Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 14-19, 2016 - Sand Hills State Park, Hutchinson, KS

September 14-19, 2016 - Sand Hills State Park, Hutchinson, KS

Wednesday, September 14

This morning we are heading to Hutchinson, KS where we will camp for five nights at a State Park north of Hutchinson.  We will be there to watch two of our grandchildren show their horses at the Kansas State Fair 4-H Horse Show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  However, today is our grandson Abram's 9th birthday and we plan to meet him and his family in Wichita later this evening for a surprise dinner.

We packed almost everything in Bentley last night so we could go ahead and pull the slides in since it was supposed to rain, and it did start to rain a little this morning.  We waited thinking it might pass us, but the clouds continued to build, so Dean ended up hooking up in the rain, although we were able to hit a lull and at least it wasn't pouring.

We pulled out at 9:45 and arrived at the campground about 2:15.  (I thought I might explain what I use as our arrival time - I note the arrival time at the point we unhook Bentley from the truck after we have parked.  We still have to do the rest of the setup after that - but our arrival time can be anywhere from 10-30 minutes from the time we actually arrive at the park.  Once we arrive at a campground we usually have to check in at the park office, after that I am helping Dean back in to our spot, or get situated correctly with the hookups if it's a pull through, and then we have to do a few other things before he can unhook from the truck.)

It was raining when we got here so it was "fun" (not) to also set up in the rain, and again bless Dean, he did most of that work himself.  He's very good to me!  It was a cool 70 degrees though and that was okay with us.  Once we were set up we had a sandwich.  A short time later it quit raining and Dean was able to hook up the satellite.  There are no trees here as this park is only about 2-3 years old.  Trees have been planted but it will be awhile before anyone has to worry about them blocking satellite signals.

We left the park about 3:45 for our drive to Wichita.  Heath texted to let us know Abram had selected Logan's Roadhouse for his birthday dinner.  Fortunately we were just a few blocks away when we received his text.  We parked and shortly afterwards we watched Heath and the boys get out of their car and walk in.  Casey was on her way from work and would meet us soon. Dean couldn't wait for Casey to arrive, so we headed inside.  As we walked in the boys were looking at something with their backs to us.  Abram turned to say something to his dad and spied us at the door.  He looked so funny and he said I didn't know you guys were going to be here.  He was surprised!!  We missed his birthday party last weekend so we were glad we were able to celebrate with him this evening.

Can you believe he ate most of this huge brownie, ice cream and toppings?  His dad Heath, to the left, helped him some but Abram ate most of it himself.
After dinner (we were at the restaurant for 2 hours!!) we headed back to Hutch as it's a work and school day for them tomorrow.
What a beautiful evening.  The moon was bright at our campsite!

Thursday, September 15
We didn't do much this morning except hang out around Bentley.  Brett and family will be arriving sometime later today and we'll meet up with them to get our tickets and the events schedule for the next three days for entrance into the fair and the horse show events. They ordered them for us at a reduced rate so we took advantage of the savings.  The kids have events tonight, tomorrow and on Saturday.

It was mid-afternoon before Brett called.  We met him at a business located right across from the entrance near the Horse & Show Barns on the fairgrounds.  The business (insurance I think) rents out their parking lot for $5 in the evenings and the weekends during the fair.  It worked great for tonight's events.

Papa & Dad overseeing Tucker getting ready for the evening events.  I think Tucker was having trouble getting out of the stall--seems like there were a couple of heavy items on the other side in the way!

Both Dacy and Tucker participated in trails tonight.  Unfortunately, neither of them placed but they did a great job and had a good time.

Dacy on Boone

Tucker on Tater
After we talked to the kids, we headed back to Bentley for the night.  They were tired and still had a lot of work to do this evening.  We'll see them in the morning before and throughout the day and evening.

Friday, September 16

It rained last night - and it rained a lot!  It was still raining when we left for the fairgrounds this morning.  The first event was at 8:00.  We decided to take advantage of the free parking today - it wasn't too bad when we parked.  Remember this remark!  A little muddy but we were able to dodge the puddles.  I had to wear my raincoat and hold the hood up so I could see and stay out of the mud.

