My wife’s extended family spent the weekend at the Rawhide Ranch in Nashville, IN. It is a small horse ranch that hosts family gatherings and corporate retreats. With over 60 people in our party, we filled the entire place. (My only complaint was that there was a never-drying mud hole at the base of the steps leading to the bunk house – the Buck Inn. We tracked watered down horse manure and urine all over the building!)

Rawhide Ranch Sign

I’ve spend the last few weeks hoping for great weather this weekend, and I was not disappointed. The Pilot 1.0 joined us in the van for the trip down.

West Lookout Tower
West Lookout Tower
Brown County State Park

Brown County is a great scenic area of southern Indiana. I’ve been there a few times before (the annual family gathering once took place at the Abe Martin Lodge at the Brown County State Park), and I took a bike along on a camping trip long ago. However, I seem to have forgotten how hilly this part of the state is – nothing like the prairie back in Tippecanoe County. I was riding through the state park when I came upon a hill that I thought would kill me. You know the feeling when you are in an easy gear, but the cadence gets slower and slower as the hill gets steeper. Then, when you reach for the shifter to go down one more, you realize that you are already in 1st. I got the top panting like … well, like something that pants a lot. I hit two more of those climbs in the park. (I’m sure that most readers of this little journal must think that I’m a wimp and horribly out of shape for having trouble on these little bumps in the road as they tackle much tougher mountains in places like Colorado and California. All I can say is – you’re right!)

Brown County Overlook
It’s tough to capture the rolling hills in a photo, but I tried

Riding back to Nashville from the west gate was mostly downhill, and fairly level roads led back to the ranch. However, the worst climb of the day was the driveway at Rawhide. I can’t estimate slopes, but I know that I have never hit anything this steep in my life. I tried a serpentine path to minimize the slope, and I had to stop halfway to get my breathing back to normal. However, I’m happy to announce that I did not walk up any hills on this ride!

A father and son from another branch of the family went on a 12 mile mountain bike trail somewhere near Story, IN at the same time I hit the pavement. They came back muddy and happy.

Miles Ridden: 15.8

Click Here for Gmaps Pedometer route.

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