The Spot Coffee Shop

The Spot Coffee Shop
The Spot Coffee Shop in Owensboro

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Battle of Corydon Park, Corydon Indiana

We stopped by the Battle of Corydon Park in southern Indiana.

This is a small park with some markers, and a cabin that could be put to better use in general.

I am glad that the area keeps this place up so nicely.  There are markers about the battle, but I sure would love to see more of a museum set up in that small cabin.  Right now there is just space and some flyers.  They DO offer a flyer on the battle.

One person visiting told us that this battle was the northern most battle of the Civil War.  I know there is some dispute to that, (Gettysburg comes to mind, and even some others involving John Hunt Morgan elsewhere) but it is generally very northern battle.

Friday, April 20, 2018

William Henry Harrison Log Cabin- Corydon, Indiana

I am going to say that the highlight of our visit to Corydon Indiana was the William Henry Harrison Log Cabin. 

First off, this is one of the RARE places where you can visit a home once owned by a President for FREE.  If you love visiting places associated with Presidents, you should go here for that reason alone.  AND, with an admission fee of FREE, it is a good value.

BUT, there are just a bunch of cool things to see here in a small space!

Many cool small local items are displayed.  I enjoyed seeing items from a store that used to be in town.

There is an amazing corner cabinet made by Squire Boone on display too- and it is signed by him on the inside!

AND, they have a small display on James Best from the Dukes of Hazzard (and Corydon) too.

Oddly, I think a lot of people have James Best stories.  I remember seeing him at the Everly Brothers Homecoming years ago in Muhlenberg County Kentucky.

Well, the guy running the Log Cabin site knew Mr. Best from his Corydon days.  He was friendly enough with him that he got to go out to California and see some taping of the Dukes of Hazzard!

If you don't want to see relics and hear stories relating to President Harrison, Squire Boone, and Roscoe P. Coltrane, there is something wrong with you.

Obviously, the William Henry Harrison Log Cabin gets my highest recommendation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Point Blank Brewing Company- Corydon Indiana

We have a rule of thumb for lunch when visiting new places these days- Go with the breweries.

That rule served us well while in Corydon.  We stopped by Point Blank Brewing Company in Corydon and we had a great meal.

The inside is a bit bland....    And that's not a criticism, just an observation.  There isn't a lot of d├ęcor on the walls.  A classic painting of a man praying seemed a little out of place.  I think they are going for a "we have good food and no gimmicks" kind of feel.  It works.

There was a very local vibe here too.  The waitress seemed to know a lot of the other customers.

I ordered a Reuben sandwich that simply had a ton of meat on it.  It may have been the thickest Reuben I have ever had.

I was able to substitute a salad for the fries, and expected a small, wimpy side salad.  They brought out a nice, very fresh salad that could have been a meal on its own!

My wife had a half pound burger that she enjoyed.  We both had tea (fresh and brewed right) and our bill, not including tip, was around $20!

Our waitress was great too.  Our glasses were filled when they got low, and she politely provided me with a to go tea when I asked. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Corydon- Capital of Indiana..... at one time.

For $6, you can take a brief one hour walking tour of Corydon.  The town is very walkable on your own, and there are plenty of historic markers to explain everything to you.  The one advantage of doing the tour is that you get to peek into a few of the historic buildings.  So, if you want to actually go INSIDE of the first Capitol Building (called the Old Capitol Building), paying the $6 for this tour is a small price to pay.

The tour also takes you into a couple of rooms of the former Governor's Headquarters, and we went into the First State Office Building, which had a display on Abraham Lincoln while we were there.  The display was pretty much large displays with pictures and statements about his life.  There were no relics or anything.  This might be a nice exhibit for younger kids on a field trip.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Corydon Indiana

Here are just a few of the photos we took while in Corydon Indiana.  The small but very cozy town is mostly known for being the first capital of the Indiana Territory and then the state of Indiana.

