148g Hanoi Taxi

Fleeter Log #148g
Hanoi Taxi
2009 September 2

Entire trip here on Spotwalla  
After witnessing the start of the IBR in Spartanburg, South Carolina, then welcoming the ralliers at the first check-in point near Chicago, I wish them well as they continue the rally to the West Coast. Myself? I feel an inner tug to stretch my trip west of the Mississippi and into Minnesota before turning back to the East Coast.
Warren, IN to Jeffersonville, OH

Day 13 - Wednesday
September 2, 2009
170 miles

With 20k creeping up on the odometer, it's time to shop for tires again. Last time I pushed my rear tire further than I prefer to push. I didn't learn until too late that BMW used a tire size on this bike that is not one commonly found in their line-up. I ended up putting a tire of slightly smaller width than specified in order to get home from Ohio last May. Now 10,000 miles later, I find myself heading into Ohio again looking for a rear tire. Last night I starting checking my options online, but was unable to get any definitive answers. I will need to make some phone calls today during business hours. But I'll worry about that later in the day once I get into Ohio.

This lone tree caught my attention on a back road between Redkey and Ridgeville, Indiana.

Cemetery on Ohio hwy 49
Clay, Ohio isn't of significant enough size to be found on many maps. It was a surprise to me to stumble upon it. But that's the way fleetering goes ... I often stumble upon unexpected gems.

I stop outside of Dayton, Ohio at a McDonald's next door to a Comfort Inn. I figure one or the other should provide me wi-fi signal sufficient enough to continue my tire search. Besides, it's 1pm and a Mickey Meal sounds good. I stop at he Comfort Inn first. After confirming that they had good signal in the lobby, I asked if it would be okay with them for me to break out my computer and do some searching, price checking, and phone calling. They were very gracious and welcomed me into the empty lobby/dining area. I walked across the parking lot for a burger to go, brought it back and set up at one of the hotel's tables in the breakfast area. With the A/C cooled room to myself and a nice view of the GS parked outside, I couldn't be more comfortable. I make it a leisurely afternoon break. I'm almost tempted to lay down on the couch and take a nap, but resist. After all, I have tire business to take care of before letting the day get away from me.

I locate a tire of proper size in downtown Dayton at Tires Unlimited. However, they aren't able to mount the tire on the GS. During my phone calls, I learned that there was a guy across the street that mounted MC tires. He wants $97 to install the rear tire. I pass on the offer. I've made other arrangements. I may haul the tire around for a day, but it will get installed before I leave the state for much less money out of my pocket.
I strap the Metzeler Tourance tire atop my luggage and continue on my day.

Next stop is downtown Dayton at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. I get there shortly before closing time, but the employees are still full of energy and eager to please!

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park
Leaving the Heritage NHP, I shoot out toward the Wright-Patterson Air Force Field to see what I can find there. Seems to be a fleeter trip full of big planes. This is a Lockheed C-141, known as the Starlifter ... famous for it's role as the Hanoi Taxi.
This very plane was the first plane to fly into Hanoi on February 12, 1973 to pickup 40 POWs and deliver them to the Clark Air Force Base in the Philipines. And with that flight ... It was over. It was the end of the war.

After spending some thoughtful time honoring the Wright Brothers place in Aviation history by visiting the Wright Brothers Memorial, a 17 foot granite obelisk, located on a bluff overlooking the original Huffman Prairie where the brothers tested the air worthiness of their creations. This prairie later became Wright Field and later a part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

My day comes to a close 50 miles later in Jeffersonville, Ohio.

 Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs

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