Illinois and Indiana

Yesterday we set off from Burlington, IA with an arbitrary goal to make it across Illinois mostly without stopping, which we pretty much did except to purchase 3.4 gallons of gas in Farmington just in case our fuel consumption calculations were off, which they weren’t and we could have made it across with the gas we had.

A barn is unimpressed with our passing.

Our goal was Lafayette, IN, figuring it’s a good size town, Purdue University is out for the summer so there would be plenty of hotel rooms available for us to pick from, and there would probably be a good selection of local beers to report back on.

We didn’t know about the 2018 Compressor Engineering/Refrigeration and Air Conditioning/High Performance Buildings Conference, a biennial event drawing world-wide attendance.

An engineer from Peru, and his Purdue host, check out the ‘10.

It seems a lot of people take this kind of stuff seriously, although not seriously enough to have developed automobile air conditioning by 1910, and finding a room actually became a bit of a challenge. But we succeeded with the very nice little Campus Inn mixed in with all the higher priced hotels at the foot of the campus hill at almost half the rate, plus it was an easy walk to the Black Sparrow which advertised “No crap on tap!” and they win an award for truth in advertising. Indiana is producing some very good beers and the Black Sparrow’s food was also very good.

To get to Indiana required us to pretty-much set a course of due east and not deviate from it much except to skirt south of Peoria and then continue east again. And again, lots of corn, but taller still, and just as much soy bean production.

But along with the production of corn and soy beans it seems Illinois is producing a lot of energy. There was lots of barge traffic on the Illinois River, and from what we saw it was lined up for the power plants lining the river.

Barge traffic on the Illinois River

We also passed by the Twin Groves Wind Farm which consists of 240 wind turbines spread out over 22,000 acres, almost every one of them turning, and the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm with another 140 or so turbines, with almost all of them stationary. Best we can figure is all politics are local and the Pioneer Trail mills had a moratorium on them until the local residents can figure out why they can no longer receive the 50 or so broadcast television stations they used to receive.

Some the Twin Groves windmills.
A Twin Groves blade passes its tower.

In the good news column, we think we finally tracked down our sudden case of spurious misfiring to a batch of bad fuel. Lots of analysis on the four ignition coils, always the first and easiest things to be checked, plus checking and cleaning the timer, playing with fuel mixture and cleaning the carburetor, and even checking and replacing all four spark plugs didn’t solve the problem, but filling up with name-brand fuel did. We’re happy that’s all it seems to have been.

We also seemed to have missed some pretty good weather. We noted the possibility, and telltale appearance of afternoon thunderstorms but we didn’t encounter any at all. The closest we came was the smell of rain that had fallen not too long ago, but the roads were dry. However, a look at the radar (not original T equipment) shows what we just missed: a line of storms crossing from north to south as we drove west to east.

A line of storms passed in front of us.

Finally, our late starts are paying off!

We’re now on the road to Richmond, IN, and the Model T Museum and MTFCA National Tour. We’ll just stop to say “hi”, maybe pick up a few parts as spares (wonder if anyone has a crankshaft?) and be on our way as we’re still racing the clock to get back to the “real world” next week.

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