Day 33:

Outside Marengo somewhere, IN

Kerry & Al's 60-Acre Emporium

TODAY was a day spent exploring our new campsite. Woke up to roosters crowing and that kind of set the tone for the day.

Once we were all up, we made our way through the main field of the property and the SWEETEST, MOST ADORABLE PUP came bounding over (our introduction to Charlie, the pitty mix). After playing with him for a bit, we greeted the chickens and roosters and cried over kittens.

We played? Soccer? And after running around for a bit (with a sprinkle of ballet?), Kerry gave us a tour of the property, where we tromped around the forest and even got to see Kerry’s bee hives.

Housing still needed to be figured out in Chicago, so we went into town for wi-fi/service and to also find some propane.

Successful in booking an affordable airbnb--not so much with the propane.

Came back to a huge fire Kerry built up where we cooked up s’mores and roasted some figs. There was a big group that checked in earlier so went over to greet them + recruit them for a game of Capture the Flag (ha). We weren’t successful in that either, but we did get to chat with them for a bit and we learned that world is a Very Small Place?

We said goodnight and went back to pull our tent out from the loft, and snuggled up and passed out.

We entered some kind of wormhole or something when we entered this place/town/campsite because time seems to bend and stretch and break apart. Time jumps in three hour increments and it’s super disorienting.

So much outdoor goodness today. We leave tomorrow morning and I’m already getting so sad about having to say goodbye to Charlie. :^(



Woke up in the loft to the sound of roosters. Stepped outside to find myself in the middle of a beautiful open field with a stage right in front of me, a treehouse to my right, chickens just left of it, and so much more to see.

Kerry took us to the kittens, 13 of them to be exact, and I was a little bit in heaven (this trip has really solidified how much of a cat person I am). It didn't help when Kerry told us we can take one if we want (WHAT). It was so hard not to, but the most logical decision after all.

We quickly turned the stage into our kitchen. Classic oatmeal for breakfast, guac for lunch, and salad for dinner.

We were the only campers there in the morning so the field was completely ours. Aka, the perfect place for frisbee and soccer training from Sam.

Kerry gave us an epic tour of the property. We started in the tree house....a two story tree house with an outdoor bathtub, and a beautiful balcony.

And then, along our trek (which included Charlie the puppy and some kittens) we passes and saw all the caves and sink holes, learned about trees, visited Kerry’s beehives and rope swing. Kerry also set up the slackline for us, found out Sam is a P-R-O.

Unfortunately, we had to go into town for a bit (:/) in search of wifi.

We found wifi at a cafe: figured out housing for Chicago and took care of some expenses, etc...boring things mostly.

Next “in town” mission was to find propane. Similar to the postcard hunt yesterday, we visited around 5 different stores and were unsuccessful in our search.

After being gone far too long, we came back to a bonfire that Kerry started up. Luckily, we bought smore’s stuff and I got to test out Sahm’s new invention: replace the marshmallow with a roasted dried fig. It’s so good, don’t judge till you try.

A group of campers joined the campground today and were sitting at their own fire. We had the brilliant idea of playing capture the flag in the field (because we’re children) and excitedly ran over to them to see if they were down.

Sadly, they were not. But we got to talk to them and found out they’re senior dance majors at Indiana University (cool). Apparently I even have a mutual friend with one of them who danced at PNB in Seattle for a few years. What a small world.

We went back to our bonfire, I nearly fell asleep from the comfort of the fire. Now we’re in the tent out in the field and I am poooooped. What a day.

Like I’m at summer camp <3

- Camper Dana

Kittenville, Indiana (otherwise known as a kooky homestead outside Marengo)

WE’RE IN A BARN IN THE WOODS. Peed in a log and then got to wander off past a ginormous tree house, bright blued dump truck and rusted out school bus down into and through a creek bed (where later I found out are massive sinkhole caves… good thing I didn’t wander too far). It’s actually cold and everything’s wet from the rain. It smells so good. This is the first day that actually feels like camping (at least to pnw standards). When Kerry woke up he walked us up to see his garden, the chickends and KITTENS. They’re so cute. We also met CHARLIE, man of the hour. Cutest pup and new best friend. The day went so quickly, but also felt like five days. We played some frisbee while our water boiled for breakfast. Drank our tea and coffee with our oatmeal for another slow beautiful breakfast. This time on stage. The field doubles as a concert venue so there’s this big old stage made of logs from the property covered in christmas lights. It’s the prettiest breakfast yet. Post breakfast I spent about an hour and a half trying to teach Dana and Sahm soccer, putting them through various drills. I think we’ve got a solid start to a spiltmilk. Soccer team here. Then Kerry gave us THE TOUR (caps cause it was a big boy). From tree house (two stories + crows nest + open air bathtub=wow) to trails around the whole property, from saw mill and live edges to beekeeping, this dude knows a whole lot. They’re really homesteading out here. This place is off grid and I’m kinda loving it. Then we made the best guac yet, once again, onstage, overlooking the great big field, blue sky finally peaking through the clouds.

Unfortunately however, we didn’t have housing for Chicago yet so we headed into town to find some wifi and figure it out. Which we found at some roadside Blue Cafe where we drank coffee from styrofoam cups besides a fireplace in what looked like someone’s living room.

We got out of there only to not find propane ANYWHERE. Whatever. We met a dog and bought some smores stuff. Once back at camp, Dana made us a beautiful salad and i ate SO MANY SMORES. Like so many. We haven’t had them since the first night so I was making up for lost time? We tried to get the other campers our age going to school at University of Indiana(?), but they weren’t into it (they were super hung up on it being too dark… I don’t see a problem or as Dana might say, sounds like a personal problem).

We moved our tent into the field so we can watch the stars.

Very at peace and very in my element. I love it here. If this could be life, I’m in. Not sure how I blend this with my other needs/wants/desires, but I’m curious. Outside this liberal safehaven in the woods is spooky politically (a few too many Trump signs, but what can we expect from the Republican stronghold that is Indiana, the home of the Indianapolis 500 and a whole lotta farmland?). One of the other campers who’s from Indiana called it the crossroads of America, because you only see it passing through. I’m struggling with my love for rural areas and hiding in the woods and what that often means politically. I feel like it’s easier to be engaged in your local community (at least where I’m from), but harder to be engaged with the rest of the world. Who know’s though, I’ve only lived in a rural area as a kiddo (not that I really count as a grown up yet though).

- sam

Sponsored by:

︎                 ︎                ︎