things above board
Or at least off the ground! Our water hoses are usually sprawled out on the ground. This not only looks messy, it can be messy. They can be laying in puddles, mud or long grass. Les found a solution to this. We have two hooks on the side of our RV to hold an exhaust pipe when using the generator. Les twisted one end of a wire coat hanger (we "borrowed" it from Katrina and Steve) through one of the hooks and the other end around the hoses. This keeps them neat and clean up off the ground.

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