Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Best Laid Plans......

I'm the type that doesn't like surprises...most of the time anyhow.  For example, if I have my day, no matter how mundane, planned out, I don't want the wife, or one of my friends who might drop by unexpectedly, to want me, at the last minute to go somewhere or do something I had not planned on....just call me a creature of habit, in that regards.   On the other hand, once I decide to do something, I usually do it....the Hell with the consequences. 

Early in the week I had heard from my old friend Rick up near LaOtto, Indiana, a drive of some 75 miles or so....he had been going through some vertigo issues as well as other injuries from, frankly, just over doing I decided that Wednesday{yesterday} I would go see how he was...and rather than tell him I was coming up, I just decided to jump in the Nitro, arm myself with a large coffee, and camera, and take off....the 70-75 mile trip would likely be over 100, as I planned on taking the back roads and defy the TomTom GPS "she" argued with me and the Nitro on just which way to turn and what roads to take...these GPS, while they are great, like to keep it simple, me on the other hand use the TomTom to keep me going towards my destination, while taking the back, seldom traveled roads.

So I plugged the TT in and headed west towards Indiana, missing all the state and federal roads I could until I got past Decatur, Indiana....then it was up I-469 to US 33, past Churubusco, then more back roads to LaOtto, then Old Rt 3 back south before finally ending up at Rick's place.  I arrived just after Noon, and Rick's truck was there, but nobody was home...what are the odds?  The guy has been staying pretty much at home with his injuries and vertigo, but the day I decide to travel to visit...he is gone.  I make a call to his cell phone, he answers, and turns out Rick and wife Toni are in Fort Wayne with her sister....O' Well, no problem, we talked for 10 minutes or so...and I headed back and alternate route.

After all I didn't call ahead, and really had no reason to expect Rick to be there, but I wanted to take the day off and travel anyway...sometimes I do that.  I had been thinking about making a trip down to Waldo, Ohio, grab a famous Baloney Sammy at G&R and maybe head to Millwood, the tiny berg my GGG-Grandfather Israel Houseworth had help found and settle back in the's been 3 or 4 years since I had been to Millwood, and at least a year since I had went to Waldo, where the Houseworth Family had moved in the middle 1800s, before my Great-Grandparents headed to the Black Swamp of Paulding Country after the Civil War.  So, that is my next "Road Trip", along with the one Nick and I will make to the Chicago area in January as we move Sam's stuff, when he finds an apartment that suits him.

Anyway, back to yesterday...I managed to find some roads I had never been on before, and snapped a few shots as I headed north and west, on the return trip, I pointed the TomTom GPS and Nitro back towards Celina, but used a north and east direction, which took me to I 69, when I got off of that, and onto US 30 I stopped by the newly opened Pilot/Flying J Truck Stop just outside New Haven, Indiana.  The Flying J's were like a second home during Sam and my RV days between 2002 and 2008.  Flying J had been planning on building a new stop at the I 69/30 interchange for years, but that permit process was stopped, when the gas/fuel increase costs of the recession caused FJ to file for bankruptcy....they merged with Pilot and began anew.

Flying J's were always tacky and even though fuel costs were low, the cost of the items and quality of food was "iffy", the food quality varied from location to location, but I liked the fact on my travels, they always had a hot shower for low cost, they usually had room for the RV drivers to park our rigs and spend the night, much nicer than roadside rest the Flying J's between the years of 2002 and 2008 became my home away from home, and basically yesterday I stopped at the new one in New Haven, just to get a nostalgic boost..while I was there I signed up for a Pilot/Flying J Rewards Card, to replace my old expired one of years gone by.  I probably will seldom use it, but it brought back some decent memories of that 5 years of traveling the roads of America with both small and large RVs and driving, more often than not, the Jeep home on the return trips.

Today it's up to Lima to the Nissan dealer up that way to get a "Key" programmed on Patricia's new Altima....the dealer in Celina gave her one key{the keyless key type, makes sense, doesn't it?}, that was programmed, but they had another that wasn' that needs to be taken to the regional dealer so they can program it...that happens early this afternoon, then it's back here, change, and get ready to head to Spencerville for a Girls JV game tonight...

No game tomorrow, but back to LCC on Saturday morning for a Junior High double week is another full week of basketball with five games on the schedule.

back later>>> I drove north on the Ohio/Indiana Line my TomTom GPS was telling me I need to head back east to the main road...I ignored "her" and headed straight north towards my destination using the back roadways.  Amish Country was pretty quiet on this cool but sunny December day, an old barn on what was once a farm house lot, sits empty in the morning sun, while 3 horses stare at this human as he shot them with camera out of my car window. Prices are down somewhat....and a few cents less than most places at the newly opened "Flying J" outside New Haven and Fort Wayne at the I-469/US 30 interchange...and nearly home in the mid afternoon sun I snapped this shot of the St Marys River near Rockford, Ohio, looking west from where I came.

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