Turkey Run State Park

I had no clue this magnificent place existed 60 miles from where I live.  After TWR, CS indulged my wild nature side and introduced me to Turkey Run State Park.

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They have about 14 miles of trails around the park.  On the drive down I plotted 2 courses, one long – 7 miles and one short – 3.5 miles.  Of course I picked all the paths that said “Very Rugged” or “Rugged”.  Might as well do the hard stuff and see what its all about!  Since we had just done a 5k, I wasn’t sure what our legs were in store for since we were both new to the trails.  We fueled up with some lunch then headed out over the bridge to start in on the short loop first.  Immediately I felt like I was not in Indiana.  The rock formations and scenery were gorgeous. 

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You basically were winding through a moderately dry creek bed with solid rock towering around you.

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The path would narrow and weave around anything it wanted. This part reminded me of something from Lord of the Rings.

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There were tons of people out that day, as it was the first day we’ve seen sun and warm temps in weeks.  Kids were just drenched from playing in the water.  Some adults too actually.  What was interesting… it was people of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities.  I really thought it was great that so many different cultures were out to appreciate and support the park.

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Several coves had waterfalls that provided a brief cool off from the heat

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Lots of knooks had us wondering how much time and pressure had created these kind of spots.

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Of course, I tried to run through the low parts but you had to bounce off rocks and tree limbs so I was being a bit cautious.  After cruising through the low parts, we made our way up top to some real trails that I was able to get a run going.  CS even joined in!  We reached a spot called “The Ladders“.  There are 3 heavy ladders that take you back down into the creek.  You probably had to climb down 50 feet in total. 

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Of course, I had to christen the park, so I dropped a log.  Can you see it?

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Another waterfall

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CS was enjoying himself so much he sprouted some wood that definitely needs to be seen by a doctor.

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As small homage to Colorado, we found Boulder Canyon!  On a smaller scale, it certainly reminded me of a few mountain climbs I’ve been on with B.

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After a long days work at the 5k and this 3.5 loop, we were done. CS wanted a few moments to be with his thoughts and reflect on the day.  He found the perfect size spot!

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I decided to curl up and take a nap.

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Turkey Park exceed all my expectations!  Admittedly they were low since I didn’t really know what to expect.  I had a blast!  Thanks to CS for the awesome introduction to this place.  I will certainly be back and am planning an informal inaugural adventure race/run here.  It would be a blast to get some friends to come run around for a few hours then relax at the campground… and then do it again the next day!  Look for your invitation in the mail!

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Shiver me timbers!  Me Buccaneer Bruce celebrated a birthday last week, so course, me rounded up a few pirate mateys to drink some grog around ye ole’ lake.  Scallywag K decorated Davy Jone’s Locker with all kinds of pirate Jolly Roger swag and booty!

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Buccaneer Bruce got his own special birthday hat that he wore everywhere.  And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. In the yard…

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On the water…

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Out to dinner…

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The lily-livered SOB tried to commendar the good ship Formula, but me cast a dark black spot on him.  Instead, me and my mateys did some swashbucklin’ on thar water.

Ahoy, and happy birthday me Matey Bruce!  Now where can I find me a bottle o’rum? 

Labor Day Weekend

It’s not September?!  But it was a working Lake weekend for a few of us.  I brought up a reinforcement to help with the latest Lake project: Firepit area.

My grandma was quite fond of lava rock back in the day.  She would bring trunk fulls up and dump them in the landscaped area near the sea wall.  Eventually, it was all there was in there.  If you have ever dealt with this type of rock, there is nothing good about it.  You can’t walk on it.  You can sit anything flat on it.  It’s a bitch to move.  We use this space for winter storage of the jet ski racks and pier sections.  But in the summer, it’s really unusable and in the way of direct access to the lake.  This year, it was finally time to change it because Mom bought a nice fire pit and was ready to use it!

Before:

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After:

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We removed 9 wheelbarrows full of this rock!  My team raked and shoveled while may parents worked on the edges.  After it was all gone, we unearthed the railroad tie and moved it over to make a larger usable area and make the flag pole/light pole area smaller.  Next came the sand shoveling and leveling.  Once that was completed, we realigned the stepping stones to the water, shifted some rocks in the small area and voila!  We’ll work on the small area later with plants and grasses.  We were done for the day and took a rest watching the 2010 Wawasee boat floatilla.  It was marginal at best.  I’m putting party planner to the stars Kristin in charge of our boat next year.

