Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Turkey Run State Park - The Annual Trip 2011

Roger here...  Back for our annual visit to Turkey Run State Park.  This may be our last Turkey Run trip for a while.  We are hoping to travel to Oregon and Washington State next summer, so we would not be in Indiana for the Turkey Run fun.  If that happens, I will fly to Indianapolis to do the Human Resources presentations that I still do every year for my former employer.

Before I talk about Turkey Run, I need to relate a somewhat harrowing experience that we had while driving through Montgomery and Parke Counties in Indiana.  

My mistake, (and it was my mistake), was to thoroughly trust "Waldo" our new RV-GPS.  I did not look at the maps because we had been to Turkey Run many times before, and because I trusted Waldo.  I know, I know, always look at the maps ahead of time.  I should have.  I have in the past, and I will in the future.

Waldo had no trouble guiding us through Lafayette and taking us to Crawfordsville, IN.  Just south of town, he told us to stay on the current road (we were on state road 32) for 22 miles.  We arrived at a "Y" in the road -- 32 to the right and 47 to the left.  We should have veered onto 47, but even though I felt it was wrong, I trusted Waldo.  Within two miles, I knew it was a mistake, but I figured that "Waldo" would take us back to SR 47.  He did, but in an amazing way.  We traveled on no less than 12 different narrow, bumpy, county roads -- one of which was washboard gravel -- before we reconnected with 47 (probably took us an extra 45 minutes).  OK, WALDO!  You are still better than Sacajawea, but never again will I completely trust you.  

We finally arrived at Turkey Run State Park and awaited the arrival of our camping friends, including some new ones.  Chuck and Cindy arrived after a couple of hours.  Pat, Audrey and Jessica (their daughter), then Bill (Cindy's brother) and Rick arrived the next day.   

The Turkey Run itinerary has changed very little over the years: kayaking, napping, cards, eating, hiking, corn hole, and dog wrestling.  You can check out information about Turkey Run State Park by clicking on "Indiana State Parks" in the left margin and then scrolling down to locate the posts regarding Turkey Run.  (You might have to go down a few pages -- D.)   Here's this year's update:


NEWS HEADLINE.... Neither Chuck Nor Cindy Lost Their Glasses This Year.  Three years ago Chuck lost his glasses while tipping his kayak. Two years ago, he repeated the performance. Last year Cindy lost her new prescription sunglasses and a favorite hat in a similar, albeit more dangerous, spill.  This year, neither one of them lost their glasses.  When asked about the reason for their good fortune, they responded: "We did not wear them."

The ten-mile kayaking trip down Sugar Creek was (as usual) so much fun.  Here is a shot of Dianne psyching up for the trip.

The first part of the trip reminded me of "bumper cars" at an amusement park, substituting kayaks and canoes for cars.  With two bus-loads of people entering the creek at the same time, it was a little hectic.  But, that soon ended as we spread out on the water.

The water was warm and a little low.  The sky was overcast, which turned out to be a good thing.  The lack of direct sunlight kept all of us a little cooler than normal, but we did need to paddle more due to the slower current.  (We had to "portage" a lot more than usual, too.  My arms and shoulders were killing me before we made it to the takeout point. -- D.)   Mid-way we stopped on a sand bar for lunch and margaritas.    A nice lady who was there fishing with her family took our group picture and received a complimentary margarita for her trouble.

We did encounter a few spots that required a degree of paddling skill.   Here is a traffic jam (canoe pile-up) at one of them.  While most of us enjoyed watching people attempting to negotiate  the narrow opening, Audrey made friends with Audrey (the dog).  


A full day on the water turned into a late-afternoon Siesta Time.  Most of us took naps.  However, few of us slept as well as Chuck.  Take note that he still has his glasses.


After a refreshing nap -- or in Chuck's case, a deep sleep -- eight of us gathered under the shade of the "circus tent" to play Spades (this year's card game of choice) before dinner.  The two fans at the end of the table made the heat of the late afternoon bearable.  


