The Great Summer Trip – Wait Five Minutes

While most of you slept, I woke up Friday at 4:00am and got ready to hit the road. When I left at 5:00, it was 58 degrees and there was just a little drizzle. “No big deal”, I thought.

Stopped at the local gas station, then made a run by the local bank to withdraw some travel cash. The drizzle stopped, and I thought “Good, maybe it’ll dry up now.”

Five miles down the road, it started raining. I had a rain suit in the trunk, but I thought that if I just kept moving I’d be okay. Plus, there’s an old Michigan saying that “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it’ll change.”

Sure enough, about five minutes later it quit raining.

Then five minutes after that, it started raining again.

This pattern would repeat itself for most of the morning. Eventually, I learned that if I wanted to make it stop raining, I needed to put on my rain suit. For whatever reason, there seems to be a cloud repellent sewn into the fabric of my suit that caused the clouds to disperse every time I put it on. Once I realized this, I put the suit on when I crossed the Indiana state line and kept it on until I stopped for breakfast.

If you can’t trust “Honest Abe” to watch your bike, who can you trust?

Around 8:00, I rolled into Wabash, IN.  By then I was feeling like it was time to take off the rain gear, so I parked in front of Abe Lincoln and asked him to keep an eye on things for me while I de-layered.  He didn’t say much, so I figured he didn’t mind.

Of course, then I looked over and saw the large government building that dominated downtown Wabash.  There’s something that appeals to me about classic governmental building architecture.  Forget all the fancy, glass skinned, ultra modern stuff… when it comes to government buildings, I like old fashioned brick-and-mortar construction with large steps leading up to the entrance.

Buildings like these are timeless. This will look good when your great-grandchildren are grown up

By the time I snapped this picture, my stomach was rumbling and I was thinking about where to score some local eats.  Right about then, a stranger walked by and gave me a smile and a “Good morning” in stereotypical Hoosier Hospitality fashion.  I asked him where I could get some breakfast that wasn’t from a national chain restaurant.  He asked me “Do you want a greasy spoon or linen napkins?”  I told him that I wanted a greasy spoon restaurant, and he replied “Oh, well then you want the Rock City Cafe” and proceeded to give me directions.  I thanked him for the directions, wished him a good morning, and he headed on his way.

After packing my rain suit, I mounted my mechanical steed once more and made my way to the Rock City Cafe.  I walked in the door, and who was the first person I saw?  The guy who gave me the directions.

Meet John H. Whittenberger II

John’s not really as blurry as he appears in this photo

We sat over breakfast for an hour (he had two eggs, meat, and toast, while I had biscuits and gravy).  Quite an interesting fella – he reminds me of an old friend of mine from Texas.  He’s a bit of a jack-of-all trades like I am, but he really should consider a career as a voice over guy.  He has the kind of mellifluous, sonorous voice that a nasaly Yankee like me can only dream of.  Lucky bloke.  He can also turn a good phrase, which is a trait that I admire in a man.

After breakfast we exchanged pleasantries outside of the restaurant, I gave him one of my business cards, we shook hands (strong handshake… always a good sign), and we went our separate ways.  I’m not certain, but I suspect that John and I will meet again some day.

The clouds started to part, so I opted against pulling out the rain gear.  I then thumbed the starter, Sophie rumbled to life (I’ve decided that Sophie is my bike’s name… more on that later), and I left Wabash, waiving goodbye to John as he walked down the sidewalk.

Good breakfast, good company, and Abe Lincoln watched my bike for me.  This is a good omen.


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