Impressive monument

Sher

While Sher and I were driving around Vincennes looking for interesting things, we spotted the steeple of a large church.  We parked, got out and went up to one of the historical information signs. Then we looked to the right and wow, there was a huge structure that looked like a monument you’d see in Washington, D.C.

What we were seeing was the George Rogers Clark Memorial. The monument honors the 1779 victory of General George Rogers Clark over the British at Fort Sackville, on the Wabash River in what is now Vincennes. This was a hugely successful campaign during the Revolutionary War and led to the United States claiming the Northwest Territory from Britain.

Detail of the monument inscription

Francis Vigo, with the Wabash River behind

 

 

 

 

The State of Indiana built the monument in 1933 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated it in 1936. The site was turned over the the National Park service in 1966, and the NPS runs it to this day, along with a Visitor’s Center and other parts of the historic park. There is a lovely “River Walk” paved path along the banks of the Wabash River, which is the boundary with Illinois.

It was a hot day, however in the shade it was comfortable. We saw a few people out, most without masks, but no problem keeping safe distances. We really enjoyed finding this impressive piece of Indiana and American history!

Stay safe while your travel, friends, but go ahead and travel!

 

Cautiously getting back to traveling

I guess we had had enough of the isolation, staying at home, watching the RV sitting in the driveway and general boredom. We decided that we would venture out for a short duration trip to see what the world was like in person. Sher and I knew we could not just take off without preparation. I’m in the age and underlying health issues related group. Neither of us want to get the virus. We wanted little or no physical contact with either things and/or of course people.

Preparing the RV

We had plenty of fresh water, the gray and black water tanks were empty.  We planned our daily menus, and had more than enough food and drink on board, so there was no need to go to a store. And of course we started with a full gas tank. The RV had not been used other than a couple of day trips since we got back from Texas in February (Before COVID seems like years ago…) so we dusted the inside, put up a new shower curtain, and added a new bedspread and loaded supplies.

Roadtirement back on the road

The RV Park

We found an RV Park about 10 miles north of Vincennes, Indiana, our first destination. They accepted Passport America for half price camping. That was good. But how to interact with the office? I did not want to have to go into it. I called and the park owner completely understood my wanting a “no contact” payment. No problem, they had a mail slot at the office, great for depositing our check. The park layout also was great, as there was plenty of room between sites.

Yep, that’s us being COVID tourists

Sightseeing

We were out and about mid week, thus avoiding what might have been large crowds on the weekends. As it turned out, there were very few people around where we walked about. We saw very few people wearing masks, which is now mandatory in Indiana. Social distancing was not really a problem, as there were only a couple of times where we moved away from nearby pedestrians.

In conclusion

We so enjoyed getting back on the road and staying in an RV Park. Sher and I both had a great time seeing the historic sites and monuments in Vincennes and then in French Lick on the second day. We do not yet feel safe going into for example any restaurants , wineries or antique shops. The frustrating part was seeing some places open and not feeling safe going in.  But, we had our own bathroom, food, and our house on wheels made for a very safe  “No Contact” outing. We’ll add some posts about the neat stuff we saw, complete with pictures soon.

Historic Convent in Oldenburg Indiana

On our recent RV day trip Sher and I spent a most enjoyable time viewing an Indiana treasure: The Immaculate Conception Convent, which is the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.  The Sisters of St. Francis continue to serve the people of Indiana. Learn details at their Website Here including the fascinating history of the Order.

Motherhouse, right and church, left. Parking lot is for the Holy Family Catholic Church, out of view on left

Chapel and portion of the cemetery for Sisters

Beautiful Shrine overlooks the cemetery grounds

Not only is there beautiful architecture on the campus but peaceful cemeteries, shrines, a school and a  farm. Oldenburg is known as “The City of Spires” due to the many church spires visible on the skyline of this quaint Indiana town.

Historic church and cemetery

A few days ago Sher and I took a nice day trip in our RV to south east Indiana. Our first stop was Batesville, covered in a previous post. Next stop was Oldenburg, another town with a strong German heritage.

