Hello from Goshen, IN and a happy Mothers’ day!

Hello from Goshen, IN and a happy Mothers’ day!
Sunday morning May 10, 2009 (Third travelogue of this trip)
We are at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds (map). If you zoom in on the satellite version of the map, you will see that we are parked next to a small stream (Rock Run Creek). Just on the other side of the creek are the main railroad tracks for trains running from the east coast to Chicago. They are less than 30 yards from our bus. At least 20 trains a day pass by. We are used to almost no noise at the house, so this is quite a change! However, both Pat and I love the sounds of trains, and even though I am quite a light sleeper, it has not bothered us at all. Maybe it reminds us of the great train sounds in Europe.
We arrived at the fairgrounds on Thursday (4/30). Our set-up day for the rally was Friday. The actual rally (for the vendor area) was Saturday through Thursday. That is a long show. This rally was for Holiday Rambler Motorhomes. Those are up-scale motorhomes and we had hoped to do well. There were over 120 motorhomes, but the owners were not ready to open their billfolds very wide. We were not skunked (many vendors were).
We spent Friday and Saturday doing tourist type things in this area. Goshen is the hub for touring Amish country and it is rich in places to visit.
Friday we went to Elkhart which is considered to be the RV manufacturing “capitol” of the US. It has been the focus of lots of political visits, because it is so hard hit by the drastic downturn in RV manufacturing. Several of the manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business. It is really sad to see all of the empty buildings. Our first stop was a very famous RV surplus store. They have tons of what some folks would call junk. Almost all of it is from overruns of suppliers to the industry. One would think that there would be lots of new stuff from all of the manufactures who have gone bankrupt, but those products are tied up in the courts.
While in Elkhart we toured the RV/MH Hall of Fame museum and library. It is housed in a fantastic new building and has a great collection of historic RVs. Some of the motorhomes date back to 1915!!!
From there we drove to Middleburg, IN and had dinner in an absolutely fantastic Amish restaurant. It is a huge facility that serves their meals family style. The food was so good that we went back yesterday for breakfast and again for dinner!
Yesterday we went to White Pigeon, MI to another famous surplus store. We then spent the day driving the back roads and shopping in Shipshewana, IN. As we drove, we saw at least 50 Amish horse drawn carriages on the road. On the narrow roads, where they can not travel on the shoulder, the horses shoes have actually warn distinct grooves in the pavement. In Shipshewana (and many of the towns we toured), there are hitching railings where they tie up their horses. As we drove we saw several 4 horse teams pulling plows in the fields. The farms are very well maintained. The landscaping and buildings are a sight to behold.
I went to the a Wells Fargo bank and it was great fun. There were about 6 carriage parked outside and several Amish people inside. One lady had her three small girls with her and they were dressed in traditional Amish fashion.
Today we will tour the Nappanee Amish acres where we will attend a play (Nunsense II: the second coming) and eat some more great Amish food.
Monday we will set up for the Monaco rally here at the same fairgrounds.
That is all for now.

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