Visiting Purdue

March 5th, 2011

Terah went to college at Purdue University, and always enjoyed basketball games there. I’ve not been much of a sports fan, but have enjoyed watching Purdue games with her on TV. Terah has been wanting to see a game in person for awhile, so a couple of weeks ago, we went. It was a really fun weekend!

When we planed the trip, we had no idea that the Purdue-Ohio State game was going to be such a big one. We walked over from the Union Club Hotel where we were staying on the Purdue campus. People were streaming towards Mackey Arena from all directions. Once inside, it was already loud and buzzing — people cheering, the band playing. I’ve never experienced anything quite so loud.

The game started out badly for Purdue; they were down a few points up front. The entire game was a close one, and the crowd sometimes got so loud that nothing else could be heard — not even the band or the announcer. When it became clear at the end that Purdue won the game, the people behind me — and apparently 12,000 others — began screaming at the top of their lungs. My hearing did eventually return to normal. So did my throat, which had gotten rather sore from from cheering myself.

This was our first road trip since I got my amateur radio license. I had a lot of fun visiting with people as we drove. I talked to a retired railroad engineer that used to take an amateur radio with him in his locomotive. As he went through a certain town where he had friends he liked to talk with on the radio, he’d get their attention by blowing CQ in Morse code with the train’s whistle. Some people in Kansas City had us laughing as we passed through. In Missouri, I talked with some farmers and a World War II vet. In Champaign, IL, I visited with a retired Unix systems administrator that had spent decades working with Unix operating systems.

Our hotel was connected to the Purdue Memorial Union, a large and historic building. Besides having some ice cream at the Sweet Shop one evening, we also spent a bit of time exploring it. I noticed that the Purdue Amateur Radio Club was having a testing session in there. We walked past once it was underway, and one of the students was not very busy. I introduced myself and asked if we could see their shack. It was neat to see all the equipment — some of it quite old — in the room that they must have been using for decades.

Terah, of course, had ideas for visiting a number of her favorite places while we were there. We visited Arni’s and Bruno’s, both pizza places. Bruno’s happens to be a Swiss pizza place, so much to my surprise, I had Wienerschnitzel there, which was excellent. We ate a (week late) Valentine’s dinner at Bistro 501.

On our way back, we also chatted with various people on the radio, though not quite as much. We got helpful suggestions for which route to take, and stopped at the excellent Bobby D’s Merchant St. BBQ in Emporia, KS for supper.

The boys had also enjoyed their weekend with grandparents, but were glad to see us back. They were particularly interested to see a lot of train videos from Youtube with me the next day.

Categories: General, Travel

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