Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The day we court the train


Temperature – 28F (-2c)  and clear skies.  Still not cold under the duvet, but the milk was frozen and there was ice all over the car including the inside of the windscreen.

IMG_6208OH - smoke in the valley






We got an early start and headed out from our state park campsite and headed off. We came across a valley in which smoke had been trapped by the calm and cold air. It left a layer of smoke and/or fog across like a lid. Very pretty, and I think you can just about see it in these pictures.

We rolled on to McDonald’s and hung out there for some free internet and excellently priced coffee .  It was still only –2C outside and my refusal to burn fuel to keep the heater on was making us very cold. I call it acclimatisation as it’s going to get a lot colder on this trip!



We moved on to Oberlin and had a quick look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s interpretation of a middle class home. It was not as spectacular as Fallwater, but i dare say it cost vastly less. It was very simple but demonstrating his low ceiling, mitred glass corners and a layout that encourages the occupants to embrace the external view; FLW hallmarks, I’m told.



This house was just around the corner. I couldn’t think what the architect had in mind when this was built, but it looks like a normal house was being delivered by air and fell or perhaps it’s a Transformer, mid-change? I think it’s cool.




Onwards. We went to the birthplace of Thomas Edison. Sadly, it was closed but the museum was only small. I had hoped for something telling us a bit more about the man and his achievements which were numerous, but no.




The midwest is well known for being flat and to some, boring. I liked it as that much space with 50 mile or more, arrow-straight roads are novel to an English person. Many looked like this.

It was not that there was nothing on there, there was, there was houses, farms, shops, power cables, etc. but there it was so flat and expansive.

As we drove we ran parallel to a train track. It had the longest train I have ever seen stopped on it. This thing was huge and i clocked it on the odometer at nearly a mile!

I wanted to get a picture of it and we went along a side road to intersect the train line.  We were hanging around waiting for it to move and crush the coins steff had placed on the line. It moved about 50 feet in 15 minutes so we were about to give up. I took a look back and one of the crew IMG_6310pswaved. I jogged over and the engineer introduced himself.He was a really nice guy and told us that the train was 50 miles, but 6 hours from its destination. He also said the train was over 5030 feet long which I believe is over a mile and it weighed 15,000 tonnes!

He even let us up to the cab and told steff to press “this button” that was the horn.Then he took our 2 coins, jumped out the cab, returned, pressed some buttons to move the train, and fetched the 2 flat specie back a few seconds later - freshly squashed.  They were waiting for another mile-long train to get past and once it did, we got on our way and waved our earnest thanks to the 2 guys crewing this behemoth.


The enormous train in its environment.





We hit the road again and just a few miles down the road we went to a little grocery store. I asked for a quarter pound of ham and the lady behind the counter had to call for reinforcement to understand my accent! She was, by her own admission, a little hard of hearing and because I say ‘qwor-Ter’ instead of ‘qwah-durr’, I missed the mark. It’s ok, i was just showing off my accent anyway and we all chatted later about our trip.


Yellow Springs, OH. A very cool town which Steff described as blue. It had a college, a lot of students and no shortage of cafe’s of the kind that sell green products.

They have a thing about knitted stuff in public. Here we have a tree wearing a custom-made pullover. I guess even trees need to stay warm?










Watch this drive…

At the Young’s dairy we ate too much ice-cream and milkshake. To work it off we had a quick go on the driving range. It seems my hits nearly all go to the right, except for the one i inexplicably nearly brained steff with. Not sure how that happened as she was 4 feet directly to my right. Oops.


That pumpkin is real. If you want big, come to the USA.




Tomorrow we’re off to learn all about planes and the Wright brothers.

1 comment:

  1. I in't no golfer but they look like the most appalling golfer posture I have ever seen! ; )