Domestic Travel

Spring Mill State Park

Mitchell, Indiana

I can't remember whose idea it was that we should drive northwards from French Lick
to see this state park; probably Merrill or Zoe hatched it. I certainly didn't mind that
we saw the Gus Grissom Memorial while we were there. NASA fans would know that
he was America's second astronaut, and the third man in the world to ride a ballistic
missile into space. After splashing down safely, his Mercury capsule sank, and the
lucky Lieutenant Colonel was snatched from the Atlantic by helicopter pilots from the
U.S.S. Randolph. When he next lifted off, during the Gemini program's first manned
flight, he and his fellow pilot John Young* had christened their spacecraft Molly Brown.
Born in Mitchell, Grissom tragically perished in the Apollo 1 fire on 27 January, 1967.

İ NASA photo
Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom
pre-launch photo
21 July 1961
Unknown photographer
Picture from the web
of the museum's Gemini
circa 2010
I think it was picnic time...
Zoe and Ben,
picnic lunch time
11 August 1997
Hold still while I take a photo...
Hiking Trail #4,
Spring Mill State Park
11 August 1997

As I recall, we had a little picnic after perusing the Grissom Museum. Then we
hit the trail, which ran alongside a small creek to Donaldson Cave. The girls ex-
plored a little ways in, then we went back out to the cars. I contrived a scramble
for myself, up a slope with a very lush undergrowth. I think I was so smelly
afterwards that Alissa thought it was the kids who needed a bath.

Guess it's the age?
Only Kara smiles
for the camera!
11 August 1997
Hannah Freeman, Jenna, Brianna & Kara get spelunky
Hannah & the girls,
Donaldson Cave
11 August 1997
He's in Twizzler Mode
Eli playing with
his food: licorice
11 August 1997
I say we wash these kids in Mill Creek!
Alissa, Rudy & Merrill
consult the trail map
11 August 1997

We did play in Mill Creek, if I'm not mistaken. Felt so good to stand
in the water on such a hot, muggy day.

Musta been a hot, fussy day!
Taylor playing in
Mill Creek itself
11 August 1997
Guarding the boy from the dire, swift current!
Gramma Freeman
herding Taylor
11 August 1997
Atleast her feet are cool!
Brianna enjoying
the cooling waters
11 August 1997
Jenna was onlysix years old at the time!
Hannah & Jenna
wading the creek
11 August 1997

The city of Mitchell - population 4500 or so - was officially made a town
in 1864. By 1907, it was designated a city, all thanks to the railroad. But the Space Program
seems to be what really put it on the map, along with the annual Persimmon Festival.

* John Young, famous for smuggling a corned beef sandwich onto Gemini 3,
also commanded Gemini 10; flew on Apollo 10, walked on the moon on
Apollo 16; flew the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle (STS-1) with
Charles Crippen, as well as commanding STS-9 in 1983!

All images İ 1997 EBBoykin, Jr
except where noted.

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