Scipio Indianus

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Dillard, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Dillard

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    The Rising Sun water front is terrific, with people walking the paved trail along the river, and relaxing at the picnic tables.

    And they had a very nice Veterans Park also.
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    I noticed this hotel, The Empire House, and that second floor balcony called to me. I could see myself sitting up there drinking whiskey all night. I was tempted. It had been a long day and I was ready to stop. And here was this historic hotel on the water. I considered it for a long time, but it seemed too easy and I wanted to camp anyway, so I moved on.
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  2. Dillard

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    The sweet lady at "Patriot Package Liquor/B&B Bait & Supplies" recommended I spend the night at Campshore Campground, a few miles past Rising Sun. Of course I missed the sign and had to turn around. Then I followed a dirt road through a green tunnel of foliage to the campground sitting right on the river. This is an excellent campground. I think it was nearing six o'clock and although the place had a lot of spaces filled with campers I don't think many people were actually there.

    I couldn't find anyone to talk to so I rang this large and incredibly loud bell hanging at the office. Nothing. Nobody. Then I spotted a man working near a barn/shed thing and decided to walk over to him, about 100 meters away. I get there and say hello, only to look back and see someone arriving at the office, the man's brother. Shed Worker Guy said, "Hey if you get over there and my brother's gone, you can always just walk back here". A jerk statement to a total stranger but he delivered it so perfectly I couldn't help laughing (this is not a complaint, it really was a funny line).

    The brother was super cool, and in a hurry to take his girl for a ride on the Harley. After a quick check-in, he sent me to the site and then met me on the golf cart with a load of firewood.
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    Secluded tent site with Electricity and Water for $15. Then he only charged $5 for this awesome firewood, which is better wood than I'm used to getting at campgrounds. So I was happy.

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  3. Dillard

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    Since this was a Wednesday, I think I was the only person at the campground. The owner told me that the weekends were insane, and he's so busy that he doesn't get much time to enjoy his bike, which is why he and his girl were going for an early evening ride.

    I immediately erected my tent under the large walnut tree, having to kick a bunch of the fallen ones out of the way. Then I gathered some twigs for the fire. I wasn't too excited about the tent site on lower ground near a small slough. The mosquitos pounced on me and I received a few bites before I could get a shower and add some bug spray. And once I got the fire going they left me alone.

    This was my location.
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    I had this metal thermos thing full of Wild Turkey.

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    And this food was in the bottom of my bags. It had been in those bags for at least three years, and could easily have been six. Not what I wanted to eat but nothing else was close so I heated some water and filled the bag. I let it sit for twice the usual time and the rice was still hard. But it was hot and tasted alright, so whatever.

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    And here's the Old Camp I bought in Patriot. I know this stuff is sweet, but Damn, it was rough. Especially compared to the Wild Turkey. I only had a sip, then stuffed it back into a bag.

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  4. Dillard

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    While waiting for my bag of food to cook, I sipped whiskey and walked down to the pier to watch the sunset.

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  5. Dillard

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    It had been a good day. 465 miles or so. The weather was terrific and the roads were mostly fun. I had a great campsite and plenty of whiskey, though I was careful not to overdo it. I sat by the fire and listened to '80s music.

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  6. Dillard

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    I woke early the next morning feeling pretty good. I'd gotten a decent sleep, which was rare for me in a tent. I drank coffee and walked down to the pier again. On the pier I realized that I missed an opportunity to swim in the river the night before. Drunk swimming in the Ohio, near midnight, with nobody around? It's rare for me to miss a chance to do something so dumb, but it just never occurred to me at the time.

    I walked around the campground a bit before packing up and riding out. I still saw nobody.

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  7. Dillard

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    Clear beautiful skies. And temps were in the low 60s so I zipped all of my vents closed. Again, I was impressed with the homes along the river. These people had a nice setup. I rode through Aurora and stopped for some pics because it looked like such an awesome town.

    From this point on you'll get lots of pictures of Courthouses, Churches and old homes. These are always my memories when I think about small-town Indiana.
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  8. Dillard

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    The ride north from Aurora was a lot of fun; a hilly, curvy, and wooded route. I actually passed a ski resort which really caught me off guard. I shot straight north on highways 1, 101, and 27. I got some good pics of the towns but I also missed a lot of things too. I ended stopping a whole lot, so progress was slow. But it was a short day so no worries.

    Guilford.
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    Brookville.
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    In Liberty I stopped for fuel and spoke to a officer with the sheriff's department, just commenting on how nice the area and the town were. When he walked off and old Veteran stopped him and asked if there were any riots in the area. The Officer kinda chuckled and assured the gentlemen that, "we don't have anything like that around here".

    Liberty.
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  9. Dillard

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    My hometown, Spencerville, IN, was a terrific place to grow up. And I've been back many times, though normally via interstate and never on a motorcycle. But I always wanted to ride my bike on the back roads of Indiana to this little town. Just ride around alone and reminisce a little while. I honestly didn't know why I wanted to do this so badly.

    I really got lucky with the weather because the day was amazing. The roads were awesome too. Hilly, but also 'humpy'. Larger than a bump but not exactly a hill; up down up down up down. Big curves and long straight-aways, the road flanked by corn fields. And also very neat homes. Tidy ranch homes with crazy thick, dark green grass. And well maintained farms with big old barns.

    And American flags everywhere. Alabama and Tennessee had a lot of flags as well, then the frequency picked up in Kentucky. But nothing compared to Indiana. It's like there was some sort of state competition for patriotism. Nearly every home flew an American flag, and many also had red, white, and blue bunting on their porches. Even the smallest towns had flags lining their streets.

