Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Monday, September 01, 2008
Peru, IN to New Haven, IN
72 miles (8435 total miles)

We forgot to mention that yesterday completed 6 full months on the road. Our original estimate had us getting back yesterday, but what with the extra rest days here and there, the downtime in South Hill, VA waiting for bike parts, the sick days in Gold Beach, OR, and taking some extra days to get over steep hills, we've added 2 more weeks. But the final countdown has begun - one more rest day and 12 more riding days. We left the motel at 6:45 this morning, and it was still dark (thanks to being on the western edge of a time zone), but we had a great sunrise. We had to go into town (Peru) for breakfast and the only thing open was McDonalds (thanks to it being Labor Day), so it was a pretty uninspiring breakfast and we were underway at 7:30. We crossed the Wabash River on a neat bridge, but the pictures I took of the river didn't come out. We rode through Peru for a surprisingly long time - we thought it was just a small town. It had some nice houses along the road, very tidy with pretty gardens. We had learned that Peru hosts a big circus in the summer, employing local kids to work with them. We saw a lot of circus pictures in the McDonalds, but not many other signs of this activity.

It was very chilly this morning as well but it was a sunny day and got up to 93 degrees eventually. It was very dry, though, and breezy (yes, the usual headwind), so it was fairly pleasant. It was a bit hilly after the first 10 miles or so, but then we were on US 24 most of the day and it wasn't bad at all. We passed several towns without going into them, the largest being Wabash which we went just north of. We hit Huntington about midway and stopped there for lunch. Huntington is a large town near the fork of the Wabash and Little Rivers. We saw a historical marker that described the town's history as a terminus of the Maumee-Wabash portage and part of the Wabash-Erie canal. Near the end of the day, we came into Fort Wayne, a huge town. Our GPS amused itself by taking us through a very meandering path through various Fort Wayne suburbs before plunking us at our motel. We discovered we hadn't downloaded the maps to cover our new route through Indiana, Ohio, and the first part of Pennsylvania, so all we had to go on was our route - we couldn't see the other nearby roads, so we didn't dare go off route for fear of getting totally lost. We're downloading the right maps tonight, though.

Being on a highway meant the scenery wasn't all that interesting. It varied from crop fields and trees to more industrial areas - quarries, warehouses, a Sunoco plant, things like that. We went by the Wabash River a good part of the day and saw it occasionally; we also saw a couple of lakes and a beautiful wetlands area called Eagle Marsh. There were several birds there but they were far from the road and I couldn't get a good picture. A lot of the area next to the Wabash River was filled with wildflowers with signs saying not to mow or spray. There were also a lot more trees and less crops today which was nice. It was a long day - we got to our motel at 5:10, having gone about 71-1/2 miles in 6-3/4 hours. We had lots of opportunities to stop and get sodas, ice or snacks, which was also nice. Tomorrow will also be a long day, about 73 miles, but should be even flatter than today. We'll be going into Ohio, our 28th and final state before getting back into our home state.

Sunrise at our motel in Peru, IN

The bridge over the Wabash River

Houses in Peru

The County Courthouse

Other impressive buildings in town

Indian Lake, outside of town

More of the male/female corn rows

Wildflowers along the Wabash

The Wabash River

A road shot, on Old SR 24

Going by the city of Wabash

On US 24

Grain silos

Farmhouses with more grain silos

Cattails near the road

A close-up of one of the cattails

More wildflowers next to the river

A farmhouse nestled among the trees

Wildflowers with the 'Do not mow or spray' sign

An old log cabin, part of the Forks of the Wabash museum in Huntington

The main building of the Forks of the Wabash Park

The historical marker

An antique Lark parked in front of the restaurant in Huntington

A model of an old airplane in a kids' park, and some kids playing on it

An old house in Huntington

The cupola of what is probably the County Courthouse downtown

An operational drive-in theater!

A beautiful lake outside of town

The Sunoco plant

A train going by behind a soybean field

Coming into Fort Wayne

Eagle Marsh, a large protected wetlands

Houses in a nice Fort Wayne neighborhood we biked through