Springtime Indiana


“Here across the miles we ramble…” intones singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken in the first verse of her 2001 ballad Springtime Indiana, a fitting recapitulation of another superb EIM multi-day excursion (now a traditional mid-May outing) to French Lick, Indiana for the EIM Hoosier Hoodang. This was the first ever trip for our MINI group to this region and it produced another great series of fun and memorable experiences.

There is always a bit of risk in planning routes that include roads not pre-driven and known only by the descriptions made available by second-hand observations and online biker resources. It’s always a pleasure when those routes end up exceeding the most hopeful expectations. That was certainly the case throughout the Hoosier National Forest area comprising most of our motoring. There were lots of great twisties (and gravity defying roller coaster humps too), good quality road surfaces, and not too much traffic save the seemingly omnipresent red pickup trucks. In particular, IN-62 from Corydon to Saint Meinrad, IN-450 from Shoals to Bedford, and IN-66 from Sulphur to Cannelton were highlights and worth filing away for future reference. Even US-150 between Paoli and Shoals was a delight during the multiple times we used it. The backroad discovered by Jeff & Sue N. between Paoli and French Lick was pretty cool too. About the only thing we didn’t anticipate in advance was the prevalence of Eastern Box Turtles trying to “get to the other side.” It is our firm belief they all made it safely, even the one given a bit of a thump by Cindy C. 😉 We dealt with a few nusance showers/storms during our two days in the area but they always passed quickly and the roads seemed to dry out in good order.

In addition to all of the fun motoring, other fun stops included a tour in Marengo Cave National Landmark, the French Lick Resort and Casino, the West Baden Springs Resort, the Branch of Lick Creek Covered Bridge (thanks to Juli B.‘s cajoling), the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, the Jasper City Mill, the Providence Home Geode Grotto, the Schnitz Brewery & Pub, and the indoor karting track in French Lick where Jeff N.‘s autocross experience put the rest of us would-be racers in our proper place (i.e., not in 1st). Eating stops of note included the Ohana Hawaiian Grill & Bar in French Lick, the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth with it’s fantastic view of the Ohio River, the Power Plant at the French Lick Resort, Porky’s Barbecue in Paoli, an ice cream stop at the Sonic in Cannelton, and our last night’s pizza party (seemingly becoming another tradition) at the Comfort Suites, our group hotel near French Lick. Special thanks to Steve & Juli B. for allowing us to rendezvous at their home prior to the trip. It was a fun-filled adventure from start to finish with a super group of MINI friends.

Photos from the Hoodang are posted in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Hoosier Hoodang, French Lick, IN, 5-18-17 to 5-21-17

Hope to see many of you next month in Iowa City at Jimmy Jacks!

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