Saturday, 29 August 2015

Road Trip 2015, Day One

In truth, the first day of our road trip was really spent driving these small country roads on a weird route (thanks Google!) with some pretty crazy detours that left us wondering if we would ever come out of the cornfields alive. So, we decided to start with our first day of being touristy. While our ultimate destination for this trip was Kentucky, to visit with Jeff's extended family, we stopped off at some Lincoln sites in southern Indiana first. The highlight of this day was the Lincoln Boyhood National Park. It had a nice museum, and a great recreated homestead staffed with people dressed in period clothing to tell you more about how the Lincolns lived. The boys earned their first "Junior Ranger" badge of the trip, and these "police badges" became a bit of an obsession for them. The things the kids liked best about this visit were using woodworking tools like those Lincoln and his father used, and feeding the cows.

The next stop was a reconstructed grist mill at the location where the Lincoln's brought their corn to be ground. It was a rainy afternoon, and we were the only ones in the mill, so we got a lot of attention from the man in charge. He really impressed Tommy, and allowed Tommy to operate the mill with him, which was a special privilege that Tommy continues to talk about. He may have declared that he plans to grow up to run a grist mill...and we had to inform him that grist mill ownership is no longer an available career path (so back to his equally realistic goal of playing in the NFL). We have the bag of cornmeal that Tommy ground in our fridge, and one of these days I will get around to making him some cornbread with "his" cornmeal.

Say you are in Rockport, IN, and you think to yourself, "I should go to Lincoln Pioneer Village because it was a WPA project recreating the village Lincoln lived in and it must be really interesting and worth the relatively high price of admission." Let me tell you that you really should not. It was sorely disappointing. The museum is a bunch of stuff crowded in cabinets, and with the exception of a piece of furniture made by Thomas Lincoln, there is not much worth seeing. Out back there are an impressive number of cabins, but most of them are just empty or locked up buildings, and the "early transportation museum" is just a bunch of falling apart wagons in a musty barn. The only saving grace of this pioneer village was that Nicolas loved it. No one knows why, but he thought it was really fun, and he did not want to leave...even though everyone else really really did.

Our last stop of the day was the site from which Lincoln left on his first trip down the Mississippi. It only took a few minutes to stop at the spot, and the kids had fun climbing on the signs, and also thinking about standing in the very same spot as Abraham Lincoln.