Day Eleven by Dave Schultheis
Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - Bainbridge, Ohio
I was awake, up and dressed and wandering around Mike's back yard "surveying the manor" by 6:30 a.m. Ducks, geese and other birds visit his pond daily, not to speak of all manner of other creatures who live in the woods.
Breakfast by Chef Mike included scrambled eggs, toast and juice -- much better than some of the Continental Breakfasts I'd had along the way.
I packed everything onto the Road King and left about 7:45 a.m., got back to U.S. 50 and continued west through fog and small towns. Then a little later there was sunshine and small towns.
On the approach to Cincinnati I had a lot of difficulty making any forward progress, what with congestion on city streets. There didn't appear to be any way around, just through.
After a fuel stop about 9:30 a.m., I continued west on Hy 50 and entered Indiana at 10:30 a.m. I got a picture of their nice sign.
I took a little rest and breakfast break at McDonald's in Versailles, IN at 11:12 a.m., then rode another hour and stopped to rest in Seymour, IN. Geez, I was tired and my shoulders were still complaining about the handlebars.
I took the opportunity to call Michael's Swiss Inn in Highland, IL and told Ruth that I would be there on Thursday evening. Even though Meet In The Middle had moved from "near Highland" to "near Dorchester," I was still planning to spend one night in Highland.
I continued west for a couple hours, then stopped in Loogootee, IN for fuel and then a picture at the post office.
A while later I passed through Vincennes, IN and then into Illinois (picture at state line). After I passed through Olney, IL, it started to rain again. It was nasty. It was horrible. It was unpleasant.
For the ABCs of Touring I desperately needed an "X" city, and Xenia, IL was it. I rode into the little town and found the Village Offices for a rainy picture. Then the Village Hall for a rainy picture. Then the Post Office for two rainy pictures.
It continued raining as I proceeded to Salem, stopped to visit Wendy, then turned south on Interstate 57. That took me south about 20 miles to Mt. Vernon, IL.
I found a Best Inn just off the highway at Exit 95, got checked into a room about 5:30 p.m., and the rain stopped. After I'd put my stuff away, I went out on a reconnaisance mission.
Dale's Harley-Davidson was in the process of moving from their old location on Veterans Memorial Drive (near the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum) to their new location near the intersection of I-57 and I-64.
Before starting my trip I had written to Dale's and got a phone call back from Butch Baker, the service manager, telling me to "just come on in when you get here" and they would "take care of" me. They were closing when I got there, but Butch said for me to be there first thing in the morning and they would get right on it.
I took some little plastic cameras to Walgreens for processing, then rode down to Soapy Joe's Laundromat, next to the car wash and the storage place, to start some laundry. While my stuff was washing, I rode down to the old Dale's and looked through the windows at the museum behind it (closed).
Back at Soapy Joe's, I put my clothes into the dryer and while waiting, was greeted by Tony C., the maintenance guy, who turned out to be the owner's son and a sometime Harley rider. He had seen my dented Road King and asked about what happened.
As I told him the story, we got talking about other motorcycle stuff and he asked me to follow him to one of the storage units next door, where he showed me his 1977 H-D 1000, which he rides when he gets time. It was in excellent shape and I wonder why I did not take a picture of it.
When the laundry was dry, I said goodbye to Tony, picked up pictures at Walgreens, then returned to the motel, took a shower, caught up on my notes, watched some television and went to bed.
Miles for the day = 412.
Miles for the trip = 4630.
Number of friendly, helpful people met = several.
Tomorrow: An oil change, more rain, Michael's Swiss Inn and Buzzie's in Highland, IL.