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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Amana, Iowa

We're happy to report we had a safe and enjoyable trip Thursday to The Amana Colonies RV Park here in Amana, Iowa. Our trip was mostly south on I-35 where we saw more corn than you can shake a stick at!  The park here accepted our Passport America discount card for 2 nights and Good Sam for the rest of our stay, so it's a pretty good deal. The normal rate is $35/night before discounts and taxes. We signed up for six nights, so we plan to pull out Wednesday and head south into Missouri.
        I had never heard of the Amana Colonies until Kathy mentioned it, so we did some research and decided to come here to explore the area and do several day trips from here.
        The Amana Colonies were originally known as The Community of True Inspiration, have an interesting history and are often confused with the Amish, but are entirely separate from them. The Amana Colonies are of German descent and migrated to the US in the 18th century to avoid religious persecution and economic hardship. They originally settled near Buffalo, NY and from there moved to the present 26,000 acre location in Iowa. They were self sustaining, lived a communal life, and were known as the Ebenezer Society until the great depression forced them to change. They desired to keep their community intact but realized they had to abandon their communal lifestyle to maintain their community and keep their children from moving away. In 1932 they formed The Amana Society, Inc, a profit sharing corporation to manage the farmland, mills and larger enterprises. Today, the seven villages of the Amana Colonies represent an American dream come true; a thriving community founded by religious faith and community spirit and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Hundreds of thousands of visitors visit the colonies each year to come see the place where the past is cherished and hospitality is a way of life. By the way, the name Amana, means to "remain true". Amana is also the home of the former Amana Appliance Corporation, which has been purchased by Whirlpool and operates a large manufacturing plant in the colony known as Middle Amana. The plant employs over 2,000 people and is still hiring. The Amana Corporation was started by a local entrepreneur and was later owned by the Amana Society before being purchased by Whirlpool.
           There are a number of blogs I follow regularly, with one of them being RV-ing in the kram-a-lot-inn, which is written by Ginger & Jesse Haman who are full time RV-er's. We met Jesse and Ginger 4 years ago while camping at Mountaindale RV Resort in Colorado Springs, where they were working. When reading their latest post, it mentioned they were at the same park we are, so I started looking for them and lo and behold, they were across the road from us! I went over and re-introduced myself and had a great visit with these fine folks. Talk about a small world! They pulled out today headed south where they will slowly make their way to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter. Safe travels my friends!
         We plan to travel to Le Claire, Iowa Monday to check out the home of the American Pickers TV show as seen on the History Channel, and see what else we can find while there. Tuesday we'll probably go to the Amish community in Kalona, Iowa and then make preparations to pull out Wednesday.

Entrance to our park. The park is very large with around 400 sites. There is a festival this coming weekend called October-Fest and the park is totally booked. The lady at the visitor's center told us they expect in excess of 50,000 visitors.

Our site, W-11. The sites are very deep and good size yards. The biggest problem with the campground is the gravel roads that produce clouds of dust when someone drives by.
Partial view of the campground taken from the roof of our rig. There was a large rally in the park this week, but most of them pulled out this morning leaving the park almost empty. It will be full by this coming weekend. The campground is in the middle of what else........cornfields!

The utility hookups in this park are unlike any I've seen before. This is our water hookup which supplies water to 4 different sites.
Iowa ground squirrel which appear to be a cousin to chipmunks like we have at home. But these guys are marked different and make their burrows underground. They typically hibernate 3 to 4 months. They are about 6 inches long. The campground is full of them.
I threw this one a pretzel and he jumped right on it!
Crickett and Kathy alongside pretty fall flowers in Amana.

We had dinner at this German restaurant. I thought it was very good and enjoyed it.

Shops in Amana

Amana General Store and Christmas shop. Date on building said 1854.

That's a big barrel. It'd take a lot of wine to fill up that puppy!


1 comment:

  1. From Betty: never heard of Amana Community either! Very interesting.