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Midwest National Park Sites

Cuyahoga Valley NP – in Ohio and a new National Park for us. Ledges Hike was beautiful. Earlier in the day we walked around Garfield National Historic Site and learned about the presidential campaign of 1880.

Sittin’ on the dock of Nimisala Regional Park, OHIO. That evening it poured – an unbelievable amount of rain.

We snagged second to last site at Blue Knob State Park in Pennsylvania. Best fall color. visited First Ladies NHS and Allegany/Pittsburg Portage Railroad NHS today.

Friendship Hill NHS was Albert Gallatin’s estate. He was Secretary of Treasurer under Thomas Jefferson and Madison so he came up with funding for the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as the first National Highway. Unbelievably this day we also visited Johnstown Flood National Memorial (1889), Flight 93 National Memorial (9/11), and George Washington’s Ft Necessity National Battlefield (1754).

Moundsville in West Virginia was closed but our first introduction to the Mound Builders.

Newark Earthworks is a large park like area by Mound Builders. Museum closed but we walked the grounds.

The Major Lunar Standstill is situated between the mounds every 18.6 years.

Great Seal State Park in Ohio is located in the hills that are on the state seal. We camped here for a night. The Governor chose this park for a COVID memorial – very moving.

Hopewell Culture NHP – so many mounds with interpretive signs to explain what was found in the different mounds.

Artifacts found here at Hopewell Culture NHP

Seip Mound area of Hopewell Culture NHP for an early morning walk/hike.

Serpent Mound, National Historic Landmark, Ohio. Outstanding. Apparently the center of the serpent curves align with different solstices, lunar standstills etc. Fascinating artistic and engineering talent.

Drove to Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP where the Wright Brothers actually made their first plane. Also visited Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers NM in Dayton area which was an interesting history of a great African American solder that was in charged of overseeing the early Yosemite National Park.

Fort Lincoln State Park in Indiana. We are here to see the cabin Abe Lincoln grew up in but it isn’t this one. Today we visited Ft Ancient Mounds and William Howard Taft NHS, and had the best Little Caesars Pizza ever — near Grantsville, Maryland just off I-68.

This is a replica built of the cabin which made it easy to picture Abe reading by the fireplace light. This is in Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

This is the actual preserved foundations of the cabin Abe grew up in, not far from the reproduction.

The much older brother of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame, George Rodgers Clark NHM commemorates the highest ranking patriot of the American Revolutionary War

Mighty Mississippi River from the Illinois side looking over to Missouri. The British Fort of Kaskaskia was here, with Cohokia Ft not too far away (we visited Cohokia for the Mound builders). We also visited nearby Ste Genevieve NHP  in Missouri, One of the oldest European settlements in the US with a strong French presence.

George Washington Carver National Monument. Wonderful to see a NM about the incredible life of someone recognized during their lifetime for their achievements. A beautiful place to visit, take a nature walk, and contemplate. Before we headed home we also visited 2 Civil War National Battlefields: Wilson Creek in Missouri and Pea Ridge in Arkansas as well as Ft Scott NHS in Kansas.

Cresting Colorado’s Wolf Creek Pass with some of the best fall color welcomes us home.

We enjoy some of the best sunsets while we recuperate from our 6,030 miles of driving the last 2 months.

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Put-In Bay and family ties

Lake Erie: our fourth Great Lake. We stayed at Ohio’s East Harbor State park – very pleasant.

My Dad’s parents met in 1932 in Put-In-Bay. Looking forward to seeing the island community.

A short 20 minute ferry ride. We are choosing to walk the 2.5 miles into town.

We first visited the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, built to commemorate the Centennial of a battle of war of 1812. Beautiful and in a wonderful setting. Visitor center was closed but serendipity as rangers were there and let us have a private viewing of the movie.

View as we relaxed on the bench enjoying the sunshine. “Don’t Give Up the ship!”

We talked to the manager of this hotel as it is the oldest still operating. Many other buildings and parks were around in the 1930s. He said they were not the first couple to meet on the island and get married and not the last.

1939 as they start a family. Grandad was a cook on great lake freighters before Put-in-Bay and afterwards, he owned a Dinette in Jackson, MI. Grandma was a farm girl that became a lifelong waitress – and a great baker as well.

