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Bucfan

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Posts posted by Bucfan


  1. I have submitted to Meet-O-Matic. The only weekend that is definitely out for me right now is the weekend of April 26. However, my 10-year-old plays soccer on Sundays in April and May, and that could mean that we only join you for part of the cruise. But I'll have to wait and see the soccer schedule.

     

    I will stop by the Woodridge and take a look and report back to you what I find. If you stay there, I would recommend stopping for dinner at Kleptz's Restaurant in Seelyville, a few miles east of the motel. I haven't eaten there, but I've never heard a bad word about the place. And the owner is a car collector, as well.

     

    Let me make another suggestion, as well. It's a little more pricey, but Terre Haute has a new Hilton Garden Inn on the site of the former Terre Haute House, at the old junction of U.S. 40 and U.S. 41, the historical "Crossroads of America." Within walking distance are a handful of locally owned restaurants/watering holes -- the Saratoga (restaurant/bar), Crossroads Cafe/La Familia Di Jeshua (homemade pizza, calzones, etc.), the Copper Bar (housed in a historic building; the bar is from the old Terre Haute House), and The Terminal (sports bar, food's iffy, but housed in the historic former bus terminal), and of course, the world famous Square Donuts (for breakfast the next day).

     

    Shameless plug warning!!!

     

    You can read a little bit more about most of those places here.

     

    End shameless plug

     

    Also, you might consider stopping for a root beer float at Lynn's Soda Fountain in downtown Brazil on your way through. Owned by a pharmacist and sitting right next door to the pharmacy, it includes a nice display of old medical/pharmaceutical items.


  2. I was coaching my son's fourth-grade basketball team at the local Boys Club in Terre Haute when the storm rolled through.

     

    The Boys Club sits on U.S. 41 just north of downtown. Midway through the fourth quarter the gym went dark when (and I'm speculating here) a billboard that towers over 41 about a block away came apart in the high wind and a piece or pieces struck power lines. TV showed debris from the billboard littering the roadway.

     

    Unfortunately, the Boys Club canceled the rest of our game (even though the lights came back on). We were trailing 18-16 with 3:45 to play when the lights went out. WE WUZ ROBBED!!!

     

    This morning I hear that we are now expecting 4 to 8 inches of snow between Thursday and Friday evening. And we are supposed to be driving Friday afternoon to Muncie for a college job fair (my girlfriend will be interviewing the students) on Saturday.

     

    You can bet I'll avoid the interstate if the weather is that bad Friday.


  3. "GPS is a great tool but they still like to be able to pull over and thumb through a map. I don't know what is going to happen. I'd like to think someone will pick it up."

     

    This is the final quote from the story above.

     

    What about it folks? I know we all have an affinity for historic maps as we search out abandoned alignments and such, but when you need or want to look something up on a current map, do you use digital or paper?

     

    Personally, I have one of those large Road Atlases as well as an Indiana Gazetteer sitting right next to the computer. I'll dive for that long before I go to Google for a map, unless I need to zoom way in, say, on a street address of a business.

     

    If I'm reading a travel magazine, I'll usually grab the atlas as well, because most travel mags haven't figured out how helpful it is to readers to include a small map of the area the article is about.

     

    And of course, no trip is complete without my atlas. I've already seen and heard enough of a friend's TomTom to know that I do not need nor will I ever want want in my own vehicle. If I can't figure out how to get where I want to go by reading a map, I shouldn't be driving.


  4. I have a question for DennyG (or anyone else who might know ...)

     

    We also drove U.S. 41 from Hopkinsville in November, except we took the old 41 that runs on the north side of I-24.

     

    Not once, but twice did we see pink elephants along the way -- once just outside Hopkinsville and again at the junction of 41 and U.S. 79 near Guthrie, Ky., just above the Tennessee state line.

     

    So what's up with the pink elephants in this neck of the woods? Anybody know?


  5. For the rest of you all, if you're in the midwest I HIGHLY encourage you to visit Sal's http://scenicroadrallies.com site and try one.

     

    I did and I hope to.

     

    It's been nearly 20 years since I ran in a road rally. They were great fun (even have a trophy around here somewhere for a runner-up finish in one).

