Showing posts with label Traveling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traveling. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Redkey Indiana

Redkey is a cute little town nestled at the crossroads of Highway 1 and Indiana State Road 67 in Jay County, Indiana. 

The area was originally known as the Wade Settlement, after the family of Josiah Wade, who settled there in 1836. His son William Harrison Wade platted a village there in 1854, which he called Mt. Vernon. James Redkey platted his addition in 1856, but when application was made for a government post office, the name Mt. Vernon was already taken, so the name of Redkey was chosen. Redkey was incorporated in 1883. Redkey, Indiana, was situated in the largest natural gas field in the world at the time. 

The Redkey Volunteer Fire Department is in a beautiful 113 year old building.

The Key Palace Theater first received national attention in the 1950s, Noble, a Muncie native, brought in numerous blues artists over the years, making the Key Palace Theater a major destination for fans of blues music. The theater closed down after Noble’s death, but has since reopened.

Once Redkey’s claim to fame, Shambarger’s world-famous restaurant is but a memory!

Famous in the 1960's and 70's, Shambarger's originally opened in the 1920s.

 It cost $65.15 per person (not including gratuity). The meal consisted of 13 courses and took 7 hours to eat. The meal started at 6:00 pm and they cut the “mile-high” strawberry pie (it was 15″ tall) at midnight.

 Reservations had to be booked at least a year in advance. The place would comfortably seat about 50, but they would pack in 100 people every Friday and Saturday night.  People came to Redkey in buses and motor homes to eat at Shambargers. Celebrities and politicians came as well. 

 Everything in the building was antique, from the furnishings to the dishes you ate from. And everything had a price tag on it. You could buy your plate and take it home for a souvenir.

 The restaurant was only a few feet from the railroad track and every night at the same time, a train came by like clockwork. Everybody would run outside and put pennies on the track for a keepsake. 

Redkey served as a stopping point along the Columbus, Chicago, and Indiana Central Railroad in the decades after the Civil War. However, with the discovery of natural gas in the 1880s, the community exploded both in terms of population, industry, and businesses. The town grew from approximately 386 residents in 1880 to over 2,200 in 1900!

Today, the little village of Redkey still maintains a local tradition with its little antique shops, coffee house, pizza place and a couple bars....

The architecture in Reddkey is significant. The historic district includes many different structures, that feature Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Classical Revival architectural styles.

The old signs and advertisements from Gold Medal Flour to Mail Pouch Tobacco adorn the sides of buildings, making a walk through Redkey a journey back in time.

 From antique shopping, to pizza, history, and festivals – Redkey is a perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hocking Hills Anniversary Getaway 2017

Little did I know, back in January, when I booked our anniversary getaway trip, just how much we would need the quiet, peaceful, relaxation that a getaway brings.

With our oldest daughter graduating this spring, me having 3 surgeries this year, my son having emergency brain surgery and a 5 week hospital stay, another surgery and around the clock infusions at home, and a trip to take our oldest to visit a college in Missouri... needless to say, I was more than ready for an overnight getaway date with my man.... I think the last time we had an actual date away from home was in March... that's over 7 months ago. I don't think we've ever went that long in between dates, but it feels good to know that when life had a turn for the worse, our marriage was strong, even without alone time.

We booked our getaway with Getaway Cabins in Hocking hills Ohio and rented Cabin 36....

'Ever After' was a beautiful, clean, private, and romantic cabin.... however it is 8 miles away from Hocking Hills. The bed - although huge, was very uncomfortable, the neighbors dogs were barking all night, and there was some road/car noise, so needless to say we got NO sleep for the two nights we were there! But, we did have a fabulous time and want to go back with the kids in the near future!


Hocking Hills State Park is one of the best places to hike in Ohio. The park’s extensive trail system showcases a variety of landmarks, including rock formations, waterfalls, cliffs, and caves. We visited every site and walked both the gorge trails and the rim trails. The weather was gorgeous and the landscape was absolutely beautiful!

Ash Cave - Ash Cave offers two of the southernmost trails in Hocking Hills State Park. Lower Ash Cave travels about a quarter-mile alongside the Ash Cave Gorge. The Upper Ash Cave Trail, often referred to as the Ash Cave Rim, offers a more rugged climb. Ash Cave is Ohio's largest recessed cave. Erosion to the 700-foot horseshoe-shaped rock face has created a 100-foot-deep recess and, when conditions are right, a slender 90-foot-high waterfall.

Cedar Falls - Cedar Falls is another fabulous hike in Hocking Hills State Park. Laden with hemlock trees, this primitive area is known for its steep rock walls, grottos, and waterfalls. The water tumbles 50 feet down a sandstone wall on Queer Creek into a pool. A grist mill once stood atop the falls.

Ash Cave Fire Tower - Located in the Hocking Hills State Forest, Ash Cave Fire Tower was constructed in 1934. We climbed the 80’ tower.

Old Mans Cave - Old Man's Cave, is an easy hike of 10 minutes from the visitor center in the heart of the park. There are seven trails in the area. Some include tunnels and stairways through the rock, various waterfalls, rapids, and the large recess cave. There are quite a few stairs, and some steep drop-offs in places.The cave itself is 200 feet long with the look and feel of a rocky amphitheater. It is 50 feet high and the overhang is 75 feet deep.

