Ranger Danger

So our adventure for the day didn’t simply end with me dripping wet in a lake with no stones to show for it, no, our escapade was actually just beginning.
We arrived back at the bus at 8pm, Loops secured the bikes while I tried my very best not to drip all over the carpet as I scurried for the shower. As I finish and am getting ready to think about cooking dinner – sausage and mash, scrummy – there comes a knock at the door. What then ensues riles me a little and I’ll tell you why…

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Magic Stones

As we pull into the driveway of Lucky Lake campground (just outside of Rothbury, Michigan), my stomach drops and I get that really uneasy feeling that tells me that I don’t want to look over at the face Loops will be making right now.
The gravel driveway looks to be about ¾ mile long and disappears into woodland. We now have two issues – Loops hates driving on loose gravel and trees next to roads are the enemy of the RV.

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Adventures in Michigan

I’m guessing because the Amish do so much physical labour – farming, manual cleaning, riding bicycles, churning butter, that sort of thing – they are more than able to cope with such starch laden fare as is put before us at the Essenhaus, without becoming immensely overweight.

Yes, I have discovered a new delight of the Amish – their food. Just west of Shipshewana, in the town of Middlebury, is Das Dutchman Essenhaus; a restaurant featuring Amish style family dining, which has had a packed car park each time we’ve passed by it, on our way in and out of Shipshe.
This time, given its perfect timing for dinner, we pull in and treat ourselves to the following family meal – fried chicken, broiled beef, cooked ham, noodles, stuffing, sweetcorn, mash potatoes and gravy, and for dessert, chocolate peanut butter and banana pie.

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Pie. Yum. (Took me two days to eat just this piece as it was so rich!)

 

If I was eating this kind of food every day, I weigh as much as an elephant, Amish workload or not.

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All the fun of the fair

It takes us two days to pootle over to the Indiana State Fairgrounds, which includes another overnight stop at the Camping World in Indianapolis where we previously stayed, putting us within a stone’s throw on the fairgrounds for the next day.

The ride north took us through winery country (great for booze tours), past a real, active drive-in movie theatre (I didn’t know these still existed), through Paoli ski area (I like to see ski runs with no snow on them) and randomly past an elephant spa located in the middle of no-where (where you can apparently pay to watch an elephant have a spa – I kid you not). Continue reading “All the fun of the fair”

Hello Hoosiers!

And here we go again – retracing our steps.
In order to stop ourselves suffering from a bad case of déjà vu, we do our very best to not follow the exact original route we took, as we head back to Michigan.

However, we do have a few repeated occurrences, such as stopping of to have dinner with Loop’s family, who again happen to be on holiday only an hour from where we choose to make camp one evening at Cross Creek RV Park in Maggie Valley, NC. We’ve specifically chosen to pop in here and spend two nights, as the gentleman who owns the park is a Bluebird owner and has offered us up to a week’s free stay to try it out and spread the word if we like it. How amazing is that?

Well, I can confirm, the park is a lovely little find, quiet and well maintained with beautiful mountain views from the windows, and all the residents happily wave to Loops’ and I as we stroll around the park in the evening (though they probably thought we were a little odd as we ended up doing about 3 circuits because the campground, though lovely, is small).

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View at Cross Creek

 

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Scrubbing is good for the soul

After our stint in Shipshewana we make it to Charlotte, North Carolina in two and a half days; and fairly uneventful days at that.

Our first day finds us driving to Winchester, Kentucky (picked by me for it’s a twin of my home city in England) – chugging through flat countryside which eventually gives way to more greenery and hills. We pass through a number of small towns which interestingly and sadly show the clear rich/poor divide that can happen – driving through leafy neighbourhoods with large houses, gardens and porches; to then cross some unspoken dividing line and then be faced with run down mobile homes, closed up business fronts, fly tipping in the front gardens and streets. In the evening we basically trip over Ohio state line (a new state!) to pass by Cincinnati on the I-74, the skyline lit up like a Christmas tree as we fly by at night, before jumping the border again into Kentucky.

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Time for a U turn

I’m going to make a bold statement now, get ready.

I’ve found my new American home town.

Yes, it took a much shorter period of time than I thought, but I’ve very quickly decided I want to move to Shipshewana, Indiana; to live among the folk in Amish country.

I want to spend my days on the outskirts of a quiet, small town surrounded by corn and soy bean fields as far as the eye can see, whitewashed farms, the sound of horse hooves clip clopping down the road and with the most wondrous of cheese factories on my doorstep.

Yes, this will be my new home.

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A new state and more new friends

Sniff.

Sniff.

Sniiiiiiff.

“Loops, what’s that smell?” I ask.
“What smell?” Sniff. “Hmm. It must be the bathroom, go check and just open the fan back there.”
I unsteadily walk down the moving bus and open the bathroom door.
And gag.

Yes, it seems we have discovered another joy of living on the road – the smell of a partially full black tank being churned around as you drive.

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