Fortunately the events are all in a very large covered arena with many sets of bleachers we can sit on. We brought our nice padded, Multi-use Portable Recliner Stadium Chair.  They are great, when they fold in half the sides provide armrests. One of the best investments we have ever made. With all of the kids and grand-kids that have played or are playing sports, riding horses, etc. we have made great use of these.

Gelding class.  Tucker is on the far upper left and Dacy is on the far right.  Neither placed but they did a good job and they enjoy riding and showing their horses.
Dad Brett and Mom Renae
Here's the cheering crew with our two favorite horse riders.
Top left is Tucker, Uncle Jarred with daughter Emerson, and Papa Dean
Middle row:  Brett and me.
Bottom row:  Dacy, Austyn and Aunt Andrea.

We had some time to waste before the next event, so we walked the midway with Jarred, Andrea, Emerson and Austyn (Austyn was Jarred and Andrea's flowergirl and was visiting for the weekend). She wanted to try out some of the fair rides.

Jarred & daughter Emerson
Papa and Emerson
Andrea and Austyn on one of the many rides.
Isn't she a cutie?
Austyn riding the carousel.
Another Papa & Emerson picture.  Papa was happy she was letting him hold her.
Brett & Tucker met up with us a little while before this picture was taken as we walked through the exhibit areas where all kinds of things were on display and for sale.  We made several stops at various lawnmower and tractor sales exhibits, such as this one, where we ran into this clown on stilts.

Emerson wasn't too excited about the man on stilts.  Maybe it was that big flyswatter he had!
We returned to the show barn to watch some more events after our walk.
Warming up for more events.  Tucker participated in two halter classes this morning and Dacy was entered in reining, however neither one of them placed.  
We left after the last events late this afternoon.  We made arrangements to meet Brett, Renae and the kids later for dinner, once their chores for the evening are over.  Remember when I mentioned the parking lot wasn't too bad this morning.  Well, that changed drastically from this morning to this evening. It now looked like folks had been mudding in the roadways between vehicles.  There was no way I could walk through that muck with my good tennis shoes on.  We had to walk quite a long way down the road and then tiptoe through the lesser mud areas to reach the truck.  Oh the fun of it!  But it was worth it all.

Brett called a little before six and said they would meet us at Olive Garden in about 20 minutes. Fortunately we are only about 5 miles from there so we hurried around so we would be on time. They pulled into the parking lot as we were walking toward the restaurant.  We had a really nice dinner and enjoyed visiting with each other.  Renae told me that Dacy said I had to mix the salad tonight.  I was a bit perplexed but then Dacy mentioned how I had to mix it the right way and I realized what she was talking about.  Olive Garden puts their salad dressing on the bottom and then adds the salad. If you do not really move the salad around and use the tongs to pull it from the bottom over and over you do not get salad dressing on all of the salad mix.  That is really important to me!!!!  Everyone laughed as I explained this and they watched me mix our salad!  Dacy has seen me do this time after time as I have been taking the three older granddaughters to Olive Garden every year during spring break and usually again on their birthdays, so they have watched me do this and explain it several times.  Renae really got quite a giggle out of watching me after hearing Dacy tell about it.

Recently I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes.  The quiz showed you a number of pictures with three squares and asked you to choose the one that did not match the others.  They were very similar and somewhat difficult to pick out the odd one, but I got 100%.  The test is supposed to show how OCD (obsessive/compulsive) you are.  Well, now you have it!

We were all just stuffed when we had finished with our meals, and were moaning about how much we had ate as we left the restaurant.

We are heading to Wichita in the morning to watch Abram play football at 8am.  We will probably miss Tucker's first event but we should be able to make all of the others on Saturday.

Saturday, September 17

We had to be at Maize South High School at 8 this morning for Abram's football game.  We left Sand Hills a little before 7 and we're glad we allowed those few extra minutes.  We did not realize until we opened the door how terribly foggy it was outside.
Driving from the campground toward Hutchinson.

