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Traveling the backroads with no road signs

Yesterday, I spent the day driving 150+ miles in search of eagles to photograph. Near the end of the day, my travels took me to the backroads of east of Bedford where I grew up and places my dad had taken the family on our usual Sunday afternoon drives. I soon learned that things have changed in the last 50+ years….

The Trip

As I was driving west on U.S. 50 from Seymour to get to Tunnelton and search for eagles, I missed my first turn onto Shawswick School road (my mom attended all 12 grades there many years ago). The sign said Shawswick School 1 mile. I figured that meant a mile ahead just like the interstate signs and I should make a left turn. Nope, it was about 50 feet ahead and I missed the turn. The landmarks have changed as the old Maple Leaf Motel used to be on the north east corner but is now gone. So, I continued west to Tunnelton road. No problem, a left turn and I was on my way.

The Map or Lack of…

Now, one would think that if they stayed on the “straight” road through Buddha and bypassing Pinhook they would arrive in Tunnelton. I should note, there are very, very few road signs in this area. Eventually, I arrived in Fort Ritner and I knew I was lost. I had stayed on what I thought was Tunnelton Road. However, it seems that Tunnelton Road makes a 90 degree turn off of Tunnelton Road and going straight becomes Fort Ritner Road. The roads names were too small to read on my Indiana map book, so I reverted to my car’s GPS as there was no signal for my phone. Eventually, I go to Tunnelton and figured out how to make an immediate 90 degree right turn to go under the railroad tracks and an immediate 90 left turn on the other side. I scouted east and west along White River but saw no signs of eagles. I did find some locations for several future landscape photos. I am heading back in a week or two with a friend so that we have two sets of eyes to look for eagles.

Not a Complete Loss

The day was not a loss. I found something as rare if not rarer than eagles—river otters at Muscatatuck NWR. Below are some of my favorite photos. The one in the weeds had crossed the road and got into fight with another otter that was maybe guarding his/her territory. Getting out of my car broke up the fight.

Next week, we are headed out to photograph more sand hill cranes and look for tundra swan and maybe some eagles.



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