Monday, July 10, 2023 - Today, we drove from Frankfort, Kentucky to Shipshewana, Indiana. This was a long day for us with an eight hour drive and over 330 miles of travel. The roads were pretty good, initially, but we later encountered some pretty rough roads in Indiana. We also encountered a bridge out that forced a detour that worked out well, but was a little "disconcerting" for a while. The weather was excellent for this entire drive.  

After setup, we relaxed a little. Lisa went for a three-mile walk while I took a break. After driving for eight hours, I just wanted to hit the lounge chair and rest my eyes a little. We contacted Lisa's sister, Patricia, and made plan to get together with them tomorrow. The offered to drive to Shipshewana to spend the day with us. This is a drive of about two hours with many roads under repair between their home in Valparaiso and Shipshewana.

Tuesday, July 12, 2023 - We had some time in the morning before Mike and Pat arrived, so we went to a small garage in Shipshewana and made an appointment to have new shock absorbers added to our truck. This is the same shop that changed our shocks three years ago. We then drove to Middlebury to buy the shocks at NAPA Auto Parts and to also see if we could find a place to lube the wet bolts on the RV suspension system. We drove the Jayco maintenance facility to ask where we could take the RV to be greased. They recommended a place that just happened to be right next door to the NAPA store. They said that we could get the wet bolts lubed on a drop in basis and that an appointment was not needed. That was pretty cool. We will stop in when we are moving the RV so that we don't have to make a special trip. We then headed back to Shipshewana to wait for Mike and Pat to arrive.

Lisa's sister, Patricia, and her husband Mike drove for two hours from Valparaiso, Indiana to Shipshewana to visit with us. They arrived at around noon. We had not seen them since our last visit to Valparaiso in the fall of 2020. The timing worked out pretty well since they are leaving for a drive to Colorado in about eight days. We visited with them and showed them the RV and then drove to Middlebury, Indiana (about seven miles away) to go to "Das Dutchman Essenhaus" which is a very nice Amish restaurant with lots of "comfort" food. Mike and Pat treated us to a very nice lunch and lots of good conversation. We plan to drive to their house on Friday where we can take them to dinner and reciprocate for their generosity. After lunch, we drove to the Bonneyville Mill Park where we got a chance to see the oldest water-powered grist mill in the state of Indiana. On the way, we stopped at Krider Nurseries World's Fair Gardens in Middlebury. Krider's Nursery had taken this flower garden to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1930 for a display. Hundreds of thousands of people saw the garden and the ordered flowers and plants from Krider's. The nursery expanded incredibly and the brought the garden back to Middlebury for display. The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, a paved bicycle trail from Shipshewana, goes right through the Krider Garden. Lots of beautiful flowers and plants. We then drove to the Bonneyville Mill. The people who were working the mill showed us how the water powered the grinding stones and corn was turned into a flower. They even gave us cookies made from the flower milled at this location. Pretty amazing to see the mill work and understand that it is all powered by water. After leaving the mill, we saw that rain was approaching from the west. The rain began just as we arrived at the RV. We sat in the comfort of the RV for several hours visiting and talking about Mike and Pat's activities and our adventures and plans. We made arrangements to visit with Mike and Pat on Friday, and they hopped in their Ford Mustang convertible and headed back to Valparaiso.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - It is a rainy day. After breakfast, I decided that I would do some work on the blog and maybe even create a video or two. We will see how that all goes. At about 10:00 am the skies began to clear and the Sun was showing though a little, so what do we do? We decide to go ride the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail form Shipshewana over to Goshen, Indiana. This trail is paved all the way except for a little stretch of about a quarter mile. That section of trail was packed hard and was no problem for my road bike. We ended up getting in 41 miles as we rode all the way from our trailer to the trail and then out and back. Lots of construction on the road in Shipshewana, so we had to be be careful dodging cars. The weather threatened rain, so we took our rain protection and put them on in Middlebury on the way back with about twelve miles left in the ride. Lisa does not like to ride in the rain, so she picked up the speed o the trail coming back. What she did not realize was that she hat "accidentally" put her EBike into the "Turbo" mode with provides the most power assist from the battery. I was behind her and trying to keep up with her. We rode for about five miles like that with me thinking that she was in her normal mode and that I was just getting tired when in fact I was getting tired trying to keep up with her in Turbo mode. I later had to tell her to slow down for a minute and she then realized what she had done. I would like to think that she was saddened by the fact that she had ridden me into the ground, but I don't think so. We rode back to the RV where we cleaned the bikes and put them and put them away for the next ride. It was a great ride and we did not get much rain on us, but my rain jacket was like a sauna suit and I was completely covered with sweat underneath. I relaxed for a while (short for took a nap) and then it was off to do our laundry at the campground laundry facility.

Thursday, July 13, 2023 - What to do today in the Shipshewana, Indiana area.

Friday, July 14, 2023 - Today, we drove over to Valparaiso, Indiana to visit with Mike and Patricia Garcher. Pat is Lisa's sister. We visited with Pat and Mike until lunch when Mike made some great pulled-pork sandwiches for us. After lunch, we drove to the coast of Lake Michigan in Mike and Pat's 2016, red Ford Mustang convertible. This is Mike's specialty car that generates over 400 horsepower and really moves. We went to Mike's house where he used to live when growing up in the region. It is near the coast and we could park the car there and then hike to the beach and walk along a trail starting at the beach. We began the hike and it turned out to be fairly hilly. We also had temperatures in the upper 80s. This made it pretty challenging after a while. We decided to head back to get the car and then drive around the area to check out the houses. Many are quite nice and close to the seashore. WE then drove back to Valparaiso where we had dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant named "Lucretia's." The food was excellent and we had some great conversation. Then we returned to Mike and Pat's home and began our drive back to Shipshewana; a drive of 1.5 hours.

Saturday, July 15, 2023 - We sort of "lazed" around the RV until about 11:00 am when we decided that we needed to wash the RV. We got out all the washing materials and started the cleaning. It took us about 2.5 hours to wash the rig with the materials that we have bought to wash it with little water and long poles for washing, squeegee-ing, and wiping dry with cotton towels. We have telescopic poles with attachments that make this much easier to do. After completing the wash job, Lisa and I drove down the road into Shipshewana to the local Amish ice cream shop. We treated ourselves to excellent soft-serve cones. It was then back to the RV to get it ready to move. Tomorrow, we head north to Traverse City, Michigan to bike and kayak.

Sunday, July 16, 2023 - We departed at 8:20 am for Traverse City, Michigan. This trip should take about six hours.