As much as I enjoy giving Ohio a hard time, it does have some redeeming qualities.

Like 2.

Ohio has approximately 2 redeeming qualities.

One of them is that it is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which we knew we’d enjoy visiting.

Of course, since we were coming all the way from Southern Illinois, we had to make a pit stop to break up the long drive, so we stopped for a night at the the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio. We pretty much had it to ourselves, which was terrific.

We’ve found these fairgrounds to be nice options for short stays. They’re all over the the country and tend to be cheap, safe, and easy to maneuver.

Our next stop was another set of Fairgrounds, this one for Cuyahoga County. It is one of the few camping options near Cleveland, so it was busy, but served our needs well.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

On our one full day in Cleveland, we headed to the Hall of Fame.

The downside was we were there during the summer, so it was pretty crowded. It actually probably wouldn’t have been that bad if not for the shape of the building, but a cool looking exterior can mean a less-than-convenient interior. In the case of a pyramid-shaped building, it can mean sloping ceilings and crowded exhibit areas (because a lot of the space in the building isn’t really useable). So, that wasn’t great. But, if you can visit when it’s not tourist season, it’s a pretty cool place.

There are exhibits about the history and development of Rock & Roll – including early versions of the morality police yapping about how Elvis and his pelvis were corrupting the kids:

and a later version of the morality police yapping about how heavy metal, rap, punk, and every other kind of music were still corrupting the kids.

The museum chronicled the rise of rock’s various genres, sounds, and subcultures…

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as well as the evolution of musical styles and the importance of particular cities in the development of individual genres of music. These panels also captured the outsized influence certain artists brought to nascent styles and sounds.

Other sections of the museum offered individual displays about various inductees as well as assorted personal and professional artifacts:

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Honestly, I thought some of the displays were a bit lacking and could have done a better job presenting the artists – especially compared to what we saw at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

What was not lacking, however, was the profound sense of injustice that permeates this place.

Display after display reminded visitors of the incredible musicians the world lost too soon. Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, John Lennon, Prince, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain and more. All gone way before their time.

But Justin Bieber? You know that little punk is gonna live forever.

Sigh…

During our visit, the Hall of Fame was also featuring a special exhibit about Super Bowl halftime shows. The displays reminded visitors that until the mid 90’s, halftime shows were nothing of significance. It was Michael Jackson who, in 1993, started the trend of big name entertainers putting on complex, choreographed mini-concerts, that have only become more elaborate with time. The exhibit contained interviews from some of the producers and performers as well as costumes, props, and set pieces that should look familiar to anyone who has watched these events.

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Additionally, the exhibit recounted some of the most memorable moments from these shows – like Whitney Houston’s gold-standard rendition of the national anthem in 1991 or U2’s poignant post-9/11 tribute in 2002, or Prince’s iconic performance of Purple Rain in the pouring rain in 2007.

(I tried to embed the videos of these performances from Youtube in this post, but it won’t work because the stupid NFL claims it’s their intellectual property and Kevin is insisting that he will not take on the NFL’s legal department when they inevitably sue me for copyright infringement even though he totally could if he wanted to, so you’re just gonna have to go look these up yourself and if you feel like you’re wasting your time while you’re doing that, you can blame Kevin.)

Toward the top of the pyramid, there’s a room where all the inductees names are inscribed on the walls, listed by their induction year, as well as listening stations to hear samples of their music:

Finally, there’s a theater that shows footage from various induction ceremonies.

All in all, a fun place to visit – just don’t go in July.

New York

After our quick stop near Cleveland, we zoomed through a chunk of Pennsylvania and then started across New York. We stopped for the night at the very convenient Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, New York, where we found an absolutely enormous parking lot and friendly staff who were happy to let us stay. When we woke up the next morning, we found another RVer had come in late and parked behind us, a typical thing people do – safety in numbers and all.

Think there’s enough space for all of us?

It was a perfect place to take a break and we highly recommend it if you’re crossing New York.

Next up were a couple nights at a COE campground known as Tompkins Recreation Area just south of the NY/PA line in Lawrenceville, PA. This was another place where we had some good timing.

When we parked and set our jacks down, we realized something was off. So we tried to retract them, but they wouldn’t budge. That’s not good.

It was late in the afternoon, so we immediately called Tiffin Service and, fortunately, the technician was able to quickly diagnose the issue (shuttle valve on the hydraulic system went ker-plooey). He then walked Kevin through how to override it and release the jacks while ordering a new valve to be delivered to us asap. The lucky part was, immediately after the call, our cell phones lost connectivity. Turns out, we were in the middle of nowhere and our phones were roaming on some other network’s towers. Unfortunately, our particular data plan only offers a small amount of roaming and then cuts you off. (Stupid, but true.) Fortunately, we were able to get in touch with Tiffin, diagnose and solve the immediate problem, and get a long term fix figured out, just before our cell phones turned into pumpkins.