I had the address of the Football Field in the GPS but when we arrived there was no football field or school.  So I took out the address and just put in the name of the school, we had driven right past it just around the corner but you could not see it due to the fog.

Here's the field.

I was waiting on Dean so I snapped this picture of the team getting ready.  The sideline to the left is Abram's team and supporters.  You can barely see the opposing team on the other side.  There was another game on south of this one and when the game started you could barely make them out in the fog.
Abram, our 9 year old grandson.
Heath is Abram's coach.  He's in the dark jacket.  Abram is the tall one on his team.

Tucker in English Riding.
We missed this event while at Abram's football game.

We made it back in time to watch Dacy's next event, and fortunately we were able to park in the same parking lot we did on Thursday - and no mud!  Dacy acquired a new horse the first part of this year. She is entered in an event in the fair where she must be the sole trainer and rider of the horse.  It is a two year program.  There are two phases, and an interview process during this year's fair.

Dacy on her horse she trained herself, Margo.
This was rail work which was Phase 1 of the 2 y/o project.  She won first place and a blue ribbon for Phase 1.  I do not have a picture of the Phase 2 pattern.  She missed her lead in the Phase 2 pattern but otherwise she did a good job.  She did not place in the last two events, Phase 2 pattern and the interview.  She will get to show her horse against next year for the second part of the project.  We look forward to seeing how much she and her horse Margo improve during this upcoming year.

Dacy took 1st Place in Phase I.  She is crying happy tears!  We were all so proud of her!

I love this photo.

Her ribbon and backpack for winning Phase I of the event.
Dacy talking to her Grandma Sue (Renae's mom) and Grandpa Terry afterwards.
We told Brett, Renae and the kids goodbye after sharing how much we enjoyed watching them, then headed back to Bentley for the evening.  They were all exhausted and needed some time to get things done and relax a little.

Sunday, September 18

We slept in this morning - it was really nice after getting up early the last two mornings.  I enjoyed having a little extra time to savor my morning coffee before getting around.  We left the campground about 10 to drive to Heath & Casey's in Wichita.  I haven't been to their house since late spring. Before we left on our summer travels Dean came out and spent a few days helping Heath dismantle a wooden playground set they bought from an individual, and then reconstruct it at their home.  Once that project was done they also bought materials for Heath to build a deck on the north side of their swimming pool that would give them some shade in the afternoon.  Since then Heath had the deck built and they have put up portable pergolas over the area with sun shades.  It looks really nice and provides a wonderful sitting area on those hot sunny days.  They built some flower beds and planted several plants and trees around the backyard.  It really looks nice.

We offered to buy pizza for lunch.  We ordered three pizzas from Pizza Hut.  It is so nice to do this over the phone an have it delivered, especially so you don't have to drive in Wichita.  Jarred stopped by for awhile, and later Brett and Tucker came by to hang out while Renae and Dacy went shopping for dresses.  Dacy is a candidate for Miss Columbus and needs a dress for the event.  Heath's boys were very excited their older cousin Tucker was there and they all headed downstairs to play video games while the adults enjoyed watching the Chiefs game upstairs.

We were getting ready to head back to Hutch when Renae and Dacy returned, so we got to see the dresses they found.  They purchased both a long dress and a short one.  They were very pretty and I know Dacy will look stunning in them, along with her new shoes and earrings to round out the ensemble.  We will be attending this event on October 1.

After hugs we headed back.  It was nice to relax a bit an watch a little TV.  I made dinner and afterwards we drove back to town to get ice cream at Bogey's.  It was right across from the fair entrance we used.  We've heard about it for years but never have tried it.  We thought it was pretty good.

I stepped outside later to take this picture of the moon shining on the water behind us.  It was very pretty.

