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Shipshewana, Indiana Camping

      Day 1, Saturday May 23, told by Kevin:  


        Its Memorial Day Weekend of 2009 (Fred’s birthday's today) and Dianne (Mom), Fred, Kim, Selah and I are camping in Shipshewana, Indiana (Famous Amish Community) at the Shipshewana Campground. A little bit before we reached the campground we stopped at ‘The Good Neighbors Amish Bakery.’ Fred had an order of Biscuits and Gravy bought a rhubarb-strawberry pie fresh out of the oven, loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, 4 butter cashew bars, and a tray of homemade cinnamon rolls. Then we went on to campground. Its mostly an RV Park with some Amish Log Cabins with about 4 tent sites. The tent sites are pretty lame-wide open and right at the corner of their property near an intersection of two major roadways in the city. Fred accidentally reserved an RV site over their internet site for the weekend, which ended up being a good thing. Much nicer part of the grounds where we were able to set up camp in an open area behind RV site all by ourselves. We bought a 10x10 folding awning (which we should be able to use at home also) for some needed shade, groceries, and ice. We stopped at one amish farm for firewood, the amish farmer walked up and we realized we had no room for firewood. He had his straw hat, beard, and bad teeth. We told him we’d be back because we had no room. He said “I’ll get some paper bags” Fred said “we have no room” he said “its ok I’ll get some paper bags” which must have magic paper bags that shrink a wheelbarrow full of wood down to sandwhich bag size because we really had no room. So Fred gave the money and said we’d be back. He took the $10 bucks and we never heard about the paper bags again. Then Fred was looking to get some brown farm fresh amish free range eggs. Saw a sign for fresh eggs and pulled in driveway. Seemed kinda deserted but for a couple of barking dogs and a tiny kitten. Fred got out walked around a bit, waited for someone to come out but nobody. So he walked into doorway to porch, maybe looking for a honor system set up for the eggs. Knocked on kitchen door, looked around, opened refrigerator, knocked something over inside, saw a bunch of cigarette butts (realized they were not amish) and fled the scene. Got a dirty look from an amish lady in an Explorer driving by as we left. Found another sign for ‘Chemical Free Eggs’ and we drove in. Amish farmer walked up $2 a dozen. Invited Fred in and were taking about quality of earth that grew plants that chickens ‘free-range’  fed on. Soils never been touched as far as chemical fertilizers or pesticides. He also bought a bottle of Agave Nectar , a natural low glycemic natural sweetener. Fred asked if he sold raw (unpasteurized) milk. He said “I’m going to milk cows after I finish cutting the grass, you can pick up monday.” Fred asked “Isn’t it illegal to sell raw milk” he said “ Do you believe in the constitution?” Fred said “yes” He said “ do you believe in common law” Fred said “ absolutely” he said “Then were both guilt-free about this”. Some more discussion and we headed back to site. As evening approached and car traffic died down we can hear repeated clip clop of horse hoofs, as Amish travelled in horse and buggy on widened shoulder of most roads out here (specifically for amish). Great to hear. I’m typing at fireside getting ready to listen to some downloaded MP3’S of old-time  radios Frankenstein. I have 13, 12 to 13 minute radio shows.

Day 2, Sunday May 24, told by Kim: 

    Good sleeping weather last night. We made breakfast (actually, I slept while everyone else made breakfast) with our farm fresh brown eggs, bacon and Amish-made cinnamon raisin toast and cinnabon. Took a backroads, scenic drive out to a Bed and Breakfast owned by a South African couple where Diane and Fred had stayed before. One of the owners, Cheryl, had saved a package for Fred of something that he had left behind last time... he didn't remember what is was, so we were guessing shorts or a shirt, but no, it was underwear!  Do you think she washed them before putting in the package?  We chatted with the owners for awhile and took a walk down by the creek while waiting for the next van to take us canoeing. The son-in-law drove us to the drop point, and told us about his work in a California zoo, raising cheetahs and about working in South Africa on a wild game preserve. We started the canoe trip on the St. Joseph river at this pretty old mill at the end of a small dam. We started off OK but within five minutes, ran into our first obstacle...Across the entire narrow river was a fallen tree. We thought they told us to go straight through it, so Kevin and I tried first. I was in the front of the canoe, and tried to duck down under the branches, but a huge one was heading straight for my head. I grabbed onto it but got us off balance and we were tilting left and right and then bam, we rolled over! Kevin had to swim to grab Selah and thank goodness we were all alright.  Fred learned from our mistake and walked their canoe safely to the side of shore. We righted our canoe and were off again, wet but unharmed. The rest of the trip was great. Very pretty bayou like trees, winding curves, nice weather and few other people. After canoeing, we ate lunch on the back deck of this fish-fry looking place right on a lake that turned out to be a gem in disguise. The Fischer Inn - delicious food! Best jambalaya Fred ever had. When we were about a block away from the place, it sounds like we ran over something, and we turn around to see tomatoes and onions running down the back windshield...The jambalaya was on the roof!  Luckily the container was still on the roof so we rescued most of it.  We headed back to camp for campfire and called it an early night. Canoeing and big dinner took its toll.

     Monday morning started with eggs,bacon,cantelope,raisin toast, and cinnamon roll. Packed up camp and headed home early. Great time! Thanks for setting it up Freddy! Good job!