Green With Envy
When we were living in the Pacific Northwest, I used to chuckle every time people would visit. Because they always ended up saying, “I can’t believe how green it is here!”
If I had a dime for every time I’ve uttered those words on this trip…
I mean, seriously:
The Black Hills just aren’t this green! I keep reminding myself the price they pay for such lush foliage in these parts is high humidity. Still, it’s awfully pretty to look at when you’re used to a color palette that is more brown (or white, when it snows) than anything else.
We left Champaign around 8 a.m. after grabbing the free hotel breakfast. It was your standard fare: scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, waffles. Best of all, it was free.
After crossing the Indiana state line, we left I-80 and found ourselves on a two-lane country highway in the heart of Marshall County. Totally charming place.
It felt a bit like stepping back in time.
Our destination was Turkey Run State Park. Tara had discovered it when we were planning our trip, and we thought it would be a great spot to break up the monotony of the road and get in a nice hike. Hats off to the wife, because the park was absolutely beautiful.
We were there about an hour and could have used approximately 72 more, but our next stop awaited. Ohio? Not quite…
OK, so maybe White Castle isn’t your dream destination. But we don’t have any in our neck of the woods. I’d only been once before (on my last road trip 10 years ago) and Tara had never had the pleasure. So, we ended up stopping at the very same White Castle I hit in 2011 in Brownsburg, Indiana. What can I say? It hit the spot.
The Inspiration for Our Trip
Our next stop was the inspiration for this road trip: Metamora, Indiana. It’s billed as Indiana’s only functioning canal town, and was a favorite getaway for my family when we were living in Dayton from 1977-1980. Meaning I hadn’t been there in 40 years. Meaning damn, I’m old. But whatever!
I’d been reminiscing about Metamora with my parents a couple of months ago, and Tara was intrigued by this historic town in the White River Valley of Indiana. We planned this whole trip around the germ of an idea to check it out. When I parked the car and we started walking through the town, I got goosebumps.
Honestly, I didn’t even remember all that much about it, other than quaint shops, really good fudge, and boat rides along the canal. Two out of three of those things still existed…
But COVID, unfortunately, put an end to the boat rides. At least for now.
After a couple of hours in Metamora, it was time to head for our next stop: Dayton, Ohio! Well, technically, YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio. Which is a suburb of Dayton (and just a few miles from my childhood home, which we’re going to swing by tomorrow).
We arrived at a much-more-reasonable 6:10 p.m., and that’s including a jump ahead to the Eastern time zone. After getting settled into our really cool hotel (I’ll post pics tomorrow), we drove to a bar and grill 10 minutes away for dinner and a few beers (Tara) and margaritas (me).
Then, we came back to the room. Tara took a nice, relaxing bath while I spent about two hours uploading pics and working on this post. Blogging is hard work, I tell you! But now that we’re in Ohio, we don’t have to worry about getting up early and driving hundreds of miles. We’re here for three nights and two full days, and don’t plan on straying any farther than Cincinnati.
I should mention the weather. It’s been summer-like the first three days of our trip; in the mid-80s and humid. Unfortunately, the next couple of days are supposed to be wet, with showers and thunderstorms in the forecast. Hopefully, we’ll still be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities we’ve got planned.
See ya tomorrow!