Thursday, July 2, 2009
Day 43 - Vandalia, IL. to Pickerington, OH. Last night in a hotel!!! One more day!
Day 43 – Thursday, July 2, 2009
Start: Vandalia, IL
End: Pickerington, OH
Trip Miles Today: 358
Total Trip Miles: 11572
Today started out a little differently. At departure time it was cloudy, overcast, and it looked as if I might get rained on. The lack of that early morning sun burning my retinas was actually a welcome relief from the past few days. Off we went, first through the southern Illinois farmlands, then into Indiana, and ultimately through the cities of Indianapolis, Dayton and Columbus. These are bigger cities now and they come at me more often as I near the more populous Northeast. There is not much to really say about the ride as it was all Interstate 70, as it has been for days now.
We haven’t really talked much about “road warrior cuisine” but I do want to give a shout out today for one of my favorite road foods – Skyline Chili! Skyline Chili is the prototypical “Cincinnati Style” chili. The company was founded in 1949 by Greek immigrants and has, over the years grown from the original store (within sight of the Cincinnati “skyline”) to outlets through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and a few others. Mostly it’s a Midwest thing. I believe I previously mentioned that I lived in Michigan for many years and going through the Cincinnati area always required a stop for Skyline Chili. I was fortunate enough to find a restaurant near Dayton today and boy did that make me happy! I heartily recommend the 5-way (Chili, beans, onions, cheese, and spaghetti) if you ever get the chance. Skyline Chili can sometimes be found in food stores in other parts of the country but it’s somehow not the same as having it served to you at one of the restaurants.
For lack of time, I passed up two stops that ought to be on every traveler’s short list. I skipped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum because it was sort of out of the way and also because the Indianapolis Beltway, I-465, is all torn up with construction and I feared taking a huge amount of time getting to and from the Speedway. I’ve also been there in the past 7-8 years so I just kept on riding. Likewise I drove past the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. As much as I would have like to stop in I just didn’t have the time. Since this is a motorcycle trip, I voted to allocate my time to the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum just outside Columbus, OH. I’m glad I did. The museum has two currently active displays. The first is “Moto-Stars” a display dedicated to celebrities and their motorcycles. Among the notables with strong motorcycle connections are Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise, and Keith Urban and there are both bikes and cycling memorabilia from these and others on display. Also featured, in a different gallery is a collection of the customs from noted builder Arlen Ness. Not exactly my cup of tea stylistically but nonetheless incredible craftsmanship that anyone can surely appreciate. In addition to these special displays there is the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Gallery and much more. If you ever travel this direction the Museum is just moments off I-70 a few miles East of Columbus in Pickerington, Ohio.
Well, tonight is my last evening in a hotel and for that I am grateful. Another 450 miles or so tomorrow and I’m back home after 6 ½ weeks on the road. I have no particular stops in mind for the final day. Just whatever coffee and “stretch your legs” breaks are required to get me through. It’s been fun but I’m not quite through yet. Maybe something surprising or interesting could yet happen. If so I’ll let you know. I really enjoy having others travel along with me.
More pictures from my ride are available to see at http://jackb1.smugmug.com
The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by RevZilla.com , Philly's Premier Destination Motorcycle Gear and Apparel store and by Hermy's Cycles of Port Clinton, PA.