Merry-Go-Round Museum

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If the carousel is your favorite ride at the amusement park, you and I think alike! Forget the mile-high ferris wheel or the 2000 mile-per-hour roller coasters with all the soaring climbs, whiplash-inducing curves, and stomach-sinking-dips. Just give me a ride on the old-fashioned merry-go-round, and I’ll be happy. The merry-go-round pictured above is a working miniature model of the quintessential, ever popular amusement park ride. You can see it and ride the real thing in Sandusky, Ohio, where you can visit a fascinating museum focused on the history of carousels.

In July, our family visited Sandusky OH. While some of us spent the day at nearby Cedar Point Amusement Park, others toured the Merry-Go-Round Museum.  Both are located on the shore of Lake Erie. The day we were there a tall ships festival in the harbor was happening in the harbor, so there was plenty of action in and near Sandusky. It has taken a long time (like almost forever) for me to hit “publish” on this story of our day trip to the Merry-Go-Round Museum, but here goes! I hope you enjoy the visit.

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Once a post office building, now the Merry-go-Round museum.
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Sandusky mural
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Fountain in the city park
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An actual working clock and calendar
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Former post office
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For children to ride on in the barbershop

More pictures from the museum:

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Another calliope
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Wood carver at work refurbishing an old carousel


Concluding our visit to the museum, we drove to the harbor to check out the sailing ships and entertainment before we started the two hour drive east to Lake County.

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Our family relaxing next to the carousel

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Giant rubber ducky
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Underground Railroad historical marker
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Folk singer
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The Merry-go-Round Museum viewed from the park

Sandusky, Ohio, has plenty for visitors to enjoy. If you find yourself in the area, don’t miss the harbor and the Merry-go-Round Museum, and you can even take a jet-boat ride out to the islands and squeeze in a little history with a visit to Perry’s Monument. Even on a steamy ninety degree day, touring the waterfront is a fantastic way to spend a summer afternoon.

That’s it for this day trip. I hope you enjoyed it!
See you soon.
Trail Walker

The years fly by!


Today’s blog post is the oldest in a series of three visits to Overlook Park on Lake Erie. The first in the series was posted just last week. The second goes back to a summer evening in 2013, and today’s pictures were taken on May 5, 2011. One park but three different occasions. Here are a few more family shots taken during the May visit. Included in the picture are two daughters, one son-in-law, four grandchildren, and Bob. We were out for family pizza night at a restaurant near the park, and I talked them into a little photoshoot.

That’s it for my posts in this series. I had fun “mining” my photo archives, but this particular series is all mined out, unless I return some day for another photoshoot in Overlook Park. My message to you is to give it a try. If you have built up a sizable collection of photos, consider mining it for some themes and create a series. You just might enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by today.
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Another visit to Overlook Park


In the blog I posted yesterday, I wrote about the erosion that closed a neighborhood beach on the shores of Lake Erie. As I was telling how erosion had led to the closing of the beach, I was remembering some pictures I had taken of families having fun on that beach. So today I dug into my archives and found those pictures to share with you.

It was almost dusk on the 4th of July, a major holiday in the United States, when I decided to get some pictures of the sunset. I headed to Overlook Park in Mentor-on-the-Lake, arriving in the very late afternoon and captured the picture at the top of this page. As the sun slowly set over Lake Erie, I took the following pictures:

Now you can see that it really was a great little beach. Located on Lake Erie and surrounded by a quiet neighborhood, it was the perfect place for families to spend an afternoon or evening playing on the beach…especially at the end of a hot summer day when the breeze off the Lake cools the air.

My favorite picture from that little photoshoot is this one:


Could there be a more relaxing place to spend the holiday? One of the larger parks in Cleveland sets off fireworks in the sky over the Lake. Crowds gather in the park or in boats anchored offshore to watch the colorful display, but some people like to get away from the crowds, and there couldn’t be a better spot than this pretty little park.

Postscript: Tomorrow I will post a few family photos taken two years earlier at this exact spot. When I search through my photo archives, I find pictures I don’t remember taking. If you are a photographer with a large collection of pictures, you might have fun digging into your archives!

Thanks for visiting today.
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Do you know where we are today?

We’re at the beach, but it’s winter, and we are definitely not at a tropical beach; it is on a large body of water, but it’s not salt water. Do you know where we are? Here’s another clue:

It doesn’t look like we’re going to get a swim today, nor, unfortunately, any time soon. Erosion has a way of ruining the fun of a day at the beach.

