8-28-17 Fallingwater and Roads End

The route from Illinois, through Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, and Maryland into D.C. and Virginia often followed the National Highway (US 40. sometimes U S 22) and one could envision frontier families, Civil War Companies, Appalachian hikers, through the decades, even from the four lane Tarmac.

Proof we were there!

Mills Run, PA is the location of the Western PA Nature Conservancy, which administers entrance to Fallingwaters. Kaufman, Jr. deeded the family retreat and surrounding acreage to the Conservancy in the mid 1960s with the conditions that his family home would be viewed, not as a museum, but as it was imagined by FLW and. used by the family; an island of calm and a retreat into nature.

Monday – our last day on the Road across the USA – found us heading to Fallingwater.

The ‘classic’ picture of Fallingwaters

Fallingwater, or the Kaufmann Residence. Frank Lloyd Wright designed “Fallingwaters ” the weekend retreat cabin of the Philadelphia Kaufman family that was built in 1938-39 at a cost of 150,000 dollars; the cliffs and boulders of Bear Run Creek and its falls envelop the cantilevered house.  Asked to describe the house in one word, the Kaufman’s son, said,” Romance”.   Liliane and Edgar Kaufmann owned the Kaufmanns department Store in Pittsburg and had a small “cabin” near the location and wanted something nicer for weekends and summer vacations. Fallingwater was the family’s weekend home from 1937 until 1963 when Kaufmann Jr donated the property to the Western Pennsylvania conservancy. In 1964 it was opened to the public as a museum.

Living room with fireplace

The design, by Wright, was intended to bring the outdoors inside with the use of windows and outdoor seating areas. In the seating area, or living room, there is a large stone fireplace – the stone around the fireplace is bedrock and incorporated into the structure. On the left side of the fireplace, hangs a red round globe – this could be filled will mulled wine and the entire globe swings into the fireplace for heating and out again for distribution of the warmed wine!

The house in the background. We are standing on a ‘bridge’ over the river.

Our tour included most of the rooms and areas of the building – quite interesting. While I could certainly “live” in Fallingwaters I think the MAINTENANCE required to keep the house up might be a bit difficult! We are glad we visited this special spot.



Steps from inside lead down to the stream
Lots of glass in the building opens it up to the outdoors.







After finishing our tour we completed our trek across country by arriving at our son’s home in Springfield Virginia. While here we will visit with friends, tour the White House, celebrate my 70th birthday and do packing for our next adventure – ACROSS the Atlantic to Portugal, Germany, Italy and any other place we find ourselves.

8-26-17 On the Road to Richmond Indiana

Early this morning we left Macomb and continued our journey towards Virginia. After several hours of driving on the freeways we dropped down to US 40 and cruised along through a number of small towns – Greenfield, Knightstown, Dunreith, Lewisville, Straughn, Dublin, Cambridge City, Centerville – until we reached Richmond. US 40 is an east-west route running the entire width of the US starting in New Jersey and ending in Utah (OK, not the entire width of the country).   It seemed like every one of these small towns was having a garage sale or yard sale everywhere. We didn’t stop. Our Best Western was near the eastern side of town and really almost on the state line between Indiana and Ohio.

For dinner we went to the number one Trip Advisor restaurant in Richmond – Galo’s Italian Grill.

Galo’s Italian Grill

Expecting a nice Italian place, I said “Buonasera” – which we all know is an Italian phrase meaning “Good Evening”. Well, they thought I meant “I want Sara to wait on us “and put us in the bar…not liking that spot I moved us elsewhere. When Sara came over and asked if we had requested her station…we said, no,  just honoring the restaurant theme, seems Italian isn’t something they hear much in the restaurant.



We started with a Prosecco which was OK and an appetizer of bruschetta which was OK but not as great as it could have been had they used heirloom tomatoes.

Grilled Eggplant Lasagna

Janeen ordered the grilled eggplant lasagna with spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese while




Bolognese sauce with pasta

I had the Bolognese sauce with pasta and an added meatball .

Banfi Chianti Classico

To accompany this we had a Banfi Chianti Classico.

