Friday, May 17, 2013

You Want Him?

Although it was cloudy last Saturday, we still piled into the car for our weekly adventure. Aside from a delightful stop in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, the road west along the Ohio River was a bit of a bust. Ever since discovering San Francisco, wine country, and the Pacific Ocean I've had a romantic preoccupation with traveling towards the sunset. But, as Leah pointed out, from here you go east to get to the mountains so it makes sense that everything gets prettier in that direction. Clever girl!

We had better luck heading east on the Indiana side of the river, where we stopped in Rising Sun, Indiana. This is the charming river gateway, shown at an odd angle because there was a wedding party taking photos nearby and I didn't want to appear to be kinnearing them.

There was a charming downtown street leading away from the gate, complete with an art gallery, soap boutique and a trading post featuring a giant stuffed turkey in the front window. Sadly, it was closed. Leah wanted a closer look at the cigar store indian that was behind the turkey.

On the other side was this.

I think it's supposed to be a statue/fountain of a weeping willow.

Or possibly an unsettling gray green memorial to the wailing souls of those whose lives have been taken by the mighty Ohio.

The mighty Ohio seen here, brooding and sullen, in the background.

We contemplated this, solemnly, as the breeze blew off the water and through the drooping metal fronds of the tree, then headed back towards the car.

Where we discovered that a small boy had been raptured right out of his overalls.

Time to move on!

As we continued down the road, we had to turn around and stop when we spied a flattened shape on the center line which proved to be a very large snapping turtle.

As we got out of the car, another car screeched to a halt on the other side of the road and a very large man got out, looked at us, and said, "You want him?"

Since we only wanted him in pictures, the man obligingly picked the turtle up by its scaly tail, deposited it by the roadside, and began arranging photo ops.

With Leah's hand, for scale.

With open mouth - the large man's large boot is just outside the frame. Apparently it's okay to let a snapping turtle chomp on your steel toes. I still wouldn't have tried it.

We noted the alligator like tail and the impressive claws. Despite these armaments, the turtle was defensive rather than aggressive.

In pensive close up.

After I had gotten enough photos, we wished each other a good day, the man put the turtle in his trunk, and we went our separate ways.

We ended our adventure at the Third and Main Tavern in Aurora, Indiana. If you are ever within fifty miles of this place and even mildly peckish, you really should stop in. They have a lovely patio, a fabulous selection of adult beverages, friendly staff and patrons. They also have the best prime rib sandwich I have ever had in my entire life. It was incredible, still barely pink at the center and suffused with rosemary and garlic, tender and juicy and perfectly seasoned. I started texting people after the third bite.

Leah had a burger stuffed with poblanos, queso blanco, and cilantro, topped with chipotle mayo. It was equally delicious, especially the beef, which the menu says is from Pat LaFrieda. The fries were good enough that I didn't drown them in ketchup, as is my wont.

Also, this picture? Tres Blueberry Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company. I was a very satisfied traveler.

Today: Eight. According to large men, there are eight kinds of meat on a snapping turtle. We are still wondering how you get to them, though.

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