Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 2008

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Where I stayed
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Flag of United States  , Indiana
Thursday, September 11, 2008

We begin the day with a cup of coffee on the porch swing I was enjoying last night when I was waiting for Roger to get home.  Roger spots a couple of sand cranes in the fields.  Enjoying the quiet morning from that front porch and looking out over the fields with a cup of coffee refreshes the soul.  Roger, Jane and I go to a nearby retirement home and pick up his mother, Joyce, so we can all go to breakfast and we have a great time getting to know each other.  Over the years we've seen each other at major family functions and I'd just seen them all at a wedding a couple of months ago, but we've never really have much of a chance to talk.  I so appreciate the time to get to know them a little.
I ask Roger about farming because my ignorance on the topic is extensive.  I had heard that the small family farm was just about dead but I was seeing lots of what appeared to be little farms.  Although, because the fields are broken up into smaller sections and there are farm houses, barns and silos scattered around, it gives the appearance of small farms, Roger, probably like many others, rents his land out to a farmer who has enough land under cultivation that he can take advantage of the economies of scale.
I also learn that the small bushy crop I couldn't identify is soybeans.  They wait until the corn is brown and dry before harvesting.  That makes it easy to harvest by machine.  If it is to be used for silage everything is chopped up and stored in silos where it's allowed to ferment.  Roger tells me it smells horrible but the cows love it.
Roger helps me find a motorcycle shop that's on my route and I call to confirm they have the right size tire in stock and their service department has the time to squeeze me in and install it.  I pack up the bike, say good-bye, and I'm off to the shop where they get me right in change the tire.  The irony is that I have a new rear tire sitting in my garage at home that I purchased at discount through the internet so it's frustrating to pay full retail but... I didn't have much choice.
I get back on the expressway and head for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  My original plans in Indianapolis had been to stay with my friend, Larry.  He wanted to attend the MotoGP race, too and had invited me to stay with him.  His house was on the market but it wasn't selling so we thought it wouldn't be a problem.  We thought wrong.  He sold the house and at the last minute, before I left home, I called the Speedway, bought a camping ticket, and had them place it at will-call for me.
After wandering around the Speedway in pre-race traffic and asking directions I made my way to the administration building where the will-call tickets were held.  As I walked up the building my heart sank as I watched people in front of me trying the doors and finding them locked.  Another couple, just leaving, told me they closed at 6:00 (it was now 6:06) they'd seen the guard at the door unlock the door for somebody else and tell them that they were the last ones who would be allowed in.
Since I had no place to stay without the tickets they were holding I determined to try.  The people inside were generally ignoring me but I got one person to come to the door to tell me to go away.  I explained my situation and she went off to see if there was anybody still there who could help.  Eventually they found somebody and I got my camping tickets.  Whew!!
I went across the street and they led me to a little patch of grass where I could set up my tent.  It was sprinkling off and on but stayed pretty much dry while the tent went up.  I met my neighbors, one of whom was a cardiologist from Emory University who'd come out on his bike and another was a couple who lived not far from me in Paso Robles, California.  They flew out for the race and rented a car.  I then got in touch with Larry and we made arrangements to meet the following morning.
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