Zeb the Duck in Rockville, Indiana. More Covered Bridges!

Normally we love to attend festivals, but today we planned to arrive after the festival was over.   Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?   We arrived in Rockville, Indiana late Sunday afternoon.   After checking into a motel, we walked to the nearest covered bridge.

Billie Creek Bridge

This is a great bridge.   We did walk through it, but thought it was strange to see “Cross this bridge at a walk.”

Horse cart coming through covered bridge

But now I, Zeb the Duck, understand.   Horses are to pass through the bridge at a walk.   Isn’t this a perfect horse pulled cart?   Cars, of course, can drive slowly through the bridge.   OK, we are here in Rockville, Indiana as the Covered Bridge Festival is ending.   The town of Rockville had a population of 2,600 people according to the 2010 census.   A nice, small town.   But the covered bridge festival begins the second Friday in October and lasts 10 days.   During that time, there will be about 2 million visitors, according to the website.   That is a lot of people!   Let’s look around town first.   The courthouse is a majestic old building.

Rockville, Indiana Courthouse. Tents from covered bridge festival

Here we see some of the tents used during the festival.   We love decorations.

Decorations for autumn in Rockville, Indiana

Autumn decorations abound in Rockville.   Near the courthouse, we liked the Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Memorial Presbyterian Church

The town has many old homes that are still in use today.

Older homes

Look at these wide, tree lined streets.

Tree lined street in Rockville, Indiana

Plenty of space for 2,600 people, but too crowded for hundreds of thousands or even millions.   This county in Indiana has at least 31 covered bridges.   The Visitor’s Center provides maps, with 4 recommended routes.   Humans can drive all over the county, following the suggested routes, to experience driving through covered bridges.   We found some bridges Sunday night, but did more driving Monday morning.   Here is Crooks Bridge.

I, Zeb the Duck, am in Crooks Bridge near Rockville, Indiana

I like bridges with windows.   This part of Indiana is farm country.

Tractor in use. This is farm country.

This farmer is working on his tractor today.   Farming is hard work.   This farm has the barn with cows and a covered bridge in the background.

Definitely farm country. Barn on left. Cows with covered bridge in background.

You can see the dust from a car that just drove through the covered bridge.   Of course, farms mean cows, and we like cows.

Cow with covered bridge in background

This cow lives and grazes near the McAllister Bridge.   I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to remind you that these bridges are necessary.

Zeb on edge of bridge, over river

This one allows passage over the river.   This trip we just wanted to see the covered bridges.   We were not particularly interested in purchasing items, but maybe next time we will come during the festival.   We hope you enjoyed festivals and autumn drives this year.   We like them.

Arikaree Breaks in Kansas with Zeb the Duck

Here we are in Kansas.

Entering Kansas

Entering Kansas

This is the farmland we expect to see in Kansas, but today we are looking for something else.  We are looking for the Arikaree Breaks.   Driving on US Highway 36 into St. Francis, Kansas, we head north at the courthouse.   The humans are following the self driving tour of the area.   First stop is the G.A.R. Cemetery.

G A R Cemetery

G A R Cemetery

The east half was to be for Grand Army of the Republic veterans and their families.   These are veterans of the United States Civil War.

Civil War Veteran and his wife

Civil War Veteran and his wife

The west half was for citizens and their families.  No lots were to be sold; only a donation for the deed was taken.   The intention was to provide an honorable burial to destitute veterans of the Civil War.  This cemetery was established in 1889.   Our map led us over 4 creeks, most of which were dry.  Next stop was Horse Thief Cave.

Entrance to Horse Thief Cave

Entrance to Horse Thief Cave

Along the side of the road, near the entrance to Horse Thief Cave was this mailbox.

A mailbox for Horse Thief Cave?

A mailbox for Horse Thief Cave?

Why a mailbox?  Who receives mail here?  I, Zeb the Duck, have no idea.  This is the back of the cave.

Where is the rest of the cave?

Where is the rest of the cave?

Wait a minute.   What happened here?  Our map tells us most of the cave has caved in, leaving only the entrance.   When the cave was last used in 1878, there were 2 rooms back here.   The outlaws used the front room as their living quarters.   There was a large back chamber where the stolen horses were kept.  Looking behind the cave, this is certainly not the flat Kansas farmland we expected.

Not flat Kansas landscape here

Not flat Kansas landscape here

Driving further, we find the Lookout Point.

Arikaree Break

Arikaree Break

This is a canyon.   It is beautiful in its own way.  These Arikaree Breaks are 36 miles long and two to three miles wide.   They are really great to see.  Further along, we are reminded that this really is farm country.   The cows are grazing in the breaks.

Cows in the breaks

Cows in the breaks

They get in and out of the breaks on their own.   Information from the nearby city of St. Francis tells us about this area.  The Arikaree Breaks were formed by wind deposited sand, silt, and clay particles, called loess.  After deposition, the loess has undergone spectacular processes of head cutting, and sidewall cutting the advancing tributaries of the Arikaree River and the South Fork of the Republican River.   This all happened during the Holocene Age, a little less than 9,000 years ago.  The humans tell me we will drive through a private farm, with permission from the farmer, to see 3 corners.   I really don’t know what that means.   But, along the way, I see two new friends watching me.

We are being watched

We are being watched

I love to see deer.   We also saw a large flock of wild turkeys.  They humans tell me 3 corners is where 3 of our states all meet.   This is the sign explaining everything.

3 Corners. Meeting of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.

3 Corners. Meeting of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.

We are in Kansas, Nebraska is directly north and Colorado is on the east.  Here I am where these three states meet.

Marking the exact meeting of three states

Marking the exact meeting of three states

This is a great marker and I, Zeb the Duck, am glad to be here.   I wanted to sit on the fence post to gaze over these three states.

Observing 3 states. Getting flatter in all directions.

Observing 3 states. Getting flatter in all directions.

You can see that the land is getting flatter, the typical land of Western Kansas, Western Nebraska and Eastern Colorado.   We are heading back to Colorado now.

Heading back home

Heading back home

It is always good to go home.   On the drive back, we reflect on the Kansas landscape we saw.

We really did see this in NW Kansas. Badlands?

We really did see this in NW Kansas. Badlands?

This looks more like the Badlands of North and South Dakota, but it is the Arikaree Breaks in Northwest Kansas.   We hope you drive around your area and see some surprising features also.