Bobbi has struggled with the idea of Don & I taking to the road. Not that she was constantly over to the house when we had one, but it was knowing we were close at hand if she wanted us. This is as much of a lifestyle change for her as it is for us. Since we’re “camped” only about a 3 hour drive from her, well, she arrived on Monday.
We show Bobbi around the campground & the little town of Howe.
Bobbi & I set out for Shipshewana. I want to take her around to a few of our favorite haunts & also to explore a few places that I’d been wanting to check out but had never got around to. One of the new shops we investigate is Jo Jo’s Pretzels where we split a made fresh daily Salt & Vinegar soft pretzel with old-style soda pops. Mmm Mmm Good! I think I’ve found another favorite eatery. The decor is cool too. Kinda like the inside of a retro diner. Since there are several flavors to choose from, I’ll be back. Don will love this joint. He loves pretzels.
Don wanted to go to Elkhart to purchase a portable satellite dish so he could watch tv. With our Winegard still in for repairs, Don’s been climbing the walls without his daily dose of CNN News. While we’re out this way, after showing Bobbi the main drag through town, we take her to see the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum.
Since I have camped for as long as I can remember (2 yrs. old), in everything from an old army tent to a motorhome, this place is a walk down memory lane for me.
The RV museum was founded in 1972 & moved to the present day location in 2007. Upon entering, there is a very small display area with items for sale. At the front desk the volunteers are very well-informed & are happy to explain the museum set up to you. You can tell they really do enjoy what they are doing.In the atrium we read the story behind the formation of the museum & about the man who brought it into being. Upstairs we find the RV Founders Hall which honors industry pioneers & leaders. There’s also a very extensive library with books on the numerous forms of rv travel from the early beginnings to present day as well as rving literature.
In the first hall we explore, this is a scale model of an rv factory. Having seen our Suite Pea being built, we can say the model is really quite accurate. We find a couple of new rv’s to check out & even board the motorhome that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels used while campaigning.
In the second hall lies the main attraction. We follow the “Road Back in Time”. A couple of my favorites are the 1954 Shasta 15′, typical of the early 50’s “canned ham” style trailers, & the red & white 1954 Holiday Rambler travel trailer. And of course the groovy lookin’ yellow 1974 GMC motorhome, a classic.
Mae West’s 1931 Chevrolet Motorcoach is on display. “Built for Paramount Studios to present to Miss West when she left vaudeville to make movies for the studio in 1931. It’s a chauffeur driven lounge car, not a camper.” Miss West kept a rocking chair near the rear window in which she prefered to sit.
There were a few others that brought back vivid memories from my youth. The 1969 Holiday Rambler truck camper much like the one my grandparents had. I recall fondly fishing trips where we would sit for hours holding our cane poles with bobbers on the line. Do they even make cane poles anymore? Then there is the 1967 Winnebago motorhome that reminds me of the one my parents bought when I was a teen. We had a lot of good times in it parked at a favorite Munith, Michigan campground. Lastly, the 1968 Jayco tent camper, very similar to our first pop-up.
Another famous person whose trailer is on loan to the museum is John Paul Getty’s 42′ 1937 Spartan Royal Mansion. I loved the birch wood interior & actually thought the layout & amount of storage available would make it conducive to fulltime rving even today.
I know this is a rather long blog today but I must say I really like the direction in which the museum is headed. It’s even bigger & better than the last time I came. If you’re ever in the area, by all means, stop & check it out.
Here’s looking at you kid………………………………….