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July 31, 2011

Road Tripin'

One of our favorite things to do as a family is an Indiana road trip - usually a last minute decision, armed only with our Indiana Atlas & Gazetteer (these are awesome, we have several different states, it list all roads and small towns) and a couple Plat Books (coordinating with the county's we are "touring", I think Chris' dream would be to own all 92 county plat books for Indiana) we all pile in the truck and we're off!

Yesterday we piled in the truck about 3:30 with our chosen Plat books for this trip (Decatur and Shelby) and our goal being to eat at Stones Family Restaurant in Millhousen!  First we headed towards Marietta to check out one of our farms to see how the crop was looking.  We then meandered across southern Shelby County, visiting the little town of Lewis Creek, following the Flat Rock river to Geneva, where we stalked knew another fellow blogger lived (Hi Leah), then back to following the north bank of the Flat Rock to St. Paul, taking a beautiful wandering road that at times was right down on the river. At St. Paul we stopped at a little store and bought pop and junk food (always fun, but not too healthy). We then searched out "Hidden Paradise" campground, which is also on the Flat Rock, and scoped it out for future camping trips. Leaving there, we drove to Greensburg through Adams, Milford, and Burney, checking out the big hog farms in that area. Coming to the center of Greensburg, Cole was awed by the tree growing out of the court house tower.

A nice country road took us 8 miles to Millhousen, which is a fascinating glimpse back into time, lots of old brick buildings, a beautiful church with an extremely tall steeple. The town is nestled  onto the sides of a valley, and has lots of character. It was now a little after 6:00, so we had spent 2 1/2 hours of Saturday afternoon just exploring places not far from home, but interesting to us anyway. We had been in river bottoms, flat open land, hilly land with shale riverbeds, and everything in between.

Stones Family Restaurant is in a large old brick building, with a huge front porch. Saturday night offered a buffet of pork loin and fried chicken. Sides included sauerkraut, German potato salad, cucumbers and onion (if you like this kind of thing these were some of the best around), green beans, and mashed potatoes. A very family run feeling accompanied our visit.

Completely full, we headed home up 421, staying off of the interstate. At Shelbyville, we drove around the area near the Little Blue River, where though living near here for all my life, I had never spent much time here. Then through Shelbyville, back onto the old familiar Boggstown Road, which led us back to Johnson County, then to our home, where we got a bucket of feed, went to check the cows and feed the hogs. We were back home about dark.

It is amazing the entertainment we can find anywhere we look, close to home or far away. Our family is definitely good sports for this kind of laid back adventure.  We have a pop-up camper and love to camp in Indiana State Parks and we always include a day trip such as this in the area we are staying and have seen some really cool stuff that otherwise we would of never seen!


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun and everyone learned something. The only time I do a road trip is antiquing.

  2. Oh my goodness! You were in my neck of the woods. We live about 15 minutes north of Greensburg. Love Stone's restaurant!

  3. We've stayed at Hidden Paradise--that's the one place my kids are always, always, always wanting to go back to.
    We had a site right on the river, which was great for fishing (except for the snakes--lots of them!).
    And they have an old gravel quarry you can swim in, complete with the floating toys. (Cold has cold can be, because it's so deep.)
    But, nice quiet place, close to home!

  4. A good friend of mine was married in that church in Milhousen a couple of years ago and Andy & I thought it was such a cool church! Sounds like a really fun and relaxing afternoon.

  5. SNAKES???? Ok, I would have to be up high in a camper if snakes were slithering along the ground! What a great trip, though. We are headed to Raccoon Lake soon for a bit of R 'n R before school hits. We will miss the State Fair trip though ;-( Seriously, I am still trying to find my energy after the fair. This getting old thing takes days off your bounce back time!

    Have fun!

  6. Oh my, you brought back memories....40 years ago, we'd hear the call..."I think I'm going to check out how the crops are doing" which was our cue to drop everything and head for the truck. We never went far from home, but we always found an adventure - picking asparagus along railroad tracks, blackberries along the fence rows, finding an arrowhead in the middle of a field....thanks for the memories!