How anyone could spend any time around dogs and believe that they are purely mechanistic beings, with no emotions, is incomprehensible.
Clearly Descartes never drove down the road, racing a dog who was running for the pure joy of it.
Last weekend I met this farm dog after taking one of my many detours: first, to chase a hilly road (see the sign below) and then to take a gravel road, where she lived.
She jogged out into the road as if to invite me to a race, and after I slowed down to make sure I didn’t hit her, she took off running. Clever dog.
So of course I obliged. She ran like the wind; I was doing about 20, and she had no problem staying ahead of me. (For the curious, 45mph, give or take, is the top land speed for a dog.)
She finally wore down a bit, and jogged out into the road again. I came to a stop, and she wandered over to the passenger side. I kept waiting for her to appear in a mirror so I would know it was safe to continue, but finally had to get out to find her.
She was waiting for someone to emerge from the passenger side door, but seemed willing to settle for me. Very, very friendly dog.
She got a second wind, and while I encouraged her to go back home, she wanted to race some more. As we approached a real road, I gunned the Jeep to leave her behind, so she’d turn around; she did, after stumbling in an adorable fashion as she tried to accelerate to match me. Shame I’ll never know her name.
This is a sign that I had remembered from previous visits to the area, and wanted to capture, because I knew it would appeal to many an Oppo heart. And once I had made the turn to get this shot, I knew I had to keep going.
The sign, and the dog, are both pretty much in the middle of nowhere; a recurring theme in my road trip posts, I know. The nearest “town” is an unincorporated community named Dewberry, and almost as close is another unincorporated community you’ve never heard of, Friendship.
(Unless you’re a member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, of course. They are based in Friendship and have two national competitions in town, and believe it or not, they’re pretty big events. I’ve happened to drive through town during one of them in previous years, and the place is packed.)
North of Friendship is another unincorporated community, barely a speck on the map, but with a lovely Catholic church that’s now closed: St. Maurice. Despite being closed for 7 years, everything looks to be in great shape, so I assume someone else moved in; if not, and you’re in the market for a new house...
I eventually made my way to Versailles State Park, which was my nominal excuse for the trip, since Indiana state parks are explicitly open for visitors despite the state-wide lockdown that’s starting to unlock itself today.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this covered bridge before, because it’s at the end of a lovely back road from Versailles (the town) to Versailles (the park). (The town and park are pronounced “ver-sails”, despite being named after the Palace, go figure.)
Past this point, you’ll just have to read the captions, because this has gone on long enough.
- A beaver (or muskrat) that started to cross a busy highway right in front of me before realizing its mistake, thankfully.
- Quite a few old trucks with lots of character (aka “patina”) I wish I would have captured for your appreciation.
- Any of my favorite water crossings, because I was feeling guilty enough about breaking the spirit of the shelter-in-place order.
- Clifty Falls, the waterfalls inside the eponymous state park, because those trails were closed because people don’t understand social distancing and we’re doomed because PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND SOCIAL DISTANCING.