Of course, we lit the candles and poured a drink and had a few laughs. 74 is still fun.
March usually does bring a few surprises, or maybe I should say developments. Regardless, we've marched through it and the crocuses are sprouting in our front yard. I'm energized and ready to bring things up to date on Hurley Travels. There is a bit more to say here than I usually do in one post. You know how life goes….one thing after another. No time to write the Hurley Travels blog. (Insert smirk or smile.) But anyway, let's march on.
The contrasts in the photos I'm posting below are typical of the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" unpredictability of March in Indiana - sunny and 70 degrees - then snowing and 30 degrees the next day. Having friendly family shovelers and hiring the neighborhood teenager with a snow blower helped so much during this winter's weather. At this stage in life we have become excellent supervisors. This month has had several of those ins and outs of climate. The two scenes below are within a few days of each other: Eight inches of snow covered our suburban Fishers landscape with the beautiful white pillows of snow. And just a few days later we were relaxing in Tim's yard with a cold refreshment observing Tim and Jamie and Luke and Eland preparing the backyard landscaping around the pool. There was only a small mound of snow left as evidence. That was a warm, fun afternoon. When the kids had to leave for homework and sports, Tim, Jerry and I relaxed for a little conversation. Then one of Tim's long-time friends, Dan, stopped by. From there it was more stories…you know how that goes. I had to snap a shot of these three characters. Just a little reminiscing and laughter going on there!
Then, there's that other day in March …it seems to keep popping up too quickly. My birthday wishes from friends and family around the country did give me the warm fuzzies though! Marti and I hung out for a long sisterly birthday afternoon, that I talked about on the other blog, Indiana Ties. My hubby asked, "what would you like to do? " I thought about a trip to Germany or Jamaica. But that would take too much packing and I just did all that to move. So….I say, "how about we take a day trip to northern Indiana???"
We somehow selected the small town of Markle, about 90 miles away. Maybe because we could get there in an hour or two, or we were able to stay completely off interstates…OR just because we hadn't been there. And where to go to eat is always a decision too, right? This time we agreed we would look for a restaurant on the way, also something new, where we would stop for dinner on our way back.
First, a few miles from home we took a quick side trip. It just happened that way. I got to see where Ferd, the Foretravel motorhome, and Ole Yeller, our old jeep, now live. The family that owns them is from Fortville, Indiana. Rob's in the stone business and owns the local grain elevator and surrounding buildings and property. You can see the structure at the back of this photo where Ferd is now parked inside. The family took some motorhome trips last summer. We ran into Rob as he was preparing that morning to take Ole Yeller to the Indiana Flower & Patio Show to setup his exhibit. These old pals of ours are having a pretty good life!
As we wondered through the towns, I lost track of the route that day, since I was just being a passenger. But I know we were traveling north, taking mostly highways 36 and 3. I was being lazy, looking at little towns and watching people. Part of the fun of one of these types of trips is not knowing what to expect, right? Soon we meandered our way into Markle. We took a quick tour through the quiet, clean town with the Wabash River running along its south side. When we saw this small park with a sign next to an old mill stone we thought that would be a nice place to take a few minutes and stretch our legs. It seems like there is usually some point of interest, or unusual spot, in every town along the road that you choose to stop and look. Here's what the sign says where I'm standing:
Indian Mill Stone
This stone is from the first Grist Mill constructed by the U. S. Government, circa 1833, for the use of the Miami Indians in this locality. It was built on Rock Creek, 1/4 of a mile up stream from the Wabash River. Presented to the Markle Historical Society on June 1, 1983, by the Geiger family who have owned the land since 1864.
Then, there was more excitement for my birthday! Our car found the way to a huge antique mall just on the outskirts of Markle. Oh, and there was a lot to explore. Jerry and I split up after the first few booths and agreed that we would keep in touch by text. A couple of hours later and a few more treasures for Nancy they locked the doors. And Jerry even did some hunting himself.
Remember that we were thinking and looking along the road for a restaurant? Well, we did see one that we both thought looked interesting and remarked that it would be easy to retrace and stop on the way home. It was called the Iron Kettle and seemed to be popular at midday when we passed it. No problem, we'll find it easily. Wellllllllll, who knows what happened to that place. Our route back didn't seem to pass it. But we did end up our birthday exploring day with a delicious dinner at Maggiano's just a few miles from home. The lasagna and wine tasted fantastic after all that traveling and sightseeing and hunting for antique deals.
But there's still one more story: On the weekend Krissy decided as her gift she would prepare a meal and bring it to our house. She made these unique deviled eggs that are seasoned with hot sauce and other yummy ingredients. (Sorry, Krissy, I don't remember, but I loved it all.) Then there was a fantastic chicken dish that I wish I knew the name of - with spices, olives, lemons and cashews - served over couscous. The crunchy salad of snap peas, radishes and feta cheese with sumac dressing was a great compliment. And for the perfect ending - decadent Guinness Brownies - scrumptious!?%#! We all were very content that evening.
Yes, this was more wordy and photo-populated than my usual post. But actually, I could add other happenings…gifts from MJ…visits from C…furniture purchases…etc., etc. But I'm going to call it quits right now.
