Our second and last stop in The Buckeye State was for two weeks in Oregonia. The next biggest town was Lebanon. We were just off of I-71, about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, 40 miles south of Dayton, and 60 miles southwest of Columbus. It was a nice and quiet park called the Olive Branch Campground. It was a convenient location from which to take daytrips to some of the more prominent cities in the state.
We went to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton to visit the USAF National Museum. We spent a big part of the day wandering through three giant hangers that showcased every sort of Air Force related aircraft and other relevant memorabilia. It was a very impressive and comprehensive museum.
Another day we drove into the belly of Cincinnati. After I took us to skid row (see comments from one of the photos below), we got back in the car and drove toward the river where the Bengals Stadium and the Reds Ballpark are located within about one block of each other. It had started raining by then, so we left the dogs bundled in the warm dry car in a parking garage, and had an early dinner at a great brewpub. Unbeknown to us, the Bengals were playing a home game on Thursday Night Football, so we exited downtown and drove back home before thousands of fans descended upon the city center.
Our last big daytrip was to Columbus. We got to the State Capitol at the exact time that the Veteran’s Day Parade had shut down most of the principal thoroughfares of downtown. That means we saw the central business district from the inside of the car while in a traffic jam of diverted traffic. When we finally found our way out of the parade traffic maze, we parked in a garage near Ohio State University, and got out to walk around the campus. After seeing another pretty American college campus, we explored an adjoining historic district and ended up in a section of town called Short North. After a chilly drink at a place with a patio (to accommodate Piper and Cessna), we walked back to the car and drove to the Germantown Neighborhood. Dinner was at The Thurman Café.
The rest of our time at this stop was visiting smaller towns like Lebanon, walking the dogs at Little Miami Trail, visiting the Caesar Lake State Park, and doing little home improvement projects. I also spent a few hours at Kohl’s one afternoon – buying some warm sweaters and furry boots to get me through the winter!
The road into our campground was a good place to walk the dogs every morning.
We stayed next to the Little Miami River. I wish we would have been there during a warmer month. It would have been fun to rent a canoe from this outfitter down the road from our campground.
The Little Miami River.
When we visited Columbus, we stopped for dinner at The Thurman Café in Germantown. The place was featured on the Food Network’s Man vs. Food. They are famous for their 2lb burger called the Thurmanator. The kids next to us at the bar ordered one and split it. I ordered giant chicken wings, and Mike had a measly 3/4 pound burger. We had leftovers.
I am aware that it is unlawful to deface American currency, but that hasn’t stopped us from taping a few $1 bills to the walls of various establishments. This time we left one at The Thurman Café. I remember we left other ones at bars in Rhode Island and Pensacola. Oh yeah, and I left my bra taped to the wall at the Floribama!
Selfie from Moerlein Lager House in downtown Cincy.
We had a wonderful view of this iconic Cincinnati bridge during our happy hour at the brewpub.
One neat thing (next to the fabulous architecture) about our tour of Over-the-Rhine was spotting the giant murals on the sides of buildings.
When I researched things to do in Cincinnati, I learned about the neighborhood called Over-the-Rhine, sometimes shortened to OTR. It is believed to be the largest, most intact urban historic district in the United States. Aside from that distinction, it also contains the largest collection of Italianate architecture in the United States. I planned to spend the whole day walking around and gawking at most of the 943 contributing buildings. Mike and the dogs were willing to come with me on my long urban jaunt. After we found the district and parked our car, we discovered the area was still ‘up and coming’… Let’s just say I didn’t necessarily fear for my life because Piper and Cessna were with us. The heroin addicts that lined the sidewalk would surely stay clear of targets with two 70+ pound dogs in tow.
The Music Hall in Cincinnati is a spectacular building.
It got a little cold and rainy during our time near Lebanon, so I spent a few hours tweaking the organization of my closet. I’m easily entertained.
The Little Miami Scenic River Trail is the fourth longest paved rail trail in the U.S., running 68.5 miles though five southwestern counties in the state of Ohio. We saw about 10 miles of it on dog walks. We parked at different points along the trail on each walk, so we got to see different portions every time.
This carrier took off over us as we were leaving Wright-Patterson Air Force Base after visiting the museum there.
One of the wonderful displays at the National Museum of the Air Force.
Sputnik, the first satellite.
Blackbird. Fast and Invisible.
Iron Mike. I found this story funny. The suit of armor lived on a certain base (I can’t remember which one), and it would get kidnapped frequently. Iron Mike would randomly show up at various bases across the GLOBE, and the folks from his home base always had to figure out how to retrieve him.
Checking out the cockpit of an F-16.
This pilot named his plane after his wife and three daughters.
Someone learning how to paraglide on the side of the dam at Caesar Lake State Park.
Mike’s selfie from a Sunday afternoon walk.
We watched this plane and this glider ‘play’ around during that same Sunday walk.
A beautiful heartland farm along the Little Miami River Trail.