Sunday, March 30, 2014

Indiana Day 2, Indy and Roadside Wonders

Our first stop on our second day in Indiana was Indianapolis. We had wanted to have a nice lunch there, but on this particular unlucky day there was an NCAA Elite Eight match between Kentucky and Michigan in town. The restaurant we had been hoping to go to was swamped, and parking was pretty unfortunate considering it was a Sunday afternoon. We took a little walk, peeked at the capitol, and then hit the road towards home.

There was a sign near the capitol about the National Road which I found interesting:

"The National Road is a true American icon, conceived by George Washington, authorized by Thomas Jefferson, and traveled by Abraham Lincoln.

In 1806 construction of the National Road was approved by the US Congress to open the western interior of a young nation to commerce and settlement. It was America's first federally funded interstate highway, extending from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling on the Ohio River. The road was so important that Congress authorized its extension into Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in 1824 to link the capitals of the new states. The road reached Indiana in 1827."

We were driving through little Danville about 30 minutes out of town and stumbled upon the Mayberry Cafe, devoted to the timely Andy Griffith Show. There was show memorabilia all over the walls, the servers wore deputy badges, and a replica of the show's police car sat out front. I whistled the theme song for Lydia about 10 times during the drive home just so she'd know how catchy it is.

Lydia had a fire lit in her soul when she laid eyes on the majesty of Sandy Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site earlier this month. Since then it's always, "when can we see another covered bridge" or "why isn't this bridge covered?!". We really had no choice but to visit Parke County, Indiana, the "Covered Bridge Capital of the World".

I was pleasantly surprised by how organized Parke County's tourism effort was. There was a visitor center that had brochures available outside despite being closed for the day. There were maybe three different driving tours that would take you though the back country to see the different covered bridges. There were enough signs that we could have almost done the whole tour without the map we picked up. It was well done.

Phillips Bridge. According to the county website, "Also known as Arabia Bridge. Little Arabia was an area on top of the hill bordered by Big Pond, Leatherwood, and Big Raccoon Creeks. The name may have come from Syrian Moslem immigrants who settled nearby or as a term of derision for residents who were thought of as little more than cattle thieves."

Melcher Bridge. This gif really captures the drama of covered bridges.

We swung by the world's largest wind chime in Casey, IL.

Directly across from the wind chime was this sign indicating that the world's largest rocking chair would be coming soon, cruelly snatching victory out of the hands of Fanning, MO.

No comments:

Post a Comment