Sunday April 8- I was up early, made breakfast, poached eggs and Canadian bacon, then got ready to go to church. Joy, the owner of Gnawbone Coffee had invited me to services at Parkview Church just down the street. Services started at 10:30AM. I arrived a bit early. They served coffee. I believe coffee is an enticement for church members to get to church early. Everyone there was very friendly even after I told them that I was just passing through. The worship service songs were familiar. As I looked around I saw that the pews were less than half full. The pastor commented on how they couldn’t contain the crowd on Easter Sunday. His idea was to make every Sunday Easter Sunday and serve a biscuit and gravy breakfast with an Easter egg hunt later for the kids. Maybe that would keep the pews filled.
The pastor spoke on the Easter season being not just the day of the resurrection of Christ but the whole period leading up to Pentecost. They had an open invitation to communion. The pastor held a chalice filled with grape juice. Everyone filed by and picked up a piece of unleavened bread which they dipped into the chalice. As an alternative small cups of grape juice were offered. I was glad to have the alternative.
After service I drove to the Brown County Inn for their Sunday buffet. it was noon. they stopped serving the buffet at 11:00. I asked who else served a Sunday buffet and was directed just up the street to The Seasons Lodge. There I found a limited buffet selection. The fried chicken, and shrimp mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad made the $13.99 price tag palatable. I finished with cherry cobbler and a cup of coffee.
The Nashville art community would probably not exist if it weren’t for the Indiana landscape artist T.C. Steele who made his summer residence south of town. I drove the nine miles to Belmont turning left toward the T.C. Steele State Historic Site. The estate is a 211 acre nature preserve. I walked the property waiting to take a guided tour of the art studio and residence. The short drive down SR 46 is worth the effort. The tour ticket only cost $6.00 (senior price). The tour guide was well versed on the estate and the lives of T.C. Steele and his wife. There are plenty of original paintings on display. I enjoyed everything about the visit. While I was waiting I watched bluebirds as they darted about between trees and posts. I can see why Steele and his wife were enchanted with this property. Read more here: http://www.tcsteele.org/
I returned to the Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park to hike trail 3. It is a 1.25 mile moderate trail. It was the easiest of the three that originate at the lodge. The trail drops quickly into the valley towards the North Gate by the horse barns. It moves along a stream toward a road where it crosses the stream then heads uphill into the woods. From there it is mostly uphill before dropping downward, crossing a stream and ascending toward the lodge. It was a quick short hike.
Back at the RV I ate a prepackaged salad for dinner. Later I went to The Brown County Inn to see if anything was happening. Nothing but a few guys having drinks. I ordered a blonde IPA. We tried to put an MLB game on but the remotes were not working properly. I was sipping while the other guys were drinking. Eventually I was the only remaining guest. I talked with the bar tender. She was a local, married with a four year old daughter. I let her direct the conversation. It revolved around parental worries about raising a child in the days of the Internet, mass media, and society gone bad. I told her to be the best parent she could be and teach her daughter to respect others. Be involved. It may sound simplistic but it can be very difficult.
I was in bed early. The active week had caught up.
Monday April 9- It was a very cold night. Temperatures dropped into the mid twenties. I set up my electric space heater to give the short cycling RV heater a break. Breakfast was a poached egg and Canadian bacon.
My shower ended in a sputter. I was able to finish rinsing off before the waters ran out. I had misjudged the level of the fresh water tank. I have been using the tank for most of a week. The owner shuts off the water at night to prevent freezing. I had filled the fresh water on Friday. I thought it would last longer. I should have checked the level Sunday. I would not be able to fill up the tank until the water was turned back on after 10:00AM.
I decided to go hiking but the temperature was not rising very fast. My car had a light dusting of snow. I changed my mind and drove to Nashville. I found the Daily Grind coffee shop near the book store. I was greeted by the owner Hal. Hal and his wife Karis have owned and operated the shop for twenty-six years (if I remember correctly). I enjoyed the rustic atmosphere including a working gas fireplace. I settled in and read the paper while enjoying a good Nicaraguan coffee. As Hal worked we talked a bit about various subjects but it lead into fishing as it often does with me. They business was brisk. It was a prime spot.
My next stop was the Fall Leaf Books store. They opened at 11:00. I was in luck. The owner was there. I located the $16.00 Nero Wolfe paperback “The Final Deduction” And asked if the price was negotiable, He looked up something on the computer and said “ I can go $10.00.” I thanked him and paid the price plus tax. I was happy with the find and pleased with the price.
