Two years ago we enjoyed a lower Mississippi River road trip and last year it was the middle Mississippi River. The Ohio River Scenic Byway in southern Indiana was our choice for this year. I am blogging as a way of keeping our memories fresh.
Our first stop was Clifty Falls State Park where we stayed at the inn overlooking the river--and a coal-powered electric plant. We drove to the nearby town of Madison and walked down several historic streets and then ate at the only place open on a Monday night--the 1834 Broadway Tavern. I had a true Southern meal of chicken and dumplings.
Tuesday was my day for 21,000 steps and 180 exercise minutes as recorded on my Fitbit. We walked to each of the four falls at the park. One had to look long and hard to see any water dribbling down the rocky ledges. The dry weather apparently also affected the colors because the trees were either still green or bare. But the walks were wonderful anyway.
We left the inn around 11:30 and drove to Charlestown State Park where we had another view of the Ohio River at the boat landing. We walked a bit there too and then on to New Albany where we had reserved a room at the Pepin Mansion, a home dating from 1850 and located on Mansion Row. We walked again along the top of a levee with a great view of the river, went back to the room for a glass of wine, and then walked again ten blocks to town for supper at the Exchange, a newish restaurant featuring local foods. Back at the room, I watched the Cubs on a TV in the parlor while Jim read in the room. At 10 pm, I gave up on them and joined him.
The next morning Mimi served us a fabulous two-course breakfast of fruit and yogurt and then eggs, sausages, tomatoes and an apple-French toast combination. Ron, the owner, sat with us and talked about restoring an old mansion and about New Albany's history.
We left again around 10:30 and had one last glimpse an hour later of the Ohio River at Leavenworth. A coal barge was in sight so we waited and watched it make its slow progress around the bend.
The scenic road to St. Meinrad was lovely and our timing was perfect as we eased into Central Time Zone and were able to join the monks for noon prayers. We walked around the campus for a while and then headed to the French Lick Resort.
We got a bit lost more than once in the 400 plus room hotel before walking a mile to the even more historic West Baden hotel. We sat in the great atrium for a while before taking the shuttle back. We enjoyed drinks on the veranda and then supper at the Power Plant Pub. I watched the Cubs take an early lead while Jim sat in the hall with his book and puzzle. I turned the TV off at 9:15 but we did keep checking the score and were very happy with a win!
It was about a five hour ride home, some of it spent listening to David McCollough read his book The Wright Brothers.
It was a great trip with interesting places to stay and walk. Our fourth annual river road trip? We will have to think about that for a while.