The October 2020 Birthday Trip, Part 2: Ambling in Autumn

Anne in autumn!

The birthday gal poses for senior pictures.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

Well, at least we did before 2020. Anne turned 50 this year, but for work-related reasons involving the Age of Coronavirus, I’m currently not allowed to leave the state of Indiana for the foreseeable future. Anne did some local travel research, a longtime hobby of hers (you have no idea how many of our future road trips she’s already mapped out), and came up with a few things she thought would be fun to do on a Saturday in autumn. Naturally we had to start with a long walk around someplace with millions of leaves changing colors. When you live in Indiana, it’s what you do. After picking up some sugar for breakfast, our first attraction of the day was McCormick’s Creek State Park, southwest of Indianapolis…

After our tour of the park’s Nature Center, we ventured out on yet another wooded trail to add to our 2020 collection. Once again we consulted the park map and made sure not to pick a rugged path that might murder one of us like that time at Shades. We chose one trail that appeared to have a few features marked on the map, sights that would break up the monotony of trees and leaves and trees and leaves and trees and leaves and trees and leaves. Those might be enough for most folks, but if we could find more, so much the better. Fortunately we picked a warm, beautiful day for it…until other visitors began to trickle in and threatened to become full-blown crowds.

trees green leaves!

Basic Indiana autumn: leaves everywhere.

steps and leaves!

Thankfully not as many staircases as the other parks we’ve visited this year.


Sample bridge.

broken tree!

A broken tree with a story to tell.

Skyrim forest!

This view reminded me of some northern areas in Skyrim.

Wolf Cave!

Limestone plus years of erosion produced Wolf Cave, featured on their map. The name comes from a rural legend involving a wolf pack and a woman carrying groceries.

As we finished taking pics of Wolf Cave, a family of thirteen (!!) walked up for their turn. We skittered around them and scurried away. We’d brought masks in case of crowding, but had hoped not to have to use them outdoors. It was kind of the point of doing a park in the first place.

rock bridge!

A rock underpass not far away from Wolf Cave. We couldn’t investigate more closely because kids were playing up there.

McCormicks Creek!

The feature presentation, McCormick;s Creek itself.

falls closeup!

Zoomed shot of those falls.

creek people!

A bit farther down, folks began to pop up and cluster and loiter and take up space and present potential viral threats.

us in autumn!

The two of us, trying not to dwell on the crowds. Photo taken by a stranger from Brownsburg, who thankfully didn’t infect us. And hopefully vice versa.

To be continued! Other chapters in this special MCC miniseries:

Part 1: Nature Under One Roof
Part 3: Woodland Signposts
Part 4: Part 4: Obligatory Food Photos
Part 5: The Art of B-Town
Part 6: Flora and Media

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