This beach is in a small neighborhood park on a pretty big lake…Lake Erie. We are on the north coast of the United States, just a few miles east of Cleveland Ohio. The last time I visited this beach was in the summertime a couple of years ago. There were families on the beach that day, kids playing in the water, and parents relaxing on the sand. But erosion has taken a toll on this community’s beach. Sad for the families who live in this neighborhood. Hopefully a way will be found to stop the erosion and make it possible for families to have fun on the beach in future summers, but that will take time. The community of Mentor-on-the-Lake has created a great little park on the bluff overlooking the beach. It has a playground and  a deck complete with stairs down to the water’s edge. At this point, the beach is unusable, but the playground is still a great place to bring the kids, and the bluff provides wonderful views of the sunset. Here are a few more pictures:

Let’s hope a solution for the erosion can be found, and I will be able to return to this little park on a sunny day in the not-too-distant future when those signs are gone and the beach is safe to use. Meanwhile I am going to search my archives for a few summertime pictures to share with you of families having fun on this beach.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

Script Cleveland

A unique Color Me Autumn photoshoot

Early in the summer of 2016, when Cleveland was preparing to host the Republican National Convention, “script Cleveland” signs were erected at three different locations in the city. This week I finally made it out to one of the locations and captured these two shots of the sign. I don’t know who originated the idea, but I love this one with the city in the background, and it has become a very popular attraction with groups of all sizes clustered around the sign. For this photoshoot,  Bob and I were the only people available for the photograph, which was taken by our grandson Bryan.  As the season will soon come to a close and the vibrant colors will fade,  I was happy to be able to add this to my Color Me Autumn collection.

That’s all for today. It’s a brief post, but one I am happy to add to my blog. Hope you like it.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

A day at the beach


My destination for today’s trail walk was Headlands State Nature Preserve, a unique combination of beach, dunes, and water, with a lighthouse thrown in as a bonus. I hadn’t visited Headlands for the better part of a year (that’s an estimate). As this was a beautiful fall day, with plenty of sunshine and blue skies, I decided this should be the day. So off I went. If you like beaches, get your water bottle and walking shoes and come along.


We’ll park at the far eastern end of Headlands Beach and begin our walk here at the Northern Terminus of the Buckeye Trail.

Wickipedia describes the Buckeye Trail as “a 1,444-mile hiking trail and long-distance trail that loops around the state of Ohio. Part of it is on roads and part is on wooded trail. Road portions of the trail are gradually being relocated to separate trail. The trail, begun in the 1950s was marked by blue blazes, and according to the plaque pictured above, the last blaze was painted on a post at this spot on October 10, 1970, completing the trail from Cincinnati to Mentor, Ohio.

At the beginning of the trail, we will walk through sand dunes, and you should heed this sign:


Our goal today isn’t to “Follow the Blue Blazes” and hike the trail. This is just the starting point for our walk along the beach, so follow me through the dunes until we reach Lake Erie. Fortunately it’s a very short walk!

There’s Lake Erie, and believe it or not, there are people on the beach, looking for “sea glass” and simply enjoying the sun. There is even one person covered by a blanket and apparently taking a nap.

A sleeper camped out on the sand

Now that we’ve reached the beach, look to your right and you will see the lighthouse. Until recently it was an operating light guarding the breakwater into Fairport Harbor, but several years ago, it was sold, and it is currently being renovated by the new owner. Once a year, she gives a tour to anyone hardy enough to clamber across the rocky breakwall to get inside. Have I done that? Nope, never even considered it. I’d be likely to break a leg, falling off the breakwall!

If you want to climb out on the breakwall, go ahead, but I’m going to turn west and walk down the beach for a short way to see what else we can encounter:

This is about as far as we have time for today, so let’s say goodbye to Lake Erie, and head back through the dunes to the parking lot.

We’ll pass by this sign…
…turn and take one more good look at the lake…
…and walk past these tall trees to get to our car.

That’s it for our trip to the Nature Preserve and Headlands Beach. If you enjoyed it, maybe we’ll come back in the winter. I did that one time (and one time only) and discovered that someone had built a snowman on the beach. It looked just a little bit out of place!

Thanks for coming along today. See you soon.
Trail Walker


The Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower

The third, and last, post of my trail walk at the Arboretum with Michael.

Today’s trail walk starts in the rhododendron garden at the entrance to the Canopy Walk. Both the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower were first opened to the public about a year ago, around the beginning of September, giving thousands of visitors the amazing opportunity to view the seasonal transformation from the top of the Tower. You can see one of my autumnal Tower visits here. As I did in that post, I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking today.

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The Canopy Walk begins (and ends) here in the Rhododendron Garden
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The incline is gradual.
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When filled with visitors, the walk sways, making it a challenge to take clear pictures.
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You can feel the sway, but it is solidly constructed.

The Canopy Walk is actually a loop.  When you start out, it is at ground level, but gradually climbs until you realize you are walking through the tree tops, looking down on Pierson (spelling?) Creek. When the Walk reaches its greatest distance from the entrance, it loops around to begin the return trip, but first, you must stop and look up because here you have a fantastic view of the Emergent Tower. It’s a great place for a photo opp.

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At this point on the Walk, you can see the nearby Emergent Tower.

Follow the Walk as it loops around, and soon you will find yourself back where you started in the Rhododendron Garden, facing a sign pointing down the trail to the Emergent Tower.

