Day 10: Onward in Indiana!

I’ll spare you a lot of details since I’ve complained enough over the past few days. But to sum up, for those that are interested in mechanical things, it seems the distributor was the culprit.  The mechanic explained the vibration of a slightly bent stem (or whatever it’s called) as being the speedo, whirring sound.  The bucking was most likely the cam sensor (replaced the day before). It took a couple hours for the distributor to arrive… and then another hour to install… And then the engine wouldn’t start. Say what? I never have starting problems. So the mechanic spent about 2 more hours checking everything, de-corroding connections, replacing wires… and then I was off. With fingers and toes crossed.

No more whirring or humming or bucking. But. The acceleration still sounds a little different to me. Kind of higher pitched. Which concerns me and which I mentioned to the mechanic after the repairs. He couldn’t hear it. I also have a squeaking sound from the front panels not being put back just-so. He took it out for a test drive to fix and banged on them to fix. Of course, that “fix” didn’t last an hour. I’ve been banging on them myself to no avail. Maybe I’ll get used to it. Four more weeks of it though just might drive me crazy. City driving in Chicago tomorrow should be a real test!

So, we didn’t get moving until early afternoon.  I decided to stick close to Fort Wayne for awhile in case I needed to go back to the shop. But after 5 hours or so of uneventful driving, it’s full speed ahead.  The dogs are happy to get back to a) barking at motorcycles and b) sleeping. Two of their favorite activities in life.

Let’s move on to the photos. I’m sure you’ve missed them!  These first few photos were from before all hell broke loose and I got stranded.

I’d been worried that this one in Lafayette might be gone since I last saw it maybe six years ago.  But the  place is now a thrift shop or something and the sign’s been left to linger.  Sorry about the white background — truly crappy rainy weather that morning:

This building in West Lafayette, now a Chase Bank, was designed by Louis Sullivan.  Pretty small scale compared to the other buildings I’ve seen of his:

Glazed terracotta details:

A nice two-fer from Akron:  a payphone and a vitrolite-fronted drug store:

This photo was taken en route to the mechanics in Fort Wayne — glorious blue skies torturing me since I’d be sitting all day, nearly two days there.

This one from Fort Wayne was taken on a test drive that didn’t go so well… had to go back for another day because the whirring sound came back.  This sign is most likely modern in entirety — but still a fun name and bubbles: 

A couple fun yet sad banks — must’ve been part of the same chain — both abandoned now — both in Fort Wayne:

Kitty corner from the first bank was this sign I’d been wanting to see.  Oddly enough, there’s only a boarded up old baby box 1920s-ish gas station on the lot.  Must’ve been a tiny drive-in with lots of room for the cars.  I assume there was a Humpty Dumpty figure on top of the sign originally:

Still on pins & needles in Fort Wayne… I think this is finally the first Azar’s Big Boy I’ve seen.  This Wikipedia site covers the Big Boy variations & history far better than I ever could:

Finally moving on with some optimism — from Syracuse:

Also from Syracuse — but alas, this place is no more.  Just concrete slabs where the greens used to be.

Stuck at a long light somewhere, forced to stare at this ahead of me (hence the bug-smeared windshield quality).  I’m sure the owners of this truck find this artwork awesome.  But it looks awfully 8th grade to me.  Those eyes are haunting, aren’t they?

And last one for the day — making progress through Indiana at a rapid clip — the Pang Ford Motel (Google says it’s two words) in Mishawaka.  What an odd assortment of elements:

So — I hope you’re ready for us Chicago!  I’ll see what we can bang through tomorrow.  Technically, I should really be starting Day 1 or Iowa tomorrow.  But I’m going to allow myself one day in the Big City before hitting the interstate.  Maybe a few choice, not-to-be-missed-this-time stops in Illinois on Wednesday.  And then it’ll be time to focus on the big three for this trip:  IA, KS & MO.  If we fall behind, it’ll just be tough for the other states planned for the way home.

23 thoughts on “Day 10: Onward in Indiana!

  1. That’s great news – back to taking photos. Have a safe trip, here’s wishing you no more unexpected “speed bumps”.

  2. Dear Debra Jane,
    Hope that Sparkle will run like a champ for the rest of the trip! Sorry to hear that time in my hometown of Chicago will get cut short.
    I look forward to any new stuff you shoot there, since I always like to see what the town looks like, being away from there for so long.
    Speaking of photos, how are you enjoying DEE? I assume you have the 18-105mm lens for it? Glad you had your sensor spot go away. I had one and blew it off with an ear syringe.
    Look forward to great pics. Have fun with the pups. Maybe stop at a Dominick’s or Jewel and get some PINWHEELS for yourself. Take care!

