DAILY UPDATES.... This page will have updates from my trip, I'll try and post something everyday. If you have any comments or ideas please send me an email.

APRIL 6 - 12     APRIL 13 - 19     APRIL 20 - 26      APRIL 27 - MAY 3    MAY 4 - 20     MAY 21 - 27      MAY 28 - JUNE 5

JUNE  6 - 15       JUNE 16 - 30      JULY 1- 8       JULY 9 - 16


April 13, 2005
Late to bed = Late to rise....
I spend the day at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and now I'm off to Dayton, OH.

Sorry, I've been slacking off a bit, here's the past couple days.....

4-13RockRoll0005.jpg (106204 bytes)

April 14, 2005
I thought I was going to get in a lot of driving, but I got side tracked in Dayton visiting historic locations of the Wright Brothers - Huffman Prairie Field, Wright Cycling Company and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park.

Huffman Prairie Field has been referred to as "sacred ground" in the history of aviation, this is the area where the Wright Brothers perfected powered flight - it's just a boring field (with white flags to mark the boundaries), but it's first real airport and where it all really happened. Kitty Hawk was just the first flight, the real stuff happened at Huffman Prairie Field.

On Friday night I spend some time at a bar in Dayton, OH chatting with some folks about their job working in a nursing home, I learned the finer points of bed pans, geriatric sex and ghosts.

4-15brosairport0002.jpg (157498 bytes)
Wright Brothers Airport

414 huffman0023.jpg (80580 bytes)
Huffman Prairie Field

April 15, 2004
The nice part of IN being so flat is that anytime you get lost you just look in the distance for a water tower, every town seems to have a water tower with their name, very convenient, and it probably serves their water needs too!

I had the chance to chat with a guy (the switch turning guy) from the railroad in Ashland, IN. Basically he told me that he rides the train between stops and changes the switches. As I watched him he said I could stand right next to the tracks and 250-ton train engine, "Just don't try and climb on it."

I stopped on the side of the road to ask a cop for directions in Whitestown, IN, as I was talking with him I notice he was the Chief of Police. I told him it was nice to see the boss out on the street, he told me that he and the rest of the department (two other cops) are out on the road all the time. We then chatted about the finer points of ticket quota's and speeding.

4-15commandpost0029.jpg (158703 bytes)
You think you got it bad?

4-15closetrain3211.jpg (130958 bytes)
"Just stay off the tracks"

4-15cemetary0024.jpg (186630 bytes)
Always room for billboards

April 16, 2005
Here is the sunrise from my hotel window on I-74.

Bugs, bugs, bugs - they seem to just fly around the interstate highway waiting to be smashed onto car and truck windshields - and they don't wash off very easily.

While heading toward Davenport I drove for about 20 miles on the old Route 66, it was a bit disappointing,  hopefully the western section in NV, AZ, etc will be a little more interesting.

As the sun began to set I got off the highway looking for a windmill to photograph with a nice yellow/orange sunset. I drove for miles and miles before I finally found a windmill (look on the pictures page) that I thought would make a nice picture. And like all good photographers, I had to wait almost an hour for the sun to be in the right spot (well, it really never got in the right spot). I set up my tripod and was snacking on frosted mini wheats (see the picture to the right) - it was a full-fledged sit and wait for the picture, boy did I feel like a photographer - now I can complain and tell a story of how I got the picture!!

As I was waiting for the sun I guy pulls up in his pickup truck and wants to know what I'm up to (I did have my tripod in his field), long story short, I told him I just wanted to get a few pictures of his windmill and he said, "No problem." After the sun went down we chatted about farming, steel work (he's a union steel worker) and photography. And, since we're union brothers he invited to stop by his house anytime in the future, "Just knock on the door." So next time I'm in the neighborhood I'll have a place to stop.


4-16sunrisecar0046.jpg (65607 bytes)
The sunrise woke me up

4-16deadbugs3236.jpg (75314 bytes)
My windshield - lots of bugs!

4-16route66255.jpg (63215 bytes)
McLean, IL

4-16waiting0004.jpg (134078 bytes)
Waiting for the sun...

4-16guns3239.jpg (116980 bytes)
Who knew??

4-16racism3265.jpg (64841 bytes)
Just a  friendly reminder in IL

April 17, 2005
Pretty eventless day, I did some clothes shopping and some laundry.

April 18 & 19, 2005
Quote of the Day: "Diamond plate is a girls real best friend."  .....overheard in the "chrome" section at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop.

I have a few comments to make after spending almost a week in the mid west states:
1. Country music is upliftingly depressing
A. My wife just died, BUT I scrounged up enough money for a real nice funeral...
B. My son committed suicide, BUT now I know what signs to look for...
C. I was just diagnosed with cancer, BUT now I'm going to finally live my life to the fullest...
D. I'm always on the road - I'm never home and my kids don't like me, BUT I have a really nice truck.
D. The list goes on.....  :)

2. Soon, we may just call this place the United States of Wal-Mart.

3. Here's my plan to solve the social security problem. Close the casino's and the retired people will once again have plenty of money in their pocket.

I finally go the chance to see a barge go through one of the Mississippi River locks (lock 11 to be exact). I also found out that the US Army Corps has spent a few dollars for wireless internet at all the lock houses - Thanks  :) 

The picture to the right is a barge stopping on the Mississippi River (at about 1am) to let off a crew member. There is a barge "taxi cab" company that will meet your barge, anywhere and anytime, if you need to get off the boat for family or emergency reasons.

I had another run in with the man - he was concerned that I failed to use my blinker in his one-cow town. I explained that I was tired and just looking for a place to sleep - he was kind enough to send me on my way.

4-19iowa800021.jpg (101748 bytes)
Iowa 80 Truck Stop

4-19sears0053.jpg (127068 bytes)
Somewhere in IL

4-19lock110083.jpg (110296 bytes)
Lock 11

4-19bargetaxi0040.jpg (47931 bytes)
The barge and the dingy