Day 1: October 27, 2015
Arrows and Bridges and Rain

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That blurry blue spot in the Indiana welcome sign. Dang, looks like it's raining over there, too.

It was several years ago that I first heard of large concrete arrows created to help guide aviators in the early twentieth century. I soon learned that a few survived in Indiana and ever since have wanted to see them but never seemed to remember them when I had the time or have the time when I remembered. Thinking that I should have ample time on this trip, I made them part of my plans. Time I got. Weather not. Even with light rain, though, I could still take pictures of these arrows that once formed part of Contract Air Mail Route 24 which, beginning in 1927, connected Cincinnati with Indianapolis and Chicago. Information about the arrows and beacons, including photos and locations, is available at Arrows Across America. The three pictured are identified there as 6 C-C Rushville, 7 C-C Parkinson, and 8 C-C Shelbyville respectively.

CAM-24 was initially operated by the Embry-Riddle Company using WACO airplanes built in Troy, Ohio. Their home was Lunken Airport on Cincinnati's east side. ERC was not only a pioneer in mail and passenger service and pilot training, it was obviously quite a marketing machine as well. CAM-24 surely benefited from the slogan "Mail Airly and Often."

These photos are out of sequence. They were taken as I crossed Flatrock River on CR 650 S while traveling between the Rushville and Parkinson arrows.

Between Danville and the Indiana-Illinois line, US-36 has been designated the Ernie Pyle Memorial Highway. Ernie was born in Dana, Illinois, and his restored home there is a State Historic Site. This picture was taken about twenty-five miles west of Danville.

When I booked my room in the Parke County seat of Rockville, I envisioned walking around the town square and visiting several of the county's thirty-one covered bridges. The persistent rain put a damper on the walking and discouraged the bridge visiting but I still got in a few peeks. I recalled the large bridge at Bridgeton so headed toward it. I caught two other bridges along the way. I snapped the first one from a distance before driving down the gravel road to cross the bridge and photograph it from the other side. The Neet Bridge was photographed from the road and the Bridgeton Bridge from a convenient parking area. The current bridge at Bridgeton was built in 2006 after the original burned in 2005.

Back in 2007, Jennifer Bremer did an American Road Magazine Memory Motel article on the Parke Bridge Motel in Rockville. I'd forgotten but she reminded me the other day during a breakfast gathering. I had already reserved a room there. At home, I looked up the date with every intention of digging out the issue then I forgot that, too. Apparently there have been several changes, including a new roof and siding, since that article but the same friendly owner remains. My room is a pretty good place to sit out the rain although I'd rather be strolling around the town.

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