At least 23 reported tornadoes ripped through the Midwest on the last day in February this year, killing four people. Homes were destroyed, massive trees uprooted, and cars tossed around like toys. Tornadoes are rare in the Midwest in February, but they do happen. In fact, although tornadoes are most common from early spring through summer, they can occur any time of year. Before you head out on your next road trip, prepare for tornado safety. Read more
On Day 6, the last “official” day of our North Dakota road trip, we drove from Dickinson to Medora. We toured historical and cultural attractions during the day and ended the evening with a delightful outdoor musical performance, complete with a fireworks finale. Read more
This weekend we took a road trip to west central Indiana, to the annual Parke County Maple Syrup Fair. Parke County is home to four maple syrup camps. However, the county is better known for its covered bridges. In fact, there are more covered bridges in Parke County, Indiana, than in any other county in the United States. So we combined our day trip to include both the Maple Syrup Fair and a self-guided covered bridge tour. Read more
We visited the National Civil War Museum last summer during our visit to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The museum tells the story of both the Union and the Confederacy, emphasizing personal human elements through stories, artifacts and dioramas.
Tension had been brewing between the North and the South for decades over slavery. Slavery was dominant in southern states. It was the backbone of South’s agrarian economy. Conversely, northern “abolitionists” felt slavery was wrong. They wanted to do away with slavery. Abraham Lincoln, who ran on a strong anti-slavery platform, won the 1860 presidential election. A month later, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Ten more southern states followed suit. Less than four months later, the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
African Americans settled in Georgetown as early as the 1820s. Georgetown, a neighborhood in Madison, Indiana, is located on the banks of the Ohio River. During the times of slavery, Indiana was a free state. Kentucky, across the river, was a slave state. Putting their own lives at risk, many Georgetown abolitionists helped slaves escape and travel north to freedom. They hid escaped slaves in their homes and other buildings as the slaves traveled the Underground Railroad route. During our visit to Madison, we took the self-guided Georgetown Walking Tour and saw some of the Georgetown buildings that still exist. Read more
Lee W. Sinclair dubbed his dream hotel “the eighth wonder of the world” when he built it in 1901. The opulent West Baden Springs Hotel’s centerpiece was the dome-topped 200-foot diameter atrium. The rest of the hotel and the surrounding grounds were grandiose, as well. The West Baden Springs Hotel, along with neighboring French Lick Springs Hotel, was the wealthy’s place to go. West Baden Springs was more than a hotel; it was a full resort. The resort included a casino, a velodrome, and a baseball field that professional teams used for spring training. However, West Baden Springs was best known for its mineral springs that had healing powers. We toured the West Baden Hotel during our recent French Lick, Indiana, visit and learned of the hotel’s rise, decline and restoration. Read more
Milton S. Hershey built the entire town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, over a hundred years ago to serve his Hershey Chocolate factory and the factory employees. Today, not everyone who lives in Hershey works for the chocolate company or its affiliated enterprises. However, Hershey attractions still dominate. According to TripAdvisor, four of the top seven Hershey attractions are Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story (The Museum on Chocolate Avenue) and Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey’s Chocolate World itself includes five separate activities. Read more
We used to stay only at chain hotels when we traveled. Until, during a press trip in our early blogging days, our hosts booked us at a bed and breakfast. Our first B&B experience was so impressive that we now prefer to stay at bed and breakfasts, small inns, cottages and cabins. So we were thrilled when our itineraries for last fall’s road trip to southern Indiana included several such accommodations. Among the places we stayed were two romantic bed and breakfasts along the Ohio River: Kintner House Inn in Corydon and Market Street Inn in Jeffersonville. Read more
On the fifth day of our summer road trip across North Dakota, we took a road trip inside a road trip inside a road trip. Starting at Bismarck, we drove to Mandan. We left the interstate at Mandan and continued west on the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway. At Gladstone we detoured south onto the Enchanted Highway, then headed back north to continue on the Old Red Old Ten to its end at Dickinson. Read more
When the Monon Railroad built a line from Chicago to French Lick, Indiana, in the late 1800s, everyone who was anyone from Chicago began visiting French Lick. Well-to-do folks played golf on a championship course. They bathed in the healing mineral springs. And they stayed in the luxury French Lick Springs Hotel or the nearby equally luxurious West Baden Hotel. Read more