It’s spring, and it’s a great time of year to wander. The flowers are blooming, the tree leaves are popping, and warmer weather is in the air. Check out some of the places we have visited.  

Spring Mill State Park and the Virgil “Gus” Grissom Museum were on the agenda this past month. You should check out Lawrence County – home of the astronauts. I so enjoy wandering around the back roads of this county. You have to try out the rolling, curvy, hilly, narrow, and sometimes gravel rural county roads. One thing I discovered is that there are sections of Orange, Washington, and Jackson Counties that have roads like this as well.  

Have you ever traveled through Buddha, Tunnelton, Fort Ritner, Mt. Carmel, Bono, Pinhook, or Lawrenceport? Not that you are going to find anything that will blow your socks off, but you will find some unique small off the beaten path communities which are truly the heartbeat of our great country.  

While leaving Spring Mill, I headed to Cave River Valley Natural Area. The good people at Spring Mill also manage this unique area, which is just north of Campbellsburg and the soon-to-be Monon South Trail. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better place to go hiking on a cool, overcast, drizzling day. There is something about discovering a newfound park. After parking and walking along the trail, it was amazing to hear the water from the stream in the valley. The water is just gushing out of a cave at the base of a hill. This is the headwaters of Clifty Creek, which ultimately drains into the White River. I saw no one for the hour or so I visited, and looked at all of the former building foundations along the creek. It apparently was a thriving community with mills and commerce back in the day.  

The first weekend of spring adventure was heading south to see the red buds and wildflowers in bloom. We couldn’t have picked a more gorgeous day. The mid-70s and sunny days make for great hiking and driving weather. Sharp’s Spring Trail at Harrison Crawford State Forest was our big hike for the day. The wildflowers and red buds did not disappoint. The hike was relatively easy, not real long in length, and there were very few people.  

We headed to O’Bannon Woods State Park afterwards to take in the sights. One new sight we discovered was the Ohio River Overlook Shelter. Looking down on the river, seeing the barges traveling, and seeing the newly green areas in Kentucky was quite the site. Next, we wandered towards Corydon via the Old State Forest, Valley View, and Heidelberg Roads to SR135 and a tour through Hayswood Nature Reserve. Thank you, Darrell Voelker, for the suggestion! 

I don’t even have time to discuss Starve Hollow Lake, Jackson Washington State Forest, and Stromboli’s at Pizza Palace in Seymour. There are so many great places to visit. Try it out. It is such a blessing to get away from the world and enjoy God’s Nature.    

In other news, the ECLIPSE was awesome! It was more than I expected. I can’t wait for the next one – 2044 in ND, SD, and Montana. 

~ Jeff Banning