Birthday Adventure!

Indiana has 25 state parks operated by the DNR.  We have both lived in Indiana for most of our lives and have only visited a few of these 25. We have decided to change that this summer.  First, I ordered this super cute checklist from Etsy (because every great plan needs a list!) and then we started to plan our first visit.  It seemed like serendipity that my birthday was near and on a Saturday so my job was to pick our first visit to celebrate. I wanted a change of scenery so we headed south to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, IN.  Having grown up in flat central Indiana it still amazes me how much the terrain changes in the southern portion of the state.  The hills are a welcome surprise every time!  On Saturday morning we loaded up the car with a picnic lunch, a change of clothes, and our sweet pup and began the two hour drive.  We arrived at lunch time so priority one upon entering the park was finding a shady spot to nosh.  There was a birthday party nearby with an epic bounce house slide. Does it freak anyone else out that we would giddily slide down a sinking ship that I'm sure is supposed to represent a sinking Titanic?!

With full bellies from a most delicious lunch prepared by Christopher we headed to the nearest trail head.  We visited Hoffman Falls first and then made our way to Trail #2 which runs the length of the creek bed.

First, let me say that my Keen sandals are the best shoe purchase I have ever made!  Second, let me say that our pup is the best adventurer!  If running through the woods is his favorite thing in the world I would say that water above his paws is his least favorite thing in the world (or at least one of them). That being said, he waded through some spots where the water came up to his belly like a champ.  He did not skip a beat and carefully found his footing.  Oh I was so proud of him!  At the end of Trail #2 is the highlight, Clifty Falls.  So beautiful and peaceful.  Ron couldn't navigate the terrain up to the fall so he and I took a rest as Christopher enjoyed a closer view.

Here are a few more pics:

Keeping his eyes out for daddy!

We had to back track a bit before we could connect with a trail off the creek bed.  We could tell by Ron's behavior that his paws had enough of the rocks and he was ready to walk on dirt.  The walk back was more rugged and intense than the creek bed but we made it with a few rest stops along the way.  This park is absolutely beautiful and we had long stretches where we didn't see another soul.
We cleaned up at the Clifty Inn before driving the two miles into Madison for dinner.  With the pup our dining options are limited to dog friendly patios but a little research before leaving made finding a dinner spot painless.  We chose Red Pepperoni for their great pizza and craft beer selection in addition to their dog friendly patio.  It was birthday girl's choice and I chose a chicken teriyaki pie that wasn't bad.  Ron agreed.

I am a lucky girl to get to celebrate another birthday with these two!  Oh how I adore them.


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