     

    Have my eye on several dates that I might be able to make, especially the Butternut Run rally that begins and ends at the Sherman House in Batesville. Stayed there a couple of years ago and the rally would be a great excuse to visit again.


  6. Mobilene,

     

    I'm half way to Indy, but it looks like I'm going to have to find a motor court for the night. We'll finish the rest of the trip tomorrow.

     

    A couple things from today's readings ...

     

    The old Palace Theater in South Bend is indeed gorgeous. (I actually said "Wow" out loud when I first saw the pictures.)

     

    Also, Green Oak, south of Rochester, according to a map I have here, was at the intersection with CR 400 S, which I think is the more southern of the two possibilities you marked on your map.

     

    Looking forward to the rest of the trek ...


  7. Unfortunately, the only copy of Red Barchetta I have is on cassette and all of my old cassette players have bit the dust ... so I'm forced to listen to "A Show of Hands" on CD to get a Rush fix ...

     

    And, yes, as another member of the Class of '81 (from the Midwest), I too wore out my "Moving Pictures" tape. Actually, it was Red Barchetta and the rest of that album that really made me a fan of Rush.

     

    I definitely remember cranking up the stereo when no one else was home, getting out the air guitar and playing in the basement family room ...

     

    Yeah, those were the days.


  8. For summer of 2008, I have set my sights on the Ohio River Scenic Byway from Cincinnati east to where you cross over into West Virginia at Huntington, then U.S. 60 through Charleston and east to at least its junction with I-64. From there, it will depend on how much time we have left before we have to head home.

     

    The spring trip will be another run south to Alabama to visit with grandchildren, so maybe a little more exploration of U.S. 41 in Kentucky (we'll be going through Hopkinsville again, DennyG; Round Table Literary Park will definitely be on the itinerary this time) and U.S. 31 through Tennessee and Alabama will be in store.

     

    Bucfan


  9. To all of the members of the American Road forum who have joined since the first of November, the first thing I want to say to you is "Hello." (See, that's easier than going in the other thread and creating multiple posts to every new member ...)

     

    The second thing I want to say to you all is ... Don't do what I did. Don't stay away from this forum for two months because you're too busy with other projects. The things you'll miss are amazing.

     

    Because I haven't kept up with this forum for awhile, I now have to:

     

    Read Mobilene's road trip article on U.S. 31 in northern Indiana.

     

    Read DennyG's recap of the fall cruise in southern Indiana (which I missed because we had to go to Alabama to visit the new grandbaby that arrived in late October).

     

    View hundreds of road photos in babyboomerbob's albums.

     

    Check to see where Jennifer's travel bug has gotten to.

     

    View Roadmaven's Illinois Route 66 photos.

     

    Read Denny's tale of his Thanksgiving trip to Nashville.

     

    Not to mention, actually posting a few times, like to my brethren who were members of the Class of '81. (Yep, me too ... '81 RULES!!!) But first, I must put some Rush on the CD player to get in the proper frame of mind ...

     

    And please note, I've only made it as far as the thread on U.S. 40 (I couldn't go any further after reading about the 40 Diner closing in Plainfield, Ind.). Who knows what treasures are hiding further down the forum list.

     

    So, take it from me, check in here at least every couple of days, or you'll find yourself hopelessly behind without a prayer of ever getting caught up with everyone's road chronicles.

     

    Bucfan


  10. We've been geocaching for a little more than four years now. We're not quite as addicted as some, but we're nearing 400 total "finds." This weekend we are going to visit the new granddaughter in Effingham, Ill., and hope to find some of the 40 geocaches that have been placed along U.S. 40 between the Indiana-Illinois state line and Effingham in honor of the 40th birthday of one of the area's more prolific geocachers. As a matter of fact, several are hidden along the old brick stretches of U.S. 40 Mobilene recently documented in a road trip report.

     

    We also enjoy the "low-tech" version of treasure hunting known as letterboxing. It is very similar to geocaching, except rather than using a GPS and longitudes and latitudes to find the "treasure," a set of clues are given which, when followed properly, lead you to the letterbox.

     

    We have found that geocaching/letterboxing is the perfect complement to a road trip. While some geocaches are hidden at interstate rest stops and in urban areas, the vast majority are placed in off-the-beaten path places, in parks, cemeteries, near places of historical value, interesting geologic areas, etc., giving us just one more reason to explore the backroads.

