Roadside Views, Or Getting Lost and Found in Indiana

For most of my life, I felt like I was constantly in a hurry to get somewhere. Even when there wasn’t a destination in mind, I lived a rushed life. Maybe it was a side effect of living in a crowded city where I was surrounded by people and cars constantly on the go. Or perhaps it was my personality — always rushing to complete one task in order to move on to the next, hoping serenity would be just around the corner when the projects were complete.

I used to get so irritated with myself anytime I’d make a wrong turn or get lost while driving. But one day last year, I drove down the “wrong” street while on my way to a destination. And on that street was an amazing tree house. I immediately pulled over to take a photo. I thought about kids playing and hiding in it, and wondered what they could see from up there. I was so glad I went the wrong way. Had I not, I never would have found that tree house.

Since moving to Indiana, I’ve had many opportunities to get lost and venture onto new streets and towns, discovering so many unique sights along the way. Maybe it’s the laid-back nature of the Midwest, but now I look at those wrong turns as paths to discovering something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I no longer feel rushed through life. And I purposefully drive on new streets, getting lost and seeing what can be found — constantly pulling over, getting out of the car, and taking photos of interesting things.

Here’s a look at some of my roadside finds in Indiana.

The tree house that made me rethink my point of view.

I was driving on Highway 46 to Bloomington, Indiana and stumbled upon this vintage garage. The property entrance sign reads “Tierra de los Sueños” (Dreamland). The owner was nice enough to indulge me in photographing his collection of vintage signs and cars.

The first contour-shaped Coca-Cola bottle was designed and manufactured here in Terre Haute.

A marker that signifies the Underground Railroad stop in the Lost Creek community in Terre Haute.

In the year 1844, the University of Notre Dame received its charter from Indiana. The first electrical telegram was sent by Samuel Morse from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to the B&O Railroad. The Great Flood of 1844 hits the Missouri River and Mississippi River. And Durham Farm was established here in Terre Haute. I wonder if it was as beautiful at sunset back then as it was the evening I took this photo.

A log cabin on the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College campus.

Americana on the Indiana countryside.

Happiness found in Fairbanks Park, overlooking the Wabash River.

I was intrigued by this barn-looking building with a red roof, a wagon wheel, paintings and a miniature barn replica.

Dumpsters never looked so cool.

Traveling on U.S. Highway 40, which takes you into Terre Haute, is the Clabber Girl sign. It is Indiana’s oldest billboard that was first put up in the 1930s, and it always has a working clock.

Happiness is right around the corner.

When I first drove by this fence, I did a double-take and backed the car up see this happy sight. This is the front of the Eden of Ryves community garden, a place for neighborhood kids to learn farming and sustainability skills.

Can’t wait to see where the road will lead me tomorrow, and what I might find along the way.

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