Experimental music, photography, and adventures

An impromptu day off

Friday, June 13th, 2008

A few weeks ago, Sarah was gone most of the weekend, so Monday I took a day off at the last minute and Sarah and I spent the day together, driving around southern Indiana, taking photos and exploring/hiking. I fell behind in my blogging, so I’m just now writing about it.

The great thing about taking a day off at the last minute is that it feels like playing hooky, without any guilt (well, maybe a little guilt for not giving my boss more notice, but hey, it wasn’t a problem). We started our day off by going to our favorite breakfast establishment, Wee Willie’s (we like the Ellettsville location). Anyway, after that we started heading south with no real destination in mind. Unfortunately I left my Indiana Atlas and Gazetteer at home, so we had to make do with the road atlas. We ultimately decided to drive down to Paoli, a town I had driven through but Sarah had never seen. We stopped in downtown Paoli to take a few photos. There is a pretty quaint square with some big hills in the background.

Courthouse, downtown Paoli, IN

Some shops

I did a couple of infrared shots, but quickly decided I didn’t want to haul the tripod around or deal with the cumbersome nature of IR photography.

Courthouse in infrared

Infrared shops and hills

So, I put the tripod away and broke out my kit lens, and threw a circular polarizer filter on it. We had fun just walking around the square, seeing what shops were there (actually surprisingly few of interest), and just being together. I was fascinated by many of the buildings’ textures, and several very interesting windows. Many buildings were vacant or businesses closed. A couple of businesses had moved across the square to different stores.


Sherrod (not sure what that was …)


The Music Store


Walters Ye Olde Barber Shoppe

Peeling paint


Public Library


After going around the square and taking some photos, we went into a “pub” that based on the outside looked like it was going to be pretty nice. It wasn’t dirty or anything, but it wasn’t what we expected. When I asked what they had on tap I got a funny look. Nothing on tap, just bottles. OK! One guy drank Stoli drinks out of a paper cup and a number of people gathered at the bar to watch Maury Povich. We each had a Rolling Rock and left.


After our … uh … “urban” expedition, we decided we should do something outdoors and found we weren’t far from Patoka Lake. We drove there and got a map at the front gate, but didn’t realize until it was too late that it didn’t include a map of the hiking trails. Oh well, we figured, we read that one trail was short and decided to give it a shot, even though we were not wearing proper shoes and didn’t have a map. As we prepared to go hiking, we saw an animal from a distance that we think was a fox. Then as we walked along, we saw a couple of lizards sunning themselves. They stuck around long enough for me to put the long lens on my camera.


We took photos of the lizards and some nearby plants before heading down the trail

Ferns — nice and fractally (yes, I’m sure that is a word)


I’m not sure what this is, but it’s really cool-looking and fuzzy

We debated which way to go once we reached the trail. It was a loop, so we figured we should be able to go either way.

Sarah hiking


To make a long story short, we must’ve gone the wrong way, I believe at the very beginning, because this trail was not short, and we ended up going “backwards” based on the signs. We hiked for a good hour or an hour and a half in sandals/poor shoes and really got pretty tired. Eventually we found a “short cut” back but it was probably another two miles from there. Sometimes being spontaneous has a price, but it was well worth it even though it was a bit frustrating, and we were not well-prepared this time around.




Eventually we got back to the car. It took what seemed like forever to get back. We enjoyed our hike immensely, though, and we’d like to go back again and do more hiking at Patoka Lake. There are also some bike paths there that looked like a lot of fun, a couple of campgrounds, and I am sure some boat rental. It looks like it’d be a fun place to spend a weekend.

We drove back to Bloomington tired, but happy, and glad we were able to spend this time together. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than wandering through the countryside with my soon-to-be wife.

5 Responses to “An impromptu day off”

  1. tim Says:

    the pic below the rose is a plant called “lamb’s ear”, or stachys bizantina. it likes dry, and if you can get that, it’s very hearty. FWIW

  2. furiousball Says:

    love the infrared shots and it’s always nice to see sarah’s smile

  3. MRMacrum Says:

    Mondays are only workdays when there is nothing else better to do. Once I had control of my own schedule, I chose to work Tuesday through Saturday and take Sunday and Monday off. Like the peeling paint photo. And for some reason the Library shot made me come back to it. Nice pictures as usual.

  4. Bike Noob Says:

    As a former Midwesterner myself, I can relate to the scenes in your excellent pictures. Great stuff.

  5. Marty Says:

    Beautiful shots – well done for a day of ‘hooky’. And it’s not hooky – it’s a mental health day! Which I might have to do again soon.

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