The Aurora Public Library District is excited to announce The Indiana State Park Centennial Annual Pass Library Check-Out Program, a partnership with Indiana Public Libraries, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Parks. 2016 is an exciting year combining the Indiana Bicentennial and the Indiana State Parks Centennial. The two state organizations envisioned 2016 as a year to encourage and introduce Indiana residents to our beautiful state parks. The Indiana State Library purchased one Annual Entrance Permit, referred to for this program as the Park Pass, and distributed the Park Pass to each public Library. Libraries were able to purchase additional Park Passes to make the passes available to patrons at each building in a Library District. Check out one of the Aurora Public Library District’s Park Pass and begin to explore.
I want to challenge APLD patrons to check out a pass and visit or revisit a state park.
I enjoy exploring Indiana parks
I grew up visiting the Versailles State Park on family camping trips. Sometimes a hike to Bat Cave, which always scared me to death, was the memory maker. I never entered the cave, way too scary for me. We enjoyed campfires with campfire pies and smores at night while singing around the fire. I remember getting to meet other campers on walks around the campgrounds and throughout the park. Versailles gave me the opportunity to get a sunburn at the beach, catch a fish at the dam, and visit the horses waiting for a rider to take them onto a trail.
After college, I went to visit my college roommate and her husband. We then went for the weekend to Potato Creek State Park to camp. This Park is in northern Indiana and I didn’t realize how flat Indiana can be. I keep waiting for the nestling feeling that I get in southern Indiana. But without northern Indiana flat areas farming in Indiana would be very different. So I learned to embrace that we have many different geographic areas and that is great to explore.
When I was a school librarian on the west side of Indiana, I spent some weekends at Turkey Run State Park and love the covered bridges. To me, covered bridges bring a sense of calm and peaceful protection so I love traveling through them. I remember the hiking through the trees and ravines. A special spot was along Sugar Creek.
I worked with Kathy, a special ed teacher whose passion was Indiana History. Kathy and I would take weekend drives around west central Indiana and she would share what happened on that land throughout Indiana’s history. My favorite was when I learned about Tecumseh, the Shawnee Indian, and his brother Tenskwatawa (The Prophet) who were living where the Tippecanoe River meets the Wabash near the town of Battle Ground northeast of Lafayette. The story takes place in 1808, Tecumseh wanted to persuade tribes to join his coalition to stop their common enemy. Tecumseh left Tenskwatawa to speak to the tribes gathered while he continued to travel and meet other tribes. Since Tenskwatawa told the story of what was going to happen he became The Prophet and they called the settlement Prophetstown. William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, became alarmed at the number of people at Prophetstown and sent troops to be nearby. Prophet was afraid the troops were going to attack so he decided to strike first. (The next part is my favorite part of the story) Prophetstown was on a flat area nearby a hill with rocks. Prophet explained to his people that he was going up on the rock and would chant. As long as they could hear him chant they would be safe and protected. Unfortunately, this did not go well for the tribes peoples, but Prophet had positioned himself where he could make an escape. (Now for the amazing news) In 1970s, I visited Prophetstown many times and once while visiting and walking to the rock where Prophet chanted those many years ago, Prophet’s spirit jumped into me and when I hear his name or the story I can’t help myself and the chanting takes over. Prophetstown State Park now allows this area to be preserved and the story retold. Perhaps, you can take a trip and see the rock and the field. When you come back, if you didn’t hear The Prophet come see me and we will see if his chanting reconnects with me.
While working at APLD, I have attended meetings held at Brown County State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, Hardy Lake, and Spring Mill State Parks. These meetings remind me how beautiful southern Indiana really is and something we should see as through a child’s eyes.
Last summer, while fighting cancer, my husband bought us a small motor home and we went to Brookville Lake and the Whitewater Memorial State Park. We met my daughter and son-in-law to camp, rest and again enjoy a campfire. Michaela and Gunnar went on several walks and Mike let the artist in him come out while I rested and gained strength. It was a beautiful park and a wonderful time.
Thanks for listening to me meander through Indiana and their parks again. I would love for you to share with me your park experiences you make this year. Email me your trips and I will build a blog post later this year of our APLD Patrons Exploring Indiana Parks During the Bicentennial.