Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 8, Pt.1 - Saint Michaels Church (exterior), Fort Loramie, Ohio

A few pics of the exterior of St Michaels Church in Fort Loramie, Ohio...

(pic #3) Archangel Saint Michael tramples Satan.

(pic #4) I like how Michael looks down, past Satan, towards anyone entering the church.

(pic #5) Real clocks on four sides of the steeple, real bells in the bell tower announcing the half-hours. I was here for three hours, awaiting twilight for some night pictures.

(pic #6) The crosses appear to be iron or steel. The cross on the steeple is gilded, white the one on the back of the church is simply painted white and shows signs of rust seeping through.

(pic #7) Night shot. Not great, but worth the wait. I watched at dusk as pigeons landed in different places on the steeple, leaping off and fluttering down to lower perches, or taking off in pairs and circling the steeple in what appeared to be nothing more than a celebration of flight. Higher up swifts were hunting insects, while below the occasional bat swept silently past just above my head.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 7, Pt 2 - Immaculate Conception Church, Celina, Ohio

A few nighttime images of Immaculate Conception Church in Celina, Ohio. Be sure to click pics for larger images.

Day 7, Pt.1 - Saint Rose Church, Saint Rosa, Ohio

Stained glass windows in Saint Rose Church, Saint Rosa, Ohio. The vent windows below each window are clear glass. I suspect the stained glass vent windows include the names of the Saints in the corresponding windows, but have been removed for restoration or storage/protection.

The first two windows hown are partially obscured by the structure of the choir loft (possibly added later?).

Remember to click on the pics for larger images.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 6, Pt.2 - A Night At The Plaza

With it's triangular main column, uneven vertical rods, panels of various shapes, and light-chasing boomerang pointing the way, the sign in front of the Plaza Motel in Bryan, Ohio, is a wonderful (and rare in Ohio) surviving example of mid-century modern design.

The chasing lights are still mechanically, not electronically controlled. You can hear the control motor spinning inside. One circuit was dead on each side... hopefully they have plans to repair that, as it really is a wonderful sign.

Yes, I stayed here. It's an old-fashioned motor court. Clean, neat, tidy, quiet, cheap, and very comfortable. I'll stay there again next time, too. I have pictures of my room... just ask if you'd like to see them.

Day 6, Pt.1 - The Point Where OH, IN, & MI Meet

The route for day six headed north-east from Auburn to the top right corner of Indiana, then south along the border between Indiana and Michigan until they arrive at Ohio, then south-east to the next overnight stop in Bryan, Ohio. My legs, which weren't really ready at the beginning of this trip, were finally starting to respond, which is important since the north-east corner of Indiana turned-out to have a lot of rolling hills... nothing huge, but with the gravel surfaces it took a bit of work to get to the tops.

Pic #1: A typical road in the top right corner of Indiana. Amish country! If you look closely you can see a buggy moving left down a driveway, and a pair of draft horses pulling a piece of farm equipment on the road ahead.

Pic #2 thru #4: Curious cattle. When I stopped to take a pic of the steers on this farm, one noticed me and, being curious as cattle are, started walking over to see what I was and what I was doing. Other steer noticed and followed, and soon I had a hundred new friends milling about investigating my bike bags, gloves, helmet...

Pic #5: One of the steeper gravel climbs. Note the buggy tracks in the dusty surface.

Pic #6: No fancy sign, just a change in the road surface where Indiana meets Michigan. The Indiana gravel roads were well-packed and fairly easy to ride, but the first road in Michigan proved to be more challenging...

Pic #7: it was mostly deep sand, the kind you'd find on river bank. In this view a car has just passed: you can see the cloud of dust kicked-up, and swerving bicycle tracks where I dabbed a few times before taking a short "breather". Luckily the road became asphalt after about a mile.

Pic #8: Here's the marker acknowledging the point where Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan meet. It's about 130 feet North of the Ohio border. Of course, being a good Ohioan, I tried pushing it a little further north, thus increasing Ohio's territory, but the marker was a bit too heavy to budge.

Pic #9: You can clearly see where Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan meet. Looks just like my maps...

Pic #10: I stopped for dinner a few miles inside the Ohio line. This was the view across the road. A large hawk, possibly a Red-Tail, was hunting low over the distant fields, swooping left and right, then gliding over to the next field. A gang of a couple dozen smaller birds where noisily hunting for early-evening insects in the fields around the cemetery were I'd stopped. Several times they passed just a couple feet over my head, or pulled tight turns right in front of me. It was a good air show.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 5, Pt.2 - Looks Good From Any Angle

"The new car caused a sensation at the 1936 New York Auto Show in November. The crowds around the 810 were so dense, attendees stood on the bumpers of nearby cars to get a look."