This was also another time we were so happy to be dealing with Tiffin. To call the main number of a huge company and have an actual living breathing human being pick up the phone and fix your problem in no time is amazeballs. Getting that competent human being on the line without having to fight through 8,000 rage-inducing automated messages first, and having it all happen at the very end of their business day, and then later realizing your cell phone was seconds away from becoming a useless pumpkin is chef’s kiss perfection! Thank you, Tiffin!

In general, Tomkins Recreation Area was a very nice park, but our plans to hike there fell apart because:

That’ll be a hard pass from me, thanks.

The Corning Museum of Glass

The reason we stopped at Tomkins was because we wanted to visit the Corning Museum of Glass. For those who are unfamiliar, it might sound boring, but this museum is highly acclaimed and offers a ton of interesting stuff, from colorless works of art:

Notice the 3D image produced inside the panes of glass?

to colorful works of art:

to the corollary works of art from my first grade project:

From intricate cut glass masterpieces:

to brilliant vases and bowls:

Old works of history and art:

to new:

But it’s not just a museum about pretty things. Glass is everywhere and affects all parts of our lives, from the mundane like street lights and light houses:

to the remarkable like fiber optics and satellites:

But yeah, there were plenty of day to day things too. From the bowls and containers you definitely had in your house in 1980:

to the wonderful Corelle dishes we currently use and love so much:

(Seriously, I bounce these things off the bottom of my sink at least 3 times a week and they never break! A true marvel!)

Speaking of marvels, check out this piece:

This is the largest cut glass punch bowl in the world. In order to create it, the artist had to design a pulley system capable of lifting and maneuvering the massive block of glass he started with, before he removed some 50 pounds of glass in order to create what is here. It took over 200 days to complete the project.

You would think the museum would have put this monument to exquisite precision on a large enough table to place the matching glasses in a perfect circle, but, alas, not so much. The circle isn’t perfect and there are extra glasses half-assedly (which is not a word, but I’m going with it anyway) placed inside the circle.

There should be a sign warning people who have OCD to avert their eyes.

Keepin On

After our quick stay near Corning, we continued east to a small campground we first stayed at in 2017. Arrowhead Marina and RV Park stands out because of its unique design (with sites facing outward from hub and spoke style circles) and incredibly lush, green surroundings.

We spent two days in Schenectady just catching our breath and taking care of our normal life stuff before packing up and hitting the road for one final push.

And then, just as we might have expected, the place we’d left some two years earlier welcomed us home with a characteristic view:

Ah, the East Coast. It was good to be back.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Correction to my typo in my previous response….
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame looks pretty interesting. I was wondering what genre you liked but as I read through I got a sense of what it was….apparently not Justin! I am not a fan of rap, I wonder what history will describe it as based on the fact they said the same thing about Elvis.
    Feel free to delete my other comment!

    • I have weird taste in music since I grew up with older brothers who exposed me to a consistent supply of classic rock, but I was also a child of the 80’s, so I loved pop music as well. I like to think I can appreciate all different kinds of music – from country to classical, but my go-to’s have always been rock and pop. As for Elvis, I think the point is every generation thinks the kids are gonna be ruined by whatever is popular at the time (music, movies, videogames, etc.), and every generation grows up just fine and then judges the next generation’s taste in entertainment.

  2. I love that Corning Museum info. What beautiful pieces of glass! And that COE! Beautiful! That traffic! Ugh! We always know when we’re approaching civilization again because traffic definitely picks up. I hope you are enjoying the east coast and family time. We’re still enjoying it, but are starting to miss family time, mountains and wide open spaces that we enjoyed in the West. Take care and Happy Turkey Day to you and Kevin.

    • Yep, it’s not like there’s not traffic in other cities around the country, but the east coast just has a lot of cities and a lot of old roads that were not designed for the populations they now serve, and it starts to feel like you can’t get a break from it. Driving out west is so much easier in these motorhomes. BUT, our friends and families are here and we’ve really, really been enjoying spending so much time with everyone. So I totally hear you on wanting to get back to the best of all worlds for you which is out there.

      Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. The glass museum looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing. We haven’t been east since 2016 (the very start of our full-time life), we definitely have much more to see and do out there.

    • It sounds like you are due for a trip east! There’s a ton of great stuff to see and do, but it can definitely be a bit more of a challenge. Of course, once you’ve driven to Alaska, dealing with anything out this way is a piece of cake!

