Turkey Run State Park

by grace on October 17, 2017

Turkey Run State Park in Indiana is fantastic.  We went there when i was a kid and did a little hiking, and maybe we stayed at the lodge.  I know we went back there about 15 or so years ago, stayed at the lodge, did a little hiking but it had rained a lot and the paths were too slippery to get around much.

but Kevin had never been there, so i suggested we stop on our way home from our anniversary festivies at the Indiana Grand Casino.

and we’re so glad we did.  first, we had lunch at the lodge.  it’s nice; not quite as rustic as the lodge at starved rock, but still nice.  It was built in 1919, but i bet they didn’t have the money to keep up with period renovations – the ceiling in the dining room and other areas was made of those 70s kind of white tiles that made the place look, well, a little like the 70s.  but still nice.

it was a fairly warm and humid day and we decided we’d hike for maybe an hour. there were some walkways, but there were also many spots that were just dirt.

lots of spectacular ravines with sandstone gorges, but at the end of this walkway it was muddy, and we didn’t have our hiking boots or sticks, so we decided not to venture into the mud.

out destination was this covered bridge.

pretty cool.  but don’t think about running over the bridge!

here’s a bridge for traffic just to the east of covered bridge.  we saw quite a few kayakers and canoes as we hiked, and agreed that would be a lot of fun.

it seems you’d be ok running across the bridge, actually.

the funny thing is how precipitous the trail was.  even though there were no huge climbs, sometimes the steps were uneven, and sometimes there were no steps, and i can’t imagine hiking it when it was wet.  and here’s an eroded place right there on the trail; when we hiked in wales on the pembrokeshire coast path, there were so many signs of a fellow plunging off the cliff with dire warnings, but the trails there had been so well maintained that it would be very difficult to fall.  but here at turkey run, not so much.

this incredibly tall sycamore had a huge growth on it, something we’d never seen before.  i asked jim, knower of all things tree-related, and he said he didn’t know what it was; he said it “looks like an old wound that never quite healed.”  so i looked it up online and that’s basically what it is, i think – i believe it’s called a Burl, which comes from environmental injury.  this injury causes hyper-stimulated cambial growth; and here’s a bit of the vast amount of information i found out about trees:

Very little of a tree’s volume is actually “living” tissue. Just 1% of a tree is actually alive and composed of living cells. The major living portion of a growing tree is a thin film of cells just under the bark (called the cambium) and can be only one to several cells thick. Other living cells are in root tips, the apical meristem, leaves and buds. The overwhelming portion of all trees is made up of non-living tissue created by a cambial hardening into non-living wood cells on the inner cambial layer. 

Sandwiched between the outer cambial layer and the bark is an ongoing process of creating sieve tubes which transport food from leaves to roots.So, all wood is formed by the inner cambium and all food-conveying cells are formed by the outer cambium.

so, the tree formed the big thing to protect itself.

we walked for about three hours, and it was enjoyable to get out there again.  it was also nice because turkey run wasn’t so crowded with people, like it had been at starved rock.  hopefully we’ll go back soon…my knees are a bit wonky after my fall, but i’m hoping that will go away soon because it’s making me slightly stir crazy.

and that’s it for this lovely tuesday in october…

ok then,

mrs. h.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christia October 23, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Did you see any running turkeys? It looks like a really nice place.

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grace October 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

haha, no running turkeys! it was really lovely, thanks, christia!

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