Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The tenth and FINAL part of our Virginia Trip 2023

Our first morning in Shipshewana, we got up for the sunrise - it was a very refreshing 50 degrees! I loved the sun's reflection on the ground fog.

We went to the Farmers' Market in Goshen. The market was very nice with booths inside a good-sized building and some outside. There was so much produce I wanted to buy (It's time I go home and really cook!) but we 'settled' for cinnamon rolls. The girl had them packaged like this - nice! They were really good!

We went to Bonneyville Mills in Bristol, IN. This may be the largest barn quilt I have ever seen!

The mill was just across the street.

This picture is using the same pond but looking across at the building with the barn quilt. I liked the reflection of the windmill.

We went into the mill - it's been a number of years since I've been in a working mill that was actually milling grain when I was there. They were grinding hard red wheat into flour. The two people working explained what was happening, offered information, and answered all of our questions
Hard red wheat berries and hard red wheat flour

We left with Scottish oatmeal, spelt, and white cornmeal. We decided on the white cornmeal after hearing that the Miami Indians used it for currency - they only traded the flour so no one would be able to plant any of the white corn. We aren't real crazy about steel cut oats so I'm hoping we like Scottish oats.
There are 8 main forms of oats: Whole Oat Groats, Steel Cut / Irish Oats, Scottish Oats, Rolled / Old-Fashioned Oats, Quick Oats, Instant Oats, Oat Bran, Oat Flour. The further into the list, the more processed the oats are.
Spelt, an ancient grain, "also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since approximately 5000 BCE." 

The man who was working told me I might be disappointed if I used spelt in my regular bread recipes - this grain has not been genetically modified over time like our other grains. He included a pamphlet with some of his recipes for oatmeal with Scottish Oats, Spelt Biscuits, and more. We have since tried the Spelt Biscuits - they are good!

Before leaving the park with the mill, we checked out the dahlias - the American Dahlia Society had a trial garden there. The garden was small but absolutely gorgeous!

These blossoms were also in the dahlia gardens - the bees were happy!

We once again found Laura's Amish Fabric Shop - our GPS is about 1/4 - 1/2 mile off and has it located on the wrong side of the road. She has a small selection of cotton fabrics along with other fabric and more things in her shop. Her prices are very good. I was after blenders and found these Moda marbles.
That white looking fabric is really yellow.

We did spend a little time in Shipshewana. I always love seeing the flowers.

Of course we went to Davis Mercantile - that's where Lolly's is!
Barn quilt on Davis Mercantile

We both enjoy seeing the quilts at Lolly's Fabrics. My purchases this time were very different for me. I bought 2 panels and a couple of fabrics to coordinate. I think I have now purchased maybe 5 or 6 panels total in my lifetime! These will be used for 2 children's quilts.

We enjoyed lunch and I had a grilled tomato BLT - a first for me. It was good and I might just make that at home one day soon. 

We spent part of our last afternoon in Shipshewana being lazy. We were both tired and our rental was so comfortable, we decided to just read, watch TV (the Chicago Cubs and Little League games), nap, do nothing. Isn't this scene relaxing? We thought so! It's the view beyond the yard of our rental from the porch rocking chairs.

And this was on a wall.

It took us two days to get home via back roads. The first day was long. After about an hour and half, we stopped for a walk in Plymouth, IN, at Centennial Park. We saw tennis courts, pickleball courts, shelters, play area, and enjoyed the walking paths at the temperatures began soaring higher.

Then the detours began... We finally made it to our motel much later that we thought it would be. It was strange to be in a motel; we definitely prefer the house/apartment rentals but sometimes it doesn't work out.

The second day of traveling was short. There was one detour but we knew the area so it wasn't a problem. As we got closer to home, the fields of corn and soybeans greeted us.

And then when we pulled in the driveway, we could see Ray's new wildflower garden...

and there were blossoms!

We actually arrive home a couple days ago. The trip was about a month long and we loved the journey. We returned to excessive heat so not much is happening outside. I'm trying to freeze/dehydrate tomatoes and do some quilting. It's nice to be home!

  • Chase your dreams but always know 
  • the road that will lead you home again.
  • -Tim McGraw

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The ninth part of our Virginia Trip 2023

The trip from Kent, OH to Shipshewana, IN was long partly because it's a long ways, partly because we drove backroads and partly because of detours - ugh! They aren't bad if signs marks the detours but ...

