“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith
DAY NINETEEN – Well it all caught up with me today…the weather that is. I woke to a steady soaking rain and a soaked car. There was water in the footwells before I even got in the car! The rain got heavier as I went south on Rt 44 and on the aptly named Diagonal Road heading due southwest. I stayed dry from the waist up, except for my left shoulder, but my left leg was soaked from the knee down (including my shoe) within 15 minutes. At least I don’t melt so it’s survivable. The bigger issue was the fogging windscreen. Ann had sent me with some Gillette Foamy shaving cream to use on my sunglasses to keep the Covid mask from fogging them so I thought I might try some on the windscreen. It not only worked a treat, it left a pleasant fragrance as well.
In the early afternoon, I passed by the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and thought I’d drop in for a visit. No go! There was an IMSA team who had rented the track for testing and they instructed the gate lady to turn away anyone who didn’t have team credentials. Now if it were sunny and they were actually running I might see the need to keep prying eyes away, but it was lashing down and they were still in the trailers. So I got a photo of the gate lady and in front of the sign as a consolation photo.
My progress was slower than I expected as I simply had to drive slower when I was alone due to visibility and slick roads and even slower with traffic as they were even more tentative than I was despite better defrosters and wipers plus less direct splashback as their windshields are much higher. The net result is that in order to make up yesterday’s deficit, I drove another long day.
Part of the length was due to a detour forced by a closure of US 36 just as I approached Indianapolis, requiring me to drive north almost to Muncie then take County 32 through all the little suburban down towns and stoplights on the north side of Indy. It was a slow and clumsy way to get across the city but I was determined to avoid the Interstates that ring the city. Unfortunately, it was a lot longer than the planned route so again I had to drive later in the day to make my target. The wish to get back to the barn is getting more intense each day!
The good news is that the rain lightened considerably during the traverse and I did see occasional sun that required my sunglasses as I headed west into the afternoon sky that was more glare than sunshine. I discovered that my pants leg was nearly dry although my shoe was not yet, and I presented myself at the Comfort Inn looking rather less disheveled than I had earlier.
Both Ohio and Indiana have lots of small towns about 5-10 miles apart that have enough history behind them that they have substantial buildings along main street that have been repurposed into things that are relevant today and thereby sustain the little main street as a viable downtown. Each of the City Halls, banks and former merchant buildings has a grace and solidity that makes them well worth adapting. It is nice to see that the towns can reinvent themselves. I do wonder how many tattoo parlors a town needs though.
Impressions from the nineteenth day:
• Each door of my little Lotus has a very efficient water routing system that enables a lovely waterfall to emerge from the leading edge and fill the footwell. I wonder if some MacGyvering would find a way to redirect that water to the outside rather than my leg.
• I have nearly a thousand miles to go to Colorado Springs and that really should be three days at 350 miles a day give or take. But as I mentioned, the urge to be home is strong and I do have two time zones where I gain an hour so can I do it in two long days? I am sorely tempted.
• I noted a recurring pattern in both Ohio and Indiana; Drivers pull out onto the highway with barely a tap of the brake the urgency is so great to get on the highway, then they drive 10-20% below the speed limit. Strange. I would think if one were in a hurry to get on the highway one would get right up to the permitted speed and if one were going to doddle, one would wait fully stopped for clearance before entering the main road.
• It was also noteworthy to me that some towns have added all the modern stuff out at the edge of their city and let the downtown slide while others have taken the old buildings downtown and made them modern in function yet preserved as the stately architecture they are. I wonder which will look better in 30-40 years.
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
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