Tomorrow we will head home.  We'll be there until Sunday, October 2 when we will head to Grove, OK for our Escapees Ozark Chapter 17 fall rally.  We haven't seen any of our Escapee friends since May so we are looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Thanks for following our travels!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 8, 2016 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO

September 8, 2016 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO

Thursday, September 8, 2016 

I'm not sure what time it started raining last night but I heard it several times throughout the night.  It was still raining when I got up this morning and hit the button to start the coffeemaker.  We were able to get our satellite to work her at Clinton Lake and the news indicated rain would occur most of the day.  After breakfast we tried to work getting things ready outside whenever their was a lull in the rain.  At times it just poured and we just had to wait it out.  We finally pulled out at 10:20 - about an hour later than normal - but with the rain we were pretty happy with this time since our travels today will be much shorter, just slightly over 200 miles.

Our drive went quick and there wasn't anything to share until we reached St. Louis.  I snapped these pictures and they looked pretty good to us as it's not far from our last stop before reaching home.  We are really missing our kids in Kansas and the grandkids.  We look forward to seeing the first bunch this weekend.  We'll head to the Wichita area next week to see the rest of them.

As we drove through St. Louis we talked about just driving on to Oswego tonight but decided we really didn't want to get there after dark and have to get parked and unload even the basics.  I called to a campground outside of Springfield to see if we they had a campsite open for tonight but unfortunately they were full, so our decision was made.  We will go ahead and stay here at Robertsville State Park.  We have a reservation but we are ready to be home so we were willing to just give it up if we could get home or closer.  Once we pulled in we soon felt that way even more.  I had changed our reservation and I could not get the confirmation to open on my phone, so I could not find our campsite location.  I finally remembered I made some notes on the previous reservation (that I had printed out) and was happy to find the campsite number was noted.  So after driving through the campground loop at least three times Dean tried backing in to site 22, and he tried and he tried and he tried. The roadway was very narrow, the entrance had a pretty good drop off and with the truck being a longbed he just could not get it in the site without getting the truck into the brush and off the road, so we drove around to the park host's site.  He said we could pick out a site, and to just let him know which one we chose.  We chose site 15 and Dean backed right into it without a problem, however it was pretty unlevel.  We looked it over and decided he could move over more towards the driver's side.  Fortunately that worked.  It went from a 3.9 to a 1.5 which only required a couple of boards under the passenger side of the RV.  Of course to make it more amusing (especially for anyone who might have been watching us) this was all happening in the rain!

Once we were set-up and inside, we were just tired and felt a bit water logged.  We watched a little TV before I got out my laptop and started working on the blog.  I hope to get it caught up while we are here.  Our site has 30 amp electric - thankfully the temperatures have dropped and this works fine for our overnight stay.  There is no water or sewer hookup but that is not a problem for one night as we have enough water on board and our tanks are nearly empty.  We do have a Verizon signal here - and that made me very happy.

This is really a pretty little campground, but it has lots of trees around us.  We don't really mind that too much except for the rain - it means Dean will have to check the roof and slides before we leave tomorrow and chances are it will be in the rain as it is in the forecast again tomorrow.

Tonight we nuked a couple of baked potatoes, heated up some frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix, and some leftover chicken to make a VERY loaded baked potato with all of the other fixings of cheese and bacon.  It was so simple and tasted really great.  Dean's been enjoying watching a football game even if it is the Denver Bronco's.  He hasn't yet had the chance to watch a Chief's game and I know he has them recorded to watch when we get home.

September 9, 2016 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO

September 9, 2016 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO

I intended to take pictures of our campsite this morning, however it started raining sometime last night and was still raining this morning.  The weather forecast was calling for rain when I checked it before going to bed and it sounded like it might be heavy so we pulled our kitchen and dining slides in and just left the bedroom slide out for the night. We have quite a few trees around us and rather than Dean have to check all the slides in the morning we could at least keep it to a minimum.  We did get a short lull in the rain for awhile after we got up and was able to get most of the outside stuff done before it started raining really hard.  Dean finally dug around and found a poncho we had brought with us that he could use to get back out and finish getting things done.  Without it he would have been drenched.