  4. Laura, really enjoyed your take on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We wanted to go there, but we are still a bit on the shy side going into building for any length of time. Since march 2020, we have missed al to of wonderful museums. We just got our booster, so we are considering easing up on our policy of no inside experiences. Sure wish we had made that decision when we were close to this museum. Thanks for sharing. I think we also would have enjoyed the glass museum. We have not yet made it to that part of New York, so we have placed it on our ‘wish list’ map for future consideration. Fun read as always and I agree with your choice not to go on that hike 🤔 Jim

    • Hey Jim,

      Rest assured, we have been pretty careful with where we go, when we go, and how we go. All of this travel occurred over the summer in those few months when things were looking good, we were freshly vaccinated, and the CDC had said fully vaccinated people didn’t even need to wear masks anymore. By the time we were in St. Louis, the Delta variant was spreading, but we kept an eye on local numbers for the places we were visiting and made individual decisions about where to go and what to do – and we always wear KF-94 masks. We actually ended up staying in DC longer than we had planned this Fall because we wanted to stay where numbers were lower and where people took precautions, but now that we’re both boosted, we’re feeling pretty confident again. It all just depends on where we are and what’s going on around us. Hopefully these boosters will provide long lasting protection and everyone can start to feel more confident again.

      Anyway, I hope you eventually do make it back east and check out both of these museums. They are both right up your alley. Hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  5. I wonder if you could have scooted down to the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton to lodge a complaint about the stupid law prohibiting your use of their videos? As a native Buckeye, I’ve been to neither. Isn’t it weird how we travelers get more out of local than locals? About those punchbowl glasses — those dummies could have just made a perfect circle and not displayed the rest. No one would have known! All of your campsites look positively stellar. Can’t wait for the next installment!

    • As someone who lived in Washington, DC for 20 years, I can absolutely attest that people always ignore the amazing things in their own backyards The only times we ever went to the monuments or museums was when we had visitors in town. Of course, on the other hand, as locals, we knew which places were worthwhile and which places were just overpriced tourist traps, so we still did alright.

      And you are absolutely correct about the glasses. Just put the extras in a bathroom and use them to hold your toothbrush or something. No one will ever know!!!

  6. As Joodie said…travelers get more out of local than locals! We’ve been to Cleveland more times than I can count, on business, and we never made it to the Hall of Fame. We did finally get to Corning Glass and loved the experience. I’m insane about beautifully cut glass so I was in heaven and didn’t even notice the poorly placed punch glasses! The last time we were at the Tompkins COE park we were reminded of how happy we were to have Beluga. The family across from our site, two adults, three children and a lively puppy, were tenting and depending on a wood fire to cook all their food. Giving the kids a real rustic experience no doubt. Anyway, shortly after we arrived the heavens opened and it poured all evening and night. We sat, high and dry, eating delicious warm lasagna and red wine, watching tv in our nice leather chairs and watched them huddling around a spitting, steaming fire before all jamming damply into their small tent. sigh.

    • Oof. That brings back memories. Soggy memories. We used to tent camp quite frequently in our 20s, and had multiple experiences involving monsoon like rains – tents and tarps and mud and bugs. Ugh. Not fun at all. We’re actually always amazed by the RVers who insist on sitting outside even when the weather is terrible. Hot, humid, sticky, rainy… there are always a few hardy souls sitting out under their awnings – being miserable. LOL.

  7. We’ve wanted to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but not enough to warrant the trip. It’s always amazing some of the great bands that actually aren’t in there (like Boston). If people were horrified by Elvis’s pelvis, imagine if they had seen Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke twerking!!

    So glad you went to the Corning museum. My folks always raved about it. And yes, I was twitching wanting to fix those stupid cups!!!

    • Wow – you’re right. Boston isn’t in the HOF, is it? That’s weird. I wonder if there are industry type politics that play a role in who gets in and who doesn’t. Probably.

      Corning was really interesting and given your appreciation for glass art, you should definitely visit. They had a couple demonstrations going as well, but my pictures weren’t great, so I didn’t post them. Anyway, certainly a worthwhile long weekend trip for you guys, especially since the nearby downtown is cute and pedestrian friendly.

  8. What an amazing series of lucky breaks you had with your jack issue! That could have been a terrible, difficult, time-consuming issue to resolve and instead it was just a blip along the way. It reminds me of the time our electric jack failed so we couldn’t unhitch, but we happened to be parked within walking distance of a Wal-Mart (for the first time in several months) and easily procured tools to solve the issue.

