Posts tagged Indiana

A Trip to Tulip Trestle

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Indiana is full of many hidden treasure from the shores of Lake Michigan to the banks of the Ohio River. One of them is a little known train trestle in southern Indiana, southwest of Bloomington in Greene County. But “little” is the last word that should describe the Greene County Viaduct, affectionately known as “Tulip Trestle”. I first heard about Tulip Trestle some 15 years ago when a car club I was in made a trip to view the 2295 foot long structure.

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Tulip Trestle was completed in 1906 at a cost of $246,000, or over $6 million in today’s dollars. It was built by the New York Bridge Company using mainly Italian immigrants making some 30 cents an hour, which was an above average wage for the times. And considering it took just 18 months to build, it makes their efforts even more impressive. All told the 2295 foot trestle stands 157 feet tall at its highest point and is supported by 18 towers.

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Tulip Trestle is still used some 110 years after the first locomotive crossed it high above Richland Creek. Initially used to haul coal from Greene County mines, the Indiana Rail Road Company still makes several runs across it on a daily basis, and even shows off one of their trains crossing it on their website.

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I’ve visited Tulip Trestle several times over the past 15 years to soak in an incredible product of the early 20th Century engineering. However, I’ve yet to be there at a time when a freight train has crossed. But recently some locals have created an observation deck on the north side where visitors can view a passing train, or just stand there to view the expansive viaduct. A Facebook page has been started by the group aiming to beautify the area around Tulip Trestle. You can join that page by clicking here.

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 The Green County Viaduct, Tulip Trestle, Tulip Viaduct, or whatever you’d like to call it, is about a 40 minute drive southwest from Bloomington, Indiana. You can view a map on how to get there by clicking on the Google Maps link here. And when you make the trip there and aren’t fortunate enough to see a train cross with a typical load of coal, here’s a fantastic drone video, complete with an Indiana Rail Road train crossing. Enjoy!

October 9-11, 2015: Prophetstown State Park

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Knowing October is going to be a busy month, we decided to head out for a RVing weekend. We weren’t sure which park we wanted to go to, so Pat had the Indiana State Parks website open to their reservations page, showing all available campsites, periodically refreshing it. Two sites came up that were not previously available, so they were probably reserved and canceled.

Both sites were at Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground, near West Lafayette. The park is primarily on flat prairie land, which is being restored and landscaped to include native prairie plantings. It has a very different feel than the parks in southern Indiana, which have more woods and forests. One part of the park is fairly open (electric only site numbers beginning at 200), but with some young trees in between sites. Depending upon one’s preferences, that may or may not be suitable, but it is still nicely manicured and maintained, with a very nice comfort station / shower house in that area.

The sites that became available were in the area with campsite numbers starting at 100. Pat selected 108, which was a pull-through with full hook ups, so we had water, sewer, and electric, for a total of $40. What was really nice about all of the sites in this area, was the trees! It was a very different feel than the 200-numbered sites. Both the pull-through and back-in sites all had a very generous number of trees surrounding the roomy sites, creating a nice little enclave of privacy one doesn’t usually find many parks. Commercial RV parks are usually close, and state parks are usually spaced farther apart – and this one did quite well! The back-in sites all had three sides of tree coverage, and obviously having a pull-through, we had just two sides – but it was nice to look out and see just trees instead of other rigs and to have a delineation of our site.

Shasta Oasis at Prophetstown State Park

We arrived in the dark Friday night and I wasn’t inclined to do much but go to sleep, but the next day we basically lazed around until we felt like getting up (that feels good!) and had some coffee and breakfast before heading out for a walk. First, we walked around the campground for about a mile. We went back to the campsite to check out the trails for our next walk…I’d say hike but the area is pretty flat, no hills, no stairs or ladders to climb – so it was walking. But the layout of the two trails we wanted to take ensured that it was going to be a long walk. Turns out it was 6 miles!

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The weather was typical October, meaning chilly at night and warm during the day – but warmer in the sun and cooler in the shade. In many of the open prairie portions of trail 3, it got a little warm with no shade to be found, but trail 4 offered a good mix of shade.

Walk along Trail 4 - Prophetstown State Park

After trekking 6 miles, we rested a bit and decided to have an early dinner to replenish some of the calories we burned (and to avoid the post-game Purdue traffic), so we headed to the Dog n’ Suds on US 52 in West Lafayette. Dinner at Dog n Suds, US 52, West Lafayette, Indiana

We indulged in a little frozen yogurt at Urban Swirl Frozen Yogurt and headed back to the campsite.