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Muskegon, MI Area with Mom

Japanese Garden area in Beautiful Mejeir Gardens near Grand Rapids was our first stop taking Mom on a mini-vacation.

The Zen garden with wonderful raked patterns

There are a lot of sculptures that are a permanent collection.

Appreciating all the colors on a warm autumn day.

Mom with Deborah Butterfield’s Cabin Creek bronze horse looking very natural in the tall grasses.

Sunset from our suite at Shoreline Inn in Muskegon. Mom had lots of reward points that were expiring so we stayed in style. Thanks Mom!

Mother and Daughter at Holland State Park.

We had a great day-trip to Holland and enjoyed many of the waterfront areas.

Sunset on Lake Michigan before returning to the hotel.

A day-trip to Grand Haven to enjoy another light house along Lake Michigan.

Artistic angle as we walked under the catwalk to the end of the pier.

Picnic lunch along Grand Haven River before it empties into Lake Michigan.

The restaurant patio at the hotel looked very inviting so we went down for an early dinner.

Look at the whitefish dinner. WOW. Gorgeous and Yummy. Enough for leftovers the next night.

Another sunset at Pierre Marquette city park in Muskegon.

Our next day trip was heading a bit north to the White River Light Station.

Picnic lunch at the Muskegon River with the submarine museum floating in the back ground.

Forth beautiful sunset melting into Lake Michigan – such a treat for all of us.

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Lake Superior

Taking a break: How many miles have we driven?

A pleasant campsite at Cass Lake near the headwaters of the Mississippi River — along our route.

We had a proper sunset view from CG in Apostle Islands NLS.

Marquette’s Ore loading dock – we got a take out pizza and enjoyed this View!

The coveted photo: Miners Castle at Pictured Rocks NLS. We last visited in 2016.

Hiked in to see this beautiful waterfall at Pictured Rocks NLS.

More water falls to enjoy.

Long sand beaches for our morning walks. Spectacular to be here.

We walked about 2 miles along the shoreline to reach Au Sable Light Station.

Time for a bit of maintenance – replacing the headlight bulb — took watching YouTube video on phone, buying bulb, and lots of patience using improvised tools.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior, protecting part of this notorious 80-mile stretch.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 with her entire crew of 29 lies just 15 miles northwest of Whitefish Point.

The many moods of Lake Superior have caught many ships unaware.

We hung out for the day and spent the night at this boat launch as all nearby campgrounds were full on a Saturday night.

Water in this bay was warm and calm enough for a swim.

Sault Ste Marie Soo Locks had an outdoor viewing platform to watch the freighters rise or fall to the proper level of lake Superior or Lake Huron.

Freighter coming out of Soo locks at a nearby park where we had a picnic lunch.

Front row seat to continue watching the freighters during Wine o’clock and dinner at Bay Mills CG.

The Mackinaw Bridge! 3,000 miles in 3 weeks since we have left home. Ready to visit Mom!

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North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Starting our drive across the country…

It is all in how your measure it.

A nice reservoir here to enjoy a quiet evening.

Gorgeous reflections this morning on the Little Missouri in Theodore Roosevelt National Park – South Unit.

Watching a herd of Bison crossing the Little Missouri – water low enough we could cross also.

A Bison traffic jam. We are late to start a hike!

Seeing the Bison up close from the van.

The historic original entrance gate to the National Park before it was rerouted through Medora, ND.

Amazing CCC stone work with precise joints.

Wild horses or as the rangers say feral horses but they have been here a long time.

Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting cabin – this was where he came for his solitude.

Hiked the Caprock Coulee Trail in North Unit with a stop at River Bend Overlook and the CCC structure.

Hoodoos in the badlands. We saw a bunch of petrified wood also.

A geological phenomenon called concretions – bowling ball type of rocks embedded in other rock.

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site – we were here also 10 years ago.

The display hasn’t changed but we enjoyed being able to be here again.

Driving across country we passed KVLY-TV Tower, Western Hemisphere’s Tallest Structure at 2,063 ft is in North Dakota.

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