The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 9 of 10: Indiana Caverns on $0.00 a Day

A wood-carved saber-toothed tiger situated on the front porch of the Indiana Caverns gift shop.

The wood-carved saber-toothed tiger welcomes you!

Our Friday in and around Corydon was fun, but not every stop on our to-do list worked out as hoped. Some attractions are simply more doable in the morning than in the afternoon. The longer the day goes on, the longer their guest list grows and the longer you might have to wait your turn. You can either be patient and invest the extra time needed, or bow out gracefully and don’t grouse about the minutes you’ve blown in vain, especially when that’s technically your own fault.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 8 of 10: The Battle Cabin in the Woods

A log cabin in the woods with some (unseen) history to it.

No, this isn’t one of the 600 different Midwest historical sites with ties to Abraham Lincoln.

In our road trips of recent vintage we’ve been adding American battlefields to our itineraries on behalf of Anne the history aficionado. Longtime MCC readers may or may not recall our previous stops at the former war zones of Antietam, Gettysburg, Saratoga Springs, Chickamauga, Tippecanoe, and Stones River. Some battlefields are larger and more important than others, but each one has support from dedicated historians keeping their memories and lessons alive.

As it happens, our own state of Indiana had exactly one (1) Civil War battle fought within our boundaries. As a Hoosier might expect, of course the aggressors came up from Kentucky.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 7 of 10: William Henry Harrison Slept Here

A two-story log cabin that used to be various businesses but is now an old-timey museum.

I’ve run across a few websites that think the building once known as Branham Tavern is still a working tavern to this day. Whoops!

I’ve never thought of President William Henry Harrison as one of this blog’s patron saints, but in prepping this entry, it dawned on me that we’ve name-checked him enough times in our travels to make our own clipfest. We’ve run across representations and mementos from his life in several attractions to date:

Admittedly we blew our chance to collect a complete set when we visited Vincennes in 2020 and failed to stop by Grouseland, his old mansion. As I recall it was closed at the time of our visit for renovation and/or pandemic. Maybe we’ll rectify that omission next time we’re in the area. In the meantime, our visit to Corydon added another of his previous residences to our veritable Ninth President Collectors’ Checklist, not that we consciously keep one.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 6 of 10: Cozy Corydon Cuisine

Open-faced meatloaf sandwich on a wooden table in noonday sunlight. See caption.

An open-faced meat loaf sandwich made from ground beef and duck, wrapped in bacon, served on sourdough, doused in bourbon brown gravy, and topped with white American cheese, greens, and fried leeks a la Skyrim.

Of course there’s a chapter for the good foods we found. The gallery is a quickie that could’ve been squeezed into one of the other chapters, but then that chapter would’ve been too long, you wouldn’t have clicked on it, and you’d have missed more cute pics of my wife who’s perfectly happy being 52 now.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 5 of 10: Hooked on Butt Drugs

Butt Drugs' storefront. Yes, their actual name.

Corydon’s own Butt Drugs is easy to get to, if you do as we did and park in the rear.

Every Indiana town above a certain size has large corporations trying to muscle in on their homegrown businesses and industries. Corydon has CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart servicing anyone’s prescription needs, same as we do here in the big city. Their residents have one convenient pill-vending option we don’t: anytime they want, they can go hit Butt Drugs.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 4 of 10: A Capital Pack of Markers

The Old State Capitol Building in Corydon, Indiana, surrounded by trees in autumn.

The Old State Capitol in the old state capital on good ol’ Capitol Avenue. Capital!

Back in 2016 Anne and I visited the Indiana State House on the occasion of our state bicentennial and enjoyed the up-close look at where our local government met and worked in easier times before work-from-home became a survival option and later became simply the latest fashion. Before our centrally situated hometown of Indianapolis became the official workplace of the governor and all the rest, Hoosiers reported to the State House’s prequel structure near our southern border.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 3 of 10: Halloween and the Hallowed Tree

Beetlejuice Halloween decorations in a fan's front yard.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beeeeee best if I just stop there.

Autumn motifs are inevitable in Anne’s October birthday trips. Ironically, Anne isn’t even a huge Halloween fan (she saves her holiday love for December), but on our walk to go check out one of Corydon’s proudest monuments, we noticed the number of residents who’d decorated for the occasion well outnumbered the few pitiful celebrants on our own street back home. I admittedly took my sweet time setting up our own display this year, but at least we have one. It was nice to find the spirit of the occasion hasn’t been exorcised from all neighborhoods.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 2 of 10: Welcome to Corydon

glass pumpkin in sunshine!

A glass pumpkin for the autumn occasion at Zimmerman Art Glass in Corydon.

Okay, prologue aside, now we get to October 14th’s primary objective.

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 short-term 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.

In October 2022 Anne turned 52. Indiana offers no shortage of tourist attractions for history aficionados like her. We’ve visited quite a few of those over the years, but this year we felt it was time to check off one of the Hoosier State’s biggest trivia answers: Corydon, our original state capital before Indianapolis…

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