Lincoln Highway, Day 4

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Diamond T truck, Tin Can Tourists
Tags: , , ,


I know what you’re thinking:  “What happened to day 3, Brian?”DSCF2230

What happened was, by the end of yesterday, I was tired and stressed out from being blown all over the road, and from being pretty severely creeped out from our (very lengthy) tour of the Mansfield penitentiary, the site where “Shawshank Redemption” was filmed.

The day started out innocently, and cheerfully enough, with a beautiful sunrise, and coffee and donuts with our TCT friends.  I washed the walnut tree sap off the truck, so as not to be one-upped by Hunt Jones’s GMC (which he had been polishing at 0600) and we headed out on beautifully rolling country roads to Mansfield Ohio.

We rolled in at about 1000, an hour before the prison tours began, so Kim and I drove downtown, where, of Imagecourse, everything else was closed as well.  We walked around a bit, looking for a coffee shop we’d read about, but didn’t find, and headed back to the prison.

By then, many of our fellow travelers were there, and we headed in for a self guided tour.  The building itself is Image 1a Gothic/Victorian palace, or the facade of a palace, which was supposed to inspire inmates to…”Abandon their sinful ways and adopt a more productive lifestyle…”  It was certainly imposing enough, but the interior, once one got past the administrative and wardens residential area, was a monument to depression, torture, and what had to be utterly depressing and de-humanizing.

It was truly awful. DSCF2248 The cell block was 6 stories of steel cages, meant to house 1500 hardened criminals, but in reality housed up to almost 6,000 by the 1960’s.  It was a mess of peeling pain, rusted steel, and peeling plaster.  I’d have left, but hey, its prison, after all, and once in, there was no way, or no QUICK way, out.  As many prisoners found as well.

Kim was fascinated by the place, but it left a cloud over me that didn’t lift all day, and the afternoons storms and getting repeatedly turned around driving didn’t help DSCF2256my increasingly bad mood.

We did see some interesting things along the way to Van Wert, an old Sinclair station beside a bar in Lima (who’s seamy underbelly we saw ALL of on the way!), and a couple of interesting looking limestone markers, DSCF2262which we couldn’t find a place to turn around to see what they marked after we passed.  You can’t just whip a truck and trailer around on a two lane road to find a historical marker…

After a shower and good nights sleep at the (very nice) fairgrounds in Van Wert, I awoke in a much better mood, and we headed out for Elkhart, IN, a mere 80 miles from our home!  We’re staying at the RV Heritage Museum here, and are all tucked in the lot behind the building.

We had a very relaxing drive, nothing yesterdays hurricane challenge, and stopped in Goshen at a soda counter, had a snack, and got here happy and ready for an evening of fun.

Tomorrow, our goal is to get around Chicago without driving on I-80, and arrive in Geneva in one piece.  It’ll be our longest travel day, a little over 200 miles.

Stay tuned for more!





  1. kirkus says:

    Peelin pain!!!!

  2. John Roney says:

    Thanks for taking me along on the tip! I have made the Spring Gathering a number of times, but this is my first “trip” and I’m lovin” it!!

  3. Kim says:

    Peeling pain(t)!!! I pointed the typo out to Brian. He thought it was appropriate!

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