Monday, August 10, 2015

Turkey Run State Park

Roger here...  For our friends across the country, who knew? that an outdoor destination like Turkey Run State Park exists in Indiana?  Dianne and I knew.  We have been there dozens of times from childhood up to and including three nights last weekend.

Turkey Run has something for everyone who loves the outdoors: camping, kayaking, canoeing, or tubing down Sugar Creek, history, covered bridges, a cool suspension bridge, and great hiking (in slot canyons, along rock ledges, along the rocky cliffs of Sugar Creek, up a series of ladders, and through very dense forests).  There are also other interesting activities:  breakfast juice, corn hole, eating, more breakfast juice, and more corn hole.

For many years our camping friends, Chuck and Cindy, have organized a Turkey Run camping weekend.  It was a smaller group in the early years:  Chuck and Cindy, Audrey, Pat, Jessica, and Dianne and me.  The group has expanded.  This year's group of 17 included friends, family, teaching colleagues, and friends that were made at Turkey Run over the years.

A kayaking trip down Sugar Creek is always a highlight of the weekend.

Kayakers going down Sugar Creek.  Picture taken from Sunset Point.
Sugar Creek flows through the center of the park.  Across the street, Sugar Valley Canoes offers a variety of kayak, canoe or tubing excursions. An old school bus offers a wild ride for everyone to the launch sites and picks up groups at the end of each trip.  Our group opted for the ten-mile kayak trip.  This has been an annual event for us during the summers we have been in Indiana.  The creek was pretty swollen this time, so we lost the benefit of a good workout.  We essentially just steered the kayaks down the creek with little or no paddling.  (Dianne thought this was great :-).  The quicker travel time allowed extra time for lunch on a sandbar, enjoying a couple beers (coolers are allowed), skipping rocks, and wading after exiting the state park property where it is not permitted.  

Canoes in the creek.  Hikers on the rocks and catwalks.
Due to the high water level, we were reluctant to take our cell phones or camera.  This year's kayak pictures were taken of others enjoying the creek while we took the dogs on a three and one-half mile hike. 

We loved watching the floaters clinging together --- a lazy river ride.

Mornings always start with breakfast juice.  
(For the uninitiated, breakfast juice is Bloody Marys, Chuck's special recipe -- D).  Chuck always keeps the mother jug ready for refills.  A friend of  mine from Billericay, England, Allen (Sandy),  responded to a photo of this on Facebook by writing, "Start the day off right."

On the second day, after breakfast juice, Dianne and I took the dogs on a hike.  My love of hiking started during trips to Turkey Run when I was younger.  You simply cannot experience Turkey Run without hitting the trails.  It is a beautiful place.  Some of the more interesting trails, the ones with rocky ledges and ladders are accessible on the far side of the suspension bridge.  We stuck to the simpler trails on this visit.  The dogs don't do well with ladders and neither does Dianne.

Suspension bridge that connects the hiking trails

Look, Dad, I found a stick in the creek!
Bandido might  not have liked the ladders, but he loved splashing around in the creek.

When we returned to the campsite, it was time for corn hole.  During our travels, I have discovered that not everyone knows about corn hole, and even if they do know about it, they have not played it.  Most of the folks who do know about the game are from the midwest.  It is a very popular diversion among college students during Big Ten football weekends and at midwestern state park campgrounds.   As you can see, our venue included spectator seating.

Need to get Purdue boards to use in Texas
We were able to set up two games: one with Hamilton Southeastern High School boards (which were perfect), and one with Indiana University boards (that were too slick, kinda slippery --- not a surprise :-).  

Breakfast juice refills were always available for the spectators.  Breakfast juice.... it's not just for breakfast any more :-).

The doggies enjoyed watching the game, too.

Jessica helps prepare the table.  Steve in the background.
Delicious food was plentiful during the evening picnics.  Responsibility for food prep was shared among the group.

Crossing a small stream while hiking underneath a rocky ledge.
On Sunday morning, the day of our departure, one of my teachers, Kathy, and her friend Heidi drove over from Indy to join the group, an impromptu visit.   Kathy is also an avid hiker, so off we went.

Next post... off to Indy!  

The pet picture of the day features Bandido during one of our hikes.  He bolted onto this rock like a giddy puppy.

I love rocks just like my Dad!


heyduke50 said...

we really like Turkey Run SP... I even use to go there when I was in the Air Force at Rantoul Ill.

Nancy and Bill said...

I believe you have the best fun at Turkey Run SP!!! Every time I read a post of one of your visits I just know we have to get to that place one of these days:o)) But we will need the recipe for Breakfast Juice to really get in the spirit of things;o))

Safe Travels and keep having fun...

Steve Conrad said...

What a great fun time!! Reminds me of my trip on the Dan River on Labor Day last year. Thanks for bringing back the memories.