Winging It ~ Our Way : Southern Indiana “Hinkle’s Hamburgers and Astronaut Gus Grissom’s Memorial”

By Catherine on

October 8th 2012 Monday

When we awoke this AM the temperature was 40 degrees. The wind chill on a motorcycle going 60 miles an hour in 40 degrees temperatures is the equivalent of being in 25 degree weather.
“They” say that after 30 minutes you will get frostbite. Marguerite and I have ridden in these conditions and don’t remember frost bite, but we do remember being “Bone Chill” cold. So, we are getting a later start, 11:00 AM. This limits our range for the day but makes things a little more bearable. Even at 50 degrees outside air temperature the wind chill is still in the 30’s.

The goal for the day was to have a hamburger at “Hinkle’s Hamburgers in Bloomington,
because of our good buddy Jack Hinkle. Hinkle’s has been in service since 1930.

We left Linton at about 11:00 and headed east. We took US Highway 231 straight up to
Spencer, Indiana. Nice open farm land, not much to see but farms. At Spencer we turned south on Indiana Highway 46 heading toward Bloomington, the home of Indiana University. Like any big college town it’s a little trafficky, upscale and has way too many Starbucks.

 

After wondering around the town, through way too many one way streets, we find south
Adams and the Hinkle Hamburger stand. It’s busy, duh, go figure; it’s a very popular place. We get the standard burger and a small chili. The burgers are memorable, really good, wish I’d ordered two. The chili needs to be warmer and it has a peculiar mid-western thing, it has spaghetti in it. I would stick with the burger and I would make an effort to come back for more burgers.

Out of Bloomington we turned east on Indiana Highway 46 and very quickly were able to turn south on county road 446. Here was the undiscovered jewel for the day. Good road surface, just about the right amount of twists and turns, and striking fall foliage. It was the highlight of the day. We stayed with 446 all the way down to US Highway 50 and then turned west into Bedford. A beautiful ride.

We intercepted Indiana Highway 37 and headed south to Mitchell. Mitchell is the home town of a famous astronaut, Virgil “Gus” Grissom. There is an outstanding memorial to him in Spring Mill State Park. He’s a home town hero and unfortunately was killed in Apollo One, but he’d already flown two critical missions into space as one of the original Mercury Astronauts, and then again in Gemini 3 as the mission commander.

The park and the memorial were well marked and easy to find. For a 5 buck entry fee we had the run of the whole park for the day. Besides the memorial there’s a Pioneer Village and some very nice roads through the park. It was well worth the time and the 5 bucks. We rounded off the day by taking Indiana Highway 37 north out of Mitchell, through Bedford and intercepted Indiana Highway 54 west. This was a fooler. From Avoca to Bloomfield this is a marvelous motorcycle road. Good surface, lots of elevation changes and now with the fall foliage, beautiful views. From Bloomfield on back to Linton is uneventful, except it’s the end of a very cold day
and a welcome warm house at Aunt Norma’s. Tomorrow another big ride.

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