Saturday, September 15, 2007

Without direction

We are at the Wal-Mart in Merrillville, Indiana (map). Interestingly, we are just half a mile from the Olive Garden where we ate dinner on our way to the relief operation two weeks ago (and, no, we did not eat there last night), and, ironically, Merrillville was also the location of a very large Red Cross service delivery site, where we had one technology staffer stationed.

Yesterday we took advantage of the free and squeaky-clean dump station at the Naperville sewage treatment plant, then followed IL-59 south until we hit US30. US30 through this part of the country follows the alignment of the old Lincoln Highway, and we very much enjoy driving these oldest of all roads, in all their quirkiness. 30 took us all the way out of Illinois, by way of Joliet and Chicago Heights. As is often the case in old cities, the Joliet segment twisted and turned through downtown, and took us under a 13'4" underpass where our CB antenna went whomp-whomp-whomp on all the girders.

We'd done a good deal of 30/Lincoln Highway east of Chicago Heights three years ago (just before I started blogging here), and this new-to-us stretch of road west of there was quite interesting, if a bit slow.

We were already in Indiana when we realized we didn't really know where we were going. The issues with the dog have preoccupied our thoughts to the extent that we've been sort of running on autopilot. And the last "autopilot setting" was the notion that we were going to try to perhaps catch the tail end of the Escapade in Goshen, and/or stop by our Red Cross chapter in Elkhart. At some point yesterday afternoon, though, it occurred to us that (1) the Escapade is already over, and (2) our chapter will be closed today and tomorrow, as it's the weekend.

We were on a forlorn stretch of highway when this realization hit, and so we decided to press on ahead to this spot, where we knew there was a friendly Wal-Mart near a pile of restaurants. Last night we availed ourselves of the closest opportunity, a Mexican-themed chain called Don Pablo's, which turned out to be surprisingly good even though we did not note a single latino employee in the whole joint.

We were pretty wiped out when we got positioned here last night, which left it until this morning to figure out where we're going from here. I did call the chapter, on the off chance that they might be open today -- no dice. And, while it looked briefly like we might get deployed to Baton Rouge for the aftermath of Humberto, that turned out to be a non-event. And, at the moment, there's no other tropical weather threatening the US (although Ingrid could re-strengthen and take a turn for the worse in, perhaps, five days' time). We've decided to simply head a bit closer to hurricane territory, which means anyplace from about Houston, along the gulf, across Florida and up the east coast to about Charleston. And, while we have friends or family in many of those locations, we've decided to head towards Houston, because we have a motorcycle there that needs to be dealt with, and that will keep us busy unless and until we get called up again.

In a few minutes we will pack up and begin meandering southward through Indiana.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!