2008 Southern Indiana trip

October 24

Following our wonderful Blue Ridge Parkway trip we began discussing a weekend ride for the fall. We had initially discussed a trip to Frankfort for the the Halloween festivities at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Eventually the trip morphed into an Ohio River ride of southern Indiana. We would head east to Lawrenceburg, follow the Ohio River, stay the night in Vevay, and continue the next day to points in southern Indiana.

The initial deployment was three couples: John & Debby, Mike & Lisa, Sarah & myself...our usual contingent plus my girlfriend. By the time the trip rolled around it was down to John, Debby, and myself. D-Day presented itself cold and rainy. 41* and lots of rain. It was decided to change from a motorcycle trip to a Jeep trip.

I arrived at John & Debby's a little after noon. They threw their bag in the Jeep and we were off. John rode shotgun while Debby sat in the back. We were driving Miss Debby. I had never been to any of the destinations we would visit, so I had everything plotted in the GPS. It will be my navigator.

The ride east on US50 was cold and wet, but it was warm and dry inside the Jeep. We don't mind riding in the cold or the rain but the idea of starting off in this mess just sucked. It was a pleasant drive. We got behind a couple of slow cars but eventually US50 became a divided 4-lane and we could cruise at a decent speed. The purr of the diesel was relaxing and a couple times I noticed John and Debby checking their eyelids.

At 14:08 we arrived at Whisky's Restaurant (Official website). They weren't busy at this time of day so we were seated immediately. The food was great. We didn't eat a lot since we are planning on eating prime rib this evening. Since I was driving John & Debby bought my lunch. Thanks!

We were at Whisky's for an hour and after lunch we drove 5 miles south to the Hillforest Mansion. It is located on a hillside with a great view of Aurora. Guided tours are $5 and well worth it. Taking pictures are not allowed inside but it is beautiful and has a very functional layout. We checked out the wine cellar area and the steep stairs to the cupola area. I love to explore the nooks and crannys of old houses.

Hillforest pictures

Another hour was spent here. By now most of the rain had moved off. It was still chilly and breezy. We drove a few blocks southeast and merged with SR56. This highway hugged the Ohio River and provided many scenic views. The road is in great shape thanks to the casinos it serves. We will definitely have to take the bikes down this road. Eight miles down the road is the community of Rising Sun and the first casino. As we drove through town we passed the Route 56 Motorcycle Emporium. Since this was supposed to be a bike trip we whipped around and checked the place out. It is a small bike shop with accessories and some used bikes for sale...mostly Harleys. We piddled around for about 10 minutes, spoke to the guys hanging around there, then continued down the road.

31 miles and 40 minutes later we were in Vevay. It is the site of the Belterra casino and our residence for the night...the Schenck Mansion. When the GPS told us we were at our destination we looked up to see the mansion. To say we were impressed would be an understatement. It was large, but not too big. It was elegant but not gaudy. If I hit the lottery I'm building something like this.

Schenck Mansion pictures (outside)
Schenck Mansion pictures (inside)

A cute girl checked us in (didn't get her name). We dropped our bags in our rooms, and gave ourselves a tour of the mansion. They have the original drawings of the mansion displayed. We even explored the third floor and turrent. We spent plenty of time on the second floor porch. It's quiet and peaceful out there. Per trip tradition, an inanimate object was molested. Our two rooms occupied the west end of the second floor so we had the whole area to ourselves.

After a couple hours of exploring and lounging we headed out for our next planned destination...prime rib at Mo's Steakhouse in downtown Vevay. We had been looking forward to sinking our teeth into some prime rib for weeks and we weren't disappointed. No waiting for a table and the food came quickly. The prime rib was huge. I didn't have a ruler to confirm but it looked to be 1 1/2" thick and a foot long. Mmmmmmm...it melted in your mouth.

After supper we waddled out to the Jeep and drove back to the mansion. Talk about living like kings and queens. We spent a couple more hours on the back porch lounging and hanging out. The night breeze was getting chilly and I wished I had brought my heavier jacket. The windbreaker wasn't enough. We snacked on cookies and pop the cute girl left out for us. I hung out on the porch until about 1 am when I finally crawled into the warm bed.

October 25

I awoke at 7:43 beating my alarm clock by two minutes. I got dressed, washed my face, went out on the porch to watch some deer wandering the grounds, then headed downstairs to await our 8:30 breakfast. We were served by the cute girl (she had stayed the night) and breakfast was delicious. It was some sort of egg and potato concoction and I liked it. Besides the three of us there were two other couples who had stayed the night. One from Cincinnati and the other from around Indianapolis. We chatted about motorcycles and American Idol. They were nice people. We spent some more time on 'our' porch. Too soon we loaded up the Jeep and headed west. But one day we will be back!

The next leg of our weekend adventure was a 72 mile drive through the towns of Madison, Charleston, and Sellersburg ending at the Huber Orchard and Winery. SR62 was closed due to construction just east of Charleston. We weren't sure how to get around so we Jeep'd through the construction instead.

I had never been to Huber's before. It was a nice place to spend an hour and a half. They have a building where foods can be purchased like bread, vegetables, fruits, pies, etc. They have another building with various wines they produce and an attached restaurant. They had a tent set up (above) where a couple bands were preparing to play. They had a large lake with ducks and fish to feed. They even had a large concrete pad for motorcycle parking. We visited the buildings, had a light lunch, and watched the bands practice in the chilly air.

Our next stop was Corydon, the first capital of Indiana. The GPS did a fine job and led us through a maze of roads to US150, I-64, then SR62 to Corydon. The town was in the midst of a Halloween festival (above). We parked on the square across from the visitor center. Near our parking space they had a memorial tree for former Governor Frank O'Bannon who was from this area. We visited the old statehouse and then checked out several stores on the square. We were in Corydon for the better part of an hour. They were getting ready for a parade that we didn't want to get caught in so we headed out of town on SR62.

20 minutes and 15 scenic miles later we arrived at our last destination for the trip, the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth, Indiana. Like a lot of southern Indiana it looked like it had taken some wind damage from recent storms. The Overlook sets on a bluff overlooking a bend in the Ohio River...hence it's name. The Overlook and The Dock Restaurant are popular destinations for motorcycling in the area.

We piddled around outside for awhile enjoying the view. We watched a barge meander down the Ohio River from the restaurant's deck. There was a horse and carriage available for rides. The driver had a cute southern accent. We went inside and only had to wait a few minutes for a table. Luck was with us as probably 30-40 people arrived prior to us being seated.

I had pork chops and they were very good. The prices are low, too. After supper we climbed in the Jeep and headed north on SR37. Debby said she had never seen this part of the highway. We looked back several minutes later and she was snoozing. We laughed. We arrived at John & Debby's around 5:30 pm, and I was back home at 6:00.


It was a great weekend trip. We rested, ate, lounged, and slept like royalty. We got a lot done in 30 hours.

The GPS worked like a charm. I'm including tracks, waypoints, and a route of our trip in Mapsource data. Some of the destinations were slightly off in the City Navigator data so I've included corrected locations. (Mapsource data)

The diesel Jeep Liberty got 23.7 mpg for the trip.

We plan on going back again sometime. Hopefully with the Kurdzioleks and on the bikes. I've already been looking at possible routes to ride.

Being close to Kentucky and Ohio there were a couple times people saw the lightbar on my Jeep and had that "Oh sh!t, it's a cop" look. It makes me chuckle.

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See You On The Highway

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