Virtual Travel – Indiana

The Hoosier State – Indiana.

 

1946 – Dedicated to James Whitcomb Riley, Indiana’s Poet.

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His boyhood home in Indianapolis is now a museum.

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1953 – Intersection of Highway 52 and 136 in Indianapolis.

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1957 – Tri State Express. This is the same freeway featured on the Illinois 1959 map.

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Today that freeway is 10 lanes wide

Interstate 80/94 East - Frank Borman Expressway - AARoads - Indiana

 

The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond has a statue from the movie Christmas Story. It was set in Hammond, but filmed in Cleveland.

A Christmas Story Comes Home' Exhibit Opens Soon In Hammond ...

 

 

 

1970 – Indiana State Capitol. Dating from 1888 it is the 4th building to be the Indiana Capitol.

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2015 View.

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1971 – The map as a map cover. Columbus, Indiana is shown on the right.

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Columbus has a fantastic collect of modern architecture. Irwin Miller was the Chairman of Cummins Engine Company, and a fan of this type of architecture. His leadership resulted in a town known around the world for the quantity and quality of architecture.

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1972 – Indiana Highway 37 near Bloomington.

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Bloomington, home to Indiana University, is a small city in south central Indiana. (Photo from Bloomington Tourist Office)

Your Guide to a Fall Weekend in Bloomington, Indiana

 

 

1973 – A collection of signs.

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1976 – Indianapolis – The Return Home on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

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The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is the center of Indianapolis. Rising to a height of 284′ (87m) this obelisk has numerous statues surrounding it and an observation deck near the top. (photo from Wikipedia)

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1978 – Unidentified country scene.

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1979- Whitewater Canal State Memorial. In the early 1800s canals were built all over the country, and Indiana was no different. The route of the Whitewater Canal was unique in that it had a drop of almost 500′ at a rate of 6.4′ per mile, compared to the the Erie Canal at 1.7 feet per mile.

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Located in the historic town of Metamora, the canal and the accompanying buildings give a sense of life in the early 1800s.

 

 

 

1986 – Indianapolis

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Indianapolis, as the state capitol and largest city in the state. Highlights of the city include:

 

The Ruins of Holiday Park are remnants from an old building in New York City sitting in the middle of a park in Indiana.

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Museum.

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Indiana War Memorial Building

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The former baseball stadium is now apartments.

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Indianapolis Museum of Art. The time we were there they were having an exhibit on prototype automobiles.

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The current baseball stadium

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Lucas Oil Stadium – Home of the NFL Colts

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Skyline view (Photo from Pintrest)

Downtown Indianapolis skyline... breathtaking | Indianapolis ...

 

 

 

1991 – 175th anniversary of Indiana.

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1994 – Indiana State Highways 75th Anniversary

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1995 – Indiana Countryside. The tourist bureaus in Indiana play up the country life quite a bit.

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Shipshewana is the largest tourist center for this ‘country life’. With some Amish residents it is common to see horse and buggies on the roads. In addition their flea market is one of the largest in the country. (Photo from Tourist Office)

 

Experience Shipshewana's Amish Country | Visit Indiana

 

 

15 Best Things to Do in Shipshewana, Indiana | Visit Shipshewana

 

 

 

1997 – Generic map

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2001 – Transportation in Indiana. The Indianapolis Airport is the 5th largest air freight center in the country.

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Indiana is the capital of RV production. Elkart has the RV Museum, as well as a number of manufacturing faciities.

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2003 – As with the other states in the path, this year is a celebration of Lewis and Clark.

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On October 26, 1803 Merriweather Lewis meet William Clark across the river from Louisville, Kentucky and set sail down the Ohio River. That spot is now known as Clarksville, Indiana. That meeting is celebrated at the Falls of Ohio State Park.

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This park has a nice view of Louisville.

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2004 & 2016 – Indiana State Museum. The current building pictured here was completed in 2001.

The building is over 40,000 square feet, and covers the natural and civil history of the state. Also included is the ’92 walk’ – a collection of sculptures representing each of the 92 counties in the state.

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2005 – Wildflower.

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A few of the the Indiana State Symbols include: (Photos from Wikipedia)

State Flag – 19 stars, representing Indiana being the 19th state.

Indiana flag

 

State Motto – Crossroads of America.

Indiana state quarter

 

 

State Seal – Depicts a setting sun, sycamore tree, a woodsman and a bison.

 

 

 

State Bird – Cardinal

Cardinal

 

 

State Flower – Peony

Peony

 

 

 

2009 & 2012 – Unidentified Road Construction Projects

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Lincoln Highway construction in Indiana in the early 1900s.

 

 

 

2014 – Southern Indiana Hills

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The largest city in Southern Indiana is Evansville. We made a stop there on Road Trip 2019.

