One Small Step
The charm of small town America isn't gone. The unique and unusual things in small towns isn't gone either. We spent the week in Portage County Ohio. In between Youngstown and Akron and (albeit off center) Cleveland and Canton. Now, I didn't know too much about Ohio before starting this journey. I knew they had a big rah-rah school, buckeyes are more than a mascot but also a delicious peanut butter treat, its the start of the Mid-west, it boarders Lake Erie, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is here, as is Cedar Point, its a swing state and its a very long state to drive through when we drove to Indiana. Now, getting to explore it more in depth we get to find and see these unique and unusual things in the small towns. I spend a good amount of time researching the are we're in to make the most of our week. Everything from iconic foods from the state to highly rated local restaurants, nearby state parks, recommendations from others or just things that pop out on Google Maps. Staying in Ravenna, OH was a lot of Google Maps. Much to my surprise there are a lot of cool things in this area. Things I definitely didn't expect to see or knew existed.
Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted most of their research for flight out of their bicycle shop, the National Museum of the United State Air Force is in Ohio, John Glenn, an Ohio native set the transcontinental speed record in 1957 by traveling from Los Angeles to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes and later become a part of Mercury 7 and become the first astronaut to orbit the earth in 1963. Speaking of astronauts, Neil Armstrong is also an Ohio native (as are 21 other astronauts according to NASA). Armstrong grew up not too far from where we are staying and took his first flight here. It was on a Ford Tri-motor airplane that left from Warren Airways. While now the area is mostly a parking lot and strip mall, there is still a memorial for that day (July 26, 1936) where Armstrong fell in love with aviation. 33 years later (and 50 years ago 5 days from now), he took that love to the moon! Follow your dreams!
Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. For Sherry Groom, another Ohio native, it seems like her dream developed over time starting with the faithful day she received her first troll doll at the age of 5. Her collection grew and grew and she is now a Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of trolls. It is impressive! The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, OH is the place to see it. Over 8000 unique trolls fit inside this place and that's not all. You can learn the history of trolls, from their Norwegian origin in folk tales to the first formation of toys and dolls, how Norwegian trolls are different than Swedish, Icelandic and Danish Trolls, how Thomas Damm turned troll dolls into a billion dollar industry, to Dreamworks buying the licensing rights to his company, Dam Things. It certainly is a wild place to see. There are so many varieties or trolls out there, way more than I ever realized. More than the Treasure Trolls I rubbed tummy gems for luck in the 80's and 90's and deeper than Deamworks' 2016 movie.
Alliance, Ohio is a very artsy town. Next door to this museum is a museum all about cats (I did not visit) and not too far away is the Glamorgan Castle.
Which has a varied history in itself. Originally build as a home for an industrialist in the early 1900, the Great Depressions found it as an Elk's Lodge then it became a corporate headquarters for Alliance Machine and now its the Administrative office for the Alliance City Schools.
If you're interested in keeping up with RV life side of things, we experienced our first mid-western storm from the trailer. The campground had a power outage for a few hours plus tons a lot of roads were closed due to fallen trees blocking the way. Props to Country Acre Campgrounds for their courtesy call in letting us know the power was out in case we were away from the grounds knowing he have dogs and want to make sure they're safe (we were home and they were safe).
I struggled to find the post office because it looked like this:
And if you're into the nerdy gaming things, while Ryne is off climbing the ranks in Super Mario Maker 2, I beat my second ever video game! It came with a lot of angry words towards animal characters and the controls of the game and many, many deaths but it was completed! Take that Yoshi's Island!