We’re a day out of Chicago and just had likely the worst day, or at least night, of the trip so far. So, I figured it’s probably a good time and mood to fill you all in on Indiana. That’s mostly because there’s not much to say. It’s flat and it all looks the same. There you go.
We rode Route 6 most of the way across from Ohio. One of the highlights of the state came on our first meal though. We stopped in the town of Butler and found this little mom ‘n pop restaurant called the Eatin’ Haus. It seemed like an odd choice but the town was mostly empty, this place was open, and it looked like the old folks were digging it. As a quick side note, it seems like that’s pretty much the only people left in most of these towns we pass through. Or maybe we’re just old souls ourselves and are naturally drawn to such locales. Anyhow, in went starving and out we came stuffed to gills and only $24 lighter. That included two trips to the salad bar, two Arnold Palmers (our drink of choice), two hearty broasted dark chicken meals, and two slices of pie. Amazing. Marissa had a smile stretched from ear to ear.
Since it was getting late, we decided to stop early in Waterloo and found a little roach motel, roaches included free of charge! Squeaky bed, lots of fly swatting, sandals in the shower of course, and a quick getaway the next morning. Well, by quick I mean 11am, which is about average it seems. Somehow though, we managed to put in our longest day after that. Maybe we were just so anxious to put that all behind us. Either way, we found ourselves looking for another treat of a motel 72 miles later and were easily drawn in to the Bel-Air Motel outsider Walkerton. This was much better. I mean, way more class through and through. They had HD converter boxes on the 70′s TV and porcelain ash tray as opposed to that plastic thing in the last spot. So, in celebration we cooked up our favorite/default meal of the trip. It’s pretty simple and tasty. We start with some small, spork friendly pasta (pinwheels in this case), then fry up some chopped onions and peppers with olive oil and some spices. Dump that on the pasta, then pile on some tuna fish for protein, diced green apple, and some avocado. Salt and pepper to hell and then drown the whole mess in more olive oil. Delicious. Of course, it barely fits in our bowls but we that’s okay.
We were pretty beat after that long ride so we took our time the following day and barely pushed ourselves into Valparaiso. We had spent the morning putting out feelers for a potential place to stay on our way into Chicago and started getting some hits by that night. We’d been spoiled by our recent motel stays and decided to push our budget and find another, a Super 8 on the edge of town in a real suburban nightmare.
While we were stocking up at the Target across the street though, we had our best experience of the state. Having met so many good people on our trip and becoming accustomed to small towns, we didn’t think anything of just leaning our steeds up against the wall and walking in. When we came back though, we met Jacquie, who was much more concerned about Bernie and Patrek and had decided it was in our best interest to watch over them until we got back. As we got to talking, the question of lodging eventually came up and we mentioned the Super 8. Jacquie was unimpressed. Wouldn’t we rather crash at her house that she isn’t even staying at? Well, yeah, that would be pretty great but we already signed in at the motel. We pondered this conundrum quite a bit when we got back to our room and eventually decided that it would be against the best interests of our trip to turn down such hospitality. So after an easy night of resting and swimming, we decided to spend an extra day in Valparaiso recouping and planning our Chicago attack.
This was definitely a good idea. We were puckered, sore, and chaffed and a rest day was definitely needed. I can’t say we did a whole lot but that was just fine seeing as there’s not a whole lot to do in Valpo anyhow. Mostly, we sat around in a coffee shop sucking up free internet, finishing the last post, and eventually a nice Mexican dinner. It was a bit surreal though coming back to an empty house, doing laundry, hanging around, listening to music. Could this be our lives someday? No more tents or campstoves, endless pedaling, constant movement. I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet.
Many thanks to Jacquie and her friend Andy for their generosity and trust. It might have been nothing for you but a roof over our heads, a shower, a kitchen to cook in, and a washer for our stinky clothes is everything to us. Good luck in the new house.
The next day saw use pedaling due north for Chicago and a new adventure and another new state for Marissa. Lots to say on that bit of the trip. For now, we’re just leaving Milwaukee on our way to Madison, WI and hopefully another rest day if we can manage it.