I’m getting a little nervous about making my date in Pittsburgh. Today I did 350 miles. The first 200 miles took 6 hours. The last 150 miles about 2.
So here are the highlights of the first 200 miles.
I started on the west side of Decatur and headed through town on Hwy 36. At the center of the older section of town I came across 5 churches in 3 blocks — all with steeples or bell towers. If you haven’t done much west — east travel you may not have noticed that the surest sign of having crossed the Mississippi River is that all of the buildings on Main Street are brick. Not just the banks, but the barbershop, the grocery, and the tire store.
Tuscola, IL has several grain elevators and at least three sets of RR tracks. Here are two of the elevators.
This is one of the smaller planters I saw today.
In South Dakota and Iowa getting stuck behind a planter on the road was not big deal. You never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to get to a clear bit of road to pass and there’s almost never on-coming traffic. In Illinois and Indiana you can wait a long time for a passing lane and even longer for for a spot with no on-coming traffic.
There is a spot in Indiana — Dana to be exact. That contains perhaps the world’s highest coefficient of WTF-itude.
Dana, ID is the boyhood home of Ernie Pyle.
There is a museum in Dana. Next to which is possibly the most illegible public mural I’ve ever seen.
On the grounds of the museum is this painted giraffe. Yes he is wearing two different uniforms, GI in the front and high school basketball in the back. Love the sweat socks.
With this even odder explanation. I mean giraffes? Pigs I understand, cows I’ve seen done, even hippos, but giraffes?
But wait — there’s more — at the right edge of the parking lot across the street from the museum is this sign.
Uh huh… let the entendres (double and beyond) begin.
One of the lovely things about being far enough back east is that there are woods. You know, clumps of trees, often surrounding a creek or pond. Like this little spot that I stopped at for a snack break.
It was 81 degrees and getting very muggy at 11 am.
A couple of hours later I stopped for lunch in Danville, IN. There’s an Italian place across from the courthouse called Frank’s Place. Forgive the mobster portraits on the walls. The Caesar salad with grilled chicken was lovely. My last stop was at the Courthouse Grounds for an iced latte.
On the actual courthouse grounds was one of the nicest veterans memorials I’ve seen this trip.
The sidewalk placement isn’t ideal but the design is just right.
Random bits from today’s notes.
I can’t see a sign for Terre Haute without remembering my Dad’s dreadful ‘terribly hot’ puns when we stopped there on a road trip to Colorado in perhaps 1968?
On I‑70 near Dayton OH there is a sign that says Xenia Urbana 1 mile. Clearly just the right name for a space hooker with a heart of gold for my next space opera.
The last 150 miles were on I‑70 between Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OH. Pure urban/suburban interstate hell. I still don’t understand how I blew past not one but two cops at 12 over the limit and didn’t get a blink. No, there was no one going faster than me at the time and yes, the second time I was re-emerging from passing an idiot in an Excursion on the right by using a friendly UPS freighter as a block. (Dude had the sweetest smile…)
View It’s a Big Dam Country — Day 9 in a larger map