On a sad note, as we were closing up shop for the weekend, we had to have a funeral.  A bird might have miscalculated and died flying into one of the windows at the house.  I made him a headstone.

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But the best kid of animal to have is one of these hand-made Herbie specials!

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They don’t need walked, fed, exercised, or any attention.  Just my kind of pet!  Place your duck orders now!  Free shipping in the Indianapolis or Fort Wayne area.

Fuller Fourth of July

Spent the long holiday weekend with my family at the Lake.  My brother and his family arrived early early Friday morning from Colorado to crash at my place before heading to the lake.  2 of the 3 girls moved their seats into my car and we were off!

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I bought some Silly Bands to keep them occupied. Instead of actually putting them on as bracelets, they just wanted to lay them out to look at the shapes. Whatever keeps them entertained!

On Saturday, we had almost the entire Fuller side from my grandma’s offspring at the Lake for a mini reunion. Only 3 of the grandkids and 1 adult was unable to come, so in total there were 26 of us including Mimi! I got to spend the day listening to everyone comment on “Kayla is the last grandchild for a while…” A while, as I look around for who might solve that problem? Whatever, they’ll figure it out one day like I have.

I spent the day jumping off the end of the pier with Sydney and even got Reagan to go a few times too! I think their favorite activity of the weekend was tubing.

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Papa probably took them 4 times for several laps around the bay. They didn’t fall off once!  I think when we said “Hold on!”, they didn’t connect the dots that they can let go if needed.  Reagan was bouncing around like a ragdoll AND maintaining a conversation the entire time with whoever she was riding with.  Papa was being a lot nicer to them than he was to Bruce the other weekend, but everytime they got done they’d comment that his driving was just crazy! 

Since Kayla was too small for the tube, she settled for some play time in a bucket.

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The weather was perfect! I didn’t get this many nice days all summer last year so we are getting very fortunate. I packed up Monday and headed home as they headed to Fort Wayne to see the remaining grandparents and families. I was ready to return to my peaceful, quiet, organized life. But, 2 months off and I’ll be recharged for some more time with the girls at their place!

Paradise On The Water

A few friends and I made an extra long weekend at the lake a few days ago.  I’m still getting caught up from being gone 5 days and getting over the depression of being back.  K and I headed up Thurdsday and went straight to the Frog to avoid cooking.  We spent the night starting a puzzle and playing some games.

Friday brought most of the rest of our guests including B&Y, CS and kids.  Bruce and Y got there in plenty of time to enjoy some time on the water.  We did our usual floating then decided it was time for a boat ride.  When I tried to start the boat, it was dead.  D-E-A-D.  It didn’t budge.  Called Herbie for some tips.  We knew it was NOT truly a battery issue since he just bought a new one over Memorial Day.  A check of the switches and gauges, the court light button was activiated and must have drained the battery.  So, out came the charger, but quickly after, so did the rain!  Lots and lots of it.  You couldn’t really even see the lake it was storming so bad.  And then, the power went out.  Keep in mind, I am not up here very frequently, and neither is anyone else, so trying to find candles or flashlights proved to be quite difficult.  Add in, we were in the middle of making a casserole dinner that requires a stove.  Move to plan B, we’ll have tomorrows grill dinner tonight since that didn’t require electricity.  During the middle of all of this, CS and his offspring shows up.  We made a little party in the garage with sparklers and a citronella candle.  Once dinner was over… what to do, what to do.  Ah… let’s go visit the witch’s house!  This was a trick my parents and cousins played on me for years.  It’s a creepy doorway in a forest like mud hill.  I couldn’t get anyone to go in, but as we left, we heard a woman scream.  Perfect timing in the pitch black!  Once back at the house, we played games by bug-candlelite and a pen flashlight.  Finally the lights came on around 2 am when we were all ready for bed anyway!

Saturday was gorgeous and our final visitors for the weekend arrived, my parents.  We all took turns playing cornhole, bocce, tubbing, tanning, jet ski, turtle hunting, fishing, sky diving.  Ok, maybe not that last one, but we did it all!  Here’s proof…

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The weather was so cooperative with us this weekend and we had another day of sunshine on Sunday.  We loaded up the boat and headed to the sandbar to check out the scene.  We spent time standing in a small circle talking, then a larger circle when business needed to be taken care of because that’s what you do at the sandbar.  Most of  the visitors left while K and I squeezed one more night and day on the water.

