Bluhm County Park

I attended a lovely wedding last weekend which called for a short road trip to Indiana.

01roadtrip

I’ve only passed through Indiana so it was a fun reason to explore the state a little.

02Skyline

Upon entering I was greeted with signs promising Krazy Fireworks and Showgirls, along with Hoosier references.

03Indiana

Further in, however, the scenery changed to luscious green landscapes and I felt more at ease driving around.

04CountryRoads

I got a little lost along the farm roads, since I expected street signs to be more prominent than they were, city slicker that I’ve become.

05TallCorn

Via a detour to Red Mill Park I found my intended destination of Bluhm County Park.

01bDriving

I’m sure Red Mill has its charms too, but I was drawn to the description of wildflowers, which I knew must draw critters to them!

06BluhmSign

The park is lovely, with a dog park, horseback trails, and great paths for biking.

06aBlumParkVista

There is also a playground for children and a barbecue area. This is a great spot for families and ‘beginning hikers’ and seemed to have handicapped accessible spots as well. I even learned some rules.

08HikingRules

The promise of wildflowers was fulfilled.

06YFlowers

09Wildflowerfields

Cabbage whites and sulphurs were darting about.

20Cabbage

Sometimes you only get one shot, which can be hit or miss.

19CabbageWhite

I also spotted admirals and a crescent that didn’t sit still long enough. But a Tiger Swallowtail posed for me.

08Swallowtail

The aptly named (and frisky) Red and Black-spotted beetle.

RedBug

I don’t know if this is a skipper or a moth, but its wings make a really cool buzzing sound.

21BrownSkipper

Not sure whether Viceroy or Monarch, but either is beautiful.

17Monarch

I went into the wooded area, but since the area is a wetland, the mosquitos swarmed around me immediately.

10Forest

There are options between the paved path and more woodsy earthy paths.

14Path

Stopping to take photographs of moths turned me into an instant meal.

12Moth

Forage Looper Moth.

13Moth

So I had to track back in spite of my bug spray.

11Trees

 On my way out I met this dashing Blue Dasher.

15aDragonflyPoser

It posed for a little while.

15bDragonflyPoser

I meandered around the flowers a bit more.

16Flowertubes

This Black Swallowtail captivated me for some time.

DarkSwallowtail

I then crossed the street to another woodsy path, which fortunately wasn’t as mosquito-rich as the other path.

25OtherTrail

It was clearly a lover’s lane, with numerous initials carved into trees. I didn’t see an R&L though.

26CarvedTree

24Shroom

There was the right amount of shade and light.

27Shadow

I was led to a pond, where mosquitos swarmed me again, but not as badly.

28Pond

These dragonflies weren’t the best posers, but lovely to watch as they patrolled the waters.

29DragnFly

29DragFly

As I wandered back to the parking lot this tree stared back at me.

30FaceTree

It was time to head for the B&B, which took me past the LaPorte County Fair.

32laPorteFair

32laPortefarm

The Arbor Hill Inn is a charming Bed and Breakfast near the lake of LaPorte, Indiana.

33aAHillInnSign

33bArborHillInn

I had picked my Chateau Provence Room online, which is in the guest house.

33cAhIllGuestHouse

33eDoor

The room is cozy and charming.

33eRoom

And the whirlpool tub was one of its perks.

33fBath

The butterfly by the house was an affirmation as well.

33dGuesthouseBfly

Since it was dinnertime, I made my way back past the lake into downtown LaPorte.

34Lake

Trattoria Enzo had been recommended to me by the innkeeper.

36Enzo

After the long drive and a few hours of walking I was ready for a hearty meal, which was delicious.

36EnzoMeal

Across the street from the restaurant is LaPorte’s main landmark, the courthouse.

35LaPorteCourthouse

The Potawatomi Indian has a broken spear to symbolize peace with the pioneers.

35aLaPorteIndian

It is INDIANa, after all.

35bIndian

Sadly there wasn’t much else to explore, so I made my way back to the hotel for a bubble bath and a good night’s sleep. Both mornings I was treated with a delicious breakfast.

37InnBreakfast

The day after the wedding I sunned at the Indiana Dunes before going home.

38Dunes1

38Dunes2

The line got long on the gorgeous afternoon.

38Dunes3

I took the more scenic drive of I-90 to Lakeshore Drive this time, though the tolls hurt my wallet ($4 upon entering Chicago after paying $2.30 between two stops in Indiana).

39Bridge

Hazy Chicago was a nice sight to behold.

39HazyChitown

It was a lovely weekend, and I look forward to planning another roadtrip in the fall. There is so much to see within 2 hours of Chicagoland, and between state parks and nature trails, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

41poppy

What are your favorite places to visit?

 

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