The morning snow had melted. As I entered Brown County State Park I asked how the trails were. “Muddy, after that snow.” was the reply.
I decided to do an easy trail, trail 7. It is a 1.5 mile circle around Ogle Lake rated moderate. It was the easiest trail yet. It had some slight climbs and the mud was slick but it was mostly flat. I often took a high ground alternate trail to avoid the muddy puddles along the lakes edge. The slight wind off the lake stung my exposed skin. It was very quiet. Even the birds were keeping a low profile. There were two other people on the trail but they were always opposite of me around the lake heading in the same direction. I took my time and finished the walk in forty five minutes.
I made some stops on the way out of the park to check some scenic areas. It was quiet everywhere I went. I felt like I had the entire park to myself. The illusion was shattered from time to time by a passing car or voices in the distance. I saw a bluebird below the West Tower. A few nuthatches and a crow made their appearances too.
On the way back to the RV I stopped at the IGA and bought a thick pork loin chop cut. I cooked it up for dinner blackened in a red apple vinegar seasoned with onion and herb spices. That and some leafy greens and a helping of macaroni and cheese made a good meal.
I filled the fresh water tank and verified all was working. The rest of my evening was spent working on the blog.
Tuesday April 10-It was another cold night. It did not promise to be a warm day either, although the sun was shining. I needed a haircut. Aside from local Nashville beauty salons there were some places in Columbus, Indiana that offered cheaper cuts. I decided to go to Great Clips.
On my way I would drive by Bob Evans Restaurant. It is a favorite of mine. The restaurant is located on SR 46 at I-65. It took a few minutes before anyone acknowledged me and saw me to a table. It was another seven minutes before a waitress came by to ask what I wanted to drink. I ordered my breakfast and a cup of coffee with water.
As I sat drinking the coffee time ticked by. Twenty minutes later I still had not seen my meal. I flagged down the waitress. She asked if I needed more coffee. I explained that what I needed was my breakfast. She took off and came back explaining that they were backed up in the kitchen and wanted to know if I still wanted the breakfast. She had talked with the manager and the manager was taking care of it.
Did that mean that I wouldn’t pay for it?
“Yes.” she replied.
Ok. I waited another fifteen minutes before my meal arrived. The bacon was cold. One egg was properly cooked. The other was nearly raw. The fried corn meal mush was OK. The waitress asked how things were and I was honest with her. She asked if I would like to see the manager. “Yes, please.”
The manger Penny came over and I described what all had happened including the raw egg I was served. She stared at me blankly and apologized. I asked if I understood correctly that I would not be paying for anything. She confirmed and further told me that the waitress had forgotten to put in my ticket for at least twenty minutes after I had ordered. So the waitress had lied when she blamed the kitchen.
I told Penny she had a lot of problems that needed to be resolved. “I know.” she said but I got the idea that she was not going to do anything about it.
I left without paying and without leaving a tip. Had the waitress been honest I would have left something for her.
I found my way to Great Clips despite Google Maps poor navigational skills. I wanted a hair and beard trim. The young woman handled the haircut just fine but when she struggled with the beard I asked her to halt. She ended up calling the manager over. The beard trim went well under the managers hand.
My next stop was Kroger where I bought a few groceries. I returned to the Rv and put the groceries away then decided to get a fishing license. I stopped at Bear Hardware in Nashville. They did not sell licenses but directed me to the Brown County Park, Park Office. I was able to buy the state resident fishing license with trout and salmon stamps for $22.00.
I walked the small Friendship Trail by the office. It has the original west gate building that was moved there for display. It is much smaller than the current building. I then drove to the Nature Center and walked the Discovery Trail. The Discovery Trail is a half mile loop with points of interest that can be visited along the way. They are designated by small numbered plaques that correspond to the numbers on an available folder. You can stop and read the interpretive descriptions of the designated points to learn about the historical terrain as you walk it. I found it interesting.
After making a few more stops in the state park, I returned to the RV. I cooked up the Sockeye Salmon filet I had bought and made a salad too.
That evening as I worked online and downloaded my photos, I heard a loud bang followed by a clanging and loud whirring that shook the RV. I jumped up, forgetting that the laptop was on my lap with my Nikon SLR still connected. I grabbed the laptop and stopped myself just as the camera was about to slide off its perch to the floor. I took time to put everything safely away. Within seconds I reached the thermostat and shutoff the electric heater. The noise ceased as the fan ran down. I tested the fan alone and the noise immediately shook the RV. The fan was shot.
