The northern end of the trail starts in Winamac at the old depot - the pathway is the old Pennsy but there's an Erie caboose. The Erie used to cross the Pennsy there.
Since it was such a beautiful day, I took a quick detour through the park while I was in Winamac. The end of the suspension bridge closest to you in the photo is where the night run I did a few years ago started.
The Panhandle parallels U.S. Route 35 heading southwest out of Winamac. Not a whole lot to see out there in farm country unless you're looking maybe for a Rolls Royce. I stopped to snap the photo and check out the building it's sitting in front of and a guy came out from the other building asking me what I was up to. After explaining I was a car buff, he told me the story of the Rolls. Last time it was driven was by his daughter when she drove it to the prom four years ago, etc. There are a couple other vehicles inside the building as well.
Actually, I was more interested in the truck down the road that's hiding behind the foliage. Looks like an old Ford box van. Not exactly a farm truck but could be a cool transporter for jockeying motorcycles around or making a trip to the lumber yard.
The southern trailhead is off U.S. Route 24 back to the west of the 35/24 intersection. The beautiful farm is just across the road from the trail and the church, constructed from Indiana limestone I would guess, is just up the hill about a 1/2 mile. The trains were responsible for the development of a lot of small towns along the tracks. It's a shame so many of the railroads went bust and they pulled up the tracks. It's nice when they can do something like the Panhandle with the old right of way, though.
Right down the road from the southern trailhead is France Park. I'm thinking about doing some kind of bike trip either starting in Winamac on the bike, riding to France Park and camping for the night and then do the return trip the next day, or loading up the bike and the teardrop trailer and heading down there for a couple of days and ride the trail as part of the trip. Have to see what develops on that.
After leaving the park, I picked up the box of tools from the welding supply in Logansport. The kit has a couple of clamps and some magnetic things to hold parts in alignment for welding. When you TIG weld, you always need a third hand it seems and much of what I work on are oddball configurations that don't lend themselves to clamping. These should help. The other two items in the photo I picked up at Bailey's in North Judson on the way home. The long nose "Vise Grip" might come in handy some day. I've needed something like these in the past - don't know if I ever will in the future but I was willing to gamble on them. The end wrench is a ten millimeter combination open end and ratcheting box wrench. If you work on European or Japanese bikes - motorized or not - you'll always have need for a ten millimeter. This one is made in Taiwan, so the quality perhaps won't be the greatest, but for $1.99 how can you go wrong?
Put about 150 miles on the little car and was gone for about four hours. Nice little trip on a February day that managed to get up into the 60's. If I had waited an hour or so later to leave, it would have been a nice trip on the motorcycle after it warmed up. There'll be other days.