Friday, July 3, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 10: Making Friends With the Neighbors

After eating, we talked with the group of RVers next to us.  They are mostly from California, but there are some from other places and three generations of men.  A real great excuse for a family reunion.  They said their RV broke down in Oklahoma City and some young (in their early 20s) helped them.  In appreciation, they offered them tickets to the Indy 500 and those people are now with them.  One good turn deserves another.

They bought ribs from a local place and shared some with us.  As good of ribs as I've ever had.  We'll get them to get some for us next year.  Also, one of them had brought along some Campground Whiskey from Park City, Colorado which is a blend of Scotch and Bourbon.  Some of the best drinking I've ever had.

Ribs and Drinks.  --RoadDog

Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys-- Part 2

4.  SMATHERS BEACH, KEY WEST--  Best for People Watching  A manmade beach brought in by sand from the Bahamas in 1911.  A rare stretch of white sand for the keys.

5.  KEY COLONY BEACH--  Best for fishing.

6.  CURRY HAMMOCK STATE PARK, MARATHON--  Best for kayaking.

7.  BAHIA HONDO STATE PARK, BIG PINE KEY--  2.5 miles of white sand.

8.  LONG KEY STATE PARK, LONG KEY--  Best for camping

--While Going to the U.S. Tropical Isles.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys-- Part 1

From the Dec. 21, 2013 Smarter Travel "best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys" by Julianne Lowell.

1.  JOHN PENNECAMP CORAL REEF STATE PARK--  Key Largo.  Best for diving.  SS Benwood, World War II wreck.  Christ of the Abyss Statue, 25 feet deep.

2. FORT ZACHARY TAYLOR HISTORIC STATE PARK--  Key West.  Best beach for snorkeling.  Where the Gulf meets the Atlantic.

3.  CALUSA BEACH, Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Gulf side.  Best for family fun.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 9: Six and Four Makes...

MAY 23, SATURDAY

When we got back to the Pagoda area, there were long lines waiting for driver autographs.  Thank goodness I'm not into autographs.  I don't think my tired feet could have taken more abuse by waiting in one.  But, it didn't stop me from going into a gift shop and buying more 5-24-15 souvenirs.

Sue, Paul and John wanted to stay, but I went back to the RV with intentions of resting the dogs.

When they returned, Sue gave me a poster "signed" by the pile-setter, Scott Dixon, wishing me a "Happy 64th birthday."  Then, it instructed me to look at the pictures of Sterno Coletti and Junior Hildebrandt and figure out what they had in common.  Well, I looked and looked, but nothing occurred to me.  Sue said to look at their numbers.  The first was "6" and the second was "4."  Oh. 64, I get it.

We had cocktails and eats outside  Just an absolute perfect day sitting under the trees and enjoying the weather and good friends, food and drinks.

Feers Don't Fail me Now.  --RoadDog


Ten Places to Visit Before They Disappear-- Part 2

6.  TAJ MAHAL--  pollution

7.  ANTARCTICA--  Global Blah-Blah-Blah

8.  THE DEAD SEA--  Famous for salinity and dropping more than three feet a year because water is being taken from the Jordan River.

9.  THE ALPS--  Glaciers retreating.  You know why.

10.  SEYCHELLES--  Tropical island paradise in the Indian Ocean.  Threatened by rising seas.

--RoadDog

Ten Places to Visit Before They Disappear-- Part 1

From the June 6, 2015, Yahoo! Travel/The Active Times by Diana Gerstacker.

1.  GLACIER NATIONAL PARK--  10th most-visited U.S. national Park with 2.3 million visitors yearly.  Globall Blah-Blah-Blah.

2.  THE GREAT BARRIER REEF--  133,000 square miles and the only living thing that can be seen from Outer Space.  Even bigger than D.T.'s hair.