I switched over to LP gas heat. It kicked in. The LP heater is a separate system from the electric furnace/ air conditioner. The LP was cycling too much. I considered that it would probably use a lot of the expensive gas that I also needed to heat my shower water. I had a small space heater. It is not thermostat controlled. I dragged it out before going to bed and set it near the exit doorway.
I was awakened around 2:30 AM by a stifling heat. The thermostat read 76 degrees. The Space heater was doing a great job. Way too great of a job. I shut it off and managed to go back to sleep.
Wednesday April 11- I woke up at 7:00AM after another restless night of sleep. It had cooled down to 65 degrees and the LP heater was cycling repeatedly. I turned the space heater back on and tried to get back to sleep, unsuccessfully.
After a shower, I stopped at Gnawbone Coffee and ordered a sausage egg casserole and a cup of coffee. Joy was in. She had been ill and was closed on Tuesday. She was feeling much better. I talked with her and some visitors before driving to Bear Hardware for a thermostat controlled space heater. I found one. It cost nearly eighty dollars.
I next stopped at CVS Pharmacy for some dental floss.There is a trail that starts at CVS and follows under SR 46 along Salt Creek, The Salt Creek Trail. I asked the CVS clerk about it. She said it was about 1.5 miles round trip and nice and scenic.
The trail ended at the YMCA (or started). Along the way I saw plenty of robins, cardinals, and bluebirds. Much of the paved trail was covered in dried mud from the recent rains. I encountered a bench carved from a tree trunk in the shape of an arm with the hand curled about in a hug. Someone had left copies of a poem there for the taking. It was an easy, pleasant walk on a paved path. There was no strain.
I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a heated apple turnover at the Daily Grind coffee shop.. After reading the paper and taking with the owners, I went to the IGA grocery store where I picked up a salad and a turkey pot pie.
Back at the RV I microwaved the pot pie and after devouring it set off to find Bailey’s. Charles is the owner of Bailey’s. He rebuilds small engines and sells refurbished lawn mowers, and runs a bait and tackle shop with hunting supplies too. There are very few places to buy bait or tackle in the area. Bailey’s came highly recommended.
The outside of the shop looked like a junkyard. An old halloween black cat stretched into a perpetual arch of fear guards the door. It has far less fake hair than it once had. When I walked into the shop Charles came from the back wiping grease from his hands. “Yes sir. How can I help ya?” he asked.
“Do you sell bait?”
“Yeah, all types. We got minnows, night crawlers, red worms.” I settled on the red worms. I asked where he would go fishing. He directed me to Ogle Lake in Brown County State Park. I thanked him and headed west to the park.
It was 2:15 PM by the time I made my first cast. There was a gentle wind. I sat and watched the bobber as the wind slowly drifted it around on the surface. It was sunny and for the first time in a long time the temperature had broken seventy degrees. Lots of people had come out to walk trail seven around the lake. I fished for a couple hours without getting a single bite. I was pleased to enjoy the time sitting and staring at the fishing line. It would have been better if I’d caught something.
I folded things up and after considering my options decided to take on trail eight. Trail eight starts off away from Ogle Lake in the opposite direction as trail seven. It forms a loop to Hesitation Point, the Tulip Shelter and West Lookout Tower before returning to Ogle lake. There is a shorter cut through below the lookout tower that I set my eyes on. The trail is rated moderate 3.5 miles. There is a long set of stairs that climbs steeply up a hillside about a mile into the trail. I caught up to a couple at the base of the steps. They decided to rest a bit and waved me past. I decided a rest was in order after I had pushed myself as I had and waited with them.
We took three breaks during the climb. The stairs were grouped in sections of five to eight steps with platforms between. It was the longest climb I had encountered in the park. Once we reached the top, I continued on my own. At Hesitation Point I was a bit confused by the directions on the map. I thought I should have seen the short cut. The couple caught up with me and we discussed it before I was convinced that I would see the shortcut ahead just a little ways at the TulipShelter. A little ways turned out to be much longer than I had thought. I had been doubting that the shortcut existed. I was relieved when I saw the branch off to the left and a sign pointing downhill to Ogle Lake.
I expected the trail down to be just as long as the trail up had been. I hustled along turning further and further down the hill then leveling off for a few hundred yards before dropping down again. I reached an intersection and followed the sign pointing further along toward Ogle Lake. It wasn’t long before I saw a trail intersection and a sign post pointing to trail eight in either direction. It looked familiar but I couldn’t believe that I could be so close to Ogle Lake already. Another fifty feet proved me right. I was at the trail head by the playground at the Lake. There was my car in the parking lot. The park maps cannot be accurate. The scales must be off. One time a section of a trail took forever. Another section was done so quickly it astonished me.
