U.S. Virtual Road Trip - Day 14- Indiana

Don't forget to check out yesterday's stop in Illinois with author Julie Cross and a giveaway here

We are on day 14 of our U.S. Road Trip and we are in Indiana with author Mike Mullin. Over to Mike :)

My top five favorite places in Indiana:

Pine Hills Nature Preserve – Think Indiana doesn’t have spectacular scenery? Hike along the bare rock ridge scarcely five feet wide with a 130’ drop on one side and a 100’ drop on the other and then try to talk smack about my state. Yeah, didn’t think so.

The Indiana Dunes – Great beach, great camping, and all the wild blueberries you can eat when they’re in season.

Wyandotte Caverns – Take the four hour spelunking tour, paths are for wimps, and lights ought to be on your helmet, not strung through the cave.

Spring Hill State Park The only stand of never logged timber in Indiana. Forest 
behemoths loom more than 300’ over your head like buttresses supporting the sky.

McCormick’s Creek State Park – Not the flashiest park in Indiana, but the inn is lovely and cheap, and the hiking trails are numerous and gorgeous.

My top 5 favorite Indiana restaurants:

Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant – Second best fried chicken in Indiana.

Hollyhock Hill – Best fried chicken in Indiana. Yes, I’ve tried them all. Don’t judge.

The Mayberry Caf√© – Everything is homemade and the place oozes weird charm. T.V.s play old episodes of Andy Griffith non-stop. Normally, I hate a restaurant with televisions. (You know they put them in there so you’ll eat more, right?) But I make an exception for this place based on its kitschy charm.

Fogo de Chao – It’s a chain, but I love Brazilian-style churrasco so much that I have to included it. All the meat you can eat carved tableside. To get better churrasco than this, you’ll need to board a nine-hour flight to Rio.

Punch Burger – half as expensive, twice as good, and four times nicer than the better known Bru Burger nearby.

My top five quirky things in Indiana

Spencer Apple Butter festival – apple butter cooked in a giant copper pot on the square, parades, a craft fair, and random other stuff. One year they had a raptor rescue expert bring eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

Feast of the Hunter’s Moon. THE Indiana renaissance fair. Jousting, damsels in distress, greasy finger food, and everything else that you could imagine at a medieval reenactment.

Rockler Armor Museum – Tanks, helicopter, army vehicles and more all lovingly restored by a proud Korea vet.

Candles Holocaust Museum –What’s a holocaust museum doing in hick country? Visit and find out. The founder and holocaust survivor Eva Kor is a force of nature. If you can’t go, read her book Surviving the Angel of Death. If you don’t cry during the epilogue, you should return to your home planet.

Duckpin Bowling – 1920’s style small ball bowling in Fountain Square in Indianapolis

My top five favorite famous people from Indiana

David Letterman – Johnny Carson’s true heir.
George Rogers Clark – Explored the west.
Ryan White – Showed that not only are their assholes in Indiana, there are also a lot of people who will work really hard to do the right thing.
James Dean – Perfected the movie slouch.
Michael Jackson – Yeah, it got weird toward the end. But you can’t deny the brilliance of his music.

Top six favorite Indiana authors

John Green (duh). The teens at Pike High School tell me that if you hang out at the Chipotle near their school long enough, eventually you’ll meet him. I’m not stalkerish enough to try it, I swear.

Saundra Mitchell – My favorite is The Springsweet, but all her books are the bomb.

Christine Johnson – If you love werewolves and you haven’t read Claire De Lune, get yourself a copy, stat.

Julia Karr – Chilling feminist dystopian fiction, XVI and Truth.

Shannon Lee Alexander – Everyone who loved The Fault in Our Stars should read her debut, Love and Other Unknown Variables. It’s better.

Robert Kent – All Together Now, a Zombie Story is packed with insider references to The Walking Dead. It’s by turns disgusting, beautiful, and heart-wrenching.

About Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Sunrise is his third novel.  Ashfall, the first novel of the trilogy, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association.

Website / Facebook / @Mike_Mullin

Thanks Mike. Indiana sounds interesting. I love my food so Hollyhock Hill sounds nice. I want to go Duckpin bowling. What do you think of Indiana? Leave me a comment below.

Check out Day 15 in Iowa with Teri @ Second Run Reviews here

Follow are the road trip stops here


  1. I've never thought much about Indiana but the Holocaust museum and the Apple Butter Festival sound like lots of fun. Plus my husband would love the Mayberry Cafe!

  2. Indiana looks like there's a ton of nature scenery to enjoy! Parks, a beach, a hiking trail... I would love to go there!

  3. Don't think my wife would like it - She likes places with lots of shops!

  4. Ah, I mentioned Mike's books today in my Iowa post. So cool!

    Terri M., the Director