Maybe we have higher expectations then we should be overall the meal was OK – not what I would have expected for the number one restaurant for the area.   Each of our food dishes was pleasant but had no special ingredient to have it stand out from something you might pick up at the frozen section of the supermarket and the wine list, well, it left a lot to be desired.

So, we are back in our room with the rest (half) of the bottle of Chianti some ice and sprite to make some coolers to enjoy for the rest of the evening.

8-23-17 The Lincoln Museum and Union Station


On Wednesday we headed out to Springfield, a little under a two-hour drive from Macomb to visit The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. This Museum is considered to be the first major Experience Museum where it combines priceless historical artifacts with innovative, contemporary storytelling technologies. Visitors are offered an engaging, emotional and educational experience through immersive, “you-are-there” exhibits. There are two different sections – one depicting the early years growing up and the second reflecting his political career more specifically his presidency.

Abe outside his “home”

The first section shows young Lincoln presented in a frontier, log cabin and a country store walk through with a number of interesting depictions from his history being represented.

Reading by Fire LIght

The second area reflects the political history portion of his life.

The second section is represented by the White House South entrance. As you walk through the doors, you first see various dresses worn by Mary Todd Lincoln and her contemporaries during her time in the White House.

Turning to the hallway, you walk through what might be called The Hall of Political History covering Lincoln’s entry into the Republican fray. This is an unsettling hallway with various voices quoting from newspapers regarding the Lincolns’ appearance, manners and policies – many unpleasant for sure. On the walls are actual political cartoons of the period as well as genuine quotes from the newspapers regarding the Lincolns’ – not very pleasant stuff. The commentaries presented convey the opinions and beliefs he had to contend with, and the criticism his family endured, that was unprecedented in previous White House families

From here the walk through experience presents his cabinet personalities, the divisions of the Civil War and the faces of the combatants and ends with his assassination and funeral procession. Two theater experiences include holographic 3D multiscreen immersion into the Civil War, and the Historic research and artifact Library.

Ford’s Theater with Booth entering from behind…

After touring the Museum we headed across the street to plaza and Union Station.

Union Station

Union Station is a former train station and now part of the complex of buildings that together form the Library and Museum complex. One of the more prominent features of Springfield Union Station was a three-story (110 ft) clock tower. The tower made a striking addition to the Springfield skyline, helping the station become an immediately recognizable landmark.

After passenger train service ended, Union Station housed several private businesses before being used for Illinois state offices until September, 2004. The building was extensively restored as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library visitor center, which reopened in March 2007.

Lincoln: History to Hollywood

Today Union Station houses a display of movie items related to Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln that came out in 2012 staring Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln (won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role). On display are movie sets, props and costumes worn during the movie.

Hollywood set of Abraham Lincoln’s office as seen in the movie, Lincoln. Costumes were worn by actors portraying Abe Lincoln and his son.

All in all it was a nice day and an interesting spot to visit.

8-18-17 Friday Night Music

Friday night in Macomb took us to the Wine Shop that has entertainment from 5:30 to 7:30. This very small place has wine and beer – most, if not all of the wines, are under $20 a bottle. I asked about wines from Illinois but, alas, nothing in stock. Looking over the inventory I didn’t recognize ANY of the producers…and with everything basically really cheap I’m not surprised. . 

Dickie Bent played a variety of folk tunes many of which we recognized. It is clear the place is not on the “tourist” trek as everyone was a local (except us of course) and seemed to know each other. Nice evening…wine (a red blend mostly Zin) a bit heavy for my taste but for $20 how can you really complain?


8-11-17 to 8-21-17 Everly House, Macomb, Illinois

Interstate 80 across Nebraska, Iowa and into The Land of Lincoln intersected with IL92/67/34 to allow us to drop south and arrive at Dad’s House by late afternoon on the same day we left Boyers in York, NB.

Everly House –
Independent Senior Living

Thanks, President Ike, for the interstate Highway System.

