The Herald Bulletin

September 12, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Failed outdoors trip leads to far greater end

By Rick Bramwell
For The Herald Bulletin

---- — Intuition is a funny thing. Last week I told my daughter Jourdan I would visit her Monday at IU after fishing an Owen County lake. I wanted to stay two days and planned to hunt gray squirrels the second. Nothing seemed to work towards that goal, but I went anyway.

Sunday night I just could not fall asleep. It was one of those nights when my body said, “Let’s get rid of a gallon of water.”

Sleep finally found me about an hour before the alarm went off. A large cup of Speedway coffee would be my trusted companion on the 100-mile trip.

When I arrived, the lake was discharging patches of slime off the bottom and there was no wind to move it. Under the circumstances, I was happy to catch 18 bluegilll. One good thing that could not be ruined was lunch at Chambers Buffet in Spencer.

My afternoon squirrel hunt did not reveal one bushy tail, it was too hot. It did allow me to walk off my lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent napping.

My dinner date was Jourdan and a friend in Bloomington. On my way back to Spencer, Jourdan called with bad news. Apparently, her transmission went out about a block from her off-campus home.

Jourdan had her car towed to a local franchised mechanic. They determined it was a transmission failure.

When in Rome, find out what the Romans would do. I contacted good friend Dean Whitlow. He suggested Joe Daniel’s transmission/mechanic shop in the country just east of Spencer. That estimate was $600 less than the chain store.

Jourdan is 21, but still needs dad’s help on occasion, and I still enjoy coming to the rescue.

On my way through Ellettsville, I stopped at the Tasty Freeze for a persimmon custard ice cream cone. I will never know if my intuition was for the persimmon or Jourdan’s car trouble.

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According to the DNR, the free Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience has carved a niche on the state’s September calendar as it enters its fifth year.

On Sept. 21-22, that tradition reawakens at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis and sets the stage for another.

Traditional Arts Indiana, which debuted last year, will expand its on-site offerings. Drum makers and musicians, a hoop net maker, a plant tradition bearer and a limestone crafter and gravestone maker will teach participants about their crafts.

TAI is just one of more than 50 outdoor activities offered free. Just about everything from archery and target shooting to mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing and kayaking is offered at no cost to participants. All equipment is provided. All activities, parking and admission are free.

Participants can bring their own food, although food booths will be available. To view a video of last year’s highlights, visit

The Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day that weekend. The goal is to introduce people to outdoor activities they may have never tried.

Online advance registration at is requested. Watch there or for updates and details.