Indiana has a population of 6 million – and from what I’ve seen so far they mostly live in the middle of nowhere, (although this isn’t actually the case – 77.7% of Indiana residents lived in metropolitan counties, 16.5% lived in micropolitan counties and 5.9% lived in non-core county). Indiana is a very Republican state (a Republican governor and 7 of 9 US congressmen are Republican). There are a lot of churches, most seem to be in the middle of nowhere and often have a white cross stuck in the ground with a broken red heart on it and the phrase ‘In memory of aborted children’.
The roads are long and very flat – which makes it a bit dull to cycle on, (I’ve started counting telegraph poles – about 20 makes a mile).
German is the largest ancestry reported in Indiana, with 22.7% of the population reporting that ancestry in the Census. This might account to what appears to be a very meat-based diet! Although that seems to be the case in most parts of the US.
Indiana is located within the U.S. corn belt and grain belt. The state has a feedlot-style system raising corn to fatten hogs and cattle. I think we saw most of the corn on our 126 mile ride yesterday – and there is a lot of it! They also grow mint too, we saw (and smelled) several fields if that too – very refreshing on a long ride.
Indiana is crossed by the Lincoln Highway – one of the first transcontinental highways for automobiles across the United States of America, (it runs from Times Square in New York to Lincoln Park in San Francisco). Constructed in 1913 it was the first interstate highway to have numbered intersections and was also the first national monument to Abraham Lincoln – pre dating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. We rode on a long stretch of it today and I’m sure Lincoln will be delighted to be remembers with a long strip on road continuously populated by McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Taco Bells, Dairy Queen and numerous other fine dining opportunities. Most significantly, the Lincoln Highway inspired the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which was championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, influenced by his experiences as a young soldier crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway was also the scene of our first puncture of the trip – not that this is something to be remembered by.
So there you have it, Indiana a state of corn, cars and churches. Roll on Pennsylvania!