I made the trek back to Dayton, mainly to help Dr. Turk with his website, but we also had time to stop at a few other places.
We started with Wapakoneta, Neil Armstrong's hometown. A museum dedicated to him was just off the highway, which was housed in a golf ball-shaped building. It contained some old posters, space suits, a launch capsule, and even a moon rock, but the main reason to go was to pay our respects to Mr. Armstrong as he had passed away the previous day. He was an American hero who will be greatly missed.
After the museum, we continued our northbound journey to Lima (pronounced like the bean) and had a wonderful dinner with two of Dr. Turk's friends, including smoked barbecue, wine, and an Italian ice cream dessert. On top of that, I made another trip Columbus to visit some friends, and I got to see the small town of Troy, including its impressive county courthouse, when my flight home was canceled. I think I've seen a fair amount of western Ohio now.
We also went south to Cincinnati for a visit to the Natural History Museum, located in a Depression-era train station. The museum featured all sorts of relics of the last ice age, which was important to the area because it was as far south as the glaciers reached. Afterward Dr. Turk took me to the Montgomery Inn for their famous ribs, a tasty lunch.
On top of all that, we checked out the Wright Brothers Museum in Dayton, which clarified the history for me. I knew they made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, so I didn't know why the Ohio license plates stated Birthplace of Aviation. Turns out the Wright Brothers were from Dayton, but did a lot of the early testing, including their first flights in North Carolina because its beaches had plentiful wind. However, their first few flights in the waning days of 1903 only lasted a few seconds and the original Wright Flyer wasn't a very functional airplane because it couldn't be steered or landed controllably. The brothers returned to Dayton, where they tested new models of their aircraft at the world's first airport. In September 1905, they finally had a functional airplane that could fly for more than half an hour. They promptly stopped flying so they could apply for patents without fear of a spectator copying them. I'm sure North Carolina has many monuments and museums dedicated to the Wright brothers as well, but Dayton has claimed them as their own.
It was another fantastic visit and I can't thank Dr. Turk enough for his hospitality. He was about to leave for Italy, so the new blog isn't quite up yet, but I'll be sure to include a link once it's ready.