____________ May 25, 2016 ___________

Adventure Post: Day 3

(or, TAKE TRAIL THREE!!!)
(or, Terre [not-so] Haute.)
(or, Greetings from Blooming…ton? Dale? Ville? Something…)
(or, I’m NOT Indi-Anna.  *Hahahaha!!!*)

Do you know what life is?  It’s crazy.

The subheaders are starting to confuse me.  You do realize that this is not a good thing.  I mean, they’re fun, but you know I’m already out there…. way out there.  At this point both mentally and physically.  We’re officially in SOUTHERN Indiana, although I personally wouldn’t classify it as such.  I’d classify it as stanky.  It doesn’t smell good here.  Or anywhere south of Indianapolis.  Because this Bloomin’ town is a long way from Terre Haughty, and it stank there, too.  In more ways than one.

We should back up. First, did you know the two main gas stations in Indiana are “K” and “C****’s”?  Is that supposed to be a joke?  Because… I’m just sayin.  My pen-pal is  “C****” who’s married to “K”, and I really don’t want to know if either of ’em have gas, but it’s just odd, the coinkydink of it.  ((<<< Brian says I’ve become delirious.  And it’s only TUESDAY… plus morning.  There are things you may have to overlook, the next few days.  Just be glad you weren’t in the car last night when I discovered Indi-Anna.  It… is probably not as funny as it struck me, at that moment.  Anyhow…))

If I told you that Shades park was incredible?  It’s because we hadn’t been to Turkey Run, yet.  I’d read about it, and they said on-line that it was ‘resort-ish’, so I wasn’t looking forward to it as much.  I. WAS. WRONG!  I’ve hiked the Hoh Rainforest.  I’ve hiked Scotland and the U.P. and… I have never in my life seen anything as breathtakingly beautiful as trail three at Turkey Run.

Not so sure Millard at the gas station yesterday was teasing me about how trail three’s the best thing they’ve got.  I think he might’ve meant Turkey Run and not Shades.  (<< He had to have, if he was serious… being there is no trail three at Shades.)  But trail three at Turkey Run?!?!?!?!  HomiGAWSH, we were absolutely FLOORED.  But it on your bucket list of places you HAVE to hike before you die.  You want a preview of the trail?  http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/120079713.jpg  <<< That’s the trail.  We walk in the crevices, in the streams, and then it opens up to rock caverns that surpass Pictured Rocks in beauty and height, and it’s just immense.  There aren’t words to describe it!

Gotta back up.  Okay, we left Crawfordsville (sadly), and drove to Turkey Run.  Going in, we were skeptical – there were eight schoolbuses (grrrrrreat) and a horse riding stable, tennis courts, in-ground pool, nature center… all people-y stuff.  There are eleven trails, I already ‘x’-ed out half of them, because they count everything as a trail, there.  Trail 11 is from the log cabin to the plantation house.  Trail 7 is the back way from the Nature Center to the little Store.  I don’t consider those trails, so we weren’t interested in half of them.

I’d also combined trails – there’s a big loop of trail 2 that ties into the long straight of trail 1, and just turning 1/2 into a trail and leaving off the other side of two allowed us to see everything and not waste time.  Where the trails at Shades were .7 miles, each (and we did seven or eight of them), the trails at TR are 1.7 each… so we did less trails, but ended up hiking almost six miles – one short of what we did, yesterday.

I’m going to want to share a LOT of pictures, and I don’t know the best way to DO that…!!  And I’m not even sure the pictures could do it justice.  It was just staggeringly gorgeous.  But I want you to SEE, and the couple I put at FB wouldn’t suffice.

We did trails 1/2, first, which was THE best idea, ever – it was beautiful, and much like a mix of yesterday’s hikes and Munising hikes… it got us geared up and in the mood.  Then we had a drink break, and crossed the suspension bridge [ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/d0/1c/f7/d01cf75d8bcff06dda664e43003896df.jpg ] and were gonna do a 4/8 combo, but couldn’t find it… all the trails were marked ‘3’.  Which was SO good.  And it was really noisy/people-y by the rock trail, so we headed back into the back of the area on the rear ‘3’ trail, and I’m SO GLAD we did the loop that direction, because it was so much better, facing that way!  We just kept gaping in awe at… well, everything.  I’ve never seen anything like that place, and can’t say enough about how shockingly fantastical it was.

http://www.canstockphoto.com/trail-ladders-in-bear-hollow-36971052.html
http://www.canstockphoto.com/turkey-run-state-park-indiana-33883220.html

We only did the two trails – 1/2 were 3.5 miles, combined, and trail 3 was 1.7 miles, but with the cross-backs and entries, we were pretty much done after those.  I’d talked about going back after lunch and doing 5/9, but my gang was too sore and in need of a break.  It was another rugged trail (these all were the rugged ones), so I took pity.  But if we ever travel south, I might try to coax them back there, to do 5/9.

