St. Louis Again

Well, I’m still pretty far behind in posting to the blog.  Alan says he might be willing to take over if I can get caught up, so I’m going to do my best to get the last two weeks documented sooner rather than later!

We have been to St. Louis at least twice before and each time we have opted to stay at the Granite City KOA. It is in an industrial area but works out great as a home base for visiting the city. It is exactly what you would expect from a KOA – the sites aren’t huge and they insist on escorting you to your site.  The bathrooms are clean but not anything fancy.  No fires but we are long past the camping fires and try to avoid s’mores, generally speaking.  

We spent only one day in St. Louis – enough time to get in an 8-1/2 mile walk along the river to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, dinner at Pi Pizza and frozen custard at Ted Drewes. 

This is all I’ve got for pictures from this time around – one of the water intake towers that were built around 1920. You can learn more about these really cool structures here:  Water Intake Towers

Next stop:  The Great River Road

Brown County State Park

We just picked this Park for it’s convenient location (Nashville, IN) and as hoped, we ended up having a nice, quiet, relaxing stay.  We asked for a remote spot and ended up at the end of a two mile road but you aren’t getting any complaints from us! We had no neighbors within 1/4 mile until the night before we left.


This is it for pictures! We took one real hike and despite Alan placing a big bet, we did see a few other hikers.  

I should report that we did spend one night at the Tereport Campground in Jackson Center after getting the water heater fixed at the Airstream Factory.  We didn’t have an appointment but we got great service from Kevin! We continue to be big fans of Airstream!

Next stop:  St. Louis

Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat


Alan came up with this title for a Cuyahoga Valley National Park Post but I didn’t think I should steal his ideas. He has since given me permission to use it so here goes the second post about our stay in Ohio – although the title really works better with the pictures from the canal and the National Park. To do everything in the area, we ended up camping for a whole week at the Cleveland SE KOA in Streetsboro. It was a fine campground – very clean and the surrounding community was gorgeous.


We took one day to drive into Cleveland. First stop was the house from A Christmas Story. You would not believe how many other people were also crazy enough to spend real money to see this house! They have restored the house to look like the movie set. In case you are a big fan and need to know these things, only the exterior scenes were filmed at the house. The rest of the movie was filmed on a sound stage in Canada. You can touch anything you want in the house or even hide under the sink. They have a separate museum with authentic movie memorabilia and of course, a gift shop where you can buy your very own leg lamp. 


The story goes that some guy received a leg lamp from his parents to cheer him up when it turned out his eyesight would keep home from being a pilot in the Navy. He decides to start selling them and he sells a lot since it turns out there are a lot of fans of the movie. Sometime later, the house from A Christmas Story shows up on eBay. Navy guy pays a lot of money in a bidding war but gets the house. It is a disaster having been used by a motorcycle club that used the living room to fix the bikes. He spends a lot more money to fix it up to look like the movie. Navy guy cuts a deal with the movie studio to sell merchandise along the way. Navy guys makes all his money back in the first month from all the other crazy movie fans. End of (A Christmas) story. 


We stopped at the second most popular (just kidding) tourist attraction in Cleveland – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I hadn’t been that excited about this stop but it ended up being a lot more of a museum than I expected and the history/early influencers was very interesting. We also spent some time watching U2 in 3D in the big theater. They also have an excellent “snack bar”/cafe. We were starving when we arrived and had been considering walking a couple of blocks to find some food. We were very pleasantly surprised with our options from some big name chefs. 

Before we left Akron and headed to the Airstream Factory, we stopped at the Airship Port where they used to keep the Goodyear blimp. So, here you have an Airstream at an Airdock in Akron. And, yes, it is that big. 


Next stop: Airstream Factory and then Brown County State Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

We don’t expect that we will ever visit all of the National Parks. There are 59 and we’ve been to something like 37 or 38. But, there are a few that are easy to get to that we hadn’t seen and Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of them. So from Pittsburgh we headed to Ohio. There isn’t any camping in the Park other than a few tent sites so we headed to a campground in Akron – whose name I can’t even come close to remembering right now! 


I won’t say this Park doesn’t really warrant National Park status but you do have to wonder when you compare it to places like the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. The Park was officially named a National Park in 2000. Only Congaree, Great Sand Dunes and Pinnacles are newer. There are a couple of nice water falls that we hiked out a bit to see.


The Park is really a bunch of greenspace with the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath running through them. We walked the entire Towpath that runs through the Park with the help of the scenic railroad. It was great, you paid just a few dollars, took the train and then walked back to your car. We did this on two separate days. It was a really lovely way to get some exercise and see the Park. 


Since this Park is all about the canal, I have to post some pictures of the only functioning lock. We did see a lot of lock ruins but this one had working gates and water. 


Next up: More fun in Ohio

Pittsburgh

We walked and we ate in Pittsburgh. We walked A LOT and we ate A LOT in Pittsburgh. 

Although we stayed outside of the city at Fox Den Acres Campground, we still drove into the city to eat and walk almost every day during our stay. There was one day where we hung out in camp (and I got to sew) but otherwise, you know, we walked and we ate.

There are great bike/walking trails all along the three rivers in Pittsburgh with plenty of interesting bridges – all that have pedestrian walkways, some have historic names like “Hot Metal”, and many are painted yellow …

There is steel industry art and artifacts along the trail ….

And remnants of old railroads (with cool shadows) …

Some areas are a little gritty with old buildings and cobblestone sidewalks …


We saw Fort Pitt and the big fountain on a beautiful day …

There were all kinds of interesting things to see …

We visited the National Aviary and saw the Andean Condor (which is even bigger than the California Condor) …

We walked to the Andy Warhol Museum and took an incline railway …

There were great views at the top …

We walked through a tunnel with flowing water and colored lights ….

We walked to The Mattress Factory which is actually a very interesting modern art museum …

Where we saw three teenage girls who were only interested in the lighting to take a better selfie …

On our last day, we walked in the rain (although it was sunny earlier) … 

We did drive – to the The Church Brew Works (which is really in an old Catholic Church) and we ate some more …

Next Stop: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Back to Blogging 

The title says it all – it is time to document another Airstream Adventure. We are on the road again!

Last spring we headed straight for Bryce Canyon National Park to volunteer so there wasn’t much to write about – although we could write volumes about the campers we met while Camphosting! We hope to go back there again but this season we decided to visit some places we haven’t seen before. 

We started with a great family camping weekend in New Jersey over Memorial Day Weekend (which was really a lot of fun despite the occasional rain.) I can’t say I’ve ever eaten better while camping – my cousin’s husband, Jim, cooked all kinds of great dishes including clams, steak and soft shell crab. It was a blast to hang out with the girls. 

So, we started on one coast and we are heading (in a very round about way) to the other. Our first stop was till in Pennsylvania – Ohiopyle State Park. Alan picked it as a convenient place to stay while visiting Fallingwater – the amazing house designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The house was worth the stop (and the cost of the tour.) 

Ohiopyle was a great Park. We had a lovely spot in the Campground all to ourselves. 

We only did a little exploring while we were there but I’m sure we will be back since it is a reasonable days drive from home. 

Next stop: Pittsburgh.