Saturday, September 28, 2013

Toto... I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

Roger here....  The alternate title of this post is,  The Bad, the Ugly, the Good, and the Amish. 

The Bad:  After leaving our pristine spot on Wilson Lake in Kansas, we needed to drive a little further the next day to make up for the extra night on the lake.  I had scoped out several campgrounds along I-70 in Missouri, but could only find one near the highway that matched the distance that we wanted to travel.  So, we spent the night at the RV Express behind a convenience store.  Lovely, isn't it?   I hooked up the motor home, then made a quick retreat into the motor home and locked the doors.  Dianne actually walked to the convenience store for some milk.  Bandido refused to leave his perch at the front window until she returned.  

It was quiet and we actually slept pretty well.  However, the next morning we discovered that our router had been hacked, using up all our available bandwidth.  We were kicked off the internet for 24 hours.  Irritating.

The Ugly:

We drove for a second long day after leaving the bizarro campground in Missouri and spent the night in a quirky, but safe campground near Cloverdale, Indiana.  By that time, it was evident that if I did not spend some quality time getting the accumulation of squished prairie bugs off the windshield, that it would not be safe to travel.  Two hours later (with two brushes on long handles, a squeegee, a bucket of water, Awesome Orange, Windex, a foldable ladder, a couple of microfiber towels, and a lot of sweat) images through the front windshield were visible again.

The Good:

The rest is all good.

Back home again in Indiana.  Ahh.  Home!  We stopped near my hometown of Pendleton for four days to see our friends Jay and Nancy, and to store items from the motor home in their garage that would be in the way during our repairs and remodeling in the northern part of the state.  Since we started full-time RVing five years ago, the Glo Wood Campground near I-69 has been our home base when we are in the area.  It is not fancy, and the pot holes are worse than bad, but it is a really comfortable, serene place.  Good utility connections.  Quiet.  Extremely low key.  And, the friendliest owner we have ever encountered.  Camping near friends in the middle of a cornfield.  Not bad!

The campground was once a dairy farm.  The owners live in the old milk barn that has been converted into a home.

 The view from the front sure is a lot better than the campground in Missouri.  The view of the Indiana corn, ready for harvesting in the back, makes me feel right at home.

Dianne took the sunrise picture below.

My time was spent loading "stuff" in our car and transporting it to our friends' garage for a month-long visit (almost like having us there).  Dianne spent much of her time cleaning.  The folks who will be tearing our motor home apart are NOT allowed to find any dirt.

The time passed quickly.  The trip to northern Indiana took most of a day.  We had forgotten about the narrow roads (with no shoulders) in the more rural parts of the state.  We spent one night in Shipshewana (Amish country), a town known for its flea markets.  The campground was nice, but kind of pricey.  The next morning we took the motor home to Bradd and Hall, Inc. where our remodeling will be done.  We needed to pick out flooring, show them the changes we want with our entertainment center, and discuss the custom woodworking that they will be installing.

Dianne's turn:

In December, 2008 when we left our home to begin full-timing, our very first stop was in Elkhart, Indiana at Bradd and Hall to have our TV's switched to flat screens and the cabinetry altered.  They did such a good job that when we decided to change out our flooring and furniture, that's where we wanted to go.  We dropped off the chairs and valences to be re-covered, picked out the carpet... 

The Armstrong "Alterna" flooring...

The colors actually match perfectly (can't tell from the photo) and also match our new Lambright Amish-made recliners.  Our recliners had arrived, so I was able to partially uncover one of them for a photo... 

We sat down to check them out and WOW!   Can't wait until they're installed.   One of the things we did while parked at Glo-Wood near Pendleton was to take our old Lazy-Boy out and drop it off at the Goodwill store.  Here's what we're using in the meantime --

At Bradd and Hall's showroom we saw a corner desk like the one we ordered.  Ours isn't there yet; it will be maple to match our cabinetry...

Now, back to Roger....

From Bradd and Hall, we drove 15 miles to the idyllic town of Nappanee where Newmar Motor Homes are manufactured and where several minor concerns in our motor home will receive some care.  (More on that later).  The regular parking area for service was full, so we spent the first night in the water/electric overflow lot.  It was not fancy, but it filled the bill.  We have since moved to the nicer parking area with full hook-ups and a customer lounge.

Have you ever seen  the movie, The Birds?  At sunset hundreds landed on the power lines across the street.

Amish Country:

We were both born in central Indiana and spent the majority of our lives there.  It is ironic that neither of us has really spent time in Indiana's Amish Country.  We are discovering that absence was a mistake.  Clip clop, clip clop.  The sound of horses pulling buggies is ubiquitous here.  This is a really interesting place, and we especially like the town of Nappanee.  Both of us agree that we could easily live in a place like this (except for the snow).   By the way, it is considered bad form to photograph the Amish people.  The picture above only shows an empty horse and buggy parked and waiting.

This weekend the local residents are carpeting an entire city street with mums in quilt patterns.  We hope to visit again when the entire project is complete.  In the meantime, a really nice lady offered to take our picture in front of the developing project.

Last night we decided to eat dinner at Amish Acres, located adjacent to our temporary home at Newmar.  

The pathway to the restaurant was decorated with a plethora of pumpkin-ladened displays.  Here are just a few.

Our delicious family-style chicken dinner brought back memories of the meals that our grandmothers used to prepare - especially Dianne's grandmother, Clara.  

I did not used to like bean soup.  Now, I crave it.
(Dianne here:  The ham and bean soup, sweet/sour slaw, pickles, homemade bread with apple butter was just the appetizer!)

The dishes full of fried (broasted) chicken, beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, sage dressing, gravy, and green beans made it very difficult not to overeat.

The pet pictures of the day show Tequila in her quest of her latest favorite prey--  GRASSHOPPERS.





Bill and Nancy said...

Looks like things are about to change...all for the better!!

We also were raised near the Amish in PA. Visited there last year and this year we were in the Amish Country in Ohio. We love it and will have to check out the Indiana Amish!!

Hope all the work goes smoothly and can't wait to see the finish product:o))

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

The RV Express sure looks like a no nonsense place. IN Amish country is one of our favorites. We were just there a few weeks ago.