Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Amish Country and Amish Buggies

 Twin Mills Campground is in Howe, IN. We are about half an hour from Elkhart, IN.  It's 37 miles to Best Buy. Sparky has an Apple computer with a malfunctioning keyboard/spacer bar. Looks like we will head there today to see if Best Buy geeks can fix it. (The Apple store is closed.)

Back to Twin Mills...when we last left you, we had pulled into (BACKED in) a very challenging site with the help of our new RVing friend, Larry. He's a great guy, and a wonderful reminder of why we enjoyed being out on the road the last time...RVers are helpful, friendly, and you make almost instant new friends...There's no shortage of wonderful, helpful people out there when you get into a jam. Here's our beautiful site...Tight trees on the other side.

We made it in, and as we said, we ain't movin' for two whole weeks. 
The campground is gorgeous. The pines are HUGE!
Twin Mills has 551 sites...seasonals, full hookups, a nice pool, cabins, and a beach on a decent sized lake, 30-50amp, and all kinds of activities you can imagine. Not all of them are running because of Covid, but there is lots to do. There are some little hiking trails that wind in and around the park. We love all the shade provided by the trees, but it can be a challenge with big rigs getting into a site as we have mentioned. This is a park you want to drive thru to the site in a car first to see if you can get your rig around and in. Check out all the activities and amenities thru the link mentioned above. 

Twin Mills is in the heart of Amish country. You are 20 min. from the Shipshewanna Flea Market and auctions, about 20-30 min. from the Elkhart RV Hall of Fame and museum and some terrific Amish restaurants and donut shops. (Rise and Roll for one...) We have been shopping for Indiana sweet corn, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables from Amish market stands. Indiana sweet corn rivals any sweet corn in the rest of the country, in Sparky's humble opinion. 

Sparky loves seeing all the Amish buggies and the little kids riding in the wagons, or even fishing boats being pulled by horse and buggy! They even have hitching posts at most of the grocery stores and hardware stores for the Amish.

Sparky got to thinking about Amish buggies... Did you know....???

Shops buy LED components and assemble the lights based on a turn signal system developed by Lancaster, PA Amish builders over 50 years ago. Bulbs stay on low beam during normal use, but turning on the turn signal activates a brake-light style system that turns on the high beams. To power the lights, there is a single 20 volt/6 amp battery, the kind that powers an electric drill. There may be a marine battery in the back under the seat to operate the signals.You gotta be careful driving around in Amish country. Share the road and go slow when encountering buggies and wagons. 

The main part of the body of the buggy is fiberglass. Aluminum parts are added to the buggy that get a lot of wear like door sills. Everything else is oak or ash wood framing that gets upholstered. If a buggy has the latest technology, it has thermally modified wood. That's wood that has been cooked or heat treated down to about almost 0% moisture. That stabilizes it and makes it really hard to rot.

Some buggies have propane heaters, cupholders, and/or speedometers. Average cost of a buggy is about 8-10 thousand. The most common buggy is the two seater, designed for four people. Amish families usually have more than one style of buggy, each for different purposes. Buggies are sturdy, well built, and last a long time, as much as 20-30 years. Some trade their buggies in every 5-8 years. Some buggies will get rebuilt and still be running 40-50 years from now.
Amish traffic jam!
Most buggy wheels are fiberglass and have rubber linings. The rubber lining can blow off just like a flat tire and needs replaced about once a year.

So there ya go...probably more than you wanted to know about Amish buggies.  We are REALLY enjoying the early fall weather. Unusually cool at night for August in the fifties! Tomorrow, Sparky heads for the Pumpkinvine bike trail...a wonderful trail thru Amish farm country....see you there!


  1. I think it's interesting where the Amish all settled. We weren't that far from Lancaster, PA when we lived there. I loved going down and eating at their restaurants. Their crafts and baked goods are the bomb!

  2. Mmmmm-yum, I'd love some of that Indiana corn. When we grew it ourselves in the garden we'd take turns picking for dinner since the picker could eat one ear on the way into the house they were sooo sweet and then we'd barely wave the others over some heat. Wonderful memory. Thanks.

    Very interesting about the buggies. Having owned horses, I am amazed that the horse could be passed by an 18 wheeler and not spook at all.

  3. Notes in our blog say that we liked the Das Dutchman Essenhaus restaurant.