Monday, August 17, 2009

Indiana Dunes - Riders of the Lost Routes - Day 1 thru 3

Back from the Midwest. We traveled thru 11 states putting 2914 miles on the Connie. The Connie with just over 46K in less than 2 years, continues to perform like a charm. Overall it was an uneventful trip (sorta) and one thing I can say is Indiana and Illinois are 2 very boring states to ride in. Our major objective was to pick up a National Park in both Indiana and Illinois to complete the required 25 states for the Iron Butt National Park Tour. To that end we added 4 states, INKED 16 National Parks and hit on 17 Landmarks. Weather was hot or maybe we should describe it as brutal, in the 90's for all of the trip, some rain, some wind and some lightning.

Overall Route

The first major stop was Niagara Falls, however we picked up 6 or 7 Landmarks along the way in Albany, Schentectady, Oneida and Rochester.

It was very hot and humid out. Our mesh pants and jacket works very well, however sometimes additional assistance is greatly appreciated.

MeAsWe has never seen the falls

Next stop was the Adams Power Plant, a National Landmark. Following the GPS we ended up in a neighborhood with boarded up houses and a street that had a Jersey barrier blocking off the rest of the road. The houses looked perfect for what one would imagine as crack houses. This would be one of many as I said to MeAsWe, "see I take you to only the finest neighborhoods, don't I". Not finding the power plant we scooted out of there and headed for Buffalo.

In Buffalo we INKED at Teddy Roosevelt's Inaugural site. This is where Teddy assumed the presidency after McKinley's assassination.

It was a quick stop in Buffalo and we headed to the 2nd nights destination, which was my friends house in Geneva, OH, Harold. We got there around 7 or so and chatted until around 11pm.

On the 3rd day, our major stops include the Merry Go Round museum in Sandusky, OH, and the Ypsilanti Auto Museum in Michigan. Since Mentor, OH is on the way I just had to stop at James Garfield NHP.

Getting in and out of Mentor took up alot more time than I had planned. We traveled along OH Rt 2 and US 6 to Sandusky to grab a Brass Ring

Ypsilianti Automotive Heritage Museum is an INKing spot and we captured the state of Michigan for the NP Tour. The museum was the last Hudson car dealer in the US. Ypsilianti has a deep history in the automotive world. Preston Tucker's family owned a tool and die company in this town, GM produced the Corvair here. The Willow Plant facility was originally a B24 factory built by Ford. After the war the Kaiser Motor company built the Kaiser and Frazier auto's in this plant and finally GM bought the facility to produce automatic transmissions.

Some of the cars at the museum

High tailing it out of Ypsilanti we headed for Michigan City in Indiana via US 12 coming across this place.

I can't imagine what the traffic is like on race weekends. US12 is a 2 lane highway and as far as I know this is the main entrance to MIS. I can now say I have been to Sturgis, just a bit mis-directed.

We ended Day 3 in Michigan City, Indiana, just outside our next National Park, Indiana Dunes.

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