Since the slides were in and we could not get to the living area to set, we had coffee in bed this morning while we listened to the news.  Dean decided he would try to find a place to stop around Lebanon to get some breakfast and we finally pulled out of our site here at 8:20a.  Fortunately Dean had scoped out a Cracker Barrel and it just happened to be located across the street from a school ballfield where they had a large parking lot.  That worked out well for parking Bentley in.  Breakfast was really good this morning - maybe because we were pretty hungry by the time we arrived.

It quit raining on us not too long after we left the State Park except for just a few sprinkles here and there and never rained on us again after we left the Cracker Barrel.  Our ride home was pretty smooth.  Just outside of Rolla we were held up in traffic for about 30 minutes due to an accident on I-44.  When we finally drove by it, we only saw one car which they were getting ready to load on a wrecker.  The car was in pretty bad shape.  I pray whether it was just the one vehicle or multiple ones that no one was seriously injured.

It seemed like in no time we were passing through Springfield, Joplin and finally pulling into Oswego.  It's good to be home.  We had such a great time on this trip.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 6-7, 2016 - Clinton Lake State Recreational Area, Dewitt, IL

September 6-7, 2016 - Clinton Lake State Recreational Area, Dewitt, IL

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We pulled out of Shipshewana a little after 9am this morning and headed north on Highway 20 to reach I-80, and then I-57 that we took most of the way to Clinton Lake.  We decided to turn off earlier than where we had programmed Bobbie (our GPS) to go when we left.  She was just having fits showing rotating arrows on the screen and telling us that we needed to turn around.  We were both tired of being on interstates so we took Highway 54.  We stopped outside of the small town of Thawville to have a "rest" stop.  I told Dean I'd like to try driving Bentley on this stretch of road.  It was a decent two lane road with little traffic, so he said go for it.  I drove the next 50 miles to Dewitt, IL where I pulled over in front of their post office so Dean could take it on into the park.  I made him take a picture of me driving as well as a video.  While the video is on his phone I couldn't figure out how to get it in the blog.  It's something I'll have to learn to do.  He said I did a great job.  One corner I turned a little too far left into the other lane but there wasn't any traffic there at the time.  Other than that it went fine and really it was no different than just driving the truck except for thinking about turning corners and making tight curves.

First time driving the truck and pulling Bentley!  I was focused!!

Clinton Nuclear Generating Station - located on the opposite of the lake from our campsite.

Our site.

We arrived here at the campsite at 2:00 p.m.  We found our site on Loop E, campsite 5 - this is a circle with 6 sites in it.  We have the only 50 amp full hookup site in this loop.  There are two other campers here.  There is nice spacing between the sites.  The downside to this campground is there is little to no Verizon signal so the same for internet.  The signal was so week I could not get our hotspot to work so I was unable to publish a blog post.  The roads leading into and throughout the campground are paved and the campsites are gravel.  Our site was level.  As you can see we had a campfire ring and a picnic table.  

I made a sausage pizza that Dean cooked on the grill in our cast iron frying pan.  We really love the way it cooks the pizza.  After I did the dishes, we took a walk around the campground.  Here is a picture of another loop, similar to the one we are in.
You can see the driveways off of this loop.  The campsites are nicely spaced.

After we got back Dean watched TV while I played some games on my Kindle until we could not keep our eyes open any longer and headed to bed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
We had no plans for the day so we took our time getting around this morning.  It seems we've been very busy since we left New York, so it was really appreciated.  Looking for something to do, we drove to Decatur, IL.  Dean wanted to stop at Lowe's to get some pricing on electrical wire and a few other things he needs to upgrade our RV electric hook-up at our house.  I wanted to return a couple of things I had purchased at Wal-Mart so we thought we'd get those out of the way, take a look around and eat some lunch while we were there.  

We had lunch at Cheddar's and it was pretty good.  I've really been trying to either eat better or eat less.  It's so very hard!  I just love food and unfortunately it loves to stay with me.

We really did not find anything in Decatur so we headed back to the campground, and decided to drive through the various campsites.  We found this wonderful Veteran's Memorial at Veteran's Point here along a pond on the campground property.