A Civil War Battle went down here too, thanks to John Hunt Morgan.

Oh, and our old friend, President #9, William Henry Harrison hung out here too!

AND Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard, James Best, was from Corydon!

More on all of those connections to the town later....  But for now, here are a few photos!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Longest Year by Gary Roberson

I mentioned that, while we were at Indiana Caverns, I picked up the book, "The Longest year" by legendary caver Gary Roberson.  Roberson has been a major player in most of the Southern Indiana show caves over the last several decades- as a developer, manager and owner.

This is really a very one of a kind book in a category of its own.  In this volume, the author gives the story about his efforts to develop Indiana Caverns, and to open it as a show cave.  It is an interesting story, and I can't think of any other books about getting a cave up and running for tourists..... especially a new show cave.

It was also fun reading this one after we visited the cave.  Getting those boats into the cave involved lots of planning and help!  Oh, and that crazy spiral staircase wasn't simply bought stock from the local box store.

Gary, along with a small group of friends spent a little over a year getting the cave, the visitor center and parking area in order and up to code, which, when you think about it, seems crazy.  They really work themselves into physical exhaustion on the project.  They do hire others towards the end to help with the project with very mixed results.

Roberson works on the books as he struggles to deal with budget issues, payroll, retooling cave fixtures, etc.  The whole time he is working with a deadline to get the place running in time for the summer tourist season....; and if he doesn't that could bankrupt the project!

All sorts of things happen along the way, including moving a pile rocks back and forth, the cave getting broken into, and valuable machinery stolen.

Gary keeps his faith though, and works non-stop to reach his goals. 

I asked Gary to sign my copy when I bought it.  He very kindly did, and he gave me a little bit of a warning that the book needed some more editing done.  Well, he was right... technically, there are some noticeable issues with that in the book.  BUT, I have to say that it doesn't take away from the story at all, and anyone should be able to read this book, and enjoy it, pretty easily.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Indiana Caverns near Corydon Indiana

We haven't visited any show caves in some time, and I really enjoy doing this. 

I know southern Indiana has several, and I have been meaning to get to them for some time.  So, recently we decided to make a day trip to Corydon, and to see Indiana Caverns.

This cave was close enough to us... and it opened at 9am on a Saturday, so we figured we would go over, enjoy an early tour, have time to visit Corydon, then make it home before dark.

We got there a little after 9 and bought our tickets.  A very enthusiastic young lady told us about the cave, tours, etc. and sold us our tickets.  She ended up being our guide on our tour.  A couple of other small groups came in after us, so we looked around the gift shop while we waited.

They have a great gift shop, with everything you would expect with the name "Indiana Caverns" printed on it.  I thought their prices were better than other show caves though.  Postcards were a quarter, and I personally couldn't pass up a very cool Indiana Caverns shirt with a bat on it for $13.

I also couldn't pass up a book about the development of the cave by Gary Roberson.  Gary is a legendary caver from the area, and helped with getting some of the other show caves in the area going.  He is the man responsible for Indiana Caverns getting up and running, and he was at the cave the day we went!  He very kindly signed my book (I will get a review up soon).

Our tour ended up moving along around 9:40.  Our tour guide (along with everyone we encountered working at the visitor center) seemed very excited about the cave, and she was eager to tell stories and answer questions.

You do watch a short film before actually getting to the cave...  It was an interesting film about cave formations.  The film did note that it was being made from a scientific and Christian perspective.

I think it is very cool when you start your cave tour literally inside of the cave visitor center.  That's exactly what we did here, as you walk down some steps, see a short film, and then go down a tunnel to enter the cave.  The visitor center is built around/over the cave entrance.  To me that is a pretty impressive... and rare engineering feet.

There is a several story winding metal staircase that you must go down while in the cave (and back up on the way out).  It was a bit trippy and exciting!

