The full moon is rising behind high-level clouds over the corn fields of Grandview Bend RV Park in Howe, Indiana in the summer of 2015.
Howe is 5 miles from the Michigan border to the north, and in the far northeast corner of Indiana. Also about 30 miles east of South Bend.
This is Midwestern United States and it’s also a home to many Anabaptists: the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites. Shipshewana is a major business hub for the local farming community and there are many tourist attractions throughout the region.
Here we observed the tranquil farms maintained to perfection without any machinery, just horses and humanpower. Our first stop was to visit the Menno-Hof to see interactive audio visual displays of the Amish and Mennonites beginnings. Documented history of their travels to America and the way they contribute to the USA today. This center is a giant barn built entirely of interlocking timber joints with no bolts or nails, demonstrating the abilities of the local religious community network.
The locals are welcoming to tourists. Not so welcome are many prying photographers, and our photos here are distant and unimposing for good reason. I’m told the locals do not even appreciate being asked for permission before a photo is taken. This is because they are asked for photos way too often and just want to go about their routines without interruptions.
Horse and buggy in the local supermarket. Some modern conveniences are allowed and concessions must be declared by the local community. Family members are given the choice to keep their traditions or adopt a modern way of life.
Soon after visiting the Menno-Hof, we strolled through Shipshewana’s flea market. The local population are famed for their handicrafts and this is the hub for selling product, fabric, collectables and many essentials. The Shipshewana Trading Place and Flea Market is open May through September.
Ice cream made by way of the earliest of traditions. Powered by an International diesel powered engine.
Tourists and the local community gather together in this flea market held twice a week in May through September.
Morning mist over the cornfields. The Grand View Bend RV Park is bordered by cornfields and traditional post and rail fencing.
Howe is an historic town with only a few thousand people, a classic old town square and cornfields within a block or two of the main street. There are a few restaurants and cafes throughout the town with only one well disguised bar. Alcohol is not available elsewhere in the town and you might receive a blank stare from the waiter if you ask for a beer or a wine with your meal.
The best place for beverages of the almost forbidden kind is to hop the border into Sturgis, Michigan, (not the South Dakota Sturgis), about a ten minute drive, where there are liquor stores and supermarkets.
Other attractions surrounding Howe are theaters, event centers, and farm culture. Legrange is a small historic town about 15 minutes away with beautiful town buildings and restaurants. Back in Shipshewana, The Blue Gate Theatre has nightly live entertainment and movies along with the Shipshewana Event Center and the Michiana Event Center for shows and major events. In the summer, you can enjoy buggy rides, and the Hostetler Hudson Auto Museum, a large collection of Hudson motor cars.
About the Grand View Bend RV Park:
This park is mostly a private long term residential park. There are about 50 back-in RV sites for casual visitors. These sites are along the entrance roadway on a grassed section. The pool and activities areas are located immediately next to the casual RV parking area. There is an extensive lending library and you can stroll throughout this tree covered park to the river bend. The residents are friendly and volunteer to keep the park pristine.
Our stay was for about two weeks and we found the park quiet and friendly. There can be quite a few itinerant RV travelers coming and going, but this makes for interesting conversation with other travelers in the one portion of the park.
There is good grass cover in the casual RV area. Open fires are only allowed on portable fireplaces. There is water and electricity but no sewer hookups. A honeywagon is provided and there are clean dumpout stations in the residents’ areas of the park.
There are no allotted sites in the visitor RV section. When you arrive, you choose a spot and shortly after a volunteer resident will visit you to check you in. We recommend making a reservation because the RV park does fill quickly in the summer.
Hookups: Water and electric only.
Large RV access: Backin only. Suitable for large RVs.
Internet: There is weak WIFI as of June 2015. The Verizon was only two to three bars too. Don’t expect lightning speed internet.
This park was great for our early traveling days. Easy to back in and friendly. We had only been traveling for a few weeks, so we were still getting acquainted to being on the road. We found it worth our two week stay. We would have liked to have seen more of the local attractions.