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Back to that same old place, Sweet Home, Chicago

The cops ain't gonna catch me... I'm on a mission from God. 

Okay, so maybe I'm not one of the Blues Brothers, but I am hoping to do something good. 

So, I was up and out of Columbus toward Chicago right after dawn this morning, having had a good night's sleep courtesy of friends Bill and June who put me up at their beautiful home. I headed straight up US 23 towards Toledo, but not before stopping for "breakfast" at the G&R tavern in Waldo, Ohio. 

Waldo is a little farming village made up of just a few little houses and even fewer little buildings. Everything is in walking distance and the tavern is in the center of town, right across the street from Village Hall. It's the kind of place where the old men walk in, help themselves to cups from the kitchen where they pour their own coffee before sitting down together at the back table to talk about life. The walls are covered with pictures and trophies from the local high school dating back to who knows when. 

Why stop at such a quaint little place? Because the G&R tavern is home to the "world famous" fried baloney sandwich. Thick sliced and seared, covered with a slice of melted white cheddar, sweet pickles, onions, and then served on a hamburger bun, it did not disappoint. In fact, this thing will make your tongue beat your brains out. Definitely a culinary must-do if one finds oneself in north central Ohio.

This ain't your mama's baloney sandwich! 

Not a great shot, but it at least proves that I made it to Indiana.

From Indiana I nipped up above the state line into Michigan and had lunch in the near little town of...bikers, wait for it...Sturgis! 

I'm just rehearsing for the big Sturgis later in the trip. 

From there it was on across Indiana until I got to a little town called South Bend. They've got this little Catholic school there. Here's a picture of the biggest cathedral on campus...erected to the glory of...football!

Notre Dame Stadium. It's...impressive. 

Coach Leahy. 

"Touchdown Jesus"

That's not blasphemy...it's just what they call this likeness on the front of the library building, overlooking the end zone of the stadium. 

I'm partial to Sanford Stadium myself. 

Finally, by about 5pm local I hit Chicago (and the afternoon rush hour traffic). It was hot and I was tired, so I headed for the start point for famous Route 66 and maybe the not-so-famous Twisted Spoke Saloon. 

Billed as a biker bar, it's really more of a millennial man-bun wearing, bookbag carrying, designer beer lounge. Nonetheless they spoke to me... through their signature Popcorn and Bacon...which was sort of like Cracker Jack on steroids. What's not to love?

After that, it was time to hit the hotel so that I didn't end up like this guy...

I'm staying at the luxurious Hotel Chicago, just off historic Route 66 and just a few minutes walk to the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks. 

By now, those of you who are new to the site are probably wondering how I can witness to people about my faith in bars or pubs...It's easy. I'm not looking for those already in the fold. I'm going where there are plenty of good folks who have either never heard, or have strayed. I sit, have conversations, let them ask me about my bike, then I tell them what I'm doing and why, and I slip them one of my little cards and invite them to look me up. 

The last thing I tell them is that God loves them. It's sort of like being Johnny Appleseed. I'm just farming. Sometimes people want to know more right away, others seem interested and promise to look at my site. Others are just polite and supportive. If I make this ride over a month and cover over 7,000 miles and only reach one person...then that's a win. 

Close to my hotel is the famous Billy Goat tavern. It's said that the goat was involved somehow in some kind of curse that kept the Chicago Cubs from winning the World Series...for something like 100 years. More recently, it was made famous by the crew on Saturday Night Live..."Cheezborger, cheezborger!" Here are some pics...

The outside...

The famous burger...

I was willing to risk it.

They LOVE the Blackhawks here...

The goat seems to have seen his better days...

But the goat burger didn't really satisfy my appetite, so I hit a place called "The Kaiser Tiger. " They offer "high caliber sausage, bacon, and beer." What could possibly go wrong?

This is the Bacon Board. Four kinds of bacon. More bacon than I could eat...

Tomorrow I will strap on my running shoes and try to forget the bacon board. 

Pray that I will meet the people I need to meet to have an impact on their lives. Spread the word about what I am doing. Ask your friends to share my site. Donate if you want. God bless you all!

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Post Script

The ride home from Murrell's Inlet was an easy run right down US 17. For the first time, I didn't need a GPS. It was also the first time since Vermont that I wasn't cold. Finally, I was able to ditch