Day 1: March 28, 2009
Chilly But Dry
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I've known Dale since our entry into the first grade. We've done a few road trips together but's it's been awhile -- 30+ years. Dale's wife Marsha fed us, snapped our picture, and sent us of with a smile. Exploring we shall go.

To make sure we didn't miss anything, we headed to the Indiana-Ohio border. In the early day of the Lincoln Highway, mile long bits of cement roadway were constructed at various spots to demonstrate the value of paved roads. One of those Seedling Miles was right here. Probably underneath one of the four lanes of modern US-30. The older alignment, complete with Historic Lincoln Highway marking, veer off about a half mile into Indiana. Five miles beyond, we proved that a concrete section that was abandoned to soften a curve is still drivable.

In downtown Fort Wayne, we left the Lincoln briefly to check out the new ball park whose first game is just a couple of weeks away. It will be the new home of the AAA Tincaps. The mascot comes from Johnny Appleseed and his favorite tin head covering. I suppose it isn't too surprising that the team is occasionally referred to as the "pot heads".

The really cool Embassy Theater is just a bit up the street.

This pair of bridges is also near downtown Fort Wayne. The first three pictures are of the 1884 Wells Street bridge that initially carried the Lincoln. It's now closed to traffic but makes a fine pedestrian bridge. The Lincoln moved to the other bridge pictured, on Harrison Street, when it was built in 1915. It's still going strong.

We're following the early alignment through South Bend going west and will return on the final 1928 alignment. This bypassed bridge is about five miles north of where the two split/join. The concrete railing of the current bridge is at the extreme right edge of the first picture. In hindsight, it seems we could have driven over it but we didn't.

The Kimmel House looks quite inviting as both a place to stay and a place to eat although we experienced neither. There's a coffee bar (piano bar?) and dining area and lots of gifts and crafts. The mural's on a garage; the chair's on a gazebo.

This short but sweet brick section lies about two mile south of the center of Ligonier.

This old gas station in Ligonier houses a radio museum but it was closed today. The parking area is paved with a truly varied assortment of bricks. The museum boasts its own station which was doing a remote broadcast from the local sports complex. We listened to it as long as we were in range. Its music offerings were just about as varied as those paving bricks.

Just across the street is a little park with a nice, but stopped, clock and a strange looking fountain which Dale called "the world's largest Chia Pet". Is its appearance really just the natural result of moss growth or is there a better story? I really hope it's the latter.

I've long heard of the Goshen Police Booth but this was my first time seeing it. It's pretty strange in person, too. My theory is that a local building contractor was also a very good salesman. It sits at a corner of the Elkhart County court house square.

Also in Goshen, the Chase Bag Factory has been turned into a very nice place for shops and galleries.

There were once a half dozen Bonnie Doon restaurants in the Elkhart/South Bend area but now there are just two. Both are in Mishawaka; This one, on Lincolnway and the original on 4th Street. That's what our waitress told us. I've seen reports that this is the only one but maybe it's the only one with carhop service. We went inside for pretty good 'burgers and some very good ice cream. Bonnie Doon Ice Cream is still available in local groceries.

We reached the Studebaker Museum way too late to tour the adjacent Oliver Mansion and barely in time to get through the Studebaker Museum itself. We had about an hour and a half and had to dash through the last group of displays after the ten minute warning had been given. I don't recall this carriage, built specifically for Lafayette's 1824 visit, from my previous time here and I don't believe the 1956 Packard Predictor was here, either. There were several Oliver plows displayed in the museum but we only got to see the mansion from the outside. Next time we're going in.

There were rain drops on the windshield when we returned to the car and some real rain showed up shortly there after but our day was otherwise dry.

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