Up at 5:30, shower & dress, make the bed, gather laptops, phones and camera, pack dog treats, water and kitty bed, bring in the slides, raise the jacks, start the engine, move out, in the service bay at 6:30 a.m.
C: Let’s go for breakfast.
J: At 7 a.m.? I can’t eat – it’s too early! Let’s just drive around – again…
J: I never knew it was still dark at 7:30. What time is sunrise?
C: Google it.
J: It’s too early!
Newmar spent the whole 1st day working on the full wall slide which, in the end, needed a new motor replacement. I wanted them to check the 2nd motor and replace it “just in case” – but they wouldn’t do that. What are the chances of it failing as soon as we drive away, I ask? Ignore her… The crippled slide had also torn some carpet and buckled some wooden moulding that was also repaired. Everything is now perfect!
Day 2 on the repair schedule was the door entry steps (they suspected a controller – we thought it was the motor…); blind adjustments; fastening wood mouldings; check the shower and all the other little stuff.
C: It’s 9 a.m. – we’re in Middlebury – now can we stop for breakfast?
Elkhart County consists of a dozen small towns with the major towns being Elkhart (the largest), Middlebury, Shipshewana, Goshen, Wakarusa and Nappanee. Each of these towns is an adventure and has something unique to offer as you drive this circle route.
In Middlebury, we stopped at the touristy Das Dutchman Essenhaus; buffet or family-style & menu dining restaurant, gift shop, quilt store, bakery, INN and Conference Centre. In the restaurant every table is set with Amish peanut butter and Amish apple butter and baskets of fresh bread. The peanut butter is creamy and sweetened with caro. Breakfast was yummy with a taste of “mush” (fried cornmeal polenta), and the usual eggs, bacon, coffee. I browsed the gift shop while Chuck browsed his i-phone. I want to go back to the bakery and check out the over 30 variety of pies – and buy some peanut butter – and take some pictures!
It’s time to take Gracie for a walk, give her some water, check on Fred and we’re off again.
We had heard about an amazing cheese factory outside of Middlebury – the Guggisberg Deutsch Kase Haus (translation: German Cheese House). There’s a sign – pointing down that country road. There it is!
The shop was clean and bright and had over 40 varieties of cheese, Italian style meats, homemade jams & jellies, cheese accessories, old fashioned candies and dried fruit and veggies. Cheeses were available to sample and you could even watch it being made through a cloudy viewing window. Just having eaten breakfast we still had room to sample the cheese and it was delicious.
We love cheese – especially sharp/old cheddar – and since Seattle we had not been able to buy anything great – until here at Guggisberg. We came out with a 2-lb. roll of Amish Style Hand-Rolled Salted Butter, a 2.5 lb. hunk of Aged Cheddar, a 1 lb. round of Amish Creamery Cheese and 2 flavours of sesame stix – garlic and cheddar.
Good thing we had eaten breakfast and it’s only 10:30 a.m.!
Let’s check out the RV-MH Museum and Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
O.K. – let’s go.
45 minutes later it’s time to take Gracie for another walk, give her a treat and some water, check on Fred and go into the RV museum. It does make sense that this RV capital of the nation would have an RV museum – the only museum of its kind chronicling 8 decades of RV models, campers and trailers. Paying the $8/person ticket price (senior rate) we’re off. There were definitely some antique RV’s, vintage trailers and home-made contraptions and it was neat to see how the industry originated and progressed. Also hard to believe people actually travelled and lived in some of these.
Bambi – the smallest airstream:
Think back to Mae West:
Love the colours of these vintage trailers:
Check out the interiors:
Time to head back to Nappanee, talk to service and check on our coach. 2:30 p.m. quitting time at the shop seems pretty early – but, whew, that was a fun full day!