Hoosier Hookey
Adventure Rally
Brown County Indiana---November 2005

We are headed for the Hoosier Hookey Adventure Rally hosted in Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana. Meeting and riding with other adventure riders was the plan.

But first we have to get there.

This is the "Old Red" covered bridge which is about 8 miles Northwest of Poseyville, Indiana. It's a nice one and was just closed to traffic about one year ago.


A destination is always a very small part of a ride for me.

We didn't know that the destination was to be an extremely small part of this ride.

I had 2 new riding friends on this ride---John from Carterville, Illinois
Matt from Evansville, Indiana

Both on pretty new bright green KLR's.

We crossed the Little Wabash river on a back road then rode North along side of it. We wouldn't have attempted this crossing even if we wanted on the other side. It does look doable with a 4-wheel drive.
In Portersville, Indiana you use to be able to cross the East Fork of the White River--but no more. We found no other crossing in this very little quiet town.

Mark Sampson


Sampson Hill--elevation 810'

One mile Northwest of Lacy, Indiana

We blew threw Story Indiana in the dark and were run down by a hooligan on a KTM 640 Adventure---he was flashing his brights and pulling wheelies---I thought it was John at first and thought maybe his throttle was stuck !!! No---a KLR just won't do that !

It was part of the Hoosier Hookey clan and they all came riding down crooked and hilly Indiana 135 and led us to the campground which we would have never found in the dark--thanks guys !!!

Here's my newest riding buddy John Mann from Carterville, Illinois rolling out of his tent the next morning later than usual as we got very little sleep.


Here's some of the bikes that showed up--KLR's, 1150's, V-Strom's, Tiger--you name it--it was there. My high mileage KLR looked pretty out of place amongst all the nice clean bikes. After dragging it thru all the deserts, mud and rocks of the Southwest and Mexico for years it has gained a lot of character, but keeps on thumpin'.

Matt didn't get much sleep either as there were some very loud and drunk riders around the campfire who partied very late.

The next morning I like to start riding very early--but it was clear the partiers weren't getting out of bed for awhile. We broke out on our own and all agreed there was no way we were going to spend another night like that---or late morning departure. We came to ride.

Some guy I didn't know said after hearing the "F" word very loudly for the 3,475th time while trying to sleep--he had enough.

Well let's move on--let's ride--that's what we were about.

We crossed this one lane concrete bridge that was elevated above the road quite a bit so approaching traffic couldn't see each other. While under the bridge everybody honked upon approaching the bridge. Then we hear screeching tires and a crunch----as two auto's almost hit head on---one of them steered into the concrete wall and bent his vehicle up pretty good.

Under the bridge things weren't much better. The new bright green KLR's won't float either. John is an excellent rider but got taken out by the infamous green slime that has somehow migrated from the many rocky creek crossings of Missouri.

We had to do an oil change as John's motor had too much water in it. Whoa--that's nasty looking !!!

John took all this in stride and motored down the road completely soaked with a smile on his face---we were going to camp again, but there was some drying out to be done as it was pretty chilly out and would be very cold the next morning.

This is the way we came down into the creek off the road---I'm surprised the green slime didn't get one of us there.

You tell me ??????

It's 4-wheel drive and has chains on the front tires.

It's what you see on "The Road Less Traveled"

We rode very little pavement.

And when we did it was like this.

A donkey ??

A Horse ??

A Mule ??

A Jackass ??

My wife said it's a Jackass for sure !!! ?? Oh you mean the thing with ears ??

This road looked interesting--and it was headed for a big creek.
Closed ????? We added some throttle and motored down the road.

We finally came to this really neat old bridge over the White river again. There was nothing around here except one little very old house that was evidently "Smalltown Custom Cycles". It was right by the river and just looked like an ordinary house---no sickles in sight.

We rode East down the river on a gravel road and found a bridge over the river and rode past this same bridge on the other side.

This bridge is dear to my heart, as it is very old and rickety. I've been over it about 3 times and after every visit I can't believe it's still standing. It is about 3 1/2 miles East of Tunnelton, Indiana. The floor is 2X4's laid on their side. It is one lane wide and very long.

