Alps' Roads Special - Indianapolis Road Meet

Indianapolis Road Meet, July 10-11, 2009

This meet marked three milestones in my travels - the first multi-day meet I've attended, by far the farthest I've yet traveled to get to a meet, and the longest roadtrip in terms of both time and distance that I've taken alone. Here's a rundown of what I saw:

Day 1 (7/8): My journey started via I-80 into Pennsylvania and up US 220 to PA 120. At the end of 120 I turned down US 219 and US 119 to I-70, where I detoured on PA 51 for an old stop sign in Perryopolis. I left 70 at US 40 through West Virginia and into Ohio, making sure to drive I-70 and I-470 through Wheeling. Finally, I made my way up to US 22 via OH 7 and OH 43 and followed 22 to its end in Cincinnati, staying in Kentucky on I-71/75.

Day 2 (7/9): I started my morning back up I-71/75 and took I-71 to I-471 back into Kentucky. I then followed I-275 back into Ohio and around to I-74. From there I explored Cincinnati in the morning: I-75, OH 562, I-71, OH 126, and the remainder of the I-275 beltway through Indiana and once more Kentucky. I followed US 52 WB to abandoned Torrence Rd. and US 50 east to old shields in Mariemont, then came back across the Ohio River on US 27 to meet Tim Brown. Tim and I drove KY 8, KY 17 (the Roebling Bridge), more of US 50 in Ohio (including seeing abandoned Maryland Ave.), Kilby Rd., and I-275 EB to OH 126 EB (Ronald Reagan Highway) and the old surface routing of OH 126. We saw some more of OH 562, OH 4, US 42, US 27/US 127 and some cutout shields before coming back through Cincinnati on Central Parkway and up 42 and I-71 to Red Bank Expressway, a semi-abortive attempt to do something with Red Bank Rd. We drove back to Mariemont on US 50 where Tim showed me the cutout shield I missed and headed to Kentucky via I-275 and a brief detour to drive OH 450. In Kentucky, we drove some of the AA Highway (KY 9) and a lot of Covington/Newport area routes: KY 154, old US 27, old KY 9, KY 1998, KY 445, KY 1812, and KY 1120. After dropping Tim off, I headed along KY 8 to the Purple People Bridge and crossed the last bridge off my list: US 25/US 42/US 127 (C.W. Bailey Bridge). From there, I headed up I-75 to I-74 into Indiana. In the remaining daylight I was able to take I-465 all the way around, see Shadeland Ave. (former SR 100), cross through Indy on I-70 WB to I-65 SB and back on 70 EB to 65 NB before settling into the hotel just off US 421 on the north side of the city.

Days 3-4 (7/10-11) - Road Meet: Unfortunately, I was knocked out sick on the first day of the meet itself. I made it down I-465 to SR 37 and SR 46 before I had to give up the ghost and turn around. The rest of the meet continued down 37 to Evansville, checking out Future I-69 construction, before coming back along the Ohio River and up I-65. Luckily I recovered quickly enough to partake in the Day 4 adventures. The meet headed west on 86th St. to I-465 NB-EB, detouring to drive both directions of I-865 and leaving the highway onto old SR 431 (Keystone Ave.). The meet came back down US 31 and continued around 465 to Shadeland Ave., transitioning into the former SR 100 south of Washington St. (former US 40). We left the highway at the new Emerson Ave. SPUI interchange and headed north via Southeastern Ave. (former US 421) to Washington St. WB into city center. We explored the split I-65/70 shields of downtown, walked around Monument Circle in the rain, then headed up West St. back to I-65. At this point, half the meet headed their separate ways, and the rest of us followed 65 to I-70 and jogged down Holt St. to Sam Jones Expressway, formerly the entrance to Indianapolis International Airport. Since the entrance has been moved, traffic now is forced to turn north on High School Rd., where we continued to US 40 WB and began exploring the highway's old alignments all the way out to Illinois (including SR 340). We turned north on IL 1 and back east on US 36 (and its old alignments) to old US 40 once more (Washington St.) via I-465. We followed old 40 back into US 40 and way too far past Indy, came back up County Road 600W to I-70 and traced old US 421 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Street) up to the hotel.

