United States
Portage County

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5 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    Wisconsin to Ohio

    April 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

    We left Wisconsin midmorning on the 14th of April with a plan to drive down the Mississippi some 250 miles to Peoria, Illinois. The drive was beautiful, rolling hills indicative of the Driftless region on this stretch of the river. The undulations are a remnant of what was once the norm on the northern half of the continent. The glaciers of several ice ages have scraped the topography of this part of the world flat. This Driftless region was spared.

    We stopped at our favorite thrift store in Lansing, Iowa to pick up a talisman for the journey. This being holy week (that's the week between Palm Sunday and Easter for Sophie's benefit) we decided that a Solar Jiggling Jesus would fit the bill. We also made a stop at MacGregor, one of my favorite little river towns. They have some quirky shops and a good diner that serves up cappuccino and chocolate cake. Along the way we passed an old barn that had served as a music venue and was up for sale. We made it into Peoria just before dark.

    There next day was remarkably flat and repetitive. The glaciers, the settler's penchant for laying out gridlines, and modern farmer's penchant for planting the same crops mile after mile saw to that. Check out our driving timeline in the photos below. Thats 300 miles of same.

    We did catch a break with a lunch stop at Joe and Lee's ecological oasis near Logansport, Indiana. They are the parents of Sophie's companion Jacob. They've been working the same 40 acres for 35 years in an effort to bring back wilderness. The beavers get an assist with this. There are lakes and wetlands and countless birds. Lee mentioned that they have 5 species of woodpecker and that blue grosbeak have been sighted. At migration time they go through 2 lbs of grape jelly a day feeding the orioles. We were fed well too with a hearty potato soup and some of Joe's homemade rye bread. A perfect stop.

    We passed the Indiana/Ohio border by late afternoon. An hour later we pulled into our hotel in downtown Lima. Lima is filled with old time businesses, partly because many of the national chains have passed them by. There are no Starbucks within 30 miles of the town. Kewpie Burger was just around the corner from our hotel so we stopped in for a burger, a bowl of chili, and a photo op.

    Tomorrow it's on to Mansfield to visit with Grace's oldest sister Bea and her family.
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  • Day10

    Our Hometowns

    April 20, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Grace and I were born in the same hospital in Alliance, Ohio some 30 years apart. She grew up in Alliance. My grandparents Fred and Irene Stuckey are buried there. They were Church of the Brethren, an early Reformation Anabaptist sect like the Mennonites, Amish, or Hutterites. Some of the Brethren were also Moravians; a pre Reformation Bohemian sect. Needless to say willful obstinance runs in our veins. Fred was born in 1900 and died in 2000 two months after his 100th birthday. We visited one of Grace's oldest friends, Betty Sonday Thorpe, during our swing through Alliance.

    Our next stop was Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Perie Brown, the mother of my oldest friend John Panagos. We headed out to dinner at an amazing restaurant complex called Gervasi Vineyard Bistro. Great ambiance and food. They brought Grace a special treat for her birthday year.

    While we're on the subject of football, I took breakfast at our hotel this morning. The photo below of the two women watching television was taken at breakfast. They were watching and commenting on the run up to the NFL draft. Not a game, not the draft itselft, but a show on the run up. At Breakfast! They really know how to grow sportsfans here in Northeast Ohio.

    While here Grace and I are staying at the Kent State University Inn and Conference Center. It's a joint venture with the University. Quite a nice place and right in the middle of a revitalized towncenter. We spent today visiting friends and neighbors from our old neighborhood. Neighbor Jan Palermo hosted a nice gathering. Afterwards we were able to visit the home where I grew up and where Grace and Bill lived for 50 plus years before their move to Wisconsin. Note the daffodils.

    Yesterday I shared coffee and memories with Lisa Kurtz-Myers, my first real girlfriend. It was great catching up, although a little unsettling as she reminded me how little self awareness I had back in the day. Somewhat demanding, possessive, self-centered and sexist too. Jeez. I kept thinking that if our daughter Sophie had brought someone like that home I might have suggested she look for a new boyfriend. Actually I was a pretty good boyfriend, given the historical context, and Lisa reminded me of those qualities too. Nancy suggested that we invite Lisa and her husband to visit next time they're in California and I hope they take us up on it.

    Tomorrow is Easter. We catch up with friends from the Kent United Church of Christ, then head to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to visit with Grace's middle sister Lois and her family.
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  • Jul5

    Day 10 - Honky Tonk House Concert

    July 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today I woke up later than I have been and hanged out with the Hagans for a little bit. We then drove about an hour to Streetsboro, Ohio where we found ourselves in a small neighborhood. We met our host Jay who had us set up in his basement which had about 9 chairs.

    We sat around for about an hour until people showed up. There was about sixteen or so in all. It sounds like a small amount but it’s all the basement could hold! We played a pretty quiet couple of sets. Thomas did even more insane sax antics (some very suggestive) and Andrew even picked up the bass. It was a surprise he didn’t smash the ceiling or light.

    After I was super thirsty. People had left and the host told us to have whatever we wanted. Well, they had absolutely no beverages except fifteen kinds of beer. So instead I ate a bunch of watermelon. Not really my favorite but oh well. We just say around for a bit eating and chatting.

    Tomorrow we have another day off. We’re driving back to Nick Moss’ place. On Saturday we play two shows, Thomas’ last ones unfortunately. It’s all the soccer finals that day, so I’m sure that’ll be on in the van.

    One last thing. Their cat decided to bunk with me. I’m also pretty sure Mom and Dad had this comforter in the past!
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  • Day13

    Easter to Pittsburgh and Back Again

    April 23, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Grace and I have had quite a few pleasant days in a row on this trip. She travels remarkably well for a human being who is about reached her ninth decade. She maintains her sense of humor, doesn't tire too easily, and walks better than the average American of any age. There are moments each day when she lets loose with her favorite swear word, but these are most often short lived events.

    Over the past few days we've had some wonderful unexpected experiences. We attended the best Easter service I've ever witnessed at the Kent United Church of Christ, run across some terrifying religious images, eaten Malaysian small plates in downtown Kent, sampled a craft ale that ranks among the best I've ever tasted, and run across a photograph of Nancy and my favorite Belgian canal in a hotel in Pittsburgh.

    In between I've run across a few old friends and taken Grace's sister Lois out to eat twice. I've also learned through my Aunt Lois that Grace was quite a trouble maker. Maybe even enough to rival me in my youth.Older sisters Lois and Bea had their hands full keeping Grace in line. She broke windows, turned a garden hose on her sister's boyfriend, wore makeup, stayed out past curfew, and even chewed bubble gum against her parent's wishes.

    Can't wait to see what the next few days bring before we set out on our return.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Portage County, مقاطعة بورتج, Портидж, পোর্টেজ কাউন্টি, Condado de Portage, Portagei maakond, Portage konderria, شهرستان پورتیج، اوهایو, Portagen piirikunta, Comté de Portage, Portage megye, Contea di Portage, ポーテージ郡, Portage Comitatus, Portage Kūn, Hrabstwo Portage, پورٹیج کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Portage, Округ Портиџ, Портадж, پورٹیج کاؤنٹی، اوہائیو, Quận Portage, Condado han Portage, 波蒂奇县

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