Tag Archives: Indiana University

June 26: Another inadvertent long drive, but also more Lincoln, and Kentucky

Indiana University, Bloomington
Indiana University, Bloomington

I did manage to take a few photos of some of the buildings on the IU campus this morning, and here’s the best of the bunch. After that, I headed south out of town. It’s funny, but in the two years I lived in Bloomington, I never actually took the main highway south out of town. Turns out there’s a whole other section of town over on the other side of that highway, although it looks fairly new and may not have actually been there 25 years ago [g]. They’re also building a new interstate from Evansville to Indianapolis, and they’ve almost reached Bloomington with it. Bloomington on the interstate. Very strange.

Anyway, I was headed south towards Kentucky, and the landscape became hillier and hillier the closer I got to the Ohio River. I also stopped for lunch in the small town of English, and saw this car in the parking lot, which vastly amused me.

I've never seen a car with eyelashes before.
I’ve never seen a car with eyelashes before.
A view of southern Indiana
A view of southern Indiana
Another amusement.
Another amusement.

I hadn’t realized until I was looking at the map at lunch (after standing in line next to a man who wanted to blame all of the U.S.’s troubles on illegal immigrants [sigh]) that I’d all but be passing by another Lincoln site. This one was where he grew up.

But first I passed through the town of Santa Claus, where I came around a corner and discovered an amusement park as well as a lot of Christmas decorations. Most peculiar for the time of year.

Street lamp sign in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Street lamp sign in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Lincoln’s Boyhood Home NHS was another big monumental building, but it was also a living history farm, which was kind of cool. Well, not cool. It was 97dF and humid as all heck, and I really felt sorry for the people doing the living history stuff, but it was interesting.

A bronze replica of the sills and hearth of Lincoln's boyhood home.  If it's 10 feet square I'd be surprised.
A bronze replica of the sills and hearth of Lincoln’s boyhood home. If it’s 10 feet square I’d be surprised.
The cabin at the living history museum at Lincoln's boyhood home.
The cabin at the living history museum at Lincoln’s boyhood home.

It’s not far from either Santa Claus or Lincoln’s Boyhood Home to the Ohio River, where there was another bridge that looks like what the 21st Street Bridge in Tacoma wants to be when it grows up. And I actually managed to get a photo of this one.

The bridge over the Ohio River into Kentucky.
The bridge over the Ohio River into Kentucky.

I had planned on spending the night in Owensboro, Kentucky, but somehow I wound up on something called the William H. Natcher Parkway, and there wasn’t a motel anywhere until I drove fifty more miles to Bowling Green (I need to find out why Bowling Green is called Bowling Green). On the bright side, I’m less than an hour to Mammoth Cave, so that’s something. And I did regain an hour (western Kentucky is on Central Time).

But I did not want to drive well over two hundred miles today!

June 25: Reminiscing, more hoots, hollers, and woods, and borderline TMI

Ah, Bloomington. It’s amazing how much has changed, but how much has remained the same. This morning I went looking to find places on campus that I remembered – the building in the music school (at the time, and still, I suspect, given that I saw no less than three new-to-me buildings with music school signs, one of the best in the U.S.) where I worked as secretary to the director of undergraduate studies (my longest job title ever [g]), while my ex was going to library school. I loved the job and my co-workers, but, oh, dear godlings, I still shudder when I remember the stage parents. Kids came to study here from all over the world, but the American parents were the worst. Pushy, omigod.

But I digress. I also found the library school, excuse me, now it’s the:

The school formerly known at SLIS.
The school formerly known at SLIS.  The IU logo always makes me think of a devil’s pitchfork, and Herb White, the dean at the library school when my ex was there in 1987, was very controversial (in certain circles) — I used to own a sweatshirt with a cartoon of him holding a pitchfork and the quote, “Being of the honest few who give the fiend his due.”  But I digress.  Again.

It was the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) when I was there. Wow, do I feel old.

Anyway. I also found my old grad dorm Eigenmann Hall, see below, which is not one of the beautiful old stone buildings that most of the campus is made of. I will try to take some photos of them on my way out of town tomorrow, because Indiana University really is a gorgeous campus. Even if at least one of those buildings (the music school undergrad office) housed a waterbug the size of a silver dollar that wasn’t crushable by anything. We ended up scooping it up with a piece of paper and throwing it out the window.

Eigenmann Hall. I lived on the 3rd floor while I was in library school.
Eigenmann Hall. I lived on the 3rd floor while I was in library school.

This place is bringing back some singularly weird memories.

I got my hair cut for the first time since I left home, too. She did a really good job. And, no, that’s not the borderline TMI.

In the afternoon, I drove thirteen miles east of Bloomington to one of my favorite places when I lived here, Brown County State Park. The guy who took my money at the gate (and who gave me the “honorary Hoosier” price because I told him I’d gone to IU — $7 instead of $9) was from Pasco, Washington [g].

I love Brown County State Park. It’s actually hilly so the views are pretty impressive and the woods are dark, deep, and full of so many different leaf shapes, sizes, and colors that it’s impossible to count or identify them all (I remember it being particularly spectacular in October, but the shades of green now are still pretty amazing). The roads wind from viewpoint to viewpoint, down to two little lakes (really reservoirs) and around and about. Picnic areas everywhere. And a neat lodge and a nature center (which latter, alas, was being remodeled, so I didn’t get to visit it). Oh, and a nifty little covered bridge. I ate lunch at the lodge, and drove around just remembering and enjoying.

A view from Brown County State Park.
A view from Brown County State Park.
There's a little stone view tower (actually, there are several scattered through the park) and this is the view from the top of it.
There’s a little stone view tower (actually, there are several scattered through the park) and this is the view from the top of it.
Through the woods. It looks a lot darker in the shade than the picture makes it seem. A lot cooler in the shade, too.
Through the woods. It looks a lot darker in the shade than the picture makes it seem. A lot cooler in the shade, too.
Ogle Lake, which is really a reservoir, but is still pretty.
Ogle Lake, which is really a reservoir, but is still pretty.
The covered bridge at the north entrance to Brown County SP.
The covered bridge at the north entrance to Brown County SP.
The inside of the bridge.
The inside of the bridge.
Tootling down the road at Brown County State Park. Almost all of the grassy area is mowed like that -- makes me wonder how big a platoon of lawn mowers they have.
Tootling down the road at Brown County SP. Almost all of the grassy area is mowed like that — makes me wonder how big a platoon of lawn mowers they have.

But by the time I got back to Bloomington late this afternoon, my rear end was hurting again. TMI warning. I didn’t just crack my rib and bruise and scrape myself up when I fell out of the van. I also managed to bruise my tailbone. Anyway, unlike everything else (the rib doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did, mostly, I think, because after a week and a half the bruising is all gone), the backside is still aching, more than it did right after. So I stopped at a drugstore when I got back to Bloomington and bought one of those doughnut cushions. Inflatable [g]. Anyway, I should have bought one right after the accident, because wow, is it making things feel better!

Anyway, end TMI.

Tomorrow, I am off to Mammoth Cave NP. This is one of those places that is definitely on my mental list. I am so looking forward to it.

But I’ll try to remember to take at least one good photo of the IU campus before I head out. If I can figure out where to park, I might even go into the Student Center and see if the Venus de Milo is still gracing the staircase inside as a newel post [g].