Vanderburgh County Courthouse

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Restored Art Deco Greyhound Station – now a hipster hamburger place.

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Bosse Field – One of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country.

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Primary filming location for the movie League of Their Own.

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2015 – Bristol, Indiana – Bonneyville Mill. This mill is the oldest in the state. It was built by Edward Bonney in 1833.

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2017 – Brown County State Park, Hesitation Point. This is the largest state park in Indiana, covering more than 15,000 acres. It is known for it’s scenic vistas.

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2018 – Williamsport Falls. This 90′ high falls is the 2nd highest in the state.

The flow of the falls is very seasonal.

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2019 – Berne, Indiana – Settled by Mennonite immigrants in 1852. The town has been built by Swiss and German immigrants, resulting now in a small town of 4,000 residents.

It is known for it’s picturesque town square.

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Elkart, Indiana – July 2018 – RV Capital of the World

The town of Elkhart, Indiana is where an amazing 80% of the world’s RV production occurs. What Hollywood is to movies, and Wall Street is to finance, Elkhart is to campers.

As a result the RV Hall of Fame is located here.

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While I was questioned why I would want to see the RV Hall of Fame, as soon as we entered it was obvious. The first one we saw was one of the earliest ever, built in 1913.

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The inside has a simplistic beauty.

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Next door is a Model T with a structure on the back that contained storage, but when expanded had a bed. Built on a 1915 Model T, it was a one off build known as the Telescope Apartment.

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Many of the campers were from the 1930s through the 1950s. The one below is a ‘Yellowstone’ 18 foot travel trailer from 1954.

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The vintage ones had a lot of woodwork.

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The 1937 Hunt Housecar was built by a Hollywood cinematographer named Roy Hunt.

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The Hunt Housecar has a great interior.

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Another example of the detailed woodwork.

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This weird looking camper is on a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado base. Many refer to it as the Star Trek Camper.

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The 1931 Chevrolet Housecar was built by Paramount Studios for Mae West.

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It was at this point I came to realization that there many of the numerous manufacturing facilities in the area offered tours. A bit of internet surfing revealed that the Heartland RV company was located a few miles down the road, and had tours starting in 30 minutes.

Before you knew it we were touring their facility. The outdoor inventory included these axles used for the ‘bump outs’.

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With the number of campers built daily, they go through a lot of toilets.

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We toured the factory that builds ‘Fifth Wheels’, huge campers that are towed by a ‘wheel’ in the bed of pickup trucks.

Interestingly they build the interior components, then add the shell of the camper.

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Once the sides are on, the roof is added and secured by workers using this yellow catwalk.

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A bump out ready to be installed.

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The massive backs of these campers are one large component.

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Indiana – home of mobile homes and campers.

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Cleveland – March 2017 – Piston Power

This mid March Sunday was another cold, dreary one, so the decision was made to go to yet another car show. This one was back at the IX Center in Cleveland, but the thought was ‘better than sitting around the house’.

Billed as the Piston Powered Show, it turned out to be far far more than a car show. Their motto is ‘anything with a piston’, but in reality there was even more than that.

Among the categories seen: Classic Wood Boats from the 1940s and 1950s, Airplanes, Motorcycles, Bicycles, Trucks, a huge collection of cars, custom vans, small train maintenance cars, model building competition, art competition, a large display that someone made with matchsticks, a bumper car made into a go cart, a small soap box derby hill with racers, old campers, construction equipment, military equipment and one lonely snowmobile.

After 6 miles of walking around this massive hall, we went home agreeing this was one of the best shows we had ever seen.

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Troy, OH Area – October 2015 – Airplanes and Airstreams

With a few 2015 vacation days left I opted to take a Thursday off and head back out to western Ohio for a couple of unique stops. First on the agenda the Waco (pronounced like taco) Aircraft Museum in Troy, Ohio. Waco produced planes between 1919 and 1947, starting as the Weaver Aircraft Company, hence Waco. Once they began they became known as manufacturers of reliable, rugged airplanes popular with postal services, explorers and others.

Their first closed cabin models began in the 1930s, before that they were all open cockpit bi-planes. During the second world war they made a number of gliders, as well as some trainers. The museum celebrates all of the above with a nice collection of artifacts and complete airplanes situated along side a grass runway.

The initial building contains models, small artifacts, a library and a couple of planes. The second building contains some beautifully restored wooden airplanes, as well as a aviation fuel truck from the ‘teens’.

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On the way to our final stop of the day we passed through a small town called Lockington. It is named so after a series of locks that were built between 1833-1845 on the Miami and Erie Canal, consisting of seven locks along with a turn around basin, unique for the time. The locks stretch for almost 4 miles.

There are three in the Ohio Historical Site in the town.

