Ford Tri-Motor Airplane

If you’ve ever wondered what a time machine looks like, I’m pretty sure I rode in one yesterday. This magic ride was in a nearly century old airplane called the Ford Tri-Motor.

Ford designed this plane in 1925, producing just 199 of them before suspending production in 1933.

Think about it. Just 199 of these planes were ever made. Many are museum pieces. Some have been lost to time.

Only a handful remain airworthy today and I got to ride in one!!

This plane is a product of a time when air travel was accessible only to the wealthy. You wouldn’t be allowed to board this plane in casual clothes as people were expected to dress up for travel. People wore their Sunday best when traveling and flying was an expensive, special occasion.

The plane is all metal construction with elegant wood paneling inside the cabin. The seats in this plane have been upgraded from the original wicker seats and were comfortable. There are curtains at the windows and each seat has a light and air conditioning. There’s even a lavatory in the back with an incredibly narrow door.

I have read that passengers back in the day were treated to lavish food and drinks even though I can’t imagine where that might have been stored in this cramped, narrow space.

Before taking off, our pilot demonstrated accessing the luggage hold – in the wings! That was a helpful reminder of how little baggage people carried with them back in the day. My typical carry-on bag would barely fit in there and would leave no room for anyone else’s stuff.

I was on the first flight of the day – there were twelve passengers including one who paid extra to sit in the co-pilot’s seat. I found it surprisingly comfortable given the age of the plane and the fact that three large motors are pretty noisy.

From inside this plane, looking out at a largely rural area below felt like I had slipped back a century to view the world in a whole new way.

You do fly relatively low. In this picture from around landing, it looks like the plane and the shadow are racing!

It was an extraordinary ride.

I also want to give my pilot credit for the most gentle landing I have ever experienced in any plane- big or small. It was smooth, like melted butter.

This plane is based at Port Clinton, Ohio. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) pays to travel with it, giving rides at local airports across the region every year. My friend Darlene is involved with the EAA and was key to bringing it to Chillicothe this weekend.

Want to take a ride? You can do it today at the Ross County, Ohio Airport or check the schedule for another upcoming opportunity. Check that out here. You can find information on other EAA events on their website too. And boy, they do some great events.

If you’re on the fence, it’s worth the drive, the money or whatever else you’re worried about. I seriously considered taking a second ride before we even landed. That’s how much I enjoyed the experience. Instead, I settled for watching it take off and land before heading out on the next part of my Saturday adventure.

If given the opportunity, I will absolutely go again and encourage you to go enjoy it as well. After all, how often do you get to fly in a time machine?

If you follow Make The Journey Fun on Facebook, you’ll find some videos there. Check them out!

Enjoy the Small Things

Remember when something so simple as a little change for the gumbball machine made your day?

It can still be that way if you allow it to happen.

This machine sits in a Chillicothe dinner called Carl’s Townhouse. Going there and seeing their counter is a simple pleasure for me.

Simple pleasures can be all sorts of things – finding a favorite candy from your youth in the checkout lane at the grocery, a few stolen moments to watch the sunrise, singing along to a favorite song- there is no right or wrong answer if it makes you happy.

Find a simple pleasure and go enjoy it today!

A Fun Surprise

Old cars in unexpected places are a delightful surprise to meanderers. This little gem is sometimes parked in downtown Chillicothe. Wrapping up a recent adventure I was headed toward my favorite antique mall when I just had to pull over for a snapshot.

It was mid-afternoon so the light was harsh and the sky was white but it still looks nice against the brick.

In addition to being a neat old car, it’s a pleasant reminder that you just never know what’s around the next corner and that sometimes there’s a fun surprise waiting in your own neighborhood!

Here’s a Quarter

pay phoneWhen was the last time you used a pay phone? With a cell phone in the pocket of nearly every American adult and many of the kids, pay phones have all but disappeared from the American streetscape.

And yet, if you stroll around downtown Chillicothe, you’ll find at least two of them. That’s how many I’ve seen anyway.

When I was in college in the late nineties, there were over two million pay phones in this country. One of them was in the basement of a classroom building I frequented and I often used it to call home.

Now there’s only about 100,000 phones left in this country and I have read that many remain profitable. In Chillicothe, the phones I’ve seen are outside government buildings where you have to assume a large volume of foot traffic keeps them busy.

It seems like such an oddity that I couldn’t help but stop and snap a picture. I kind of wanted to make a call but had no reason to and I’m enough of a germophobe I really couldn’t make myself touch the receiver. But it’s reassuring to know that they’re still around.

There was a time I could hardly picture a city street clear of payphones and now they’re such relics I stop and take a picture! My, how times have changed!