I stopped here and told my buddies John and Matt to savor the ride across as it would be their last.

N38° 46.681'
W86° 13.649'

Why ??

One mile West is this New bridge. I expect it will be done by spring or sooner.

What are these 2 hooligans (idiots) up to ????

"I hear that train a comin'
It's rollin' roun' the bend
And I ain't never gonna see the sunshine
ever again"


And what was this hooligan up to ????

It was a steep rocky climb up to the railroad and Matt didn't have enough momentum to get thru the steepest and rockiest part.

He might have thought---"Well I least I won't spend the night in jail"

Big Tunnel

It is cut thru Tunnel Hill and is East of Tunnelton, Indiana.

Man was I nervous riding thru that thing---it is a live tunnel and about 1/2 mile long and was cut on a curve. Standing at one end you can't see out the other.

We went in the West end---and I am pictured at the East end after riding thru it.

Every 100 ft. we couldn't help but look back--just couldn't help it no matter how hard you tried. The first time I looked back--all I could see was Johns headlight and I almost jumped out of my skin it scared me so bad !!!

The deep gravel in there was really hard to ride in and woked on our nerves too.

Been There

Done That

What's Next ???

We crossed the river again and road up out of the river valley thru some asphalt switch backs and had a beautiful view of the valley and river below.

Vaineville, Indiana

Population 9
Well----6 after we left.

Actually I don't think anybody was there after we left.

It ain't on no map !!!

I think John likes it here.

We had decided to get a flea bag motel as adventure riders often do. Just to dry out---however we came across this lodge with one room left in Mill Spring state park--it was nice.

Well it was nice before we got there. John was covered in mud, dirt and dust and we all got on the elevator and the 3 people in there were scared to death of us I think.

We got some weird looks

Well---time for laundry.

We flipped for the roll-away, as there wasn't going to be any spooning tonight.

We rolled into a little town for gas and 4 old farts like me were on 4-wheelers having a ball running all over the county. Said they went out and bought these 4-wheelers and all their wives were out buying furniture----yeh, I've been there.

One guy had a modified golf cart and told us they couldn't give him a ticket for nothing as it was a golf cart--maybe I need to strap some golf clubs on the back of my KLR ????

Matt had parted ways with us earlier and headed home in Evansville, Indiana. Matt mentioned several times about how we rode 45mph on paved roads and 72 in gravel and dirt. He hadn't had much offroad experience but was a terror on the pavement---I think I was just in his way.

I've been trying to get a view of this for years.

Old Dam

Yep--that's what it's called. It' on the Wabash river just downstream of the bridge at New Harmony Indiana.

You can't get a view of it on the Indiana side without paying a campground owner $5 to enter his campground--fooey with that.

When the water is really low--I'm told you can walk across the river---gotta do that before I die.

You can't view it from the East side without riding thru some rough, rutted, dirt oil well roads. Over and old nasty looking bridge then trespass across some farmers field thru mud and wade thru thick trees and brush.

Don't ask me how I know--I just know.

We parachuted in---cut a big tree down---rode it down river standing on the log---dove in the river in a shallow spot and swam to shore to retreive our bikes.

Don't want to end up in jail :)

To get out of there---you can cross "Nigger Bridge". I don't use the "N" word so don't shoot the messenger. A couple of years ago an old fella was a fishin' off this bridge. Told me it was "Nigger Bridge". I didn't ask any more but I'm sure there is a tale about that. I also have rode across this bridge when it was under water and neither the bridge nor rails could be seen.

Me and ole' John stopped in Carmi, Illinois for a departing dinner. I told him we would eat at the famous "Two-Tony's" smorgasborg. I couldn't find it. John did a search with his GPS and said yeh--his GPS would guide us there. We went around in circles for 10 minutes------couldn't find the stinkin' thing--dang GPS's------I laughed as I looked at a bare parking lot and remembered it had burned down 2 years ago. Oh well--we found ribs at an old original drive-in built in 1957.

Thanks Matt and John for being great riding partners.


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