T/Blues: 09/01-02/2012

As Hurricane Isaac threatens to vigorously “wag its wet tail” into Chicagoland, like Huck Finn, decide to “light out” a bit early.

Irony, however, has a fateful gift for abounding, so by the time I-80/90 is reached, “King” Isaac reigns, RAINS, and reins in my speed. Gradually, Isaac’s torrential “starboard” side squalls and the incessant spray of overtaking trucks wears me to a frazzle, so, just past Hammond, Indiana turn off onto near-empty US-20. Turns out to be a good decision, as rain relents, and am back to driving through hamlets of modest residential areas, punctuated occasionally, by commercial strip malls.


Toy Parade… how MANY small towns still sport toy stores?

Make an obligatory stop at La Porte/IN’s library after a short, tension-relieving nap, and as La Porte is dry enough to support a “walkabout”, go a-wandering. A few architecturally attractive churches, and a “main drag” (Lincolnway) which has an eclectic collection of small shops, and a magnificent old courthouse.

Switch over to awesome US-31 (only four lanes, a superwide divide and shoulders as broad as a football lineman), then onto US-12 and into Niles, Michigan. (Niles singular claim to fame MAY be a huge, tall Home Depot sign tucked in beside a cemetery). Alas, Niles’ local Wal-Mart resists those of us who use their parking lots as RV parks, so slip down to South Bend Indiana for a bit of nocturnal community.

Am disappointed as morning begins with overcast/drizzle, so pass on idea of photographing Notre Dame University’s golden dome.


Cassopolis Maintenance Shop… homage to the ’50s

Small town Cassopolis, Michigan catches my attention with a series of trompe l’oeil images of a circa 1950s Chevrolet agency/garage imprinted onto the walls of a city maintenance building. Moseying around in search of a morning-starting bakery “fix”, am pleased to see a tall, middle-aged black man with his arms resting on the open driver-side window sill of a Caucasian man’s pick-up truck… both in animated discussion about an impending local election (maybe those long-ago marches DID have some value).

In Kalamazoo (yes, old-timers, only because of that World War II song “I’ve Got a Gal, in Kalamazoo,’zoo, ‘zoo”), tour their splendid Aviation Museum.

Stop briefly in Battle Creek, only to discover Kellogg hasn’t offered tours for years (so much for MY notes). With Post Creals less than a mile away though, there is a rich aroma associated with this tiny “company” town.


Main St… a slice of old-time America

Note a convenient motel near Chelsea and am fascinated to find it the home of JiffyMix (admittedly, a product never USED). Their modest downtown enchants: perfect scale, quite clean, an interesting mix of pedestrians (middle-aged, middle-class tourists; a bevy of motorcyclists; a couple young hand-holding couples… almost expect Norman Rockwell and easel sited on some corner).


One Response to T/Blues: 09/01-02/2012

  1. Howard says:

    I remember cereal tours in Battle Creek. Went there on business ( adding Mg to fortify cereal) and got the VIP tour of their plants. No large sales but had a good time. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: