Indiana's Lincoln Highway Locator map


Day 1
Chilly But Dry

Day 2
A Little Flakey

Day 3
A Day of Sun

March 30, 2009 (day 3)
We ate breakfast in a "secret" restaurant then backtracked to seek out a mile marker we had missed. There was sun overhead as I sat back and let Dale drive us over the 1928 alignment. Great fun and I'm hoping we don't wait forty years for the next road trip together.

March 29, 2009 (day 2)
Today was not only chilly but there was some white fluffy stuff in the air from time to time. We checked out the Studebaker Trees, turned around at the Illinois line, and looked over the Ideal Section.

March 28, 2009 (day 1)
We got a little chilly and the day ended in rain but we stayed dry while on the Highway. The only disappointment was missing the last Oliver Mansion tour by an hour and a half but that just leaves something for next time.

Prelude - March 5, 2009
Although it's held just once every three years, more often than not, the National Plastics Exposition manages to conflict with something. This year it is the Lincoln Highway Association's National Conference in South Bend, Indiana. I've never been to an LHA conference and was rather excited when I first heard of plans to hold the 2009 event in South Bend. The 2003 conference took place in Fort Wayne, IN, and the 2004 conference was in Chester, WV, but since then, they've been in Nevada, Iowa, and Colorado. 2003 was an NPE year and it was also the fiftieth anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette. The three events were packed into two weeks of June. The NPE is my company's most important trade show but the cost cutting associated with a weak economy allowed me to be excused from attending that year. As`the LHA conference wound down in Fort Wayne, I headed west to drive Historic Route 66 and hook up with a caravan to the National Corvette Museum for the anniversary. In 2004, Route 66 once again won out over the Lincoln.

The NPE and the LHA Conference don't actually overlap this year. The conference is June 16-20 and the NPE June 22-26. They are even is the same portion of the country. A straight line between South Bend and Chicago is only 75 miles long. It's technically possible that I could attend both. The reality is that the week before the NPE is hardly an idle one. While I might have time for the conference, it's not likely. My hope is that I'll be able to catch the tail of the conference on Friday and Saturday but it's not a sure thing. And I certainly can't count on the time for that leisurely drive to the conference along the Lincoln Highway as I once thought.

Before I looked seriously at the dates, I envisioned driving the Lincoln Highway from the Ohio border to South Bend a day, or maybe even two, before the conference. I have now driven all of the Highway from Times Square to Fort Wayne and this would be the perfect opportunity to extend that through one more state. After the conference, I could drive on to the Illinois line then return to Fort Wayne via the later alignment through Plymouth and Warsaw. But, rather than arriving at the conference on its reason for being, I stood a very good chance of arriving without having driven nearby sections at all. Time for plan B.

Plan B involves driving all of the Lincoln Highway in Indiana before the conference. There were two major alignments of the Highway between Fort Wayne and Valparaiso so I could drive one going west and another returning east. A friend lives in Fort Wayne and we occasionally talk of sharing some sort of road trip but haven't quite put it together since around 1966. (Yeah, we go back aways:-) I was in his neighborhood over Memorial Day but that trip really came together at the last minute and scheduling conflicts prevented a hook up. This outing looked perfect. It would be a loop with the start and end points near Fort Wayne. "What do you think?", I asked. "Sounds good", he answered. And we soon settled on the weekend of March 28 to hit the road.

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