Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On our way to Ohio

We have decided to push east to attend a gathering of Winnebago owners in Clyde, Ohio. This is being sponsored by the local RV dealer and will include many members from our Ohio club. So we have made it to Shipshewana in two days from Amana, Iowa. Last night we stopped at the red Caboose campground in Remington, IN, that happens to be on top of an exit for I-65. It seems that every semi getting off the exit was using the Jake break on the ramp.

Since we have been in Shipshewana and the surrounding Amish area numerous times, we did not need to do any sightseeing, but hit the local markets for Amish specialties. We also picked up a fresh pork dog bone for Halley. That was a big hit.

Even though the temperatures here are moderate, the decorations reminded us that fall is here. It has been a short and pleasant stay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies were settled by German immigrants seeking a safe haven for their religious beliefs. They were not accepted by the government and established church in Germany. After first settling near Buffalo, NY, they moved west to Iowa to escape influence from the growing population around the city that interfered with their desire for a more isolated existence.

They settled in what is known as the Amana Colonies in the mid 1800’s and for over eighty years lived a remote and communal life style ruled by the church elders. Each family was assigned housing and the type of work they would perform in the community. No one received pay, but was provided what they were determined to need by the elders. They ate in communal groups and lived a regulated life. Oddly, marriage was not encouraged, rather remaining single and celibate was considered more pious and desirable. Despite this view, marriage flourished within the colony.

By the early 1920’s, there was growing unrest with the restrictions of the lifestyle often resulting from increasing contact with the outside world. By early 1930, the colony was in crisis. Because of the economic woes caused by the Great Depression and a growing problem of many of the members of the commune not doing any work. These members felt that since they were provided food, shelter and other needs by the group, whether they worked or not, were unwilling to work. This became such a problem that the commune had to hire outside workers. (Does any of this sound familiar?)

So in 1932, the group decided to abandon the commune lifestyle, form an association to manage the land on a profit sharing basis for those willing to work and a separate church association for those who wished to continue in the beliefs of the church. The daily lives of members were now to be decided by the members themselves.

Today the profit sharing organization still manages a large amount of farm and other lands and owns a number of the stores and tourist attractions in the seven colonies. Because the houses and communal buildings were not distributed among the members, many of these structures still remain today. The colonies have become an active tourist destination mostly consisting of restaurants, gifts shops, several colony related museums and a driving tour of the colonies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pella, Iowa

Pella, Iowa calls itself a “touch of Holland” and Anneke has wanted to visit for some time. So we made it a point to stop here on our way east. We stayed at one of the Army Corps of Engineers Lake Red Rock campgrounds. Lake Red Rock is the largest in the state and part of the largest public land area in Iowa.

All of the sites are very large and it is an easy walk to the dam. We enjoyed a large group of migrating white pelicans that made their arrival during our stay.

I also noted what I think may be a major shift in the power structure of our little traveling group. Our first morning there, I was offered a piece of local spice bread for breakfast, while Halley, the dog, was made a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs. I’m thinking I am losing what little control I might have had. I am pretty sure, though, that I am too big for the kennel.

The town of Pella was settled by Dutch immigrants seeking to establish a safe haven for their religious beliefs. The original group of 800 was led to Iowa by Reverend Scholte in the mid 1800’s and numerous more followed later.

The town prospered and continues to do so today, with two fortune 500 companies in the area-one of course, being Pella windows. It also has a large tourist portion to its economy and has established strong rules on the design of new structures to reflect a traditional Dutch feeling.

We toured a Dutch heritage Center, which surprisingly contains the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp, along with the history of the town and its Holland touch.

You can also tour Reverend Scholte’s home, which was used by his descendants until 1987. His family history was explained in some detail, but to give you just a glimpse of the full story-let me tell you that the minister’s second wife’s second husband married his deceased wife’s (and his by marriage) step granddaughter. Got it? It took me awhile and is quite interesting, if you are into genealogy.

It is an interesting place to visit, and if you like good bakery items; they have two excellent Dutch bakeries. We made several stops to these.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Waiting for better weather

We are waiting out some heavy weather here in South Sioux City, NE. Overall, we still have been very lucky, as the local news has been reporting tennis ball size hail all over the area. We have not had even one drop of hail-so far.

I had another of those moments this morning where I remember how funny it was watching some poor soul walking his dog in the rain. Today that was me :(

Our new team member, Halley, still resents our leaving her in the motorhome while we go out and have fun. She has destroyed two mats we have placed under her kennel, which is why she is in the kennel. She could do untold damage if she was loose, and we are not prepared to test that theory. I also attach a picture of previous damage when left alone. So yesterday, we went to Lowe’s and found a, hopefully, industrial strength rubber mat. I am very curious to see how she will handle this one.

So, since I obviously do not have much to say, I thought I would just share some of the many short bits of wisdom I receive via e-mail. I am sure you all have seen the same stuff-but what the heck.

I hope it is sunny and warm where you are.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So, I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat
you with experience.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in
a garage makes you a car.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In travel mode

One of the things that make this lifestyle so interesting is the way things can change on a daily basis. After the cold and snow in Medora, ND, we had two long (for us) days of driving. We headed east on I-94 across North Dakota and then south on I 29 to Sioux City, IA. The first day was cold and very windy, with a stop along the road in Casselton, ND, followed by a slightly warmer start on the second day that turned into heavy fog followed by high winds that pushed us and other big rig trucks around quite a bit. At a rest stop, Halley, managed to get tangled up with a small snake that made that stop more exciting than we certainly had planned on. Then we had to stop for fuel twice in one day, another first, as our fuel mileage was suffering from the 30-40 mile headwinds.

Finally, as we neared our destination and sorted out the three Sioux cities in the same area, but located in three states that meet at the Missouri River, we noticed a rapid rise in temperature. So before setting up, I had to change out of heavy jeans into shorts to accommodate the 50 plus degree change to 92.

We are camped in a city park in South Sioux City, NE right on the Missouri river and look across at Sioux City, IA at a casino river boat. We visited a very interesting Lewis and Clark Interpretative center along with a visitor center onboard a retired Army Corp towboat. The Lewis and Clark expedition stopped here on both outbound and return journeys.

As part of the local Lewis and Clark experience, we also visited the Sgt Floyd monument on a hill just south of the city. Sgt Floyd was a member of the expedition that took ill in the area and died just after landing ashore. He was the first U S soldier to die west of the Mississippi River. Some years later, after his journals were published, interest in his life and death resulted in a 100 foot monument being built near where he was originally buried and his remains interned in the base.

Our last visit was to a locally well known Christian site in Trinity Heights. Here a number of statutes are placed in a garden setting, including what is referred to as an outdoor cathedral, that attract visitors and devotees year around.