Brown County, Indiana, has long been one of my parents’ favorite places to visit. I never understood why – I mean, they live in the woods. They see leaves all the time.In fact, my dad’s least favorite chore is probably keeping up with the deluge of leaves that fall every autumn. And yet, they like to drive down there to see…the leaves.
This past Labor Day weekend, my husband whisked me away on our Harley for a mini vacation. Guess where we went.
We actually stayed in Columbus, Indiana, which is not actually in Brown County. Columbus is in Bartholomew County, but just a short ride away. All in all, we rode around through five different counties that weekend (not counting the ones we traveled through to get to Columbus).
I was thinking on the way down there that everywhere I go in Indiana, I feel like I’ve already been there. Everything looks the same. Corn, soybeans, corn, soybeans (to quote our Marine, James). The same small towns, the same bigger towns. Just different names.
Now, I see the attraction of Brown County, however. That is some right perty country down there. It’s the closest thing to mountains you’ll find in Indiana. There’s long, curvy roads winding in and out of hills and dales that would simply be amazing once the trees get all gussied up for Autumn. And it’s nothing like the rest of Indiana. Reminded me more of Pennsylvania or even West Virginia.
There are tons of quaint little inns and shops tucked away in those Brown County hills. Like Story Inn, in Story, Indiana. It’s got quite a story, too! Rumor has it that there is a “mirthful albeit innocuous apparition” that inhabits the place, and has for since the 70’s, called the Blue Lady. Call us crazy, but we’d like to get our Harley “gang” together for a long ride next summer and stay there, it’s a really neat place full of old stuff. I love old stuff.
Several wineries are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Like Salt Creek Winery in Freetown. We had been riding around for miles and wanted to stop somewhere to find a restroom. Apparently, no one in that area needs a gas station, because none were to be found! We saw a sign for Salt Creek Winery and fortunately they were open.
Also fortunate was that the owners were super nice! We couldn’t resist tasting some wines. Well, I couldn’t…I’ll be honest. Hubby isn’t a wine drinker really. After tasting several, I decided I simply could not leave without a bottle of their Blackberry Wine. It’s made from blackberries gathered in the nearby Hoosier National Forest. It’s also quite divine!
Their building is small, but lovely. It has a wonderful outdoor seating area with an amazing view of the valley below. I would have loved to sit there and sip on some wine, but we needed to move on. I look forward to going back soon!
My husband also had another reason for our visit. Twelve years ago, he lost one of his best friends to an extremely rare form of cancer. We visited his grave and spent time with his sweet wife. She is blessed to have found a man who loves her, and doesn’t feel the need to compete with the memory of her husband. We spent a wonderful evening with them – dinner at Little Charlie’s Restaurant and Brewery in Batesville and hanging out at their home afterward. Thanks for the laughs, Bridget and Ike!
I have to admit, I was a little unsure about a getaway to Brown County. Especially since it was the weekend before we start our new homeschool year – I knew I wouldn’t want to do anything when we got back but spend time with the kids and go to bed.
Harley Man says: “If there’s a better place to ride in Indiana than Brown County, I haven’t found it.”
In spite of that, I’m glad we went! It was a great way to “end” the summer with my wonderful husband and get a little relaxation in before the hustle and bustle of school gets underway. Next time we go back though, I would love to take this beauty along – and go in the Autumn, my favorite time of year!
I’m pretty sure the kids thought their super-relaxed teacher was extra nice on the first day of school this year, too 😉