Indiana

Pushing on with Interstate 65 we move north into Indiana. Louisville seemed to be one of those border cities that sprawl across into neighbouring states – it spans across the Ohio river with ‘suburbs’ so we had some built-up area to move through. We pulled into a rest spot about 20 miles into the state and had a rest up before resuming back on the interstate – it wasn’t too manic. We pulled into the junction town of Taylorville where there was a large outlet mall. We parked up at the Cracker Barrell for the evening and had a wander around the shops and then refuelled and recharged – and posted, over at the local Starbucks. Having parked up at the Cracker Barrell it was only fair that we catch a bite to eat there before settling in for the evening. Monday morning had a nice sunrise but it was all too brief and before we knew it we had steady rain. Pulling out of Taylorville we called at the local RV yard for some advice on what might be going on with Romin. The RV shop was little help to us but directed us to the Ford dealer in Shelbyville so we pushed on. We stuck to some secondary back roads and before we knew it we were right in the thick of a really heavy thunder and lightning storm – it was right on top of us. We saw lightning hit a power pole nearby causing a splash of sparks. Visibility was very poor – we contemplated pulling off the road and trying to ride it out but pushed on as best we could – fortunately traffic on the roads was being sensible giving each other space. We pulled into Shelbyville and called at the Ford outlet and got a bit of direction from them, but they were way too busy to be able to look at things for us.

We motored on – with the weather slowly improving – the thunder and lightning behind us. We made our way to an RV park we had selected in Greenfield – this would be our base for the next few days. Our friend Dale up in Montana had put us in contact with a good friend of his from Montana, Jeff Sholty who spends a lot of his time in Indiana looking after his elderly mum. We made contact with Jeff and had high hopes that he would be able to work with us to see some of the sights around Indianapolis over the next few days. We got ourselves settled in at the RV park for the balance of the day. On Tuesday, not having had any joy linking in with Jeff, we decided to push on with our own plans and made our way into Greenfield catching a lift from Dave at the camp (the town was around 5 miles from the camp). We made the call to get a rental car for a couple of days so we could get out to see some of the sights we had in mind, and with car sorted we made the run into Indianapolis on Interstate 70 so we could go and have a look at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The museum had a great display and both Carol and I had a great time taking it all in. Having spent a few hours looking around inside we had a bit of a look around outside but I’d have to say it’s just not the same – we’d like to be on site on the day of a race – besides the Indy car races on the track, NASCAR also run on the track. The track can hold something like 350,000 – I think I read that the Indy 500 is the largest one-day sporting event in the world. The atmosphere on race day must be amazing. Getting through Indianapolis’s late day traffic wasn’t as crazy as I’d expected, and we had a pretty good run back out to the RV park.

On Wednesday morning we had an early start in order for us to make the run over to Dayton, Ohio for the day. We were as close as we were going to get to Dayton from where we were staying in Indiana so made good sense. The run east across Indiana was literally a straight forward run on Interstate 70 – a run of around 130 miles to get us from Greenfield through to the other side of Dayton, Ohio. Why Dayton – well it’s the home of the US Airforce National Museum and truly a bucket list location for me. The run to Dayton took us the best part of 2 hours – being in a rental car certainly made for some easier, and faster travelling. The museum has been on the bucket list for a very long time as the museum houses my other favourite aeroplane – the XB-70 Bomber – I was very excited to see it. The museum is spread over 5 hangers and as I had anticipated would be the case, one day simply isn’t enough time to take in all that is on offer – well atleast not for someone like me – an aviation buff since I was a young fella. We were in the museum by 9.30am and didn’t leave the museum complex until around 5.30pm.

The museum has 5 ‘theatres’ full of aircraft – you start with WW1 and then move across to the WW2 theatres. From there you head into the Korean and Vietnam theatre before pushing out to the Cold War theatre – now I was getting excited. Between the final 2 hangars there’s a Rocket atrium and then the last hangar is the one I was looking forward most to – the Experimental Aircraft theatre – and there taking centre stage, for me anyway, was the XB-70 Bomber. I won’t bore you with details but this plane ticks so many boxes for me – form, style, power and performance and above all of that, the futuristic design of it. Needless to say I spent a lot of my day in that last theatre and before leaving at the end of the day, had to head back out there for one final look. Might be sometime before I’m able to come back via these ways. Very excited by the day – besides the XB-70 I was chuffed to find a whole load of unexpected other aviation treasures on display today – I’m thinking my must-see list is now pretty much ticked off – well, for now anyway.  Getting back out of Dayton we made our way over to Interstate 70 to make the trek back west to the RV Park. We were making good progress until the dreaded ‘road works ahead’ sign popped up – a 10-mile crawl later we finally inched our way through the jam and were in clear traffic again – finally. The traffic backed us up for around 40 mins so it was dark by the time we made it back to the RV Park, but we made it.

On Thursday morning I made the trek back into Greenfield to drop the rental car off and then we prepped to head off in the camper again. With Romin running rough we made it back over to Shelbyville and then headed west on Highway 44 to intercept Interstate 69. The landscape back out in the open of the Interstate was full of harvest activity intermixed with rolling hills. The harvest activity was corn and soya being harvested – combiners kicking up dust. The run south on the Interstate was good – not too many trucks roaring by so we enjoyed a good run before branching west on the 64 to the border – another river to cross and we would be in another state. Coming up to the border we noted a big coal mine – obviously there is coal ‘in them their hills’. Time for us to leave Indiana behind.

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