Indiana’s huge covered bridge festival

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Each October Parke County, Indiana is the scene of the annual Covered Bridge Festival. This event sees close to two million people converging on the area for a ten day festival. While there are several beautiful vintage covered bridges scattered throughout the county, most folks come for the shopping.

And shopping there is! There are several small communities that become filled with vendor tents, food concession trailers and outdoor ‘yard sale’ type setups. It is true to state that if you can think of it it can be found for sale somewhere amongst the thousands of different vendors set up.

That's our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

That’s our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

We have set up camp in the little town of Bridgeton at an old (1920’s) school building grounds. There are several vendors set up on the grounds along with some food concession trailers. A few blocks north of our location there are hundreds of inside and outside vendors set up selling their wares. There are hand made crafts, new merchandise, antiques large and small and tons of “re-purposed” items. It is amazing how many ways an old wood pallet can be reused!

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival should be on your bucket list. It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country. People from all over the country come to shop, as well as come to set up their booths and tents to sell. There are plenty of RV campgrounds nearby and many private land owners open their yards and fields for RVs to camp during the festival.

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We had a generator problem

Cummings Crosspoint technician checking our Onan generator

Cummings Crosspoint technician checking our Onan generator

Recently Sher and I set up at a large two day festival in Atlanta, Indiana. During our first night our generator coughed a couple of times and then stopped runnning. There was plenty of gasoline, and repeated tries resulted in the strong odor of gas. Sure sounded like the engine was flooded.

Since the generator is still under warranty the Indianapolis (Greenwood) Camping World refered me to the Cummins Crosspoint Service Center in downtown Indy. The CW techs are not certified to do Onan warranty work.

The Cummins Crosspoint service center was very helpful. Once I explained that we are full time RV the staff really went out their way to help and arranged for us to take our RV in for a look see and diagnosis that day..

It turned out that there was a problem with one small part the helps hold a valve spring in place. New parts are ordered. We will just have to do without the genny until they come in.

 

You never know what you’ll see

This “modified” Class C was set up across from us at a show this summer. Wow. The fellow who drives this did all the artwork/painting himself. He is from Canada and sets up at shows all across the country. You might see him at a festival some time. His rig is hard to miss!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

Shipshewana, Indiana in the heart of Amish country

This display in front of an antique store aptly describes the Shipshewana area

This display in front of an antique store aptly describes the Shipshewana area

Shipshewana, Indiana is a tiny community in LaGrange County in the northeast corner of the state. The rural area is one of the largest communities of Amish families in the Midwest. The main roads all have extra wide shoulders to allow for safe travel for the horse drawn buggies and wagons.

The area is known for its many tourist attractions, including a huge flea market that is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition, there are many small shops in the town featuring hand made crafts, country decor items and antiques. As you might expect, you can take a horse drawn carriage ride or even enjoy a home made meal at one of the Amish homes who open there doors to visitors.

There are several nice RV parks in the area. All are reasonably priced. There is an RV park that is part of the flea market grounds. Enjoy a level, full hook up site that is just steps away from the market.

Restaurant, bakery and theater all in one!

Restaurant, bakery and theater all in one!

Shipshewana is truly a must see stop for anyone traveling in northern Indiana. Note that several RV companies have their assembly plants in this area. Couple a trip to see RV’s being built with an enjoyable and interesting trip to Shipshewana Amish country and you will have a trip to remember.

Lots of interesting shops to peruse.

Lots of interesting shops to visit.

Manistee, Michigan on the lake

A weather worn lighthouse. Note the large waves crashing on the wall.

A weather worn lighthouse. Note the large waves crashing on the wall.

This past summer we spent some time in Michigan. What a beautiful area we found as we set up at some festivals in the north central part of the state. We took a side trip to the town of Manistee which is right on Lake Michigan. The day we visited Manistee was a cloudy, cool and very windy day.

The town has a large park right on the water. A carnival was setting up in preparation for a weekend festival. We drove around the town and then we went to the Little River Casino. This is a nice casino, very clean with a friendly staff. There is a very nice full service RV park on the casino grounds. If we ever get back to Manistee we will stop at the RV park.

 

Beautiful inlet at Manistee.

Beautiful inlet at Manistee.