After Elkhart and Frankenmuth, it was time to start heading west to Iowa. Rather then drive due west, through the maelstrom that is Chicago, we headed south for a bit before turning west. The trip was uneventful, except for an RV park right next door to a shooting range and another, a transplant from Area 51 with spaceships in the mist.
Once in Amana, we had almost 2 weeks to explore, eat and shop before the start of the New Horizons Owners Group rally. When we arrived at the RV Park and Conference Center, there was a 3 day Dog Show over the long weekend. Almost every rig had a dog pen set up outside, with every breed you can imagine. We did run into some greyhounds, but they weren’t competing.
A cold front moved through just after labor day, that provided a very amazing sun set.
There is an information center in town with lots of information about historical sites, tours, restaurants and entertainment. The bus tour that runs out of the visitor’s center is a must. The historian/drivers are so knowledgable about the area and history, that it comes to life. One of the homes along the tour has one room decked out for Christmas, all of the ornaments were hand made. The houses have a austere layout, one room leading on to the next.
None of the homes had any exterior decorations, except one, the house of a painter whose works brought a substantial income to the colony. Life is a series of rationalizations, and so was his argument to the elders; the grapes are subjects of my paintings, the grapes grow on vines, the vines need a trellis to grow on, the trellis needs to be supported by a house.
The shopping in Amana is unique to say the least, it is like being sent back in time. The Meat Shoppe had some great sausage, cheeses and some of the best pepperoni we have had in a long time to put on our pizza. The Fudge Shop wasn’t bad either, you gained weight just walking in the door.
As the rally drew closer, NHOGers started showing up, so of course, we had to go out to celebrate seeing each other again . The are 3 restaurants of note in Amana. We only dinned at two, as the third did not have a menu which could meet Lynn’s peculiar eating habits (she’s a, dare I say it, vegetarian).
You would never conceive that you could find a gourmet restaurant in the area, but you would be wrong. We ate some great food at P.H.A.T Daddy’s. in Marengo. First it was Sunday brunch, a spread that was sumptuous and you gained 5 lbs just looking at the chocolate chip cookies. This was another one of those ‘gathering of the clan’ meals before the rally started. They were also catering the 2 dinners at the rally, and the food was extraordinary, totally unexpected for a catered meal.
One of the other idiosyncrasies of the area was the world’s largest rocking chair. You meet the strangest people while sitting in the chair. These two happen to be our good friends who adopted us at our first NHOG rally and provided much needed guidance. Like I said, “strangest people”. You also get the idea of how they staged ‘hobbits’ in the ‘Lord of the Rings’. Just with a turn of perspective, I turned into a hobbit for this picture.
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|2014 Rough Plans|
|San Antonio TX|
|Oklahoma City OK|
|Junction City, Abilene and the Greyhound Hall of Fame|
|Dubuque IA/Field of Dreams|
|Eagleville and Joplin MO|
|CARE Center/Livingston TX|