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August 23, 2015

Indiana the Amish and Irish

We left Dayton and again on the back roads north with Potawatomi Inn as our destination for dinner and an overnight in Pokagon State Park.
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We were assigned a nice site in the dry camping area.  An easy walk to the Inn along a well maintained bike path.  Be advised Indiana has a non-resident $9 entrance fee in addition to a camping fee.
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This would be our starting point to visit the Amish country starting in Shipshewana.  The Menno-Hof Information Center had to be the first stop to educate us about the culture, lest we become another ‘ugly tourist’. 
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From the information center is a short walk to the Visitor’s Center to pick up an audio guided tour of the Heritage Trail.  This is a great tool to follow the 93 miles of back roads that are recommended in a clockwise order.

And it was time for lunch, we were hungry!  I ordered the Amish sample platter at the Blue Gate Restaurant.  A huge serving of pot roast, pork, fried chicken, with mashed potatoes and dressing covered with gravy, corn, along with bread and butter.
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With the belly full and lots of left overs there’s time to visit a bakery and a yardage store for the basic clothing and quilting supplies.  There are literally miles of yardage to choose from.  Not all quilts are made of material, Garden Quilts are popular.

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Although there are other Anabaptists groups, the Mennonite and Amish are the most common in this area.  The Amish get by far the majority of the publicity with the simplicity of their faith and life styles.  Unlike the Mennonite the Amish continue to shun the automobile, electricity in the home, television and radio.  If “The meek shall inherit the earth”, the earth will belong to the Amish.
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Starting the Heritage Trail in Shipshewana allowed to leave the trail in Elkhart, the home of the RV Museum.
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The oldest RV in the collection is the Earl Travel Trailer
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A ‘slideout’ on a 1916 Telescope Touring Apartment on a Ford Model T truck
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The Tennessee Traveler House Car included a wood stove for heating.
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As we drive a Fleetwood it was interesting to see the original model, a bit like the Shasta, but not as well appointed.
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Mae West had an RV
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My favorite, a 1929 Wiedman House Car includes my requirement list.  A drivers door, no permanent bedroom, separate sitting and sleeping area and lots of windows on the passenger side.
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From Elkhart it is a short drive to the Home of the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame in South Bend.
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It was parent orientation/student welcome day!  Awesome, ample parking and a wide open campus – just pretend to be parents … or students.  Not sure which art is more famous the mural of ‘Touchdown Jesus’ or the statue of  Knute Rockne, possibly the best college coach of all time.
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The administration building has a most inspired ceiling.  I’ve been told to always look up in a Catholic church, and Notre Dame does not disappoint.
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The Basilica of the Sacred Heart entrance is ‘modest’ compared to the jaw-dropping interior.
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Again looking up the pipes for the organ and ceiling are well above the expected.
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We’ll return to Dayton for a few more days before heading further east.
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