David has camped out at Sullivan’s coffee house to use Internet, found us a global gym (Snap Fitness Maxima machines) and had the Prius serviced.
Janeen has met Dad’s Home Health nurse, his O.T. Nurse, conferred with his LPN friend and watched Harold gain strength daily. He isn’t getting his weekly daughter – update letter, but David and I eat meals with him, join in conversation with his visitors (cousin Larry & Alice, Kathy Turner, cousin Leta) and get an occasional candy bar or some melon to add to supper.

Janeen and Harold walking around the pond

Grandsons Jason & Ryan have spoken with him and sent well wishes, with a photo of great-grand little Miss, of course.

Midwestern weather has generally been kind to us, only defaulting to high humidity and heat for eclipse weekend.

8-14-17 Roads Taken

So, we are staying in Macomb for a while with Janeen’s dad, Harold.  As many of you know, he celebrated his 100th birthday this past March and he is still doing OK.  During our visit, most of our time is spent relaxing and visiting with Harold and reading so not much to really update.  However, I thought it might be interesting to listing the major highways we have traveled since leaving So Cal.  Since leaving we have crossed state lines and visited California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois.

6-21:  134 to 101

101 to 154 to Foxon Canyon Rd to 101 to 1 and Morro Bay

6-23:  1 to 41 to 101 to 85 to Cupertino

6-29:  280 to 680 to 24 to Lafayette

7-1:  24 to 580 to 101 to 37 to 12 to Sonoma

7-7:  12 to 101 to 128 to Fortuna, CA

7-9:  101 to Coos Bay, Oregon

7-10: 101 to 38 to 5 to 105 to Eugene.  

7-11:  126 to 99w to King Estates

7-11:  99 to OR 200 to OR 36 to OR 34 to OR 20 to 101 to Gleneden Beach

7-16:  101 to OR 18e to 99W to 5S 205N to OR 212 to Portland

7-18 OR 212 to 205 S to 5N to 99W to Dayton

7-30:  99W to 5S 205N to OR 212 to Portland

8-1: or 212 to 205 to 5N to Seattle, Washington

8-4:  5S to 90E to Spokane

8-5:  90E to 191 to Bozeman, Montana

8-7:  181 to 90E to 25S to Casper, Wyoming

8-8:  I25S to 18E to 20E to 71S to 2E to 61 S to 92 to 97 to 83 to North Platte, Nebraska

8-9:  80 East to 93 E to  York

8-10 34 to 80 East 280 east IL 92 west to US 67 to US 34 Macomb, Illinois

We have a few more states to pass before we get to Springfield Virginia and a whole lot of foreign Country’s yet to visit.  So Stay tuned!

8-10-17 York Nebraska

After an easy drive we arrived in York Nebraska to reconnect with some friends we made while living in East Lansing Michigan. Lora and Jon Boyer were part of a church group we met during our graduate school work in the early ‘70’s.     . After we left, in 1973, we have not reconnected with both of them since. Of course we stayed in touch particularly with the annual Christmas Card updates and periodically other times over the last 40 plus years. Recently they have relocated from Manhattan Kansas to live in Jon’s family’s farmhouse in York Nebraska.




Jon has taken the role of farmer seriously as they have 200   or so acres that is planted in corn and soy beans working with someone who actually farms the land in a 50/50 arrangement (he doesn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting mostly writing of checks it seems).


After visiting for a while, we got a tour of the farm and of course a lesion on corn ripeness.


The following day, Janeen and Lora went to Grand Island – a community about 45 minutes away – for an various things. While there they went by Fred’s Flying Circus.

Created by Fred Schritt, a local auto body repair shop owner, he has created a display of whimsical sculptures mostly on poles inside his yard. Mostly using cartoon characters as “auto art” he has created a number of these including Shrek, snoopy, Tweety Bird and others.





Our last evening we went to

PK’s for a lovely dinner.

It was really great to catch up with old friends!

8-8-17 Finding Old Friends and Carhenge

This morning we didn’t know which way to go – stick with the interstate or take the back roads through Alliance, Nebraska and travel through the Sandhills area. Well, we decided to take the road less traveled. After cruising along for a couple of hours, it was time for lunch so we stopped at a Subway in Lusk, Wyoming for a sandwich. Nothing special about the place and the sandwich was as good as any other Subway provides. Just as I was about to close the car door and drive away, I noticed two people we actually know! Dale and Roxanne live in Arizona.