The cave gets its name from hermit Richard Rowe, who lived in it in the late 1860s with two dogs. It sits in a half-mile-long hemlock-lined gorge with three waterfalls up to 40 feet tall and picturesque pools. It is a very cool place to explore on a hot summer afternoon. Attractions include Devil's Bathtub, Eagle Rock, Whale in the Wall, and the Sphinx Head.

Lower Falls

Upper Falls

Whispering Cave - Whispering Cave is the Hocking Hill’s newest attraction opening in 2017. The cave is about 300 feet wide; a drizzly waterfall pours from its rim, falling 105 feet to the floor below. The hike to Whispering Cave was more strenuous then most of the others (except for Cantwell Cliffs), but it was our favorite. 

Cockles Hollow - Conkle’s Hollow is a rugged, rocky gorge that’s considered one of the deepest in Ohio. It’s Lower Trail offers a paved, mile-long journey that’s dotted with enormous hemlocks, rock formations, cliffs, and a meandering stream. The Upper Trail is about 2.5 miles long and leads to a spectacular waterfall. It is a stunning sandstone gorge with sheer cliffs that rise 200 feet. It is as narrow as 70 feet in places and is reportedly the deepest canyon in Ohio.The best views are from the east side of the Rim Trail. There is an imposing 96-foot-high waterfall at the northern end of the canyon that is only visible from the Rim Trail. The trail on the west side is farther away from the main canyon but offers views into side canyons. It is cooler, wetter, and more shaded.

Rock House - Nestled deep in the woods, the Rock House Trail is memorable for hikers of all ages. This scenic quarter-mile route resembles a South American jungle in the summertime! Once at the Rock House, feel free to explore the cave’s gothic-like windows and enjoy spectacular views of the green valley below. a rocky room that is 200 feet long, 25 feet high, and up to 30 feet deep inside a brightly colored cliff. There are 120 steps along the quarter-mile hike. Rock House includes seven windowlike openings with a Gothic feel. The openings in the rock are halfway up the face of the 150-foot-tall cliff.

Indians once lived in Rock House. A 16-room resort hotel was built near the Rock House in 1835. You will see graffiti from the 19th century on some rocks. The trail at Rock House is a relatively short loop trail, but some of the grades to the natural cave and back are very steep.

Cantwell Cliffs - Cantwell Cliffs is arguably the most isolated section of Hocking Hills State Park. It features 150-foot-high cliffs, massive rock outcroppings, large recess caves, deep woods, and narrow passages between downed boulders and the cliff along its trails. The Fat Woman's Squeeze is one such passage. It is the most rugged section of Hocking Hills and its trails are the steepest. It was largely carved by Buck Run. The trail at Cantwell Cliffs is a 1 mile loop trail that goes first along the cliff rim and then down to the cliff base around and back up again. The trail is strenuous with sharp drop-offs in places. I would definitely recommend Cantwell Cliffs - I'm disappointed that most of my pictures I took here somehow were deleted - but it is absolutely beautiful and a really adventurous hike!

Overall, we really enjoyed our anniversary getaway, the scenic nature, and each other in Hocking Hills!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

St Louis Missouri and the Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (63 stories) monument in St. Louis Missouri. 
The Gateway Arch weighs 43,226 tons and the foundations are about 60 feet deep.Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch (catenary means it is the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends), it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, and officially dedicated to "the American people," it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis, as well as a popular tourist destination.

The Arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947; construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for $13 million. Thanks to hundreds of workers, the Arch was completed within budget and without the loss of one life. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967. It is located at the site of St. Louis' founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Located under the arch is The Museum of Westward Expansion

This is the door to the trams.... the trams go up every 5 - 10 minutes depending on if one or both are running. They are pretty small - only 5 people can be in each tram.

Inside of the tram...

Tram selfie...

We made it to the top!

Looking East to Illinois

Looking West to St. Louis

On a clear day, the view at the top can extend up to thirty miles in either direction. However, St. Louis can be a very hazy city, which reduces visibility at the top. On cool, damp mornings, a dense fog can create zero visibility at the top.

The hubby looking at the view from the observation deck.. The windows are 7" x 27", with 16 windows on each side of the observation deck. They are small because over 500 tons of pressure was used to pry the north and south legs of the Arch apart for the last four-foot piece to be placed at the top. A larger window would not withstand that pressure.

Looking down at the Old Courthouse

Hubby and I standing under the Gateway Arch

The Arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches, and can withstand an earthquake, however under normal conditions the Arch does not sway. It takes a 50-mile an hour wind to move the top 1.5 inches each side of the center.

Stephen and Faith down by the river...


We explored the Old Courthouse, a historical landmark where Dred and Harriet Scott sued for freedom from slavery and Virginia Minor fought for women’s right to vote. There are many exhibits describing how St. Louis served as a hub for early settlers moving west.

Stephen and Faith on the Old Courthouse steps

Looking East from the Old Courthouse steps towards the Arch.

Inside the beautiful Old Courthouse.

Old original stone floors in the Old Courthouse.

 I loved this picture with the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse in the background.... we enjoyed a fun morning visiting St. Louis and The Gateway Arch!


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