Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Ohio has been a pleasant surprise. I don’t know what we expected of it, I used have a picture in my mind of Cleveland and heavy industry. What we found was totally different.

Our major reason for coming this way was my desire to see the US Air Force Museum in Dayton OH. Billed as the largest air museum in the world, it is full of significant aircraft from light airplanes to the huge B52 bomber. We walked for 7 hours! Then at the end of the day we still hadn’t seen 2 of the galleries, plus in June they are opening a whole new wing to it.

Very rare B18 bomber

Bockscar. The aircraft that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki and ended WW2

Using the “Don’t plan anything, Stay off Interstates” method we wound our way northwards thru Columbus the capitol of Ohio. 

This was such a pleasant stop, we camped at Alum State Park just on the north of the city but fairly close to downtown. A picturesque park, unfortunately only having electric hookups but just repaved in its entirety this month, it’s on a huge lake and while we were there it was very quiet. We wandered down into an area called “German Village”. In the 1800’s a flood of German immigrants came to Columbus and set up in the same area, building German style homes and of course several breweries!

German Village, German style house.

The neighborhood has survived and been subject to a big revival in its fortunes thanks to the efforts of inhabitants starting in the 1960’s. There is a delightful little park dedicated to the man who started the revival. Just one lot in size, it is a special little refuge and beautifully tended. As we walked into the area we met a couple of people who were working on planting new flowers and shrubs. It just so happened that Bruce was the Chairman of the Garden Club who have taken this park and the general area under their wing, volunteering to maintain the park and numerous planters along the sidewalks. What a great example of community activism.

King Gambrius symbol from a now closed brewery

German Village neighborhood park

Bruce chairman of the garden club with Barbara

We have reservations in Jefferson OH East of Cleveland for the Memorial Day weekend (Only planning for holiday weekends!), and halfway between Dayton and Jefferson just happens to be Wooster OH. Using our go to phone app “RV Parky” we saw there was one campground and one Walmart in Wooster. Choosing the campground and letting the GPS take us there introduced us to Meadow Lake Park.

Meadow Lake

So peaceful

Rural surroundings

Meadow Lake isn’t listed in God Sam’s Guide, Passport America or Escapees. They don’t give discounts, they don’t even have any signs directing you to them. Even the entrance to the park has only a small sign to tell you it’s there. But oh what a tranquil and well-kept place. Only water and electric hookups with a dump station but well worth stopping at. The entire campground is shaded by huge trees. There are 2 small lakes, one stocked for catch and release fishing and for swimming. The permanent sites have concrete pads but the rest of the area is entirely grass, such a pleasant change from the usual gravel. To say we like this place is an understatement. This is the 2nd best campground we’ve been to after Bayfield in Colorado.

I think Wooster is populated by aliens. Everything is too perfect, I swear there’s not an uncut lawn in the whole town! The Elks Lodge is one of those warm welcoming places too, and they say we could have overnight-ed in the parking lot if we wanted even though they don’t show it as a possibility on their website.

Typical Wooster area house.

We made reservation months ago for the Memorial Day long weekend. The official start of summer in the US. It’s when the swimming pools open for the season and everyone who has been cooped up all winter heads out to go camping for the first time of the year. Hence our unusually well planned destination.

Memorial Day Parade

Huge bicycle contingent

We’re here for a week. It’s a nice park too with lots of amenities and 3 stocked fishing ponds. I intend to relax. Paint and fish.

There’s a plan that went well! I finished 2 paintings and got 90% done on a third, made some sketches for possible future paintings, then I was contacted by the RV Rally organizers for the Vermont Rally in July and asked if I would do a “Painting Party” for the craft area. Sounds like it might be doable, I’ll have to do some research and planning.

Meantime I broke out my fishing stuff for the first time in ages. I considered selling it all when we left San Diego but in the end kept it. First time out at the bigger of the 3 ponds I caught 3 small mouth bass! I thought the facility was catch and release so I put them back. Next time in the small pond I caught 2 more! Finally while Barbara was doing laundry I went back to the big pond, borrowed one of the row boats and caught 2 BIG big mouth bass! The first one was big and fat, obviously a female full of eggs so I put her back. The second was a bit smaller and having found out this WASN’T a catch and release facility I kept this one which weighed 2 1/2 lbs and measured 21” long.

Just a tiddler I threw back

I kept this one as it fit the grill so well

We managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to the Elks Lodge, a drive along the shore of Lake Erie, a tour of some of the covered bridges nearby and side trips to Ashtabula and Conneaut in our spare time.

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