GOE X Day One: A Cloud Hangs Over the Event

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So the day I wait for all summer has finally come. I guess since summer only officially started at 8:30 this morning, I just didn't say much did I? I guess I actually wait from when the last one ended. GOE, or Gathering of Eagles is the National Rally for Cruiser Club, USA. It is almost like a family reunion, but it is with my motorcycling family.

I started the day packing the baggage on the bike, with my first stop being the PUD, Parental Unit Dwelling. Not so fast, I needed fuel, and I needed money, so after a pit stop at Kroger and First Indiana, I was heading out to the house I grew up in. I stayed away from 465, and took some surface streets until I go to Keystone Avenue, which is a major road through Indianapolis. After a brief wait to make a left turn onto 99th Street, I moved on to my parent's house.

I arrived at 7:45, and my mother was moving towards her car, getting ready for her short trip to work. I went in the house, after seeing that dad's BMW was packed up. He emerged from the back of the house, he asked if I was ready to go. After a brief look at the paper, we headed out.

Again, we kept to the lower profile streets, eventually joining the traffic on SR 32, and headed into Noblesville. We would proceed through town, and take SR 37 North. A large part of the next section of the route was the same I followed last week to the reunion. Instead of turning in Elwood, we went straight, continuing on SR 13. I was once again surprised that the Elwood Airport Restaurant still had substantial business for a Wednesday Morning.

We took a break in Marion, at a gas station that didn't have a restroom. It was sprinkling on us as we took a break, but not enough rain to even worry about. We continued on our through several classic Indiana towns like Cambridge City. We had to take a short cruise on I-69, before we would exit, and arrive at Don Hall's Guest House. Not a lot of bikes to speak of around the parking lot, but I could see the registration table in the lobby. We went in and got our packets, t-shirts, and hotel room.

After checking out the room, we headed back out to find a full tank of fuel at the BP at the nearest corner. Our trip on our planned route would not be long before we were guided on another detour. In Indiana, they will not detour on a lesser road, so when you are on a State Road, you are diverted along State Roads, Highways, or Interstates. Often, as in this case, that means a long trip out of the way, about 15 miles in this case!

So out 55 mile trip to Amich Acres turned into a 70 miles trip of hunger pains making me wish I was there a lot sooner! We parked in the lightly filled parking lot, and walked inside. After paying for lunch, it was my father's day gift, we sat at our table, and let the young woman, dressed in Amish Garb, except for her Nike Tennis Shoes, serve us round after round of Amish Food.

The tour back, and I did mean it to be a tour, was a cruise around many lakes. Our first discovery was that the detour we had taken early was for a single railroad track crossing. This time, we diverted, with the help of the GPS, only 2 miles, or less. The first lake on the list is Indiana's Largest, Lake Wawasee. After that came the town of North Webster, and Lake Webster. After bailing out on the route in favor of not driving on gravel, we took a nice tour of Loon Lake. From there is was between two of the Tri Lakes Areas, and around a small mobile home, we arrived at Big Lake. Here we would take brief rest, and a it was chance for a photo op.

The trip from here was a meandering one, but it was only about 25 miles. We fueled up before returning to the hotel. A cookout around the pool awaited un in about an hour, but it also looked like foul weather was brewing also. We could hear the others in the are talking about hail. The only other riding we would do is move the bikes under an overhang.


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