Highway 6 2021

Day 05

June 25

  Once I get west of Chicago, I should be pretty much out in the country until I get to Long Beach, except for an occasional big city. To get from the motel back to Highway 6 entails a bit of a peaceful run through a quiet residential area.  
  With the light early morning traffic, I'm back to the 'mother' road pretty quickly which runs along the shore of Lake Erie at this spot.  
  Every now and then there is an 'opening' without houses so you can actually see the lake ...  
  but most of the time it is nothing but houses packed in tight side by side. Growing up in the country, I never though folks would pay a premium just for a 'view' of something since I could mosey up to the top of hill and see all I wanted to see.  
  As I pass through Vermilion, I see how the town got that interesting name. Having taken some formal art classes when I was a kid, I remember that vermilion was a frequently used base color in some of my 'work'.  
  And along with a lovely name they have a lovely downtown to go with it.  
  I do enjoy it when I can get an uninterrupted view of the lake.  
  As I move away from the lake I see marshy areas like this frequently.  
  As Highway 6 takes me through Sandusky, I see this old house and wonder what was its original purpose It almost looks like it could have been an old fire hall given the arches on the front that are now closed in.  
  I am bumped from my noodling when I see this sign. I have to wonder if they are really about 'safety' or are they more about collecting 'extra revenue'.  
  And then I see one like this and I am really confused. How can a road go West, North and South at the same time?  
As Highway 6 heads west it take me through more peaceful small towns. I think there is a better 'community' sense of responsibility and accountability in places where you can't hide in the 'masses'. I grew up in a small town and you could be sure if you did something wrong, it would beat you home because everybody knew who your parents were and where they lived and usually their phone number.  
  I find this to be an interesting sign that states something I didn't know. I reckon when you learn something, they say your brain wrinkles. So now I guess I have a more wrinkled brain.  
  And the area I am traversing certainly testifies to the message of the sign. But I do have to wonder how much of the farming is family owned and managed versus big corporation owned and managed.  
As I look up ahead, it sure looks like trouble but at least I have a place to pull off and get ready to bake in a bag.  
  There were no good breakfast options when I left the motel, so breakfast pickings are mighty slim this morning. But at least at this tired old convenience store, they've got a gas pump that is out of order so I can shelter under cover from the pouring down rain and eat what I got.  
  I do spot an interesting old church across the street from my breakfast table as the rain comes down in heavy sheets.  
  But it don't take long to dispose of what breakfast I have and I'm back out in the wet. This sight makes me chuckle as it don't look like either vehicle would make it very far to the repair shop the sign speaks of.  
As Highway 6 passes through Nappanee I notice that Amish Acres is now the Barns at Nappanee I have to wonder if it was another 'victim' of the covid plague and the original owners finally gave up. I've ridden up here several times over the years to a 'ride to eat' that Joe, a friend of mine, has hosted. It's funny that I never previously connected that it was right on Highway 6. I guess it's just a matter, like most things, that you don't see if you ain't looking for it.  
  The corn crop looks like it's doing well this year, probably because of the abundance of rain. It seems like it has been a really wet year to me but then that's to me. I have to wonder if the contents of this field will end up being the corn squeezings that they put into our fuel on the pretense that it 'saves' something.  

It's nice to see the Grand Army signs along the way. There's a fraternal organization related to the Grand Army of the Republic and their relationship to this highway. They contacted me about this trip and we had several emails back and forth. The historical connection for me is that it was members of that army that captured my great, great grandfather at the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War and sent him packing to the Elmira POW camp, unaffectionately known by the inmates as 'Helmira'. Its death rate was not that much different that the more well know southern version called Andersonville. But you win the war, you get to write the history and Elmira sort of got swept under the rug until the current century. History is history whether we like the implications or not and only an arrogant fool would ignore or try to rewrite it to fit their agenda or modern ideas.

  Sometimes Highway 6 takes me right into the middle of a nasty traffic jam, but you just learn that this highway will take you to a lot places - just some are more desirable than others.  
  I have to marvel at this rail yard and just wonder how in the world they keep what trains on what tracks.  
  Then you come up on some interesting bridges along the way. This one is a sort of drawbridge that raises up the whole road bed vertically.  
  And then you see structures of less impressive construction but still interesting enough for me.  
  It's been a bit of a long, wet day today so I know this sign means I will be out of the wet and can get some of my wet stuff dried out a bit. I reckon that's what they make motel room hair dryers for. Regardless of how good you may think your rain gear really is, riding in it all day will show exactly how good it is - or isn't.  
  Eating opportunities are a bit of a walk but I need the exercise anyway after sitting on SweetTreat for so long. I figure I've not eaten at an Olive Garden in a long time, so I am up for a culinary adventure.  
  Breakfast was a long time ago and mighty slim, so I order a calamari appetizer. It is pretty good, but nothing like I had when I had it fresh on my New Zealand trip.  
  The chicken parmesan was so-so as the chicken was a little 'limp'. But I ain't much of food critic so it goes down the hatch as is.  
  The long walk back does me good as I think about where I've been and where I am going. With all my 'electronic' chores behind me, it does not take long for the candle of awakeness to be blown out.