The Indiana DNR had a fall campfire event in the other area of the campground and was offering free s’mores so we headed over and found that they were for everyone, not just kids. Woo hoo! Not too many took advantage of it, so there were plenty for the small crowd. I only had one though! We were treated to a beautiful sunset as well – though as good as a camera as the iPhone 6 Plus has, didn’t get the deep red colors correct (should have brought the Sony!).

Sunset at Prophetstown State Park

I fell asleep very early and to my surprise slept very late (for me) – 9:15! That was every bit of 12 hours. Yeah, that felt good. We wanted to have breakfast out and already knew we were going to the Route 66 Diner in West Lafayette. It is 115 miles from the closest part of the actual Route 66 (which would be Normal, Illinois) but as the sister restaurant to the popular local favorite the Triple XXX (featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) the Route 66 Diner serves up some great food and friendly service. We had a bit of a wait, with the after church crowd, but it was worth it!

Next, on to burn off some of those calories with a bike ride. The park had a paved bike trail where they set up a “Scarecrow Trail” for October. Various civic groups set up scarecrow displays along the trail. See images in my photo gallery below.

After the 7+ mile bike ride, we had a couple hours left until Indiana’s most generous 5PM Sunday check out time. We rested for a bit, then set to the task of putting everything away and heading home. Until next time…

October 9-11, 2015: Prophetstown State Park

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June 7-9, 2013: Mounds State Park – Anderson, Indiana

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This weekend we *finally* got the trailer out and camped somewhere other than our own yard! We had reservations at Mounds State Park for Friday and Saturday nights. We were going to see Huey Lewis and The News Saturday night at Hoosier Park Casino, and Mounds State Park is a small, but very nice, state park close to the casino.

Here was our spot for the weekend, in a small loop right next to the airport. We saw many small planes taking off and landing throughout the weekend.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Here are a few photos inside our Serro Scotty, featuring our new turquoise bedding, throw rug, and turquoise storage tubs under the bed.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

We used our electric grill, the Griddler, to make a reasonably healthy dinner Friday, chipotle lime chicken and grilled veggies.

Grilled chipotle and lime chicken and veggies

On Saturday morning we went for a 3 mile walk around trail 5 that loops the entire park, and also a bit of trail 1, that goes by the mounds.

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

After our walk, we relaxed around the campsite for a while, then we went out to an early dinner at the nearby Lemon Drop Drive-in and had onion burgers – yummm.

Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

Dinner at the Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

We went back to the campground to get cleaned up for the reason we were in Anderson – to go see the band, Huey Lewis and The News. They are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their hit album “Sports” with a tour and we thought it would be fun to go see them at the Hoosier Park Casino. I’d seen alot of popular bands back in the 80’s, but not Huey Lewis. I thought about so many of his songs and liked them all, so why not?

Why not indeed…the show was terrific. Huey Lewis sounds excellent, exactly the same as he did back in the 80’s. He puts on a very good, entertaining show and I recommend anyone who likes his music to go see them.

Huey Lewis and The News

The venue… The Outdoor Music Center:

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino - Outdoor Music Center, Anderson, Indiana

The main attraction – Huey Lewis and The News!

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The NewsPhotographs

Below is a slideshow of the weekend’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634030508545″ width=”600″]

Video

Here’s a video of “The Power of Love”

May 19, 2013: Day 10 – East Bound and Down

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Today was the final day of our journey, and so far it’s been a great one!

After checking out of the motel, I opted for just coffee today. After having so many big breakfasts and a big dinner and dessert last night, I needed to give my stomach a rest. We continued into Erie on State Road 5, which was the Circle Lake route, and found a Dunkin’ Donuts in town. We made our way back to the scenic route and passed by this motel where we stayed several years ago.

Vernondale Motel - Erie, Pennsylvania
Along this route, the majority of the trip is in New York, and there is very little of Pennsylvania to go through. So before you know it, we were in Ohio. We continued to follow the Circle Lake Tour, and decided to stop at a park on the lake, Conneaut Township Park. What beautiful views! We decided to take a walk down on the beach and toward the lighthouse.
Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio

Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio
I checked out my Roadside America app again, which showed a town coming up called Ashtabula, featuring several interesting locations. The first was the longest covered bridge in the United States.
World's longest covered bridge - Ashtabula, Ohio
The next location were several memorials to people who perished in the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster, where a train bridge crossing the Ashtabula Rover collapsed during a blizzard, killing 92 of the 159 people on board.

Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
By the hospital, there is an audio memorial, and the hospital is relevant to the disaster, because there were no medical facilities nearby at the time. As a result, a local farmer left his land to be used to build a new medical facility.
Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
Ashtabula Medical Center - Ashtabula, Ohio

After we finished with the SR 5 portion of the Circle Lake Tour, we decided to take the Interstate home (at least for as long as Pat could tolerate it). We bypassed Cleveland and picked up I-71. After another obligatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn (and some free ice cream as a result of a Foursquare check in special), we continued on 71 until just north of Columbus, where we got on US 36. In Urbana, we found via the Roadside America app, two of the World’s Largest Loaves of Bread.
World's Largest Loaf of Bread No. 2
World's Largest Loaf of Bread
We continued on US 36 only a bit longer, then picked up I-70 east of Dayton and continued back to Indianapolis on the Evil I.
Back Home Again in Indiana
Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633538947210″ width=”600″]

March 1-3, 2013: Grease is the Word!

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Overview Map

The following map was created using the Trimble Outdoors Navigator app for my iPhone. For an interactive version of the map or to see a closeup of the route, click the “Bigger Map” link.

Prelude

We wanted to get away for the weekend to relax from the strain of several circumstances as of late. Between work, family concerns, household projects, due to lack of time, we haven’t allowed ourselves a road trip for a while and we were long overdue! We just had a few days, so we couldn’t travel too far and we kicked around several possibilities. Looking at the map, I suggested that we continue following the Great River Road, south from St. Louis. We had previously followed it from Minnesota, along Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as some in Illinois north of St. Louis. So, we thought we’d take it south from St. Louis and see if we could reach Memphis and partake in hamburgers from Dyer’s Burgers. We saw Dyer’s featured on the Travel Channel’s show “Food Paradise,” on the “Deep Fried” episode. Dyer’s features hamburgers deep fried in oil, but what makes them unique is the fact that there oil is never completely discarded, only strained and added to. Therefore, Dyer’s claim to fame is that the grease/oil contains 100+- year old grease molecules. Grease is most certainly the word!

Friday, March 1, 2013: Indianapolis, Indiana to Olney, Illinois

We started our journey on Friday afternoon from the east side of Indianapolis, after having a late lunch/early dinner at Edward’s Drive-In. We cruised the Evil-I for a while, and took US 40 west from the west side of Indy. We turned south on US 231. We took a little stretch of the new I-69 until we reached US 50. We took US 50, until we reached Olney, Illinois. We stayed at a mom & pop called the Traveler’s Inn Motel, which had definitely seen better days. The thermostat didn’t work, and it felt like 1000 degrees in there. We opened the door and window for a while, but the relief was short-lived. Pat ended up turning the wall AC on. The room had an odd configuration, there was another door in the room, which I assumed had another door on the other side (adjoining rooms, but that have locked doors between them). But actually, the door only locked on our side! We were a little confused, and assumed that room had to be ours or else anyone could just enter the other room! It was cooler in there too, but we opted to stay in our part in case we were wrong. We went to the other side in the morning, and found that its outside door had no number, so we knew it had to have been our room as well. It had two double beds and a kitchenette. Still, not the best of places, but serviceable.

Saturday, March 2, 2013: Olney, Illinois to Holly Springs, Mississippi

Before heading out early, we luckily had the benefit of early light due to central time. As Olney was the “Home of the Albino Squirrels” we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a peek at one if possible! But first, I needed coffee, so we stopped at a cute little coffee shop in town, called Ophelia’s Cup. Great cup of coffee!! Pat got a hot chocolate, and we were off in search of albino squirrels.

A quick search revealed that the albino squirrels mainly resided in Olney City Park, so off we went. We slowly cruised through the park, and spotted many run of the mill squirrels, but none of the albino variety. We started to think we had a better shot at spotting Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, or a unicorn when we neared the end of the park. Then suddenly I saw, frolicking with the “lesser” squirrels, was a pure white squirrel! My camera was set to a slow shutter speed and I didn’t have my zoom lens on, of course, so this was the best I could do:

Albino Squirrel - Olney, Illinois

We continued our southwesterly trek until we reached the Great River Road in Chester, Illinois. To our surprise and delight, Chester was home to Popeye the Sailor Man! How cool is that? Chester is the hometown of Popeye’s creator, cartoonist E. C. Segar. We came upon a park with some murals and statues, and found that there is a statue trail for the various characters. next to the park was a Popeye store and museum called Spinach Can Collectibles – very cool shop with TONS of Popeye collectibles and memorabilia. We debated about getting our grandson a Popeye doll, but at 2 and totally unfamiliar with the cartoon, I didn’t think he’d appreciate it. Instead, Pat picked up a Popeye magnet and I opted for a DVD of the 1980 movie, “Popeye” starring Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelly Duvall as Olive Oyl. That was a favorite of mine and my dad’s, so I had to get it.

