2014 Great Circle Tour travel blog

Today's route

Pink elephant carrying its own drink near Rochester, IL

Roadside lighthouse in Rochester

Mural commemorating the meeting between President Martin Van Buren and a young...

Giant largemouth bass at the Wild Hog Inn in Decatur, IL

Rooster sedan at Krekel's Dairy Maid in Decatur

Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum in Decatur

A COW -Container on Wheels- for rent at the museum

Indy 500 Pace Car autographed by Emerson Fittipaldi

1937 Chevy "Ute"

Memeorabilia, toys, models, etc. on display

1963 Corvette Stingray Split-Window Coupe - My favorite car of all time

Big Corvettes and little Corvettes

The Intimidator's Wrangler Chevy Aero Coupe

NASCAR advertising on the Wrangler car

1969 Corvair Monza coupe - Last one off the Chevy assembly line

1962 Chevy Bel Aire Coupe - Bubble Top

Tony Stewart display

Cushman motorcycle used for tooling around Indy

Burma Shave imitation

Farm machinery seen on the highways today.

V-1"Buzz bomb" in Greencastle, IN

Winnie a Indy Lakes

Pea Soup Lake from the front window of Winnie


We started our trek east this morning as we left Springfield. Most of today’s route was along US 36 which runs straight as an arrow for over 100 miles from Decatur, IL to near Indianapolis, IN. It was bordered by farms most of the way except for Decatur and a couple of small towns. Most of the corn and soy beans have been planted and the farmers are out with specialty equipment fertilizing and spraying for weeds. Along the way we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since March.

Right after leaving the KOA we passed through the town of Rochester where we saw a pink elephant holding a martini glass and a mural commemorating a meeting between then President Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln in 1842. Apparently Van Buren was trying to resurrect his political career and though it would be good to visit the Springfield area. Lincoln, a member of the Whig party at the time, was asked to be in the reception committee for Van Buren who was a Democrat. Lincoln was said to have kept the group laughing into the night with his wit and humor.

In Decatur, I saw some gasoline signs on the side of a building so I decided to see what they were about. It turned out to be the Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum. The Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum has on display an extensive collection of Corvettes, Camaro’s, various models of other Chevy’s, and memorabilia from the 1920's thru today. There are race cars, Indianapolis Pace Cars, and an assortment of show cars on display. An interesting older Chevy on display was a 1937 Chevy “Ute”. It is a utility vehicle that was assembled in Australia. In the 1930’s Australia had laws about importing finished cars because they were trying to protect auto manufacturing Down Under. Holden, which later became part of GM, was importing Chevy chassis and building bodies that they would mount on the chassis. They were right-hand drive Chevrolets. I was the only one in the museum at the time, but they said there was going to be a classic car show in about 2 hours and the parking lot would be full of cars on display. I wish we had some more time to wait for the car show and explore the museum some more. It’s probably takes about 2 hours to thoroughly see everything. The only negative thing about the museum is that the cars are packed pretty tight making photography difficult. It’s another one of those little know car museums that seem to dot the country.

One of the most unusual war memorials we've seen is located at the Putnam County Courthouse in Greencastle, IN. It is a WW II German V-1 “Buzz Bomb”. A local resident, Frank Durham, served as a reservist in Maryland in 1946. He heard about a number of captured German V-1’s that had been shipped to the United States for storage. The government was about to junk them because they no place to store them so Durham, with the help of the Greencastle Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1550, managed to get ahold of one of the bombs. After legislation was passed in both houses of the U.S. Congress, permission to erect the memorial was given. The V-1 is mounted on a “V” of local granite. It was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1947 and displays the names of Putnam County veterans killed during the War.

We got to Indianapolis area late this afternoon after picking up that hour from crossing the time line at the Indiana border so we decided to stop at Indy Lakes RV Park. Sounds like it would be nice place. It is not. It’s probably one of the worst we’ve stayed in since we started traveling. The site’s are all back-ins and very narrow. There was barely enough room to put the slide out. We did have a lake view sight, but the lake is pea soup green. It’s a pay fishing lake and they have some fish (carp?) in pools for display. About the only thing it had going for it was that is was cheap. We’re only going to spend the night here before we move to a KOA on the east side of Indianapolis. I’m going to have to visit the local Camping World on Monday to see if I can get Winnie’s generator and water heater worked on. I should be able to add another Camping World to my list of stores that I’ve left money in. Stay tuned.

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