Thursday, June 12, 2008


I attended graduate school in Bloomington, Indiana.
I loved it.
Oh the school was OK but I truly loved southern Indiana.
I liked the rolling hills, the lazy rivers, and the friendly people.
This is probably the only place I've lived where the people wave to you while sitting on their tractors. They take polite to a whole new level.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the quirky town names.
You gotta love a place the will name a town BeanBlossom, or Gnaw Bone, or French Lick (my personal favorite. It still makes my chuckle).

BeanBlossom has it's own bridge. We lived about 5 miles from this bridge. Whenever out-of-town guests came to visit we took them to BeanBlossom bridge. It was such an oddity for those of us from the West Coast.

I really can't talk about strange town names without showing you this picture. This is my friend Sally at Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky (I know it's not in Indiana but it is very close and as funny names go it's one of the best).
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Who in their right mind names a place Big Bone Lick?"
Not to burst anyone's little fantasy but it was named
after the salt lick on the river and the mammoth bones found near it.
But I ask you, "What fun is that?"

Sally what a glamorpuss!

On one of our weekend drives, JR & I came across Table Rock. This was one of the many odd land features that abound in Indiana. They have crazy rock features, almost completely circular ponds, and tons of caves.
JR & I went to 4 different caves. Our favorites was Margeno Cave.

Here's JR at the sand dunes at the edge of Lake Michigan.
This was quite a surprise for us.
We're from the West Coast and believe that all good beaches must border an ocean. This beach completely destroyed our concept of beach to ocean reality.
Talk about messing with our heads!

I can't finish this up without explaining this giant chicken.

This chicken greets visitors to the county fairgrounds in Spenser, Indiana.
According to local lore it was placed here after the well-loved chicken restaurant where it spent it's first years went out of business. The townspeople didn't want the chicken to leave town so they had it placed at the fairgrounds.
JR & I were truly delighted to come across this wonderful object.
A fine example of Mid-west frugality and sense of humor.

Maybe the reason that I have such fond memories of Indiana was because as a quirky individual myself (i.e. eclectic, free-spirited or strange as I've been called) I felt completely at home there.


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