Monday, September 2, 2013

The Amana Colonies

We said our goodbyes to the rest of our gang and we departed the Marshall-Putnam County Fairgrounds around 7:30 a.m.  We picked up I-80 and headed west.  It was a beautiful morning with mild temps and low humidity. 

We stopped at Amana, Iowa, to do the touristy stuff. 

The Amana Colonies is a communal society that dates back to 18th century Germany. (They are not Amish.)  A religious movement called Pietism advocated faith renewal through reflection, prayer and Bible study.  The group began meeting in 1714, to become known as the Community of True Inspiration. Persecution and economic depression forced the community to seek a new home outside of Germany, settling first near Buffalo, New York then finally on the Iowa prairie in 1855.

Amana’s communal way of life fell victim to the Great Depression as it was seen as an obstacle to achieving individual goals.  Rather than see their community dissolve they changed. In 1932, Amana Society, Inc.,  became a profit-sharing corporation established to manage farmland and larger enterprises. Entrepreneurship was encouraged.  The Amana Church continues.


After struggling to find a parking spot for two RVs (Amana is not particularly RV friendly), we happened on a lot adjacent to Village Winery that would accommodate us. There we sipped some tasty offerings such as Dandelion, Rhubarb, Cranberry, Peach and Cherry wine. Then we promptly felt the effects as it was nearly lunchtime and we had not eaten.  So our next stop was Serena’s Coffee Café where we grazed on samples of salsa, noodles, olive oil, dips, dressings, steak sauce and mustard pretzel dip. That was after we ordered sandwiches.  The sandwiches were great.


Other shops we visited were the Amana Woolen Mill, Millstream Brewing Company, Kitchen Sink, Schnitzel’s Ecke, White Cross Cellars, Amana Furniture and Clock Shop and Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse, where Jim and Sherry purchased brats and buns for supper. Most of the shops were super pricy.


We arrived at Kellogg RV Park in Kellogg, Iowa around 3 p.m. after stopping for gas at a very tight BP station.  The campsites are all pull-through and our sites have sewer as well as water and 50 amp electrical service—not bad for $20.  Oh, and internet if you want to hike to the office.

We had cocktails before a nice meal of the brats, corn and melon. We invited Jim and Sherry’s “neighbor” over for cocktails.  He and his wife are from Michigan and are also heading to the Black Hills.

It was a very cool day today.  A nice relief from all the heat.  It sure would be nice if it would stay cool for the balance of the trip.

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