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Our final stop for the day was the Airstream Factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. Airstream has been building RV trailers here since the 1950s after starting out in California in the 1920s. After hanging out in the service counter lounge for about 30 minutes our tour of about 12 people took off, lead by two retired workers who had worked for Airstream for 40+ years.

We happened to be there on a day there was no production, which was disappointing in some ways but worked out in others as we could go into each work space and inspect the process closely, just not live. Unfortunately they are fairly restrictive on photographs as well, but did permit any you liked outside, and a few locations inside.

They walked us through the entire manufacturing process, showing us the rolls of the famous silver aluminum, the framing process, quality control and finally the interior fit out. Across the street is another factory that they build out the motorhomes based on a Mercedes Benz van chassis. All in all it was very interesting, free, and a good way to spend a couple of hours. I look forward to going back some day when production is running.

 

 

 

Amarillo & Oklahoma City – National Parks Road Trip – Day 19

A cold, rainy , dark morning greeting us as we left Albuquerque for the long drive to Oklahoma City. Our route, I-40, parallels U.S. 66 the entire route, and most of the towns that have been bypassed try and entice you off the interstate with Route 66 kitsch. We finally succumbed to the allure at Tucumcari, New Mexico as we drove along Route 66. The town now seems vacant and most buildings are boarded up and dilapidated. We did see some Route 66 murals and signs of a once vibrant area.

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After passing through town, essentially non stop, we were back on the Interstate.Just before the Texas border we near Glenrio, New Mexico at Russell’s Traveland.  Here the owner has a private collection of cars and 1950’s memorabilia nicely displayed next to a 1950’s diner, novelty store and gas station.

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Welcome to Texas

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Next stop was Adrian, Texas, who has the appeal of being the midpoint of Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. It is exactly 1139 miles to each end of Route 66. The town had a few buildings, and a cafe. A historical marker noted the midway point while the exact midway point is also painted on the road.

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After a quick couple of photos, it was back onto I-40 headed to Amarillo, Texas for what I expected to be a highlight of a lap around America tour, Cadillac Ranch. It is raining as we drive down the freeway and we can see the back ends of the Cadillacs sticking out of the ground.

Parking behind other tourists making the trip through the mud to get a close up look at the Cadillacs, I schlepped through the mud to walk back to the cars. The Cadillacs were thick with inches of paint over every inch of surface inside and out of the cars. People who have visited from all over the world left their mark on these cars by spray painting bright colored graffiti and attaching items.

It was amusing as we watched other tourist trying to remove shoes caked in mud. The mud was so thick on their shoes that they had trouble walking. I foruntately had put on my ‘mudders’, so after a quick shoe change we were off again on I-40.

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On the south side of Amarillo, Texas is an RV museum, which is actually a personal collection at Jack Sizemore’s RV Traveland. The Sizemore’s began restoring and collecting unusual vintage RV’s over 25 years ago. They built a museum that houses many of the RV’s in their collection.

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These include the Flexible Bus from the Movie RV and the first Itasca motor home ever built. The museum also had a great display of motorcycles that sat upon shelves on the wall, camping items, and 50’s and 70’s memorabilia strewn about relating to different campers and RV’s through the decades. All were open, so we wandered in and out of them for about an hour, including the retro RV driven by the Gornick’s in the movie.

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We signed the guest book and pinned our town of Columbus, Ohio on the map at the exit. Two world maps were posted since so many people have come to see the museum and marked their homeland with a pin. Europe and the USA were jammed with pins but other countries around the world were pinned also.

 

We arrived at Oklahoma City about late afternoon, and after checking into the Holiday Express in the old Bricktown section. As we walked through the city, we found the Chickasaw Brickyard Stadium, home for the Oklahoma AAA baseball team. It is a minor league team for the L A Dodgers. We sneaked a peek at batting practice before we were asked to leave.

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After dinner at the Bourbon Street Restaurant for dinner, we continued to tour downtown Oklahoma City.

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At the edge of downtown is the Oklahoma City National Memorial dedicated to the 168 killed in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and their families. Two gates tower at each end of the reflective pool. One gate marks the time one minute before the bombing and the other gate marks the time one minute after the bombing. The later time stands for the start of healing.

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A museum detailing the disaster stands on one side of the pool and black metal chairs placed in rows upon the lawn line the opposite side of the pool. The nine rows of chairs represent the nine floors of the building and each chair is the position of the floor for each victim.

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The large chairs embody each adult victim and the small chairs symbolize each child victim within the building’s daycare who died. Five separate chairs signify those victims who perished outside the building at the time of the bombing.

As the sun set through the opening of the west gate, lights illuminated the chairs. Though the scene was a perfect photographic moment, the memorial posed a somber reflection for all.

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