Okay, loyal readers. It’s obvious that we are behind in recounting our travels. Let’s play a game of catch up! Right now, grab a steamy cup of tea, beer, cocktail, wine, water (you know, you do you), straighten those reading glasses and enjoy hearing about the first time we drove through Indiana and Ohio. Then await the soon-to-be-written account of our three weeks in Pennsylvania!
Ready? Here we go!
First, it is important to note that the blog title is a lyric from The Samples’ song “Indiana.” Look it up and enjoy. I (Katie) am currently enjoying it as I write this sentence.
And back on track we go. We left Illinois on July 18th and headed to Indiana for a single evening and then sped on over to Ohio for a whole week of small town Ohio life. Hooked? How could you not be with this intriguing and catchy introduction?
Indiana and an adventure with Hoosiers
It’s a bummer to travel through an entire state and only stay one night. But we had pre-Covid reservations to catch up to, so we hustled a bit more than we like to. To help make our one night stays better we try to use Harvest Hosts. Honestly it is a really wonderful (and pretty cheap) membership investment. We can stay at any Harvest Host location for one night for free, we just let them know we are coming about 24 hours ahead of time and promise to spend some money in their shops during our stay. We used it a couple times last year, but we will be using it a ton this fall and are so excited.
In Indiana we stayed at Westwind Farm and Fiber. This is an adorable farm east of Indianapolis that is run by a family. They have sheep, goats, chickens, and bunnies. The owners harvest the wool from the sheep and bunnies and spin their own yarn (which they sell). They also have a ton of other goodies in their little shop too. Plus, the family is simply wonderful. They included our kids in some of the farm activities, like feeding the sheep and giving the goats a haircut. They gave our kids full rein of the playground equipment too, which was a nice surprise. All in all, it was a wonderful experience.
Dillon State Park
After leaving Indiana after less than 24 hours in the state, we headed to Nashport Ohio and found ourselves at a delightful campground in Dillon State Park. There was very little privacy, with the big open campground, but still the sites were big and ours was right next to the playground! Score one for not having to take the kids to a playground, but instead just send them outside. They had nature, their toys, and a playground. All that was missing was a stream. Had there been one, we may never have left. There was a lake, but you had to drive to it, so it doesn’t count. The kids and Doug did enjoy the lake though.
We celebrated our one year nomadiversary on July 22nd!
Oh and the campground had GROUNDHOGS! Katie is obsessed with these adorable creatures.
Katie took the boys on a longer hike through the trail system in the park. It was a good time for the first 3/4 of the hike. The last quarter was Katie begging the kids to walk, reminding them that walking is how they get home into the air conditioning, trying to find a replacement stick for the one that was left on a log during snack, and bribing the kids to walk with the promise of sweet treats when they reach home.
Mission Oaks Gardens
The week in Ohio was also spent getting some errands done. We got our oil changed, tires rotated, and sorted through most of our belongings to reduce what we don’t use and pack it up to be donated. So Katie and the kids did not do to much exploring outside of the state park, but the one destination outing was great. Mission Oaks Gardens was a delightful experience that was mostly a surprise. Katie looked it up and noticed there was a Little Free Library, so she grabbed the books that had been sent to the donation pile and loaded the kids up to explore the free gardens and drop off some books. Of course, the kids each picked out a book to take home too. Beyond the Little Free Library and knowing that it was a botanical garden, Katie knew nothing else.
Turns out, this place had a whole exploratory sensory garden area for kids with tasting plants, smelling plants, touch plants, and sight only plants. It was really great. The gardens also had a beautiful pond with giant lotus flowers and leaves, a fairy garden, a natural play area, a ton of trees and shrubs, and so many flowers. The kids enjoyed themselves immensely.
And that is essentially the entire week we spent in Ohio.
But do not fear, we adventured further and harder in Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for that account. It is coming soon. Promise!
CURRENT ADVENTURE STATS:
On the road: 1 year!
Miles towing our home: 9,116
Campgrounds visited: 59
Breweries visited: 34
National Parks visited: 15/62
National Monuments/Seashores/Historic Sites/etc.: 5
State Parks visited: 8