     

    We have a page at Redhighways.com that gives more info on geocaching and letterboxing and the differences between the two.

     

    Also, try Letterboxing.org and Atlasquest for letterboxing resources.

     

    By the way, Jennifer, check out the geocaches named Retail Bliss Nos. 1-3 just off I-465 at the Allisonville exit. We did these on New Year's Eve a couple of years ago. It's a nice wooded area with a lake that's tucked in behind a strip mall. Makes for a quiet little hike amid all of the hustle and bustle. Hopefully, they are still hidden there.


  11. I just posted in another thread that we indeed have discussed taking I-39 from Bloomington-Normal north through Rockford to get to Wisconsin. We came home from southwestern Wisconsin by that route in July, spending the night in Starved Rock State Park Lodge, and found it to be much less stressful than dealing with Chicago.

     

    I have driven U.S. 30 from Chicago Heights to U.S. 41 just over the Indiana state line. It is a relief from the crowded interstate, but still carries a lot of traffic and includes many stoplights.


  12. Just picked up the book at the local library. I appreciate the size of the book ... it was hard to miss in the "New Non-Fiction" section because it hangs out off the end of the shelf. It more or less just jumped into my hands.

     

    So far, my only experience with the Lincoln is a short stretch from its junction with U.S. 41 west into Illinois, then north into Chicago. Bypass the south side that way.

     

    From reading this thread, my guess is the book will make me want to start planning the next road trip ...


  13. Me thinks our next American Road forum gathering (midwest region!) might have to be at French Lick/West Baden. Not only are the hotels there, but the Indiana Railway Museum has a nice train riide that takes you through a 1500 foot tunnel.

     

    Count us in, too, depending on actual dates.

     

    We're already planning a trip down the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Planning ... yeah, that's a good one. Actually, the better half said she wanted to see the B.B. King concert at French Lick that day; that I was to order tickets and that I would be taking her. There wasn't any planning to it. I just follow orders. :D


  14. Just a couple of blocks west and of the Madonna (on 6th) is the Depot. I've only eaten there once but enjoyed it. Even though it looks a little fancy, the prices are very reasonable. The owner keeps (or did in May) XM's Bluesville playing; A fact that I appreciated much more than my waiter.

     

    We're saddened to report that the following appeared in the Effingham, Ill., newspaper about a week ago ...

     

    Vandalia Depot destroyed by fire

     

    VANDALIA — A fire raged through the Vandalia Depot Monday morning shutting

    down railroad traffic and leaving the building unstable.

    Firefighters were called to the scene at 5:45 a.m. Monday to find smoke

    rolling from the building, which was the former train terminal for the

    Fayette County seat. In recent years, the depot was a restaurant owned by

    Debbie Hamel.

    The fire consumed the entire depot roof and Vandalia Fire Chief Merle

    Adermann considers the nearly 85-year-old building a total loss.

    As firefighters approached the building, smoke filled the building and the

    entire parking lot, said Adermann.

    According to Adermann, as he was conducting a

    walkaround of the building’s perimeter an explosion occurred, blowing a set of doors off the building and

    some soffit off the structure. Adermann suspects the explosion was caused by a backdraft

    from built-up smoke and heat in the attic.

    “I was about 16 to 20 feet from the double doors when it

    exploded,” said Adermann, relieved the fire did not cause any injury.

    “In 31 years I have never had that happen,” he said.

    Since the building is located near train tracks, authorities

    are concerned the vibrations of passing trains could threaten the damaged building’s

    stability. Adermann said the railroad shut down the track while firefighters

    extinguished the fire.


  15. Hopefully you'll be able to add photos sometime.

     

    I am notoriously bad at trying to fit in way too many activities when we go on one of these trips. Unfortunately, it means we don't take the time to get pictures when it's getting late. This trip was no different. On the other hand, because we were running so late one day in Iowa, we had to go to our hotel in Dubuque and then backtrack to Dyersville the next morning. That's when I stumbled onto the two-lane stretch of U.S. 20. So, I guess you have to take the good with the bad ...

     

    Anyway, the second leg of U.S. 14 has been posted, as well as the second leg of our trip up Missouri 79 from Clarksville to Hannibal. Most of this stretch is also known as the Little Dixie Highway of the Great River Road, a national scenic byway along the Mississippi River. Also, I've added an article on the Inn at Eagle's Nest under unique lodging.

