Columbus – September 2018 – Topiary and Ikenobo

Recently we stopped by Franklin Park and were surprised to see a large area fenced in near the Conservatory that had always been part of the overall park. With our return visit, we found that over the last year they had added the ‘Grand Mallway’, a nicely landscaped area.

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As part of the Conservatory’s Topiary display, there were a number of flamingos displayed here.

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They were an interesting mix of floral and painted moss.

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With our mid September visit, much was still in full bloom.

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The flamingos and sculptures backed by the glass Palm House.

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The Mallway is a great addition – adding much needed outdoor space to the complex.

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Ringing the outside of the area is this covered walkway.

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It also provides interesting views of the Palm House.

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Nearby is the ‘Brides Garden’

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The entrance to the Childrens Garden featured more topiary art.

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Including a butterfly. The Conservatory has a great butterfly display (featured on another blog posting today).

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Topiary Dolphins.

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Mexican Wolves.

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Personally I like the permanent Topiary Gardens downtown. These look like Chia pets.

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In addition the use of paint detracts from the whole topiary idea.

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But the elephants are cool.

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Inside the Ikenobo Society of Ohio had a show.

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The flowers were unique and beautiful.

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Their website describes Ikebono as ‘one of the representative aspects of Japanese traditional culture, and ikebana began with Ikenobo.’

‘In 1462 the name Senkei Ikenobo first appeared in historic records as “master of flower arranging.” Senno Ikenobo, who was active in the late Muromachi period (mid-16th century), established the philosophy of ikebana, completing a compilation of Ikenobo teachings called “Senno Kuden.”’

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Simple yet elegant in their presentation.

2018 09 16 15 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory

 

 

We had popped into the Conservatory for a brief visit, but with the new gardens, the topiary, the butterflies and the Ikenobo we ended up having a full morning of fantastic sights and smells.

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Across America – September – The Depot Tour Continues

The ongoing Train Depot/Station post continues to grow….

 

Columbus – near German Village – The High Street Streetcar Line Car House. Very nicely restored as a banquet facility.

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On this Sunday morning they were setting up for something – so the door was open 🙂

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Berea, Ohio Depot – Now a restaurant and tavern.

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The Berea Depot sits along two major rail lines, and the parking lot had a number of die hard Railfans hanging out to watch the freight trains go blowing by.  Apparently this spot in the best spot east of Chicago for those type of activities.

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While in nearby Olmstead Falls is a small depot that was also once located next door in Berea.

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It is part of a railroad themed shopping and entertainment complex.

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Elyria, Ohio is a medium sized city, so they had a larger station. It too has recently been restored.

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The Elyria station features some nice architectural touches.

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Amherst, Ohio Depot.

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As with many others it too is a community center.

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Oberlin, Ohio is home to to Oberlin College – the oldest co-educational college in America, and second oldest in the world.  It continues to be one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America – in this tiny little northern Ohio town!

Their train depot is located in a small park.

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It is nice to see how many towns have retained these historic buildings.

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Just down the road in Wellington is the Lorain and West Virginia Railway Museum. While situated along the tracks, this depot was moved to the site.

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The museum offers rail excursions.

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The little town of New London, Ohio has a tiny little depot that has been moved to a local park.

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Our last stop of the day was in Galion, Ohio. We came upon this great Queen Anne style station that was open for a ‘Doors Open’ event.

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The station’s interior needs some work,  but it is standing and seemingly solid.

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The stone and brick building still features much of the canopy for waiting passengers.

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This station was home to the ‘Big Four’ railroad – that connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus & St Louis (they must have skipped Indiana).

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Outville, Ohio

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Johnstown, Ohio.

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On our Labor Day weekend throughout the Midwest we visit a few stations that were along the way.

Battle Creek, Michigan

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Three Oaks, Michigan – It is now an upscale clothing store in a tiny little tourist town.

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Ada, Ohio

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Forest, Ohio

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Chicago – Union Station (Interiors)

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Buffalo Central Terminal – There is a dedicated posting for this amazing station

https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/05/17/buffalo-may-2017-central-terminal/

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Jersey City – This station is at the dock for the ferries to the Statue of Liberty. Currently unused, it appears to be being restored as part of Liberty State Park

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Portland, Oregon

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St Louis – Union Station. Now a hotel and a shopping mall

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Philadelphia – 30th Street Station

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Boston – South Station

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Denver – Union Station. I understand it has been restored since this photo was taken.

