A photo of a scale reproduction of the 1902 Wright brothers glider inside the museum

32 Days in America, Day 31


  • Miles traveled: 410.9
  • Miles traveled to date: 5629.6
  • States visited today: 3 – Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
  • States visited to date: 18
  • Tanks of gas pumped to date: 19
  • Meltdowns: 17
  • Loads of Laundry: 24
  • Illness: 5
  • Socks lost or destroyed: 7

Daily recap

Today, we checked out of our hotel shortly after 8am and rushed to Dayton, Ohio to visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park before it closed at 4pm, then rushed over to the National Museum of the US Air Force to see some of the planes before it closed at 5pm, then retired to our hotel for dinner and a swim.


  • Visiting the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park to learn about the Wright Brothers and the early history of aviation
A photo of Dillon filling out information in his Junior Ranger book in front of a wall of photographs of the Wright family
Dillon diligently gathering information about the Wright brothers and their family for the Junior Ranger book.
  • Getting (another) Junior Ranger badge
A photo of Grayson, Ainsley, Rayleigh, and Dillon taking the Junior Ranger pledge in front of a national park ranger
This Junior Ranger badge was special, because we got the stamp for doing both this Wright brothers historical site as well as the one in the Outer Banks within a year.
  • Going on an abbreviated tour of the National Museum of the US Air Force in the 30 minutes before it closed
A wide-angle shot of the hanger containing the World War 2 era planes, showing several planes on the ground as well as suspended from the ceiling
This was the World War II hanger of the National Museum of the US Air Force. Several dozen planes were on display here.

Other photos from today

A photo of Dillon and Rayleigh working on their Junior Ranger books in front of a timeline of aviation history
The timeline of early aviation history helped Rayleigh and Dillon answer the questions in their Junior Ranger books.
A photo of Dillon, Grayson, Ainsley, and Rayleigh jumping and making silly poses in front of a brick mural to the Wright brothers
The kids tried to get some air.
A photo of Rayleigh, Dillon, Ainsley, and Grayson posing next to a 20 foot long wind tunnel, which is wide at both ends and narrow in the middle
This wind tunnel was developed by the Wright brothers to test aerodynamism in a laboratory setting.
A photo of a Sopwith F.1 Camel biplane
This is a reproduction of the Sopwith F.1 Camel, which is the same model plane that French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry flew on his first solo flight when training with the French military. Saint-Exupéry went on to write several accounts of the early history of flight, but is most famous for writing The Little Prince.
A photo of a small biplane called the Bug with Ainsley posing in front of it
This was Ainsley’s favorite plane, and was one of the smallest on display.
A photo of Rayleigh posing under a brightly colored and mostly purple biplane suspended from the ceiling
This was Rayleigh’s favorite, but probably only because it matched her sweatshirt.
A photo of Grayson posing in front of a twin-engine biplane
Grayson thought this huge biplane was pretty cool.
A photo of a Ford Model T converted into an ambulance
It was cool to see a Ford Model T converted into a military ambulance at the National Museum of the US Air Force after having seen several Model Ts at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Florida a few weeks ago.
A photo of Dillon standing in front of an aircraft that looks like a combination of an airplane and a helicopter, with a front engine and prop, wings, and a four blade rotor on top
This is a Kellett K-2 Autogyro, which looks like a precursor to the helicopter, but works in a totally different way. The top rotor isn’t powered at all, and spins as a result of upward-moving wind generated from its forward thrust.
A photo of Kevin standing in front of a plane painted bright blue and yellow
This plane has panache.
A photo of Grayson standing in front of an airplane tire laying on its side, which is nearly as tall as he is. The sign on top reads "XB-19 main landing gear wheel and tire, the world's largest in the early 1940s"
Grayson found an airplane tire nearly as thick as he is tall.
A photo of Grayson standing in front of a plane with an eye and mouth with jagged teeth painted on the side
Grayson isn’t intimidated.
A photo of Kelsey standing in front of a plane that says "Strawberry Bitch" on the side
Kelsey posing with a creatively named plane.
A photo of a Spitfire aircraft
This is a Supermarine Spitfire, a British plane.
A photo of Ainsley, Grayson, and Rayleigh posing under two overlapping aircraft wings
Earlier the kids saw a wind tunnel, and remarked that this was a “wing tunnel.”

And now for your moment of zen…

A photo of Grayson, Kelsey, Ainsley, Rayleigh, Dillon, and Kevin posing under a sign at an Amtrak station that says "Effingham, IL"
It’s a sign!





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