August 7, 2012:
Mostly uneventful (good) turnpike drive to Elkhart, then setting up at the Elkhart Campground and then a few nervous moments. I plug in the power cable, turn on the breakers and have no power ? Then I notice that my surge protection device is indicating a fault code for reversed polarity at the campground outlet. I then plug into an adjacent outlet and all is good. We notify the campground staff and they come out and fix the outlet wiring, great to see that surge protector work as intended.
Tour downtown Elkhart and we are pleasantly surprised, it's a beautiful downtown, with a river walk, great history and is even clean. There is a police event going on, they are giving out free hot dogs and water and seem to be showcasing their bomb squad vehicle, robot, radical ATV vehicles and huge mobile command center. Is Elkhart's RV industry some kind of terrorist target ?
We go to the famous Shipshewanna Flea Market, (largest in the mid-west), lots of real Amish there riding in their horse drawn wagons. Sorry to say that most of the flea market stuff was just cheap crap, but there was a very interesting real antique auction going and the food was really great, fresh blackberry fry pie, fresh hand rolled pretzels, fresh cut corn off the cob, homemade ice cream. Meet some very friendly interesting people; old guy at the flea market who had a great story of how he bought his hat from an American Indian vendor (off his head) and then there was the old couple in the line behind us at the market who practically told their life story to us and the guy on the street in who asked me "What can you see through that lens ?" Everyone you pass on the street have a big smile and a hello, We're not in New Jersey anymore !!! And I found a very cool straw hat to boot.
Next stop on the tour is Lowden State Park in Oregon, Illinois, famous for a huge statue of Chief Black Heart, it is advertised as the second largest reinforced concrete statue in the world. More will be revealed !