I had considered eating at the Abe Martin Lodge but the restaurant was not serving a buffet. Instead I drove into Nashville and ate at the Hob Nob Restaurant. It had come highly recommended by several locals. An acoustic guitarist was performing. I was ushered to a booth. After looking over the menu I did not see anything that stuck out to me. The selection was good, just not what I wanted. I settled on a tuna melt that turned out to be more than I needed with bean sprouts, a tomato slice and other things loaded on top. I also had a cup of cream of asparagus soup. It was creamy and too sweet for my taste. I ate everything. The total with tip was $18.00 with an iced tea.
I relaxed at the RV for the evening watching “Allo, Allo” on Netflix. Before going to bed I set up the new space heater. I was awakened at 1:30AM by the heat in the RV. The thermostat read 74 degrees. I cranked down the space heater from 67 to 63 degrees. I awoke at 5:30 and reduced the set point to 61 degrees.
Thursday April 12-I stayed in bed past 7:15AM. I did not sleep continuously through the night, waking up frequently. Sometimes I fell back to sleep others times I was awake for long periods before drifting off again.
I made a poached egg and Canadian bacon then went to Gnawbone Coffee for a morning cup. I talked with Joy and some regulars then dropped off some items at the recycling center. I walked around downtown Nashville had some coffee at Daily Grind while reading the paper then headed to Yellow Wood State Park. It was a sunny warm day. I wanted to be outdoors.
Yellow Wood is a series of disjointed wooded patches with private properties surrounding each area. The largest section can be gotten to from SR 46 about eight miles west of Nashville. The entry road is in terrible shape then it broadens into a smooth paved road that crosses a new bridge. After the bridge you turn left at the stop sign and drive into the park a few miles down. I decided to head to the park office. It was 12:15 PM. A sign on the door indicated that they were closed and would return at 1:00PM.
The office sits above a lake. I walked down the sidewalk toward the floating docks with small row boats stacked along it. Two men were fishing from the dock. They had only caught a few small bluegills. They said they had been there since 10:30AM. They were using minnows. I thought I would try my luck with the red worms.
I got my fishing gear. As I was setting up they were wrapping up. I tried fishing from various spots but nothing was biting. I watched two guys working the channels from a boat. Their luck was no better. The wind was making it difficult to maintain the bobber in any position. I let it drift.
A dog barked almost continuously as I fished. It belonged to a park worker. It was fenced inside a gated area above the docks. The winds blew a branch from a tree sending it crashing outside the fenced yard. The dog stopped and cautiously approached the fence near the downed limb sniffing the air as it approached. The poor dog didn’t know what to make of it.
I had been there over an hour before I called it quits. In two days of fishing I had used two worms, had zero fish, and zero bites. not a good average.
I stopped at the park office and spoke with the attendant, Rebecca. She had a lot of knowledge of the park. It is set up mostly for camping. It can accommodate a few RVs but does not offer sewage hook up or electricity. The regular campers like it that way and don’t want it to ever change.
It was after 2:00PM when I headed back toward Nashville. I stopped at Hard Truth for a beer. They were much busier than they had been before. I talked with the other patrons and the bar keeps as I enjoyed the flavor of my IPA.
It was kind of early but I was feeling hungry. I had skipped lunch. I decided to go to Big Woods possibly for pizza. The original Big Woods did not have pizza. I needed to go to Big Woods Pizza for that. I decided to stay for the fish and chips. I got two large deep fried fish filets on a bed of french fries with a cup of coleslaw. With a drink and tip I spent $26.00. Ouch!
The winds had been picking up all day. When I returned to my RV it was almost eighty degrees and blustery. The closed up RV was sweltering hot. I opened the windows and the door. The winds slammed the door shut. I tried several ways to block the door open. Nothing worked well. A piece of sponge worked the best. I stuffed it in the jamb against the hinge. It remained in place until a sustained wind pushed the door back enough to pop the sponge out. Fortunately the winds died down and the door remained open on its own.
Friday April 13-Friday the 13th. You know what that means? The 13th of April fell on a Friday. That’s what that means. The usual start to my day. Coffee at Gnawbone Coffee. Then I made a few stops in Nashville. I bought some nutritional supplements from Health For U. The store is located on East Main in a small shopping center. The owner/ operator was very nice and knowledgeable. I was pleased that I did not have to drive to Columbus, Indiana for my needs.
