Reflections: Rockin' with the Amish

This past weekend G and I went back to Mohican State Park, which is sort of between Columbus and Cleveland, and also in the heart of Amish Country. We went to the Mohican State Park Lodge this past April for my birthday, and really loved it for the most part. I had tried going on that trip without really planning it, in an attempt to be less controlling, overbearing, and anxiety- ridden. I wanted to be more spontaneous and carefree, but really all it did was leave us hanging out at some derelict, depressing mall because I hadn't properly researched other things to do. I was quite determined to not make that mistake again, and found out some fun things for us to do. So we actually visited Amish Country this time and had a surprisingly good time, as exciting as Amish Country can be, of course.

(Picture Heavy)

Here is the lake next to our lodge. I was excited to see the autumn foliage there, and it did not disappoint:

The first night we just hung out at the lodge, walked around the trails around the lodge, and ate at the lodge restaurant. There is definitely a balance to be reached between planning and over planning. I figured the first night would be for unwinding and relaxing, then the actual plans would be for the second and third days.

Online I had found an interesting place about an hour from the lodge called The Farm at Walnut Creek. It's actually a working Amish farm, and an exotic animal wagon tour. I read lots of reviews and they were overwhelmingly positive. I adore animals and wanted to make sure they were well cared for and happy. There was an incident in Zanesville, Ohio recently, which is fairly close to this farm, in which a man who owned numerous exotic animals released them before killing himself, and then the animals had to be found and killed due to the threat they posed the small community. This disturbs me because most people are not equipped to care for the sorts of animals he owned (lions, bears, wolves, tigers, monkeys, etc.) and there should totally be restrictions on that sort of thing. I was happy that upon visiting the Farm everything seemed to be in proper order. The grounds were immaculately maintained and the animals were incredibly friendly and comfortable with people, and they seemed healthy and content.

It was fascinating driving there because we had to go through several little hamlets to get there, and saw more and more signs for Amish stores, antique shops,
 restaurants, and such. We were endlessly, dorkishly entertained when we saw Amish wagons going down the road along with cars. It was kind of like those road trip games you might have played when you were a kid, and shouted out when you saw a certain kind of car, except we were constantly yelling "Amish!"

It was an interesting departure from my initial impressions of the Amish, that they were totally separated from secular society. They clearly have to make money somehow, and judging by all the tourists we saw in those little towns and at the Farm, at least some of the less conservative branches seem to be fine with interacting with the mainstream in some instances. There are plenty of things about them that I don't understand or agree with, but I will say everyone there was nice and never tried to force their beliefs in any way. They were simply comfortable with who they are, but didn't feel the need to evangelize. They seemed pretty mellow. They even baked cookies for us, and they weren't tasteless, self-punitive cookies, either, they were actually pretty good. The huge houses were quite spartan in decoration and were noticeably warm: yep, no electricity. We saw a young Amish girl using a lawnmower, which we found rather odd, given their reluctance to use technology. I read somewhere later that after careful consideration they may allow certain technologies with stipulations, such as, she could use a lawnmower, but it could not be a riding lawnmower, since they avoid devices that save labor just for saving labor's sake. So while it was a little bit of culture shock, it wasn't off-putting at all, just interesting.

Onto our animal tour: We got on a horse-drawn wagon, lead by a young Amish man, and were given buckets of feed for the animals. Yes, we got to feed various animals, and they were able to come directly up to the wagon.

Me feeding...some kind of animal, no idea what

A week-old zebra. One of the most exotic animals there.

You can see some Amish children there. Amish do not like to be photographed as it could lead to personal vanity, but you can't really see their faces so I don't think they'll mind.
Me feeding a giraffe...totally awesome!

G feeding...something

A baby llama..this picture is so surreal, the landscape really was  that bright and beautiful

Amish are apparently not without a wholesome sense of humor!

Amish houses and barns

These camels were so sweet!
All in all, a very educational and fun day! Afterwards we went to an Amish market and got all sorts of goodies : cheese, coffee, apple butter barbecue sauce and the best circus peanuts I've ever had!

The next day we went to the historical Malabar Farm, which has a stellar restaurant. I adored the orange creme brulee I had last time and I had to get another one this time; it was Irish Cream, and delish!

I attract kittehs wherever I go! A girl working at the farm said we were welcome to take him home; I was SO tempted!

The famous oak tree from the Shawshank Redemption: it was struck by lightning a few months after we saw it last. I was happy to see it still mostly intact!

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  1. Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing all your photos!

  2. I told tony about this post and he said, "I never thought I'd hear myself saying, 'hey let's go to Ohio!'"


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