I finally left Bloomington on Sunday, August 25, 2019-YAY! So now, I’m officially on the road. I have spent the last 2 1/2 years planning, researching, downsizing, selling the house and all the furniture, finishing my work, and on Saturday, selling my car (gulp!). I feel, uh, free? Not really. What I feel is a mash up of exhaustion, accomplishment, fear, exhilaration, shock (that I actually did it), sadness, gladness and relief.
I drove 75 miles to Rockville, Indiana. I had to stop after an hour of driving because my hands were numb and my jaws ached from clutching the steering wheel and vigorously chewing gum to ease the anxiety of driving this massive vehicle down twisty, hilly Indiana backroads.
I sat outside my rig, Flo, which was parked at the Covered Bridge Campground late Sunday afternoon under two 50 foot white pine trees. I started writing while listening to Bill Evans piano jazz- “The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961” There is nothing better than Bill Evans to calm the mind and clear the cobwebs.
I took Gemini for a walk around the town of Rockville, a quaint midwestern town which is the county seat of Parke county. I searched my rig when I got back and found the book that my friend, Vivian had given me about all the courthouses in Indiana. Parke county courthouse was built between 1879-1882 by W.H. Myers of Ft. Wayne, In. It was one of 7 courthouses designed by father and son, Thomas J. Tolan and Brentwood S. Tolan. “The Magnificent 92 Indiana Courthouses” published by Quarry Press, an imprint of Indiana University Press features photographs by Vivian’s late husband, Will Counts and text by Jon Dilts. The Parke County courthouse is indeed magnificent and has stood the test of time both in structure and beauty.
As we walked around the square, we came upon a couple who were sitting outside the “Drunk Tank Winery” that is part of the “Old Jail Inn”. The winery had just closed so I couldn’t take a tour but the guy said that he and his girlfriend were staying in the Bonnie & Clyde Room at the Inn and he would show me around.
It is amazing the way the old jail cells were converted to suites and still maintained the flavor of being incarcerated. The rooms were filled with memorabilia, photos of gangsters, and graffiti on the white washed walls.
My new friend was able to verify the authenticity of the jail cells. He said, “I don’t know if you have ever been in jail, but I can tell you that these bunks are just like what they have in jail cells.” He also pointed out that the computers that were on display with see-through plexiglass backing that showed the guts were authentic prison computers. “They are see-through so that the guards can tell if any of the prisoners have taken any components out to use to make radios and such.”
Continuing our walk around the square, I saw a thriving business community with antique shops, restaurants, a variety store, art galleries and even a fitness center. As an interesting juxtaposition, I also saw dilapidated buildings with broken windows and crumbling brickwork.
I didn’t explore the surrounding countryside because of time constraints and wet weather, but I do want to note that Rockville is known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World!” The town of 2,600 people is well worth a deeper look- it seems to have a lot of interesting things to explore.
As I contemplate my journey so far, and wonder how I will continue to see interesting things and meet fascinating people, I just have to look down- and there he is-Gemini the curious, nosey dog that invites everyone to say, “Hi”
Don’t forget to “Go with the Flo(w)!!