I made time to return to Brown County Art Gallery to see the newest exhibit. Genie had invited me while we were doing laundry the past Saturday. They had a good display of various print artists from the the Nashville area. I was glad that I had made time for the visit. I thanked Genie for allowing me to see the exhibit prior to the official opening.
I grabbed a piece of Pizza at Brozzini Pizza and stopped at the IGA for a few things. It was a relaxing day. I did not plan any hikes. I did some work at the RV and decided to go to Hard Truth later for a quaff. They ran out of Get Lost Lager. I settled on Six Foot Blonde.
Back at the RV I decided to fish in the campground pond. Two other guys were fishing while a young woman accompanied them with her dog. When her boyfriend (Or husband, I didn’t ask) would reel in a fish the dog went into a frenzy. The pooch would lick the fish and chase it around as it flopped on the land. I hope the dog didn’t get sick.
I had the most activity I had seen fishing anywhere in Brown County. I caught a large crappie and released it. Several other bites were not landed.
Dinner was a simple salad. I snacked on cheese and crackers too. I finished up season five of “Allo Allo” on Netflix and started season six. The day was over.
Saturday April 14- It was laundry day. I tore off the bedding, gathered all the dirty clothes and it was off to the laundromat. This time I combined some clothes in larger capacity washers to save some money. It still cost around $10.00. I was joined by a few other people and the attendant. She was a different employee than the one I had previously met. The laundromat was in much better shape than it had been last week. The attendant commented that it only took her half an hour to cleanup and she was concerned about keeping occupied for the next eight hours.
It had rained hard overnight and continued the pattern. I wondered how much longer the rains could last and just how long before we would all need a boat. I had not eaten and McDonalds was within walking distance. I put on my formerly waterproof rain jacket and walked over for a bacon egg and cheese biscuit breakfast with coffee.
Two older women stood inside the doorway waiting to assist people. There were two kiosks set up for ordering and no customers at the counter. I asked if I could order at the counter. The women explained that I could order at the kiosk. They would assist me. “But can I order at the counter?”
“Yes. But we can show you how to use the kiosk.” That wasn’t the point. I’m sure I could have figured out the kiosk on my own. The fact was that There was nobody waiting in line at the counter.
The kid at the counter looked like he was twelve. I placed my order. He requested $6.03. I handed him a ten dollar bill and a quarter. When he opened the drawer he looked worried. “Do you have any ones?” he asked.
“No. Sorry. Do you have any ones?”
“No.” he replied as he scanned around probably looking for a manager.
I offered him a quick solution. “I’m doing laundry. Can you give me quarters?” He counted out $4.25 in quarters. I pointed out that he had given me one too many quarters. I owed him three cents. He refused to take the quarter or make change. I asked if we were square. He smiled and waved me on. I got the meal and the coffee and splashed back to the laundromat. The rain was coming down even harder.
With the laundry done I stopped at the local speedway for some gas then dropped off recycling and went to Daily Grind coffee. Hal cheerfully greeted me. We talked briefly. I got my coffee and sat in a booth to read the newspaper. The shop was very crowded and busy. The weekend tourists had arrived. The streets were packed with cars. The rains let up. The sun was coming out. It was time to get back to the RV and get some stuff done. I would be leaving in the morning.
I stopped at IGA to browse for some food. I picked up some burgers and salad. The burger cooked up nicely on my stove. It was too wet to stand outside.
I resolved to sweep and mop the RV. I moved everything toward the front and cleaned around the bed past the bathroom and the bathroom too. I then sat waiting for the floor to dry. I had scrubbed the floor on my knees using Pine-sol and a rag. Phase two was move everything to the back and repeat the process on the remainder of the floor including the cab section. The sun was out. I decided to wait outside and talked with some of the neighbors.
Once the floors were dried, I put everything back where it belonged and prepared a few things in advance of my morning departure. It was a job well done. I rewarded myself by going fishing in the camp pond. The heavy rains had loosened gobs of moss and debris. I was doing my part to clean up the pond by dragging up pieces of the loose organic matter with each cast. It got old real fast. I put away the fishing gear.
I did not go anywhere that evening. I stayed in, read and watched Netflix. I ate a salad for dinner. It started to rain again and continued to rain heavily all through the night. I fell asleep listening to the constant beating of the large drops on the roof, wondering why it always rains when I am going to move.