After reading about this place, I so wanted to go. I especially wanted to go after I found out that Amish people lived here. I've been wanting to visit an Amish community for a long time. It was always my thoughts that the Amish must have such appreciation for the simple life and were really religious people. I wasn't trying to judge them, that is just what I portrayed the Amish to be. Upon visiting this place today, I found that a lot of what I thought of the Amish was right, but I was surprised from a lot of how their lifestyle is too.
So, let's begin from the start of our trip. We started toward Burke's Garden to find that it is up a pretty curvy road. The scenery was nice and it had a lot of farmland. Some of the farms, later in our trip, were even fertilizing their things, and the kids, Justin and I were quick to roll up our windows on that one! :)
We stopped at the General Store to find an Amish lady (she was dressed in her blue dress and white bonnet), behind the counter. Just before entering the store, Justin pointed out that there was a sign that told us that they accepted ATM. I didn't really expect that from an Amish store/community, but there were many things throughout the trip I found to be what I would expect as well. Shows how some things may or may not be what we would ordinarily think! As we walked in the store the Amish girl greeted us, although she seemed a little shy. We asked her about the drive around the community and she said it was about 12 miles around and we decided to drive around and then stop back by for what we wanted to buy on our way back out. I really wanted to take a photo of the Amish girl (Justin thought she was just a young teenager, but I'm not so sure of her age), but I was surprised to find that they do not pose for photos, so she kindly declined.
We traveled a full circle and even took some side roads through Burke's Garden. There was another old building, what we are thinking was probably some other type of old store or something at one time, but we're not exactly sure at this point. It read God's Land on the sign above the door. The old gas pumps out in the front of the building read 76 cents per 1/2 gallon. As we traveled on out through the community we saw a horse and buggy in a front yard. We later also came upon a ranch.
The ranch had donkeys, llamas, and camels. We all walked a bit around the ranch, and my husband was surprised to see that camels are so big. These camels were rather large creatures!
As we completed our circle/tour, we stopped back in the General Store. I told the Amish cashier how nice this scenery was by simply stating, that was a nice drive. She replied, it was. The store had all kinds of goods, Amish and non-Amish goods. We bought fresh baked bread (which the Amish girl told me was just baked earlier this morning), and we also each chose a snack to buy. As we shopped, the Amish girl and I were having a conversation. I was interested in learning how they do things. As I picked up the loaf of bread, she told me that Maddie just baked fresh bread this morning. I proceeded to ask her how long it took them to make a loaf of Sourdough bread. She said they made many loaves at once, and she wouldn't know because Maddie usually baked the bread. As we walked over and placed what we were buying on the counter the girl started totaling up what we bought on a cash register, I also had not really expected the cash register. I'm not at all making fun of how she did things, everyone has their own way of doing things, but it seemed that she struggled with operating the cash register. She finally totaled up our items to a total of $13.40. My husband handed her a $10 bill and a $5 bill to total $15.00 to pay for our items. We noticed as we stood there she tried several times to put in the total amount we paid her on the cash register, and then she became very flushed and sighed, she said something must be wrong with the cash register. The way the cash register was reading to her was that she owed us back well over the amount we paid her. My husband then told her she was entering in that we paid her $51.00 into the cash register instead of $15.00. She said oh, maybe that's what it is. She then tried several more times and still seemed to struggle to come up with the amount she owed back to us. I then explained to her that if our total was $13.40 and we paid her $15.00 that she owed us back $1.60. She then did not even proceed with the cash register anymore, but took me at my word and opened the cash register and handed the money back to me that I told her she owed us. I always thought that the Amish were conservative and some would even be a bit shy, I think this showed some (if not most) are a little bit backward/shy to the more modern day people. Although, she was a very kind individual, the girl was shy. As she bagged up our items, our kids were talking of how they didn't have to share their snacks since they each picked out their own snack. They, of course, were joking as we all shared our snacks, but the Amish girl told them they should want to share as there would come a time that they would appreciate the opportunity to do so.
Upon traveling back down the winding road we tried each of the snacks and talked about our trip. Once we got back into town we ate at a well known drive-in for lunch and then came home and had sandwiches on the Sourdough bread made by the Amish for dinner.
Photos of our trip are below:
More Photos are in the Members Area.