There are many glorious places on the planet that I’m pretty sure I will never see.  I’m not much for touristy places and I’m not really sure how to find or trust the out of the way places that I know I would prefer so…  Anyway, Ellen and I are on vacation this week.  The main goal is to visit our daughter Alissa and her husband Nolan in Yorkville, Illinois and then our son David, a teacher at Blue Lake Fine Arts camp near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  But before leaving PA we took a pleasant 4 hour drive north and visited the Kinzua Bridge State Park in Mt. Jewett, PA.  Mt. Jewett is the site of a very high railway trestle that was hit by a tornado in 2003 causing it to collapse into the valley below.  The state then turned the site into a park.  If you have never been there and are within driving distance it’s quite spectacular.  I’ll include a picture below if I can figure out how.  You can walk out onto the trestle pictured below.  It’s just short of being as high as the Empire State building!


Then on to Titusville to stay for the evening.  When Ellen and her siblings were young, their dad had the opportunity to purchase a caboose for a very affordable price.  He was going to have it placed in their back yard as a playhouse.  (How cool would that have been for a child?!)  When the time came to have the car shipped to their home, he discovered that the price of purchase and rail shipping was very reasonable BUT… the price to have it trucked from the rail line to their house was exorbitant.  So… no caboose.  But Ellen has always had a fascination with them anyway.  So I surprised her with the accommodations pictured below.

The Caboose Motel in Titusville is very reasonable and a really fun place to spend the evening.  There is also a train on the same property that offers 2 hour tours of the countryside.

The next day we were off to Northern Ohio to drive along the coast visiting lighthouses along Lake Erie.  Ellen has a fascination with those as well.  Hmmmm….  What’s in this for me I wonder?!?!  I guess I get to hang out with the woman who has loved me and put up with me for 42 years of marriage.  St. Ellen, I guess.  Well… back to lighthouses:

Fairport Harbor Lighthouse East of Cleveland


This was taken from a mile or two away:


Taken across the bay from Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky OH:


Then a day in Toledo OH at the Art Museum.  I know, I know… what happened to my manhood?!?!  Actually a pretty amazing place with an impressive collection:


Today I am sitting in my daughter’s house.  I wanted to show you a picture from her front door.


And from her back door:


“We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.”  Actually come to think of it… we’re in a place much like Kansas!  About an hour West of Chicago.

Thursday morning we begin traveling east again to see David.

I hope you enjoyed my little travelogue.  In case you hadn’t noticed I just figured out how to put pictures in these Ruminations!  Whoo, whoo!

My family is the joy of my existence.  I hope you can all say something similar!



5 thoughts on “Traveling

  1. One of your best, Bill…maybe more in future? Lol Mary Ann has itch to do something close to home so you’ve given me good ideas. Safe travels.

  2. Enjoyed your travelogue, Bill. I know exactly where Yorkville is, on Illinois Route 34 (also known as Ogden Avenue). We lived in Wheaton for many years, not far away.

    And yes, Illinois is totally boring as far as “view” is concerned, but after you get used to it, it has its own beauty. But I admit western PA is much more scenic!

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Serving with you, Dan JEssen

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