From there, we drove for a while.  I saw this picture [ https://www.flickr.com/photos/45765892@N03/4591758276/ ] on Pinterest, and wanted to find it… so that’s what we did, next.  It was super easy to find – there were even signs to it!  It’s just as amazing in person, but it’s privately owned, so we didn’t dare go close.  It was still worth checking out.

Then we went to Cataract, to the largest waterfall in Indiana.  There are actually two sets of falls, there… and the only covered bridge in the state that I wanted to see.  (We saw one at Turkey Run, but it’s the typical covered bridge – red on the sides, white on the ends with a ton of printed writing on it to gunk it up).  The one at Cataract has NO writing!  So we went there, but there was no hike – just two lots overlooking the two very large, very powerful waterfalls.  There was a small picnic area, and we stopped there, and took off our hiking boots (and still soaked socks) and I had the kids rock-hop out into the river with me, and we sat down on the rocks and dangled our feet in the icy water for a while.  It was SO nice.  And there was a little trail from there to the lower falls, so Aaron and Owen took that with me, just to see if there was anything pretty back there (<< there wasn’t).

Then we headed to Terre Haute.  I didn’t remember what I wanted to see there, but the name sounded ‘notably familiar’, and we were actually thinking we’d just go there and stay the night. The drive was CRAZY… on the map, 42 looks relatively straight.  It was non-stop curves, the ENTIRE way.

We… had no idea.  We got there, and… Well first, the one impressive thing about Indiana is that they have all of their state buildings, churches, schools… they’re all architecturally astounding.  Everything – libraries, schools…!  It’s just carved and beautiful.  The first thing we saw coming into Terre Haute was Woodrow Wilson School.  [ http://brisray.com/th/pcwwjhs01.jpg ]  The next thing we saw was that gas was 25¢ higher than anywhere else.  (Gives new meaning to ‘haute’ – high, in French!)  Then we saw grubby.  Everywhere, grubby… except Indiana State University.  It was beautiful – a fantastic campus.  But even the courthouse – it was crazy-beautiful architecture, but grubby.

Then we found out that there was a baseball national championship somethin’r’other in town, and every. single. hotel was filled.  Not cool.  We went looking for St. Mary of the Woods (<< on my itinerary, but we didn’t know why.)  THIS would be why:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Church_of_the_Immaculate_Conception_%28Saint_Mary-of-the-Woods,_Indiana%29,_exterior.jpg  Other than that, though?  Probably not necessary to have gone.

So we ate (HARDEES!!!! << Best. Food. EVER!  I used to work there, you know – only in Marquette.  And the kids mixed a drink at those make-your-own-pop things in the restaurant, and it was Peach-Fanta, and I’m now in love with a soft drink.  No, really.).  And we got back on the road – this time 46 (<< they’re all numbers in Indiana.  Even the little roads.  Weird.) and drove allllll the way to Bloomington.  Bloomingdale.  Bloomingville?  I don’t know, and I did this all night, last night, too.  By the time we hit delirious, I was calling it ‘the next bloomin’ city’, just to make it easier on everyone.  I’m really lucky Brian tolerates me, you know this, right?

But it was a seriously full day.  And we covered some real distance – made it SOUTH.  We’re nowhere near finished, of course, but we’ve put a good dent in it, at this point, and I can’t imagine topping Shades and Turkey Run.  But who knows?!  There’s a lot more to see in Indiana than I ever thought!  (<< Half afraid I’m making you wistful.  But I can’t help it – I know you’d love these places.  Especially trail #3.  And I wish it weren’t so far from you.)

Anyhow, I have to go.  We have a negative hotel experience going on that I’m going to try to sweeten by making it about a nice warm shower.  ((It’s been four days of extreme hiking.  I could use one.))  Oh!  And only one tick, so far.  That’s pretty good, too, right?  (<<  Although there was a snake at Turkey Run, too.  I only saw the tail as it slithered around a tree, but that was enough.  Damn snakes!!!)

Okay.  Going.  Gotta put things together for today, yet, too.  It’s going to be Wolf Cave, McCormick falls, some milder hiking, another beautiful ‘castle’, possibly geode hunting at Lake Monroe, and then a crazy boat ride in underground caverns.  (!!!!)  Sound fun?

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