Monday brought a little rain but just enough for me to finish our puzzle then close up shop to head back to Indy.  Til next time Wawasee…

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Memorial Day Wrap Up

I got Memorial Day weekend started early with a cook out with the K-monster on Thursday.  She and I started a cooking 101 class each week, so the menu was steaks and twice baked potatoes… huge twice baked potatoes.  We had a few to use up before our weekend getaway so these things turned out about the size of softballs.  And they were delicious!  Someone left a camera at my place, so they got a picture of the final product in return for random pictures I always find on my camera.

Friday had Carb Day on the menu thanks to our VIP winnings.  We met up with some people to carpool near the track and happened to park next to a SUV that was waiting for a police escort.  He seemed to think K and I were pretty cute and invited our car into the escort.  Hell ya!  We flew past everyone and every red light.  Once we got to the track, we veered off into the normal flow and let him go on his merry way, so thanks buddy!  Once at the track, we ventured around people watching and running into old friends.  The VIP left a lot to be desired, but it supplied us with quick bathrooms, a little grub, and some nice sodas.  We loaded up and headed back out for some more sun.  ZZ Top was close to playing so we found our spot and settled in for the show.  I wasn’t too impressed.  None of my pictures turned out very well either.  We had enough and called our chauffeur for a ride home.  BD showed up on cue and we headed back to my place to switch cars and continue the weekend at the main event of the holiday… the lake.

We arrived a bit after 9pm and didn’t have any of our normal duties to do since it was opening weekend of the cottage.  We settled for some Rummikub, stiff arm dancing, then hit the sack.  Saturday morning was spent putting in the pier posts, wave runner racks, and paddleboat.  Then we sunk the paddleboat, drained it, and set it afloat again.  Lesson learned… check to make sure the plugs are in.  I was in “get it done” mode and missed it.  Oh well, first time, no harm done, lesson learned.  Mom and Dad arrived and we started to get the heavy machinary in.  I did not miss the plug on the ski boat, thanks Dad!  Happy to report 1 wave runner and the boat are in the water in working condition.  2nd wave runner is on the way.  We spent the rest of the weekend spraying sunscreen, floating, playing games and hanging out.  We capped off the trip on Monday with a successful turtle hunt expedition capturing 2 of the guys, even though K-monster and BD can’t seem to grasp the concept that turtles hear voices and scram.  Since the ones we caught were too big for me to keep, we gave them to some kids playing back in the channel.  They promised to send them home before they left themselves.  Hopefully they followed my direction.  As we were packing it up, it started to pour and didn’t stop until we got home.  Perfect timing!

Chalk up a sun filled long holiday weekend in my book!

South Carolina Day 3

Do we really have to go home already?  It’s 80s here, 40s at home.  Not looking forward to getting back to reality but I guess its the paycheck that makes these things happen.  We took in some more water scenes today by taking a stroll at the pier just below the the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.  This thing is impressive from below or while driving on it.

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We grabbed some food and more sun along the water at Red’s then headed back to the house to get our last moments of hanging out together.  When I think in actuality, we all took naps on different couches.  Perfect lazy Sunday.

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Thanks to Chass, Josh, and little-girl-to-be Miss Evans for the hospitality.  I had a wonderful time and hope this tag-a-long wasn’t too much to handle!  Now, I’m going to thaw my feet out from 2 hours of outdoor sand volleyball in 50 degree weather. I miss your city already!

South Carolina Day 2

Since Chass had a baby shower to attend, K and I highjacked the husband’s car and headed to the beach.  It’s been quite a while since I got to play in the ocean, so I was very excited to get on some sand.

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K and I walked about for a bit then headed back home to meet up with Chass for some pool time.  It was a nice lazy Saturday, complimented by some Saki and dinner.

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Back to the midwest Sunday.  Boo.

South Carolina Day 1

K and I arrived at O’hare bright and early.  We had a 2 hour layover until our flight to Charleston.  We entertained ourselves at Chili’s.  It doesn’t take much for us to have fun.

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I slept through the flight and arrived safely in Charleston.  K’s friend Chassity picked us up from the airport and introduced us to Fleet Landing for lunch. 

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We drove through the city to get a tour of the historical Battery area.  The homes are huge and gorgeous.  We lounged back at Chassity’s for a bit then got ready to hit the town.  It was all good until Miss Prego, Chass, grabbed my hand to force it to touch her belly because the kid was moving around.  Um, no.  I don’t touch alien. 

