One Day in the Rhineland :: Part I – Braubach
Braubach is a centuries-old village on the eastern side of the Rhine, south of Koblenz. Burial sites indicate this site has been inhabited for about 2,500 years. Up on the hill behind the town is the Marksburg Castle. The castle was first constructed in the 12th century and today it is the only castle from the days of knighthood to have never been destroyed, perhaps due to its favorable location on a steep, forested hill.
The town of Braubach was exactly what you’d expect of a small, quaint, old German village. Timberframe homes built along a brook, villagers leaning out their second-story windows to watch neighbors in lederhosen and tourists with maps make their way down the narrow, winding streets.
The Jack Frost 150 enduro race at Mercer Raceway in Mercer, PA, is a lot of fun as long as the weather is good. In 2010, it was literally 0 degrees that day. Ouch. But this year it was a thoroughly tolerable 40-some and sunny most of the day.
They’d had a lot of snow recently which melted and made the track really muddy. They used tractors to try and flatten and dry it out, but they could only do so much. Mud went flying every time the cars hit a wet spot. Some spectators were luckier than others.
The race started out with 53 cars. My newphew, Brian Rydbom, got off to a strong start. Most of the cars are pretty beaten up to begin with, so by lap 70 there were only 19 cars left in the race. Flat tires and sheet metal littered the track, clouds of smoke and the occasional fire emitted as the cars limped off the track.
Nineteen cars remained by lap 90, and only 10 crossed the finish line. My nephew placed 3rd. Another great day at the races!
The warden’s quarters, administration rooms, and library in the east wing at Ohio State Reformatory.
Plants at an old industrial site; witchgrass glowing in the winter sun and winterberry putting on a show.
The cells in the east block are built differently than the ones in the west block. Billed as “the world’s largest freestanding steel cell block,” it is indeed impressive. Six levels of steel cells with enclosed walkways around each level. You are cautioned about going in any of the cells and closing the door behind you since they don’t have working keys. The natural afternoon light in the room was beautiful, but this place is far from cozy.