20th Century Opulence...

Trip Start Jul 13, 2013
Trip End Aug 12, 2013

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Where I stayed
Louisville Metro KOA

Flag of United States  , Indiana
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our devotional today was from Micah 6:8 (this is one of John's favorite verses) and Proverbs 4:11-12. The point of the devotional was to encourage you to walk humbly with your God rather than walking your own path. According to our devotional on August 12, 2006 we were also here in McCormick’s Creek!

This morning we had a wonderful true camping breakfast with Bonnie and Garry. Bonnie has perfected the art of preparing ANYTHING in an electric skillet! Today she did bacon and potatoes and BISCUITS for heaven’s sake! Who knew that was a possible deal! She says if she has an electric skillet and a toaster oven she can conquer the world, and I believe it. I prepared some items as did Bonnie, and the four of us had a wonderful time eating in the fresh air underthe lovely large trees and once again talking each others’ ears off! As Bonnie said later, it is so wonderful to have friends that you can see after a long separation and start off with each other as if it were yesterday. I still say that Hoosier Hospitality must be hardwired into the DNA of folks from Indiana.

After eating and talking and laughing as long as we could, the time still arrived for us to be on our way. The four of us agreed to say "Happy Trails" rather than good bye, and John and I pulled out of McCormick’s Creek at 10:45. The temperature was a comfortable 75 degrees and this was a lovely morning.

After driving about an hour and a half we arrived at Spring Mill State Park. We were there at the not so subtle request of oldcat to pick up some corn meal that was milled there at the park in an old grist mill. According to oldcat, it is the best corn meal to be found. At any rate, we now have some loaded in our freezer to be delivered at DWLP whenever we arrive back…the freight bill may be quite large. The corn meal is cheap, but gas is quite expensive, not to mention the personal handling! ;-)

Leaving Spring Mill State Park the temperature had climbed to 83 degrees. Do I REALLY want to go home?? Our trail towards the French Lick/West Baden area took us through the little town of Paoli. The hills were much more rolling in that area and the twisting two lane road was a delight to travel. Reminded us of East Tennessee I guess. At any rate, our first stop was the West Baden Springs Hotel. We made one pass of the area and thought there was nowhere for us to park so we continued about a mile and a half down the road to the French Lick Springs Hotel where we found parking around 1:20. According to their brochure, “Built in 1901, French Lick Springs Hotel operated continuously as a celebrated haven to famous personalities until it was closed for restoration in November 2005. The Resort’s top-to-bottom restoration renewed more than 5,000 square feet of gold leaf and remarkable ornamental design features.” Entering the hotel we were amazed at the amount of gold leaf that had been used to enhance the lobby of the hotel. I took several pictures. Bonnie, you were correct; the French Lick Springs Hotel is VERY glitzy! Garry YOU were also correct. We went to the second floor and were very surprised at the number and variety of “names” we knew that had appeared there.

After walking around the hotel for thirty minutes or so we talked to a gentleman who worked there and asked about parking at the West Baden Springs Hotel. He told us that we had turned left rather than right at a point and there was plenty of parking. Off we went again, this time getting it right. (We did make a short stop for a quick lunch before going there…don’t ask, but yes a frappe was included!)

Both of us liked the West Baden Springs Hotel MUCH better than the French Lick Springs Hotel. The décor is a much more elegant one…not so in your face…and it just felt better to us. According to the brochure, “It was built in 1902 and was the essence of grandeur, boasting a six-story domed atrium among other extraordinary architectural elements. The hotel is honored as a National Historic landmark and has been restored to recapture its status as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The dome was magnificent. The mosaic tiles on the floor were amazing. Garry told us that there were about 75 to 80% of the original tiles found when the renovation was started and the complexity of the floor was once again restored to its original beauty. The same man who restored the Tivoli Theater that we saw yesterday was the one responsible for both of the Grand Hotels that we saw today. They are truly amazing.

Our biggest mistake of the day for which we both apologize is that neither of us thought to take videos of these two old hotels. I took pictures, but the rooms were so large it will be hard to get the real feel of the place. It didn’t hit us what we had done until we had already left so it was too late to correct our error. Sorry.

From West Baden we drove back once again towards Paoli, Indiana. On the way through town we took a short side trip up the side of a mountain to see the Paoli Peaks Ski area. It is hard to wrap your mind around skiing in Indiana, but sure enough, there is skiing there. The ski area was completely deserted but we still could see that it is quite a large area and I am sure it is crowded during ski season.

Our drive the rest of the afternoon was again on back roads which we much prefer to interstates. The land in this part of Indiana is quite hilly and there were many small towns along our route. The afternoon was very nice…temps up to 86. We arrived at our camp for tonight, Louisville Metro KOA on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. We stayed here once five or six years ago. After setting up camp, we went on a good walk which felt good after driving and touring today.

Our site is reasonably level and paved, the electricity is good and we have free wifi that I hope will be strong enough to post this blog in a few minutes. We drove 144 miles today.

Are we “there” yet? We have driven as far East, North, and West as we intend to go on this trip which leaves only South. “Maybe we will be “there” tomorrow?? Stay tuned.
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oldcat on

So, you are in Clarksville, OK, tomorrow morning you need to go to the interpretive center at the Falls of The Ohio for a fascinating lesson on the role the falls have played for wildlife and humans for many eons. I caught many a sauger there at the falls beneath the COE locks. When done check out the Widow’s Walk Ice Cream Shoppe on River Road. If you are heading on home from there your best bet for lunch is Tony’s Bistro on Main in Glendale, KY. Have the fried chicken lunch special and you will leave very happy. Tony is a souse chef. Happy Trails. See you soon.

Ed and Betty on

At your pace we may beat you home.

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