     

    There's a few more pictures with the Missouri articles than with U.S. 14, including a couple of the Champ Clark Bridge (U.S. 54) over the Mississippi at the town of Louisiana.

     

    Enjoy!


  16. This from the blog about crossing Nebraska ...

     

    "But yesterday we were on Route 30 for much of the day, and it was excellent, never crowded and it was a magnificent day. We were alone much of the time on the highway. And I realized that we had to thank the interstates for that. Most of the traffic that used to clog this sort of highway is now out on the big limited access interstates, and we were able to enjoy the occasional town, the rare red light, the stores and funeral parlors, the silos and grain elevators, the houses, yard sales and people of the American midwest.

     

    We never feel bored."

     

    Could not have expressed it better myself.

     

    Thanks for the tip RoadDog.


  17. You could describe me as an "RV-wannabe."

     

    I've never been camping, never went on vacation in an RV. I have had an opportunity to travel in someone else's RV, but that was just a way to transport a group of people across the state in one vehicle. I do echo Jack's comment about making coffee while on the road. It was nice to be able to sit at the table and play cards, or get up and go to the bathroom without having to stop at a gas station or rest area, so that's definitely one of the benefits of a motorhome (and the exact reason why I would choose motorized over a fifth wheel or camping trailer).

     

    Now, while some of you are cruisin' in corvettes or a restored '57 Chevy, I'm still driving the '93 Chevy Astro Mini-Van I've had for a dozen years. I swore, though, that when I got rid of it, I would be buying a camper van, something that could be driven around town, to and from work or to the grocery store, yet still be capable of serving as an RV. A couple of years ago, after much study and a trip to the annual RV show in Chicago, the girlfriend and I had set our sights on a Roadtrek. The plan was to buy a Roadtrek, keep it for a couple of years and, if we really liked the whole camping/RVing thing, we would then trade up to a Class C. My son was probably 6 at the time and could easily sleep in the captain's chairs that swiveled around to make another bed.

     

    Unfortunately, our financial situation changed and we weren't able to buy one as soon as we'd hoped. And now that my son is older, I think a van is out of the question--it would be fine for Susan and I, but not for all three of us. So, when it happens, I'm sure we'll be buying a Class C.

     

    One final comment, although this has been debated thoroughly already in this thread ... last year we visited Chattanooga, Tennessee and stayed at a hotel on U.S. 41 just about at the foot of Lookout Mountain. When we got to our room and looked out the window there was a brand-new Wal-Mart (a Grand Opening sign was still attached to the side of the building) behind the hotel. In the parking lot sat a large Class C motorhome. Three days later as we packed up our suitcases and headed out for another leg of our trip the Class C was still sitting in the Wal-Mart lot. As I got to the car with our bill in hand, I looked at Susan and said "We just paid more than $300 for three nights in this hotel (which was a decent hotel ... Baymont, I believe). Those people over in the Wal-Mart lot haven't paid a cent for the last three nights." My point here is, if you travel a lot, say a couple of week-long vacations a year and several long weekend or at least overnight trips, I would think those cost numbers would start to favor RV'ing rather than being a wash, especially if you cut costs some of the time like those folks in the RV at Chattanooga.


  18. I was confused at first ... there's a diner in Bridgeport? The only thing in Bridgeport is a ... ahem ... "gentlemen's club." Then I looked at the pictures. OK, that's the diner on the east side of Plainfield. Kinda surprised the address is actually Bridgeport, though.

     

    It's been awhile since we ate there. Unfortunately, we did not have our camera with us that day.

     

    Of course, Ansel :D , that's just another reason to go back.


  19. First, let me offer up the site www.ppoo.org, which is what I used for my article on U.S. 36. It shows a 1923 map of the road going through Muncie, Anderson and Crawfordsville.

     

    Mobilene, are you going to write a full report for jimgrey.net on this road trip? I'm also very curious about the route you took between Rockville and Dana. Looking at the map you directed us to and looking at my current map, I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out the old alignment between those two towns. From Dana to Chrisman, it is easy to follow, though.

     

    And let me know the next time you come to TH, maybe we can get together for a donut and coffee at Square Donuts!

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