3.  THE MALDIVES--  Noted for its exceptional beaches and diving, but 80% of land is less than 3.3 feet above sea level.

4.  MADAGASCAR--  Huge biodiversity with lots of animals and plants that can just be found here and nowhere else.

5.  VENICE--  sinking

See It before It's Gone.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 8: Walkin' and a Walkin', No Drivin'

MAY 23, 2015, SATURDAY

Now, loaded down with souvenirs (should have bought them on the way out), we walked over to the Indy 500 museum, also inside the track.  Paul and John are of the mind to pay the price to do a couple laps at fast speed around the track.  (I think they're nuts.  Really fast speed in car scares me.)

And, the museum is a good walk, even more so as we walked up and down most of the lanes around Gasoline Alley.  Once we got over by the museum, John and Paul could not find the place to get information about running the course.

But, there was a big area under tents where the vintage cars that had gone around the track earlier were parked so I got to see them up close.  I was especially interested in one that had a speedometer that went "all" the way up to 65 mph.  I also enjoyed the 60% off sale at the cut rate souvenir shop by the museum and bought a 2014 Indy Champion hat for $12.  Like I needed another hat.

We then walked through the various company areas.  As usual, I liked the Chevrolet one the best.  Those 2015 Malibus and Camaros.  Wow, I want one of each.

What was that old Fats Domino song about?  "I'm Walking."

Dog-Tired Feet.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66-- May 2015

MAY 28TH--  An auto museum with a giant old-time gas pump is planned for Sapulpa, Oklahoma.  It  will be called the Heart of Route 66 Museum and will feature a 20-foot tall vintage inspired gas pump.  The museum will be in an old armory building.  Good to see old buildings given new uses.  Looking forward to seeing that giant gas pump.

MAY 29TH--  A military museum may be coming to Wilmington, Illinois.  Ohio native R. Fred Rolsten has a big collection of items from both world wars and other wars.  It will be in a 25,000 square foot building.

MAY 29TH--  The state of Oklahoma is selling the former Suntide Inn in OKC at auction June 15th.  It was mist recently used as the Kate Bernard Community Correction Center.

The motel was built in the 1940s as the Major Court and owned by the Leylend Ruby Overman and grew into the 75-unit Suntide Inn in the 1950s.  It became the correctional center in 1992.

Oklahoma needs money because of the drastic drop in oil money.  Somehow, I am happy that oil prices have come down.

MAY 30TH--The Negro Motorist Green Book project to document Route 66 properties listed in it has won a grant.  The book was published between 1936 and 1864 by Victor  H. Green and featured restaurants, motels, barber shops, beauty parlors, taverns and garages that served blacks during the Jim Crow era.  It is called "The Bible of Black Travel."

I am glad this project won the grant as it is about an often-overlooked aspect of Route 66 and all American roads before the 1960s.

--RoadDogo

Monday, June 29, 2015

20 1/2 Cents for Gas!!

As gas around here in northeast Illinois slowly falls below $3 a gallon, there was an Old Picture of the Day web site photo on June 1, 2015, of a gas station sign from some years back.

The gas price was broken down:

Gasoline--  5 cents
State--  5 cents
Uncle Sam--  1 cent
City--  1 cent
R.R.--  2 1/4 cents (Not sure exactly what this meant.  Railroad?)
Agent--  1 1/4 cents
Me--  4 cents

Total--  20 1/2 cents.

There was a cooment that said that today, Me gets about 2 cents a gallon.

But, I Could Live With That Gas Price.  --RoadDog

Indy 500-- Part 7: The Attack Of/On Indy 500 Souvenirs

MAY 23, 2015, SATURDAY:

Until this trip, I had always refrained from buying any souvenirs.  I don't need any more souvenirs.  I mean, I REALLY DON'T need any more souvenirs.  I also don't need to be getting "hooked" on any more things.  I am hooked on way too many things anyway (one reason for all these blogs).

But today would be different.  Not only am I getting hooked on the Indy cars and know most of the drivers' names now and have my favorites, but also, today, I broke the souvenir barriers and did some big buying.  Most of it was directed at anything with tomorrow's date, May 24, 2014, as that is also my 64th birthday that Paul so well sang about back in the 1960s.

It sure seemed a long way off back then.

I bought a hat, tee shirt, shot glass, flag, license plate and a tee shirt for Liz.  And these souvenirs weren't cheap.  Most every tee short and hat was $25+.

