Betsy and I made our first trip to Parke County, Indiana in November of 2008 so I could shoot as many of their 39 covered bridges in one day as possible. I had no idea what an impossible task we had taken on that day, but it was obvious that it would require a return trip. Last year I set out one morning not knowing where I was headed and again ended up in the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World”. Again, I still couldn’t capture everything in one day!
Last week I told Bets it seemed I was loosing the fall colors early this year and wanted to go on a “photo trip”. Sometimes she’ll just say, “be careful, have a good time, see ya later!”, and other times she’ll go along for the day. If she had known I was going to head out at 7:30 (or wanted to) she may have opted out, but by 8:00 we were headed out for my third trip to Parke County, Indiana.
I had read online that Saturday was the “Parke County Covered Bridge Festival”. I assumed that meant there would be more people than normal driving the back roads and getting in my shots, but discovered there’s actually a huge festival in Bridgeton. Parke County is a very rural area so I was quite surprised to run into miles, and miles of traffic headed to the festival. Luckily I had already shot the bridges in that part of the county in the past so once we got through the mess we were pretty much traffic free for the day.
Without checking my past galleries I can’t say for sure how many Parke County bridges I’ve shot on previous trips, but this visit took us to 12 of the 39 bridges. Again, without looking at past photos I’d say this was the most I’ve shot in one day since going to Parke County. I think it’s time to collect them all and put together a book… “The Bridges of Parke County”. Sound familiar? I’ve had so many people ask me if I’ve shot all the “Bridges of Madison County”, obviously brought on by the movie staring Clint Eastwood. I hate to say, no I haven’t and beyond that I’ve not even made it all the way through the movie! On a side note, the Madison County in the movie is in Iowa, and there are only six bridges in the county. People already think I’m nuts to drive 3 hours to Parke County, Indiana to shoot 12 bridges. My guess is they would have me committed if I drove the 10 hours it would take me to get to those 6 bridges in Iowa! Besides that, it’s Iowa, what else could I shoot? Call me crazy if you’d like, but I enjoy capturing and sharing photographs these structures of our past.
Take a look out this year’s gallery of Parke County bridges here. Enjoy!
Back in June I did a “Photo Trip” up in the Preble County, Ohio area. If you missed that story you can check it out here.
I thought that I had covered Preble County pretty well until Betsy and I went camping with some of our friends a few weeks back. We camped at Natural Springs Resort outside of New Paris, Ohio and as usual I took a day and went for a “photo trip”. Again, I skipped church! We were camping with some friends from Betsy’s church, Saint Catherine’s and being the “good Catholics” they all are they packed up and went to mass on Sunday and I hit the road.
I only had one goal for this trip. The Geeting covered bridge west of Lewisburg, Ohio. But as luck would have it, my covered bridge shots would not be so easy to come by on that day. As I drove the 40 miles to the bridge the sky darkened as I drove into a storm. It had been quite a while since that part of Ohio had rain but the rainless streak was about to end. Mere moments before I got to the bridge the rain hit. I parked just off the side of the road and ran to the cover of the bridge with my gear to wait it out. After a half an hour of watching a downpour I decided to chance it and grab a few shots. As you’ll see in the gallery I didn’t do so well in capturing the bridge. So after a 40 mile drive and waiting out a rain storm I got nothing. I’ve posted some of the shots, but they’re not the best covered bridge shots I’ve ever done.
The drive back actually turned out to be the highlight of the day. I ran across a Mail Pouch barn that I didn’t expect. Always a good thing in my book! I also found an abandoned farmhouse, again, a good thing! But what turned out to be the find of the weekend was an Obama barn! I’ll try my best to leave out my political leanings but I can say that I found a sign that “counteracted” the Obama barn! Check out the gallery and you’ll find it!
Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!
Over the 4th of July weekend we camped with some friends in Saint Paul, Indiana. Saint Paul is a typical small Indiana town about half way between Cincinnati and Indianapolis. As usual, I decided to go “hunting” for some shots. Being the heathen that I am, while the others went into Greenfield for church, I decided to run around the county and look for some shots. I found 2 covered bridges, both built from the same family owned bridge building company. The A. M. Kennedy Builders. The family built 58 covered bridges with only 13 still standing to date. The hallmark of the Kennedy bridges is their ornamentation, which I’ve captured in a few of the shots. I also ran across a previously unknown to me Mail Pouch barn on Indian Route 1. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop to shoot it though because Route 1 is a small 2-lane with no place to pull over with my camper! It’s close enough to home though that I can run over sometime soon and grab some shots.
Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!
A few weeks back I drove up to Mount Vernon, Ohio to visit the mission trip team from First Christian Church in Fort Thomas. My son, two sisters, three nephews and a niece were on the trip so I thought I’d go up and help put on a picnic for them after a hard days work at a Habitat for Humanity house they were working on.
I decided that I’d take the “long way” and see if I could find some stuff to shoot. Good choice as I found a few Mail Pouch Barns, a covered bridge, an Ohio Bicentennial Barn, and a very cool old church at Bethany College. At one point I drove a half an hour off my route to shoot a Mail Pouch Barn, only to discover it had been “taken” by hurricane Ike. That would be the photo that looks like a pile of lumber!
All in all, it was a great day. Got to visit my hard working and dedicated family members and the rest of the mission team, as well as adding to my Mail Pouch collection.
Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!
I try to take my “Photo Trips” on Saturdays as to not miss church, but this trip was a last minute decision after church on May 16th. It had been a while since I went shooting and was itching to get out, so I decided to head north towards Preble County Ohio to find a couple of covered bridges. The Brubaker covered bridge and the Roberts covered bridge.
As usual, I found much more to shoot along the way to my final “target”. For one, I ran across the partially abandoned Crystal Tissue Company’s factory just south of Middletown, Ohio. I seriously considered jumping the fence and shooting the inside, but Betsy has scared me into re-thinking trespassing with her threats of not coming to get me out of jail. I had to settle for shooting the water tower from outside the fence. Maybe I’ll go back one day!
I also ran across a couple of very cool abandoned farm house. One of which at the time it was abandoned was occupied by a retired U.S. Air Force officer. It was rather eerie walking into one of the upper bedrooms and seeing his uniform hanging on the closet door. I also found a box with his discharge papers and his military records in it. Sad to think of it, but all my uniforms and paperwork are in my attic. I’m hopeful that no one finds it when shooting photographs of an abandoned house in Fort Thomas in the future!
I also ran across a previously “undiscovered” Mail Pouch barn, although it’s more of a garage, and new, but all the same a Mail Pouch sign. And the last shot of the day was a rather sarcastic political statement of a local pizza parlor’s owner.
Here’s the entire gallery from my Preble County trip. Enjoy!
Super Bowl Sunday I ventured off to Green County, Ohio to capture 5 covered bridges. Thinking Green County is only about 50 minutes away, I figured I could get up the drive around the county, grab some nice snowy covered bridges and get back in time for kickoff. Wrong! For the first time, my favorite website for locating bridges and barns sent me off in the wrong direction. 40 miles to be exact. I followed my trusty iPod GPS only to find myself in the middle of no where. I’ve been in the middle of no where before, and actually found what I was looking for, but not this time. No bridge. And not even a creek or river to put a bridge over!
I eventually found the bridge I was searching out, but the 80 mile round trip to the empty field didn’t help my schedule. All said and done, I ended up shooting the 5 bridges I went to shoot. My timing was way off though. I was out for seven and a half hours from my front door to Green County and back. I missed the first quarter of the game, but I figure there will be another Super Bowl next year, and who knows how long these bridges will be around.
Click here to see the Green County covered bridges and more. Enjoy!
Last weekend we decided to run up to Dayton, Ohio to visit with my son and his wife and our grandson. It’s a quick one hour drive to Dayton so we try to get up and see them whenever we can. Along the drive I mentioned to Betsy there “may” be a covered bridge on the way and maybe I’d stop for a “quick” shot of the bridge. But really… I knew of a bridge and yet another Mail Pouch barn we may happen to “stumble” across!
All said and done our one hour drive to Dayton took about two and a half hours. Not only did I shoot the bridge and barn, but I also found a previously unknown Mail Pouch barn. I have such a understanding wife. Not only did she accept the fact I was dragging her along on another of my crazy “barn storming” trips, but she didn’t even complain when we got to Dayton and my son and I went off to find a Mail Pouch sign he had seen and wanted to show me! She’s great!
Here’s the entire gallery from our trip. Enjoy!
I was hoping to catch some fall colors on a return trip to Parke County, Indiana last Saturday but the two days of rain prior to my trip took away most of the color. Although most of the fall leaves had dropped I still had a nice “blue sky” day. I was able to add nine covered bridges to my collection as well as a couple of nice barns and a mill.
I’ve wanted to go back to Parke County since my first trip a while back. It’s a full day (and more) travel and shooting, but worth it. If you’re into covered bridges at all Parke County is a “must see”.
Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!