Travel Log - Dayton, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio April 25 -26

The record for number of patents goes to....(the envelope, please) Dayton, Ohio!!!  Between the Wright Brothers and NCR Corp, they seem to think up a lot of things here.  Don't quote me on it but I think the guy who invented pop top cans was a Dayton person too.

Here you'll find Canadian geese out for a stroll on the edge of the highway, you'll also find bigger flying things at the United States Air Force Museum, the largest air museum in the world and located at what used to be Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, birthplace of such notable characters as: Alyce Cornyn-Selby.  Dayton's Art Museum has one of the most enviable sites of any museum--overlooking one of the many moving waterways and looking architecturally very fine from I-75.  South of Dayton is one of the largest Indian mounds in the United States, several stories high, now covered with grass and flowers, located in a park.  No one is exactly sure why the Mound Builders did what they did but a sacred feeling surrounds them.  My personal favorite is the Serpent Mound located south and east of Dayton--it is breathtaking. www.serpentmound.com might get you there--go in morning or evening for the best light of this modernistic looking design.

So there is plenty to occupy you in Dayton, Ohio but my focus was on the WRight B. Flyer, south of Dayton.  Airplane enthusiasts (as quirky as car enthusiasts) got together and built a reproduction of the Wright Brothers first production airplane.  It is beautifully displayed with a brother plane that was made for a movie and is to the nth degree like an original.  Then there is the 1/3  (still quite large) that is used for parades and features soft sculpture guys--Orville giving his dad, Bishop Wright, a sample ride when the poor old guy was about 86.  Which is also about the average age of the charming crew that cares for all this and the   T Wright B Flyer staff car.  Pictures of Seno with the plane and happy Alyce in the pilor seat to arrive at this web site in a few days.

April 26 was the day Seno lost the connection with the Mother Ship.  Howard Clark and his truck turned west on I-70 while Alyce and Seno headed east on I-70.  Spent most of the day crossing Ohio but had to circle the block in downtown Columbus to photograph a stunning bronze sculpture of people playing with alphabet letters. 

Fireman in Reynoldsburg, Ohio helped Alyce find the elusive Highway 40 that made a jog and didn't bother to tell her.  Such impudence!  Why do firefighters always seem to look like the Boy Next Door from any 50's movie?   They are a great part of the American landscape and they know EVERYTHING if you are traveling and need info.  They are almost as good as frunning into an Australian--these people are walking encyclopedias of travel information.

Crossed the bridge into Wheeling, West Virginia and followed my printed internet instructions for locating the only Hindu sacred place outside of India.  West Virginia?  Sorry, folks, I can't make this stuff up!  The Palace of Gold, America's Taj Mahal is located way up in the hills off Highway 88 (the road is like a series of 8-8-8-8-8-8) and above the green and steep valleys.  Poof, there you are, face to face with a temple of Prabhupada with 30 tons of polished marble (all delivered to this hill top by truck when it was only a dirt road!), massive copper lion statues, stained and etched glass, and gold, gold, gold.  Much of the structure is coated inside and out with gold leaf.  My tour guide was an always-smiling, trickster-humored fellow from Russia.  While Seno cooled in the parking lot a couple from Chicago (originally from India) joined me for this Krishna view of the sacred place with great humor. 

I must tell you I wouldn't be surprised to see a magnificent temple of any kind in Oregon but even this Russian Krishna found it still odd to find it in West Virginia.  From his account, getting all the marble up there was easy compared to dealing with the entistry-is-not-our-top-priority segment of American society. 

Totally clear and delicious day, Seno and I wandered down to the Temple Lodge and I stayed for services.  There's a small lake there with three gazebo sort of structure that have onion-styled tops.  A fire hose fountain sprays hundreds of gallons of water in spigots in the middle.  The edges have dieties, two cows and a life-sized elephant.  Totally enchanted and totally in a state of "I-don't-want-to-drive-all-the-way-down-right-now" I asked and was granted a room at the retreat center.  Enjoyed the drumming, chanting and dancing very much--everyone seems to have the same interesting sense of humor as the Russian.  Have to be on your toes with these people.  And when asked, how did you find out about Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, the correct response is "Krishna sent me." 

I awoke this morning to a full moon shining in my window and ice crystals on Seno's car cover.  I video'd the scene and said, "Now I can say I've had real West Virginia moonshine."

This is the magic I came for.

The Packard Museum in Dayton was originally the Packard dealership -- still has the parts department. High fendered 1914 Packard in the showroom -- top of the fender came up to Alyce's waist.
Howard appears to stand guard over Al Capone's blue Packard. Alyce has found her ultimate car -- 1928 Packard Speedster, red leather upholstery & thick black paint, boat tail like Seno.
There are two Wright Brothers' cycleshops -- saw the one moved to Greenville Village in Dearborn then checked into this one in Dayton -- park service guy there puts on a great program about the Wrights.  Your tax dollars at their very best.
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