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the Indiana wastelands


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#1 TWC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:43 AM

OK, Hoosiers, time to speak up.

I need some advice. I'll be driving from Chicago to Danville, KY (just southwest of Lexington), in a couple short weeks. I've done this drive a few times before. It's miserable. Totally fucking miserable.

Is there anything interesting to do on the way? I'll be rolling solo, as I'm meeting up w/ my wife and son in KY, and need something -- anything -- to break up the drive. My plan is to stick mostly to the I-65 corridor, but if it's interesting enough, I'd gladly drive HOURS out of my way.

#2 Luke

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:10 AM

Get off I-65. No wonder you're bored.

Take Indiana 46 west from near Columbus to Nashville, IN. That is an artist colony with some fantastic bakeries, fudge shops, music stores, etc., and it is set in the middle of some of the most beautiful country in the area. You can spend a day there.

Then stay on 46 to Bloomington, and head south on Indiana 37 to Mitchell. Spring Mill state park is here (great park), more beautiful country, and the Gus Grissom monument and museum. Well worth seeing, and you can spend another day here.

Then keep heading south on 37 towards I-64. You'll pass fairly near French Lick and its two extremely famous hotels from the heart of the Roaring 20s. Stop and see them if you have time.

When you hit I-64, you can head east to Kentucky and be south of Louisville in under two hours.

And even if you don't stop, the entire drive I've laid out is very nice.

Alternatively, you could take US 41 to Evansville and then cut over on I-64. There is some cool stuff in Vincennes, Evansville, and Newburg that might make it worth it. But I'd do Nashville, Spring Mill, and French Lick.

#3 TWC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:25 AM

Well that is HUGELY helpful. Thanks, Luke. While the Evansville/Vincennes detour is quite a bit farther out of the way than I would like, I'm keen on the West from Columbus part. I've been to Columbus itself a few times, and while I could never find anything really great to eat (I won't do chains), it's a really architecturally interesting town, especially considering its location.

I had been thinking about driving south to make a quick visit past Alma Matter in Champaign and cutting across to I-65 via I-74m but maybe I'll drop off of I-74 at Indiana 231 to Bloomington and hook up with 37 on the route that you describe. Hmm...

Anyone have any north-of-Indianapolis suggestions?

#4 Spencer

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

You can come visit me in Valparaiso. And i don't recommend taking 41. At all. Talk about boring.

#5 Luke

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:00 AM

There was a fair amount of construction on I-465 the last time I went through there, so cutting south on Indiana 231 off I-74 is probably a very good idea.

If you're flying into Chicago and renting a car for the drive, you could take the train out of Chicago into Champaign, spend a bit of time in downtown Champaign (waving at the Volition studios where I used to work), and then drive from there. That would mean the most boring part of the drive would actually be spent on a train.

#6 TWC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:14 AM

That's pretty much the plan. Wife and boy are flying out on a Monday, I follow on Friday. They fly direct to LEX. Sometime during the following week, we'll be diving back together up to Chicago where we'll stay for another week or so before flying home together. Once it's all three of us in the car, I'll be taking the most direct damn route possible so that my son doesn't explode in the back seat. It's the solo drive down that I'm looking to wander a bit.

That train ride from Chicago to Champaign is one that I did many times when I was in school there. And you are quite correct, that dive down I-57 is .... zzzzzzzzzzz....

#7 Luke

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:32 AM

You might be able to bribe your son with the promise of a trip to the Zoo / Children's Museum in Indianapolis (both are fantastic), and then wear him out so much there he sleeps all the way to Chicago.

#8 MichiganGoat

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

You might be able to bribe your son with the promise of a trip to the Zoo / Children's Museum in Indianapolis (both are fantastic), and then wear him out so much there he sleeps all the way to Chicago.

Yes to the Children's Museum - outstanding! The Zoo is big but not as good as advertised. As for Northern Indiana, not much there Amish country is interesting. But I'd suggest going south on 37 so you can drive through Southern Indiana and see the Indiana bogs, but of course the best idea is to stop by Grand Rapids enjoy a bunch of Founder's (which by the way you can get in Indiana) then pick me up and drop me off when you get to Indianapolis where we can enjoy a couple of breweries and then head off the Bloomington where you can see a real college campus, drink some Upland and look at all the lovely ladies.

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#9 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:20 PM

The construction is almost all done (minimal impact) on 465. The children's museum is great. If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer at Upland. French Lick also has a casino. Nashville, IN has a lot of craft stores.

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#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:22 PM

The construction is almost all done (minimal impact) on 465. The children's museum is great. If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer and Upland. French Lick also has a casino. Nashville, IN has a lot of craft stores.

See pick me up and Tim will buy us a beer at the brewery that I cut my craft beer teeth.

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#11 TWC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer at Upland.

Sold!

#12 soundCARDen

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

OK, Hoosiers, time to speak up.

I need some advice. I'll be driving from Chicago to Danville, KY (just southwest of Lexington), in a couple short weeks. I've done this drive a few times before. It's miserable. Totally fucking miserable.

Is there anything interesting to do on the way? I'll be rolling solo, as I'm meeting up w/ my wife and son in KY, and need something -- anything -- to break up the drive. My plan is to stick mostly to the I-65 corridor, but if it's interesting enough, I'd gladly drive HOURS out of my way.



My mom lives in Louisville so I drive down from Chicago a couple times a year and man, you're right. I-65 is brutal. Last time down, I tried to get my kids to count the windmills in that massive wind farm. Kept their attention for oh, 6 minutes or so.

Safe travels.

#13 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:12 PM


If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer at Upland.

Sold!

If you are up for it Let me know when you will be coming through and I will keep my calendar open.

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#14 TWC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:36 PM


If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer at Upland.

Sold!

If you are up for it Let me know when you will be coming through and I will keep my calendar open.

It'll likely be around lunchtime on Friday, 7/6, maybe a bit after. Depends on how long it takes me to get out of Chicago. Of course, I certainly understand if a liquid lunch is frowned upon by your employer… although my boss seems to prefer me drunk. Odd, that.

#15 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:42 PM


If you go through Bloomington I'll buy you a beer at Upland.

Sold!

If you are up for it Let me know when you will be coming through and I will keep my calendar open.

It'll likely be around lunchtime on Friday, 7/6, maybe a bit after. Depends on how long it takes me to get out of Chicago. Of course, I certainly understand if a liquid lunch is frowned upon by your employer… although my boss seems to prefer me drunk. Odd, that.

Eh, he's Canadian and young. I can get away from work. DM me and I will give you my cell number.

"It's not the dress that makes you look fat, it's the fat that makes you look fat." - Al Bundy

 

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