    • Thanks for all your good wishes and suggestions. Sparkle started up eagerly this morning…. but now it’s pouring rain (6:30am). Hopefully, it’ll clear some. But if it’s pouring, I’ll take it as a sign to head to Iowa and get back on schedule. I will always return to Chicago. It’s one of my fave places. Maybe top 5. Maybe even #1. For sure, next year at this time during the Michigan/Wisconsin trip. But hoping to get some stuff today. I will definitely grab some Pinwheels when I notice them. It’s been mostly an ice cream trip so far. Very hot and humid! I wouldn’t know where to put an ear syringe. Yes, it’s the 18-105 lens. I bought a couple other lenses a couple months ago — but was unimpressed and returned them. One a super zoom for nearly $4,000 (don’t remember the exact name/number) but it gave me no better quality and not that much more zoon. The other supposed to give not quite so much zoom but better quality (it was not much different). I’m sticking with what I got and am 98% satisfied.

  3. Glad that you’re back on the road. I’ll light my Elvis Powerful Prayer lucky candle for you.

    The Big Boy sign has got me humming the Elias Brothers Big Boy jingle (mid-60s):

    Elias Brothers, the home of the Big Boy
    We’re all over Michigan, up north and to the south
    Elias Brothers restaurant will feed your hungry mouth
    Elias Brothers, the home of the Big Boy …

    • Thanks — it’s great to be taking photos again — and quite an extreme difference from sitting on my butt in that dreary waiting room for three days — to Chicago where I could stop and shoot something every 20 seconds. I welcome all candle-burning and any other forms of black and white magic to keep us from further mishap.

  4. Happiness that Sparkle is moving again! I hope you were able to catch up on a couple of good nights’ sleep at the motel.

    As we Chicagoans say: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes, it’ll change.”

    • Well, sure enough — the weather totally changed from awful to nice. Loads of stuff from Chicago to make you smile tonight and tomorrow. Stay tuned. And Sparkle is puttering away like a true champ. It wasn’t her fault that those morons couldn’t find what was wrong. It’s probably her original distributor for all I know.

  5. Well, if you’re ever back in Chicago I have a good friend who’s an architect who loves to take people on kayak tours of downtown via the Chicago River. Obviously it’s not the sort of architecture for your blog but I imagine it’s a neat way to see the city. He’s always pestering me to go when I’m in town but I refuse because there’s no way I’m getting anywhere near the Chicago River but if you’re not squeamish about the possibility of getting poop in your eye it’s probably a great experience. He would even take your dogs on board as well. Here’s a clip of a little tour he did for some French t.v. program:

    He loves your blog, I sent him a link ages ago and he was ready to kill me because he spent so much time going through it, I’m sure he’d be really happy to take you if you were interested.

    • It seems unlikely that I’ll be doing a leisurely kayak tour anytime soon. The dogs would be absolutely nuts and tipping the boat every minute I’m sure. Not a good thing since I can’t swim. Although I guess the life preserver would keep me from drowning. Tell your friend that there’s gonna be a whole lot of Chicago at the blog & Flickr tonight and tomorrow night. And then when I get home, a TON more stuff for the site. What I upload each night to both spots is just a teensy fraction of what I shoot each day. Now what about this “poop in the eye” thing? Bird poop? Human poop? I’m pretty hardy so that probably wouldn’t be a deterrant.

      • The Chicago River, is, uh, kinda nasty. You’ve maybe read Upton Sinclar’s ‘The Jungle?’ Bubbly Creek still exists, I don’t think it’s even possible to clean it up. Sewage, chemicals, garbage, you name it, in the river. One drop of water hits your eye and probably you’ve got poop in your eye. But my friend takes lots of people kayaking and so far no one has come down with typhus, even the ones that have fallen in. The river grosses me out though so I won’t go even though it’s probably safe enough.

    • One day at a time dear. Not for probably about two weeks. Will definitely let you know (or you’ll be able to tell from Flickr & the blog) when I arrive in KS. Wichita area isn’t til towards the end of that state’s route. Looking forward to a night off!

    • Sparkle’s running good! Did the other Humpty Dumpty locations have signs like this? Any others left? Thanks! Glad you’re on the bus — I always appreciate your expertise.

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