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2019 Summer Drive

On Friday, June 14th, Mother Nature gave us a perfect day as seventeen members headed towards Shipshewana. Our first stop was in Coldwater for lunch at JT’s. When the restaurant owner saw all of the Jaguars in the parking lot, he indicated that he had previously owned an XKE and that he really loved it! After arriving in Shipshewana later in the afternoon, we boarded five Amish buggies and traveled several miles to an Amish farmhouse. There we experienced a family-style Thrasher Dinner with an abundance of great home-cooked food which included chicken, meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade noodles, vegetables, homemade bread w/jams/jellies and homemade pies. Our buggy drivers joined us for dinner. This provided us with an opportunity to have interesting conversations with our hosts and drivers about their families, homes and lifestyle. After the buggy ride back, several of us walked thru parts of the vast flea market area.

On Saturday, we headed west to South Bend. There we were joined by six more people as we toured the Studebaker Museum. The museum is laid out chronologically from the Studebaker’s early days as blacksmiths, up until 1966 when their auto business effectively ended. The museum contains many vehicles showing the progression of the Studebaker car manufacturing business over time. Studebaker was the only carriage maker that ever successfully transitioned into automotive production.

After the museum, we had lunch at the Tippecanoe Place, the former Studebaker Mansion which was completed in 1889. We toured the various rooms on all four floors. There are approximately forty rooms with twenty uniquely different fireplaces and close to 24,000 square feet. The interior of the home emphasizes high quality woodwork throughout with expert carving skills. Quite the place!

Later that evening, we had dinner at the BlueGate Restaurant and then set out for the Event Center. There we were seated close to the stage and had a birdseye view of the performance “Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles”. Judging by the extent of seat-dancing, swaying to the music and the number of times that the audience was on their feet, I would say that everyone enjoyed the performance. One member commented to me before we even left our seats, “This was a good one.”

On Sunday morning, we headed for the newest US National Park, the Indiana National Dunes Park, by way of the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum in nearby Elkhart. The museum was laid out chronologically from the time of covered wagons to early pulled and/or driven recreational vehicles to the modern day Winnebago. Quite an interesting museum with many exhibits.

After a two hour drive towards the Dunes, our next stop was lunch at Wagner’s Ribs, a popular local restaurant. Then we moved into the Park, where we drove the eastern park 19-mile loop, which included a view of the southernmost end of Lake Michigan and Mount Baldy (a high dune absent vegetation). We also made a three-quarter mile trek up and around part of the dunes.

Our day ended with dinner at the Craft House, another popular local restaurant. This was the last venue of the trip and we headed back home Monday.

Organizers: Phil Crutchfield and Steven Myerscough

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