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New York – Grand Central Terminal. I have amazingly few photos of this great terminal despite having been in and out of there numerous times.

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Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Station. Now luxury apartments.

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The Amtrak station is connected, but in an ugly little building near the lower level

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Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Dennison, Ohio – This nice little station has been restored into a museum.

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Scranton, Pennsylvania – Steamtown National Historic Park has a great roundhouse that serves as the museum.

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Also in Scranton is an old station.

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Canon City, Colorado – The spectacular Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad station.

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Greeley, Colorado – Centennial Village Union Pacific Depot

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Bowling Green, Ohio Depot – now located at Dayton’s Carillon Park

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Glendale, Ohio – Now serves at the Visitor Center

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Dearborn, Michigan – Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum.

A roundhouse

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Thurmond, West Virginia – Located in the New River Gorge National Park.

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Ironwood, Michigan

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Superior, Wisconsin

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Fargo, North Dakota

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Nelsonville, Ohio – Home of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad

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Elmore, Ohio – Another visitor center

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Bellville Depot – It has been restored and is now a rest stop along a ‘rails to trails’ path.

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A stylish clock is on the other side of the path, facing a great looking bridge.

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The overall scene of the Bellville depot.

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The town of Mt Vernon has two passenger depots and a former freight building. The first building was a Baltimore & Ohio depot.

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It actually sits along active tracks.

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Used by the local community development organization, it is beautifully restored inside and out.

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The second station, just a few blocks away is restored as well.

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A passenger station for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it closely resembles the B &O station. If you have ever wondered why some towns have ‘Union Stations’ it is because of this, why have 2 stations – have a ‘union’ of railroads and build one.

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The tracks here have been converted to a rails to trails as well.

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The interior is fantastic.

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Even the heating radiators are stylish.

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We arrived at Granville in the pouring down rain, so I took a couple photos out the car window. As with many of the others, it is a stop on a rails to trails.

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Leaving the rain we stopped in the tiny town of Alexandria, where the station has been moved a mile or so from it’s original location to a parking lot of a business.

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The next day we headed to western Ohio to the town of South Charleston. This depot had the best of both worlds, it was on a bike trail going one way and an active track going the other way.

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Across the tracks was a park with a couple of cabooses.

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The small city of London, Ohio was our next stop.

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The station here was along unused tracks, and appears to be owned by a club. The building appears to have been restored, but the area around the building is a bit shabby.

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As with most of the medium size stations there is some character to the architecture.

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I had read that a depot from the southern Ohio town of Bainbridge had been moved to a place called Greene’s Museum Village, but when we found it, the place looked overgrown and someplace I didn’t want to go knock on a door – so a photo from across the corn fields sufficed.

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Finally back in Columbus we unexpectedly passed by some remnants of the streetcar years. This unused building is just north of downtown and was the business offices for the streetcar company.

A streetcar barn had been located across the street but has been torn down years ago.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t restored this great building.

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On the east side of Columbus, near Franklin Park is the Kelton Avenue streetcar barn. Actually this is the repair shop, the storage barns have been torn down here as well.

I have added the rest of the streetcar remnants to my list of places to go see, so stay tuned for more in the future.

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The Brice Station served a small town just east of Columbus, now it is part of an events center on the northwest side of town.

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We were lucky enough to meet a Reverend who was getting ready for his Sunday morning services. He was more than happy to let us look around the nicely restored station.

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In the back they have a dining car, that still functions as a dining car – it just doesn’t move.

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The counter is a work of art.

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Our next stop is owned by the same people, only located across town. It is called the Golf Depot, and serves as the restaurant and clubhouse for the golf course.

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I was immediately impressed with the views. Central Ohio is very flat and I was surprised that we were on a small rise, with a skyline view and a view of the nearby airport.

Where did this hill come from you ask? It was a huge landfill/garbage dump that they have re-purposed into this golf course. As with the last depot, the train never stopped here, since there were never any tracks anywhere close to here.

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They do celebrate their rail history with a mural.

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The depot was moved in tact and placed on the course.

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The restaurant has all of the original wood.

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We were having such good luck finding great little depots we headed 30 miles away to the small town of Sunbury, Ohio. I had read they too had a station, and a model train exhibit inside. Unfortunately the station was covered in some hideous faux shake shingles.

2018 08 19 160 Sunbury OH Depot.jpg

 

 

It was located where the tracks were, but are now gone. In it’s place is a very nice rails to trails path. I was disappointed in the depot, but the hike made up for it.

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We continued back toward the city by stopping in the small city of Delaware, Ohio where the list said there were 2 stations very close to each other. The list was correct, there was this small wooden depot.

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Mostly hidden behind barbed wire fence.

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And a larger one across the tracks.

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That had warning signs of the hazardous conditions. So much for our good luck with finding cool little depots this day.

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This small depot is located the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

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The small station serves as a display area for the museum.

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Bucyrus, Ohio is currently restoring their fine brick station.

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We are looking forward to a return visit when it is completed.

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Newark’s is already restored and serves as an office for a local business.

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While a nearby mural celebrates their rail history.

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The small town of Canal Winchester (so named because the Ohio and Erie canal went through the town before the railroads) has two stations – this one if for the Interurbans (regional trains).

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It serves as a community center.

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On the other side of town is a small depot for the mainline trains.

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A small museum resides inside.

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With a couple of restored cars outside.

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The Marion station is one of the nicer ones. The exterior is in great shape, and the interior is not bad. A local rail fan club maintains the building.

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Marion is located near multiple main freight lines and attract numerous rail fans.

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The building has a classic look.

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The nearby control tower oversees the activities.

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In a Lima part there is a small depot called Lincoln Park. This small depot was located in a nearby town and moved to the park as part of the rail display.

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It currently serves as offices for the park.

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The Franklin County Fairgrounds is the home of the Hilliard Depot.

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The National Road is more famous for automobile traffic, but this little depot served interurbans that eventually lost out to the cars.

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Another small depot in the town of Pickerington.

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Our last couple are more impressive stations. The Columbus and Toledo station on the near west side of Columbus is a great building with a pagoda look.

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With the main Columbus station gone, it is fantastic that this one survived.

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It currently serves as a union hall, but they rent it out for weddings and other events.

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Finally – Cincinnati Union Terminal.

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On of the best domes in the world, it is mostly used for a number of museums that make their home there.

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But Amtrak does use a portion of the building.

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Easily one of the best train stations in America, the woodwork is stunning.

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Art deco at it’s finest. My plan is to update this posting as we visit more depots and stations around Ohio.

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September 2018 – Auf Wiedersehen to the Audi

Over the last couple of years the cars have become frequent subjects in my photos. After 4 years of loyal service, and fantastic adventures, the Audi S5 was traded in.

This posting highlights the Audi’s trips it took us on.

First trip was to Western Ohio – and a giant fiberglass bull.

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Most of the time the birthplace of Presidents are honored locales, but not for Rutherford B Hayes – his is a BP station in Delaware, Ohio.

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A covered bridge in Fairfield County, Ohio – The car was not allowed to cross it, but we were.

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Utopia has been found (along the Ohio River).

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The settling of America – on the right is a famed S bridge of the original National Road. Overhead is US Route 40 – the main route west from the 1910s through the 1960s. A 1/2 mile to the left (not shown) is Interstate 70.

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A riverboat in Cincinnati.

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867 feet above the Audi the New River Gorge Bridge. They offer tours where they connect you to the beams underneath and you cross – I passed.

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Polo anyone. 3 horses in the field and 340 under the hood.

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After Utopia, come Paradise – in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. I find it ironic that somewhere that gets 200 inches of snow a year is considered Paradise…

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The Audi is not on a runway – it is an abandoned air force base in Michigan – with some random Jets parked around town.

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Welcome to Minnesota doncha ya know.

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Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area Montana/Wyoming.

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Yellowstone. That is not the radiator overheating 🙂

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One of the funniest moments in our travels was the day we ran into a cattle drive on a road in Idaho – this cow spent 5 minutes licking the bugs off the front of the Audi.

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We drove 9 miles out a dirt road at the Golden Spike National Historic Site (where the transcontinental railroad met in the 1800s). Wondering who was dumb enough take an Audi out this dirt road, until a Tesla pulled up.

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Devils Rocks Utah

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Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The hotel was filled with a Corvette Club and us.

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Bonjour from Paris – Texas

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We went down to the Crossroads….Clarksdale, Mississippi.

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We have seen Utopia and Paradise, and now the Center of the World

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The original Model T factory in Detroit. They let my German car go along with all the classic American cars on the Woodward Dream Cruise all the way through the city to the burbs where the other 100,000 cool cars were cruising.

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Plymouth, Massachusetts – National Monument to the Fore Fathers.

