We headed out about 9 AM and our first stop was at the home of the poet, James Whitcomb Riley. He is a native Hoosier and his house was in the Abate book of places to visit in Indiana. While we were there, Troy took the opportunity to record a little recitation of "Little Orphan Annie" for his mom, but he couldn't remember much, so the recitation was short and sweet. Age is a horrible thing! If you would like to check out the entire poem, you can see it at http://www.judyn.trest.com/OrphanAnnie.html. It is actually quite disturbing!
Our next stop was just a brief 12 miles or so east on Old Highway 40. It is a glorious stretch of road with unbroken pavement for as far as the eye could see. Since it was so early on a Sunday morning, we basically had it to ourselves and I found it difficult to keep my speed under 70. (The posted speed limit is a mere 60 mph - PLEASE!) This road is what the perfect man should be like - straight, broad-shouldered and all mine!
Our destination was the letter K and Knightstown fit the bill! We stop briefly at the Knightstown Community Senior High School, which was not exactly an inviting place. Although it was basically in the middle of nowhere, it had no less than three signs which told any would-be visitor in several different way to STAY OUT! ....charming.
We snapped our pictures and hit the road again. This time we were headed for a tiny little town named Oakville. It was so tiny, in fact, that other than a few houses, a railroad track and a foundary of some sort, it's only official looking town buildings were a church and a post office. The church was packed and the post office was closed, but we don't need open buildings for our purposes, so took our pictures in front of the post office anyway. As we were preparing to mount our trusty steeds, I was apparently taking my own sweet time and Troy commented that he heard a train whistle in the distance and that if we didn't hurry we might get caught by it. I did NOT want that, so I quickly started up my bike and headed down the road. As I went over the tracks, the train was probably only 1/4 of a mile away, so we had left just in the nick of time!
On to Muncie! Now, one must understand that when I pick a route, I don't pick specific landmarks for us to stop and photograph, so sometimes it's a little hit or miss. In the case of Muncie, IN, it's a good thing that I attended Ball State University otherwise we would have missed a city sign completely. But, fortunately, I recognized McGalliard (not sure if it's boulevard or avenue) and headed us into town where we found our way to the Muncie Mall.
When we departed Muncie, we continued heading north to Hartford City. It's not a big place, but we gather from the welcome sign that the Methodist church is HUGE here. They had at least 2 placards in place compared with representing the other sponsors. Farming is also apparently quite big in this next of the woods as well. While we were trying to leave a gas station to head back for a picture of the city sign, a massive farm vehicle of some sort pulled out right in front of us and brought the line of traffic down to a speed of just 20 mph.
We had also intended to cross Z off of our list of cities with a stop in Zanesville, but we were detoured off of State Road 3 and onto State Road 1 (about 20 miles out of our way) and as we made our way through Markle, which is about 25 miles south of Fort Wayne, I spied a clock in the town square that informed me that it was 12:50 PM and we were supposed to be meeting my parents and brother for lunch at 1 PM. We weren't going to make it! We high-tailed it to the interstate and I poured on the throttle arriving fashionably late a bit after 1 PM. Oh well. I'm sure we'll get back there to pick up the remaining cities.
While it takes a bit longer, I think State Road 3 is a beautiful alternative to the mundane 75 MPH travel on I-69 and I think I may need to venture out that way again.