Our 2004 Road Trip, Part 5 of 10: Soaking in the Cave of the Winds

Bridal Veil Falls!

Come on, folks, single file up to the falls. There’ll be plenty of chances for everyone to feel the deluge!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Once upon a time in 2004, Anne and I got married and had a honeymoon! A week later, we (and my son) embarked on our fifth annual road trip: a drive northeast from Indianapolis up to see the watery wonders of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist traps.

On our November 2015 trip to Colorado Springs I spent a few hours at an attraction near Manitou Springs called the Cave of the Winds. It was a genuine cave in which I felt actual winds, but it wasn’t my first “Cave of the Winds”. At long last we backtrack to our first encounter with that label on the other side of America.

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More Than Flowers at the Indiana Flower & Patio Show 2017

giraffe and greens!

If this giraffe were real, these plants could kiss their leaves goodbye.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Twice per year my wife and I escort her grandmother to one of two special events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Each November we visit the Indiana Christmas Gift and Hobby Show. Each March the highlight of her month is the Indiana Flower & Patio Show, which features numerous displays of colorful flora, booths where gardeners and homeowners can peruse and pick out their new seeds, plants, implements, and accoutrements for tending and cultivating their yards in the forthcoming spring and summer.

This weekend was that time again! After our previous jaunts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, once more we walked the springtime labyrinth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the intrepid Mamaw, showing her the sights and navigating the nature-loving crowds.

…and every year we come home with at least two entries’ worth of photos — one starring the flowers and one featuring the other outdoor decorations and often irrelevant vendors whose wares are off-topic but allowed in the doors anyway. Sometimes we don’t mind so much, especially if their product is food.

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Flowers Are Pretty 5: The Final Blooming?

Red Yellow Purple!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Twice per year my wife and I escort her grandmother to one of two special events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Each November we visit the Indiana Christmas Gift and Hobby Show. Each March the highlight of her month is the Indiana Flower & Patio Show, which features numerous displays of colorful flora, booths where gardeners and homeowners can peruse and pick out their new seeds, plants, implements, and accoutrements for tending and cultivating their yards in the forthcoming spring and summer. Assorted horticulturists and lawn care companies show off bouquets, sample gardens, and ostentatious flowers you’ll wish you owned.

This weekend was that time again! After our previous jaunts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, once more we walked the springtime labyrinth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the intrepid Mamaw, showing her the sights and navigating the nature-loving crowds. Thankfully spraining my knee last Saturday didn’t interfere with my wheelchair chauffeur duties. Mamaw, on the other hand, expressed some concern about how many more times we’ll get to share this outing. She’s 91 years old, isn’t beautifying the plots outside her house as much as she used to, and is finding the sensory overload more exhausting than ever.

She was also disappointed that her brother — a mere eightysomething whippersnapper — has exited his role working security at the show after its ownership changed hands last year. Now that he’s no longer hooking her up with free passes, she’s disappointed that we have to (*gasp*) pay our own way into the show. We assured her this isn’t a problem for us. It’s not an upper-class political fundraiser. As long as she’s still interested in attending her annual Super Bowl, we’re happy to keep seeing her there.

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Our 2004 Road Trip, Part 4 of 10: The Cannons of Niagara

Fort Niagara!

Because someone has to keep the peace on Lake Ontario.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Once upon a time in 2004, Anne and I got married and had a honeymoon! A week later, we (and my son) embarked on our fifth annual road trip: a drive northeast from Indianapolis up to see the watery wonders of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist traps.

Of the four Great Lakes we’ve visited, Lake Ontario was the only one considered a strategic location worthy of a military outpost by both the French and the British back in the eighteenth century. For fans of natural attractions and American history — you can bet my wife qualifies — Fort Niagara State Park is a logical addition to your upstate New York vacation itinerary.

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Our 2004 Road Trip, Part 3 of 10: Another Great Lake, Another Gray Sky

Bullseye Returns!

Hi, kids! I’m Bullseye the Target Dog! You might remember me from our 2003 road trip! I’m back and I bring you the gift of bright colors!


Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Once upon a time in 2004, Anne and I got married and had a honeymoon! A week later, we (and my son) embarked on our fifth annual road trip: a drive northeast from Indianapolis up to see the watery wonders of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist traps.

I’m not sure how it works in normal families. If unpleasant weather threatens to shroud their vacation scenery in visual mediocrity, maybe they call the whole thing off, take advantage of their unreasonably flexible lifestyles, and reschedule everything for a different week in hopes that the sun will return and bask their photos in a luxurious, magazine-quality aura. We wouldn’t know.

But this was the week we reserved for vacation, and these were the results Mother Nature gave us. Sometimes God’s Creation has to have unpretty off days so we can appreciate the beautiful ones all the more. And sometimes you have to dig through the superficial layers and make the moment special yourself even if the sun has flunked its dress rehearsal.

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The View from Atop the Badlands (and 1,500 Entries)

Badlands!

Call it “South Dakota Gothic”. Photo taken by my son, age 14 at the time and too happy to stay off-camera whenever we’d let him.

Dateline: July 2009. Our road trip east across the length of South Dakota took us to Badlands National Park, which is end-to-end entirely made of geology and panoramas and tourist taking turns whispering, “Whoa.” The above photo from that particular road-trip collection is one of several I’ve never shared online before now. The wide, wondrous view from atop one of the Badlands’ many peaks has come to mind more than once today, least of which was a late showing of Logan in which Our Heroes take their own road trip up through the Dakotas and enjoy a scene in these familiar surroundings. To be honest, said scene was set in North Dakota, not South, but the coloration, texture, and height are identical. And in our case we saw a lot less bleeding. Otherwise, close enough.

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