We saw the Olive Oyl statue, then proceeded to head down by the Mississippi River, where the 6 ft. tall bronze statue of Popeye was stationed. Here is Pat posing with Popeye:

Pat with Popeye Statue, Chester, Illinois

We continued down the Great River Road, and could have kept the slower pace we enjoy, but ultimately we decided that we really wanted to have the burgers at Dyer’s in Memphis and we would not make it without unfortunately, taking the Evil-I!

We picked up I-55, and journeyed south toward Memphis, destination: Beale Street. The area was fairly easy to navigate, though we didn’t find any street parking, so we opted to park in a garage close to Beale Street. We made the short walk to Dyer’s Burgers and were entranced with the abundance of cool neon! But first thing was our grease fix. We each ordered single burgers, and I selected French fries with mine while Pat decided on onion rings.

Dyer's Burgers - Beale Street, Memphis, TN

The burgers were pretty good though we have had better, flavor-wise. Being deep fried certainly made them moist and I did enjoy the fries a lot! We decided we had just enough room to split a dessert, a deep fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich (a Smuckers Crustable).

After satisfying our stomachs, we went out to satisfy my need to use my new Sony NEX-6 for some neon photos. Not disappointed at all! I used the HDR feature, which really helped to make the exposure simulate what our eyes see. In HDR mode, the camera brackets 6 exposures and combines them within 10 or seconds, yielding a result that is just spectacular. The camera retains the original photo, as I exposed it and the combined exposure. I deleted all of the original exposures, but I will at some point retain a few and post them for viewing to show the before and after. I thought that the HDR feature would be helpful in cutting down my workflow, and allowing me to get my photos processed and uploaded faster by editing on my iPad Mini if needed. I’m happy that only minimal post processing is needed, the camera does a fabulous job processing. I do have an app called Photogene on my iPad Mini which does well handling any minor edits or cropping I need to do, but is fairly well featured enough to handle more if needed (no substitute for Photoshop of course but it’s still a good app!).

Here is a sample of photos from Beale Street. See the slide show below for all of the photos or click the slide show to go to my Flickr site.

Coyote Ugly Saloon, Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

Johnny G's Creole Kitchen, Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

Southern Style BBQ Ribs, Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

We headed southeast out of Memphis, opting to move on for a place to stay the night. We crossed into Mississippi, and the town of Corinth seemed like a reasonably sized burg, but was an hour or so away, and we were getting pretty tired. The small town of Holly Springs was much closer, and had a few choices, and an EconoLodge that used to be a Hampton Inn had good reviews, so we opted to stay there for the night.

Sunday, March 3, 2013: Holly Springs, Mississippi to Indianapolis, Indiana

The hotel had a decent continental breakfast, so we decided to partake in a little complimentary food before moving on. We headed east on SR 4, and north on SR 5, before picking back up US 72. We continued on US 72 until we crossed into Alabama, then took the Natchez Trace Parkway north to its northern terminus just southeast of Nashville. We stopped at a few scenic locations, one being Fall Hollow Waterfall.

Natchez Trace - Fall Hollow Waterfall

In Nashville, we decided we needed to again take the Evil-I so we could get home at a fairly reasonable hour, so we took I-65 north back to Indy. Our final stop was for dinner at Toot’s restaurant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where first timers receive a complimentary order of fried pickles. We had potato skins as well and I went with the Philly Cheesesteak and Pat ordered a rack of ribs. With yet more grease ingested, we waddled out of there feeling overfull and headed home.

Here is a slideshow of all of my photos from this trip. If you click on the slideshow, it will take you over to my Flickr page where you can also view the photos there.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157632920122139″ width=”600″]

January 2013: Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum

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My daughter was interested in going to the Eiteljorg Museum to see the Jingle Rails Exhibit with my grandson, so I thought that might be a fun way to try out the new Sony NEX-6.

This might be an annual exhibit, so if you are in Indianapolis during the Christmas holidays, I highly recommend going!

Here is a slideshow of my photos. If you click on the slideshow, it will take you over to my Flickr page where you can also view the photos there.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157632443886201″ width=”600″]

November 12-13, 2011: Lieber State Recreation Area

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Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”11019355@N03″ id=”72157628118576548″ width=”600″]

July 14-17, 2011: McCormick’s Creek State Park

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Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”11019355@N03″ id=”72157627077750219″ width=”600″]

January 14-15, 2011: Mounds State Park

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Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157625840639440″ width=”600″]

October 9-11, 2010: Lost Bridge State Recreation Area, Andrews, Indiana

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Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157625021060133″ width=”600″]

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”11019355@N03″ id=”72157625145484662″ width=”600″]

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