We went to an art gallery opening that ran out of cups for wine.  WTF?  Poor planning, so we took a look at the art then headed over to Social for dinner.  The atmosphere was very trendy and the patrons appeared to be young and hip.  I did feel a bit old, but Indy, you get used to seeing crowds much older than you.  Here’s the two youngin’s I’m hanging with. 

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Chass was a trooper hanging out at Squeeze with us, but was ready to call it a night.  K and I continued to bounce around the night life of Charleston then headed home.  More fun to be had Saturday and Sunday!

Labor Day of Rock

The end of the lake season… so sad.  Jake, Joe and I headed up north to meet my parents and close up the lake house for the season.  All the water toys seemed to know it was the end of the season because they stopped working.  The battery charger spent time between the boat and one of the jet skis all day Saturday.  But it was perfect weather so we didn’t mind.  I took the boys over to the Frog so they could check out Wawasee’s finest.  Right as we got there, the SS Lillypad II was coming in blarring Don’t Stop Believin’ and all the drunkards on board were singing.  Classic booze cruise entertainment.  There was a band playing inside the bar called What She Said, but we seemed to have more fun when they took a break and we could dance to the jukebox music.  Yes I said “we” and “dance”.  Joe and Jake dancing was awesome.  Should of got that on video.

Sunday we headed back to Indy for a full evening of live music.  The ribfest had booked Candlebox (and some other bands) to open for Puddle of Mudd.  Candlebox’s self titled CD is among my favorites.  They have pushed me to the finish line during many of my races.  Luckily Jake is a fan too, so we headed to Military Park to check out the show.  They only charged $5 to get in, but they stiff you on the drink tickets.  $10 for 7 tickets.  A beer was 5 tickets.  Whatever I can’t take it with me when I die. 

We made our way through the crowd to what seemed like a good spot.  I felt bad for whoever we stopped in front of because Jake is about 8 feet tall.  The crowd was an interesting mix of old hippies and young stoners.  I think I was the only one there that didn’t have a tattoo and has never smoked weed.  There was one guy high out of his mind.  It was all he could do to stand up and blink.  Besides the people watching, the show was great!  They played some of their classics and a few I didn’t know since I only have 1 of their CDs.  I’ll have to fix that with some iTunes uploads.  After their set, people started exiting to check out the festival so I thought it was a fine time to move up some more before Puddle of Mudd started. 

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We got to the front to find a VIP section.  Hmm… I think I’m VIP let’s see if they do.  I walked in and a security guard asked me, “Do you have a ticket?”  I quickly answered with “Yes” even though I only had a ticket to Ribfest.  “Do you have a bracelet?”  “No”.  “Go to that guy to get your bracelet”.  Sweet!  Simple enough but while we are standing there, another concert goer is trying to get in too.  His answer to “Do you have a ticket” was “What kind of ticket?”  The security guard says, if you don’t what kind of ticket I mean, you don’t belong in here.  I started sweating it at this point thinking we were sunk.  But the bracelet guy came up and slapped one on my wrist.  Jake follows only to get stopped by the guard.  “Do you have a ticket?”  Jake’s response, “I’m with her.” The guard motions for bracelet guy and we’re in!  No proof needed!

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P of M finally took the stage around 9:30pm.  I’d never laid eyes on these guys before, but didn’t want to take my eyes off of them.  There is something dead sexy about a grungy guy wielding a guitar and whipping his long hair around.  If I saw these guys on the street, I probably wouldn’t give them a 2 second thought, but on stage, I was hooked.  I knew a few songs just from listening to the radio, but learned a few new ones too.  We only stayed for about 5 songs, because we still had one more live music show to see.  Mike Kelsey, was at Birdy’s playing with my boy Bruce Barker and Dr. Kevin Morgan.  It’s rare to see all 3 of these guys jam together on one stage.

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We got there right as Mike was taking a break, so I grabbed Bruce to introduce him to Jake, and while we are chatting Mike and Kevin joined in.  More VIP treatment for Jake to meet these guys.  The 3 guys did all different sets together and alone, so the crowd got a taste of Bruce’s original songs too.  They put on a great show and an awesome end to 24 hours of live music and 4 groups.

Here’s some video of the Candlebox and Puddle of Mudd sets.