Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch"

Hi all -- Dianne here.  With the Garden Walk over and another realty open house under our belts, Roger and I escaped to Brown County State Park for a couple of weeks to rest and regroup.  We made reservations here last January, because we knew we'd have to plan ahead to have a place for the July 4th weekend.

  Roger here...  For those of you who are not familiar with Brown County State Park, it is the largest state park in Indiana.  It is somewhat unusual for the state because it is in an extremely hilly locale.  Not too many hills in Indiana until you get to the southern third of the state.  The topography of the hills is interesting, as valleys were gouged into the hills by glaciers during the ice age.  The hiking here is a lot of up, down, up, down, ad infinitum - a good test for the new hiking shoes we just bought (more later on that).  Regular cars can enter the park through the north entrance through the 

 double covered bridge that is pictured.  RVs have to travel another 10 or so miles to get to the west entrance where they have enough height clearance.  

Dianne again:  Here at Brown County State Park we have a GREAT site (#62), with a view of the pretty brown

 barn out our front windshield, and a large private grassy and tree area on our patio side.  It's got a slope to it, as shown in our elaborate leveling setup.  In fact, we ended up using ALL of our plastic leveling "toys," including our chocks behind the front wheels, which we normally don't need to use with a motorhome.  (Roger here...  usually leveling takes about 2-3 minutes with our automated leveling jacks.  This time it took about a half hour.)

Our dogs are THRILLED to be out hiking in the woods again.  

They really get excited and a bounce in their trot when we go for a hike. 

 There are some great hiking trails here, which we've taken good advantage of.

Our first hike was around Ogle Lake, where we saw sassafras, oak forests, and paw

 paws.  (Roger here... as we walked around the lake we saw dozens of trees that had been felled or were about to be felled by

 beaver.  We've included photos of two of them.)

The second day we took a  break from hiking and went

 into the small town of Nashville, Indiana for a chocolate soda (Roger's favorite dessert) at our favorite lunch spot, the 

Hob Nob.  

Then, yesterday, we took another long (over 6 miles), rugged hike that included a lot of uphill and downhill exercise.   Vast


 of beautiful ferns, interesting

 mushrooms (Roger here...  Dianne loves to photograph fungus - I'm not sure if I should be concerned about this), and moss with spore

 pods are just some of the things we spotted.   The weather was cool for this time of year (low to mid 70s), so it was perfect for a long hike.   We packed snacks and water for us and the "boys."   

Roger here... After three beautiful days, it is raining here today - a good day to read, watch TV, and stay dry in the motor home.  We are supposed to pick up our granddaughter, Kaia, later today so that she can visit for a few days :).  The weather is supposed to be great after today's rain, so we are looking forward to having fun with her.

On the way to Brown County from Summit Lake, we stopped at the Edinburg Outlet mall on I-65  for the purpose of buying underwear and socks at the Jockey store - how exciting :).  We parked the motor home in an out-of-the-way location.  Dianne and the dogs took a nap while I went to the store.  On the way, I noticed a hiking shoe display in the window of the Hush Puppy store.  I have been looking for a good pair of hiking shoes, preferably Merrells, for a couple of  years, but could not find any in my size.  I have embarrassingly small feet for a guy.  I dropped in the store expecting that none of the shoes would fit (as usual).  To my surprise, the shoes were Merrells and there was one pair in my size!  It was meant to be.  When I got back to the motor home, awakened Dianne from her slumber, and showed her my new shoes, she hopped up (not to be outdone) and promptly went to the store to buy a pair for herself.

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