    Portland.
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    Berne.
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    Decatur.
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  10. Dillard

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    I'm not making this a political ride report, and I'm not making a political statement. But we're two months out from a Presidential election and you may be interested in the trend I saw on this ride. I rode for 1600 miles over four days through mostly small communities and rural areas in AL, TN, KY and IN. I understand this is mostly 'Trump country', but I was still a bit shocked at the immense amount of support I saw for the President. Trump signs, Trump placards, two Trump billboards that looked like they were made by fans, not the campaign; more Trump signs, and Trump flags. Trump flags everywhere; red flags, blue flags, handmade flags. Flags on trucks, boats, piers, decks, businesses, in yards, and on flag poles under the American Flag.

    Another reason the Trump stuff stood out so much (in addition to the sheer volume of it) was that I saw virtually no Biden signs. Literally Two. I saw Two small Biden signs in four days (one in IN and one in KY). I noticed the disparity early into Day 1 so I really started looking closely for Biden signs, they just aren't out there.

    Here's a 2A Trump flag from Campshore.
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  11. Dillard

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    My plan was to ride north until I got east of Spencerville, then I'd turn west onto the road on which my Grandparents used to live, Scipio Rd. I turned onto Scipio Rd and I immediately thought of the great Roman, Scipio Africanus. Then the term "Scipio Indianus" popped into my head and I thought it would be a cool Inmate Name. Or hey, maybe even a bad name for this ride report. Sadly, I couldn't think of anything better.

    I rode to the covered bridge near my old house in Spencerville.
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    The bridge was closed (a new bridge sat close by), so of course I had to ride across. I spent a lot of my childhood playing on this bridge, and in the woods surrounding it.

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  12. Dillard

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    I rode around the area, riding by the homes of relatives and friends. I didn't stop to visit anyone, I just didn't have that much time and I knew any visit to a relative would turn into a multi hour event. Maybe that's rude but I had more planned for the day.

    Here's our old home. First house built in the county. I wish they'd cut those shrubs a bit.

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    And more of the little town. They need to put up more American flags.

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    I grabbed a drink at the gas station that's been there forever and sat on the ground, taking in everything. The place was pretty quiet. And I realized what a great childhood I had and how fortunate I was to have grown up in this little Indiana town. This wasn't a revelation, but something of a nice reminder.

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    Three young Amish girls rode by and we all waved at each other.

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  13. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    I like the small town "Americana" vibe..
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  14. Dillard

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    Me too, Jim, clearly. And I live in a small Alabama town but Indiana has really stepped up their game and the whole state looks terrific. I've considered buying a small place up there and spending the late Summers and Fall up there. Who knows, I have lots of plans....
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  15. Dillard

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    So after riding slowly down every street in Spencerville, and a couple dirt alleys, I eventually rode off to visit St Joe, just a couple miles up the road. I stopped at the cemetery to see Grandparents and other relatives. I won't bombard you with more headstone pics, but I'll attach the Civil War Monument because of the message on it.

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    I walked around and straightened a few flags that had fallen over. Then I rode to 'The Big O' for a cold beer.
    #35
  16. Balanda

    Balanda Been here awhile

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    Great to sit down to another Dillard ride report, unique and entertaining.
    That covered bridge, was it in the Clint Eastwood movie The Bridges of Madison County ?
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  17. Dillard

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    Hi Balanda,

    I believe that movie was based on another state. Iowa, maybe? Indiana has around 90 covered bridges. I believe many of them are only used for pedestrian traffic now. The Spencerville Bridge will be renovated soon, I think, but I doubt it'll ever open to vehicles again. A truck driver drove his rig across it in 2012 and destroyed many of the beams, so it needed a lot of repairs just from that. Reopened in 2013, but closed again in 2018. Good thing for the truck driver those middle supports were added in 1981.

    A new bridge sits just downstream.
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  18. Dillard

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    There's a towny bar in St Joe called The Oasis, and it's been there for like 65 years, which is amazing. My dad used to go there when he was a young punk. In fact, I think most of my family probably spent more than a little time in the place. So I sorta had to stop by for a beer. But just one, then I'll leave...

    I rolled up to see the waitress and a rather large fellow outside, enjoying a smoke.
    Me, "One beer won't hurt me, right"?
    Large Fellow, "Never hurts me".

    So I ordered a Bud and walked inside to check out the place and hit the bathroom.

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    +1 for the Hanoi Jane target.

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    Not sure what I did with this pic, somehow I created a zoom spot in the middle. Cool trick, if I knew how I did it.

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    Again, the weather was still terrific. And damn, that beer sure was good. This is normally where things go sideways and result in me pounding beers all afternoon. But I found some rarely used discipline and stopped at one. Then I rode north to Butler.
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  19. Dillard

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    I headed up to Butler for no particular reason. I rode by Eastside High School. Then I stopped by the old basketball field house, the Butler Gymnasium. I practiced and played games there as a kid. The thing was built in 1936-1937 and it's super cool. Ever see the movie, "Hoosiers"? Well they could have filmed a lot of the game action in this gym. When I got there I received a small shock, as it had been renovated, and I was concerned that they might have updated the interior, consequently ruining the place.

    But they didn't ruin it. It looks awesome.

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    They were still working on the place, and a bag of cement or something had the door blocked open, so I stepped inside to look around.

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  20. Dillard

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    What an awesome gym. I love how they still have the records from the '40s, '50s and '60s posted. That's not some millennial decorating idea to make the place look quaint, they've just always been up there. And those old locker rooms are cool.

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