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Indiana – River Towns

June 5, 2013

Indiana – Tuesday, May 28

This morning I was all packed up and ready to leave, when the phone rang, and it was the vet with Tula’s Lyme disease results – she has a pretty bad case of it. The normal numbers for whatever they test in Lyme diesease are 0-40; Tula’s are 253. Yikes- poor dog. I backtracked into Cincinnati so I could fill a prescription for her – Tula will be on a pretty aggressive round of antibiotics – 2 pills twice a day for month. On one hand, I’m happy to finally know what I’m dealing with, and on the other hand I worry about permanent damage and feel bad I didn’t have this particular test done sooner. I hope the treatment will be effective, and I imagine I’ll always have to monitor this. She’ll still be taking it easy on the walking as she recovers.

After that, I crossed the Ohio River into Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Right away I could see this would be a good walking town, and Tula and I set out for a short walk along the river trail. Then I put her back in the van while I walked in the other direction, and I also got caught up with a couple of my dance instructors about the performances this weekend, and it was really nice to hear all their news – a good distraction from my worries for Tula! While on the river walk, I also noticed the beginning of a rail trail, so I moved the van and left Tula in the comfort of the air-conditioning, and walked another few miles on the rail trail. The first segment of the rail trail passed a big electricity-generating plant of some sort – there were piles of coal in the yard, steaming smokestacks, and sizzling wires overhead. And then there was even a sign by a bench that explained how coal is turned into electricity – in terms I could understand! I don’t know how electricity works (and am not particularly interested – I’m simply happy a light comes on when I flick a switch!) but after seeing countless trains and barges on the river full of coal, I did become slightly curious about it all. The sign just basically explained that the barges dump all the coal at the plant, then conveyor belts take the coal to a machine that pulverizes it into a powdery consistency, and that is burned which produces a high heat, which turns water (not sure where the water is) into steam, which powers a turbine that runs a generator, and voila! Light!

After passing the electrical plant, the rail trail became a wonderfully shaded, quiet walkway – I was literally walking under a canopy of leaves. And the trail went across an old train trestle. Lawrenceburg was a great place to start the Indiana week. In all, I walked just a little over 6 miles there with the river trail and the rail trail. I decided simply to drive southwest along the Ohio River, and the next town I came to was Aurora. Aurora also had a river trail, and Tula and I walked 1.8 miles on that after enjoying a little Dairy Queen snack!

And then I came to Rising Sun – another beautiful river town. It’s known as the barge viewing capital of the Ohio River. They also had a river walk and Tula and I did another short walk along the river, and then I went for a walk through town while she rested in the car. I did another 2 miles in this town, bringing me to a total of 10 for the day – despite a late start! Rising Sun was named for the beautiful sunrises over the green cliffs across the river in Kentucky. They also have a little amphitheatre dug into the banks of the river which must be an awesome place to watch fireworks! And there was an old paddlewheeler tied up downstream a bit – this part of the river used to be full of those too. Back in the day, the Ohio River (and many others) was a crowded, lively, congested river highway – the main means of transportation for people and freight! I wish I could see it like that for just a couple days!

Because I had enjoyed these little river towns so much, I wanted to make a donation in one of them, and Rising Sun actually had a food pantry. It wasn’t open in the evening, but I drove over to the Rising Sun Church of Christ, and found the Free Store food pantry, which is part of the Christian Outreach Center. It had its own separate building right next to the church parking lot, and I imagine it has helped a lot of people in its day. I’ll be mailing them my donation, since no one was there to take it.

I continued a beautiful evening drive along the river, going through a county named Switzerland, and ended up at Clifty Falls State Park, where I was the last camper to check in for the evening! The campground had been full over Memorial Day, but it wasn’t crowded tonight, and even though it was mostly dark as I was getting set up, it was good to be camping in a state park again!

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