Friday, August 28, 2020

Back to the Pumpkinvine--It's That Great!

We are settled for two nights at the Elkhart Campground...our old stomping grounds. We used to stay here when we were weekend warriors, and then when we first went full timing, we spent quite a bit of time at this campground.

For campground in the middle of a city, it's quite nice. Twenty-five acres, pull through level sites, full hookups, 50 amp, 30 amp, hot showers if you need them, laundry, pool, propane, pickle ball courts (Sparky LOVES pickle ball, but has a bad Achilles tendon that she has to nurture...) mini golf, cabins, etc. TONS of sites...250 pull thrus (the kind we like for our big rig), 130 sites with full hookups (that means water, sewer, and electric--most sites are 70-80 feet long. Current price for full hookup is 43.20 a night....

Elkhart is the RV capital of the world...well, maybe the U.S. Just about all the major manufacturers of RV's are here..You want parts, service, and dealers, they are here. We are here because of our awnings, (destroyed by a freaky huge tree limb falling on our awnings in Alabama) but it's going to be six weeks before they can even get the parts and install them, so we are moving around in the area till that happens. The supply chain difficulties you are seeing in the stores with weird outages and things missing on the shelves is affecting the RV industry as well. They can't ship units because they are missing refrigerators, windows, etc.

We have reservations in South Dakota for Labor Day week/weekend, and think we still may be headed that way, but RV plans are made in "jello" have to be flexible, because things change at any moment.  Also, now that there is a HUGE movement to hit the road due to coronavirus restrictions, and people reluctant to travel in traditional ways, campgrounds are much more crowded and busier, so we have to plan ahead and be certain of places to stay on holiday weekends and weeks. So-o-o-o..("SPARKY! SPARKY! FOCUS!" says Eldo...."You said Pumpkinvine Trail!")

Oh, yes...where was I? Eldo bought a Trek bike! So he can ride the Pumpkinvine, too! And other trails..So back we went....

Sparky went out today (Thursday) for another 12 miles. Her favorite part is the Shipshewanna to Middlebury and back trip, because of the beautiful canopy of trees, and the many beautiful Amish farms. That's 12 miles round trip. So far, Sparky has seen wild turkeys on her ride, 

a red cardinal one foot away, many many Amish families biking with their children, and beautiful, beautiful wildflowers like these purple coneflowers....

And all kinds of black eyed Susans, (rudbeckias?)....and daisies...not sure what this one is....

Lots of horses and cows...Sparky could have been a farm girl easily, in another life. She actually likes farm smells...
The last thing we want to leave our readers in today's post is a list of things to do in Elkhart/Amish country while you are here.
1. Visit an RV company for a tour, but call first because of the pandemic. Grand Design, Newmar, Dutchman (?), Montana and more.
2. Buy your parts and get service for your's all here!
3. Visit Shipshewanna Flea Market on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, see the auction on Wednesdays.
4. Visit Jojo's Pretzels in Shipshewanna, or Ben's Pretzels...they are soft and amazing!
5. Visit Rise 'n' Roll bakery in Middlebury/Shipshewanna on US 20 for amazing donuts. (Gee, there are a lot of food ideas in this list. Elkhart isn't all about food, Sparky, says Eldo.) Oh, but for Sparky, it sure is!
6. Take an Amish buggy tour out of Shipshewanna.
7. Drive around Elkhart and try to find 38 statues of elks. 
They were sold over the past few years to raise funds to protect children from child abuse. They also have decorated their electric gray boxes with cool wraps. It's kind of fun to drive around and look for those. Hey, it doesn't take much to entertain a retiree!

Elkhart used to be the band capital of the world, and the home of many musical instrument companies. (Eldo used to work building brass musical instruments.)
8. Some great Elkhart restaurants to visit--Antonio's, Chubby Trout, 523 Tap and Grill, Mayberry Cafe for breakfast or lunch, Columbo's pizza (if you like thick style and tons of cheese), Heiney's Back Barn
9.Visit Yoder's Meat and Cheese company in Shipshewanna for great prices and antibiotic free meats and cheeses.
10. Visit the RV Hall of Fame Museum...a wonderful collection of antique RV's and interesting history.
11. If it's summer, see if they are doing the flower/quilt gardens. There are beautiful gardens with quilt designs incorporated into the flowers growing in the gardens.
12. Ruthmere Mansion tour

There are a lot more things to see and do in Elkhart and the surrounding countryside. Hope you get to visit some day!  Tomorrow, we head for a Corps of Engineer park in Illinois. See you later!


  1. I guess you pulled out of the last campground with no issues. I didn't see any 'oops' on FB :) We really enjoyed Elkhart when we were there at the beginning of our adventure.

  2. We always enjoy the Middlebury area for quieter times.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.