Monday, October 22, 2012
Our Secret Sunday Sojourn to McCormick's Creek
When the Lady With the Red Hair was just a wee lass, her father would pile everyone into the family station wagon and set out on a secret journey to explore somewhere in central Indiana. Only her dad knew the ultimate destination, and the rest of the family would have to wait until they arrived to find out where they were headed. He called these the family's "secret Sunday sojourns."
In keeping with this tradition, Kindly Couple rounded each other up (their kids are now adults and have actual lives), jumped into the family junker, and hot-rodded to destinations unknown (even to them) on their version of a "secret Sunday sojourn." Driving aimlessly is their trademark. I was invited, naturally, but there was some question about whether or not I could sneak into whatever restaurant they would undoubtedly stop at, so I politely declined. Then I stowed away in the back seat. I'm not missing fine dining, let moi tell you.
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After about 45 minutes of hapless driving, we pulled into McCormick's Creek State Park, just a few miles east of Spencer, Indiana. Did you know that this was Indiana's first state park? So they say at the state Department of Natural Resources. We stopped at the Canyon Inn for lunch. "Pets" not being allowed into the restaurant (adding insult to injury, I'm denied food AND am saddled with an offensive moniker), I had to sneak around to the back where "kitchen waste" was discarded into various dumpsters. Being a pro at dumpster diving, I was all set for some tasty cuisine. Humans throw away perfectly good food in enormous quantities.
Canyon Inn at McCormick's Creek State Park
Take a moment to watch the video on the state's Canyon Inn web page. It does a much better job than I can in describing its amenities.
Apparently, there were some delicious fried winged dinners on the buffet, because (A) I discovered a TON of chicken bones (still plenty of meat left over) in the aforementioned dumpsters, and (B) I could smell chicken on Kindly Couple's collective breaths. (Also mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, lettuce [etc.] from salads, heavily buttered dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, possibly peas, and some sort of sweet confectionery desserts. As a feline, I have a superb sense of smell.)
After stuffing themselves (and moiself) with a delicious meal, we set out for some much-needed exercise (just look at Scowl-Face). The park is a wonderland of natural splendors in which visitors may leisurely bask. Make with the basking, minions!
First, we walked a short trail to warm our walking muscles.
The Lady With the Red Hair and I
strolling along a trail (well, I'm sitting)
There was plenty of time to sit, waiting for my minions to huff-and-puff up and down those hills along the trails. You can see that the hiking took its toll.
Scowl-Face after just a few minutes of hiking the first trail
Just kidding. He was doing fine.
C'mon, Scowlly. Those legs don't walk themselves
The Lady With the Red Hair looking refreshed
after tackling the first trail
Time to undertake tougher trails, I'd wager. We drove over to the McCormick's Creek falls, which were rather light on the falling water. Given the terrible drought we endured this past summer, it was nice to see any flowing water. We felines prefer drinking from moving water sources. It stays fresher that way. Just saying.
The canyon near the falls was quite steep, and so climbing down was somewhat treacherous. The state DNR helpfully posted warning signs for visitors to exercise caution.
Oh, for crying out loud!
Why am I not surprised?
We made it down to the observation areas to take some photos.
On a drought-fortified sandbar in McCormick's Creek
Water levels in the creek were a tad low
(still quite beautiful, however)
McCormick's Creek Falls
Let's try an "artsy shot"
Zoom lens appears to work
Sadly, we did not have my Library's fine digital camera on our excursion. Kindly Couple's digital Kodak was satisfactory, but one gets spoiled with those really good cameras.
On one of the stone outcroppings near the falls, there was a nature spirit's face in the living rock. (Rocks are alive. Everything is alive.) Can you see it? There are eyes, nose, and a round mouth. Keep looking.
Nature Spirit's face in the living rock
The Lady With the Red Hair's face
also in a rock formation
That last rock formation was unusually symmetrical. That hole is perfectly square. It looks like a window! Nature does some amazing work.
We drove around in circles along the roads through the park, primarily because Scowl-Face doesn't pay attention to signs or directions or compass points or maps. In fact, we had no map of the park. Great planning, dudes. With these two, navigation by "dead" (actually, ded, i.e., deduced) reckoning is an adventure in itself.
We completed our adventure just in time for din-dins. Timing is everything.
Pass the Winged Dinner Leftovers, If You Please,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Sojourn News Beat
P.S. If I remember correctly, "You and Me" opened side two of the Moody Blues album, Seventh Sojourn (1972). What a great band. Kindly Couple once chased the group's limo after a concert back in the 1980s. True story. Justin Hayward waved to them as the limo turned (and they drove past). It might have been John Lodge. Those limo windows were darkly tinted.
P.P.S. My Library has a couple book trailers for titles about nature spirits and other elemental beings. Want to watch? Sure you do.