Gordon Buehrig's design for the 1936 Cord 810 resulted in a car which my Dad would have told you "looks good from any angle", so here's every angle, thanks to a turntable at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum.

Dad was right.

Day 5, Pt.1 - (not) Frank Lloyd Wright's Cord L29

Cord L29 at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana... alleged to have belonged to FL Wright, but after a little investigation it looks like the connection is indirect.

From the ACD Club website: "For years there has been mis-information abroad leading to mistaken claims and disputes regarding "The Frank Lloyd Wright L-29 Cord" Many of you are familiar with and have seen the orange color L-29 Cabriolet displayed on the first floor of the ACD Museum. The display placards indicate a connection with the famous architect Wright. In truth , this connection is indirect at best inasmuch as this cabriolet was purchased by Mr. Wright's son-in-law William Wesley Peters as a well used car from an East Coast owner in the 1950s. My late father Jonathan Richards saw the car at Spring Green , Wisconsin in the fall of 1961 and purchased the car from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation , in whose name the car was titled. The transaction was handled by Wes Peters from whom we have correspondence regarding the sale and the car's history. My father's purchase of the cabriolet was subsequent to Wright's death in a Phoenix , Arizona hospital on April 9, 1959. My father's deteriorating health prevented his completion of the restoration and he sold the car to Homer Weiss of Florida. Mr. Weiss employed Dave Samuels of Southeast Replicars to restore the car to its present form. Subsequent to the death of Homer Weiss his surviving daughter Laura Weiss Robinson sold the car to a man from Madison, Wisconsin and it was later displayed at the ACD Museum in Auburn, Indiana. At the time of purchase by my father the car was painted Taliesen Red which Wright painted all his collector cars including a Model J Duesenberg Brunn Riviera Phaeton J-521 / 2550 ( now with engine J-440 ) and his customized Lincoln Continental. ID on the cabriolet are Engine #FDA1191, Serial # 2925791 and Body #F 189. The question to be answered is what were the ID numbers on the phaeton sedan involved in the accident in Wisconsin on 11-13-1933. This is the real Frank Lloyd Wright L-29 Cord. Does it still exist and who owns it ? "

So... a cabriolet, owned by Wright's son-in-law in the 1950s. Wright himself owned a (now missing) phaeton. Still a pretty car, but another case of exaggerating the connection with a famous person. Seems like every Mercedes once belonged to Hitler or Eva Braun, every Lincoln belonged to The Mob or the FBI, and every Packard 12 belonged to Al Capone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 4, Pt.2 - Decatur, Fort Wayne, & All Points North

Took all morning to pry myself away from Berne. I followed the buggy wheel tracks along quiet country roads, then suddenly the tracks were gone. I zigged and zagged a couple of times, but no more marks - the road seemed a bit lonelier for their absence.

Arrived in Decatur - another place where the highway bypassed the city center, leaving the business to wilt as national chains built-up the area around the interchange. Took some pictures, then headed north-west to Fort Wayne.

Big city, about the size of Dayton. Lots of neat buildings here, too, and quite a few people riding the bicycle trail. Part of this trail rolls through the wooded north bank of the Maumee River. Narrow, broken, covered in silt from high water and erosion further up the bank, this was not the manicured new trail I'm used to at home! Not to complain... it just took some mental adjustments. I will complain about the lack of helmets though. I was 2 people wearing helmets, out of perhaps 200 riders. Someone should look into marketing bike safety a bit more aggressively.

Day 6 will be the hardest of the trip, riding north-east through hills to the Ohio/Indiana/Michigan border, then south-east to Bryan, Ohio. Long day, not many "friendly" places to stop.

Next time: Auburn, Indiana - City of old cars, old trucks, old tanks, and old buildings, old houses, old hardware stores... but no old bicycle shops.


#1 War Memorial, in front of Decatur Courthouse.

#2 Courthouse in Decatur. Again, more pics when I get home.

#3 Dam mechanism on the Maumee River in Fort Wayne. Great mechanical details - will have to look-up how it works.

#4 Bike rack in front of a bar in Fort Wayne. Literally a "bicycle rack". Very cool.

#5 Former City Hall in Fort Wayne, now a Historical Museum. Note two green dragons at the top center.

#6 Magnificent Court House in Fort Wayne.

#7 Lots of sculptures on the court house. This is Chief Little Turtle. Tecumseh was on the next panel.

#8 Lots of lovely breasts, also...

#9 Mixed motifs. Someone is renovating this home east of downtown Fort Wayne. They need to start over again. Looks like someone dropped one house on top of another.