Purdue Daytrip May 2011

I have always intended to go on a Purdue day trip this year, either on Caitlin Clarke Day (May 3d) or just before. I decided on doing it on the day before because on Caitlin Clarke Day the local library is having an open house to celebrate its 90th anniversary and, as secretary of the library board, I ought to be there.

I also intended to start the trip at the crack of dawn. But, along with my awaking late and having to pay a hospital bill (big enough to require certified mail), I was rounded up by my library Friends group to move book sale materials out of the main library into the annex (the old library) to get them out of the way for the open house.

After all that I started off at 10:00 a.m.

There is construction work on State Route 26, the direct route to Metro Lafayette, so I had to take the detour through Kokomo. The town is not as run-down as either Marion or Muncie, but I would rather have passed through it due to the traffic. After entering Carroll County, the detour veered south and took me back to State Route 26.

My first stop was the SAS Store, where I bought my first pair of SAS shoes in years. All but one of my current pair are worn in the heel, and I needed a decent pair to wear to work. SAS Stores, both the old store in what was once the Daleville Outlet Mall (before it was turned into a business park) and the one in Lafayette have their own unique ambiance, which includes truffles or toffees and a bag of popcorn with every purchase.

Purdue Tour 2011

I did not get to Purdue until after noon, so I got half off my parking pass.

After parking in the Grant/Woods garage, I headed straight for the Underwalk (magenta path), which took me straight to Pappy's, a hamburgher joint in the Union. After lunch, I got my shopping out of the way (blue path), first at the University Book Store, and then at Von's. Along with my usual set of books and paper, I also bought a couple of patchouli-sented candles.

After that, I did my tour (green path). Purdue has added a couple of new sculptures to go with its iron fist (Transformations) statue in the plaza in front of the Yao arts building.

The first, on the east end of the plaza, marked in red on the map, is called Silver Bow: It is the skeleton of a horse rendered in bronze in the form of tree branches. It was erected last year.

The second, on the west end of the plaza, marked in orange, is Sidewinder: It is a maze made out of willow and red maple saplings in shapes reminiscent of Indian mounds. I have walked through this. Interesting, it is. It is built to last for a couple of years before the saplings dry out and rot away.

Then I walked north up University Street past construction of what (I would learn later) is to be the new hospitality and tourism building, and all the way to Armstrong Hall. Through that and then through the Physics building (contrasting environments: new and bright, then old and dim), I entered Purdue Hall and stopped by the fountain. There was more construction around the Mechanical Engineering building, which I had to walk around to get to the Clock Tower. Then down Centennial Mall to the undergrad library, thence back to the parking garage. by 4:00 p.m.

Rather than not having to take the detour maze again, I took Interstate 65 south to State Road 28, which passes through Frankfort, Tipton and Elwood before joining State Road 37. This takes me north and northeast back to State Road 26, and thence home.

Written by Andy West on 2 May 2011.