2021 Week 23 – Wool T-Shirts?

Like him or not Guy Fiedi’s Diners Drive-ins and Drives has done a lot to help mom and pop shops all over the country. I try & keep track of the interesting ones I see when I watch the show but after 30+ seasons it’s impossible. An upcoming trip made me search for it and I was happy I found a Map of all the restaurants covered in the show. There are other lists out there. In fact Food Network has one but its not nearly as organized as the one above.

I’m a gear head when it comes to the outdoors and a fan of Marino Wool socks that keep my feet dry and comfortable. A recent gear guide (I forget which one) was promoting Marino Wool T-Shirts and I decided to get one and try it out. Made from a lightweight merino wool blend that wicks sweat and dries quickly the Icebreaker T-Shirt is super comfortable and works as advertised. I plan on adding a few more to my closet this year.

And finally, this YouTube couple got an amazing behind the scenes tour of the Indy 500, it’s a great watch!

2021 Week 22 – Camping Do Over

May last camping trip was a wash out so I decided to try it again last weekend. This time there was no rain but the temps were a lot higher. I decided to take a different route, bypassing the I-69 construction, and wound my way south through Jasper and Ferdinand, Indiana

Ferdinand has a monastery similar to the one down the road in St Meinrad. But this one has a brewery and food! I stopped in for a late lunch of Pizza and Beer. While not they best pizza I’ve ever had it hit the spot, especially with the Sister Betty Blonde Ale I washed it down with.

After lunch I decided to finish out my last 9-holes of Disc Golf at St Meinrad. I expected to see a lot more people on the course being a Saturday but was pleasantly supersized the crowd was more like a week day. There was no need to rush and I was able to enjoy a nice round.

The Indian-Celina Lake Campground I like to test equipment at is just inside the Central time zone. In fact it’s so close my electronic devices (and car) will constantly switch back and fourth between time zones. I’ve started wearing an analog watch (Citizen ProMaster Diver with EcoDrive) to make sure I know the actual time. The Citizen is a great watch that uses the sun to keep itself charged. It also keeps amazingly accurate time. I think I’ve only corrected it twice the entire time I’ve owned it. This thing is built like a tank and it’s a nice change from the Apple Watch I wear during the week.

Another item I tested out last weekend was an Exped MegaMat sleeping pad. I bought the MegaMat last October but had yet to take it out to try it in the real world. It’s been great to lounge around on in the house over the winter but it really shines outside in a tent. The MegaMat comes in several sizes and I opted for the XL (extra long) version since I like to stretch out.

One really nice feature about the MegaMat is it self inflates. After you unroll and open the main valve it takes about 15-20 minutes to get to about 95% of where I like it. I can then take the manual pump that’s included to top it off and make it perfect.

This sleeping pad is thick and a little bulky so it’s only really good for car camping or a very short hike to the campsite. It feels like a memory foam bed when you’re laying on it and if you’re a side sleeper you’ll be happy to know it’s supportive enough to keep your hip from digging into the ground. It was worth every penny and I would not hesitate to purchase it again.

I have another camping trip planned in a couple of weeks and I’m gearing up for a trip to the Allegheny National Forrest this summer. So look forward to more trip reports and gear reviews throughout the year.

2021 Week 21 – Burritos and Onions

If you’re a fan of Barstool Sports you might be interested to know they are the latest company to partner up with an Indiana casino (Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg) to provide sports betting. They have a couple of decent “free money” promotions available once you sign up. I ended up with $15 in free bets to try out. I’m still a big fan of DraftKings but the Barstool app looks promising.

Chris’s Ice Cream is one of those places I’ve driven by for years and, as someone who isn’t a big ice cream fan, I never really gave it a second thought. While they don’t have much of a presence online you can view the Yelp Profile and get an idea of what they have. Here is a pic of the menu from a Yelp Review. I’m hooked on the Chorizo Burrito & haven’t explored the menu any further. If you want to try some really good scratch made Mexican food you should give this place a shot!

Speaking of food… The New York Times had a great article last week called “Know Your Onions (and Shallots and Leeks and Ramps)“. I’ve been a subscriber of the NYT Cooking section since they put it behind a paywall. For $5 a month it’s a wealth of information and a great way to find new recipes.

Finally, although we’re not technically in the south, it can get pretty humid in the summer in Indiana. I thought this short on YouTube summed it up perfectly!

2021 Week 20 – Mini Road Trip Part 2

Picking up where we left off last week. After I finished checking out Spring Mill state park I headed to another item on my travel list, Hemlock Cliffs.

Located on National Forest Rd, in English Indiana, Hemlock Cliffs is a little out of the way and on this Friday afternoon the parking lot was pretty empty. I could see this place getting really busy on a weekend. The trail loop out the the cliffs is about 2 miles long and easy to moderate in spots. It’s NOT accessible buy wheel chair or stroller as it has some narrow parts and several sets of steps.

Here are some short videos I made of the various waterfalls in the area.

While heading to the next destination I saw a sign for the Winzerwald Winery in Bristow Indiana and decided to check it out. They had a nice tasting room where you could get 4 samples for $4. I chose the flight of their “dry” wines which consisted of the following:

  • Black Riesling (Red)
  • Blaufränkisch Rosé (DEEP Red)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (Red)
  • Grüner Veltliner (White)

All were quite good but I settled on the Grüner Veltliner to purchase and enjoy at home. Winzerwald Winery also sells a Pumpkin Spiced wine that I was too scared to try this time around.

Pumpkin Spiced Wine…

I was surprised to see the number of wineries in the area. On Google maps I counted at least 12 within an hours drive of this one.

Next we’re headed to one of the reasons for the trip. The 18-hole Disc Golf (DG) course at the Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana.

Unfortunately this is where the trip goes south. After 9-holes of DG the skies opened up and there was no end in sight. Between the rain and lightning I decided to cut the trip short and head back to Indy. I’m glad I did as the rain continued into the evening and setting up all your camping gear for a single night is just not worth the effort (or the cleanup afterwards). I already have a return trip planned and hope to finish out my round of DG and get a night of camping in the books.

That’s it for now, enjoy the warmer temps this week. I think summer is finally making an appearance!

2021 Week 17 – Snow Day!

We just had 2-3” of snow hit the Indianapolis region last Tuesday evening.  Snow, in Indy, in April, is not that uncommon.  In fact according to weather.com we have a 10-20% chance for snow in April.  The average date for the last snowfall is March 19 and the latest snowfall ever recorded was May 9, 1923

I finally ate at Loughmiller’s Pub & Eatery on West Washington in Indianapolis last week. I was out for a lunchtime walk and decided to stop in. They had a decent lunch crowd with a lot of people (at least around me) from out of town. The menu had a nice variety and the service was very good. I enjoyed the Skillet Burger which is an open faced sandwich on Texas Toast covered in house made chili and cheddar-jack cheese. Crinkle fries were included and were cooked and seasoned perfectly. The gentleman next to me ordered the Fish & Chips and they looked amazing (he really liked them too). That’s a reason to go back!

Finally, we had some amazing weather yesterday so I took advantage and drove up to Morse Beach in Noblesville to check out their Disc Golf course. It’s a 9-basket course but they have 2 Tee Pads for each hole for a total of 18 holes. You basically make 2 rounds. It was more challenging than I was expecting and is considered a “beginner” course. Either way it was a great way to spend a few hours outside getting some much needed exercise.