Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Wonderland Weekend

We just spent a wonderful winter weekend playing in the snow in northeast Indiana!  Pokagon State Park, in Steuben County, is quickly becoming one of my favorite state parks in Indiana.  Last Friday Doug and I, with four of our friends (Valerie & Darren and Chris & Juliet), rented a rustic cabin at the park and spent a few days tobogganing, hiking, enjoying each others company, eating tasty food, drinking tasty drinks, and--of course--playing games.

Although the roads were a little slick on our way up north on Friday night, we couldn't have asked for better weather for this adventure.  As we spent time outdoors, we all kept marveling at the gently falling snow showers and perfectly formed snowflakes.

And, we were up bright and early on Saturday morning to be some of the first people on the toboggan run!  The run at Pokagon S.P. got started by the CCC boys--the Civilian Conservation Corps that helped build a lot of Indiana's state parks back in the mid-1930s.  It's gotten improved quite a bit from its beginnings back then; the run now starts at the top of a 30 foot tower. With the natural hills in the area, it actually has a vertical drop of 90 feet over a quarter mile of dips and valleys.  Despite our best attempts, including getting several combinations of 4 big adults all on one sled, we didn't beat the run's top recorded speed of 42 mph--we only made it to 36 mph. But it was awfully fun trying despite the bumps and bruises that I managed to get along the way! We did several several runs that morning and then returned Saturday night to try again.  It. Was. Awesome.

We were a bit disappointed that we didn't get some cross-country skiing in.  This was their first snow for a while, and the Parks rentals weren't available this weekend.  But we had a few nice hikes.  Some crazy person--there was some argument whether it was actually Doug or Valerie--also talked us into a foolish run from our cabin to the big hot tub at the Inn wearing just our swimsuits and snow boots.  Doug wasn't convinced this was foolish enough and decided to run over to the lake for a polar bear dip and another dive into the hot tub.  :)  Also awesome.

A fine time was had by all!  The video below is one of the nighttime toboggan runs with Doug, Chris, Valerie and Darren.

In other odd news, Doug and I decided to try renting our house for the Indianapolis Super Bowl Madness.  We're not sure it will take--but our house is less than a 2 mile drive from Lucas Oil Stadium!  Walking it is even closer, a 30 minute hike.  At the very least, preparing for this possibility made us clean our house!  The website we are using, AirBnB, actually sends out a professional photographer to take photos for free.  Craziness!  He did a beautiful job--and if you follow this link you'll get to take a look at all of the improvements we've made to our funny little house in the last year.  After almost 10 years in the house I finally got to get rid of the terrible contractor carpeting for some wonderfully warm toned resilient flooring.  The same contractor who did our flooring also built the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that I longed for since I first bought the house.  After all that work was finished, we also repainted several of the rooms downstairs with some warm, vibrant colors.  We hope you take a look using the link below.  And, if you know any die-hard football fans who don't have hotel rooms booked for the Super Bowl yet, please pass this along!