With the return of frigid temperatures this week, there had to be a really good excuse to get us out for the weekend . . . there was! Alan’s niece, Kathryn, is a Senior starting forward on the Notre Dame basketball team and in the NCAAW tournament. Playing at Notre Dame on Friday night, the weekend set up for perfect timing to visit Potato Creek State Park in Indiana, just a short distance from South Bend/Notre Dame.
We got off after lunch and pulled into our site by 2:30. The website had advertised the campground as “open year-round”, but the lady at the check-in facility greeted us with: “Of course you know the bathrooms aren’t open and the water isn’t turned on yet?” Nope – we had counted on those bath houses being open! But, we quickly readjusted our weekend to celebrate “dry” camping with jugs of water to flush minimal use of the toilet and complete small cleaning chores.
With the return of cold weather in the past few weeks, we have become acclimated to chilly temps again, and the 43 degree/sunny afternoon was fine for walking around the park and sitting outside in the direct sunlight. Tom had made chili to reheat for supper, and with the time-change we were able to enjoy an extra hour of sitting out. Still, when that sun started to go down, the temperature dropped quickly, and 7:30 found us entrenched inside the Silvermine for the evening.
We woke up Friday morning to 20 degrees! That seemed like a good enough excuse to head out to eat for breakfast. We found a great little Corner Cup Cafe breakfast restaurant in nearby Walkerton that had a nice variety on the menu. Then, we took a trip in and around the campus of the University of Notre Dame – a scouting expedition in preparation for the basketball game that evening.
Alan texted several times about his movement: off work at 11:00, pick Carie up at 11:30 . . . ETA 4:00! We enjoyed a sunny afternoon walk along the paved roads and wide hiking trails down to the boat dock and seeing and hearing woodpeckers along the way! I always track my movement and exercise on my iWatch, but I learned how to record an open, outdoor walking work-out which gives details of heart rate, calories burned, elevations gained, and distance/pace traveled. Cool!
Alan and Carie pulled in at 4:15, but with the game scheduled to start at 5:00, there was just time to park the Airstream and crawl in the truck with us and head for the campus. Our game tickets were complementary from Karthryn/Carrie! We only missed the first 3 minutes of the game – during which Kathryn injured an ankle and sat out the rest of the game! The game was fast and fun and the Notre Dame Girls won, 99-81, to play again Sunday night. By 7:00 we were out the door and headed to nearby Brothers Bar & Grill for dinner! I could easily become a #1, girl’s college-level, basketball, enthusiast!
Saturday, St. Patty’s Day, we stirred at 8:00 and led Carie and Alan back to our little coffee cup restaurant for breakfast. Good food all over again. On our way back to Potato Creek State Park, we took a detailed truck tour of every road in the park – it is a big park with lots of camping loops, cabins, youth camp, horse camp, picnic areas, general store, nature center, paved bike trails, and nicely maintained hiking trails. We found the nature center open and enjoyed animal exhibits and the bird-viewing area which had just been filled with fresh seed.
At the campsite we had an all-afternoon campfire that was attended, off and on, by different ones of us. Tom, Charlie, and I hustled another work-out walk, I worked on my blog, Carie made a run for groceries, Tom took a short nap . . . and Alan pretty much held down the campfire for 5 hours! With a high of 48 degrees and a sunny sky it was a great afternoon and a wind-down to a fun weekend.
On Sunday we were up by 8:00 and off by 8:30 and home by 11:30. Turn-around time is 3 days – before heading to the annual Mothball rally at Hocking Hills.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown