____________ May 23, 2016 ___________

Adventure Post: Day 1

(or, Greetings from Crawfordsville!)
(or, Indiana really blows.  Don’t come here.)
(or, How to miss e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.)

Well, it’s supposed to hit 85, today, so I’m pretty glad we all brought shorts, along.  In a pinch, our swim trunks could suffice, too.  For the boys, anyhow.  Since we’re going down by a river, may I should encourage them to wear the swim trunks, so they can splash and cool off?  That sounds good.  🙂

UPDATE My tall dark and grumbly proofreader says no swimming or wading is allowed in the river.  I hate Indiana.

But we’re supposed to be talking about yesterday, aren’t we?  Okay… well.  We got a late start – by an hour, and it kind of messes with my groove [[[[[[[[grooooooove…!!!]]]]]]]] when that happens.  Then we had other trouble – I’d wanted to drop of ‘Taken3’ DVD and three library books to one library, and come to find out, they went to THREE libraries.  And on Friday (during the field trip or rehearsal r’something… I don’t even know, but there was a message on the answering machine when I was clearing stuff off and getting ready to leave, and they said that my little yellow pill prescription was ready for pick-up.  I checked the bottle, and there wasn’t enough for the trip, so while library-ing (on the day of a TRIP?!!?!), we had to stop and pick up that, too.  My fault.  I just don’t dare stop and start it, once it’s in my system, since it also affects blood pressure.  (<< Not mine, but taking those kinds of chances on vacation doesn’t sound like a good idea.)  So we were TWO hours late, getting started.

Things went GR-eat… until we reached the Indiana border.  Then everything was construction, and we got turned around and missed our exit – or it was closed.  That happened, once, too.  S’okay, cuz there were other ways to go, so we just kept on, but I swear to you, there’s not a road in Indiana that’s open.  We ended up taking a different way than we planned down to Logansport.  Some of it was 25mph.  Like we weren’t already behind schedule?!  I was having a few slight heart palpitations, and Brian was getting CR-anky.  No, seriously, very, very crankyMark us down as THREE hours behind, now.  Joy.

We saw a lot of funky stuff.  This HUGE prison that looked like a fortress city, with towers all around it.  An open airplane hangar (the kids were geeked).  This hill in the middle of miles of flat farmland, and people were taking people-sized beach balls up the hill, getting inside of them, and rolling down the hill.  (I’d barf.  Just sayin.)  Starke County Courthouse was a gorgeous surprise, in Knox (which also had Fort Knox paintball – the ONLY happenin’ thing in Knox).  What else… oh, we drove along the ‘panhandle pathway’.  What is that?  There’s no panhandle in Indiana.  These people are just weird.

Speaking of weird, we saw a blue sign that said ‘Roadside Table’.  Now I’ve seen roadside rest stops or picnic areas, but a roadside table?  So I told the kids to keep their eyes out, and sure enough, there was a gravel drive between two people’s farmhouses with just a picnic table, sitting there.  I can’t even.  Really, I can’t.

And Star City?   TWO stars, total.  We saw more stars in Lafayette, by a LOT.  Star City should be ashamed of themselves.  If I lived there?  I could have FUN with that…

Our first stop was France Park, just west of Logansport.  I was SERIOUSLY pissed that it was $3 per person to get in the place.  Eighteen dollars (Owen was free) to get in the dumpiest little campground, ever.  (The people in Indiana have yet to impress me.  There were nekkid babies running down the road, in this park.  In front of cars.)  Anyhow, they have a waterfall that I’d wanted to see.  It’s not a hike, though – the parking lot is 30ft from the fall, and they made this ugly cement pad with gazebo and flowers and gnomes and ugly whatevs RIGHT in front of the waterfall.  I was like, “SERIOUSLY!?!!

The thing was slightly redeemed, because at the back of France Park is a quarry with tall rock outcroppings, and THE prettiest blue water, ever.  Since I’d never dipped in a quarry, I had the kids take their shoes/socks off, and we rolled our britches and ‘dipped’ in the quarry.  Cross one off the bucket list – I dipped in a quarry!  ((Technically.))

Anyhow, that trip took a LOT less time than I anticipated (… no hike!…), so we were off to Tippecanoe.  Which is the equivalent of a roadside park, with a few tombstones between the trees, and a tall monument to the men who died in the battle.  There’s a little museum and gift shop, but it closed an hour earlier.  Anyhow, the people have named everything after the Battle of Tippecanoe, though – it’s kind of disturbing to glory in massacre, but that just may be me.  Anyhow, we also had the Wabash Heritage Trail on our list, and it ran along the back of Tippecanoe, so we walked back in there and over this bridge.  The honeysuckles are out here, and it smelled SO divine!  Loved it.

Wolf Park was next… it closed an hour earlier.  ((Noticing a theme, here?))  I wasn’t happy.  My girl was hoping to see wolves.  We saw one.  It was molded out of cement.  Fun.

Next was Lafayette, to Purdue University.  There is NO on-campus parking, and everything around campus is closed for road work.  Or one-way.  It was hideous.  There wasn’t even normal traffic, and we were gnashing teeth and pulling hair.  EVERYTHING was closed.  When we finally found a parking spot, all the gorgeous old buildings were covered with scaffolding.  Anything mod and ugly was fine, but the old beautiful buildings?  Six foot construction fences, big cones, and heavy machinery.  We saw this beautiful fountain between buildings and headed for it?  I kid you not, the moment we got there, it shut off for the night.  It was only freakin’ six, and there were lights around the thing, for night!  ((It probably only is on for the fifteen minutes leading up to the hour, or something stupid like that.))  But we were getting pretty frustrated with Indiana.

Getting OUT of Lafayette was nigh to impossible.  It’s all one-way, except the big roads we needed to get out, and those were closed, so we kept making squares to try to get around it… it took forever, and I was actually getting sick to my stomach from the circles we were doing!  Indiana SUCKSJust in case there was any question.

Yehovah must’ve sensed my severe level of annoyance, because at this point he took pity on us and had us loop downtown Lafayette, right past the courthouse.  It was more beautiful than the Lansing State Capitol in Michigan!  And just down from it was a train station – old fashioned, and with a lamp-lit pedestrian bridge over the Wabash, with a giant fountain at one end.  (<< Snotty blonde quipped that it’d probably shut off by the time we got there….)  So we parked and walked the bridge.

In the middle of it?  Is an enormous maze in set into the bridge!  The kids were having a BALL doing the maze, and there was a Hindi gentleman enjoying watching them.  (<< Everyone who goes to Purdue U is Indian or Asian, I swear it.)  Anyhow, JUST as we’d gotten out of the car, we heard a train pass thru the station, over the bridge.  NATURALLY.  We went over and saw it, anyhow, but on our way back to the fountain side of things, we heard ANOTHER train go by.  We missed BOTH of them!!!!  So I went and stuck my hands in the fountain.  (Brian did not approve.  Likely neither would Indiana.)

Then we went to Crawfordsville.  It’s pretty much a truck stop exit off an expressway in Farmland, Midwest.  There are five hotels, four restaurants, three gas station/truck stops, and a John Deere dealer… and that’s ALL.  ((Waves from the hotel window!))  We won’t talk about the accidental fish sandwich, which was the cherry on top of a seriously unexpectedly rotten day.  Oh, there were a few glimmers of goodness, but… it will get better, from here.  (((((I hope!!!!))))

So anyhow. Rough start to the trip.  More to come, tomorrow.

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