Cave Country Canoe

Jon, Sarah, Joe and I all purchased coupons for a 1/2 day of canoeing on the Blue River through Cave Country Canoes.  We woke up Saturday morning to a downpour.  Despite the weather, we decided to go ahead and do the one hour drive to Milltown, Indiana.  Right as we were about to arrive, the clouds started to disappear and blue skies were peeking through.  We pulled up at Cave Country Canoes to see  way more people than we had expected.   The weather certainly had not kept anyone from enjoying the day.

We signed the paperwork and were informed that the water levels were low.  We selected our vests and paddles and went outside to wait for the bus.  A total of 53 people took the bus trip down to the starting point for the day.

The trip started out nice, but as we progressed further, the water level decreased to the point where it was only a few inches deep.  We had to use our paddles to push our way through at certain spots.  Jon had to get out and physically push or pull our canoe through several times.  It was exhausting, especially for him!

We stopped a little over half way through the trip for lunch.  Sandwiches, hummus, home made bread and rice krispie treats.

The rest of the trip was more of the same.  The water level was never constant.  We still managed to have a great time.  I think we are all looking forward to going back on a day when the water levels are a bit more conducive for canoeing.

All photos from this day were taken by Sarah!

Charlestown State Park

Just over a month ago (4/19), Jon and I headed back to Charlestown State Park.  This time, we were joined by Kurt and Johanna.  I have been slammed with school, work, and internship duties and have not been able to post about the day until now.

Our plans for the day were simple.  Get in a bit of hiking and then settle down with a nice picnic lunch.  We hiked trails 4 & 6.  This was Jon and I’s second time hiking trail 4 and our first time hiking trail 6.  Trail 6 was really enjoyable.  It offered some really great views of the Ohio River.

Near the start of Trail 6

Ohio River as seen from one point on Trail 6

Johanna & I above a little waterfall.

Trail 6

Charlestown State Park

1st Day of Spring

The weather in Louisville last weekend was, for the most part, absolutely beautiful.   A welcome beginning to the start of Spring.  Jon and I, of course, had to take advantage of the good weather while it was here.  After a brief discussion of where to go, we headed out to Charlestown State Park this past Saturday.  Neither of us had been there before and were excited to explore somewhere new to us.

Charlestown State Park is located in…you guessed it, Charlestown, Indiana.  Less than 30 minutes outside of Louisville, its close to home.  If you are one of those Louisvillians who hate crossing the bridge into Indiana, get over it.  The park is worth the trip.

The park is on the grounds of what used to be part of an ammunition plant.  There are several buildings still on the property to remind you of this history.  There are at least six hiking trails.  Trail #6 starts right at the bank of the Ohio River.

After driving around the park and spending some time riverfront, Jon and I decided to hike trails 3 & 4.  Both of these trails start at the same parking area, so it made it easy for us to get five miles in without having to get back in the car.  Both of the trails are listed as being “rugged” on the park’s trail map.  I’m not quite sure rugged is a good term for them.  Jon and I both found the trails to be easy to follow and okay for even beginner hikers. Both trails offer views of Fourteen Mile Creek.  Trail #3 features some limited views of the Ohio River.

Start of Trail 4

Start of Trail 3

Old foundation found along Trail #3.

Shawn over at the Louisville Outside blog also recently made a trip to Charlestown State Park.  Check out his post found here to see a bit more information about the park.

Weekend Trip

Four states in three days.  Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.  Jon and I have been wanting to go to City Museum in St. Louis for quite awhile now.  Weekend trips had been planned several times and fell through for various reasons.  But, we finally made it happen.  Punch Brothers were playing a show in Paducah, Kentucky.  We decided to make a weekend trip out of it.

We left early Friday morning headed to St. Louis.  We checked in to our hotel and then jetted off to City Museum.  If you have never visited the museum, you need to go!  Floor after floor of complete insanity and fun for kids of all ages.