No pictures here, but eat well we did.  Over the course of the stay we had Italian Beef Sandwiches, Burgers, Brats, Pork Loin, and a variety of different hors d'oeuvres, salads, and sides.  Anything we did not eat for dinner, went into the eggs the next morning for breakfast.  Oh, and how can I forget...  For the last dinner, Chuck grilled more chicken than we could even put a dent in.  Chuck and Cindy certainly bought out all the chicken in Fishers, IN.  I heard that chicken gizzards were the only parts of a chicken that one could buy in Indianapolis groceries until Perdue made another delivery.  It is diet time again for Dianne and me.


ANOTHER NEWS FLASH...  Sophie Escapes -- Found reading the historical placards in the Lieber Cabin.  

Last year Sophie and Jasper had a great time frolicking in Sugar Creek along one of the hiking trails.  It was so much fun that we wanted to repeat the fun.  Chuck, Pat, Bill, Rick, Dianne and I set off on the 3-mile trek.  It was bittersweet seeing Bandido splashing in the water.  We still miss Jasper, terribly.  However, it was also great fun to see such happy dogs until.... "Where did Sophie go?  Where did Chuck go?"  Sophie had bolted and run back to the trail.  Chuck followed him, but despite his best efforts to call her back, she had disappeared around a corner.  We all gathered at a point where three trailheads met.  We talked to a family on trail "A" who had not seen Sophie.  Pat took trail "B" with Chaplin in tow -- back to the campground.  Chuck started climbing the many rock steps on trail "C", the only other place Sophie could be since we were in a canyon.  The rest of us waited at the trailheads.  Chuck found Sophie at the top of the canyon in the Lieber Cabin, a historical building once owned by the founder of Indiana's State Park System.  Sophie, evidently, wanted to check out the displays :-).  

We then had to figure out how this supervision blunder was to be reported to Cindy (who would be EXTREMELY upset) if she thought that Sophie was lost in the woods.   We all agreed that Chuck should be the one to tell her (if he decided to do so), then we realized that Pat would get back to the camp site before us and report the great escape.  We gathered in a football huddle (not really, but it makes a good mental picture) to decide what to do.  We did not want Cindy to worry, so Dianne sent Cindy a text message telling her not to worry -- "Sophie is safe."  Cindy responded, "Why should I be worried?"  Hmm?  We then took trail "A" (not the trail Pat took) back to the campground.  

As it turns out, we arrived before Pat, because every kid on the trail who passed Pat wanted to pet Chaplin.  (Because we arrived before Pat, Cindy was puzzled by Dianne's message.)  Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Halfway through the visit, Bill, Rick, and Jessica left to return to civilization.  However, they were replaced by new friends... Linda, Linda, Kathy and Kris.  Linda, a friend of Chuck and Cindy,  just bought a large pop-up camper and was eager to join our group.


Game time!  Our adjacent campsites shared a large grassy area in the back -- perfect spot for cornhole and ladder jack.

Here is a shot of both games going on at the same time.  From left to right... Bill, Cindy, Rick, and Linda.

Chuck seems to be practicing Tai Chi!  What form!

What concentration!  Sorry, Chuck... You can pick on me in your blog.

Dog Wrestling

The dog wrestling between Sophie and Bandido was an ongoing, never-ending, constant, eternal 
 event.  Even when they were separated, they were sizing each other up for the next onslaught.

Such good buddies!

The pet picture of the day shows a brief respite from the wrestling match, helped along by a couple of big rawhide bones.  


Nancy and Bill said...

Well guys, you sure to know how to have FUN!!!!

Malone said...

that looks like a lot of fun kayaking down that river. Love this story.

Margie and Roger said...

Sounds like lots of fun at Turkey Run.

Would you buy the RV GPS again now that Waldo was a bad boy? We've read some recent reviews and they weren't that good...but we really think it has a lot of good features.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

looks like a lot of fun, but not sure I could handle the kayak traffic jam.