    The Corning Museum is definitely on our list for a future visit, so thanks for giving us a good idea of what we have to look forward to. We, too, are major fans of our Corelle dishes. We have no plans to ever return to porcelain/china again!

    • Yes, exactly! Had we not been able to get the jack issue dealt with ourselves, we would have had to call roadside assistance and who knows how that would have gone? Jacks and slides always scare the crap out of me because if they fail, you can’t go anywhere, and we were only there for 2 nights, so we wouldn’t have had much time no matter what. And we can’t solve any problems without a cell connection. So having that all work out was huge!

      The Corning Museum was great – especially because it had such a variety of exhibits. I was expecting art and dishes… I hadn’t even considerer things like fiber optics. Fascinating stuff.

  9. We haven’t even been to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and we still found things to like in Ohio, LOL. On to NY: We loved the Corning Museum of Glass!! It was one of the coolest museums we’ve been to—as you said, a glass museum sounds like it would be a snooze fest, but it was SO beautiful and interesting. Unfortunately, on the day we visited I was distracted by dealing with phone calls from my folks and had to bail on the tour. So thanks for your tour and great photos—now I want to go back! I do remember that insane punch bowl. How did you stop yourself from straightening the cups?

    Glad you had such good service from Tiffin. And before your phone turned into a pumpkin, haha!! I am so aggravated by 1) automated customer service, 2) being put on hold for 30 minutes listening to horrible music, 3) not being able to understand the person I finally get to talk to…AARGH.

    • I generally pride myself on being able to keep my shit, but I completely lose it with those damned automated menus. By the 32nd minute of trying to get a person on the line, I just start hitting random buttons and yelling “HUMAN!!!!” into the phone. It’s not pretty, but it eventually gets me the results I want. LOL.

      As for the damned cups, the display is sealed on the top – so even if some enterprising soul wanted to remove the offending cups, say, with a fishing pole (Yes, I thought about this), they couldn’t. It truly seems like whoever designed the exhibit just wanted to mess with people.

  10. Thanks for the good info on the NY areas you visited-especially the Corning Museum. That is on our list for our Northeast plans next summer. So glad to hear that Tiffin came through for you, and as for that cell signal timing….our motto is “better to be lucky than good! ” Safe travels😊

    • Haha. I like that motto. It has definitely applied to our travels more than once!

      I’m sure you will enjoy this part of the northeast when you visit next year. It’s really quite pretty up there and there’s plenty to see and do.

      Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

  11. People are funny! We always try to get as far away as possible from other campers, yet, like in your casino experience, some people like to crowd others. It annoys us terribly, especially when we were on our sailboat, anchored in a massive bay for peace and quiet. And then some French dude anchors right on top of you. Not only do you stare at the ass of his boat, but also at his naked ass! And, you can’t pick up and leave, because he’s on top of where you dropped your own anchor. Unsafe as well as unattractive. Anyway, the reason it bothers us with campers is when they run their generator. I need a sign on our camper: “Stay awake if running a generator often!”

    Amazing museums. Thanks for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame review. We zoomed by Cleveland earlier this fall. It was tempting for me to stop, but Mark was sick of driving through cities after New York State (we stopped near Schenectady as well to visit a friend) and the entrance fee was steep. Maybe another time!

    That same friend told us about Corning and its glassy reputation. Cool museum once more. So, after five years, our Corelle bowls finally broke. It took leaving a cabinet unlatched, driving over enormously bumpy backroads, and have the entire set of plates and bowl bounce off the shelf, against the bathroom door, and onto the ground. Three of the four bowl broke. The plates survived. The mess on the ground resembled splintered glass everywhere. Yeah… Took a while to take care of and prevent bloody hands, feet, and paws. Other than my fingers when picking up the bigger pieces.

    • I know the whole “parking too close” thing is a huge issue for people who boondock a lot. We just do free overnights occasionally, so it doesn’t bother us, but if we staked out a piece of nature only to have random people show up and park right next to us, we would most definitely be irritated too. This guy who came into the casino parking lot was so quiet, we didn’t even know he was there until the next morning, so it was no bother.

      As for Corelle, it’s interesting to know that when they do break, they really break. We honestly haven’t lost one yet, but I’m surprised to learn they shatter when they do. Good to know. Those glass splinters are especially scary when you have paws wandering around. As much as we might try, we’ll never convince Thor to wear shoes!

  12. Two of my favorite midwest/eastern places, the R&R Hall of Fame and the Corning Glass Museum! Love your photos (and especially that one featuring a fresnel lens, one of my glass obsessions). And yeah, totally with you on the hard pass for that hiking trail. I forgot it’s that time of year in the east. Out here in the desert, it’s all coyotes singing to the moon; I haven’t seen a deer in weeks!

