Monthly Archives: May 2017

CRT2017 – Kansas City Zoo

On the last full day of the trip, we went to the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri. Their polar bears had just had twin cubs, and we they also had a wonderful new penguin exhibit. We also got to ride in a ski-lift style sky ride over the zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and springboks. By this point in the trip we were burning out a bit on taking pictures, so the only photo I have is of this penguin. All of the other penguins were swimming around and socializing, but this little guy was hanging out directly under the shoot of the ice machine - the newly made ice kept bouncing off his head, but he seemed to like it just fine.

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CRT2017 – City Museum

Day five took us to St. Louis, Missouri - and the City Museum of St. Louis. The City Museum is really hard to explain if you haven't seen it yourself. It's a like a combination of a playground, sculpture, and junkyard all rolled up into one. They essentially took a ten-story building downtown, and told a bunch of artists to go crazy in there. The whole place is riddled with tunnels, slides, secret passages, and other sorts of craziness. They recommend kneepads and flashlights. Just a few highlights include a ten-story spiral slide made out of industrial laundry chutes, a three-story staircase made to look like a brontosaurus, and a cave system full of dragons, balconies, and fountains. It's a strange and wonderful place. Everyone should see it sometime in the lifetime.

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CRT2017 – Illinois Drive

As part of our day four travels, we spent about 10 miles on a gravel road in southern Illinois - we were about as far from the 'main drag' as you could get. It was a really scenic, pleasant drive. I was pretty worried about all the gravel I could hear pinging off of the car though - but luckily, the paint was fine once I checked it out later that day.

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CRT2017 – Boo Rochman Memorial Park

Before finishing up day four, we stopped at Boo Rochman memorial park in Carbondale, Illinois. It's a cool playground with a Dungeons and Dragons theme. It was built by a local family after there son (who was a huge Dungeons and Dragons fan) passed away. There was an enormous concrete dragon structure for kids to climb on, lots of sculptures or wizards and fairies all over the park, and a huge wooden structure built to look like a castle. It was full of rooms and winding passages - Carter and I even found a secret door that led to a hidden section of the castle.

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CRT2017 – Garden of the Gods

On day four we drove through the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. I'd love to get back there someday for a more extended visit. While at the trailhead for this hike, we ended up talking to one of the groundskeepers for quite a while about all of the other things to do in the National Forest. I still have the map he annotated for us. He even pointed out some cool local restaurants we should check out. The hike was pretty amazing. Pictures don't really do it justice. It's a set of rock formations and cliffs that are made of sandstone. The signs said that they are about 320 million years old. Back then, the area was covered by a giant inland sea and rivers deposited sand and mud there. When an eventual uplift occurred, it fractured the bedrock exposing it to weathering and erosion.

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CRT2017 – Indiana Backroads

On day three we took some backroads and secondary highways between destinations, just to get a feel for the landscape. It was so wide open compared to New England. A few weeks from now everything will probably be a lot more green, but it was still very pretty.

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CRT2017 – Brown Counter State Park

On day three our first stop was Brown County State Park, in Nashville, Indiana. There had been lots of flooding in the area before we got there, so the trails were kind of a mess. We did see a pretty cool fire tower, though. It was not very high, but it was enormous inside!

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CRT2017 – Aullwood Garden

After leaving COSI, we drove out to Dayton, Ohio and took a walk at Aullwood Garden. It was very pretty - it looks like an estate that was donated to the state, just like Maudslay State Park near us. I attached the GoPro to my backpack using a 3D-printed bracket we made before we left. I didn't realize my head was in frame though - I need to make a clip that mounts more on my chest strap, and less on my shoulder.

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CRT2017 – COSI

On the second day of our trip we went to the COSI science museum in Columbus. That place was really cool. One awesome thing they had a counterweight-balanced unicycle that you could ride across a tightrope above the main lobby of the building (from the mezzanine level). Carter did it twice!

We also messed around with the GoPro some more, and made a time lapse video of our drive from the hotel to COSI. It's surprising neat - downtown Columbus is pretty.

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CRT2017 – Columbus Sunset

We bought a GoPro camera for this trip, and on our first night in Ohio we tested it out by trying to capture a time lapse video of the sun going down from our hotel room window. It wasn't a colorful sunset, but I think it's cool to see the clouds moving around like that - you don't really notice them moving much in real time.

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