I take my bowling balls along as part of summer vacations and collect scoresheets from each state, and now, each different bowling alley, visited. This year the quest for states began after family reunion in Atlanta and some outdooring at the foot of the Appalachians. (I also hike and backpack when the option avails.) The bowling for new states on this trip did not begin until Ohio. This year’s goal was to collect the scoresheets from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska (I had already bowled in Chadron, Nebraska without getting a score sheet), Iowa, and Missouri. The general route planned and taken is presented here. There were a couple of deviations from the original plan due to vehicle problems and money scheduling, but the overall route plan was successful.
First stop on the list of new states to bowl was Ohio where the easiest lane to find turned out to be Colerain Lanes, on Colerain Ave in Cincinnati. I had decided to bowl in this city due to its proximity to Kentucky, one of my major stops after family reunion. Having nothing to do with the bowling alley, the heat and accompanying humidity, were nearly unbearable. No longer does one get relief from the heat of the summer by going north. So getting into the air conditioning of the bowling alley was a lick. The city is on the Ohio River and borders Northern Kentucky. Cincinnati itself was founded in 1788 by Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson, and Israel Ludlow. Best known for its baseball, local beers like Hudepohl, Wiedemann (actually a Newport, KY product), and Schoenling, and for its location on the Ohio River across from Kentucky.
Wound up playing a number of games there with a high of 241.
Western Bowl in Indianapolis was a real surprise. To start with the lane was huge, divided into two separate sides with a massive curtain. On one end of about 40 lanes was regular bowling. Beyond the curtain was cyber bowling (Yeech) with a live band playing in the middle. The facility has everything from snack bar to conference room.
All did not go well with the vehicle BUT there were solutions. Here is the bad part – A rear axle bearing failure, a horrendous job even with the right tools. While on the way to the store in the early morning, a near-roaring sound was heard from the rear of the vehicle. From the noise it was concluded this had to be the driver’s side rear axle bearing. There was a dull roaring sound, that of grinding metal. Lucky for all this was taking place at my brother’s house who had me pull it into his garage. Once dissembled, there was almost a quarter of an inch of play in this 21 year old original bearing. With some big help from my brother, wielding his connections, and knowledge of the region – (He is a Master Machinist by trade and has been to several countries to teach his skills.) – And thanks to his knowledge of good folks, and savvy, a machine operation with a press was located, where the old bearing was pressed out and the new pressed in. The remainder of the work was done by me in his garage. A mean job done – a Lot of money saved!
Now that the truck is stabilized, it’s time to find a bowling alley. This turned out to be quite the task. There were plenty of lanes around – all full to the gills with activities. There was not one open bowling alley with an available lane. So I waited. Finally Castaways Bowl in Calument City, Illinois was found to have a lane that could be used after the crowds dissipated and before closing.
An interesting side track occurred that has me taking a scenic route from Dubuque, Iowa to Rochester, Minnesota along the Mississippi River. There was some time to kill so I went camping in a small town south of Dubuque, Iowa on the Manquokata River. Near the town of Manquokata is a park, Joinerville Park, that is used as a boat ramp. One afternoon I was the last human to leave the park and was left holding, and of course, was able to catch the moment. This is along the Manquokata River just before sunset. I decided not to put it to music or narrate it in any way for obvious reasons.