Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oubache (Wabash) State Park - with pictures this time

Roger here....   The sunset photo segues a goodbye to the Indy area and an arrival at Oubache (pronounced Wabash) State Park just outside Bluffton, IN (near Fort Wayne), where we spent eight nights.  

This particular state park was a very pleasant surprise to us.  Lots of hiking trails, biking trails, and unique nature viewing.  We had scheduled a time to visit my brother in Ohio in early September, and needed a place to stay for eight days, including Labor Day.  Oubache State park more than filled the bill.  The only drawback was a pesky tree branch that partially blocked our satellite reception.  We were able to get TV, but not internet.  Oh well --- a small price to pay for eight activity-filled and relaxing days in one of our favorite campgrounds.

I'll start with the relaxing part.  Our campsite was surrounded by trees that allowed dappled sunlight to penetrate all day long.  It was also huge.  

Three trees located just behind the motor home provided a perfect setting for the hammock that we only drag out of the bay for worthy settings. 

Here is a shot of Dianne enjoying a good book while resting on the hammock.

Here is a shot of Dianne ten minutes later.

(Photo used under protest....D.)

Oubache has lots of hiking trails.  Bandido drug us along on all of them, including a six-miler on the last day of our visit.  

Several of the trails led to the lake.  A good place for Bandido to cool off.

Most of the trails provided a healthy environment for an abundant growth of various types of fungus.  Right after taking this picture, we noticed that the forest surrounding us was filled with hundreds of red fungi.  Dianne took a picture that we did not think would capture the view because of the dark shade.  We were wrong.  We love this picture.

I mentioned the unique wildlife.  Here are a couple of examples.  Have you ever seen a coal-black squirrel?  Before Oubache I had only seen squirrels in various shades of brown.  This guy in the picture above hung around our campsite.  Sorry about the fuzzy picture; with his constant movement, this was the clearest picture we were able to get.   He was an active little bugger.

The big surprise at Oubache is its bison (buffalo) area.  Several of the hikes led to the huge enclosure where a dozen or so bison, including this little guy who was born in early August, make their home.

Bandido showed off his herding prowess by attempting to reign in the bull (on the other side of the fence).  

When we weren't relaxing and hiking, we were biking.  Oubache has an outstanding six-mile paved bike trail that winds along the Wabash River into the quaint town of Bluffton.  Half of the trail meanders through the woods in the state park.  The other half is part of a public parkway that skirts the river. 

This covered bridge, near Bluffton was fun to ride our bikes through.  (We are evidently in Amish country.)

 The wooden sculptures on which the mile-markers were displayed added to the atmosphere.  

Manicured gardens and interesting old houses provided additional scenery along the way.

Back at the campground...  A really nice extended  family (grandparents, parents, and kids) occupied several of the sites near us over the Labor Day weekend.  Before departing on Monday, they offered us a load of their very burnable firewood.  We spent the last two nights and the chilly day in the middle huddled next to the fire.  We even used it to grill the chicken for our chicken burritos.

In a side note...  during our stay the daily high temperatures certainly ran the gamut.  During the first few days it was in the lower eighties (perfect).  Then it broiled to nearly 100 degrees for three days in a row (hiking and biking only in the morning). (There was such a demand for power with the crowds and heat on Saturday that the electricity was out part of the hot afternoon.  We were sure glad when it came back on! -- D.)   During the last two days the temperature never made it out of the 50s!   Brrr!  Great campfire weather.

The pet picture of the day is a special one.   
During our last hike (in the chilly weather) we met a lady walking four greyhounds -- an unexpected surprise.  An hour later, during the same hike, we met a man walking two whippets.  It is amazing to see how normally sedate Chaplin perks up when he sees other sighthounds.  After talking with the owner for a few minutes, we determined that his older whippet, Dyson, was found through the same breeder Wildaire Whippets where Chaplin was born in Mt. Comfort, IN.  It is a small world!  Here is a picture of Dyson and Chaplin:

Right now we are visiting my brother in Ohio for a few days.  From there we have an appointment for motor home maintenance back near Indianapolis on the 13th, so we'll be heading back to the Hoosier state, at least for a couple of days, before starting our long trek south.


Diane and Rich said...

Looks like a very nice campground. Will add it to our directory. Enjoyed the pictures.

Nancy and Bill said...

Wow, what a beautiful state park. Must put it on our TODOS list;o))

Diane, I would love to be in that hammock sleeping in that wonderful spot!!

Seeing lots of TX wildfires...hope that does not affect where you are heading.

Safe Travels and Happy Trails...

Margie and Roger said...

That is a really nice state park. Had to laugh (sorry Diane) when the photo showed you fell asleep. Hammocks have a way of doing that to a person. I have a similar problem with a couch.