Only In Indiana: The Backroads


PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - There are the roads we take when we are in a hurry to get from here to there, but what about those times when we just want to slow things down, that is when we turn to the back roads in our quest to look for the life we have lost in the living.

Where patriotism still waves above the corn. Where the vibrant colors cover the countryside.

Where you look at homes that you know at one time were full of life and now over run by time. How did they get that way? Who lived there? Why did they leave?

There are bread crumbs along the road if you choose to follow them. The old root beer stand were you know folks stopped to quench their thirst on the way to the drive-in on Saturday night and then gather themselves to ask for forgiveness at church on Sunday morning.

If the back road leads you to Bridgeton, you have the 1823 mill that was rebuilt in 1870. Don't be surprised if you have to share the road with a horse and buggy or an old car that you swear if you can just get in it will transport you back in time.

All you have to do is cross the covered bridges in Parke County, like Crooks Bridge from 1856 or Billie Creek Bridge from 1895. Don't be surprised if you decide to put down your kickstand at one of these, like the Neet Bridge from 1904 or McCallister from 1914. The funny thing is, you are completely covered and yet there is so much to see. That is when you just have to stand there and take it all in. Just let it envelop you. You will wonder why it took you so long to get here.

You feel sorry for folks who are speeding down the highway with places to go and people to see, because this is the kind of place where you can truly find yourself. Where the past meets the present like tiny Story, Indiana.

I may have used my bike, but you don't have to. If you see a road beckoning, you take it. Robert Frost was right. If you take the road less traveled by, it really can make all the difference.

By the way, if you are looking for an excuse to get on the back roads, Parke County has one.

The annual Covered Bridge Festival runs for ten days starting October 13 and runs through the 22nd.

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