We packed up our site in Frankfort KY and are now headed to Branson Missouri via I 64. This route takes us through the middle of Louisville KY and then over the Ohio River into Indiana. From there we travel straight across Illinois to the edge of St Louis into MO where we turn on to MO 44 down to Branson.
It is 568 miles from Frankfort KY to Branson which is over our limit of 250 miles in one day. So we cut the trip into 3 legs and make our one stop in Haubstadt Indiana 163 miles from Frankfort KY. This was one those stops that weren’t supposed to be a destination but turned into one.
We stayed at an unusual campground called Weather Rock Campground. The name, Weather Rock, comes from the weather rock they have there. The weather rock hangs from a chain from the campground sign and it can tell the weather. If it rains the rock is wet, moving then it is windy, covered in snow then, well, you get the story.
|Note the weather rock under the sign.|
|The camp office.|
The unusualness of the campground is from more than just the weather rock. It comes from its unusual owner, Hillbilly Rick. From my research, Hillbilly Rick was a celebrity, mostly local Midwest, DJ and line dancer. Seems he brought line dancing into the area back in the late 70s and formulated many dances from the music of the time. His biggest claim to fame was when an Australian musical band heard about him and invited him to their country to help them with a new dance from one of their songs. The group the Tornados recorded a song called Baby Likes to Rock It and Hillbilly Rick came up with a dance for it.
We pulled into the campground and found the office closed. There was a guy mowing the grass who said that he could help us and that the owner was not here now. This guy who we later learned was Hillbilly Rick made sure we were all set with our site and again told us he was just the maintenance guy here. Since the roadside sign for the campground lists Hillbilly Rick as the owner I decided to look him up on the internet. That’s when I found out we had been helped by Hillbilly Rick.
|Not the office but it's funny! It's on the run down miniature golf course.|
I wish we knew more about the history of Hillbilly Rick's campground. The place looks like it was once a great place to stop with kids. It looks like it has just been let go for at least 10 – 15 years. It had a great miniature golf course, playground, and 2 swimming pools. The swimming pools are the only thing still in good shape. The campground sites are really rundown and overgrown and very unlevel. What is really ridiculous was his rate of $50 per night. What is more ridiculous was that we stayed 2 nights at that rate!
|Don't know why but this is at the entrance to the park.|
|Other random stuff at the park.|
|Again, more stuff at the park!|
Haubstadt Indiana is about 10 miles north of Evansville Indiana. After a little research we found 2 things to do while we were in the area. We visited the Mound Indians site on the Ohio River and we had dinner at the somewhat famous Log Inn Restaurant. We made a plan to go to the Indian Mound Indian site first and then head back to the Log Inn Restaurant. We also included a stop at the the Antique Dream Car Museum in Evansville.
The Indian Mounds were not all that much to see really. However, we did learn a little about the ancient history of these people who were here way before us Europeans got here. The site is called the Angel Mounds Historical site and is part of the Indiana State Museum. The museum gets a whopping $7 each to visit the exhibit and to walk the grounds, which we did.
The Angel mounds are mounds that the ancient inhabitants made for worship and to build houses on. It seems that the higher up you are in the political chain the bigger the mound you had. This site has many small mounds and one very large mound that are still visible after a thousand years. The site has an exhibit area too that shows how these people lived in that time. The exhibit is very much needed because the mounds just look like unusual natural formations and the exhibits show you what you are really looking at.
|The exhibit building at the Angel Mounds as seen from the actual mounds area.|
Overall, we spent about 2 hours at the Angel Mound site and were happy we went. We are only visiting because we are here; it’s not something we would have made as a destination on its own.
|Walking across a bridge to the mounds you can see one of the smaller mounds left center of this photo.|
|Replica of an indian painting.|
|Reconstruction of the wall that surrounded the mound village.|
|The largest mound in the center.|
On our way to the mounds we saw signs for an automobile museum close by and we decided we would visit that while we here too. After we were done at the Angel Mounds site we headed off to the auto museum a few miles away in Evansville Indiana.
The museum is called the Dream Car Museum which miraculously came up on our Garmin. When we got to where the Garmin sent us we at first didn’t see the museum. We were at an auto dealer’s site with signs around it saying we were at the museum! We were just not seeing the place.
The museum is owned and operated by Bennett Motors and is on the dealer lot.
The museum is also free! Seems this is a very expensive promotion for the dealership. This museum is a very nice place with a lot of very expensive autos to show. We are not car enthusiasts but we like cars like most people so this place was great!
The name Dream Car is very appropriate for this place as these cars are only dreams for most of us! The lower end cars were near $100K with the high end up around $300K! The museum easily has a couple million dollars’ worth of show cars. Again it’s free! For us this was not a destination site either but this place could be for an enthusiast. Oh yeah, it’s free!
|There was a lot of auto memorabilia too at the Dream Car Museum.|
|I had to put this in as it is just like the mini bike my brother and I had in the 60s.|
After the Angel Mounds and the Dream Car Museum we headed back to Haubstadt to the Log Inn Restaurant for dinner. Hillbilly Rick recommended the place after he showed us to our site the day before. The Log Inn is known as the restaurant where Lincoln had dinner before he was president in the 1840s. It is also the oldest continuously run restaurant in Indiana and was a stagecoach stop when Lincoln traveled through there.
We arrived at the Log Inn around 6pm on a Saturday night and the place was pretty full already! I guess we should have expected the place to be full since it was a Saturday evening but there are not many people around this very rural restaurant.
|The Log Inn must have had a face lift as we don't think they had |
fiberglass siding in the 1800s! The inside still shows the logs.
We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table so we waited at the bar. The wait was pretty close to what we were told and we were seated. We had a great waitress and the food was out pretty fast too. The food, however, was just OK. But the menu selections were just OK to start with so not too much of a surprise there. Most of the food was of the fried variety as was their specialty entree, fried chicken. I had the chicken and Patty had the stuffed shrimp. The food was of good quality and what I would expect at a Midwestern rural restaurant. It just wasn’t better than what I would make at home. Anyway, overall it was good genuine Midwestern restaurant meal experience.
|Patty putting us on the wait list.|
|The old bar with an old cash register that they still use.|
One last thing about the restaurant, the desserts. If we have dessert we usually get something that we would not have at home. I ordered the pecan pie because I just could not ever have this at home. I couldn’t keep my hands off of it if it were in the house!
Well damn, they were out of pecan so I ordered the coconut cream pie. Patty ordered the peanut butter pie. My pie was just not exciting at all. However, Patty’s was beyond excellent! It was like eating thick creamy peanut butter with a little sugar in it. I would definitely order that peanut butter pie if I was ever here again!
|Twas the night of a super harvest moon.|
OK, that about ends our one full day in the Evansville area of Indiana. We are now on our way to Branson Missouri via Cuba MO.