Pittsburgh – July 2018 – Bicycle Heaven

Another repeat visit that was totally worth it was a second trip to Bicycle Heaven, located on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

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When you collect a few thousands bicycles you also end up with nice collections of parts – the Schwin exhibit.

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In addition to the massive used bike inventory – they have some new ones that have unique designs.

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There are some nice miniatures along the counter.

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Small bike backed up by large banana seats.

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There are some true vintage bikes scattered about the collection.

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As you walk through you see huge piles of bike parts – need a tire?

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Perhaps a chain guard?

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This is known as the Groovy Cranky Panky Sprocket Room.

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There are a few non bikes features.

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A great old peddle airplane.

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Bikes high and low.

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An 1890 bike mixed in.

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Oreo bicycles – must be double stuffed Oreos.

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Bicycle Heaven is always worth a visit, or two.

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Cincinnati – June 2018 – Lucky Cat Museum

Having been working on the Roadside America list for 4 years now we thought we had exhausted the list of those in Ohio, but we had at least one more classic one to see – the Lucky Cat Museum in Cincinnati.

Owned by Micha Robertson, she makes the trip over from nearby Northern Kentucky in her stylish little ride.

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Located in an old factory/warehouse that is now artist studios, her Lucky Cat Museum is packed with over 1000 items.

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From floor to ceiling…

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They seemed to be staring at me 🙂

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Micha was enthusiastic about us being there, and was happy to tell us about her collection.

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While we explored the extensive collection

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The expressions were great.

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In a variety of finishes.

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You can bet on the Lucky Cat Museum – totally worth a visit.

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Logan, Ohio – June 2018 – A Sharp (Pencil) Place

A couple of years ago we were in Logan, Ohio and made a brief stop at the Pencil Sharpener Museum. Since we were back in the area we made another stop, spending more time to really check out the amazing collection, put together by a man named Paul Johnson – 3,479 in all!

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Paul died in 2010, but the Hocking Hills Tourist Information Center maintains his collection in a small building that looks more like a garden shed from the outside – but is very cool inside.

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The thousands of sharpeners were arranged by categories, including photography items. I wish I had a ‘roll of film’ pencil sharpener!

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Household items like a chair, gas grill and cement mixer sharpener.

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An entire collection of airplanes

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Famous buildings of the world.

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Office and retail shop tools.

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And finally globes. If you find yourself in southern Ohio and need a break, give the nice ladies at the Hocking Hills Tourist Information Center a visit, and check out Paul’s collection – well worth the visit.

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Coudersport, PA – May 2018 – Ice Mine

In the small north central Pennsylvania mountain town of Coudersport is a cool (literally) little tourist attraction known as the Ice Mine.

Technically it is not a mine, it is a small cave that due to some unique geothermal reasons cold air gets trapped in the mountain during the winter. Once summer comes the cold air begins to expel the warm air, causing ice on the moisture that seeps into the mountain.

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It had been a tourist attraction up until the 1960s when it closed, but has recently been re-opened.

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We showed up because of a huge sign in town saying ‘Ice Mine is Open’, but as we arrived we found that it was supposed to open the next morning as we were met with a sign that said ‘closed’. Still I drove up.

We did however have the good fortune of meeting Gary, the owner, who was more than happy to show us around.

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Sure enough on this 85 degree day ice was pushing up out of the ‘mine’, and the air temperature near it was about 45 degrees.

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The ‘mine’ is at the bottom of a 17′ pit, and goes down another 17′ into the ground. As a result of the perpetually cold environment the moss and other growth in the pit is more similar to Northern Ontario than Northern Pennsylvania.

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While not the most impressive sight around, it is still a very ‘cool’ experience, and Gary is a great guy who is proud of his hometown, and would welcome a visit – they are indeed now open for the summer. If you find yourself driving across historic U.S. 6 across northern Pennsylvania – go see him. And if you want to know more detail on how ice can form in the summer check out the wiki page


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Western New York – May 2017 – Roadside America attractions

As with all trips one of the highlights is finding the offbeat things in an area, and our route to Buffalo was no different.


First stop – Barcelona, New York Lighthouse

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Silver Creek, New York – Valvo’s Candy – Dolly The Waitress

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Eden, New York – America’s only Kazoo factory

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Buffalo – Roswell Park Hospital Giant Buffalo Nickel

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Buffalo – Canalside – Shark Girl

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Erie, PA – May 2017 – An Erie Evening

A weekend trip for strange and unusual sites has landed us in Erie, Pennsylvania for a few hours on a Friday evening. It seems everywhere has something to offer to come up with interesting photographs.

Car Art

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Miss Liber-Frog in front of a school.

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Brig Niagara at the Maritime Museum

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Russian Church

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Tourist Boat in the Bay

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Commodore Perry Monument

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Harbor Front Housing

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Erie Land Lighthouse – Oldest on Lake Erie

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Vineyards outside of town – Lake Erie in the background

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Steubenville, OH – December 2016 – Giant Nutcrackers

Christmas eve found us making a quick trip to Steubenville to see a collection of giant themed nutcrackers. But first we made a few stops, starting in the small town of Dresden, where there is yet another giant basket. It was once the home of the Longaberger Basket company, before they moved to their even larger, 7 story basket in Newark.

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Later we made a stop in New Rumney, Ohio to visit the Ohio Historical Society tribute to the native son George Custer.

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As we reached Steubenville we found a nicely restored 1970s Sohio Gas Station, complete with memorabilia inside. Functioning today as just a garage, with the signs at the pumps pointing out ‘no gas  – just memories’; the garage was supposed to be closed that day but someone was working on a car and let us in to check it out.

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Finally we arrived at Fort Steuben to the nutcracker display. A local family, whom we met when we were there, designed and built all of them. With over 100 of them all featuring a famous character or person, it was a very impressive display.

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As you entered you came upon the Rat Pack, including Steubenville favorite son Dean Martin.

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The hundred characters lined both sides of the sidewalks leading to the old fort.

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As we were leaving Steubenville we came upon a sculpture honoring the steel workers, overlooking the valley with the mills still cranking out smoke.

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Our day to Steubenville turned out to be a really good day, with the nutcrackers easily being the highlight.