Darn it, Sue and Paul.

I Should Never Gone.  --RoadDog

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 6: Vintage Cars and Juan Pablo Montoya.

I had considered going to the Legion to have their buffet, but when Paul said he was going to make his famed breakfast scramble, that settled that thought.

Today is Legend's day, where you pay $10 and get to walk and walk and walk all over the track area and see a whole lot of stuff.  We almost missed the running of the vintage Indy cars around the track because of a confusion with the Eastern/Central time zone thing and Paul forgetting his wallet, but we did get seated by the brick finish line just in time to see the last couple laps.  The two-seater was especially interesting.  In the early days of the race, a mechanic had to also be in the vehicle.

I was disappointed that one pf my favorite racers, Jim Hinchcliffe, was not in the race, even though he had a fast-enough speed to qualify.  Unfortunately, he had a horrible accident earlier in the week.

I had to turn around and go back early on during our trek when I suddenly found the others had stopped a ways back.  John told me that the guy standing by a race car was racer Juan Pablo Montoya.  There were just three other people standing around him besides our group.  His name would come up again the next day.

Imagine That?  --RoadDog


Friday, June 26, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 5: The Smells of an RV Campground

Continued from May 29th entry.

May 22nd, 2015, Friday

Once back to the TV from Speedway's Main Street Paul got the grill out and it was brats, Hebrew National hot dogs and Smoky Links.  Then some cocktails.  I tell you, sitting amongst all those RVs around eating time, with so much outside grilling being done, well, you can gain weight just smelling the air.

I went over to the American Legion (we are on their grounds) and saw a two-piece group called MLE, named after Emily, the very talented singer  She had a great voice and the guitar player also could really pull the strings on the fiddle.  Watched them for a couple sets.

Then went back to the RV and joined the others watching the NHL Rangers-Lightning Playoff game on Sue and Paul's outside TV.  Imagine hockey outside on a warm late spring evening.

Not Bad.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 25, 2015

That's One Big Fish in Twin Lakes-- Part 2

Fisherman's Dude Ranch was located at 9665 Golf Road in Des Plaines, Illinois and opened in 1956.  The owners had a deep gravel pit they had mined and instead of filling it in, put water in it and turned it into a fishing lake.  The 12-foot high fisherman and 14-foot long fish were there to draw folks in to pay to fish.

Admission for adults was $2 and $1 for children, but you paid by the pound for any fish you caught.  Fish stocked included bass, walleye, catfish, pike and trout.  The cost per pound was anywhere from$1.69 to $3.99, depending what you caught.

There was an adjacent miniature golf course with a fishing theme.

As of 2013, the main lake was reported to still be there and some folks had sneaked in to fish but caught nothing.

It is privately owned now by a developer.

I'm looking forward to seeing the fish and fishermen at Mad Dan's.  We lived in Des Plaines from 1973-1974 and drove by the place many times but never stopped in.

A Fishy Story.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

That's One Big Fish in Twin Lakes-- Part 1

From the June 10, 2015, Hi-Liter by Beth Croy.

The Twin Lakes (Wisconsin) Village Board has approved a request to allow a large fisherman and fish statue to be mounted on the top of Mad Dan's Restaurant.

The 14-foot-long fish and 12-foot tall fisherman are a well-known icon from the former Fisherman's Dude Ranch in Des Plaines, Illinois, which opened in 1956 and closed down in 1997.

Ken Perl of Mad Dan's said he used to fish there when he was younger and that its presence will attract people to town.

The fisherman weighs 350 pounds and the fish is 425 pounds and will be mounted on cemented steel pipes outside the restaurant.

Always glad when something like this is preserved.  Too neat to throw away.

Something to See.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lincoln Highway Conference Begins Today in Ann Arbor, Michigan

And wish I was able to be there.  Even though the Lincoln Highway never went through the state, it plays a big role in the highway, especially among early leadership.

I also would have liked to have traveled some on US-12, as that highway is important to me and its eastern terminus is in Detroit.

Have Fun All You L-Hers.  --RoadDog