The day was spent inside due the the endless rain. Finally, after almost two days of rain, it stopped. So, I decided to go down the hill to the French Lick Resort.
French Lick has 3 natural springs, each with different water that experts say are good for the health.
Anyway, this was a fort in 1812 and in the mid 1800's a large hotel was built with the healing springs as the attraction. When the railroad came through this became a tourist mecca. The original hotel burnt down in the late 1800's and was re-built in 1901. In 2006 almost a half a billion dollars was spent renovating, updating and enlarging the hotel. Included in the reno was an event centre and a casino. I walked around, took a few shots of this beautiful hotel and went home. Apparently there is another large historic hotel about a mile away. That will come another day.
Today we went for a lovely drive around rural Indiana. I love back roads and the first one we went down was blocked by a downed tree from yesterday's rain and wind.
No problem. Back to the highway, take the next small road and we are off. Well, not fast as there are lots of things to stop and shoot. Old houses, birds, a 1959 (or 60, or 61) Renault Dauphine, Pakota Lake, more trees, birds and so on. Even a cow with a new born calf. There were some vultures closing in, so we scared those off. Hopefully all was well after we left.
Then we got a couple shots (not good ones but...) of a pair of Wood Ducks. A first for us in the wild. Then, a small waterfall.
If you are ever in Loogootee (and I know you want to go), have lunch at "Dairy Master". Two hot dogs, a small fries and a large chocolate shake for $7.98!
Next up, "Jug Rock", the largest geological formation of it's kind, east of the Mississippi. Then some Maple trees with the syrup being harvested, and an old cemetery. Here we see a headstone from a poor fellow who survived the civil war, only to die shortly after in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history, the sinking of the SS Sultana in 1865.
There are four caves in southern Indiana, each a little different from the other. We chose the closest one, The Marengo Cave to tour today. First a couple shots on the drive there including some of the garbage in the ditch.
Now I know there is litter in Canada and Alberta too. But the litter here is a national disgrace. Everywhere you go, even the national parks. From country back roads to major freeways the ditches are full of litter. And I mean full. Stop anywhere. Look in the ditch and there it is. Bottles, plastic, food containers, tires, and anything that shouldn't be there, is. I don't understand. People live in a beautiful spot in the forest and throw their garbage out the window of the car. It seems to be a hobby. Anyway, enough of the rant.
The caves, while much smaller than some of the others we have seen, were still very nice. Plenty of shots here of beautiful rock formations. This cave also had lots of water so there are some great reflections.
Then a few more countryside shots on the way home.
Today was ride on the French Lick Scenic Railway. Powered by a 1950's diesel locomotive the cars range from 1920's to 1960's. It travels about 18 miles through the Indiana countryside and then returns down the same track. It passes the boyhood home of Larry Bird of Boston Celtics fame (green house with red door in the pictures). The ride is nice, but not exceptional.
Then a quick tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel. Originally built in 1855, it was the largest dome in the world. It burned down in 1901 but was re-built in 11 months in 1902. A renovation in 2006 has restored the hotel to it's former glory. It really is a sight to see!
Louisville Kentucky is only an hour and a half away from French Lick so we decided to drive in and see the sights. As we left we got a shot of a hawk in a tree just outside our door.
First stop in Louisville was the Muhammad Ali Center. This is a great museum and gallery in memory of Muhammad Ali. Very interesting place dedicated to a very interesting man.
Next we walked down to the Louisville Slugger baseball bat factory. We didn't go in, just took a few pictures. We walked around downtown Louisville, then drove out to Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) for a few shots there. Lastly we drove past the childhood home of Muhammad Ali (pink house). The neighbourhood is still poor. Then we came home to prepare for our journey to Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow.
Cleveland, Ohio. Home of the Browns (although they haven't liked to admit that in recent years) and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. First a couple shots on the way to the Hall and then the reason we came.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is very, very cool. You could spend all day here very easily and not see it all. We only had about four hours before we had to get back on the road to north central Michigan. We took a lot of pictures here but it is hard to take a picture of something and then a second shot of the placard so these just give you a small sense of what it is like. The sound systems in here are wonderful. All powered by Klipsch speakers. If you like Rock & Roll, this is the place. From the very early days to the present it is all here.
Then we had a long, eight hour drive through rain fog and yes, dare I say it, some snow (booooo!).