Sunday Morning Breakfast and a Special Treat!

April 23, 2006

Yep, it is Sunday, and time for another breakfast at the now World Famous, I am sure because of this Blog, Shapiro's in downtown Indianapolis. I debated on my trip west on Washington Street just when and where I should stop for gas. I decided to stop at Emerson. As I was filling up, I set the GPS to recalculate a route to Shapiro's for me. It was not down Washington Street, but rather south on Emerson, and across on Prospect Street. I was game for a change a route, so I embraced technology, and let my gadget lead me to my morning meal.

The one part I liked about this trip was that Prospect Street runs right through Fountain Square. This area was known as the downtown of the Southside from the turn of the 1900's until Interstate 65 divided the neighborhood, sending it into a frenzy! Thirty years later, the are still struggles to get on their feet. One of my favorite places in Fountain Square is the main building that houses a Theater, Duck Pin Bowling, a Fifties Style Diner, and Shelbi Street Cafe. Don't worry, there will be a time that I ride to Shelbi Street, and I will tell you all about it.

I arrived at Shapiro's at near 8:30am. I could tell the warm weather was ahead, as there were more bikes parked in the lot, then there has ever been this year. We all knew that our fearless leader, Mr. Reed, would be away this week, and I noticed immediately that his chair was left empty. No one would dare take the place of our founder. It was a strange and eerie honor to him. The other thing I noticed was the sea of white hair at the table. I can't say that I mind, as it must make me look really youthful! (I can only hope.)

I stepped into line, and ordered a Veggie Omelet, with Egg Beaters, and Wheat Toast. The gal at the cash register had already pulled out the Orange Juice from the refrigerator, and was stirring it when I arrived to place my order. It is nice going to a place enough that the people who work there know you. It becomes like a trip to a friends house for meal, then going to a restaurant.

Easyrider Jim had returned from a snowbird's season in Florida. We talked a little to catch up on what happened, and I had to re-tell my version of Gene's crash on the Texas trip, although, I was in the lead, and it all happened behind me. Later on Gene would show up, so all the questions that I didn't know the answers to, Gene could oblige.

It was a beautiful day outside, and I from a couple days ago, that I would ride farther than just to breakfast, today. Around 10, I split up with the rest of the group, and headed out to I-70, west this time, not east. I was heading about 50 miles west on the super slab. The MP3 player has really made the times that I just need to get somewhere a lot easier. However, it is never easy seeing an accident about to happen. A semi was trailing left out of the right lane, with a car right next to it! The car saw the truck, honked, and they both swerved to avoid each other. I had a thought, that I was feeling that car was spending too much time running along side that truck. I sped up to pass by the eighteen wheels as quickly as I could. I was going out to Bridgeton, Indiana. About this time last year, a Firebug decided that the Covered Bridge had done him so wrong, he needed to burn it down. Unfortunately, he was very successful. Success had also come to the town in the form of donations and volunteers to re-build the bridge. I had already started documenting the re-build, and they had been sawing up logs donated from woods in the area.

When I arrived at the Bridgeton Mill parking lot, there were several cars, and one motorcycle, setting there. About eight to ten people were milling around the mill, the river, and where the bridge used to be. The mill, however, was still closed. The owner, Mike, usually promises to be there, everyday, 10am until tired. It was past ten, but no Mike, at least not yet. If you would like to know more about Mike, The Bridgeton Mill, and the rebuilding of the Covered Bridge, click here.

I went on my way, and shot some video of the bridge supports under construction, and the fast moving water flowing over the dam. I also had short conversation with the other two bikers that wee there. They had ridden down from Monon, Indiana. While I was shooting the make-shift lumber yard, with permission, I noticed that Mike had showed up in his Bridgeton Mill Pick Up Truck. I had left a couple of DVD's in his door, and I thought I should go back and make sure he got them.

I packed up my gear, and ran back across the concrete span and back into the mill parking lot. Bart, another town member helping with the rebuild was also inside the mill. I could see that he had his DVD in hand. Mike seemed happy to see me. Mike is one of those guys that it takes about three minutes until you consider him a friend. Maybe it is the small town atmosphere, but Bart was also that way. The three of us talked until the store at the mill got busy, and customers started asking questions. I was here for yet another mission: Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream. When I mention that, a lot of people seem to cringe. Go ahead, don't try it, just more for me to enjoy! My afternoon delight didn't feature any sky rockets in flight, and I have to say that I noticed that I didn't get as much pie crust as I did when I had this frozen treat last fall.

The time for me to leave the mill had long passed, as Mike was very talkative. The last few times I talked to him, it was still close to the day of the fire, and he was unsure whether there would be another covered bridge in this town. With trees being sawed, and builder all but picked, he was much more upbeat. He was kind of like an expecting father.

I headed out of town on a typical road for Parke County, one that weaves back and forth through the farms in the area. Eventually, I arrived at Big Rocky Fork Covered Bridge. Here I would stop, mount the camera on the gas tank of the motorcycle, and shoot some on board video. Maybe some day I will figure out how to put video on this blog, or at least links to it.

I made two passes along a nicely wooded area, one in the normal screen size, and then one wide screen. The wide screen version ran until I pulled into Greencastle. I stopped, fueled up, and pulled the camera gear off the bike.

From Greencastle, I would ride to US 40, the National Road, and take it all the way home. I passed the Indianapolis Zoo, and I could just see the top of an Elephant's Head, as I cruised by. I really look forward to riding and writing more. This ride just seemed like a taste of the season yet to come. I know I will be making more rides to Bridgeton, and Mike and I will keep you posted on the developments with the new Covered Bridge. They hope to have the bridge back and ready for foot traffic by this fall's Covered Bridge Festival. If you have never come to the festival, I encourage you do so. There is no other county in the country that you can see 31 Covered Bridges.
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