The meet participants: Brian Rawson-Ketchum, myself (assuming the kneeling position), Brian Reynolds, A.J. Bertin, Brian's father, H.B. Elkins, Dan Garnell (the organizer), and Sam Scholtens.

Day 5 (7/12): I left Indianapolis via I-465 to I-69. In Fort Wayne, I drove I-469, former SR 3 (Indianapolis Rd.), Airport Expwy., and the end of US 27 (the last route left inside the city). Continuing into Michigan on I-69, I headed to the Historic Bridge Park in Battle Creek via I-94, I-194, and M-96. The next stop along the I-69 corridor was Lansing, where I explored I-496, I-96, Business 96, the Capitol Loop, and Business 69. Other than driving I-475 in Flint (and I-75 between either end), I stayed on I-69 to Business 69 in Port Huron and came back down the Exit 274 approach roadway from M-25. I then headed down toward Detroit on I-94 and out M-59 to Orchard Lake Rd. and Pontiac Trail. I drove the beginning of M-5 and headed up to drive all of M-10 (former US 10) through downtown and up I-375, back to I-75 and I-96. The next leg of the journey was finding remnants of US 10 shields remaining in Detroit decades after the route was truncated. I followed I-696 to I-94 and down to M-102 (8 Mile Rd., of Eminem fame). A few US 10 shields and other interesting signs were found from there down Livernois Ave., McNichols Rd., the entirety of M-8 (which starts as a freeway stub) and back up to M-102 via Wyoming St. and Livernois Ave. Finishing 102, I continued west on 8 Mile Rd. to I-96 and superfluous I-275 (which ends multiplexed), around to M-10 once more and down M-39. The last cutout US 10 shield is right in downtown, so I took I-75 NB in and US 12 out, down US 24 to I-94, M-39, and I-75 (SB this time) to my hotel.

Day 6 (7/13): The next morning, I headed down I-75 and came back north on I-275, then headed out to Ann Arbor via US 12 to I-94. I came back on M-14, 275, and US 12 to pick up a good friend. Although most of the day was spent in Detroit, I did get an opportunity to drive more of US 24, finish driving M-5, and see other road-related sights in Detroit. (These included M-1, M-3, and M-85.) I dropped off my friend, finished off 85 and followed I-75 into Ohio once more. In Toledo, I drove I-475, more of 75, and I-280 down to OH 420 and a hotel on US 20/US 23.

Day 7 (7/14): In the morning, I returned up I-280 for more photos, then curled around to OH 2 via I-75 some downtown streets. I followed 2 past Sandusky and then took OH 57 to OH 254. 254 is former 2, so I ended up back on OH 2, and spent a little time driving the I-490 and OH 176 (Jennings) freeways while in Cleveland. I came back up I-71 from that, continued on OH 2, and then headed west on US 20 to pick up OH 86. That took me into OH 534, US 322, and US 6 via OH 7. That took me into Pennsylvania, where I headed back up US 6N to US 20 and back into Ohio. On the spur of the moment, I drove up to Buffalo via OH 7, I-90 through Pennsylvania, and NY 5. I came back on US 20 to Erie, where I explored the end of I-79, Bayfront Pkwy., Alt. PA 5, PA 832, and PA 299 (back when it was still a couple of miles long), before finishing off US 20 in PA and getting a hotel on PA 97.

Day 8 (7/15): On the final day, I drove PA 97 to PA 505, back through Erie on 20 to US 19 SB, then took I-79 NB to PA 955 for one last new route. I continued east on PA 5 to clinch that route, then came back on I-90 to drive I-86 into New York and clinch the entire Interstate as it exists today. I came down US 62 to PA 957 and took US 6 and other roads back west to PA 97 and US 19. My journey back then finished driving US 6 in Pennsylvania and returned home via PA 44 to PA 42 and I-80.

Think you're exhausted reading all that and clicking those links? I wrote out four pages of directions and drove those roads. Trust me, I was more exhausted.

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