The occasion that enabled the trip was an evening street concert in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not long after I was first impressed with the recorded guitar magic of Johnny A, I was even more impressed by seeing that magic in person. In the many months since then, I've waited for Johnny and his excellent trio to appear somewhere in range but nearly all dates were fairly close to the Boston home base. When I learned that he would be in Indianapolis on the 23rd, the question was never "would I go?" but "could I find it?" Information on the event was not plentiful but, with rough ideas of where and when, Chris and I set off for a leisurely drive from Cincinnati to Indiana's capitol.

In the beginning, multi-lane expressway had to be tolerated but we soon left that behind and headed up Indiana Route 1. In 1960, this covered bridge was moved a short distance to form a practical and attractive entrance into a very pretty little park along side Tanner's Creek. Much of the upper part of the bridge has been replaced after some serious damage was caused by vandals setting it afire in 1993. Inside, evidence of the fire exists in the form of charred but sound timbers.

Just a bit up the road is the house where John & Ann Ewbank often hid run away slaves who followed the creek to their home. The Ewbank's generosity included donating the land on which this Methodist church was built in 1821. John and Ann did reclaim a small portion of their gift by being buried in the adjacent cemetery.

When we reached I-74 I momentarily lost my senses and traveled several miles on the super-slab before once again heading north on an Indiana two lane. Behind this church in St. Marys is an impressive grotto built of stones brought in by parishioners from their farms. Called The Lourdes Grotto of St Mary's of the Rock, it was completed in 1922 and quickly became the focal point of an annual pilgrimage on the Feast of the Assumption.

Here are four unconnected spots that caught our attention as we drove by. Although it is a mile from the actual site, the historical marker identifies the intersection of boundaries defined by the Treaty of Greeneville and the Treaty of Grouseland. We turned around at the sign to get a picture of the inhabited log cabin we had just passed then opted to backtrack for awhile since the road had become pretty much east (i.e., away from Indy) bound. At this point we began to "wander Indiana" in earnest and retracing our path would not be easy. It lead us past the "Stairway to Heaven" and a rather large and authentic looking teepee. Two cement block outhouses stand at the corner of the lot opposite the steps but the church or school that once gave them purpose is completely gone.

We had a vague plan that we would eventually reach US-52 and follow it to Indianapolis and we almost did that shortly after passing the teepee. But, a "wrong" turn, onto 229 just a couple of miles south of 52, kept the "wander Indiana" segment going. Things started to seem a bit familiar and I soon realized that we were approaching the many-spired village of Oldenburg that I had first visited in April.

We eventually returned to route 229 near to point of that earlier southern turn and this time followed it to US 52 which we took all the way to Indianapolis. But, before that was accomplished, we encountered a couple of these creek crossings that more resemble a ford than a bridge. I have forgotten the name of the road and don't believe that I ever knew the name of the stream.

This was the point of the whole excursion; "Blues on the Avenue" in Indianapolis. "blues" seems something of a misnomer although I understand that it may have been more accurate in years past. I also understand that three acts were the norm. This year there were only two with Indy native John Hiatt headlining and Johnny A opening. Several blocks of Massachusetts Avenue, including a classic Coca-Cola bottling plant, were blocked off for the event. The majority, of course, were there to see Hiatt and he delivered a great performance with just the right touch of "this is my town". But Chris & I were there to see Johnny A and he did not disappoint. With the bassist (Ed Spargo) and drummer (Craig MacIntyre) that had impressed us back at Lucille's in Kentucky, Johnny worked those six strings for all they were worth. One of the tightest groups I have ever seen. The equipment problems that had kept us waiting at the gates and had delayed the start of the show were soon forgotten.

In the morning, we headed south through downtown Indianapolis past the Indiana World War Memorial and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The nice looking older Mercedes in the corner of the full size picture of the monument had passed us a few blocks earlier as I crawled along. The third shot is the historic Slippery Noodle near Union Station.

It took awhile to break loose from the big city traffic but we eventually picked up US 31 and followed it to Columbus. Chris had not been along when I was here in April and I knew that the Irwin gardens would be a hit with her. They were.

From Columbus, we followed scenic state route 7 all the way to Madison on the Ohio River. After a brief stop at Madison's Broadway Hotel and Tavern we headed home along the familiar river route. The unusual tractor was just east of Vevay where the Switzerland County Wine Festival was in progress. We reached Aurora just as the last of the day's tunnel boat races was about to start so hung around to watch a few laps.

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