Places we want to see in our bus – a bucket list

Ringing Rocks Park in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. BYO hammer to strike the boulders and hear them ring!

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum in West Branch, Iowa. Vin grew up in Gwalia, Western Australia, a ghost town about 400 miles inland from Perth. In 1896 the Sons of Gwalia gold mine was established, and Herbert Hoover, a young mining engineer at the time, was sent out there to acquire and manage the mine. His house is still there as a museum and bed-and-breakfast (right on the edge of the mine!). The original mine closed in 1963, and the town vacated down to nothing within two weeks. Vin lived in a restored miner’s cottage as a kid, from 1971-1979. In the 1980’s the mine was reopened, and still operates today, the deepest goldmine in Australia. The ghost town, restored during the 1970’s, is a popular tourist destination. The Hoover connection is clearly the reason for visiting West Branch, Iowa. (PS. “Gwalia” is an ancient Welsh word for “Wales”).

Lake Michigan for Petoskey stones – fossilized prehistoric coral beaten beautifully smooth by the waves.

Lake Superior to find UV reactive rocks that light up like hot coals! They’re called emberlites, and you find them in the dark with a UV light. You’ll want to see this one, and The Crystal Collector made a very enthusiastic video of his emberlite finding adventure!  Here it is…

Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. It’s closed to the public and doesn’t allow tours – and high security emphasizes this, but we sure as bologna can park somewhere nearby to watch the night (and day?) sky for UFOs/UAPs, and hopefully not get shredded by werewolves.

Tonopah, Nevada has the second-darkest night sky in the United States. It might be fun to spend a night at the haunted Mizpah Hotel. But we sure as heck won’t be booking a night at the Clown Motel. And we’re not even afraid of clowns, but Kat does have an issue with ventriloquist dummies, and will not taking a chance on a clown version of said dummies. What’s the first-darkest night sky? Anyone?

Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. Kat and her mama visited Weeki Wachee with Kat’s grandpa in the late 70’s, and Kat has wanted to go back ever since. Weeki Wachee and its mermaid show was a private business until Walt Disney World attracted the patrons, leaving Weeki Wachee to suffer financially. The state of Florida took over, saving the mermaids’ jobs. And now you can swim and kayak in the crystal clear springs.

Tombstone & Bisbee, Arizona. We did this once on a cross-country road trip, but weren’t able to spend as much time there as we wanted to, so we’d like to do it again. The ghosts of The Birdcage Theater had fun with several changes of our camera batteries (way before iPhones), draining them every few minutes (good business for the attached gift shop). We’d really like to see Bisbee’s The Shady Dell vintage trailer park. Justin Scarred of Randomland Adventures has a great video of The Shady Dell’s tiki bus! Here it is…

Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania to see a reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.

French Azilum and the Marie Antionette Overlook in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, near Towanda. Kat’s family has genealogical history there, and Kat has visited Towanda and French Azilum with relatives, but the rest of the fam has not.

Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati, Ohio. 200,000 square feet of super kitschy grocery shopping! Gift shops, boutiques, restaurants and conveniences.

Lehman’s Hardware Store in Kidron, Ohio. Billed as the world’s largest “low tech” store, the 35,000 square foot facility specializes in new replicas of old-style technologies, plus pretty much everything else needed for farm or home, workshop to kitchen. Centered in a large Amish region of Ohio, it has become a tourist attraction of its own, with 500,000 visitors annually. Imagine taste-testing the 70 varieties of root beer available …

Jellystone National Park, Boo Boo! We’ll settle for Yellowstone instead, I guess. Hopefully we’ll get to see it before it blows and wipes out the North American continent, and Earth along with it.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the synchronous fireflies. Kat, being a SoCal native, feels she’s really missed out on all the ethereal summer blinky stuff for the last few decades. Fireflies are a must when we choose a place to live, so we won’t be choosing anywhere west of the Rockies.



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