Louise Speaks: As we were leaving Illinois and going below and around Lake Michigan we have to go right through Indiana. I never knew that Indiana was home for so many Amish people. All along the highway, and on the city streets are the Amish with their horse and buggies. There are even signs warning you to be cautious of horse and buggies in the area. The grocery store parking lots are full of them…quite an experience.
Continuing along and heading to South Bend, Indiana. Those who know me, know that “Rudy” is one of my favorite movies. How could I go through South Bend and not stop by Notre Dame? The answer is, I can’t. However, it is getting late and we were not sure of the time frame around campus at Notre Dame. Our main attraction being the “Gold Dome”.
Nothing new to this trip is that there is construction everywhere. I guess at a university campus it’s just not the weather of winter but also class schedules that control when repairs and maintenance can be completed. So why would this be any different. There are detours everywhere and roads blocked and construction equipment blocking most of the streets. We just kept driving towards the campus. We finally arrived at the main entrance where there is a long driveway that ends at a round about. This was perfect as we went around the round about many many times. Along the round about, hidden by some trees is the Gold Dome. Of course we are here just as the sun was behind the dome so not the best pictures, but the vision is indescribable. We were not the only ones going around and around the round about.
We then heard about “Touchdown Jesus”. I had never heard of this but was told we can’t go to Notre Dame and not see Touchdown Jesus. So as we were going around the round about for the last time, we saw a group of students unloading a van with enough alcohol to supply a small bar, but it was just for the evening party (those good ole Catholic students). We stopped to ask them where we could find Touchdown Jesus. They told us it is on the wall of the library, the tallest building on campus. They tried to give us directions, but with all the construction it was going to be tough.
We headed in the direction as instructed but trying to find a place to park a motor home was no easy task. We drove and drove and asked and asked with no real help. Finally we asked what appeared to be a security officer first, where was Touchdown Jesus, and then where could we park, just long enough to get some pictures. He told us to just park where we were, that the construction workers had gone and blocking the driveway was no big deal. So that is what we did. Now we are on the hunt for Touchdown Jesus.
First problem, was we didn’t even know what Touchdown Jesus was. Is it a statue, a painting, a building, what? As we are walking through the campus, heading toward the tallest building, we see this HUGE mosaic piece of art covering the entire length of the three story building. It is a picture of Jesus with his arms stretched out as if giving a blessing. However, if you use your imagination you could say he was giving the sign of a Touchdown. When you turn around, there is the stadium. So now I get it. No wonder Notre Dame wins so many home games. They have Jesus facing their stadium indicating a touchdown throughout the entire game…How can they loose?
The Notre Dame stadium is also being renovated so we couldn’t get inside for a closer look. But at the entrance is a bronze statue of Knute Rockne, who gave Notre Dame 105 wins and only 12 loses with three National Champions between the years of 1918 and 1930. The fighting Irish are proud of their accomplishments that’s for sure. This is an incredible campus and an impressive stadium. I guess I have to add this to my bucket list and try to come back and attend a game here.
We ended out day by staying in Elkhart, Indiana. We did 412 miles today for a total of 2,660 miles. Today we went through 3 states making a total of 7. We don’t really have any other desired attractions to see before getting to Canada, so from here it’s just keep on trucking and Canada here we come!