September 13, 2011

It's Christmas in Indiana

Jane arrived late last night after an uneventful flight from Miami, too late to introduce her to her home for the next week.  It wasn’t until this morning that she saw the RV for the first time.  You have to understand that Jane is not a camper (not that I was before last summer, either).  She’s a city girl who loves to stay at quaint bed and breakfast inns.  But, she’s also brave and a very good friend and seems up for the adventure.

Since we have a lot of miles to cover in the next week and want to spend some time at several sites along the way, I decided that we would have to travel by interstate today.  It’s one of my least favorite ways to cross the country, but I-64 through Illinois and Indiana wasn’t too bad.

We stopped in the middle of the day at New Harmony, Indiana, a nineteenth century utopian community.  I had been intrigued by the town for many years, not only for its history, but also for its use of cutting-edge, contemporary architecture in a historic setting.  Richard Meier’s design of the Atheneum in the late 1970s was very controversial, and I always had wanted to see it in person.  Many traditionalists at the time were appalled with such a modern design, but I thought it was fabulous.  The building has stood the test of time and is just one of many contemporary buildings throughout the town, including the Roofless Church by Philip Johnson. 

Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana

Roofless Church, New Harmony, Indiana
Despite almost leading us astray to Kentucky, Jane eventually directed us to the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.  This site commemorates Lincoln’s life and includes the memorial building, as well as a living farm and the grave of Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks.

Lincoln Boyhood Memorial Building

Living History Farm
In order to ease Jane into the camping mode, we picked a private campground near the memorial.  We’re in Santa Claus, Indiana, and staying at the Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort (as in Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer).  This is a huge campground with street names like Comet Boulevard, Santa Lane and Blitzen Boulevard.  We’re staying on Reindeer Run in a surprisingly natural setting.


  1. Have fun! Don't get in too much trouble together!

  2. Saw you were approaching Indianapolis and remembered that Andy and I really enjoyed seeing the Connor house at Connor Prairie in Fishers. I think it was the first house built in Indiana...or something like that, and has been restored. It is a whole living history center. If you haven't been there, it is really worth it. We are of course very into historic houses also.

    Joy Bauer