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From here it is only a short walk to the Emergent Tower. If you feel the need to rest before you make the 120 foot climb to the top of the Tower, you can stop at a bench along the trail to catch your breath. And I hope you brought some water. From personal experience, I will encourage you not to make the climb on an empty stomach and always be hydrated. I can tell the difference if I carry water or at least drink plenty before the climb. Maybe that’s just me, but the Tower is 12 stories or 120 feet tall, and that’s straight up! Fortunately there are places at each level to stop, take pictures, catch your breath, and even sit and rest for a few minutes.

Okay, here goes. More pictures:

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Entrance to Emergent Tower, taken in October 2015
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Entrance to the Tower, July 2016
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Looking up as you climb
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Looking down as you climb
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Almost to the top
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Michael near the top
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Taking pictures from the top of the Tower
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Lake Erie and miles of Lake County spread out below you
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Sky, Lake, and landscape

That’s it, Trail Walkers. You’ve reached the top of the Tower. You can take your time up here. Enjoy the view. Take as many pictures as you want. You can even take a “selfie” with Lake Erie in the background. But eventually you have to descend to make room for more people to enjoy the view.

When you reach the ground, you can follow the trail back to the visitor’s center or parking lot, but if you have time, there’s still plenty to see at the Arboretum. It’s a great place for trail walking, with or without a camera, but I guarantee you that you won’t forget your experience at the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower. You’ll want to return…again and again. At least that was my experience…and Michael’s too. Here’s what he said to wrap up the experience…

“I really enjoyed the Canopy Walk and even wish that it was longer. The Tower was amazing. Despite the somewhat daunting walk up, the view was still worth it. I don’t think I could imagine a better day in the Arboretum.”

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Turtle on a log in the bog

That’s it for this trail walk. Thanks for coming along.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

Windy Walk at Edgewater Beach Park

This afternoon after Bob and I drove our granddaughter into Cleveland to visit a friend at her Cleveland State dorm, we headed a little farther west to Edgewater Beach park for an unplanned trail walk in the park. I wish you could have been there. As you can see from the pictures, the wind was fierce. Nothing approaching hurricane strength, but strong enough to blow my hat off my head, so I left it in the car. Bob took off his glasses and put them in his pocket, fearing they might fly off his face.

It definitely wasn’t beach and swimming weather, so I was surprised to see people in the water until I realized they had surfboards and S.U.P.s (Stand up paddle boards), and had come to the lake front to enjoy the wind and waves.  I headed toward them with my camera, determined to get some action shots along with the landscapes (or lakescapes) that I had planned for. Five or six men (and one loon) were in the water. I’m not going to touch that comparison. Nope, just not going to go there! I’m just going to give these guys the respect they’ve earned by jumping into that water on a cold, windy, fall day.

What do you think of that loon? It’s the first one I’ve ever seen, and I’m pretty excited that he joined the surfers. It made my day!

We watched the action for awhile, then turned eastward and walked along the lakefront where I took these pictures (Click to enlarge pictures):

Then we headed toward the pier, which looked like a great location for capturing some city shots.

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Walking almost to the end of the pier, we stopped just about where you can see the man standing in the picture. Hooking my arm around one of those light poles, I hung on tight and took these pictures of downtown Cleveland.

Mission accomplished! We left the pier and headed for the warmth of our car. On the way, I snapped one last shot of the city…with a group of grounded gulls in the foreground. Apparently their flight plans had been cancelled. I didn’t have any trouble figuring out why!

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That’s it for today’s windy walk. Thanks for joining me on the trail.
I had a great time, and I hope you did too.

Trail Walker

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For a few hours this afternoon I set aside the urgency of updating my blog before the blogging 201 class ends, and took a short photo walk at Lake Erie Bluffs to capture a few pictures of the beautiful fall day. I’m glad I did. There aren’t many days more beautiful than this one.

Trail Walker

July afternoon photowalks

While our daughter Gretchen and her son Alec were in Ohio, we tried to get out to some of their favorite Ohio sites to visit. The Holden Arboretum and a Lake Erie beach were two of their choices, so we took my camera and headed out to visit both on one sunny afternoon and evening. First thing after lunch we drove out to Fairport Harbor where the beach was crowded with swimmers and boaters of all sorts. There really aren’t many beaches with lake access in our area, even though we only  live a mile from Lake Erie. Fairport is a small beach, but a nice one. They rent out kayaks, give lessons, etc, and things were in full swing on that afternoon.



Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum, in Kirtland, Ohio, is one of the largest arboreta and botanical gardens in the United States, with more than 3,600 acres, including 600 acres devoted to collections and gardens.

Later in the afternoon, we picked up Michael and drove to the Arboretum. Michael just bought a new Canon DSLR and wanted to try it out. I only took a few pictures, but hopefully he had a great time and learned a few things about his new camera. The highlight of our Arboretum visit was a little toad that jumped across the path right in front of me. Michael also got pictures of a snake that conveniently showed up while I was busy watching the toad. I guess you would say it was a successful field trip! No snake pictures on my camera, but here are a few others.


Thanks for joining us on this photowalk.
Carolyn aka Skip

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