After leaving Cross Creek this morning we passed through Sunbury, OH where the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial is located. The Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial was founded in 2005 by several local Veterans who wanted to build a memorial to pay tribute to all of the Ohio men and women in uniform who have died in the Global War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001. It was dedicated on June 30, 2007. There are some 280 crosses at the memorial today with the most recent date of a soldier’s death of July 2013. Pictures and an obit for each are displayed at http://www.ohiofallenheroes.org/about/ohios-fallen-heroes.php.
As I was looking for a place to stop for lunch, we passed an old train station that caught my eye. We turned around and arrived at the Unusual Junction. It occupies a historic train station built in 1895. The original train station has been restored, and it’s decorated with antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia, including a sign from the set of the PRICE IS RIGHT that is autographed by Bob Barker. The ceiling and walls are covered with record album covers, for the youngsters on the mailing list, these enclosed vinyl disks that you put on a turn table to play music way back when. Included in the building are a retro 50's diner called the Lava Rock, a Train Depot gift shop, and a gourmet deli. The store and deli features Ohio's largest selection of hot sauces and mustards, spices, as well as Amish and other locally-made cheeses, deli meats, trail bologna, candies. Right next to the depot is the Universe Bride and Prom Boutique. Outside is a decorated VW van, the Statue of Liberty, and a tiny church. The food in the Lava rock Grill wasn’t too bad.
Since we wanted to get to Big Spring Farm tonight, we jumped on the I77 and I70 after lunch to make up some time. Before leaving Ohio, we passed quite a few exploration drilling rigs along the highway looking for oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale. The oil activity in Southeastern Ohio seems to have really pumped up the economy with lots of new stores, restaurants, and shopping centers. Once we got into Pennsylvania we had to leave the Interstate. Leaving Connellsville on US 119, we had to climb a steep hill to Cedar Ridge. It was so steep that I didn’t think that Winnie was going to make it. It was probably the worst hill we had to climb on the entire trip. Thankfully it was mostly down hill to Big Springs Farm and we arrived just before the rain. The farm is beautiful with the Rhododendrons and laurel still in bloom. We are looking forward to getting together with Cindy, Kyle, Annie, Finn, Shane, Jess, and Jared for the weekend. Stay tuned.