Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Standing at the Crossroads of America 1

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

OLA: Standing at the Crossroads of America 1

Carol finding her fave mode of transpo @ the Spirit of Monticello Festival!
We were so excited to move to the White Oaks RV Resort in Monticello, Indiana. Advertised to have a beachfront, hot tubs, heated swimming pool, clubhouse, etc. we thought that would just be dandy! In fact we invited Loy Aquino and his sons Lawrence and Leonard who drove down from Buffalo Grove, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois (a 2 ½ hour drive) to join us there for some swimming and chicken and pork barbeque (Filipino style).  We had fun even if the resort needed some TLC.
the beach at White Oaks
Loy and sons Lawrence and Leonard join the Colborns
The fun included The Spirit of Monticello Festival, an annual town celebration.   In the middle of the kiosks and booths, I found a really cool vehicle! Bill, on the other hand, feasted on much missed funnel cake.   He also could also not pass up the Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2, showing at the small community theater for only $3 a person!   But we had to move to Camping World in Greenwood, Indiana soon after as I told you last week for the beginning of much needed breaks.  

But the fact that my previous post is being received so well is putting me at a crossroad.    I am now thinking of turning this blog into a book.   The goings-on behind the scenes can put the personal touch and thread together all the travels.   After all, ours is the unique story of two people, getting together later in life, after 2 very driven lives, set apart by 10,000 miles of seas, tackling an ambitious bucket list! We welcome your comments…they can help us make a decision.
Bill finding some funnel of his fave snacks!

                                                                            A crossroad is defined as 1) a point at which a vital decision must be made, 2) a main center of activity, and 3) the place where roads intersect.   It is meaningful that examples of all three definitions were presented to us, quite nicely so, while we were in Indiana, The Crossroads of America!  The first definition was exemplified above. Let me now go to the second definition…a main center of activity. And remember that we are cruising across the North American continent in an RV.

Nappannee, Indiana in Elkhart County and the famous icon
50% of the nation’s recreational vehicles are made in Elkhart County in northern Indiana.  Winnebago, Jayco, Forest River, Gulf Stream, Thor, Monaco, and Dutchmen, to name a few, are built there.   Even the RV Hall of Fame is in the county.   Right before Bill’s knee surgery, we took a day trip to Nappannee, Indiana, home of Newmar Corporation, makers of high quality RVs like our Mountain Aire!  Daily tours are conducted and you see RVs at different stages of manufacture.   Photography is strictly prohibited.

Amish Acres, a great destination!
An RV takes months to build and the plant currently produces about 3 a week.   Their models range from 27 to a whopping 65 feet in length (ours is a mere 37 ft.).   On the lot at its final stages of finishing was one whose MSRP is a staggering $850,000! But the most interesting thing we discovered is this:  80% of the company’s employees are Amish.  (There are an estimated 150,000 in America, a majority of them here) You must remember that Amish still use horse-drawn buggies as their mode of transport, sticking to basic, simple living, rejecting technology.  What irony!

Buggies Rule!
                                                                           As a matter of fact, just across the plant is an old Amish farm turned tourist destination known as Amish Acres.   There is a greeting barn converted into a store, a unique round theater barn, an apple cider barn, etc.  Surrounding the Newmar plant are acres cultivated by Amish hands with clothes hanging to dry at almost all backyards.   The streets’ traffic consisted of buggies plying around or people on bikes.   Even the town’s water tower bears not only its name but a picture of its every day icon, an Amish buggy.

and so do bikes!
But I am sure you would find the last example, to be tackled in the next post, most entertaining!