Cairo Watchtower

Great Ride Today!

The Highlights

Last night, I dropped off my wife at work. So, this morning when I went to pick her up, I threw the bike in the back of the van. My ride started from near Salisbury and Cumberland in West Lafayette, which extended my northern reach a little.

Not far into the trip, I came across this stone sign at the entrance to a new subdivision. I don’t think that this silhouette (presumably of William Henry Harrison) could be any more of a caricature. Probably not what they planned.

[Harrison Highlands subdivision sign]

My goal today was to find the Cairo Watchtower. This 30 foot tower was erected in the 1950s so that volunteers could watch for Soviet planes and report them to the Air Force. (The author of the linked page proposes another, hidden purpose.) I was actually surprised by the small size of it. Maybe the trees weren’t there 50 years ago, but I’m sure it would be tough to see planes from the deck now. Not that I would actually want to climb it. It looks to be in pretty bad shape. These photos from 2001 show the platform to be in much better shape than my photo from today reveals.

[Cario Watchtower]

Unless some work is done soon, I’ll wager that it will be coming down.

I could see the water tower from Brookston about three miles to the north when I crossed SR43. I contemplated running up there, just to say that I had done it, but decided to save it for another day.

I’m guessing that this family has been having trouble with mailbox vandalism.

[Hit Me mailbox]

(It’s probably secured to a buried car axel.)

Along Pretty Prairie Road (which was very pretty), I road past a box laying in the ditch that seemed to have a picture of a naked woman on it. Upon closer inspection, I found it to be a blow up sex doll. I didn’t take it out of the box (afraid to touch it), but I found it most interesting that it would be cast out along the road. Maybe the owner couldn’t find a place in his bedroom to hide it from Mom.

No trip to the northern part of Tippecanoe County would be complete without a stop at the Tippecanoe Battlefied Memorial (where my friend Kathy is the Park Manager). The park includes some very old trees that were standing during the battle in 1811. I’ve heard that some even contain bullets from the fighting.

[Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial]

There were some pretty strong headwinds when travelling south on Tyler, Pretty Praire, and North Ninth Street roads. I think that if I had gone on to Brookston, I would have been quite tired before reaching Lafayette.

My ride ended at my office. I had left my car there on Friday, and after working for half an hour, I loaded the bike in the trunk and drove home.

The Route

  • Starting at Salisbury and Cumberland in West Lafayete, I headed north on Salisbury, which out of town becomes 50W (aka County Farm Road). This took me past the Tippecanoe Villa and Harrison High School.
  • After a quick jog to the west, the road becomes 100W.
  • I stopped at 850N to view the Cairo Watchtower.
  • Continuing north on 100W, I crossed over I-65 and turned right (east) on 900N.
  • This road led me across SR43 and through the former town of Ash Grove.
  • 900N ended at Tyler Road, which I took south.
  • Tyler travelled a short distance to Pretty Praire Road. I followed it south west into the town of Battleground.
  • Downtown, I turned south onto North Ninth Street Road and pedaled into Lafayette after a quick stop at the Battlefield.
  • I continued south on Canal Street and grabbed the Wabash River Heritage Trail at the base of the Harrison bridge.
  • After passing the Amtrak station, I crossed the Wabash on the John Myers Pedestrian Bridge
  • I took Tapawingo Drive and Brown Street around Wabash Landing.
  • After a quick run up State Street Hill, a left on Grant Street depositied me at the office at Grant and Wood

Miles Ridden: 28.0 (This blows away Friday’s one day record!)
Total This Year: 247

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