October 20, 2018
The morning was chilly but a bright sun was rising and the day promised to be great. Early arrivals for our first drive to Spring Mill State Park chatted with friends.
As 9:00 AM approached more participants arrived and signed in for a total of 17 cars and 27 people. We were given instructions, reminded to be safe, and we began our journey.
A couple of stoplights between the Deaconess Medical Center parking lot and I-69 was all it took to build a wide gap between the lead cars and the rest of us. The seven cars seen in this photo were three to five miles down I-69, moving along as Porsches often do, before the remaining 10 cars even reached the on-ramp. It took a long time to catch up.
Eventually, we did, only to find a fast-moving mass of cars, trucks, SUVs and the occasional boat filling up the Interstate.
Attempts to maintain a proper line of Porsches failed due to pickup and SUV drivers who seemed to want to join in the fun.
From Evansville north for the first 80 plus miles, I-69 travels through flat southern Indiana farmland. Now and then there were curves.
We took the U.S. 150/50 exit and turned east toward Montgomery and Logootee.
McDonald's served as our rest stop. There were Porsches parked all over the
From Logootee we drove to Shoals and left the flat farmlands.
At Shoals, U.S. 150 turns south. We drove northeast on U.S. 50. Shorter straights and lots of curves made the drive interesting.
We were a few weeks early for the best fall leaves display, but the drive was still pretty.
Just after passing the town of Huron, Indiana 60 branches off to the east toward Mitchell and Spring Mill State Park. We encountered some very slow oncoming traffic.
A narrow road led into the park and to a loop road connecting the various attractions.
The Spring Mill State Park gate was decorated for the season.
We found the Inn where we would have lunch.
Almost everyone paused for a group photo and then looked for the restaurant.
Front row (L-R): Linda Barth and Scott Klueh, Bob and Marie Donelly, Jean Wolf, Susan Jindrich, Jerry Fischer, Ashton and Mike Zehner, and Mike Mammoser.
Second row: Macie Yelton, Cheryl Roethemeier, Joe Wolf, Kate Fischer, and Michele Dora.
Back row: Dale Fatland, Chris Yelton, Mark Roethemeier, Manuel Ramirez, Wayne Parks, Dave Hostetter, and Kelly Dora. In the very back: Mark Faris.
Not pictured: Alan Fierst, Terry and Sally Davis, Larry Ferguson and Mary Hathaway, and Jerry Jindrich.
The Spring Mill Inn offered a generous buffet.
A cozy, paneled dining room had been reserved for us. Normally, the SIR gang might have lingered after eating, but many members wanted to explore the nearby Pioneer Village.
Some long time Indiana residents remembered visiting the Pioneer Village in their childhood, but many of us had never seen it before.
Established in the early 1800s, this was a busy community of businesses and farms. Many buildings were restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1920s and 1930s. There are 20 structures on the site, including a distillery, tavern, pottery, blacksmith, carriage house, store, meeting house, school, and two residences.
People in period dress demonstrated crafts of the 1800s. Two ladies demonstrated the use of a loom in the weaver's shop. A man worked with leather in a nearby building that had a warm fire burning.
This three story grist mill dominated the site. It was originally constructed in 1817. It serves as both a working mill and a museum.
You can view the machinery at work. You can also buy bags of cornmeal prepared while you watch.
A second story window gave this dramatic view of the flume that carries water from a nearby spring.
Spring Mill State Park and its Pioneer Village was a different kind of destination for us, one that was enjoyable, educational, and clearly worth the trip.
To see more photos, go to the Spring Mill State Park page in the Member Photos section of this website. It certainly qualifies as a Recommended Day Trip destination.
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