After considering our options, we chose our next campground for its proximity to Cincinnati. Indian Lakes is another Thousand Trails campground in southeastern Indiana less than a hours drive to the area where I grew up. It’s an opportunity to see the old neighborhood and visit family.
We arrived at the campground by mid-afternoon. We set up on site PT4. It is a gravel pull-thru site with full hookups. There was plenty of space between campsites so it didn’t feel too cramped. This area has been getting a bunch of rain, so stepping off the gravel drive will land you in ankle deep mud. Not ideal but serves our purpose and the price is right.
We had a quiet night and slept well. We woke feeling rested ready to start our day. The plan is to go to my cousins house to visit. We arrived in Miamiville, Ohio with time to spare so I drove around and reminisced. This small town of less than 300 people is where most of my early childhood memorials are from. My first four years of school were in the little schoolhouse in town. The building is still there but it is no longer a school.
I pointed out houses where my friends used to live remembering most of their names. I drove past my grandparents old house. I walked around the outside of the old church were I attended Sunday school. The only gas station that was in town is closed but the building is there. I went by the fire station and remembered the annual carnivals held there and the fun we had. It was surprising to see how little things have changed in fifty plus years.
The country store next to the post office is now a business selling mailboxes. I remember the wood screen door that slammed whenever someone came in or out. I walked nearly everyday through the schoolyard past the junkyard over the the train tracks to that old store. On one of those trips I remember hearing an awful noise. Screeching and clanging that seemed to go on and on and shook the wood floor inside the store. When I walked home I saw a train had derailed. The train cars had rolled over, some stacked on top of others. A tanker was laying next to the Hadley’s house. It was a sight I will never forget.
We spent the afternoon having an enjoyable visit with my aunts, uncle and cousins. We sat outside on the screen porch and talked, among other things, about the amount of rain they’ve been getting. It rained three times the afternoon we were there. They seemed disheartened the summer was passing and they couldn’t get out to enjoy it.
Aunt Pat asked if I remembered a camping trip when something bumped into our tent and knocked us out of our cots and onto the floor. Yes, I don’t think I’ll ever forget being jostled out of bed by a black bear. My father stayed awake the rest of the night keeping the fire going and the bears away.
I was very happy to see my uncle Harry. He and I fished together many times over the years. He is retired from GM, a past fire chief and a Korean War veteran. Though the years are adding up, he is still quick witted and has a sense of humor. I admire him and cherish our time together.
We had a wonderful visit as the time flew by. Aunt Fredia made sure there was plenty of snacks and coffee and my cousin Karen was a gracious host. Grammi and I hold all of our family dear and appreciate these moments. It was hard to say goodbye.
The next day we wanted to explore. Grammi packed a lunch and I jotted down some notes on what we might like to see. First stop was Weberding’s Carving Shop in Batesville. It is a must see for those that appreciate fine woodworking. We looked around inside two buildings displaying handcrafted furniture, carvings, turnings and other handmade wood products all beautifully crafted.
We headed out of town to the rural parts of Indiana. We like driving the countryside and the gentle rolling hills while looking at the farms with their old barns. It was striking to see much of the ground without crops. We heard that the constant rain has made it impossible for farmers to get seed in the ground.
We found a u-pick blueberry farm. Picking blueberries is one of grammi’s favorite things to do so we stopped for an hour and picked about eight pounds of the biggest, most luscious berries we’ve seen. We also found an orchard barn but we were two weeks early for the next crop of peaches. We did buy a half gallon of tasty sweet apple cider.
We drove across a covered bridge built in 1885. The sound of the truck tires rolling over the bumpy bridge echoed inside the wooden structure. The bridge was in extremely good condition and is used daily by locals living in the area. It was an interesting day full of new sites and little adventures.
The next day we stayed close to camp. We did some reading in the morning then we drove around the campground. It is a huge campground with 800 sites. Unlike other Thousand Trail campgrounds that we’ve seen so far, this place has a separate area for permanent residence. There is a store with gas and propane, a nine hole golf course, laundry facility and a swimming pool. We spent the afternoon at the swimming pool and jumped in to cool off. Grammi and I had a relaxing day.
The following day we pulled out and headed across the state of Indiana to another Thousand Trail campground near the Illinois state line. This is just an overnight stop at Horseshoe Lake campground before continuing on to Grammi’s hometown in Illinois.