Thanks for visiting Hurley Travels. Stay well.
copyright © Nancy Hurley
I'm traveling back to a beautiful piece of country we were surprised to find. This canyon is estimated to have been inhabited by humans for 12,000 years. But these two Hurleys can be recorded there only ten years ago. We are glad, however, to have left our footprints in Palo Duro Canyon. It remains one of the most pleasant surprises in our RVing.
As we explored the Texas Panhandle in March of 2004, early in our fulltiming lifestyle, we came across this state park with a stupendous terrain. We were traveling through a stretch of dusty and flat northern Texas hoping to find a nice spot to settle overnight. What we found needed more than overnight attention. It seemed as though the ground suddenly opened up to Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo. As soon as we started our drive down the winding, rapidly descending road we knew we'd situate the fifth wheel in this campground a little while. (This photo shows a view from above the road leading to the campground in the bottom of the canyon.) We had a colorful few days surrounded by the ruggedness and beauty of nature. I remember we rambled down the many roads throughout the park, finding several picturesque picnic lunch spots. We also learned about the centuries of inhabitants, southern Plains Indians, ranchers and the CCC who built structures in the 1930s for us to enjoy today. And as the sun set and the array of colors shifted, we'd relax at our site to watch the wild turkeys roam the campground, visiting with everyone.
It's nice to reflect back on these unique experiences! Some of them occurred before our Hurley Travels blog, so they're receiving their first mention at this late date. Now Palo Duro Canyon has a place here with many more interesting times. I think it would be good though if I stop talking now and let a few extra photos tell the story this time.
Thanks for visiting Hurley Travels. Be Safe.
And here's a link to more information on this outstanding surprise: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon
copyright 2015 © Nancy Hurley
When last I wrote for the Hurley Travels blog I talked about being fluid, exploring a different phase in life for Jerry and me. Well, quite a bit of that changing and flowing has happened in the last four months. Also, I took some time to consider whether our Hurley Travels blog should have its last chapter. If we were ceasing our life on the road, did I want to also cease writing here about our life??? It took me a few months, but I've decided there are still episodes to record. We are planning to keep on exploring in various ways. So, here I am moving along into the next mode for Hurley Travels.
But first, it just wouldn't be right if we didn't say a few words about turning this corner away from RVing. Jerry and I absolutely loved our ten years of being on the road. There are volumes of wonderful memories that we couldn't have experienced without the culture that is available among RVers. We appreciate the people everywhere along that road that are the special ingredients. There are so many unique, interesting and indescribable facets of those ten years that make us smile all the time.
This past winter was quite a moment in time for us. We had the feelings of uncertainty last fall about how many more roads we would travel in Ferd. But neither one of us was ready to say yet. Regardless of where the next spring would take us, we began our travels in November with repairs on Ferd and also had him polished up nicely in Nacogdoches at our favorite facility, Motohomes of Texas. That 1995, 36-foot, no-slide, Foretravel diesel pusher was feeling and looking good. It turned out to be a very nice last winter in Texas and Alabama. After considering a trip to Florida, it seemed best for us to make the winter stop in Gulf Shores, Alabama. While settled in our spot at the Gulf Shores State Park we contemplated how much longer we'd be traveling as RVers. We had some time to discuss and vacillate about what our next steps would be. We came to the conclusion we would end our RVing adventure. But I have to say we'll miss those desert gatherings and stops along our route to see old friends. Those times can't be matched. Thanks friends! You know who you are. There will be other ways, I hope, to stay in touch and visit occasionally.
Once we adjusted to our decision to sell Ferd, we started making plans for the change. The story isn't quite this simple, but to keep it short and sweet, we returned to Indy, found a buyer and turned over ownership in a matter of a couple of months. We did hold onto Ole Yeller (the loyal towed Jeep) for a while. It was hard to cut that final string. But actually, the good result was that the same young family owns both the motorhome and our Jeep. We're glad to see them enjoying the fun that connects them.
It will take some getting used to this new phase in our lives. But…onward we go. Pretty quickly we made more plans. We're thinking we'll still travel… to those places we missed in the motorhome, right? So we need a "highway car" that's roomier and more comfortable for those trips when we'll now be staying in hotels. Anyway, we took that step, too. Here's a shot of Jerry making the transition from Ole Yeller to Vinny (the new CRV).
Speaking of transitions, we made a major one in mid-July. We purchased our new home, just a few miles northeast, in Fishers, Indiana. Our little condo was just right for the time we were on-the-road, but we were looking for more space now that we didn't have our home on wheels. Usually older folks downsize, but these two went the other direction! We now have a home with a big garage that has space for the cars, a motorcycle, a workbench for Jerry and the extra refrigerator. And we have more room inside for visitors and to store those things we're accumulating again. Besides, we're also pleased that Krissy bought our cute little condo. It's perfect for her! So now I should post a pic of the front of the house, right? Instead of one of those, I think I'll insert one of the flowers on our hibiscus tree that is among several flowering plants, bushes and trees we are enjoying at our new place.
I could also write many happy words about this summer's activities that didn't involve the chore of moving. We've had more than our share of good times. For instance, there were super visits with old friends that came through Indianapolis, fun family reunions, several special birthday celebrations, helping with our grand dogs, hanging out on our new deck, setting food on fire on the grill and meeting new neighbors. I won't try to describe those experiences, just keep doing more. This short story will have to suffice as the catch-up on Hurley Travels for now. The leaves are falling and it's time to move on.
Thanks for sharing some time with me. Check in here at Hurley Travels again as we see where this path leads us.