Once in the cave, you walk along some trails and see some formations here and there like at most caves.  One thing that sets Indiana Caverns apart is its collection of Ice Age bones.  There are a lot, and they are displayed where they were found!  Our guide told us a bit about the digs that have gone on here, and she told us that there are MANY more bones in areas not on the tour!  We saw a Black Bear skull, various Peccary bones, and others.

After a nice but relatively easy hike through the cave, you are brought to a boat area and you get to have the rare experience of taking a boat ride through a cave!

After the boat ride, we made our way back, taking breaks here and there as our guide told us more stories about the cave, and the animals that had been through there.  She shared probable theories about how some of the animals, who's bones we saw, found their way into the cave.  She also pointed out a small white cave crawfish going through a stream in the cave.

At one point, our guide did the standard souvenir photo thing, taking a photo of each group.  I MUST tip my hat to Indiana Caverns for taking the photo (using a good amount of flash and lighting) inside of the cave and NOT using green screen.  The price for the photo was under $10, so you know I bought ours.  These guys aren't gouging!

Speaking of  not being too greedy, our guide never once hinted for tips, and I saw no signs soliciting them.  That is a rarity these days.

Also, this is a nice tour through a cave that had a nice pace.  It moved...  I got my workout in, but I didn't feel winded afterwards.  This one is not too tough.

Also, maybe because Indiana Caverns just opened up in 2013...  but the place is clean.  VERY clean.  They may have had some of the nicest restrooms I have ever noticed at a cave.  The visitor center/gift shop and grounds were also nicely maintained.

Oh, they have a cat on site too.  I like that.

I was thinking too...  I always love going to Mammoth Cave, and bigger caves, but this is a great way to see a cave with a smaller crowd.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Berea College Campus

Here are just a few photos of buildings on the Berea College Campus.

Its funny that several of the dorms have been renovated/rebuilt since I was a student.  Dana and Bingham seem to be the most dramatically changed to me. 

I never lived at Dana, but a lot of my friends did.  That dorm was famous, while I went there, for fining residents all the time.

I did live in Bingham for a time.  It was the men's study dorm, and it was MUCH calmer than many of the other dorms.  I was a janitor there for a while, and I served on the house counsel. 

I remember a couple of pals of mine had the room on the second floor right over the main entrance to that dorm.  We would fill up some glasses of water, and wait for someone to come to the door.  They would have to get their keys out and it would take a few seconds to stand there and unlock the door.  We would have the window open, and we would pour a glass of water out next to the person.  We would purposely miss them, but we would get close.  EVERYONE had a good laugh over it.

I got a job as a monitor at Danforth after living at Bingham for a bit.  Danforth was a VERY fun place to live.  I had a single room (I know of much larger closets), but it was plenty of space for my needs at that time.  Danforth still looks the same.  It was two towers, each 6 suites tall, connected by a lobby area.

My first semester at Berea, I lived at Blue Ridge.  It was the most secluded dorm on campus- you had to walk farther than other students to get to your class.  It really wasn't that big of a deal, except when the weather was bad.

I know school books are a whole different thing these days, with e-books and all.  Back then, you had to scramble and hustle to find the books you needed, at the best price possible.  I remember early on, going to the campus bookstore, and just buying whatever I needed.  You paid for them by signing a thing saying you would pay the school back when you could.  Later on, you learned to network with your friends, to check with the libraries (college and local), and to visit the used bookstore in town.  I remember once getting a syllabus that showed I would only need to read 40 pages in a 300 page expensive book.  I photocopied those pages.

Also, if you owed the school money, they would take it out of your check.  You got paid once a month, and they would take ALL of your money to pay towards your debt, EXCEPT for $15.  So, pretty much everyone would be walking around campus with $15.  Trust me, we ALL got good at stretching $15.

I am not complaining.  Berea College is a great, charitable place and I love it.  I loved my time there too.  I talked to a lot of friends these days who went there too.  We all talk about how lucky we were to have the opportunity to go there.