As we drove into Waynesville, OH for breakfast this morning before heading to Indiana, I asked Dean to take a drive down the Main Street so I could take a few pictures. There were some nice homes and shops along the way.
While we originally had planned to return home via the same route we traveled to get here, at the last minute we decided to head toward Indiana instead. Once we returned from having our breakfast we completed our moving day duties and were ready to raise our jacks and head out in just a short time.
We had a very uneventful drive from Waynesville, Ohio to Rockville, Indiana. We knew we would be staying in Springfield, IL for two nights. I looked for a campground about half way between the two and happened to choose Rockville and the Covered Bridge Campground. What a dream it turned out to be. First of all even though we knew Indiana is known for its covered bridges, we had no idea we would end up in a county that actually has 31 covered bridges - Parke County is "The Covered Bridge Capital of the World". They also host Indiana's Largest Festival - and of course it is all about the covered bridges! This year, in case any of you are interested in attending it will run from October 13 thru 22, 2017.
Upon arriving at the campground we were told to pick a spot and just let them know which one when we come up to pay later. It was a full hookup site, however it was only 30 amp. Fortunately the weather has been very nice in the evening and we were quite comfortable. When we paid for our site I asked about information on the covered bridges and they suggested we check at the Tourist Office just down the street. We stopped and while it was closed - they did have a nice covered box outside with information on the covered bridges, so Dean picked one up. There are 5 different covered bridge routes that leave from Rockville into various areas of Parke County. We chose the black route because it had two covered bridges which the lady at the campground said were her favorites and the route left right from the Tourist Office.
|TOURIST OFFICE IN ROCKVILLE, IN|
Dean was elated to visit the bridges because he loves driving back country roads. Our first stop was at Crooks Covered Bridge.
The corn sure is tall here in Indiana and there is lots of it!
Next stop was McAllister Bridge,
and then Neet Bridge.
I could not help but take a picture of this beautiful home out in the middle of nowhere.
And our very favorite bridge, Bridgeton Bridge and the Bridgeton Mill.
|Quilt Gardens opposite the Bridge & Mill|
|WE HAD A GREAT TIME TALKING WITH THE OWNER, HEARING THE HISTORY OF THE MILL AND THE AREA AND LEARNING ABOUT THE VARIOUS TYPES OF PANCAKE MIXES THEY GRIND. WE DECIDED TO PURCHASE A PACKAGE OF THE 7 GRAIN PANCAKE MIX.|
|LOVED HOW THE BRIDGE IS REFLECTED IN THE WATER.|
|HUGE SYCAMORE TREE. THEY ARE REALLY BEAUTIFUL|
There is also a small town named Bridgeton adjacent to the mill. We learned from the owner of the mill that the Covered Bridge Festival is a huge 10 day event and an estimated 2,000,000 (yes that is correct 2 million) visitors attend. It is one of the biggest festivals in the country per their brochure. The owner told us it pays the bills for most of the year. As we began our drive through the little town we saw a few other businesses and some historic homes.
|LOCAL SHOP THAT WAS CLOSED|
Then we began to realize that many of the buildings that seemed like they were storefronts were actually businesses that are built and only opened during the local festivals (other events include Mountain Man Rendezvous the last full weekend of April on Sat-Sun; Milling Days is the weekend after Labor Day; and Country Christmas is the last weekend of November and first weekend of December on Fri, Sat & Sun). There were all sizes of buildings sitting vacant from small huts to huge buildings for displaying crafts or food vendors. I failed to take pictures of the large parking areas and areas for RV's to park that were nearby. I can't imagine what it must be like when the event occurs.
|All of these buildings are for the festival events.|
|These were just a few of the buildings available for use during the festival.|
We saw this old barn after we left Bridgeton and could not resist taking a snapshot of it and the sky. It never rained but sure looked as if it might.
|OLD BARN AND SYCAMORE TREE|
Fortunately there was one more surprise, Mansfield Bridge.
|MANSFIELD IS JUST A SHORT DISTANCE FROM BRIDGETON AND THEY ALSO GET IN ON THE FESTIVAL ACTIVITY. SEVERAL PICTURES FOLLOW OF VARIOUS CURRENTLY EMPTY BUILDINGS THAT WILL BE FULL DURING THE FESTIVAL|
|AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST THE MANSFIELD BRIDGE|
|A MILL ALSO OPERATES (OR DID OPERATE) UPSTREAM FROM THE BRIDGE. THE BUILDING WAS CLOSED WHEN WE VISITED.|
|MORE SYCAMORE TREES|
|THESE LOGS WERE MARKED AS IF IT SOMETHING WOULD EVENTUALLY BE RECONSTRUCTED.|
|MORE EMPTY BUILDINGS FOR THE FESTIVAL|
|THIS PICTURE AND THE NEXT ONE ARE OF THE HISTORIC MANSFIELD ROLLER MILL|
|YOU COULD DRIVE OVER THIS BRIDGE AND SINCE WE WANTED TO SEE WHAT WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE - WE DECIDED TO TAKE OUR CHANCES!|
|I HOPE IT HOLDS US!|
|WE MADE IT!|
THIS IS A CAMPGROUND - NOT SURE IF IT IS FOR FESTIVAL VENDORS, CAMPERS OR BOTH.
|THIS FIELD WAS MARKED OFF FOR PARKING BY LOTS A-? IT WILL HOLD A BUNCH OF VEHICLES|
|I COULD NOT RESIST TAKING A PICTURE OF THIS LIMB AND HOW IT GREW OUT AND UP OVER THE ROAD|
|DRIVING OVER THE DAM - THE SPILLWAY BELOW|
|DRIVING BACK ACROSS THE DAM - BEAUTIFULLY MANICURED GROUNDS IN THIS PARK AREA ON THE RIGHT.|
|PARKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE. IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING AND I HOPE WE CAN SEE IT WHEN THEY FINISH THE WORK THEY ARE DOING. THERE WAS SCAFFOLDING ON ALL FOUR SIDES.|
|ANTIQUE STORES ABOUND IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA - I HAD TO INCLUDE THIS ONE FOR MY KIDS. THEY'LL KNOW WHAT IT'S ABOUT IF THEY READ THIS!|
|JAIL HOUSE INN|
|MORE ANTIQUE STORES|
Well, that ended our day in Rockville. Needless to say we made a full day of it and we had a great time visiting this area of Indiana. We will definitely make it a point to come back and try to follow the other 4 routes in Parke County.
Tomorrow we move on westward. Come back to see what we have plans for next.