Curious about camping in Michiana, on the Michigan/Indiana border? You'll love it! You will also love an awesome donut so good the locals call it Amish Crack.
We just returned from camping in Michiana, a beautiful rural area of lush agricultural land, old hardwood forests, and sparkling blue lakes. We discovered those Amish Crack donuts when we were in Elkhart, IN, doing a modification to make RV travel with our dog, Bo, a little more manageable.
We've passed through the Southwestern Michigan and Northern Indiana area many times before on our frequent visits to Elkhart, which, is the RV Capital of the World, is home to many RV companies and RV suppliers. But over the past several visits, we noticed lots of small camping signs along the two-lane M-40 highway leading to Elkhart.
So the other day, instead of going straight to Elkhart, we decided to do a little exploring and spend a couple of nights camping in the area.
We just released a video on camping in Michiana… that also shows Jennifer sampling that Amish Crack and the solution we found to keep our dog Bo in his place while driving our RV.
There are lots of lakes and places to go camping in Michiana
The center of our exploring is the village of Marcellus, MI, population 1,200, a half-hour north of Elkhart, and a town that proudly boasts 36 lakes within a six-mile radius.
We visited Fish Lake, Bair Lake, Corey Lake, Gravel Lake, and several more Michiana lakes before seeing a sign off the Marcellus Highway for the Goff Lake RV Campground. The campground has no website, just a phone number (269-646-1211). It's located a mile down a dirt road bordered by farmer's fields.
Goff Lake RV Campground is in the heart of Michiana
And it is a delightful place, quiet and clean and really peaceful. We spend two nights there, watching the campground fishermen putter off onto tiny Goff Lake (which connects to two other lakes) to fish for bass, crappie, and bluegills. Trails and quiet pathways let us get in two-mile walks with Bo.
The site has 98 spots, but only six are available for overnight stays. The rest are occupied by seasonal campers, who come in May and stay through October. Many are snowbirds who head to Arizona or Florida in the winter, and Goff Lake for camping in Michiana in the summer.
Check out the video to see just what a delightful jewel this is for camping in Michiana. We would have stayed longer but it was filled up after our two-night stay.
To tell you the truth, we so enjoyed this campground that I hate to share it. Like a good fisherman never reveals his favorite fishing hole, I am reluctant to tell too many people about the Goff Lake RV Campground because those hard-to-get-overnight spots might get harder-to-get. Oh well.
The making of the “Bo Barrier”
After our Goff Lake camping in Michiana, we headed 25 miles down the road to Elkhart and a visit to our friend Steve Hite of Organized Obie, the company that makes nets and organizing gear for RVs. We were last there back in June when Steve helped us find ways to improve the storage in our new 2020 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB Class C RV.
CLICK HERE to read the article and see a video on our first trip to Organized Obie and all the cool things we installed
The problem we had is simple: Bo likes to sit in the front cab part of the RV, between the driver and passenger seats. On our previous RVs, built on the Spriter chassis, there was room, though we found Bo to be annoying sometimes as he turned around and crowded us. But our new Lesure Travel Vans Wonder RTB model is built on the Ford Transit and has a much narrower space between the cab seats.
Bo keeps trying to push his way in and it is just unworkable. We want him to sit on the RV seat directly behind the driver's seat There we can hook him up with a harness and secure him much more safely. But you know that saying, “You can't teach an old dog new tricks?”
That's Bo. We need some help teaching him.
That's where Steve and Organized Obie came in. Jennifer sent Steve a video email explaining the situation and asking for advice. Steve pondered it a day or so and then invited us down.
His solution was a “Bo Barrier.” It's one of the Organized Obie safety nets that Steve hooked up between the seats. The video shows how he did it.
And it works!
We realize that after seeing this, probably a lot of you are going to be interested in it.
This link will take you to Organized Obie's Barrier Stretch Net page – https://www.organizedobie.com/Barrier-Stretch-Nets
They come in different sizes. The one we got for our Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB model on the Ford Transit chassis is the 20 x 24-inch net. The next size up is the 20 x 36-inch net. That would probably be a better fit for Sprinter RV vans.
Carabiners were used at the four corners of the net. The top ones were fastened to the headrest metal posts on the driver and passenger chairs. To attach the bottom of the nets, Steve added two small hooks at the base of the step dividing the cab from the rest of the RVhttps://www.organizedobie.com/Barrier-Stretch-Nets\
The carabiners can be found at https://www.organizedobie.com/Black-Carabiner
If you need to make a custom-sized barrier net, here's a video on the Organized Obie website that tells you how to DIY – https://www.organizedobie.com/DIY-Barrier-Net-Video
If you need more details, contact Steve Hite through the Organized Obie website at https://www.organizedobie.com/
Steve did agee to give our followers a 5% discount off the cost of any orders. To get that discount, you must use the promo code RVLIFESTYLE (all in Caps.)
Meanwhile, with the Bo Barrier up, where does he sit? Right where he is supposed to!
If you watch the video on camping in Michiana, you'll see the installation of the Bo Barrier….. and you'll learn of one more issue we have to make Bo completely comfortable!
Elkhart Discovery! Amish Crack!
Now comes the good stuff. Make that the delicious stuff.
After our time spent camping in Michiana, we had some food to sample.
A donut so good that locals call it Amish Crack!
It's made at an Ekhart bakery called the Rise ‘N Roll. The bakery began in 2001 in nearby Shipshewana, Indiana. A young Amish couple began baking recipes handed down in the woman's family for generations. They sold baked goods from their front porch to be a blessing to their neighbors.
Over the years, they worked on perfecting the recipes, until in 2004 they opened the first Rise’n Roll Bakery in Middlebury, Indiana. The original bakery did not use any electricity, refrigeration, or modern technology. All of the mixing, sheeting, and prepping was done entirely by hand.
In 2009, the Amish owner sold the company to a non-Amish family. The new owners moved the bakery into a much larger facility. The original Amish owner stayed employed at Rise’ n Roll and franchising began. Now there are stores all over Michiana.
But the bakery is still doing things the “old fashioned way”, and blessing customers, one at a time. The caramel cinnamon donut is the local favorite dubbed Amish Crack.
Jennifer bought some of the caramel cinnamon donuts, as well as three more donut varieties. She taste-tested them all back in the RV and you can see in the camping in Michiana video which one was her favorite.
And so ends our short camping in Michiana getaway.
No longer will our visits to Elkhart during the year be strictly business.
The Rise N Roll will now be a required stop.
There's also an awesome restaurant in Middlebury that we have discovered that specializes in chicken and Amish pies.
We'll have to tell you about that in a future report.