(Jan) Last Saturday dawned bright and beautiful as we headed out in the Jeep to enjoy the Heritage Trail Driving Tour. With our CD narrating, that we had picked up at the Nappanee Chamber, we learned lots about the fascinating history of this north-central Indiana territory. Our drive took us through the towns of Wakarusa, Elkhart, Bristol, Middlesbury, Shipshewana, Honeyville, Goshen and back to Nappanee. We had fun stop at the Wakarusa Drug Store, home of the Jumbo Jelly Bean and of course purchased a bag of these yummy treats. The drive along the St. Joseph River between Elkhart and Bristol was especially pretty as were the Amish farmsteads we passed. The highlight of our trip was going to the Menno-Hof Museum in Shipshewana. Raised is 6 days by the Amish community, the Museum structure was then finished inside and displays the history of the Anabaptists. Their history is traced from it’s roots in Switzerland in 1525 to present day beliefs and activities of the Mennonite and Amish Communities. (A third group of Anabaptists, the communal Hutterites, reside mostly in the western U.S.) The film presentations and displays were excellent and helped us understand and appreciate these warm, generous people.
(Chuck)We are in Nappanee, Indiana staying at the Newmar factory camp sites. They allow owners to stay free of charge. There are about 30 Full Hook up sites near the service department and at least 20 50 amp sites about a block away. It is called Camp Newmar and we are thankful for their hospitality.
We have taken advantage of this time to check a few fixit projects off of our list. Our coach has many wonderful advantages but we feel we do not have adequate pantry storage. To solve that problem we turned to a local Amish craftsman who has experience serving the RV industry. At age 22 Gene Miller may be one of the younger cabinet makers in the area. He found an opportunity to purchase Irv Kaufman’s cabinet business in 2008 and has earned his way as an excellent woodworker. He calls his business Country Craftsman Woodworking LLC We went to Gene and showed him our under sink area. It is a very deep cabinet; however it is difficult to access the rear portion. Gene built a sliding drawer which now allows us to store and access canned goods. Jan likes it and that means it is a good thing. We parked our rig on Gene’s doorstep for two nights and also had him rebuild our back TV with a newer flat screen. When we first made contact with Gene he was installing a ceiling trim in a Newmar coach. I had noticed this on his website and we had a chance to look at it in the coach. I really liked it and had him build one for us. It dresses up an otherwise plain interior ceiling.
It was at this point that things really got out of hand. In this customer’s coach there were also two Euro Chairs. That was too much for Jan. She has wanted to replace our leather couch with those chairs for a long time. I found it necessary to say ‘Yes Dear’ and the couch went on Craig’s List and the Stressless Euro Chairs may arrive this week. For a final touch of insanity remodeling, we contacted a local Amish furniture craftsman to recover our two dining chairs. The fabric has been showing more wear lately and they will be upgraded soon at Kuhns Upholstery.
Today we stopped at Brian Hochstetler’s place near town and had him weld a broken slide stop. Brian had worked at Newmar’s welding assembly shop several years ago and he knew which transmission wires to unhook before welding. He is very conscientious and did an excellent job. If you need welding in Nappanee, Indiana I would recommend Hochstetler Welding. Brian also manufactures a line of children’s wagons, trikes and swing sets.