Day 2: March 29, 2009
A Little Flakey
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From our camp site on the west side of South Bend, we started the day by slipping back into town for a look at the Notre Dame campus. Very impressive. No small or shabby buildings here.

Near New Carlisle, we left the Lincoln Highway again to see "the largest living advertisement in the world". That would be the several thousand trees spelling out STUDEBAKER at the defunct automaker's "Million Dollar Outdoor Testing Laboratory". The "laboratory", which included the first ever dedicated automobile test track, is now split between an active Bosch Corporation facility and a county park. The readable trees are reachable in the park portion. If you look carefully at the third picture, you can see Dale forming the letter 'U' from inside the tree formed version. He's rather blurry behind the springtime snow and the picnic tables. This somewhat clearer view might help in spotting him. The last picture shows tables and a fire ring inside the letter 'D'.

We enjoyed a late breakfast (and very friendly service from Mary Beth) at B&J's American Cafe in La Porte. Billie & John Pappas have run the place for the last eleven years but it's been in business since 1922.

There's more of the end-of-March snow in the first picture. It was taken along one of the older sections west of Westville. Valparaiso includes Lincoln Highway markers on the actual street signs. Nice job, Val. The third picture is of the bridge over Turkey Creek between New Elliot and Schererville.

We reached our western goal and Dale pulled off a quick draw shot of signs at the Illinois border. Our turnaround was just inside the state.

We checked out the Ideal Section, the 1923 demonstration of how roads should be built, after turning east. The stone markers are on a very busy multi-lane stretch which people have risked crossing on foot. We risked getting locked behind the gates of Myer's Castle (the red sign in the background of the first picture) instead. The last picture was taken at a Walgreen's convinced by someone to honor the road it's on. That's macadam from the original road embedded in the sidewalk.

After returning to Valparaiso, we left town on the 1928 alignment of the Lincoln Highway. This section, west of Hamlet, is the roughest bit of road we've been on so far. From the width of that bridge, it sure seems as if someone thought this would someday be four-lane. When the four-lane came, it bypassed Hamlet to the north. The original marker is in a yard in Hamlet just north of the old road but is very near its original spot. It's believed to be one of only three in Indiana you can say that about.

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