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The Marine Atlantic Ferry to Newfoundland. A 600 car ferry and a 18 hour ride!

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Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada

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The Audi and a large basket – but there are larger basket buildings in Ohio.

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The historic Cincinnati Observatory and the Audi.

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Watkins Glen Race Track. They were having club racing with little Mazdas, etc – if I had the safety equipment to go on the track I could’ve taken them – I think.

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Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

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The Auburn/Cord/Dusenberg Festival in Indiana. That car is sooo much cooler than mine.

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The final road trip for the Audi – Downtown Chicago with the El in the background. While the Audi is gone – the adventures continue…..

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Cassopolis, Michigan – September 2018 – Restored Gas Station Tour Continued

Cassopolis, Michigan – A Restored Sinclair Station

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Previous trips:

Two stations in the same small Ohio town of Bucyrus. First up is a Sinclair Station.

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This station is next door to a repair shop owned by Carl. We stopped by at 7 AM on a Saturday morning and Carl was just opening his business up for the morning, and invited us in. Carl has a large collection of auto related items – so much in fact that the TV show American Pickers once paid him a visit.

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Just outside of town is a small restored Marathon station called ‘Mom and Pops’. We saw someone walking out of the driveway as we drove up and asked him it if the station was his. He replied no – but yelled at ‘Bob’ who was outside the house next door if it was ok if we took some photos. Bob yelled back ‘ yep thats what it is there for’.

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In the early days the stations were tiny little buildings, unless they did service.

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This station was well restored.

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As our weekend continued we found ourselves back in Plymouth, Indiana for a stop for dinner. We have previously visited this Mobil station, but in the rain. This gave us a chance to get some photos in better weather.

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And the time warp gas station travel continued.

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On our way home from Pittsburgh we stopped in Steubenville at a auto repair shop that is actually a fully restored Sohio station.

When John Rockefeller had grown Standard Oil to be a monopoly the government forced them to break up – as a result there were a number of Standard Oil companies in different states (not a full list):

Standard Oil of New Jersey – Esso, which became Exxon

Standard Oil of New York – Socony, which became Mobil

Standard Oil of California – Socal, which became Chevron

Standard Oil of Indiana – Stanolind, which became Amoco

Standard Oil of Ohio – Sohio. In the 1980s BP bought Sohio and converted all the stations to BP.

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There are many people who are collectors of ‘petroliana’, old gas station items. Barry Robb must have been one of those people. According to their website Barry was an assistant manager of a former owner, and he took over the station in 1986, operating it as a BP station.

In 2011 their agreement with BP ran out. They restored the look of the original Sohio station, and continued in business as a repair shop only (as well as a museum).

As a side note Sunset and Wilshire looks nothing like the one in California, but still a nice neighborhood.

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Out front is a collection of pumps from various eras.

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While inside (it was closed this day – photos taken through the glass) is a collection of smaller items.

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Interestingly next door is a modern gas station/mini mart.

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After checking out my photos I realized that we have recently came across 3 fully restored stations, and all 3 times we had the same car with us.

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This spectacular Shell station is in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

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Today it serves as a tourist information center.

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Shaped like a giant scallop shell, it is the last of a handful that a local oil company owner had built in the 1930s.

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Another restored gas station – another shot with the GTI in it. This one is a Mobil station in Plymouth, Indiana.

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To add to their atmosphere they have a restored police car in the parking lot.

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Much like the Sohio station in Steubenville their interior has a collection of smalls for Mobil.

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They also have a restored tow truck.

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Battle Creek, Michigan – September 2018 – Fantasy Forest

There was once a forest of ash trees near the Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek, Michigan. As with thousands of these trees across North America, they fell victim to the Emerald Ash Borer disease and died.

But in the ultimate ‘if life gives you lemons make lemonade’ story the park brought in chainsaw artists who transformed them into a ‘Fantasy Forest’.

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They had a competition in 2015 for the artists, who came from all over the country.

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Some are the more traditional animals that you see from chainsaw artists.

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Others are more whimsical.

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Even though I have thousands of destinations on my list this was not on it, we just got lucky and drove by.

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The website for the arboretum has before photos of the dead trees – what a great transformation.

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Battle Creek Bigfoot?

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My favorite – the strange disappearance of Farmer MacDonald.Notice the UFO abducting the farmer. Not seen on this view is the wife outside the cabin with a shotgun trying to fend off the aliens.

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A close up of the Tree Wizard.

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The sculptures are at least 10′ high.

