Outdoor Indiana - September/October 2014 - Featured Stories

From the Director
The COOKING POT that built a COUNTRY
Tallyho!
ALL ABOARD

From the Director

It's that time again
Director Cameron F. Clark

Director Cameron F. ClarkSeptember.

It’s that time of year when school is back in full swing for most students and when some people begin prepping cottages or summer homes for the chill of winter.

It’s also the month for DNR’s premier event—the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience.

Now in its sixth year, the two-day gathering at Fort Harrison State Park on the outskirts of Indianapolis offers visitors an opportunity to try dozens of outdoor recreational activities.

And it’s all free—no cost to enter the park or for any of the activities.

Never paddled a canoe? Here’s your chance.

Never aimed a shotgun at a flying clay target and pulled the trigger? Here’s your chance.

Never pedaled down a wooded trail on a mountain bike? Here’s your chance.

Never thrown an atlatl? What’s that, you ask? Come find out for yourself.

That’s what the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience is all about—experiencing and learning new things. Even for the most seasoned outdoors person.

The event’s hands-on format made it an instant hit with 13,300 participants in 2009. Attendance has grown steadily each year. The 31,300 participants in 2013 not only were a record but also pushed our five-year total to more than 108,000 participants.

But don’t let those numbers scare you from coming to this year’s event on Sept. 20–21.

DNR staff members and volunteers do a remarkable job managing the movement of participants around the park with the same trolley cars used at the Indiana State Fair. And waiting lines at even the most popular venues move quickly.

Besides, if you don’t get to everything you want to try on the first day, you’re welcome to come back the second day. We’ll be there, rain or shine.

Our goal is to get you turned on to the great outdoors.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Central Indiana Ford Dealers. They came on as title sponsor last year and were so pleased with the event they renewed their commitment for three more years. We thank them for their support.

See you at the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience.

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The COOKING POT that built a COUNTRY

Prepare outdoor grub with history on the side
By Nick Werner, OI Staff

Cherry pie by Tom and Cyndi Jacobi is ready for anyone who has saved room. Or is ready to make room. Dutch oven cooking dates back thousands of years. Most pots and pans don’t have a lineage.

They are bought at department stores, used a few years, then thrown out.

Not Julie and Dustin Clark’s cookware.

The Clarks are fanatics about Dutch ovens, which are cast iron cooking pots famous for versatility and durability. Dustin inherited his most prized Dutch oven from his grandmother. His grandmother traced the pot to her great-grandmother. The Clarks estimate the Dutch oven is from the turn of the 20th century. It could be older.

The couple still uses it on camping trips and in backyard cookouts.

“Generation after generation can use the same cast iron skillets and pots and pans,” Dustin said. “It’s an heirloom. There are memories burned into Dutch ovens. You create a relationship with the cookware.”

The Dutch oven is as simple as cookware comes. It is a thick-walled, cast iron pot with a lid. Dutch ovens can be used indoors and outdoors. The most popular use is outdoors, over a campfire or hot coals.

Cutline: Cherry pie by Tom and Cyndi Jacobi is ready for anyone who has saved room. Or is ready to make room. Dutch oven cooking dates back thousands of years.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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Tallyho!

A foxy way of preserving tradition
By Nick Werner, OI staff

Members of the Traders Point Hunt Club in rural Zionsville escort their pack of foxhounds to club headquarters for a blessing to mark the beginning of the 2013 hunting season last October. Twenty-seven horseback riders gathered in circular formation around a flagpole.

With perfect, upright posture, the riders wore traditional English gear—tall black boots, tan breeches, a form-fitting red or black hunt jacket, and black helmet. Their steeds wore braided manes.

At the flagpole, one rider stood on foot, using a brass whistle to keep 16 pacing white-and-tan hounds from straying.

Then the ceremony began.

A white-robed, Episcopalian priest read from the Book of Psalms, starting a liturgy that emphasized the beauty of nature and ending with the Lord’s Prayer and an amen.

The customs were straight out of Europe but the flag atop the pole was the Stars and Stripes.

It was early October 2013 and official opening day for fox hunting at Traders Point Hunt Club in rural Zionsville in Boone County. As with every fox hunting season, this one began with a “Blessing of the Hounds.”

Cutline: Members of the Traders Point Hunt Club in rural Zionsville escort their pack of foxhounds to club headquarters for a blessing to mark the beginning of the 2013 hunting season last October. Missy Roetter leads, flanked by Pat Righter (left) and Cindy Lamberjack (right). Jason O’Neal trails Roetter.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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ALL ABOARD

Preserving Indiana’s passenger trains
By Nick Werner, OI Staff

Steam locomotive 765, “the Wabash Cannonball” of musical fame, bound for Fort Wayne, crosses the river for which it is named between Lagro and Andrews.Two-year old Brody Herrmann couldn’t contain his excitement.

“Toot, toot,” the Indianapolis tot said. “Toot, toot.”

Brody was on the State Fair Train in summer 2013 with his mother, Melody Merida. He had spent much of his young life obsessing over trains, playing with his two train tables and watching Thomas the Tank Engine cartoons. He wore a Thomas T-shirt on this day.

The State Fair Train is an extension of the Indiana Transportation Museum (ITM). The fair train’s collection of 1937 coaches runs at about 25 mph from the Fishers Depot near the Hamilton County town’s 116th Street, down the Nickel Plate Railroad, to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on 38th Street in Indianapolis.

Thousands ride the fair train every year. Some do so because it’s more convenient to park in Fishers and commute to the Fairgrounds by rail for a half-hour than to drive. For Brody, the attraction was the train, not the fair.

ITM is based in Noblesville, also in Hamilton County. It is one of several organizations dedicated to preserving Indiana’s railroading heritage. Doing so usually includes offering rides on vintage trains over historic tracks.

Cutline: Steam locomotive 765, “the Wabash Cannonball” of musical fame, bound for Fort Wayne, crosses the river for which it is named between Lagro and Andrews.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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