Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cleveland Sort Of

I have a Fitbit. I put it on the belt of my pants and it records the number of steps I take every day. I try to get in 10,000 steps at least which is about five miles, give or take. I have finally gotten to a park that has laundry machines and I'm so excited that I will finally have clean clothes, I throw everything into the washer. Yup, even my Fitbit. It got washed, it got dried. The amazing thing is it still worked. I then discovered that one wash and dry cycle gets logged as 10,410 steps. Hmmm – it occurs to me that all I need to do is wash clothes everyday and I will never have to take another step. Brilliant. I suppose that is probably not quite in the spirit of Fitbits and physical fitness but it is something to keep in mind.

I've traveled a long way today – a total of about 2 hours to Punderson State Park which is just a little bit southeast of Cleveland. I have full hookups, I have the laundry, it is a good base park. My next door neighbors look sort of like survivalists, old army tents, a UPS-like van full of canisters of some sort, scruffy looking guys in overalls and suspenders. The women look rather hard scrabble. They turn out to be very quiet except for one loud gravelly voiced man who spent a great deal of time lamenting the loss of his woman.

Punderson State Park - Punderson Lake is right behind my site

I travel into town to go to the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. Garfield was the twentieth president of the U.S. and only served 200 days of his sentence before he was assassinated by a disgruntled office seeker. He was shot on July 2, 1881 and died on September 19, 1881. It turns out I was visiting this site on the anniversary of his death so they had his house all decorated with funeral swags. How lucky am I? I took a tour of the house and learned a lot about Garfield. It sounds like he was a brilliant self-made man. He was the last U.S. President to be born in a log cabin. One of his claims to fame was the initiation of civil service reform which helped get rid of some of the graft in the White House.  The two notable facts about the house is that Garfield campaigned for president on the front porch and after his death Lucretia, his wife, established the very first presidential library in the house.

The very first Presidential Library

The tour guide was wonderful, but this was the first national site that I have visited where the ranger lady was just sort of going through the motions of rangerdom. It was interesting, I had to interview her (Jr. Ranger requirement) and one of the questions I had to ask was “What is the best part of your job?” She came out with “Answering visitor questions” in a very short, curt dismissive manner. Well, ok then.

The David Berger National Memorial has the distinction of being the smallest park (listed as .01 acre)  in the National Parks system. David Berger was an Israeli-American wrestler who was killed when the Palestinian “Black September” terrorists took nine Israeli athletes hostage during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Germany. The statue is located on the grounds of the Mandel Jewish Community Center which looked like a extremely large fitness center based on the constant flow of people in their exercise clothes.

I think I was able to capture the whole National Memorial in one photo. 

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