It had rained all night again Sunday until early Monday morning April 2. The ground was saturated. The weight of my steps forced muddy water to ooze out from between the stones of the paved site. My first chore of the morning was to catch up on the laundry. I had enough for two medium loads. I had been wearing sweatshirts and hoodies. They fill up a load much quicker than T-shirts and jeans. I started the laundry at 8:15 and finished around 10:00AM.
I returned the cable box and said goodbye to the park owners. We talked a bit and I thanked them for a nice place to stay, with the exception of the weekend neighbors.
I had showered first thing so I saw no reason not to prep the RV for departure. I then drove the RV to a local BP station. Diesel cost $2.80/ gallon. Both of the diesel pumps had vehicles parked by them with nobody in sight. I took a place to wait for an opening. Two minutes passed. Four minutes passed. Six minutes passed and still nobody came out. Finally a young man walked out of the convenience mart with a coffee and some snacks in hand. I circled around behind him as he got into his pickup. Then he sat, and he sat. Then he sat some more. I could see that he had taken out his cell phone. Courtesy was definitely lacking. As I was about to lay on the horn he started forward. Then he hesitated, and sat a moment before slowly pulling forward then stopping. It took him awhile but he finally remembered how to drive and and yielded way. I began fueling just as the man on the other side of the pump came out. He too took his time readying before he pulled away. These people were in their own little worlds, oblivious to any other person’s needs. What should have taken ten minutes ended up taking twenty. I was not in a hurry but neither did I want to waste time. Get your fuel. Get out of the way then get your coffee and junk food. Think.
I dropped off the RV at the camp site and ran the car to circulate the transmission fluid before towing it. A McDonalds drive thru was in order. A young woman was ordering at one of the two drive ups. A car pulled up just ahead of me at the other. I pulled in behind the woman. I heard her ordering and then talking to a child in her back seat and hesitating on the order, then changing it while reasoning with the child. In the meantime the other lane was open. I moved to it where I waited before getting any response from a worker. As I ordered the woman at the other drive up moved off. By the time the person got my order correct (it only took two reviews) and I had paid, I was stuck behind the woman with the kid who was having a conversation with the person at the pick up window. I’m not sure what they were talking about but it was all taking far too long. It’s called fast food for a reason and they were defying reason. When I finally got my coffee the McDonalds server walked away before realizing that I had food coming too. Much like the McDonalds’ workers my order wasn’t even put together.
I returned to the RV wondering if today was just a special day or if this was normal for the people in this area. I can’t say I had witnessed anything similar in the past week but I also hadn’t fueled up or gotten fast food around Elizabethtown, Kentucky before.
I hit the road. The directions were easy, get on I-65 north to Columbus, IN. Exit at SR 46 go west eleven mlles turn left into Westward Ho Campground. It took around two hours with no stops to cover the 120 miles under heavy overcast skies. I pulled in around 2:00PM. The owner, Charlie was in his pickup and motioned me to the office. I paid by check. Check or cash gets a better price. On top of that more than a weeks stay gives a deeper discount for each day after the first week. I paid $365.94 (including taxes) for 13 nights.
Charlie insisted on driving ahead of me to direct me to what he referred to as one of his best sites. It was not a pull through like I had wanted. His pull throughs did not have a very good gravel base. The site required me to pull forward nose in toward a pond. The packed gravel was pretty level. Charlie was trying to direct me in because he didn’t want me driving off the gravel with the towed car. I told him not to worry I was OK and pulled in until he told me to stop. Charlie was surprised at how tight the car had followed in behind the RV. I looked over the position and told him I would be moving it further away from the RV to the left. I wanted more clearance. He didn’t think it was necessary. Before he left he insisted that we should move the picnic table closer toward the RV. I allowed it. Why argue?
After Charlie left, I disconnected the car and straightened up the RV while moving it further to the right. I completed my set up and relaxed for about an hour. An hour was enough. I wanted to see Brown County State Park. It was only a few miles further west on SR 46.
I entered the state park through a two lane covered bridge. It is known as the north entrance. Three vehicles were waiting ahead of me at the park entrance building. The large sign declared annual passes $50.00 for residents, or $70.00 for out of state. I am an Indiana resident. I paid the $50.00, got my map and information and set off to explore the park. I drove as far as the Abe Martin Lodge where I parked.
The lodge was very busy. Dinner was served starting at 5:00PM. That would be in another hour. I decided to go for a short hike. I chose trail 1. It is marked as a moderate difficulty trail of 0.9 miles. The trail begins behind the inn down some new looking wooden steps that change over to old stone steps. The trail splits between 1 to the left or 2 to the right. I followed one as it continued further downhill.
Trail 1 crossed three different streams in the valley. The bridges over the streams were simple wooden planks secured between the lengths of two long beams. The trail turned uphill along the edge of a deep ravine. Trees had fallen across and into the gorge. It looked like the recent rains had washed the soil away from the roots causing massive tree damage.
After reaching the apex of the trail at the start of the ravine it turned sharply down the opposite side descending back downhill to meet up with itself again. I turned back toward the Lodge. It was an uphill hike to the base of the steps then back up the steps to the lodge. Moderate is a relative term. It was up and down hills with long spans of uphill and equal downhill traverses. I had rushed the last bit of the hike and felt slightly winded. It had only taken a half hour. I decided not to wait for the dining room to open and headed toward the west entrance. The drive was very pleasant. I saw several places I wanted to explore further on later visits. The west exit emptied onto SR 46. I turned right and headed into Nashville. Learn more about Brown County State Park at their website. http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2988.htm
Downtown Nashville is a tourist attraction of its own. I drove through the downtown then turned around stopping at the Visitor’s Center. I spoke with a young woman who had received an IU degree in tourism and remained in the area working in tourism. She gave me an orientation on the art community background of Nashville. There are also plenty of wineries in the area as well as a brewery and some distilleries. She had lots of brochures about the surrounding region. The downtown shops and restaurants range from pizza and beer, home made ice cream, candy, a leather shop and gift shops of every sort. Nashville caters to art lovers and tourists looking for a getaway from their lives. It is an artist’s haven.
I spotted Chateau Thomas Winery across the parking lot offering wine tastings and walked over to see what they had. I sampled four wines. As the woman at the counter was closing things up a group of locals filed in. They were having their own private after hours get together. I spoke with a few of them to see if anyone knew anything about fishing or where to find a bait and tackle shop. They checked with other friends by text. In the end they had no suggestions. I finished my wine tasting. Before leaving I was invited back for Friday night when they would have live rock music. I told them I would be back unless I got a better offer. They couldn’t imagine a better offer being available. I suggested free food might do it.
My first day in Brown County was over. A series of thunderstorms swept through over night. I was shook out of bed repeatedly by nearby lightning strikes. No direct hits thankfully. Find out more about Nashville, Indiana at: http://www.nashville-indiana.com/