News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

June 24, 2013

MIKE LUNSFORD: A New England journal begins …

BAR HARBOR, MAINE — I am beginning this story before I can possibly know how it ends. The view from my window isthat of a green Maine countryside on a Thursday morning, so I felt compelled to get started, knowing a deadline looms. It is difficult work, not because I have so few ideas from which to draw, but because I have so many. …

Joanie and I have come to New England for a couple of weeks, but by the time you read this and turn to the business of your day, we will, in all probability, be back home watching the wheat field across from our house turn itself from green to gold.

A few days rambling across the rocks and breathing the pine-pitched air of this place has made us happy, for as you will be reading in subsequent editions of this column — and, as it is my understanding, several features with room for plenty of some of the hundreds of photographs I have taken — we were able to visit a few sacred places along the way. These spots are not shrines in the traditional sense. We are not here looking for healings for arthritic knees and weakening eyes at an American Lourdes. Rather, this has been a trip of affirmation, of confirmation that much of what we have read and taught and come to believe in — the teachings of poets, the brush strokes of painters and the imagery of writers — are true and real and earnest.

So far, after a bit of hiking, and a pinch of contemplation (thrown in with a heavy dose of back-breaking driving), we are far from disappointed.

After nearly 1,800 miles of driving, we are turning past only the halfway point of our trip, geographically speaking. On it, we have journeyed through and across seven states by major interstate highways and winding two-lane pavements, even gravel roads that are not lines on our maps. We have parked and gawked from wide shoulders and narrow lanes, driveways and bridges, and we’ve looked up and down and across from walking trails. We have seen covered bridges in Vermont, river gorges in New Hampshire, big cities in New York, and the unforgettable coastlines, marshes and forests of Maine. We have also seen mosquitoes the size of fighter jets and more streams and rivers than we knew could exist. We have seen things that, unless we come back here, we will never see again.

Our trip was jump-started on a hot and muggy afternoon, and after a few hours roaring across our home state into central Ohio, we headed north out of a congested Columbus to start our adventure in earnest. We watched huge supercell thunderstorms through car windows as they built in the west all day, and by the time we got to Cleveland, a bit tired and bleary-eyed, we knew we needed to get off the road. A game-time decision to keep driving toward Erie, Pa., proved good fortune, for when we got into a hotel room, television weather crews were advising those in the areas we had passed through to seek the lowest level of their houses and hang on for what was coming. We had no big winds where we stayed that night, but by 3 a.m., awakened by a drumming rain, I saw that our hotel parking lot looked like an asphalt-coated creek bed, foot-deep water cascading toward flooded drain covers.

A short drive through the elbow of northern Pennsylvania gave way to a long and wet sojourn across New York State. New York is a big place, but we didn’t see much of it. Shrouded in fog and lake-induced mists, broken only by the thumping of the pouring rain on our windshield, we spent the day tensely negotiating three-lane traffic, dodging overloaded big rigs, concrete road construction barriers and hydroplane-inducing puddles. Nearly every inch of the way to the magnificent Hudson River Bridge, just before we slipped across the state line into Massachusetts, was dripping, and the mountainsides leaked riverlets of run-off with every mile we covered.

A good night’s sleep in southern Massachusetts gave way to a side-winding drive on small state highways — confusing ones — toward Amherst, our first real stop as we found the home of reclusive, yet surprisingly witty poet Emily Dickinson. A feature about our visit there on a cloudy, steamy day will come later.

After Amherst, Joanie and I headed north to Vermont’s mountains to spend a few days with Robert Frost. Vermont is a tiny state with tiny towns; in fact, its state capital is a fraction of the size of Terre Haute. It is a place of kayaks and backpacks, quaint shops, and beds and breakfasts. Anyone looking for fast food and chain hotels will be mightily disappointed. Our trail there was somewhat convoluted, visiting Frost’s grave in an ancient Bennington churchyard first, then heading north to stop-in-the-road Shaftsbury to wander the old stone farmhouse where he lived until his wife died in 1938. After that, his “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” already written and his fame firmly established, Frost moved north, bought another farm in the Green Mountains near Ripton, built a cabin behind it, and settled in until his death in 1963. It is a sacred spot, perhaps the highlight of our journey. A feature about that day will follow, as well.

Across the river gorges and mountainsides of Vermont and New Hampshire in another day (we visited the boyhood home and gravesite of Calvin Coolidge, too) has led us here to Maine, and it has been memorable. Above most items on our agenda was a visit to the painter Winslow Homer’s house. But we soon discovered that the home is open only by appointment — we had not reserved one. It really didn’t matter, for the summer’s schedule there had already been booked. We saw the house anyway — although, not its interior — via another route: We hiked around it, snapping pictures of it and a gorgeous southern Maine coastline along the way. An unforgettable afternoon of lunching at the Black Point Inn, and a 5-mile hike along the cliffs of Prout’s Neck (on which Homer’s seaside studio sits) satisfied our yearning, and we left there to head north to moose country, knowing we had seen a special place. A feature will follow…

And so, here we are, two days after a much-too-long trip down to Brooklin to try to pick up the scent of E.B. White’s famous farm, and one day removed from our magnificent tour through Acadia National Park. Our car, already weighed down with a hundred rocks picked from Vermont stream beds and craggy Maine beaches, is pointed toward the beauty of a few more lighthouses, while the homes of poets Edwin Arlington Robinson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry Longfellow and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and much, much more, are to follow before we take off for the flat and familiar Midwest.  

