Covered Bridges and Train Trestles

FINALLY!!! It is finally feeling like spring instead of winter here in Indiana! The last two days have been absolutely beautiful, and we definitely took advantage of them. Yesterday morning we got up and packed a few things onto the bikes and hit the road. We hadn’t seen Dwaynes’ Uncle Erni who lives about 4 hours from us in Illiniois in quite a while, so we decided to take the scenic route and meet him in Rockford, Indiana for dinner at a local restaurant called Benjamin’s. He is also a rider and came over on his Honda Shadow 750.

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After our dinner with Uncle Erni, we took an evening ride up through the Turkey Run State Park and the Shades State Park to check them out for future hiking endeavors. On the way back from Shades we took a detour down a gravel road to find a covered bridge that we had seen on the Turkey Run map that we picked up. It was the Cox Ford Bridge and was built in 1913. While we were there taking pictures, an older couple pulled up and started talking to us, and it turned out that they own a Goldwing trike and travel the country on it along with their dog who absolutely loves to ride! We spent some time chatting and swapping stories with them before heading back to our room in Rockville at the Parke Bridge Motel.

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This morning we got up and walked back down to Benjamin’s for breakfast where I enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee and a loaded omelet with hashbrowns, and Dwayne had a big ol’ plate of biscuits and gravy. After breakfast we loaded up the bikes and headed towards our first stop of the day, the Bridgeton Covered Bridge and Mill in Bridgeton, Indiana. The original bridge was built in 1868, but it was destroyed by an arsonist in 2005 and rebuilt with a replica in 2006.

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After spending some time there we rode over to Mansfield, Indiana to see the Mansfield Covered Bridge which was built in 1867. It was nearly destroyed at the same time as the Bridgeton bridge, but the culprit was caught and apprehended at the Mansfield bridge. The town around this bridge looks to have been converted to a bit of a tourist attraction, but everything was closed while we were there. I’m assuming it is probably mainly used during the annual Covered Bridge Festival.

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From there we headed towards Solsberry, Indiana to see the Tulip Trestle. This viaduct was constructed in 1906 and is 2,295 feet long and 157 feet tall, and was the longest rail trestle in the US at the time it was built. While we were taking pictures a man pulled up in a Kubota side-by-side and introduced himself to us. As it turns out he was a 94 year old WWII veteran whose family owns the property around the trestle. He told us about how his grandfather had sold the land for the trestle to the railroad, and how when he came home for his first furlow after he enlisted in the military, he had ridden home on a passenger train that used to cross the trestle and had convinced the conductor to stop the train before the trestle to allow him to get off and walk down to his house.  He also told us how he and his wife had been married 70 years before she passed away, and how badly he still misses her, which definitely brought a tear to my eye. He was such a sweet man, and we enjoyed listening to his stories.

We often talk about the places that we go and the things that we see, but sometimes the people that we meet are just as interesting, if not more so. It is funny how riding a motorcycle always seems to be a conversation starter. We have ridden all over the US, and it doesn’t matter where we are, there is always someone who approaches us and wants to ask where we are from and how far we have ridden, or where we are going. Sometimes it is other bikers, and sometimes it is just friendly people who are curious.

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Once we finished our chat, we hopped back on the bikes and rode on in to Solsberry where we stopped at the Yoho General Store for lunch. We split a delicious turkey sandwich and a bag of chips, and then shared a couple of scoops of Moosetracks ice cream, because everyone knows you have to have dessert when you’re out on a motorcycle, lol!

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After lunch we rode back in to familiar territory and on to our house, feeling rejuvenated from our little adventure, and excited to start planning the next one!

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