Sunday, November 27, 2022

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Huntsville, Alabama has been known as The Rocket City since the early 1960s when NASA established the Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal, south of the city.  German rocket expert Wernher von Braun, NASA's first director, had been developing missiles for the Nazis during WWII but surrendered to US forces in 1945 and was brought to Fort Bliss,Texas where he worked training Americans in rocket science. In 1950 he was transferred to Redstone Arsenal to work on guided missiles then in 1957, after the Soviet Sputnik I made it into the Earth's orbit, to develop methods of launching satellites into space.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center was a pet project of von Braun who wanted to share his love of rocketry while also educating and drawing tourists to Huntsville. The center covers the history of the space program with detailed displays featuring rockets. training modules, and space memorabilia. The newest exhibit gallery has information about the Artemis program and the experiments being conducted to make space travel past the distance of resupply missions possible. An authentic Saturn V rocket is located in the main gallery. Displays outside are lackluster - mainly old army equipment. Space Shuttle Park was closed for refurbishment when we visited. Tickets are pricey. Our  ASTC Passport covered general admission however there are at least four activities and four movies that require additional purchases. We did not do any of the extra activity or movies.
The center is accessible with a long uphill walk from the parking lot to the entrance. The extra activities such as flight simulators are not accessible. The Airstream trailer, used to quarantine the astronauts after the Apollo 11, 12, and 14 missions due to fear of unknown lunar micro-organisms, is not accessible. The supplied map is essential for finding your way around.
RVs will fit in the lot if parked across the spaces.  Center  34.7119, -86.65238


Friday, November 25, 2022

Huntsville Museum of Art

Permanent and changing exhibits featuring a wide variety of 19th and 20th century art fill fourteen galleries of this museum. When we visited multiple galleries featured a large collection of intricate paintings by Donato Giancola who specializes in science fiction and fantasy drawings and paintings. Other exhibits featured folk art, glass art, and some incredibly detailed works in silver. "A Walk Through Time" is an interesting look at how art had changed through the ages.
Follow the  sidewalk from the parking lot to get to the accessible entrance. The museum is accessible.

The parking lot is too small for RVs. We found an accessible space in the small lot on the Williams Ave side of the museum where our small RV fit. You must registrar for free parking. Large RVs can be parked on the street by paying for two spaces. Museum  34.72667, -86.58677

Monday, November 21, 2022

Pennyroyal Area Museum

Located in the old 1915 post office, this museum is one large room with nicely done exhibits that cover a wide range of subjects. Displays include: tobacco growing and curing, pioneer household items, African American history, conflicts in the early 1900s because tobacco monopolies were forcing prices for cured tobacco so low that people could not make a living, the life of Edgar Cayce who supposedly could diagnose illness by giving physic readings, and even the story of a family who had visitors from outer space!
The accessible entrance is on Liberty Street. There's a buzzer to push for access but it may not work so bring your phone to call. The museum is accessible.

We parked in the museum lot which is rather small. Large RVs can be parked on 9th Street, across from the main entrance. Museum  36.86452, -87.48765

Friday, November 18, 2022

Angel Mounds State Historic Site

Angel Mounds is a Native American village site inhabited from AD 1100 to AD 1450. It was a political, cultural, and economic center with thirteen earthen mounds, hundreds of homes, and up to 1,000 inhabitants. A prolonged drought, over hunting, and depletion of the forest may have contributed to it being abandoned.
An excellent interpretive center on the site details the excavations conducted from 1939 to 1964 which uncovered 2.3 million archaeological items. The findings of the archeologists provided information about daily life and special ceremonies. More than four miles of trails loop around the main village site.

The museum is accessible. The concrete walkway to a view of the village site is accessible. All of the trails are rough, mown grass which is difficult to push through. The walkway has a drop off to the paths.
Any size RV will fit in the lot if parked across the spaces. Angel Mounds  37.94589, -87.45172


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Yellowwood State Forest

Until 1956 the land that makes up Yellowwood State Forest was owned by the federal government which, in the 1930s, established a CCC camp to restore abandoned, logged over, and eroded farmland. The young men of the CCC planted trees, created lakes, and built shelters. Today the forest protects the yellowwood tree, which is normally not located so far north, and provides a base for recreational activities such as camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and good panning.

There are 80 campsites along the southeastern shore of Yellowwood Lake. All sites are first come- first serve with a fee box at the nearby camp office. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water. There's a dump station in the Red Bud loop and a threaded water faucet near the playground.

Three of the sites in the White Oak loop have paved parking pads that extend around the picnic table and fire ring. Two are marked as accessible. All are slightly sloped.

Narrow roads, tight bends, and an abundance of trees make maneuvering an RV a bit difficult. People with larger RVs seem to prefer the Red Bud loop which is more open. Campground  39.18055, -86.33613

Monday, November 14, 2022

Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

The parking lot for oversize vehicles is huge so even though this lot is shared with trucks it's possible to park far enough away from any that are noisy.

The casino entrance is a bit of a hike but the lot is level. The casino chairs are easy to move and the money and card slots are easy to reach. Casino  40.07021, -85.64577

Friday, November 11, 2022

Salamonie River State Forest Family Campground

The Indiana Division of Forestry was established in 1903 with a goal to restore eroding farm, pasture and cut-off timberland.There are now 14 sate forests with 158,000 acres of timbered land. Many have primitive campgrounds with relatively inexpensive fees. Salamonie's campground is small with 21 sites, spaced close together so most do not have much privacy. Amenities include tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and potable water.

The ground is hard packed so rolling is easy but many of the sites are not level.

Some sites are large enough for any RV. Campground    40.81154, -85.69782

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Allen Memorial Art Museum

The small art museum at Oberlin College has an amazing collection which includes Asian, African, European, Egyptian, Greek, and American art spanning 6,000 years. It's housed in a beautiful 1917 building with a central gallery featuring a ceiling decorated with paintings of musical instruments, foliage, animals, and boats.
The first floor, where most of the art is located, is accessible. A second floor gallery is accessed by steps only. The accessible entrance is on the north side of the building. A button to open the doors is at the bottom of the ramp which solves the problem of outward opening doors and a small landing.
Parking is available on North Main Street. The sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition. Museum  41.29381, -82.21738