There are several sub-themes to the ASLE conference this year, but I don’t believe wind is one of them. The epic thunderstorm that ranted around Indiana on Monday blew over or damaged a couple of hundred trees on Bloomington’s Indiana U campus, I hear, though so far it’s been relatively calm since delegates started arriving Tuesday.

But let me start in Indianapolis, because that’s what I did. Aside from dear friends reunited, an early major thrill was spending Monday afternoon (after the storm had passed) in the State Library, which is a wonderful place, and wonderfully popular with all kinds of folks. How’s this for a reading room in a public library?

As if that was not enough excitement for one day, I was then hustled into the grand old City Market building where we attended a beer tasting event, a fundraiser for IKE which works for better environmental (air, water etc.) quality for kids in Indiana, at the Tomlinson Tap Room, where there were five mystery beers awaiting thirsty minds, with taste profiles that hinted at their identities. I can modestly report that I guessed all five right, which was about five times the number of questions I could answer on the Indiana / environment quiz that followed. Fortunately my team-mates were much better informed. In fact one extremly interesting question they answered for me was the purpose of the wire that runs from the Taproom directly to the Three Days in Paris creperie below. This I know, thanks to them, is a zipline linking hungry Tappers to a source of fresh crepes. Civilized? I think so.

After a much too short visit to the Indianapolis Art Museum, it ws time for my final Indy treat: visiting the excellent food and winerie Goose the Market, which has lots of fine things including coffee toffee chocolates, house-cured meats, amazing cheeses from near and far, beautiful wines, amusing beers, and a dazzling array of local and not local condiments and essentials, like smoked salt, bourbon-casked vanilla and shagbark hickory syrup.

What could I do but pick up some cheese for the next leg of my journey? From the store’s Virginia collection I chose a herbed Piedmont: a raw sheep’s milk cheese from Everona Cheeses. Nice one. Very nice.

But the ravest of reviews were saved for this Monte Enebro, a gorgeous goat’s milk cheese from northern Spain, its rind blooming with blue mold and vegetable ash. I’m afraid it has already entirely disappeared, but with rapture all round.

And there I will leave you, for the moment as I think that is enough for one day. More on ASLE next installment…

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