Beautiful view looking toward the water.

Located at the top of the hill.

I loved the wind blew just as I was planning to take pictures of these beautiful flags.

Flags for the branches of service.

Another memorial - with wording below.

Battlefield Cross

This entire memorial was beautiful and these pictures do not begin to show the beauty of this location and how well thought out this memorial was.  I was very touched by the importance our servicemen meant to the people of this area to have constructed such a beautiful sight in their honor!

I am so proud to be an American, to life in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I am so proud and extremely thankful for each soldier who has served to protect our nation and our freedoms.  Thank you for your service!
We returned to Bentley.  I made grilled chicken salads for our dinner and then we watched the Presidential Forum.

September 4-5, 2016 - Shipshewana South Campground, Shipshewana, IN

September 4-5, 2016 - Shipshewana South Campground, Shipshewana, IN

Sunday, September 4, 2016 

We didn't rush around this morning since everything is pretty much shut down here on Sunday.  I called my sister Cindy this morning and had a chance to talk with her for over 30 minutes or so.  We talk to each other often when we are at home, and it's been awhile since we had a good conversation so it was nice to catch up.  I worked on the blog yesterday evening and then again this morning.  We had leftovers for lunch.  I continued to work on the blog while Dean promptly took a nap.  About 1:30, we decided to drive to the nearby community of White Pigeon to visit Bontraeger's Surplus. When I checked their website it said it was open on Sunday's from 12-4. When we arrived it was closed even though their sign had the hours for Sunday listed.  Maybe it was due to the Labor Day Holiday?  Either way we had a nice drive through the countryside.

Dean wanted me to drive on the way back so he could have a chance to really look around.  It was a nice leisurely drive that we enjoyed.  When we pulled into our site, I told Dean the neighbors were having something sweet to eat - not sure what it was - but it looked like cake or pie.  I asked him if he would like for me to make a peach crisp and he thought that sounded great, so I put one together for him to cook in our cast iron casserole/pie dish.  It works really great and we cook it at the same temperature and time frame as we would in the oven.  It will be great later this evening with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Once I had the peach crisp ready I took it out for Dean to put on the grill but he was no where in sight.  I found him visiting with the neighbors next door (you know, the ones with the sweet treat that made me hungry).  So after I put the crisp on we visited with them while it cooked - about 25/30 minutes. A very nice couple, Larry and Joyce are from Warsaw, IN.  They typically come to Shipshewana every Labor Day.

After dinner we walked around the campground a couple of times.  It has been really nice in the evenings once the sun starts to set.  It's still a bit muggy but the temps have been dropping which is a treat.

Monday, September 5, 2016

There were several places we wanted to visit here in Shipshewana before we leave tomorrow.  Dean mentioned how much traffic was on Highway 20 here in front of the RV Park.  Unbeknownst to us there is a HUGE antique auction here today and I think everyone within 100+ miles came to see what would be available.  The traffic has been stop and go and has been for quite awhile already.

We wanted to check out a store south of here that makes furniture for RV's.  We are interested in recliners they make and just wanted to see what they are like and if it might be something we'd like to purchase down the road.  Traffic was pretty light heading south and we soon arrived at Lambright Comfort Chairs.  Unfortunately they were closed today.

When we left, we got back in the line of traffic heading north pretty easy, but I didn't think we would ever make it the 1/4-1/3 mile to the 4 way stop.
This was at least a quarter mile back from the stop sign.

While waiting for traffic to move, I noticed a blimp off to the left of us.  Dean got the binoculars and sure enough, it was the Goodyear Blimp.

As we neared the intersection we could see what had been holding everyone up.  The traffic coming from the east, turning right (north) at the intersection had a yield sign but they were not really yielding much.  When people coming from the west tried to turn north, the yielders would not let them in.  The intersection would get so full of cars trying to turn that it would prevent anyone moving at all until finally the traffic heading north was able to move forward enough for those in the intersection to get out of the way.  We set entirely through one green light with no movement at all, and most of the next one. It seems like eliminating yield and/or no right turns on red might help the situation when an auction or other major attraction is going on.

