|Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga|
I have proclaimed in past blog posts that I am not one for doing much research ahead of time for road trips, and this continues to hold true. On our recent adventure to Indiana to photograph covered bridges, my research consisted of Googling Indiana Covered Bridges, which revealed this site with a map and listing of all the covered bridges in Indiana. I printed that first page of the site and then got my road atlas of the United States, I opened it to the Indiana page and looked for a bigger town near the main amount of covered bridges so I could find us a hotel. I found Crawfordsville, about a half hour from the start of the bridges, located a Holiday Inn Express there, and booked it. We have oodles of points to use from all my husband's traveling, so we were able to stay all three nights for free.
On Sunday, in route to our hotel, we stopped at an Indiana rest stop. I spied a fold out Indiana road map mixed in with all the tourist trap brochures, I thought it would be good to have that and easier to carry around than our big road atlas. I wanted to open it up and scour the surrounding land once we were back in the car, but due to life long car sickness issues, I figured it would be best to wait until we got to the hotel.
At the hotel, back from supper at the local "quaint" restaurant, I settled on the bed and spread out my map. I found where we were, found where the bridges started, and then studied other local attractions in the area. I was floored when I saw the words Turkey Run State Park right next to the first bridge I wanted to go to. Turkey Run State Park has been on my photography/travel bucket list forever. Any Midwest travel magazine I have ever read has listed Turkey Run State Park as a must see in the state of Indiana. Finally I could check it off my list.
The next morning at 8:00 a.m. we were at the Narrows Bridge, part of Turkey Run State Park to photograph the bridge at sunrise. Best bridge of the trip, and everything is better at the golden hour. After we were done at the bridge, I suggested we drive into the park and check it out. We wandered about a little, but knew that we needed more time than we had to do it justice, we had many more covered bridges to see that day.
Over supper that night at the less local, but with more quality controlled food, Cracker Barrel, we discussed what we wanted to do the next day. We both had had our fill of covered bridges, eventually they all start to look the same. I suggested that we go back to Turkey Run State Park in the morning and do some hiking. My husband went into research mode, looking for the most rugged trails we could do. You know the ones with ladders to climb to get out of the canyon, the ones with 140 steps, some of those "steps" being boulders to climb up and over, or navigate down. Visions of my trip to Pennsylvania last year and my friend Andrea falling and breaking her leg filled my head. I was looking for meandering trails that wound along Sugar Creek, flat trails with only a few wooden steps. But since my husband was being such a good sport about photographing bridges with me, I knew I had to do the rugged trails for him.
The only way to do anything without crowds of people in your pictures or in your way in general is to go early, so the next morning we were back at Turkey Run by 8:45 a.m., there were only two other cars in the parking lot when we pulled in.
To get to the hiking trails we had to cross this suspension bridge that spanned Sugar Creek. I knew then that whatever ruggedness I would have to endure it would be worth it to see the beauty of this place.
|Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga|
I did climb the ladders out of Bear Hollow, I did climb the 140 steps on the way to Boulder Canyon and climbed up and down boulders on the way to Falls Canyon. I did traverse little streams here and there throughout the canyons. I did not fall, but next time I will remember to pack my hiking poles, just in case. But even without the poles, I would do it all again because the views were incredible.
For the second half of our hike, we did take the meandering path along the creek that led to the Narrows Covered Bridge, and the Lusk Homesite, but it also led us across little streams and into another hollow with boulders to climb over, and rocks to squeeze through, even when you get what you want, you end up compromising.