Category: DayTrips

Safety First at the Polar Plunge

January 1st might be National Polar Bear Swim Day, but Saturday, February 18, 2017 is the day to mark on your calendar. It is the one day of the year when you can watch perfectly reasonable human beings – attorneys, firefighters, high school students, engineers and retirees – purposely walk, jump, skip or even swish into frigidly cold water. For ten years this wild behavior has been going on. And all to benefit Special Olympics.

http://soindiana-rod.org/polarplunge/

Whether the skies are sunny or the snow is blowing, folks will head out to Versailles State Park for the annual Polar Plunge next month. However, before any of the participants can enter the lake, local divers cut through 9” of solid ice to clear the plunge area.

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Between the preparation and the start of the event, emergency personnel check and recheck their gear while experienced divers drink plenty of water and relax.

Every dive demands pre-planning, training and focus. The water rescue team outfits each rescue truck with everything necessary for all kinds of emergencies including dark water, swift water and ice rescues.

 

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Gear like these lines and chain saws are tested frequently and maintained scrupulously to ensure the safety of the divers and the person – or animal – being rescued.

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Each diver is only one part of a large, cohesive team. Even getting dressed properly requires a group effort.

 

Testing gear, communicating with the team and being alert are three vital aspects of any dive.

 

 

 

 

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Clearing the Polar Plunge area of debris that can injure a participant, or impede a rescue is an ongoing process.

 

 

 

 

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The divers share a bond that is difficult to describe. Words like ‘family’, ‘brotherhood’, ‘tight’ cannot define the shared life and death experiences these men and women face regularly in and out of the water as part of the Team.

Everyone has a job to do – from hauling gear, drying lines and inspecting the dive site.

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Once in the frigid water, the team does another sweep before getting into position.

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Almost ready …

 

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Another successful, safe – and fun – Polar Plunge!

To learn about upcoming Polar Plunges in your area, please visit:

http://www.specialolympics.org/Calendar/Polar_Plunge_Events.aspx

To learn more about Rescue Diving, please visit:

http://www.rescuediver.org/Classes/rd-stand.htm

Z is for Zzzzz

At last we have come to the final post for the month of April. I want to thank all of you for reading, liking, and commenting on this blog. Your willingness to share my work with friends and family through email, word of mouth and social media is, and has been, greatly appreciated. 8551d4cc-c1de-4c57-9029-e4ed24580817_0367

I have especially enjoyed getting to know you through your own blogs and websites – many of which I never would have found without your visits. Thank you for inspiring me and for sharing your creativity and struggles and humor.

Although the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge is almost finished, today is really just the beginning for this, and my other two blogs (Creatzart.com and SinclaireMonroe.com). The coming year is already bursting with day trips, mini-excursions, and a few week-long adventures.

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I am looking forward to long days of research, late nights of photo editing, and happy hours spent interviewing county historians, public document recorders, and local people  – all of whom have the longest memories and the best stories!

Please continue to travel with me from the misty Appalachian Mountains to the expansive Western Plains. There remains so much to see and learn and celebrate – and to share.

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X Marks the Spot Along the Ohio River

The story of the Ohio River has never been straight and clear. Like the waterway itself, the history of the river meanders and rolls, falls and loops about again. This is a river alive with the spirit of Native Americans; moving with the enterprise of frontier families, yet still learning to balance the demands of commerce with the fragility of nature.

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Be forewarned – there is a robbers’ lair tucked into the banks of the Ohio River. Named Cave-In-Rock by notorious pirate and murderer Samuel Mason, this once violent site is now a peaceful addition to the Illinois State Park system. Visitors often stay in  comfortable cabins while exploring the nearby iron furnace, or the Garden of the Gods.

Located in Clarksville, Indiana, the once impressive 26 foot drop in elevation along two and one half miles of the Ohio River is now an educational site where fossils more than 390 million years old are preserved. Due to the fluctuating water levels of the Ohio River, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is best visited in late summer and through early winter.

The public is invited to learn more about the Ohio River where it flows through Southeastern Indiana when independent filmmaker Dennis Neary presents his film, Take the River, at the Lawrenceburg Public Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:00PM.

W is for Whitewater Canal Tunnel

Just a short stroll from South Miami Avenue in the Southwest Ohio town of Cleves is tucked an often overlooked piece of history: the Cincinnati – Whitewater Canal Tunnel.

Now a mere mere hint of what it once was and what it once promised for the region, this silt-filled tunnel had been used by canal boats for just thirteen years. Sold to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad in 1863, soon locomotives thundered through the often flooded tunnel until being abandoned in the late 1880s.

Built during the years of 1839 – 1843, the Whitewater Canal Tunnel linked Hagerstown and Connersville, Indiana to Harrison, Ohio before entering Lawrenceburg, Indiana, until reaching the mighty Ohio River.

http://www.indcanal.org/

One of twelve canal tunnels in the country at the time, today only four such tunnels remain. This nearly forgotten structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/03/24/problems-plagued-canal-projects/6833875/

http://www.northbendohio.org/CanalTunnel.html

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/whitewater.html

 

 

 

V is for Vehicles

From the Avanti to the Pilot, Indiana has enjoyed a colorful and eclectic love affair with vehicles.

 

In the early 1900s, only Michigan produced more vehicles than Indiana. Many of Indiana’s car manufacturers were smaller companies, like Richmond’s Westcott Motor Car Company, or the McFarlan Motor Corporation in Connersville, or the J & M Motorcar Company of Lawrenceburg.

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Certain Indiana car manufacturers’ names are immediately recognized by the general public even today:  Studebaker and Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg and Willys-Overland . These are iconic names and still incredible vehicles.

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The role of the automobile in Indiana’s history is too expansive a topic to fit into one post, so look for future stories highlighting many of the lesser known car manufacturers. Many of these enterprises began as carriage works or wagon makers in the small towns and quiet communities throughout the state.

 

U is for Unexpected

On the shelves and in the nooks of Granny’s Cookie Jars and Ice Cream Parlor, are tucked nearly as many salt and pepper shakers as there are cookie jars.

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This family owned shop is as delicious to look at, as the ice cream is to eat!

How about a little turkey or duck with that?

It’s like a scavenger hunt for fun!

Enjoy yourself for an afternoon in Metamora.

T is for Train Depots

 

Shrill whistles, clattering tracks, rhythmic rolling cars … imagine the train depot as it used to be.

I have wonderful memories of feeling the approaching train before hearing the whistle or seeing the blinding light.

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I have seen the mail bag tossed and caught, have seen the stationmaster extend notes to the engineer, watched as a working man’s arm reached from the window, catching the note, but never the hook.

As a child, I tried to push the heavy baggage trolleys on their iron wheels across uneven planks. I’ve ridden in steam trains and diesel trains, looked from the uppermost windows of a caboose, and I have stood probably too near the track as freight trains thundered past, feeling a surge of terror and excitement and longing to travel as fast, as far into the unknown.

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