Day 1: September 20, 2012
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From the instant that I started thinking seriously about attending the Lincoln Highway Association centennial kickoff, I was thinking seriously about attending it with the Valiant. Indianapolis isn't too far away and the weather should be decent in September. It seemed downright appropriate to drive to the kickoff in the car I intended to drive to the celebration itself. I knew it wasn't a slam dunk, however, and was prepared for something like a mechanical problem or really crappy weather to alter my plans. This morning arrived with the car running quite well and the weather, though not perfect, a long way from crappy. My plans were altered by asphalt sealer.

I live in a condo and it was time to reseal our streets and driveways. The complex was divided into two sections with plans for each of the sections to be unusable for a different 24 hour period. Residents of each section were advised to park a car in the other section before work began on their section so that it had access to the outside world while the sealer dried. My section was to be first with work commencing on Monday. When rain was predicted for Monday night, that was moved to Wednesday. So, on Tuesday night, I parked my Subaru on the next street over. New sealer was applied on Wednesday morning and I anticipated swapping cars sometime Thursday morning. I wanted to leave around 10:00, would be very happy leaving around noon, and could tolerate leaving around 1:00.

As 10:00 approached, I learned that a lack of sun meant drying wasn't going well and it would be at least 4:00 before the barriers came down. The barriers were just twine and flags and I could have easily moved them to free the Valiant. A discussion with a neighbor yielded an understand "do what you gotta do" shrug. I certainly considered it but in the end acknowledged to myself that driving the Valiant wasn't all that big a deal. My decision was aided, no doubt, by the vision of every future pavement problem in the entire complex being blamed on some jerk driving on the new sealer before he was supposed to. At 11:30 I walked my duffel to the Subaru and headed west.

I began with expressways but moved from I-74 to US-52 soon after crossing into Indiana. That's US-52 in the previous panel. It's a road I've driven several times so new sights were not plentiful but they did exist. An abandoned bridge at Cedar Grove was something I don't recall seeing before. I noticed the bit of old pavement branching off as I passed but it was the sight of the old bridge from the newer one that prompted me to turn back and do some exploring on foot. Although I found other pictures of the crumbling arch bridge on line, I didn't find much information on it. The current US-52 bridge is in the middle of the trio shown in the last photograph. That's a railroad bridge in the foreground with the old auto bridge in the back. They cross Big Cedar Creek which really wasn't much of a creek today.

The Little Cedar Grove Baptist was not a new sight for me. I've photographed the 1812 building before and will probably do it again someday. The substantial brick structure was not only a place of worship, it was a literal place of safety.

Big chickens have lined the streets of Brookville, Indiana, since its bicentennial in 2008. I've undoubtedly driven by them a time or two without really noticing them. Fried chicken plays a huge role in the town's annual Canoefest but I don't know if there is an earlier and more basic connection between the birds and the area. In other words, I really don't know which came first, the chicken or the Canoefest. I do know that the fest includes some major competition between cookers of chicken and, on at least one occasion, a unified assault on the whole world of chicken cookers. In 2010 they filled a canoe with 1,645 pounds of fried chicken to claim Guinness's "world's largest serving of fried chicken" record. Later the same year, KFC bumped them with a 2,000 pound bucket full and Guinness now lists Japanese company NOAS FM (sometimes referred to as JFC - Japanese Fried Chicken) as the record holder at 2,372 pounds. Somehow large corporations whose business is chicken having employees fry up some extra wings & thighs doesn't seem the same as a bunch of volunteer Hoosiers working the skillets for the greater glory of their community. The KFC & JFC records should definitely have asterisks and I could find nothing to support rumors that the 2372 pound JFC meal is free if you finish it in an hour.

The Whitewater Canal, named for the nearby river, was one of the biggest things ever to happen to the area. Its 1847 completion was followed much too closely by the coming of the railroad. In that first picture that's US-52 pavement in the foreground with a ribbon of brown canal water barely visible between it and the railroad. A readable version of the sign is here. A reproduction canal boat offers rides on a restored section of the canal. The second picture is of the restored lock at the eastern end of the section while the third and fourth show the boat and its power source. The next picture is looking east toward the Duck Creek Aqueduct from near where the boat docks in downtown Metamora. The last picture is of the restored lock in Metamora.

That's my dinner in the first picture and my dinner companions in the second. Yes, the outside picture is too dark and doesn't even show the name of the restaurant but that's because I was still searching my fingers for BBQ sauce to lick. The restaurant was Squealers and those were some mighty fine ribs. Jim Grey, the fellow at the right of the picture suggested it and the rest of us sure appreciated it. Wonderful food and some good blues playing on the "juke box". That's Jennifer and Pat Bremer standing beside Jim. Any guesses on the dinner conversation topic?

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