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  • Writer's pictureJim Schroeder

What an Adventure to End Gravel Season

I want to especially thank Joe and Vit for riding the many GRR's that I've created in southern Indiana. We have enjoyed riding those rustic areas on those gravel roads where the locals are totally shocked seen bicycles in their back 40's! We've been all over!

Unfortunately, no one could join me this past Monday as I drove down to Williams Dam and rode the Indian Springs GRR. I started west on the Milwaukee Road Trail. It's cleared out better every year but still has the original RR balast stone all the the way to the first overpass, but it does have a great view of one of the longest covered bridges in Indiana.

I passed the Indian Springs quarry that always assists with adding more gravel onto the crumbling county roads! I then turned south onto some fun climbing gravel on Low Gap Road to smooth IN-450. Up to Trinity Springs which doesn't have an uptown and downtown, but more like uphamlet and downhamlet!

Indian Springs Road was once a gravel road, but now it's a year old smooth asphalt road with some gravel deadend roads jutting off.

I then climbed up Bear Hill Rd. Thank God the steepest part (15%) of this gravel road was not gravel and then some nice views of some eastern sunlit prairie. Indian Springs hasn't changed much as I rode some of the abandoned MRTT. Had some snacks before I met the challenge of Wadsworth Lane to the ever disappearing road to dirt then to soggy grass and mud bogs until I met this sign. No mention of gravel bike, and I've yet to meet anyone or any critter out there.

I looped back to Indian Spring and I decided to do some adventuring. I turned north onto Hollow Lane, initially an old part of the MRTT, but then a pleasant gravel road. Hmmm, my garmin was trying to tell me something, but I ignored.

Well, I got all the way to Crane Naval Base. I could've kept going but on these days, I didn't want to get arrested as a Russian spy or such. So I did make that U-turn and scoped out County Road 107 on the Garmin. It was pretty much an abandoned dirt road covered with years worth of leaves calling out to me like the sirens of the sea.

It was ridable until it turned into this rock bed creek. I actually rode it for a while.

It kind of reminded me of Coombs Rd. Well more ravines appeared and I as bushwacking northeast following the Garmin's "County Rd 107". Low and behold the old leaf covered road appeared again and then a grassy meadow with daffodils at the peak of the ridge. Then more dirt and finally a barn, then a house, then two people, and finally a commune! Padanaram is the largest commune in Indiana nestled in a forested valley just east of Crane Naval Base in Martin County. At this point it looked like New York City to me. Google it! I wasn't hallucinating!

"How do I get to Williams?" I asked a couple of gals loading up a couch into their trunk. They told me to go south on that road but it's a really big hill. That it was, but I would have to say it wasn't as steep as the one Joe and I encountered in this same area last year. I finally got back to familiar territory and made it back to Williams Dam and got a couple of Cokes at Amstutz's Bait Store.

So, I won't add "County Rd 107" to the route, but I'll do pleasant Hollow Lane as an out n back, and won't turn left on Saw Mill Rd unless someone really wants to see Padanaram. Remember, it's in a valley!

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