Just what the heck is a Hoosier? Try Wikipedia (which of course is the authority on everything... It's crowd sourced which means you actually wrote it. So, if you lied when you penned it you actually lied to yourself. It is a little like dehydrated breakfast cereal hour), and there really isn't a definitive origin. It is like it just sprang up from dust. I am seriously considering putting forward the blustery idea that it was actually a group of rambunctious aliens that did it. The kind of space traveling misfits that you would normally get if you put up a roadside diner or thereabouts.
If you can keep the worms at bay, it would be some good stuff. Of course none of this actually is a real theory, it is just what I believe.
Regardless, when it comes to where the term Hoosier came from, I really do want to know. Try as I might, I cannot find anyone that really knows. But, I did find this nugget trying to at least define the term.
The etymology of hoosier is unclear, but it has been used since at least 1830. According to Bill Bryson, there are many suggestions for the derivation of the word, but none is universally accepted. Jacob Piatt Dunn, longtime secretary of the Indiana Historical Society, noted that "hoosier" was frequently used in many parts of the South in the 19th century for woodsmen or rough hill people.
So there you have it. Rough hill people. I kinda like that definition. Although, I am not really sure if the hill is rough or the people is rough. Either way, just having the word rough in there is a good thing. As you can imagine, I am a fan of that word as it ends in a completely unpronounceable "gh". Just who invented that little piece, I would really like to know as well. If I figure it out, they are definitely off the Christmas list.
On to the point of this entry.
There is a little known MTB trail network in southern Indiana in Brown County. Just outside of Nashville Indiana. (That is right, I said Nashville.) It is a funky little artsy town in the hill country of Indiana. Hoosiers live there.
We really felt like we needed to get somewhere that was not Wisconsin or more specifically not freezing and snow covered and ride. If you live in the northern part of the USA, you know what I am talking about. It has been a long long winter. But, fret not. There are parts of the world that the ground is not frozen still in April. Trails that you can smell the moisture in the dirt.So we loaded up and headed down there in the new Subaru wagon with a pile of bikes on the back. 7 hours later and we were out, free, no snow and no frozen ground. When we arrived, we blitzed out to the woods and walked around with little mud and no frost. Afterward, we headed into town where there is a really good little brewery there called Big Woods. Check it. They have a really nice burger and an even better IPA.
Their trail network at Brown County is really really well done. I am not entirely sure how big the park is, but probably 10,000 acres or so. There is about 30 miles of purpose built singletrack. Benched in to the hill and really sweet flow.
We rode with Paul Arlinghaus of the Hoosier Mountain Bike association (He is a hill person, a great rider and great trail builder). Make sure you say hello if you go down.
That is it for Brown County. I'll be back. Probably a few times next winter. There is a trail and a Hare Trigger IPA there with my name on it. In addition, I truly believe that Hoosier is not a vacuum cleaner appliance and there is a real definition out there. Even if there is not a real definition, I have discovered 1st hand that they are really cool.