    • It always boggles my mind that there are hiking trails in hunting areas, or hunting areas surrounding hiking trails. It just feels like that should be an either/or proposition. But, what do I know? As for coyotes, those things are freaky as all hell. If I were a deer, I’d make tracks and get the heck out of there too!

  13. Love the Corning Museum of Glass. we lived all of our pre RV lives in Rochester NY and made regular trips to Corning for the museum and for the various glory holes along the main street. You have a picture of a very large glass “wheel” that you didn’t comment on. It is the cracked version of the mirror that is the primary mirror of the largest single mirror telescope. Located on Mount Palomar. It is quite a story. Another very special museum not far from Corning is the Glenn A Curtiss Aviation Museum in Hammondsport. He was building and flying aircraft at the same time as the Wright Brothers and was in the forefront of aviation as we entered the first World War. He also built an early fifth wheel which is on display in the museum. The tow vehicle was a sedan with a hole in the roof for the tow connection. When we cross NY State we tend to travel US 20 since it is a good local road with much less traffic than Interstates.

    • That’s funny: my brother went to school at RIT, so I spent some time up in Rochester many years ago. I can imagine wanting to be south of there, somewhere…anywhere… warm, this time of year. LOL. Thanks for the info on the Curtiss Museum. It certainly sounds pretty intriguing and like it would offer many of the things we find interesting. I would especially love to see this crazy fifth wheel. Wouldn’t it be fun to show these early inventors what became of their ideas? Speaking of telescope mirrors, have you been to the Mirrors Lab in Tucson? I’m not sure if they’re still doing tours these days, but if so, I think it might be right up your alley. https://www.chapter3travels.com/so-much-to-do-in-tucson/

  14. Yup, we like the secret fair grounds for camping in popular areas as well. Also have started using city owned RV parks more than ever as long as route planning shows them easy to get in and out.

    Just had Tiffin involved in a repair as well. They build our 5th wheel. Excellent results as well. I like the let’s get it done attitude. In our case Lippert wanted us to jump through a lot of hoops on a warranty item. Tiffin (Vanleigh) took care of it by driving parts to us in the area then said forget Lippert, they will handle them.

    Planning a trip to DC from Florida this spring. Made use of your prior posts, thanks for that. Figure we will head up to Bristol Tennessee first via Ashville I-40 (small tunnel) then east on -I-81 which looks doable per the mountain director. Then cut over to DC.

    Mark from Missouri (Kansas City) – Which we would have been in the area when you toured!

    • Hey Mark!

      It’s so good to hear that Tiffin’s excellent customer service has extended to its sister companies. There has been a lot of concern among owners that the sale to Thor Industries would wreck everything, but so far, nothing has really changed (as far as we’ve seen). Big relief, and I’m happy to hear you all had a good experience too.

      We, too, have liked city parks (and county, and state), oftentimes more than the private places. We don’t care much about the typical campground “amenities” – we just want clean and safe and a little bit of space for a reasonable price. The government run parks typically offer those things and have rarely let us down.

      Glad to hear you’ve gotten some use out of my prior posts. Let me know if you need any other info. DC was my stomping grounds for 20+ years.

  15. HA! – You give Ohio such a bad wrap! It does have a few good days every year. But rally crappy wine.
    We’ve been to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, but Corning looks way better – thanks for the tip.

  16. That is amazing service, way to go Tiffin! I’m glad you were able to get the jacks sorted out quickly. The Corning Museum of Glass is definitely going on my bucket list, it sounds like a great place to visit.

    • We were glad to get it sorted out quickly too. I know you all have been there with those kinds of problems and it’s never fun to deal with. The museum was excellent and well worth a visit if you find your way out east!

  17. That punchbowl display would have given Jim a mental wedgie, too.

    You guys find the most fascinating museums and attractions. We will check out the museum when we go through – even though we don’t use corning ware in the trailer. We tried using it, but somehow I manage to break the stuff – and when it breaks it shatters into a gazillion little tiny pieces which slip into every teeny-tiny aperture of the trailer and it takes weeks to clean up the corning ware dust.

    Too bad we missed you guys in Almost East Coast. Looks like we were criss-crossing each other.

    Hugs to Thor.

    – Carmen

  18. We enjoyed our visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was many years ago that stopped and lucky for John, there was a special John Lennon and the Beatles display that was an entire floor with a movie. We lived in northern PA for three years and visited Corning several times. I went mainly to watch the glass making areas. I loved watching items being made. It’s also has a nice street over the bridge for strolling and having dinner. Glad you made it back east safely.

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