Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Cleveland Museum of Art

This is an amazing place - one of the best art museums we have visited, maybe the best! The collections include Chinese Art, Modern European Art, African Art, Drawings, Prints, European Art, Textiles and Islamic Art, American Painting and Sculpture, Greek and Roman Art, Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Decorative Art and Design, Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, Japanese and Korean Art, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, and Photography. Each piece of art on display is superb. It's a large museum and a bit overwhelming so if you don't have a lot of time pick a few galleries to enjoy in-depth.

The museum opened in 1916 with funding by Hinman B. Hurlbut, John Huntington, and Horace Kelley, some of Cleveland's richest industrialists. It's been enlarged several times over the years with the most ambitious additions finished in 2013. The original $1.25 million white Georgian marble building has been connected to the new additions by a large atrium with a multi-pane skylight roof. 

The museum is accessible.

Parking in a garage so RVs must be parked on the street. We found good metered parking on Wade Oval Drive and Hazel Drive. Both are are bit of hike from the museum but the sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition. Museum  41.50818, -81.61155

Sunday, July 21, 2024

National Packard Museum

The first Packard was built in 1899 in Warren, Ohio by James and William Packard after James' disappointment in his newly purchased Winton car. The car  broke down on his way home and had to be towed. Alexander Winton sent a mechanic to repair it but James thought improvements could be made. When he passed his ideas along to Winton, Winton challenged him to build a better car. And so he did!  The Packard Company was known for building high-quality luxury automobiles. Before the company relocated to Detroit in 1903, 400 Packard had been built in Warren. A merger 1953 with Studebaker Corporation which was on the edge of bankruptcy ended in failure and the last Packard was built in 1958

The museum has a timeline of the Packard family and the involvement of  several generations in the company. About fifty Packards from the earliest models up to the 1950s fill the two galleries of the museum. There are also displays on other products produced by the Packard Companies such as light bulbs, wiring harnesses, watches, and marine engines for PT boats during WWII. 

The museum is accessible.

The parking lot is large enough for any vehicle. This is a Harvest Host site that shares the parking lot with the city park department. The staff will let the police know that you are staying in the lot overnight. We chose to park fairly far away from the museum and away from the lot entrance. Museum  41.25333, -80.83118


Saturday, July 20, 2024

East Golf Hike and Bike Trail

 In 1891 a local attorney, Volney Rogers, started buying property along Mills Creek near Youngstown, Ohio with the intention of turning it over to city to be used as a public park. Today it's an eight mile long linear park with an ornamental garden, lakes, ponds, wetlands, an historic mill, a nature center, a golf course, hiking trails, and biking trails 
We visited the south end of the park to walk/roll along the East Golf Hike and Bike. The trail is a closed road so it's very wide and in good condition. Since the land has been parkland for over 100 years it's forested and shady with little noise from traffic. It's 1.5 miles one way, almost level, and very accessible. 

The parking lot is small but short RVs will fit. There isn't any parking available for oversized vehicles.  Trail   41.02496, -80.69302 

Friday, July 19, 2024

Cascade Park

In 1897 the New Castle Traction Company created an amusement park with a carousel, baseball field, theater, and dance pavilion as a destination on its trolley route. Over the years  bumper cars, roller coasters, a whip ride, and a penny arcade were added. The roller coasters were unique because they started at the top of a steep hill and ran down into a valley, cutting through the forest, then back up the opposite side, turned around and went back down into the valley and up the hill to return to the starting point. The park continued to operate until the early 1980s when the main roller coaster was crushed by a fallen tree. The rest of the rides were dismantled and the park underwent a restoration to make it into a green space and picnic area. 

There are still remnants of the amusement park. The dance hall has been restored. Part of the roof of the carousel building has collapsed and is slated for repair. There also an abandoned community pool that looks like it will never be repaired. The main attractions are the waterfalls and picnic area in the valley. 

We decided to visit the park even though accessibility looked doubtful. I thought we could walk/roll along the trails but we didn't make it far because they quickly started downhill into the valley. We tried to drive down to the waterfalls but the road is very steep and we weren't sure about the amount of room to turn around or if we could continue on the loop road. The park looks like an interesting place to explore but not if you have mobility issues. 

The parking lot on the hill above the park is large enough for any vehicle. The roads through the park are narrow and steep. Park  40.97937, -80.3215


Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Crooked Creek Lake Campground

This small, 45 site, Corp of Engineers campground has one road ending in a loop. The sites on the north side are tent only and the sites on the south side are tent or/and RV.  Site 15, the only site with electricity, is reserved for people who require electricity for medical support. Amenities include tables, fire rings, restrooms, playgrounds, beach, and boat launch. 

All COE campgrounds require advance reservations which can be made online or by calling. Since this is not a busy campground we waited until we arrived at the campground to reserve a site and we were glad we did. The first sites are not level and some of the sites are very close together as can be seen in the photo below. The table and gravel area belong to the site to the right of us! There were a few campers in the first sites but the rest of the campground was empty so it didn't matter.

 We were in site 17 which is designated on the reservation form as accessible but the only different between the accessible sites and the regular sites are gravel parking pads and gravel around the tables. There's not much that is accessible in the park but we walked/rolled along the road A-Frame Road and Overlook Road. We didn't find an A-Frame or an overlook. :D

The sites are large enough for most RVs. The road to the beach area is narrow and steep but the parking lot is large enough for any vehicle. Campground  40.70943, -79.51365


Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Pithole City Historic Site

Pithole City, established in 1865 and gone by early 1870s. was part of the northwestern Pennsylvania oil boom. At one point 5,000 barrels of oil a day were being pumped from the ground. The population reached 20,000. There were 54 hotels, 3 churches, a theater, and numerous bars and brothels. Then oil prices dropped, a pipeline put teamsters out of work, wells dried up, and fires roared through the shoddily constructed wood buildings. The buildings that didn't burn were often taken apart to be reconstructed at a different site. By 1870 there were only 43 occupied houses. 

The historic site is a grassy hillside with mown streets and interpretive signs. A small museum with interesting exhibits and an amazingly detailed diorama of the town sits on the top of the hill. We happened to visit during Wildcatter Day which features costumed volunteers, guided tours, and demonstrations. The town site tour was canceled due to rain so the volunteer used the diorama to cover the history of the town. Demonstrations were given on spinning thread, blacksmithing, and wood carving. Two visitors volunteered as models to be dressed in all the layers of clothing that a women would have worn in the 1800s. 

The museum is accessible. The grounds are not due to the terrain and the thick grass.

 RVs will fit in the parking lot but it may not be large enough to turn around a towed or towing RV. There is room to pull off on the side of  Pithole Road. Pithole City  41.52386, -79.58164