Friday, August 24, 2012

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame
New entrance
Team bench for The Ice Bowl
Today we finished our Hall of Fame month with a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio. We spent a couple of hours viewing exhibits but this hall of fame has much less detail, much less memorabilia, than the others we've visited this month so we went slow and stretched out the experience.  Over the next year they will be doing an expansion so we'll have to plan a trip back in a couple of years.  Here are a few photos from the visit.  Next we drive to Michigan to visit family and friends for a couple of weeks.
The first of many?

Reggie White - the man who
turned the Packers around

The next Lombardi Trophy
is ready for the Packers to
take home
Oh Barry, I wish you would have
played longer

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
We went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Sunday for stop 3 in our Hall of Fame month.  Unfortunately no picture taking is allowed in the hall so I can't share any photos.  I can say that it was fun and interesting even though I had been there once before.  It was Ann's first time and she enjoyed it as well.  We spent about 3 hours viewing exhibits.  We wanted to go on the weekend so we could try to meet Dusty Street who is a DJ for the SiriusXM channel Classic Vinyl.  She broadcasts from the Hall on the weekends. Because I emailed ahead she did sneak us into the studio and we chatted for about a half hour.  It was pretty special.

Lashed to a holder
We've experienced something unusual at our campground this week.  We are about 10 miles from Akron OH which is home of the Goodyear corporate headquarters.  We've had the Goodyear blimp fly over us several times. It turns out the airstrip and hanger are just a few miles from us. Today we had really good timing when we left to go to the store and saw it flying parallel to us going back to the hanger. We quickly turned down the road to the hanger and watched as they lashed it and parked it in the hanger.  What a fun little treat.

Backing it into the hanger
Spinning it around

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Niagara Falls

Both Falls from bridge
American Falls from CA side
After almost 2 weeks in the area we finally made it to Niagara Falls. Since we like to walk, we parked on the U.S. side and walked across the bridge to the Canadian side for the best views.  This avoided long lines with the car both ways and Customs was pretty quick (still need your passport) .  The other advantage to this is a neat view from the bridge as you walk across.

After doing the Erie Canal cruise and then visiting the falls the inquisitive mind starts thinking about the St. Lawrence Seaway and how ships travel between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The answer, the Welland Canal (link to information ). Here is a link with lots of information about the entire St. Lawrence Seaway. This link goes to the History page but there is a lot more information including a Seaway map with current ships in transit ( In order to tie the St. Lawrence Seaway with the history of shipping on the Great Lakes, here is another interesting link I found:

Horseshot Falls - Canadian side
American Falls from U.S. side
Saturday we drove to Ohio to set ourselves up for the last two stops in our hall of fame month.  We took I-90 to Ohio and then dropped down to the Akron area.  This puts us an hour from the Rock and Roll Hall in Cleveland and a half hour from the Football Hall in Canton.  I'll give updates on those after our visits.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Erie Canal and Hockey Hall of Fame

As we drove across New York we kept seeing references to the Erie Canal which prompted us to do a little research. We both remembered the canal being in history lessons in grade school but we didn't remember details. The canal runs from the Hudson River near Albany all the way to Lake Erie at Buffalo. Therefore, we were driving parallel to it all the way across the state. It turns out that our campground is only about 12 miles from Lockport NY where the canal requires locks to traverse a rock ledge, the same one that Niagara Falls flows over. In Lockport there is
Locks (left side)
Erie Canal
an Erie Canal cruise that goes up and down the canal and through the locks.  We decided to take the cruise to get a close up feel of the famous canal and also experience going through the locks. The narration was informative and well done (complete with the famous song). The history of the canal is very interesting. 

Tow path on side of canal
In upper lock looking down
The trip took a little under 2 hours and was very enjoyable.  Of course it helped that we had perfect weather.  Here is a link if you are interested in learning more about "Clinton's Big Ditch" and one about the cruise if you are in the area

Modern Stanley Cup
The original Stanley Cup
 On Saturday we drove to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was a little under a 2 hour drive including taking 20 minutes to get through customs at the border. We got there right after they opened and spent about 2 and a half hours taking it all in.  It was a lot of fun looking around at the memorabilia and of course seeing the Stanley Cup (both current and original) and other legendary trophies.  We pulled out of the parking garage about 1pm and into nasty traffic so it took a bit longer getting back. On a side note, we didn't like the look of Toronto. All the modern glass and metal buildings just isn't our thing. The economy must be doing well there, however, as there were countless cranes and building construction everywhere you looked.
The Gordie Howe era

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cooperstown - Baseball Hall of Fame

We drove from our campground in New Hampshire to our next one near Cooperstown, New York. We took state highway 9 across NH and Vermont into NY.  This drive was slow and constant up and down steep grades and twisty curvy around mountains (bye bye fuel). We went around Albany and went west on Highway 20 to our next campground near Cooperstown. This campground had a nice setting on a ridge looking across long fields of corn and grazing cattle.  It was very pleasant.

Baseball Hall of Fame
1984 Champions
We went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on a Friday afternoon.  The village of Cooperstown is very pretty with a lot of beautiful old buildings and homes.  The Hall of Fame is in a neat building on Main Street which is lined with shops selling anything imaginable related to baseball.  The Hall has three floors but overall the building isn't super large. Apparently less than 10% of the memorabilia that they have is on display and displays rotate.  In a nutshell, other than in the "records" area you never know what you'll see.  We were lucky enough to have a couple of displays with the 84 Tigers.  The area where all of the records are (most this, most that) is really packed tight with little info sheets and artifacts. People piled up tight trying to see and read all the facts. You can become overwhelmed with facts and claustrophobic with people. We finally moved on and came back later in the evening when there weren't very many people (you can come and go all day with your admission) and it was much more enjoyable. Overall it was a good experience.
They even had a one of my favorite
moments. The shot that had me yelling
so much Angela (not yet born) came
out 2 weeks early to see what was going on
One of my childhood favorites

The next day we drove across the state of New York to near Buffalo and Niagara. We headed west on Highway 20 which turned out to be lots more of the steep up and down grades. So steep, in fact, that on one we had to shift down to second gear to get over it.  We abandoned our plan of going all the way across state on 20 and went north to I-90 at Syracuse and paid the toll - it was worth it.  We are now only about 12 miles from Canada and in striking distance of Niagara Falls and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Next weekend we visit those sights as Hall of Fame month continues.