7 Story Slide inside of City Museum!

After leaving the museum, we headed down the riverfront to visit the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.  Home of the Gateway Arch.  Being chilly outside, we quickly made our way to the underground entrance to the arch.   The tram ride to the top was adventure in itself!   Although the view is amazing, the top of the arch is a bit underwhelming due to the small size of the viewing windows.  We happened to be there on a clear day, so we were able to see quite a bit of downtown St. Louis.

A view from the top of the Arch's shadow.

Saturday morning, we checked out of our St. Louis hotel and headed towards Paducah, Kentucky.  Just before crossing into Kentucky is the town of Metropolis, Illinois.  In 1972, DC Comics pronounced Metropolis as the official home of Superman.  Metropolis is a small town that has definitely tried to take advantage of its name.  A huge statue of Superman can be found right in the middle of Metropolis’ downtown area.  Directly across the street from the statue is a Superman memorabilia museum.

Saturday night found us at the Punch Brothers show at the Carson Center in Paducah.  Great show and a great venue.

On Sunday morning, we headed back towards Louisville.  We stopped in the town of Murray to meet up with a friend for lunch.

800+ miles and four states in our new car.  Another great weekend!

Motorcyle Trip

Jon and I completed our first 100+ mile trip on the Triumph Bonneville together.  170 miles to be exact.  We planned our trip around the “On the River Car Show” that was taking place in Vevay, Indiana.

Saturday morning, bright and early, we started our trip off by heading east on Highway 42 making our way towards Bedford.  We crossed the bridge at Milton over into Madison, Indiana.  From there, we headed up 56 to Vevay.  I believe it took us right at two hours to reach our destination.

Vevay is a lovely small town in Switzerland County, Indiana.  The car show was held right off of Main Street in the Paul Ogle River Front Park.  264 cars participated in the show.

After checking out the show and getting a small bite to eat, we decided to head further up 42 and cross back over into Kentucky.  We made our way over to the Markland Lock & Dam located in Warsaw, Kentucky.  Right as we arrived, a barge was about to make its way through the lock.  We stayed around for a bit to watch the whole process take place.  Markland has a nice visitors’ park with restroom facilities.  The observation deck is currently closed as it is under construction.

We made a brief stop at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky.  The park has a nice observation deck at the top of a hill that runs through the park.  It gives great views of the small city of Carrolltown below.

After our stop at General Butler, we decided to head back towards Louisville.  Despite forecast of rain, we had managed to have a nice day out on the bike.  No rain drops whatsoever.  All in all, a perfect day.

Deam Lake

Deam Lake

Deam Lake

Jon and I took a little day trip to Deam Lake for a bit of hiking and swimming.  Deam Lake is a 194 acre man-made lake located in Clark County, Indiana near the town of Borden.

Jon and I started off our day by trying to locate Trail 4 (Lake Vista).  It was not clearly marked.  The beginning of the trail was clear and we encountered a variety of mushrooms along the way.  The trail progressively became more and more difficult to follow.  The Kentuckiana area experienced two major storms within the last year.  It was obvious the trails had not been cleared since those storms.  There were down trees all around us and on the trail itself.  There were several instances where the path of the trail was not clear at all.  Jon would have to go ahead to see where the trail met up again.  We had to climb over several large trees at one point.  This trail also has several areas of “bottom lands” along the way.  These areas of the trail were completely submerged in water.  This is when I discovered that my new Merrell shoes were not waterproof.

The trail is an estimated two and half miles long.  It took us nearly four hours to make our way through it.  After completing the trail, we headed to the lake for a much deserved swim.

Mushroom found along Trail 4

Mushroom found along Trail 4

New friend found along Trail 4

New friend found along Trail 4

Huber’s Orchard and Winery

Huber’s Orchard is one of my favorite spots in Kentuckiana.  I squeal with glee at the very suggestion of a trip there.  So, when Johanna brought up the idea of going there for some berry picking, I was all for it.

A group of five of us, plus two pups, rode a tractor-pulled wagon out to the berry fields and picked strawberries and blueberries.  We wondered through the orchards and fed the cows and ponies.  We ate home-made ice cream and gourmet cheese sticks.  It was a perfect day.