Sunday, October 13, 2013

West Lafayette, Indiana --- He Did, She Did

Roger here...  We are currently enjoying the perfect October weather in Indiana.  October is my favorite Indiana month.  

We allowed a week for our Newmar service and scheduled a free week before our interior remodel at Bradd & Hall in Elkhart.  Since the Newmar service was completed as scheduled, we had time to spend a week near West Lafayette, IN at our favorite state park, Prophetstown.  The view from our campsite was a sea of golden tall-grass prairie.  

We have posted about all the reasons we love this state park in the past, so I won't repeat that information, but suffice it to say, our opinion has not changed. 

There is always a lot to do here; however, our main reason for coming here was to see Dianne's cousins.   Since our time was limited, we decided to split up and do the things that we each wanted to do most.  


Dianne accompanied me on a quick drive through the Purdue campus, my alma mater.  I gave a quick wave to the Neil Armstrong statue, could not find a place to park, then we went to the Nine Irish Guys Pub (just off campus for lunch).  Purdue is playing Nebraska as I am writing this.  I am taping the game.  I am not optimistic about the outcome, but stranger things have happened.  Did not happen this week.  My poor Boilermakers!

I spent most of our three full days at Prophetstown State Park hiking with the dogs while she pursued other  interests.  The entrance to Trail One  was easily accessible from the back of our campsite.  We (the dogs and me) hiked for seven miles the first day, four miles the second day, and three miles (She joined us) the third day.  A montage of the beauty of this area appears below.

The golden grass in the tall-grass prairie really is tall.  

Hiking through the tall-grass has the feeling of hiking through a tunnel.

A boardwalk through the fen.

A pathway through a copse of majestic sycamore trees.

A profusion of wildflowers.
More milkweed that I have ever seen before.

A tranquil pond that was a hotbed of avian activity, including some very large birds.
The elegant swan below seemed to be the master of the pond.

Not to be outdone, a pair of great blue herons staked out their own corner of the pond.

This guy lifted from the shallow water of the pond then gracefully glided to a perch in a tree across the water.

Bandido picked a stop next to the pond as an opportunity to roll around in the smelly mud.  Why do dogs do this?

Two new trails have been constructed in the park.  Trail 3 hugs a hillside through the woods.  Eventually, it opens up into a walk next to the Tippecanoe River.

And then, Indiana's iconic Wabash River.  

Another nice improvement is the addition of an extensive aquatic center.  What a great place for young families.

Whew,  after all that exercise the dogs and I needed some serious down time.  

Tequila picked a sunny spot in the grass.

Bandido flaked out on the picnic table.

I dragged the hammock to a shady spot and took a nap.

The other activity that I enjoyed was photographing the beautiful sunsets that painted the skies every evening.

And my favorite sunset picture:

SHE DID:  Dianne here.  Sometimes it's good to just do your own thing.  Since we were in the part of Indiana that I grew up in, this was my chance to do what I wanted to do.  The first day after we arrived at Prophetstown State Park, my dear cousin Becky (we've always been more like sisters than cousins) picked me up and we went into West Lafayette for a delicious lunch and dessert.  We reminisced about the delicious mince pie our grandmother always made, and the fun times we spent together with her.  We spent a delightful afternoon then at the campsite "catching up" about children and grandchildren.   I always forget to take photos when I'm with my cousins because I get so excited to see them that I forget about the camera.

The next day
Frankfort Community Library
I ate breakfast, packed a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and made my way to my hometown, Frankfort, Indiana, to spend some quality time in the genealogical section of the community library.  I had great success and spent the entire day immersed there.

 On my quick lunch break, I walked next door and snapped a photo of the Presbyterian church where I spent many a Sunday growing up, and also where Roger and I were married in July of 1972.  It hasn't changed too much....

On my way out of town, I stopped at the drug store for a couple of items and snapped this quick photo of a T-shirt on the way out,
in case my Texas friends want to get a chuckle out of our high school mascot.  Yes, I really am a Frankfort "Hot Dog"!  

The next day (after we moved from the state park to my cousin's farm) I left Roger and the dogs behind and spent the night with two high school girlfriends (the same ones I met in Fort Lauderdale for spring break).  Thanks, Margy and Karen, for a great time!  Once again, I was so busy gabbing and drinking wine that I forgot to take photos.  

Before meeting all my cousins for dinner the next evening at the farm, I made a quick trip to the old Geetingsville, Indiana cemetery to pay my respects to the ancestors I've been studying up on and also my aunt and uncle and my dear grandmother, Clara, of the mince pie fame.  (R:  and fried chicken)

 If you do the math after looking at her tombstone, you'll note that she lived to be 105!!  She was the greatest single influence on my life and I miss her dearly.  The cemetery itself is very scenic, on a rolling hill in the quiet countryside.  Back to Roger...

Roger here again...  Unfortunately, we were not able to spend Friday and Saturday nights at the state park.  Because we did not know our exact schedule, we waited too long to reserve a weekend spot.  The Purdue - Nebraska football game probably did not help matters.

Fortunately, Dianne's cousin, Charlie (big Chuck's namesake) and his wife Leslie, offered to let us park near their farm in a bucolic barn lot (that they also own) for two nights.  

While Dianne was out galavanting  :-) with her high school buddies, I spent an evening with Charlie's family eating Pizza King Pizza, my favorite, and talking with their friends, Steve and Debbie, who just bought a fifth wheel.  They were anxious to pick my brain about our lifestyle, and it was fun to give advice and talk with them.  Other members of Charlie's family were also there: Leigh (daughter) working at a doctorate at Purdue, Darcy and Andrew (daughter and son-in-law) who were in town for the Nebraska game, and their amazingly cute daughters, Hailey and Ella.  We (both of us!) are headed back to their farm for dinner tonight.

Earlier today Charlie dropped by our site to give a Dr. Pol-like innoculation to one of his calves.  Wish we had had the camera.  The calf was not happy.  Charlie opted not to give the cow an additional pink-eye shot directly into the eye membrane.  Dianne was happy to not have to see this.  She would have turned her head anyway.

Dianne again:  I snapped a quick photo of Charles next to his spiffy cattle chute when he came by to get cattle feed.  Did you know there is actually a

magazine named "Hereford World"?!   I laugh, but if I made my living raising cattle, I'd probably subscribe to it, too!

It was wonderful to see my family and I feel so fortunate to have them in my life.  Back to Roger....

We (both of us!) headed back to the Robison house to join other family members for dinner tonight.  It turned out to be quite a crowd: Charlie (cousin and his wife Leslie), Becky (cousin, and her husband Rich), John (cousin and his wife Marilyn), Betsy (Charlie and Leslie's daughter and her husband, Reston).  After dinner, John and Marilyn (a true animal lover) followed us back to the motor home to meet Bandido, Tequila, and Big Chuck.  Big Chuck wants us to take him to Marilyn's house to live!

The pet picture of the day shows Tequila (hammock view) right after she woke me up from yet another nap by licking me on the nose.  Dianne's dog can really be a pest sometimes.  He says that, but he doesn't mean it -- D.

Tequila deep in thought.   


Bill and Nancy said... two have been busy!! Glad you are enjoying some good time with family and friends:o))

heyduke50 said...

Prophetstown State Park looks like one to add to the list if get in that area again...

Steve Conrad said...

Again, great photos. I really the swan photos. Very enjoyable post. Thanks for sharing.