We stopped for lunch in Milan, OH. What is important about Milan? It is best known as the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Edison. Since we were traveling 'off the beaten path', I look for possible stopping places along our route. I found a restaurant in Milan - Invention Restaurant. The name celebrates the heritage of Edison.
We ended up eating breakfast food for lunch there. The place was hopping and the food was good!

Shortly after leaving Milan, Ray spotted a blimp in the sky. We could see it off and on until we got to Fremont, OH, about 40 minutes west! I took many shots but this is the best.

Gretchen of Gretchen's Little Corner lives in northern Indiana. Last year when I asked her about quilt shops around/near Shipshewana, IN, she said I should check out Caroline's Cottage Cottons in Rome City, IN. There were so many detours in that area last year that we skipped it. This year we were able to stop and it was such a nice shop with a great selection of fabric. Caroline wasn't there but the lady working was pleasant and very friendly.

It's one of those shops that I would frequent often if I lived nearby. Since I don't live close, I decided to buy a little extra. The blue is for my stash, the orange is a backing and the 5 pieces folded together are for a quilt. There is a free pattern in the background that goes with the 5 pieces that were packaged together.

Less than 1/2 hour after leaving Caroline's, we reached our rental, the same place as last year. We wanted to go back because we loved it. There was some new furniture this year - it was comfortable, too!

We walked to the end of the lane on the first night and took sunset phots.

Amish buggies were returning home along our road.

This one had two young men. Notice the bicycle tied to the back of the buggy.

There was one more - if you look at all three pictures, you can see the sky changing color.

Along our lane, there were a couple horses. The foal was so cute.

We stood at the fence for a few minutes talking to the horses. As we began walking away, the foal was running and prancing. It was fun to watch.

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, 

we would literally astound ourselves. 

-Thomas Edison

Monday, August 21, 2023

The eighth part of our Virginia Trip 2023

We decided to visit the #1 sight in  Cuyahoga Valley - Brandywine Falls; it was also #1 on Ray's list for the area. 

The walk to the falls is short and easy but we had on our hiking boots and backpacks to go further. Come along.

Nice boardwalks

Beautiful Brandywine Falls

Down some steps hoping to get closer to the bottom of the falls
There was no signage

More boardwalks with the rocks cut away

We went down all those steps and got to the
TOP of the falls so we hiked back up and then down the other steps to get to the bottom.

View of Brandywine Falls from near river level

To hike the Gorge loop, we had to go back to the top and down those first steps AGAIN
Looking back up the steps for the second time.

On the Brandywine Gorge Loop.

We saw a sign that sounded like this was a shortcut
but it turns out this path took us in the RIGHT direction!
Good thing we turned!

We were getting lower in the Gorge

This is a picture of very clear water in the river

Eventually we crossed this bridge
to get to the other side of the gorge

The water from the bridge

Ray was shooting lots of photos

We stopped to pull up compasses on our phones
The little bit of signage we saw was ignoring
our trail so we were trying to figure out
if this was the right way

Our NPS map (which wasn't to scale and didn't help much) did say steep steps. We finally found them and I didn't get a photo. They were tall steps - steep with no hand rails. We finally knew where we were! It was a beautiful day to be in the woods. 

The other main attraction in the Park is the Ledges. We had our NPS map but maybe we should have been a little concerned after Brandywine Falls. At least we knew it wasn't to scale. We just wanted to go to the Overlook.
Using our map, we left the parking lot and hiked 
quite a while trying to find the Ledges Trail.

Eventually we came across a map on a trail. We kept crossing trails and the Overlook seemed to be in different directions each time. That's because the Overlook was
NOT on the Ledges Trail; it was on some trail not on our map! We stopped looking at our map and attempted to follow our instinct and a sign every so often.

We found the Overlook - you could only see down into the gorge  in a few spots.

It was pretty there.

Upon leaving the Overlook, we needed to find the parking lot and our vehicle. So we decided to just follow our instincts. We took a trail in the general direction through the woods, crossed a large grassy area, and could see the parking lot! None of this showed on our map so I'm glad we'd finally put it away. 

The weather was great and we really did enjoy the hike. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is beautiful.

Our next stop is Shipshewana, IN. 

There comes a moment, when you get lost in the woods, 

when the woods begin to feel like home
.-Jeffrey Eugenides


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