What surprises we’ll have. Then, I can finish this story.

Mike Lunsford can be reached by email at hickory913@aol.com, or c/o the Tribune-Star at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808. You can learn more about his writing and speaking by going to his website at www.mikelunsford.com. His new book, “A Windy Hill Almanac,” will be released this fall.



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • Purdue Shooting2.jpg Purdue shooting leaves one person dead

    A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 042214 SWIM BULL.jpg Swim by 7 program: Cool Pool School

    Swim by 7 is a collaborative effort involving the United Way of the Wabash Valley and the Vigo County School Corp. As envisioned, all VCSC kindergarten students would participate in the learn-to-swim program once the new VCSC Aquatics Facility is constructed and ready for use at Voorhees Park.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • Purdue Shooting_Will.jpg THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs

    Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bosma Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee

    Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET012014 snowtracks.jpg We enter the deep freeze again

    If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET012014busses weir.jpg Levy redirects school funds

    If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.

    January 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana

    School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
    More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.

    January 21, 2014

  • MET 012114 DONNELLY BOARD.jpg VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board

    Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase

    After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.

    January 21, 2014

  • Candidates file finance reports

    The Democratic race for judge of Vigo County Superior Court Division 2 boasts the most fundraising of all campaigns for the May 6 primary election.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 earthdaymcclennan.jpg Mayor Duke Bennett leads community discussion on litter

    Talking trash in the neighborhood can get down and dirty.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Public hears about grant to clean up E. coli in Otter Creek

    Greg Dunham has known Otter Creek since his childhood. “I walked that creek. I lived in that creek and I was all the time fishing in it, so this was news to me” he said about the concern of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the Otter Creek watershed.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 elanco.jpg Lilly to buy Novartis Animal Health

    Eli Lilly and Co. plans to acquire Novartis Animal Health for about $5.4 billion, a move believed to strengthen and diversify Lilly’s own animal health business, Elanco.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Men: Requests by missing IU girl’s parents too broad

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two men who were with a 20-year-old Indiana University student before she vanished in 2011 say in court documents that her parents are on a “fishing expedition” in their efforts to obtain evidence to use in a lawsuit against them.

    April 22, 2014

  • FEMA OKs aid for Vigo County

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid readings.

    April 22, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: April 22, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    April 22, 2014

  • firstcarphotoforweb copy.jpg Remember Your First Car?

    Tell us about it! Your memories could be part of an upcoming story in the Tribune-Star. Click on this story to find out how.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 042114 NEW ISU TRACK.jpg Indiana State breaks ground for $4.3M riverside track and field facility

    Indiana State University officials, community leaders and donors broke ground Monday on a new, $4.3 million track and field facility on the Wabash riverfront, along North First Street.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Panel approves new school benchmarks

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 21, 2014

  • schaffer, aaron.jpg Man to face several charges in Linton shooting death

    A homicide northeast of Linton is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • aquatic center exterior.jpg Board approves bond structure to fund central pool project

    The Vigo County School Corp.’s $9.8 million aquatics center is “on schedule” and “the budget looks good,” Superintendent Dan Tanoos told the School Board on Monday.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Judge: Indiana hasn’t given good reason for same-sex marriage ban

    A federal judge has said that attorneys defending Indiana’s gay marriage ban haven’t given a valid reason why the state should not recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple, one of whom has a terminal illness.

    April 21, 2014

  • Police: Death from natural causes for 2 bodies found in home

    Death by natural causes has been ruled in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found Sunday evening inside their Pimento area home in southern Vigo County.

    April 21, 2014

  • MET 042114 NEW FIREFIGHTER.jpg 10 men, 1 woman added to Fire Dept. ranks

    Eleven recruits joined the ranks of the Terre Haute Fire Department on Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at Terre Haute City Hall.

    April 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor to host Earth Day event for children

    Mayor Duke Bennett has partnered with Indiana State University and the Vigo County Public Library to invite children grades K-5 for an evening of hands-on, environmental learning at the City’s first Earth Day Extravaganza. The free event will be today, Earth Day, from 4 ot 6 p.m. at the library.

    April 21, 2014

  • City to host Arbor Day award reception Wednesday

    Terre Haute’s urban forester and Mayor Duke Bennett will host Terre Haute’s first Arbor Day Urban Forest Award reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Ohio Building.

    April 21, 2014

  • Homicide investigation under way in Greene County

    A homicide northeast of Linton is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

    April 21, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: April 21, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, based on jail records.

    April 21, 2014

  • Ohio boy rescued from bottom of Indiana hotel pool

    The quick action of bystanders is being credited with saving the life of a northwestern Ohio teenager who was pulled over the weekend from the hotel pool at a southern Indiana state park.

    April 21, 2014

  • MET 042014 DOUBLE-DEATH.jpg 2 bodies found in Pimento home

    Police were at the scene of a death investigation on Sunday in southern Vigo County.
    “It’s a double death investigation,” Vigo County Chief Deputy Clark E. Cottom told the Tribune-Star at the scene.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Raw: Tesla Delivers First China Cars Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Raw: Sinkhole Swallows Part of Fla. Yard Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Raw: Woman Accused in Babies' Deaths in Court David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs Defendant Killed by Police in Courthouse Attack Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity