Life after Work

Niles to Crawfordsville

Amish buggy, Indiana

We crawled out of bed and had breakfast at the American Pancake House just south of the Indiana stateline, then swung through South Bend and Elkhart to get started on our scenic drive through the Amish countryside. First stop was the history Bonneyville Mill near Goshen, followed by some of the obvious “sights” such as the Amish bakery, cheese factory, and quilt shop. While I love watching the horse-drawn buggies clip-clop down the roads and find the fashions and hairstyles intriguing, what fascinates me the most about the Amish is their resolve to stay as self-reliant as possible. Sure, they make compromises these days, using generators for electricity for example, but on the whole, their lives are very simple. However, watching the crowds of visitors surging through the aisles of the “craft market”, looking at many things that were obviously imported from China I felt let down. I wonder who is raking in the big bucks from the folks chowing down in the huge restaurant, or buying trinkets in the gift shops. Does that money go back into the community? And how would I feel if tourists came to take photos of me as soon as I step out of the house?

We finally escaped the main roads and found some very quiet farm roads to explore. High points were saying hello to a bunch of heavy farm horses and getting invited into an Amish home for a glass of apple cider. After dinner at one of those all-you-can-eat restaurants we headed south to be closer to tomorrow’s destination – our canoe ride in Turkey Run State Park and the Covered Bridges Festival in Rockville. We made it to Crawfordsville where we were lucky enough to score the last hotel room in town. It was late, we were beat, and everything in the area was booked because of the festival, so an $88 room at Super 8 all of a sudden seemed like a good idea.

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