Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin


We went through the last three states a little faster – Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. We did stay at the Madison, WI Walmart one night. It was colder and rainy. We’re used to the 70’s we had while in Virginia. There’s been lots of rain, water in the fields, rivers full or over the banks and more farming and cattle. And most of the highways need work.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

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And on to Minnesota for more family time.  http://followusinourtravels.blogspot.com/ 

More pictures can be found here.  


Monday, May 1, 2017

Ohio State Reformatory tour


The Ohio State Reformatory was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until 1990, when a United States Federal Court ruling as the result of a prisoners' class action suit citing overcrowding and inhumane conditions (the 'Boyd Consent Decree') ordered the facility to be closed.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

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The beautiful architecture and design was crafted by Cleveland architect Levi Scofield, stimulated by the architecture and designs of German castles. The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society is currently working to restore the facility to its original state.

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While this facility was used in a number of films (including several while the facility was still in operation), TV shows and music videos, it was made famous by the film The Shawshank Redemption (1994) when it was used for the majority of the movie.

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The OSR houses the largest cell blocks found within the penal system. Standing six stories high, the East Cell block is the highest freestanding steel cell block in existence. There is a sign as you enter that the building contains hazards including steep steps, uneven surfaces and lead-based paint. We were surprised they could do tours in some areas with the peeling walls and ceilings.

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The tour we took was guided, History Meets Hollywood. There was some history on the reformatory but mostly about Shawshank Redemption. They also have an Inmate Tour in summer, which we think would be interesting. There are also ghost hunts, and they rent their ballroom for events to help raise money for the restoration.

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From there on to a Flying J to fill fuel and see how far west we can get before we hit the storm system. It sounds like the central states were having flooding, storm and tornado warnings. We got to Van Wert Walmart and decided to sit it out. I had called ahead of time and the manager said there’s always trucks or campers in the lot, you can’t miss them. He said it usually looks like a truck stop!

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For more pictures of our tour, and also western Ohio, please click here.

(Some of the above information was per the OSR web site and Wikipedia)


Friday, April 28, 2017

Welcome to Ohio and some Amish country


Since we were coming in to Ohio on some little road, there was, of course, no Welcome to Ohio sign. It didn’t even have striping on the road! http://followusinourtravels.blogspot.com/  http://followusinourtravels.blogspot.com/ 

(You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.)

Lots more farmland, more green, and more rain. There was water setting in the fields in many places in the western side of the state.

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We stopped in New Philadelphia, and picked up some brochures regarding the Amish tourism in that area. Sugarcreek has a small area they call their Swiss Village, and it has the world’s largest cuckoo clock.

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We drove through the countryside (in our Jeep) hoping to see the Amish buggies and took a tour of Yoder’s Amish Home.

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We were able to stay at the New Philadelphia Walmart overnight. The next day we took highway 39 to Mansfield and drove through some of the small communities along the highway. We stopped at a large flea market, but it was pretty much like some cheap items we had seen when we were in Quartzsite; disappointing. There were only a few Amish items there.

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For more pictures, please click here.