As if 2020 was not grim enough, 2021 has shifted the gear with COVID-19 infection, at the time of writing, in India to brutal effectiveness. With Iraq, South Africa and Brazil also in death grip of now world infamous Corona virus’s mutated strain, fear and chaos has reigned over rationality and intelligence. Vaccination drives at large, no one still want to forecast what will upcoming time surprised the humankind with. Certain remedy to such grimness is to prepare your body strong, not only externally but internally as well. Have organic homemade food, build your immune system by regular intake of “Ayurvedic” herbal remedies and work-out for release of much essentials endorphins for positive feedback of happiness and relaxation.
With no long travelling plan in sight, We have decided to take on Fitness challenges provided on Indiana DNR (Department of Natural Resources) website marketing beautiful states park in Indiana. Taking on challenge is just the much needed objective and closure. Otherwise to be in proximity to nature itself is well-earned reward. Getting exercise and work-out is added benefit.
Shades states park (Fitness Challenge)
Six Ravine challenge ( 4.42 Miles)
Shades states park is situated nearby another vast and beautiful sister park, Turkey Run. Though Shades states park seems less obvious choice and mostly devoid of visitors as compared to Turkey Run states park, it boasts similar amazing vistas and some of the best rugged trails through multiple ravines. Six ravine challenge is devised to weave through most of the ravines and rugged path nearby Sugar creek.
We attempted the challenge at end of April 2021. Spring was in full bloom. Ravines were majestically shrouded with deep hues of green. Dark rocks and boulders were covered with florescent green moss and algae had ample “cooling” effect to eyes as well as soul. Some of the large green patches were sprinkled with yellow, blue, purple and rare red flowers at their absolute peak to attract pollinators around.
Some of the rugged patch made us make our way through streams, runnels or rills. Climbing up/down over well-placed ladders was intriguing addition. Trail 8 was most rugged and fun. Except the navigating markers indicating the trail number, no visible path was ascertainable. It was almost like loosing the way in the jungle and finding the path to civility (with occasional visage-breaking other hikers you meet on the way).
Shaft of soft golden sunlight churning through canopy of woods, soothing sound of water rivulets trickling from small boulders, cool ravine air sensationally caressing sweaty skin, joy of skipping the stones in Sugar creek – these are some of those senses our digital mind has stopped us appreciating about. It’s time to get back to old ways while you have time in the name of pandemic.
Mounds state park
What to expect: Mounds state park is more akin to archeological site due to its historic heritage. It has 10 unique earthworks built by prehistoric Indians. It also has its fair share of trails with one notably passing along side White River.
We visited Mounds state park in much colder weather of February 2021. We were welcomed by seasonal thick carpeted grounds with yellows and browns of leaves along with slippery and muddy trails with occasional patches of snow covering. Vistas were more subdued and mud-washed but memorable.
What to do:
- Visit visitor center and get informed on historical importance of the mounds
- Play treasure hunt (if available)
- Do full moon trails (whenever available)