In 1855, a group of German settlers arrived in Iowa to set up a religious commune that continued until 1932 ,when they set aside the communal life but continued in their religion. Today, you can visit their settlement which is called the Amana Colonies. There are 7 small towns that form the Amana Colonies, with Amana is the largest one. The towns cater to tourists with many restaurants, gift shops, woolen factory, meat smoke house, etc. When we got there, Amana was still decorated for the May fest celebration. The Amana Corporation manufacturing plant is just outside of Amana. Amana was famous for dependable appliances. Whirlpool now owns the Amana brand.
The people in the area are not like the Amish or Mennonites, which reject or limit modern technology. There are many crafts and art available including some interesting art found at AJs Copper Garden using copper and steel painted using automobile paint.
At the smokehouse, we purchased some smoked pork loin that was amazing. Wish we had bought more of it.
While we were camped in Amana, there was a dog meet. Well, it was a meet for flyball dogs. Flyball dogs race down a course, which has hurdles that must be jumped, grab a ball, and return to their owners. It is a fast-paced race. The dogs are not one specific breed but all of them are excited to race. It is an international competition but there is a North American Flyball Association that oversees the races in the US and Canada. It is a fun thing to watch but if you are sensitive to dog smells or barking don’t go. The dogs are very friendly but when it is race time they are focused on running as fast as they can.
We also contacted Jay with Cassill Motors in Cedar Rapids to troubleshoot a problem we had developed with the lights not working on the Jeep when being towed. Jay came out to the RV and spent over an hour chasing down the problem. He found there was one problem with the connection at the RV, another problem with the connection at the Jeep, and a third issue in the cable. We really appreciate his dedication to finding and resolving the problem. Jay has built his own RV, which looks somewhat like a large moving van (it isn’t though, Jay custom built the RV), which has a diesel engine about twice the size of ours. He and Lewis had some great conversations.
We had a great dinner at the Ox Yoke Inn in Amana. I had the cranberry apple pork loin, Lewis had slow roasted pot roast. The food was delicious.