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This sculpture gives an idea of how some of trees appeared before being transformed.

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A centaur keeps guard over the forest.

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While a tree genie appears.

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The Fantasy Forest in Battle Creek, Michigan was a great find – even if it was by dumb luck.

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Hickory Corners, Michigan – September 2018 – Gilmore Car Museum

I have had the opportunity to visit most of America’s great transportation museums. Having that background I can state that in my opinion the Gilmore Car Museum is the best in the country.

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I had read about the Gilmore for some time now, and had always looked forward to going. With the long Labor Day weekend and the emphasis on cars, now was the time.

When we arrived one of the staff said ‘see you in 4 hours’. He was wrong, we spent 4 1/2 hours 🙂

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Gilmore is more than just a single building with some cars. It is a campus of buildings and barns, each featuring a genre of cars or car companies.

Each building is immaculate, clean and well light with great presentations. They also take pride in that there aren’t barriers for most cars, just notes to remind you not to touch. This makes photography much easier.

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Among the buildings is a 1940s diner that was moved from Connecticut. It serves as the restaurant for the museum. We had a basic lunch there, with great milkshakes and friendly staff.

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An example of one of the barns. This one was moved from a nearby farm, with 2 levels for cars.

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A complete 1930s Shell Station.

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The pumps represent different eras.

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The motorcycle building.

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Inside are a number of bikes from the early 1900s to current day.

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A vintage Cleveland and 1919 Johnson.

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As the sign notes – a 1928 Indian. Check out that rear seat.

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Outside near one of the storage barns is an un-restored London double decker bus.

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Another building – another collection. This one has a peddle car collection.

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As with the motorcycles, the collection was vast and pristine.

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Even some peddle airplanes – how cool.

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In the 1960s Mr Gilmore built a replica of the train depot for the little town of Hickory Corners. Inside is a hood ornament display.

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I am always enthralled by the old hood ornaments.

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Almost too nice for the hood of a car.

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At the Gilmore they have over 1300 of them.

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While the photography was tricky with the display cases and the light and shadows, many came out very nice.

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Also called mascots, it was a common occurrence in the 1930s to personalize your car with a different ornament.

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Our next building was called ‘The Classics’. Higher end cars from the 1930s.

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A Cadillac for a movie star.

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The large two level barn shown earlier from the outside had 1950s cars on the lower level.

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And the impressive upper level had earlier models.

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Hudson Motor Car Company made automobiles from 1909 through 1954. This one is from the 1940s.

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So many great cars.

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In the same barn is a Ford display.

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One interesting feature of the the Gilmore campus is that car clubs build their museums there. In this example the Cadillac club built essentially a Cadillac dealership on the outside.

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Inside are Cadillacs over the years.

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Without a doubt the older Cadillacs are much nicer looking than the 1970s and 1980s.

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The Ford Museum has a complete, authentic 1930s parts counter.

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The Ford museum is dedicated to Model A’s.

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A 1930s school bus.

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As with Cadillac, from the outside it appears to be a vintage Ford dealership.

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Across the driveway in the main building is the Lincoln building, whom have some of the nicest cars of all.

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Another earlier Lincoln model.

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A collection of 1950s and 1960s sports cars.

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As with Cadillac, Lincoln and Ford, there is a Franklin dealership.

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But back to the Lincolns.

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Also in the main building is an exhibit for A J Foyt.

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The main building seemed to have more of a mix of cars.

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One of the last of the Packards.

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A stylish 1934 DeSoto Airflow

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If you are into cars the Gilmore Car Museum is a must to visit.

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Hickory Corners, Michigan – September 2018 – Midwest Miniatures

Just northeast of the city of Kalamzoo, Michigan is Midwest Miniatures. Located on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum (more on this later), Midwest Miniatures features numerous miniature houses, roomboxes and vinettes, most in 1:12 scale.

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The details are amazing. The display below is the size of a small doll house.

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But when you zoom in you see the detail of the individual quilts – in this case tiny pieces of paper towels printed to look like quilts.

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Each vignette has a scene from a house or business. The dog in this display is about 1/8″.

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In keeping with the car museum theme, they have a garage. Notice the very tiny cans of oil on the shelves.

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There is a series of antique health care settings.

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An obstetrician.

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A florists truck with bundles of flowers.

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By panning back you can see the size compared to the table and windows of the room.

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The Kellogg Manor House – miniature

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Nearby is the real thing.

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Working on a quilt.

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A final stop at the nursery.

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