Excursion 15, Part 1 (Up the Old Ohio)

In which our intrepid hero travels up a lazy river…

Typically, in introductions to blog entries such as this one, I have tried to evoke personal memories of years long since gone, but recently, the only memories easily evocable have been dreams of only a few short months ago, those naïve times before I had ever heard of terms like “polar vortex.”  After several years of very mild winters, the winter of 2013-2014 has been a shock to my system I still have not quite gotten used to.  Although we’ve had years with more snow, in terms of pure coldness, this is the nastiest winter we’ve had here in Ohio in 20 years and I guess I was getting spoiled.  As I type, though, the temperature is around 11 degrees, it has been snowing, the wind is whipping outside my window, and the forecast is telling me that two days from now the high temperature will be below zero and the low somewhere around 15 below.  In times like these, I can look at photographs such as these from early August 2013 and almost feel the warmth coming from them.

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Excursion 8, Part 4 (Depot Man)

In which our intrepid hero unexpectedly encounters the American Dantooine…

Although I have had a lifelong interest in military history and, indeed, advanced degrees on the subject, military battlefields have never interested me much.  I’ve been to a number of Civil War battlefields, for example. and my collective reaction has basically been “meh.”  I think the reason is because old battlefields, by the very nature of the warfare of earlier eras, were typically places where there wasn’t much of anything.  Given the linear nature of warfare  at the time, a typical battlefield might feature defensible terrain near a strategic location—unless, as at Gettysburg, the battle was an encounter battle, in which case the location might not even be significant at all.  Again, because of the nature of warfare at the time, the geography of the battlefields is also usually not that interesting.  However, military structures can be quite interesting indeed.  So when I unexpectedly came across an abandoned military base in northwestern Ohio, I was quite delighted.

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