The Start Line

September 19, 2017

Its Sunday morning and I leave the mansion heading off to Lafayette.  It’s a great morning for a ride as the air is cool and crisp;



I travel for about an hour before pulling up at a Denny’s Diner for breakfast.  To my surprise I found my water had been sitting on top of my bag the whole way (if it had been something important it would have fallen off straight away);



I go in to the diner and order my usual toast / eggs.  Sitting next to me are 2 x couples who order so much food that the waitress brings over a portable table to sit it all on.  I just can’t get used to how much crap people eat here.

I get back on Fred and have an uneventful ride to Lafayette.  I never did much exploring as I was mindful of the weather forecast for late afternoon rain.  I also needed some time to work out what I was doing next.  I rode straight past Indianapolis and was surprised how big a city it looked.

I arrive at my budget motel and see a sign on the office door to ‘find’ the cleaner to book in.  I go in search and locate ‘George’ who is a 62 yr old lady who appears to be running the whole show.  George is an absolute crack up as she is a real redneck (picture broken teeth and tats) but has a heart of gold.  There are only about 5 decent rooms out of 50 and I get one of them!

George gives me directions and I head down to the local supermarket and buy a microwave box dinner – it was a low fat chicken and vegetable mix (tasted like cardboard).

Just as I get back and unpack Fred the heavens open up so he spent the night under the front porch to stay dry;



The next morning I have a look at my Route 66 guide book and decide that I will start it from Pontiac which is about 150 klms from Chicago.  I chose not to go into Chicago mainly due to the expense and hassle – there is no original Route 66 left in the City as it has been replaced by the I-55 however you can still travel basically the same direction.  I also thought I would be do Chicago down the track when I come back to do the East Coast.  Pontiac has a Route 66 museum and I thought it would be a good place to start from.

I set off and call in at the Lafayette PD and pick up a patch.  Lafayette is a great little city with some very old and interesting buildings;



I then head around to the Tippecanoe County Sheriffs office which was located at the Prison.  On arrival there were a few inmates in orange overalls outside doing general gardening.

Inside the Prison I speak to a young female officer who disappears to get me a patch.  The area I was waiting in had about a dozen video booths where women were on phones and speaking to their partners.  It was a bit of a circus but funny to watch.

In the time it took the officer to find a patch about 8 different people came in and were standing at the front counter waiting to be served.  I felt a bit guilty when they all realised what was the hold up!

Back on Fred and next stop was the Indiana State Police office which fortunately was just beside the highway on the way out of town;



I get off the main Interstate and go thru a number of small towns.  I was able to get myself right off the beaten track;



I cross the State line and ride into Illinois;



A bit further on I found these guys;



I go in and have a chat with the boys before heading off.  I take a back road to Pontiac which takes me thru some real corn farming country;



Then it was time for a 15 min nap;



I arrive in Pontiac and drop my stuff off at the motel and then head off to the Route 66 Museum;


Free entry and it also contains a War Museum that I found far more interesting!  The war section has a display set up as a typical 1940’s house and also a typical 1940’s mess (really well done) and definitely worth a look.

I then head around to the local PD and also the Sheriffs office.  Patches galore.  I meet the Sheriff and he is a top bloke – it was good to see an African American in charge.

I went and picked up some supplies and headed back to the Motel.  When I had dropped my bags off earlier I had made a point of asking the Indian Manager for a room with wi-fi that works.  I had originally booked a non-smoking room and he offered me a smoking room as it had much better wi-fi (this is where my experience in India kicked in).  I then asked to check the room and what I found was the worst room in the Motel that stank like an ashtray as opposed to the non-smoking room which had been recently renovated.  Nice try mate!   I politely refused his kind offer and took my non-smoking room.  Guess what?  the internet works fine!  &*^%$


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