#142d Hoosier Rough Road Ride

Fleeter Log #142d
Hoosier Rough Road Ride

Day 5 - Thursday
June 11, 2009
177 miles

In the land of Indiana, there is a place called the Hoosier National Forest. I have never been, but I've heard stories of a place lush and green, where a maze of dirt and gravel roads twist and turn in such away to draw you deeper and deeper into the woods. A place where, without a compass or GPS, one may be left challenged to find the exit out of the woods that are dark, lovely, and deep.

Today, those willing to enter into such a place gather at the Mitchell McDonalds to have a drink of liquid courage in the form of caffeine, before bravely following the leader, One Who Claims To Have Entered Into This Place Of Hoosier and returned to tell the tale. This kind of rider is known as a Rough Road Rider (RRR).

As an indication of where the day will be spent, you will notice that the pilots of the dual sport machines shun the smooth pavement and park in the fringes on the gravel.

Deep in the Hoosier National Forest the small, brave band gather around their leaders so as not to get lost in the dark woods.

We sometimes stop and peer into the woods, wondering what traps and perils await anyone foolish enough to leave the marked road and be lured into the deep.

Dan, one of the braver and more experienced of the band of explorers, is over come by the need to explore the unknown. He wanders away from the group when the water lures him to come play just a little deeper and away from the well traveled path.
The group is split for a short while when those daring enough to follow Dan into the muddy unknown, leave sight of those choosing to safely wait at the place where the gravel gives way to dirt . . . as if to provide a beacon marking the place where the daring can re-enter the safer zone of a marked road.
It is obvious that Dan and his followers found mud where they explored deeper into the beckoning forest.

Even while exploring the wilds of the woods, we take time to enjoy the flowers. There is a bit of Flower Sniffer in us all. It isn't just about the mud . . . after all.

One stop is even organized enough to get a group shot. That is a challenge:  To herd the free-spirited RR Riders into a photo!

RR riding works up a real appetite. We stop at a little out of the way place that Don, the Fearless Leader, found in his earlier forays into the Place of Hoosier. 

I think it is a hard fast rule: Ice cream is always a part of a rough road ride! Don's Rule, anyway. He always makes sure there is ice cream on a RR Ride!

After lunch, we come across a place that looks like time may have forgot . . . or a place that chose to be forgotten by the progress of time.
There is a story about Story, Indiana. It is a story best told in the shadows of the late night, long after the sun disappears. Just ask about the "Blue Lady" . . .

It's not all about knobbies on dirt, gravel and mud . . . there have been a few stops to talk about the ride so far. Some rides have so much fun in them, you just have to stop and talk about it rather than wait until you get back to the inn or camp to share.

Or maybe, it is a way for the Leader (The Responsible One) to take a head count to assure that we are still all there.

Zipping through the woods on our way back to the Inn at Spring Mill State Park.
We stop again for a headcount to make sure no one is left behind.

By following our leader (The One Who Has Been Before and Returned Safely), we ride the maze of forest roads, criss-crossing our paths until we find ourselves at the exit where . . .
The Forest releases us back to the real world.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs


  1. Great report, Claye. Always fun to share the trail with you.

    Dumbass Dan

  2. As always Claye, very well done!

  3. Reminds my of my old 'Can Am' days riding enduros in Texas and forest reserves in Florida. But, alas, Betsy is a genteel lady, not much given to dirt and gravel. But...there was a day...there was a day.