David, Janeen, Roxanne and Dale

We first met them in Oregon at IPNC but they haven’t been to the event for several years. Turns out they are on vacation. Roxanne’s mother lives in Nebraska and having completed their visit, they were heading to Mount Rushmore when they too decided a break and a sub would be a good idea.


Here we are in Lusk, Wyoming seemingly a million miles from anywhere and whom do we see, but two friends. We had a nice visit for a while and then we both headed on our way. Small world for sure.


After connecting with Dale and Roxanne, we continued on our journey towards the Sandhills of Nebraska. Along the way we stumbled upon Carhenge in Alliance Nebraska. This is a replica of the famous Stonehenge in England.



Carhenge is formed from vintage cars all covered with gray spray paint and built by Jim Reinders in the summer of 1987.   It was dedicated on the summer solstice. This display consists of 39 automobiles arranged in a circle measuring about 95 feet in diameter. As you can see from the pictures, the cars are in various positions.

In addition to the Stonehenge replica, the Carhenge site includes several other artworks created from autos covered with various colors of spray paint.

It was a fascinating stop on our journey along the road. We continued on through lots of small ranching towns along two lane roads for the rest of the afternoon ,until we reached North Platte for the evening.

8-7-17 The Battle of the Little Bighorn

This morning, after leaving Bonnie and David Andes’s place in Bozeman, we continued on our travels. Our goal, in a couple of days, is York,Nebraska to visit some friends from a along time ago in Michigan.

However, as we were moving along, I realized that the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument was just off the freeway – so we stopped.

Senior Pass

I also discovered that the National Park Services thinks I am worthy of a lifetime pass!



Map showing the various participants and movements taken.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians  as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho  anti-treaty tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment.  The battle, which occurred June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876.

Markers of fallen Cavalry. Custer’s is the only marker with color.

Needless to say, this battle didn’t turn out very well for Gorge Armstrong Custer. In a little more than 2 hours, from start to finish, the warriors was engaged and fighting ended. The total casualty count for U.S. Cavalry was 268 with 55 severely wounded. The various Indian participates, from the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho, didn’t loose that many warriors.

Upon our arrival at the Monument, we sat through a very informative Ranger Talk about the battle bringing the history to life through his story telling.

A Cheyenne Warrior marker

The one take away line, for me, was this was a battle between Euro-Americans and Native-Americans – with no one really winning on either side, and no understanding of the cultural differences that engendered the fight.

Pathway to the spot of the “last stand”.

There are several sites to view as part of the Monument including the area where Custer had is “last stand” and the spot is marked where he fell. Throughout the area there are white markers for where U.S. Cavalry fell and red markers for locations of known Indian deaths.



Monument of the Cavalry who died in the battle. Their remains were placed around all four sides of the monument in a mass grave.

This is a solemn spot with lots of history – none of which is really good for either side.

Across the road from the Cavalry Monument is an Indian Monument placed by the local Indian tribes.

The inside of the Indian Monument has a number of historical presentations about the Indians who participated in the battle.

After leaving the Monument, and getting back on the highway, it is clear the land hasn’t changed much in the last 200 years!

8-6-17 Bozeman

Our visit to Bozeman, with David and Bonnie, included a visit to The American Computer & Robotics Museum. This is a museum of the history of computing, communications, artificial intelligence and robotics and includes a number of very interesting pieces of computer history including the very first Apple created.

A complete inventory of various early computers
Robbie the Robot!


After the Computer place, we went to the Museum of the Rockies. The Museum houses the largest collection of dinosaurs in the United States. This includes the largest Tyrannosaurus skull ever discovered, T-Rex remains and lots more. It also had an interesting collection physical and cultural history of the people and animals who lived in the area.


Outside there was a living history farm which includes the Tinsley House were costumed interpreters demonstrate life in a turn of the century home.

Bonnie in the Kitchen

To end the day, we went to a Shakespeare in the Parks presentation of You Never Can Tell It was a fun evening.