Rooster and I spent a sunny Saturday afternoon on a motorcycle ride to Oakdale Dam with some friends. It was a fun trip and a pleasant way to break out of social distancing. #Oakdale Dam #Tippecanoe River #Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill #Walton #Logansport #Delphi #Indiana #Lake Freeman #Monticello #Leffert Stone #Hoosier
Our small motorcycle pack left the Grissom Air Museum. Then we headed for Oakhill Dam near Monticello, Indiana. There is a restaurant near the dam that is a favorite spot where biker’s like to stop for a quick meal when they are on a ride in the area. Lynn wanted to show off one of the best motorcycle routes in Central Indiana to her visiting guests from Tennessee. Her father, Jerry, spent years working in the steel mills up near Gary, Indiana, but Maggie had never spent much time in the Hoosier state. In all honesty, most folks never give a thought to the scenic beauty here in Indiana due to the image of endless rows of flat cornfields that pop into their mind whenever the Hoosier state is mentioned. Lynn wanted to prove to Jerry and Maggie there was more than corn in Indiana.
Small towns we passed through before we started the Oakdale Dam Ride
Therefore, we pointed our motorcycles toward Monticello and took a river route to Oakdale dam. There is a lot of Indiana countryside to travel before you get to the Wabash River. So, the journey would include several small burgs you often don’t recognize as a town until you pass through the community and emerge into the corn on the other side.
Walton, Indiana, is a prime example of a ‘don’t blink or you’ll miss it’ sort of place. I manage to snap a picture of Leffert Stone as we sped through the tiny burg on our motorcycles. I thought the large rock might have some historical significance of our Hoosier Pioneer past. However, when I researched its origin, I discovered it was an advertisement for a local company, which sold stone and gravel.
Next, our group came to Logansport. Indiana. Two rivers intersect in this small community. Because of the city’s numerous waterways, the Wabash and Erie Canal, built by Irish and German immigrants, reached this town in 1838. Moreover, by the 1920s, Logansport became a major train town. Thus, the community developed a fascination for the ‘Iron Horse.’ We planned to catch the river and follow it to the city of Delphi. Of course, we are in the road construction season here in Hoosier Land. Thus we followed a jagged path to reach the river due to road closures.
Riding the River
One of Rooster and my favorite things to do is to find a body of water and ride it as far as we can travel before we need to turn around and head home. That’s why we came out of hiding when we read Lynn’s post on Facebook about how she planned to spend the day. Indeed, there are several reasons we enjoy riding near water.
List of reasons we love riding near bodies of water
- Firstly, there always seems to be a cool breeze flowing off the water. The airflow comes in handy in the heat and humidity on a summer afternoon.
- Secondly, the roads near the water are generally tree-lined. The shade is always a plus on a hot summer day.
- Thirdly, a river, lake, or ocean always provides a scenic view. A person can ride through only so many cornfields before they get bored with the trip.
- Finally, water attracts all sorts of wildlife, so you never know what you might see or experience.
Indeed, the afternoon we spent riding the Wabash River out of Logansport satisfied all of the above-listed categories, which make up an excellent river ride. Once we got past the road construction, we managed to ride close to the river almost the entire way to Delphi. Rooster and I generally take the road on the opposite side of the river than the one we traveled, but this one proved to be even more scenic.
I thought we lost the river when we pulled onto Highway 24, but that wasn’t the case. Brett Anderson led us onto Georgetown Road, which was the perfect choice for a scenic ride. We stopped on a wide bridge in the middle of nowhere to take a breather and watch the fish play in the water. Maggie said she had no idea Indiana was so scenic. We did encounter a slight amount of trouble when we came to a gravel road. Gravel and motorcycles don’t mix well. Bikers will avoid one of these roads even if they have to go out of their way to do so. Everyone agreed to move forward because we can see the highway that will take us to Delphi up ahead.
The Oakdale Dam Ride begins
Once we arrive in Delphi, we aren’t certain about what road we need to take to get to the Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill. By this point in time, hunger pangs plague all of our stomachs. A brief conversation ensued in regards to staying in the small city and eating at a restaurant Rooster and I enjoyed in the past. However, someone managed to pull up the location of Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill on their cell phone. Once we got pointed in the right direction, we enjoyed a pleasant ride through the countryside until we reached our turn.
If you are planning a trip to Oakdale Dam, you must make certain you follow your GPS directions closely. The Oakdale Bar and Grill is located at 11899 W. Oakdale Drive on the outskirts of Monticello, Indiana. Be careful not to blink. You will have to travel a distance down the road and find a place to turn around if you miss the crossroad that will take you to the dam and restaurant. The dam is a Hydro-Electric Plant, sitting on the south side of Lake Freeman, which flows into the Tippecanoe River. The restaurant where we planned to eat sits on a cliff overlooking the dam and the river.
Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill
We noticed as soon as we pulled into the parking lot of theOakdale Dam Bar and Grill that the restaurant had undergone some major improvements. The giant fish on top of the building remained, and the catfish still greeted you when you walked through the door. Yet, the place was larger than before, and they added a magnificent deck with outside dining to the eatery. Still, we knew we were in the right place because of the lighting fixtures made of booze bottles and the fish hanging on the walls. We had a slight wait before we were seated in the newer section of the restaurant. The time was spent checking out the dam down below and watching people fish.
If you remember from previous blogs, I’ve introduced my rating system since COVID-19. The system is my new method of reviewing restaurants as we enter the new normal
Mollys personal restaurant rating system
A score of five being the best and a score of one the worst.
Food Quality- Rooster gave his Dam Grilled Chicken Sandwich a five. Since I’d had better hand-breaded tenderloins, I wasn’t as excited about my sandwich, and I gave mine a three. The next time we make the trip to this restaurant, I will have the Damn Chicken.
Cost- Rooster didn’t complain, but Jerry picked up the check. Still, he never complained when he thought he was paying, so I rate the cost of the meal a reasonable 5.
Atmosphere- The inside expansion and addition of the outside patio made the upgrade to the Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill a wonderful place to enjoy a meal. I’m glad they kept the traditional feel in the front dining area and bar. It brought back some good memories. I give Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill a 5 in the atmosphere department.
Service- I didn’t catch the name of the young woman who waited on us, but she did a great job of making us feel at home. The food was a little slow, getting to the table. I have a feeling they have a new kitchen crew since reopening. I give them a 4 in this department.
Cleanliness- The new addition was spick and span, but I thought the staff needed a little training in the procedures for reopening after COVID closure. I give this establishment a 4 in this area.
Décor- The décor was a blend of old bar meets trendy. I liked the way they kept the former fixtures and blended them in nicely with the updates they made. I give them 5 points here as well.
Overall, our group enjoyed our meal at the Oakdale Dam Bar and Grill. I didn’t hear any complaints while we mounted our bikes in the parking lot. Therefore it is likely we will make a return trip at a later date. This restaurant receives a 4-point rating on Molly’s informal scale.
The ride to Oakdale Dam proved to be a marvelous adventure. The journey through the small towns, fields high with corn, and past the river was a wonderful way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Rooster and I enjoyed getting to know Jerry and Maggie. It’s always fun to spend time with the Andersons. Our day of adventure wasn’t finished yet. A few more escapades were waiting for us down the road. Stay tuned for some future blog posts on how we spent the remainder of the day.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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