 

 

 

The Holy Family Catholic Church has a long history in Oldenburg. The stone church was finished in 1848 as seen in the pictures above. It replaced the original log church, and is now the Rectory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current church is a magnificent structure. The day we visited was election day, so there was a fair amount of foot traffic in and out of the entrance to the Fellowship Hall. Social Distancing was not a problem. The large stone cross is a remembrance for the first Mission that was preached in 1848.

A road trip on a hot day

Sher and I had had enough.  It has been since February 25th since we were in our RV. Roadtirement needed to hit the road again.  I put some water in the fresh water tank, and flushed the antifreeze out of the lines. That way we would have water for our bathroom.

We went a town in south east Indiana named Batesville. This town has a rich German history, and is home to the Batesville Casket Company, one of the largest in the world.  The Hill-Rom company, also headquartered in Batesville, is a manufacturer of high tech hospital beds and is also a Hillenbrand company.

Hillenbrand Mausoleum

We visited the Saint Louis Catholic Cemetery of the local church of the same name. This cemetery is in a beautiful setting with tree lined main roads. There is a section in the back of the cemetery that is the oldest portion and has the oldest graves. In addition this is the area where the founders of the Hillenbrand companies are interned in a striking mausoleum and a masonry fenced area.

It was great getting back on the road again, and from Batesville we headed to Oldenburg, another German influenced town in south east Indiana. We were safe, as we stayed far away from any people we saw. Stay tuned…

We found an old growth forest and trail

Every once in a while you stumble upon a new to you attraction. While researching  central Indiana trails and forests I came across a small but delightful gem in Shelby County, which is south east of Indianapolis. The gem is a nearly 50 acre nature preserve called Meltzer Woods Nature Preserve.

The unique quality of this property is found in its description: The forest is considered an original old-growth stand that was placed in Indiana’s Classified Forest Program in 1928. In 2014 it was protected forever when it was acquired by the Central Indiana Land Trust. An old-growth forest is one that has trees that are at least 150 years old and has not been cleared for a century or longer.

The trail

National Natural Treasure designation

 

 

 

 

 

Meltzer Woods is a wonderful place to spend time in nature, and to get a sense of what Indiana forests were like when the first European settlers arrived. Many of the trees are older than Indiana’s Statehood in 1816. Some have even been dated back to the 1600s. There is an easy and nearly level 1.3 mile trail that wanders through the forest. Magnificent trees, wildflowers galore, and interesting understory make for an inspiring walk through the forest and go back in time to when 80% of Indiana was covered in forests like this.

Dense understory

 

 

 

 

 

The Meltzer family first bought this ground in 1857. The family still owns adjacent farm ground and still farms today. Rain was threatening yesterday, and we decided to return another day when we could take the trail and really enjoy this historic and natural corner of Indiana. There is ample parking across the road, and Google Maps knows where it is if you are in the area.

Feeding birds and umbrellas for social distancing

The phone image isn’t the best, but you can see the cute (?) little English sparrow enjoying a meal at our recently installed bird feeder. You can also see the corn cob, now devoid of any corn kernels, sticking up from the tree. We put a nail in the tree, drilled a hole down the center of the cob, and voila! a squirrel feeding station.

This danged COVID-19 stay at home stuff is really, really getting old. We still miss going out to eat, going to a casino (we like the free play!) and being able to travel to see the kids and grand kids.

Oh, and we saw something different on a CNN internet report. There is a village in India named Thannermukkom that has given out 10,000 umbrellas. The idea is that if you walk around with an open umbrella, and others do the same, it forces you to not get close to each other. Not sure you are the 6 feet away, but definitely not shoulder to shoulder.

Stay calm,  remember the rules, and wash those hands and keep physical distance!

Our new bird feeder

When we got the squirrel corn the other day we also bought a bird feeder. So far we have not actually seen any feathered friends at the feeder, but the drop in the seed level and loose seeds on the ground under the feeder do show that it has been used.

Speaking of birds, there is a Pileated Woodpecker living somewhere around our neighborhood. We have seen him a couple of times flying through. What a magnificent bird. We’re looking forward to more sightings.

Since we’re not traveling Sher and I have focused on getting our backyard into a more comfortable and enjoyable living space. BC (before coronavirus) we were traveling for much of the year. Thanks to COVID-19 that has changed drastically.

Got any bird feeders in your yard? What is your favorite bird?

Remember all that “stay healthy” advice! Don’t slip up!