Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Indiana Road Trip

I have not been on the blog for a week since my family and I have been on the road to Northern Indiana.  My cousin’s son has just graduated from high school and we went to attend the festivities and enjoy Hoosier farm land hospitality and cooking.

On the road trip from Virginia we passed through Nelsonville, Ohio the home of Hocking College.  This brought back fond memories of the several National Park Service employees I hired who graduated from this school’s Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program.

We stopped overnight in Columbus, Ohio the home of Ohio State University one of the colleges making use of my book in their curriculum teaching resource protection.  While cruising from our hotel looking for a promising place to eat, we happened upon one of those wonderful surprises you do not expect.  While stopped at a light I looked to my left and noticed an attractive brick lined business district.  It looked like someone had plopped a small New England town in the middle of Ohio.  We later discovered that this is exactly what had happened back in 1803 when the first white settlers moved into the area from Connecticut and Massachusetts establishing the town of Worthington.

In the midst of this picturesque business district we found the “La Chatelaine French Bakery and Café.”  The authentic French cuisine was incredible, the baked chicken to die for.  We enjoyed the food and atmosphere sitting in the street side café so much that a return the next morning for breakfast was mandatory.  In fact, our return journey several days later was structured around another visit to “La Chatelaine.”  This food experience made such an impression that my wife is now checking real estate prices in the area.

Once in Indiana we made a quick stop to check on Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  This is an oasis of natural Lake Michigan shore line preserving the mountainous (by flat Indiana regional standards) sand dunes.  The park land is sandwiched between the industrial might that built our country with power plants on one side and steel mills on the other.  Along with the habitat of the dunes you will find swimming beaches, historic farm buildings, campgrounds, and nature trails.  This park is almost next door to Gary, Indiana (the birthplace of Michael Jackson) and about an hour and a half from Chicago (the home town of the Cubs.  My family would disown me if I did not get that plug in here).

Now back in Virginia there is gardening to catch up on as well as blogging to be done.  So let the writing begin!

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