Monday, May 27, 2024

Pumpkinvine Bike Trail--a Real Treasure

Sparky decided to ride the Pumpkinvine bike trail last Saturday. It was a beautiful day....sixties with a light breeze and no clouds.  If you start at Abshire Park, in Goshen, it would be about 32 miles all the way to Shipshewanna and back, depending on whether you go all the way to the end of the trail in Shipsee, which would be a little more, closer to 34 miles.

Elkhart has a quilt garden tour every year, called the Heritage Quilt Garden Tour. There are usually 16 garden plots. You can get more information here. There is a quilt garden right there at the 75 acre park at Abshire. It was newly planted but in a month or so, it will be even more beautiful as it fills in. Each quilt garden site has a placard, telling you what the pattern is and what the flowers are to create the quilt pattern. At this location is the "Sunburst" pattern and here are the flowers: Happy Trails Rosita Protulaca, Cocktail Vodka Begonias and Clear Crystal White Alyssum.

Sparky was not going to ride all the way to Shipshewanna, but as she started out, it was so fantastic and she was enjoying her Trek bike so much, she just kept going. A lot of times when Sparky does a long ride, she forgets that if it is so easy going one way, that usually means she has a tailwind and it's going to be hard slogging, coming back in a headwind. Not today. It was fabulous, coming and going.

Lots to see today...some pictures are not easy to come by. Picture five Amish girls in long dresses and white bonnets, walking down the asphalt bike trail in bare feet.....New colts out in the fields...

A really big turtle out sunning himself....

Sparky saw several farmers with the old fashioned draft horse drawn plows, where they sit way out on a seat suspended over the field with the plow or hay rakes. This gentleman seemed to be having trouble with his hay rake (?), so then his wife handed the baby over to him and she got on and continued.
Got to see some cows up close and personal...they backed off when Sparky got just a little bit closer to the fence to say hi. Guess they are a little shy of strangers. (Sparky was a farm girl in another life, Eldo thinks, as much as she likes cows and likes being around them, she doesn't even mind the smell!)
Got to see a little field of purple lupines in Shipshewanna right by the trail. They are such a beautiful, tall, stately flower. The spider wort, second flower photo, are now popping up all along the trail.

On the way to Shipshewanna, there were three little Amish kids having a lemonade stand. They were cute as little buttons, and doing a booming business. At one point, one of the boys went and got fresh cookies to add to their stand. Sparky asked permission to take their photo. Fifty cents a glass, and what a bargain! It was delicious!

As you cross over into the newly completed portion of the Pumpkinvine, you pass Moody's ice cream shop, a great place to stop and take a breather. (AHA! That's why it takes her so long to do the trail, exclaims Eldo.) Sometimes she stops, and sometimes she doesn't! You cross a county road right as you come out of Moody's a little to the left to continue on the trail. If you want to stop and sit on a provided park bench for awhile right there, you'll see many Amish buggies traveling the county road carrying their Saturday shopping supplies, or maybe hauling a small trailer behind. There always seems to be a little one peeking out the back window.

Sparky would love to get more personal photos of Amish life, but is always hesitant to take photos of them. It's been sort of a common belief that they do not wish to have their photos taken. But their lives are changing to become more modernized, that's for sure. Some Amish have cell phones now, some use powered lawn mowers and tractors, washing machines and solar power. It's kind of sad to see that lifestyle changing, but the gap between modern technology and the old Amish lifestyle is narrowing due to necessity, we suppose. Their life is still simplified, but enhanced with some things that will make life a little easier for them. It's a little bit like we seniors, struggling to keep up with the pace of technology, yet leaving a lot of it behind for the younger generation to figure out or teach us how to use it. Sparky yearns sometimes, for the days when life was a lot simpler and we didn't have cell phones or the internet, we played outside all the time and ate ice cream pushups from cardboard toilet paper holders, haha.   

And with that, we will see you next time...Wait for it....IN ALASKA!


  1. Times past were much simpler and happy. It seems that Technology cause everyone to rush more than they have to.
    Be Safe and Enjoy Alaska.

    It's about time.

  2. Thank you and we sure will!

  3. Was happy to see an update. You live in a beautiful area of the country for sure. Can't wait to see updates on Alaska. . .