Misty morning Bean Blossom 4-9 1
Kodak EasyShare Z730, 2007

While I raised my kids I gave them something I badly wanted, but never got, from my dad. We went places and did things together.

I didn’t have enough money to do anything spectacular, like visit an amusement park. But I could often pull together enough to pay for gas, lunch, and entrance fees to hike through a state park all day. We visited Brown County State Park a lot because it is so stunningly beautiful. The tourist town of Nashville is nearby, with plenty of cozy little places to take a meal.

The road to Brown County, State Road 135, is especially beautiful from Brown County south. It rolls and winds through the southern Indiana countryside.

I made this photo one April morning on SR 135 just south of Bean Blossom when the boys were 8 and 10. But we weren’t on our way to the state park. Rather, we were beginning our first spring break trip together, one that I’ve always called the Indiana History Tour. I ate hot dogs and peanut butter for months so I’d have enough money to take the boys to historic and scenic sites all over the state. We began the trip by visiting Indiana’s first state capitol in the far southern Indiana town of Corydon, which is also on State Road 135.

There are faster ways to get to Corydon, but none as beautiful. And on this morning, the fog was lifting as we drove down into the Bean Blossom Creek valley. It was such a stirring scene that I pulled the car over for this photograph.

I always pointed scenes like this out to my sons. They were always patient as I made my photographs. I wonder how many of these moments they remember.

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19 responses to “Misty morning in Bean Blossom”

  1. Steve Bryan Avatar
    Steve Bryan

    Nice memories. I moved away Indianapolis in 1985. I spent 1984 living in Carmel but commuting to Chicago to work. Have been in Florida for 30 years in April. Visit every few years. A few years ago I drove up to ride in the Hilly Hundred bicycling event in Bloomington. Going home I took 135 south to Corydon. Beautiful drive.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      135 won’t get you there fast, but you’ll enjoy the ride for sure.

  2. Judith Johnson Avatar
    Judith Johnson

    Jim I have a Pentax ME Super with several lens and extras including the camera bag.
    I purchased it new several years ago, prob ran 2 rolls of film thru it since. It and all items are in perfect cond. If interested I can send pictures of the lot.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Hi Judith – thanks for thinking of me. I already own two lovely Pentax MEs and so don’t need a Super. You should have excellent luck listing your gear on eBay since it sounds like it’s in pristine condition.

  3. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

    I would rather go hiking and camping than live a life filled with materialistic rewards.Thanks for making an effort with your kids. They will love you for it even if they are men later of few words. Those memories are buried deeply and beautifully within my heart and occasionally inspire my writing.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Daniel – times like these with your children are the stuff of tight relationships that last. My primary motivation for doing them was simply enjoying this kind of time with them — I liked my sons and just wanted to be with them doing simple, fun things.

      1. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

        I’m trying to develop tight relationships as an uncle.

  4. Ed Thierbach Avatar
    Ed Thierbach

    I bet your kids remember (or will remember) fondly the trips you took with them. My best memories of growing up are the special trips we took, when my Dad had a job where he travelled a lot. At the time, I had no idea of the sacrifices my parents made for those, but I do now, and I deeply appreciate them all.

    Last summer, I scanned all of the family slides from that trip. It was simply wonderful to relive those memories. Your photos will likely do the same for your kids.

    1. Ed Thierbach Avatar
      Ed Thierbach

      From those trips, not just “that trip”.

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      I think they do in aggregate. We did this kind of thing often enough that I’m sure one hike runs into another in their minds!

  5. Julie's Camera Avatar

    Your picture is beautiful. I’m 75 now (really only 35 in my head) and in the 1940’s and ’50’s when I was growing up, there was no money for holidays of any sort. Even when I was first married and right until my daughter was a teenager, we only took one holiday. Now, at this late stage of life, my husband (different one to when I was first married) and I drive off for a week at a time, quite frequently. Photography has led me to some amazing places and I love it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! I’m 55 now but 40 in my head, so I relate. The family I grew up in didn’t have money for vacations, but there really was nothing stopping us from driving to a state park for a day of hiking. We just didn’t do it. So I made sure to do it with my kids.

  6. M.B. Henry Avatar

    That’s a lovely photo. Some of my best memories growing up are the simple trips to grandma and grandpa’s house! :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes! My grandparents lived near Dowagiac, Michigan, on a small lake. We went up there five or six times a year and those were the best times.

  7. Jane Herr Avatar
    Jane Herr

    135 is one of my favorite roads. I have lived near it all my life in Brown County and particularly like some of the parts in Jackson County.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      135 was a lot more fun before they rebuilt it south of Brown County – a lot more curvy and fun to drive. But even now the road still runs through beautiful territory.

  8. brandib1977 Avatar

    What a lovely gift to your boys! There’s nothing better than family time while you teach your kids the art of adventuring. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. I’m guessing they absorbed more than you know.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It does indeed not have to be expensive. Those eimple things are better. I used to also sometimes take the boys to an arcade, give ’em 20 bucks each, and turn ’em loose. The hikes were better, as we were more involved with each other.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I love that too! Honestly, some of my favorite days have been just driving and hiking, looking around to see what’s what. I imagine it’s even better sharing it with someone! You did good.

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