We seemed to have struck up some interest regarding a ride to Wolf Park in Battle Ground, IN after a few people heard about the ride we did up there several weeks ago. Bonnie and I are willing to “lead” another ride up that way for those that may be interested in another day out on the motorcycle before the weather gets really cold. We’ve done a lot of riding this year with some new good friends, been taken to some great destinations by great road leaders; so we figured why not invite people to putt along behind us for a change? Also, this is more of a “breakfast” style eatery stop instead of lunch, but they serve everything 24 hours a day on the menu, so you can still try their world famous chopped steak burgers.
Here is what have thrown together:
8:15AM, Sunday, October 9th – Ride meeting at Northside Harley’s parking lot. Plan on arriving there before this time to meet and greet other riders.
8:30AM – Kick stands-up (be fueled up already, body and motorcycles. Might want to eat light…the breakfast stop is worth arriving hungry for). The route (listed below) isn’t too bad with stop lights or signs until we get to Lafayette, which has notoriously short stop lights, and hard to find places to pull over. If anybody is comfortable with the route, would like to have them scattered throughout the group if it’s big so we can all find our way to breakfast.
10:00AM – Arrive at Triple XXX in West Lafayette. They have the best breakfast in a restaurant I’ve ever had, and was a great hit for all of us on the last visit. My recommendation? Biscuits and Gravy…some of the best you’ll ever eat. A couple of eggs on the side, and it’s a meal filling up anybody. It’s a very popular eatery on the edge of Purdue’s campus, so expect a wait when we get there for seating. They have a serpentine counter to sit at, we’ll get seated in small groups, probably not right next to each other. I suggest pairing up or no more than four in a “must sit together” group, any more than that, your wait is longer. People are really friendly in there, you’ll get to talk at length with other diners (mostly students), and the wait staff. Plenty of breakfast and lunch items, you won’t leave hungry.
There’s a small gas station across the street, if anybody needs fuel, they can get it there while waiting for others to get ready to leave. If you still have 10 miles left in your tank, I’d rather have a group stop at a very large gas station on the way to our first sightseeing stop if everybody has enough gas to get there (for you Sportster riders!)
11:45AM – Kick stands up again. We’ll wait until everybody is done eating of course, so this time may vary.
12:30PM (no large gas station stop) or 12:50PM (with gas station stop) – Arrive at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park and Memorial. The Battle of Tippecanoe happened nearby, where General Harrison fought Tecumseh’s Native American Confederation. It’s a unique place, much like what we saw on the Annie Oakley grave ride some of us did a month or so ago. We won’t be there long, since we have to get to our next stop.
1:30PM or so – Arrive at Wolf Park (it’s about five minutes from the memorial). Read all about their offerings here: Wolf Park There should be a lecture starting about this time (they run every 30 minutes or so, hard to time it right, so we may get in mid-way). No problem though, they talk about wolves non-stop, so you’ll be able to get what you miss if we aren’t there at the start. Admission is $8 for ages 14 and older, $5 for kids 6-13. Money goes to the organization to keep the park running.
2:00PM – Wolf/Bison interaction begins. You’ll get to see both groups interacting with each other. Nature takes over, and you may get to see the wolves “try” to get a bison. Amazing to watch the bison “defend” their groups. In a 45-minute session last visit, 40 minutes was watching and listening to the guides talk. For a few minutes though, it got really interesting. No guarantees on what happens. Don’t plan to see anything gory though, it’s not happened in all the interactions they’ve done, since the bison are able to easily defend their young, even after a wolf grabs them. The interaction only occurs on Sundays…and this will be a Sunday of course. On the way back there, you’ll pass other animals they’ve rescued, including coyotes, and some others.
3:00PM – Wolf feeding. We left before watching this the last time due to incoming heavy rain. They feed the wolves road-killed deer, they may or may not eat. If you may be squeamish, you can always break away and check out their gift shop. Bring extra money…they have a lot of neat stuff in there, at very nice prices.
Wolf Park – Bathrooms are available…as Portapotties. If you need a real restroom, go before arriving. Also, just so it’s on the record….Wolf Park is located about 1/2 mile down a gravel road. The road has some potholes and washboard, but it’s easily ride-able. I can’t stand riding on the stuff myself, but I didn’t have any problem before, and the pucker factor was low as long as you kept the eyes in front of you watching our for the potholes. Also, you will literally be inches away from wolves, so bring your cameras. They encourage photography of everything that happens, and you’ll definitely have many chances for close-ups. The people group is protected by fencing, so they won’t come after you (our Bills or Chip maybe, but that’s only because they’ll want to climb the fence to go play with the wolves…actually, they are very tame, yet somewhat skittish and take off if you make sudden movements…ETA: I meant the wolves being skittish, not our riding friends). Also, there is a little walking in fields and gravel lanes while going on the tour of the park. If your boots give you problems, bring sneakers.
Route – I’m planning on this route (due to construction on 421 into Frankfort): Leave dealership, turn right on Keystone. Stay on this until IN-32, turn west (left). Take 32 until US-421, turn right (north). Stay on 421 until IN-47, turn left (west). Go to US-52, turn right.Go into Lafayette, turn left (west) on Main Street (that’s where IN-38 starts going east). This will bring you to five points stop light, where we go straight through and catch IN-26 West. Follow this through downtown, go over the river, and into West Lafayette. Less than a mile on the other side of the river, keep an eye out in front of you on the right side of the road, and look for this building:
Parking is unique. You turn off of the main road onto a one-way road, right, in front of this picture. There’s parking under the awning behind the restaurant, in a small lot across the street behind the building, and along the street. Expect a lot of students standing around in the rear waiting for their turn to get in (just give it some throttle and run them over if they don’t get out of the way). Service is quick, so we’ll all not have too bad of a wait.
You can see the small gas station awning on the left side of the picture.Anyways, I’ll print out maps for the ride meeting, and hopefully we can find a few people that know their way to the restaurant and we’ll place them intermittently in the group. From there, we’ll swing over to IN-43, and head north to gas (if needed), the memorial, and Wolf Park. I’ll include directions on the map as well.
I figure people can drift homewards whenever they want. Bonnie and I will stay as long as need be, and more than happy to lead any size group back into Indy, I’m thinking around 4PM or afterwards. We’ve been known to stop at IN-47 and US-52 for an on the way back for an ice cream too, good place to say “see ya soon’s” to everybody 🙂
Yes, this was a long posting. You all know once I start writing, I don’t quit. Just wanted to give everybody my thoughts, in case anybody is interested in riding along. If you are interested in going, or know others that will once you invite them, TELL ME. I’d like to give Wolf Park an idea of a head count before we all arrive. Send me an email (click my Profile link on this blog near my bike/me picture), or simply post in the Facebook wall posting I have going.
One more thing: MY DISCLAIMER : I’m not organizing anything. I’m not assuming liability for anything. You ride at your own risk, not mine. We are going for a ride, and glad to have anybody else along that happens to be going the same way. This is NOT a HOG group ride…anybody on two wheels wants to go, feel free to bring them along. If you get bitten or eaten by a wolf (Chip), make sure you have enough money in life insurance already 🙂
Hope to see you there for a great Sunday. Oh, weather is currently planned for 70 degrees, sunny, and no chance of rain. I’m not guaranteeing that though…but this will be a rain or shine event unless weather the night before is projecting severe weather. It rained on us last time, and we still had a blast. Just keep an eye here and on FB for any updates.