When we made it to the intersection we turned right, then took back roads heading north and back west to the areas we wanted to visit and stayed off of Highway 20 as much as possible.  Doing this we managed to get around pretty well, but due to the heavy traffic we still decided to eliminate two places we had planned to stop off of our list because of the time we lost in getting around.

Our first stop was at Yoder's Red Barn Shoppe and Yoder's Meat & Cheese Co.  We did buy some summer sausage and cheese curds here. (We were really disappointed with the cheese curds.  In fact I wouldn't eat any more at all after the first couple I tried.  They didn't even begin to compare with the ones from Shullsburg Creamery.)  We made a stop at Bentley to put our purchases in the refrigerator and make a "rest" stop.

Our next stop was at Davis Mercantile, a huge three story building in downtown Shipshewana, that also had a full basement, all with shops, cafes, a carousal and a huge tree that is part of the 4 story staircase here in the stairwell.
1st floor

Second Floor

Looking down from top floor

Information about the tree.  Dean took these pictures and I didn't read the information about the tree until later so I don't know the types of wood used.  Something to find out when we go back, right?

From there we headed north, found a road so we could turn off to the left, went around the block and then turned back on the main road headed south stopping next at the Yoder Department Store where I made two big purchases, a butter dish and two teaspoons (long handled for stirring).  Big spender, huh?  The traffic was still very, very heavy but not as bad as it was this morning.  We actually stopped here on our way back from Elkhart a couple of days ago but it was near closing time so we didn't get to finish looking.  At that time I purchased a new thermometer for the inside of our refrigerator in Bentley.  Temperatures have to be adjusted on the refrigerator depending on the outside temperatures especially when the sun is shining on that side of the RV.  The one we had broke a few days ago and with the temperatures going up we were glad to find this.  Another store in the building had vinyl tablecloths.  I've been looking for one to put in Bentley so we could use it on the picnic tables in the campgrounds.  I finally found one I liked well enough to buy.

We headed on south and managed to turn across traffic to Ben's Pretzels.  This was a great stop.  We both agreed this was the best pretzel we've ever had, and Dean wasn't even interested until he tried it. It was very soft.  I ordered a cinnamon pretzel with vanilla icing.

Ben's Soft Pretzels - this was place was so good.

Loved their Pretzel Garden out back.
After Ben's we walked across the street to E&S Sales.  We walked in, took one look at what seemed like a sea of people, turned around and walked right back out.  Every aisle and checkout lane was swarming with people, with many, many people waiting to check out.  I could not imagine anything I might want bad enough to stand in lines like that.
Taken later in the day.  Hard to believe you couldn't find a place to park in this lot earlier today.

At this point we just wanted to get back to Bentley and rest a bit before dinner, so that's what we did. It was a good day even though it was quite warm and the traffic was so bad.  It was a relief to relax.

For dinner we drove over to nearby Middlebury to eat at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.  Dean ordered the regular meal of beef and noodles, with a side salad.  I ordered the small order of chicken and noodles with a side of bread dressing and gravy.  When they brought our food Dean was quite upset because while my food was on a plate that was more oval and his was round, I had far more food than he did for about $4 less.  The meals were both very good.  I tried to sooth him by sharing my dressing with him!

On our way back I took some pictures of the beautiful Amish homes and barns.  Here are a few.
Simple, but so neat and clean.  The flowers are so colorful.

I thought this pond in front of the barn with the horse grazing in the pasture was really beautiful.

Beautiful trees and flower gardens at all of the homes.
Neatly groomed lawns.

I really don't know anything about this dairy, if it's still in operation or not, but it's a beautiful structure.

Buggies waiting on their owners to return.

We walked around the park one last time tonight before we leave tomorrow.
Entrance into the campground.
Our site.
We've enjoyed ourselves here.  If we make it back next year for the Heartland National Rally we'll be sure to revisit Shipshewana and hit a few places we missed this time around.