Rock and Roll and The Worst. Roads. Ever.

Trip Start Sep 07, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
R&R Campground

Flag of United States  , Ohio
Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ooh, that smell. (Thanks Lynyrd Skynyrd).

Ohio has a reputation as being kind of the "armpit" of the Midwest/East, maybe second only to Jersey. Well, I'd like to say this is an unfair characterization, but...well, read on.

We entered Ohio high off our great time in Chicago, and chose to camp at Camp Sandusky, which was advertised as a family-friendly bunny farm/campground. We arrived late at night and when we awoke the next morning, there was an awful stench permeating the entire area within a mile of our campground. No one seemed to know what it was, but it lasted for hours, and we were literally gagging on it. It was some kind of burning coal/sewage smell (shivers). Not sure where the bunnies were. Maybe they fled.

We decided not to stay ay the bunny farm any longer, and took off for another campground that was closer to Cleveland. This one was much nicer, except when you used the hot water in the restrooms, you got this terrible rotten egg/sulphur smell bubbling up out of the taps. When we mentioned it to the manager, she said "oh yeah, that's just what it does". Hmm. Ok. Might want to investigate? Anyway, we decided not to shower at this stop, and instead took off to sightsee in Cleveland.

Before I talk about sightseeing in Cleveland, I have to talk about the roads. These were the worst roads I've seen anywhere. There were more potholes than roads. And the design of the road infrastructure was ridiculous. At times, we were given 40ft to merge from a dead stop into traffic traveling at 70 MPH. Muy peligroso.

Having navigated the nightmarish roads successfully, we learned that Cleveland has been the location used for many movies, including two of my favorites: A Christmas Story and The Deer Hunter. We stopped by the A Christmas Story house, risking the peril of a really scary neighborhood in Cleveland. Alas, the house and museum were closed that day, but while we didn't get to go into the house, we did snap some photos outside and got up close and personal with the infamous leg lamp. After getting some quick shots of the Chinese restaurant made famous in the movie (Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra), we managed to find Lemko Hall, which was used for the wedding reception scene in The Deer Hunter.

The next day, we drove through the Kent State campus (where the unfortunate shootings took place in 1970), and wound our way to the downtown Cleveland lakefront, where one can find the Cleveland Browns' stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Even though it cost us $70 (!) to visit the Rock Hall, I figured we might as well do it, as I wasn't sure if we'd ever be driving through Cleveland again.

My biggest disappointment with the Rock Hall was that most of it is off-limits to photography. Not sure what they're afraid of - probably that someone will go sell/publish pictures of the exhibit items I guess. They had a few items outside of the galleries that you could get pictures of, so see those below. Some of the highlights we enjoyed seeing were:

  • Lots of Beatles memorabilia, including suits they wore on the Ed Sullivan show, John Lennon's leather jacket, the piano Lennon wrote 'Imagine' on, and the mellotron they used on Strawberry Fields. Oh, and Lennon's 5th grade report card.
  • Wren enjoyed the Michael Jackson stuff, including his famous glove and the werewolf mask from the Thriller video.
  • Lots of original lyric sheets, including Holy Diver, My Life by Billy Joel and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon.
  • Janis Joplin's porsche, Elvis's monogrammed Cadillac, ZZ Top's Eliminator, and Joan Jett's jaguar.
  • A lot of artifacts from Jimi Hendrix's estate, including the couch from his father's house, that he sat on to learn to play guitar.
Following the obligatory stop in the gift shop, where we got Wren an Angus Young hoodie, we worked our way back to the campground, and the next day headed out toward New York state.

Keep posted for our next blog, regarding Western New York, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.
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