The October 2020 Birthday Trip, Part 3: Woodland Signposts

trail 5 pink hat!

“Hi, I’m Posty the Trall Post! It looks like you’re trying to take a walk! Can I help you choose a direction?”

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…

…which was a pleasant place to hang out and get some exercise, but also oddly had far more signs than the average state park. Someone in charge thought, what better way to liven up nature than by footnoting it every few hundred feet?

All Plants Are Protected!

Yes, you’re surrounded by plants. Touch any of them and we will END YOU.

Save Wolf Cave!

“Please note some portions of this area are off limits, but we couldn’t very well put up guard rails because then you’d complain when they ruin your selfies, and your reasonable admission fee wasn’t enough to pay us to waste hours arguing with you.”

Twin Bridges!

An identical “Save Wolf Cave” sign stands near Twin Bridges, a self-explanatory feature in search of a cooler name. Or at least separate names. Call them Jeff and Beau.

Forest Restoration!

“Sorry, folks! We’re closed for two weeks to clean and repair America’s favorite family fun forest!”

Sensitive Biological Site!

“Please be kind and do not hurt this delicate copse’s feelings during this trying time.”

STOP sign!

That feeling when you’re playing an open-sandbox video game and you reach the part where the artists kept drawing to the horizon but were into quadruple overtime and had to cap it off somewhere.

trail 5!

See, we appreciate practical trail markers like this. We could’ve used more in Brown County State Park, where we got lost one time.

Masks Sign!

Even the Nature Center was covered in signs. We’re used to these and totally fine with this one.

In addition to the wooden signs, benches along the path featured engraved quotes from their donors.

1 John 4-16 bench!

The NIV version: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

Live It bench!

Emboldening advice through February 2020. Recertification pending.

After checking out Trail 5, Wolf Cave, and the falls of McCormick’s Creek, we figured we’d gotten enough fresh air, seen enough special park features, and exceeded our distancing limits as the visitor head count in the great outdoors kept trending upward. As we exited through the front gate, a long line of cars waited their turn to get in and occupy nature in clusters.

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

Part 1: Nature Under One Roof
Part 2: Ambling in Autumn
Part 4: Obligatory Food Photos
Part 5: The Art of B-Town
Part 6: Flora and Media

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