Monday, July 8, 2013

Quit horsing around and evacuate!

It's Sunday, July 7, 2013, and we're in Shipshewana, Indiana.  You might be wondering what we are doing in a very small northern-Indiana town 42 miles east of South Bend.  Originally, we planned to go through Middlebury, Indiana on our way to South Dakota because the Jayco factory is there.  Jayco is the brand of our 5th wheel RV, and we wanted to visit the factory to see how RVs like ours are made.  (This part of Indiana, including Elkhart just to the west, is the RV manufacturing heartland of America.)  In addition to taking a Jayco factory tour, we wanted to give our RV a maintenance spa day at its place of birth.  Factory service is booked through August, so the folks at Jayco referred us to an RV service guy in Shipshewana, which is six miles east of Middlebury. Little did we know that Shipshewana, which has a significant Amish and Mennonite presence, is also home of a nationally-know flea market!  We are in an RV park located adjacent to the flea market. (We'll be going to the flea market this Wednesday.)  So far, we've heard more clip-clopping of horses as they pull wagons on the road than we've heard motorized traffic.  (There are wide shoulders on the local roads for horse and buggy traffic, which make nice bike paths as long as one navigates the horse dropping obstacle courses carefully!)

We arrived in Shipshewana yesterday from Frankfort, Kentucky, a day ahead of our planned arrival. Why a day early?  I'll get to that later in this blog entry.  (Hint: Think rain... lots and lots of it!)

Last Wednesday, we went to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, racehorse capital of America.  (Wednesday was the only day of the week it didn't rain.)  The horse park is an equine lover's paradise.  In the park is a restaurant, where we ate burgoo for lunch.  We'd never heard of this spicy stew before, so we gave it a try.  We found it to be very tasty.  The chef insisted the burgoo was made with beef; after all, this isn't IKEA!

Kentucky Horse Park

Dwarf horse – much smaller than a pony!

Can your horse do this?

These chairs were used in a championship obstacle course.

Funny Cide -- living the retired good life.

I rode a horse, of course!

After a very wet fourth, last Friday (July 5) was a soaker too.  (Remember... lots and lots of rain!) Hey, we're in Kentucky, so why not visit a bourbon distillery?  Just a few miles from the Elkhorn Campground, in Frankfort, Kentucky, is the Buffalo Trace Distillery.  We took a tour.  It was a fine way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The Buffalo Trace Distillery
For a few minutes, there was some blue sky and sunshine!

Barrels of aging bourbon -- someday to be barrels of fun!

There was a tasting at the end of the tour.  A couple of shots... and what's this?  Kentucky bourbon balls! Chocolate with pecans, and a kick.  I can't recall ever enjoying a confection more than this one!  If life is really like a box of chocolates, then life is very good indeed!

Now, the denouement.  On Saturday morning, the heavy rainfall continued unabated.  Elkhorn Creek, which had meandered gently around the campground earlier in the week, has turned into a raging, muddy torrent.  The water level began to rise rapidly, threatening to inundate the campground and wash out the only access road to higher ground.  Moments later came the call to evacuate the area!  Enjoying a brief break in the heavy rainfall, we broke camp, packed up, hitched up – all in record time, and got out of the campground just in the nick of time!  As we headed up the access road, this was the scene from our truck's windshield:

We said a prayer, crossed our fingers, and proceeded cautiously.  We plowed through the raging water... and made it safely to the other side of the road.  It was an adventure scene right out of a Saturday matinee!


  1. wow wow - such the adventure!

  2. Love the stories. Keep them up. But, I must add, none of them are making me wish I had an RV and a truck.

  3. We loved Kentucky Horse park when we stayed there a few years ago. And ,.. of course, the Bourbon tasting!

    1. Finally got to read your blog. It sounds as if in spite of some of the difficulties you are really both enjoying your adventures and embracing life. I know your plan is to work from the RV for another year. How is that going and when is the final chapter of working?
      How about a phone date? Lets try to set up a time that will work for us both. I'm free and on my cell Monday around 6pm. will that work for you?