Thousand Trails offered a new add on this year called “Trails Collection.” The upgrade makes over 100 more campgrounds available to members (on a more limited basis). The price we paid ($199) makes it a good deal even if you intend to use it only a week or two during the year. Twin Mills Camping Resort is our first Trails Collection campground.
The campground itself is an older campground with over 500 sites. Most, if not all, of the sites have electric and water. Many have full hookups. The main clientele is made up of seasonal campers. One man told me that they have been coming here seasonally over 20 years. There are many nicely done spots, with park model trailers and attractive landscaping. There are also many sites for traveling/weekend campers. Less of them are FHU, but many of them are. The campsites are in a primarily pine forest with lots of shade (and pinecones).
There’s a big pool, a few playgrounds, and limited lake access. Only a very few spots actually afford lake views and they have been occupied by permanent residents for many years.
Over the weekend the place was very busy. The campground, while not full, was well used and there were activities, mainly for the kids. It seemed that everyone had a campfire and at times the smoke was so thick it looked as if a heavy fog had descended on the place. Once the weekend passed the majority of the campers left and the air cleared.
Our only big complaint was associated with our arrival. Unlike Thousand Trails which is (supposedly) first-come-first-served so far as campsites are concerned the Trails Collection campgrounds let you specify your site amenities, if available. At least that’s how it is supposed to work. Here’s the deal: the Trails Collection campgrounds are supposed to set aside 10 campsites for the program. When we arrived, we were told that Thousand Trails is way overbooking those 10 sites. Because of that, we were told, there weren’t any more FHU sites left out of the allocated spots. That didn’t work well for us, especially since we were in for a longer stay. The folks in the office insisted that, in spite of the many vacant FHU sites that there was nothing available to me, a lowly Trails Collection customer. I decided to phone Thousand Trails service center to see if they could help. However, while I was on hold the folks at the front desk found a few FHU sites I could pick from. We moved into a nice spot among the seasonals and settled in. From what I was told by other travelers this is not an unusual situation for this particular campground.
Aside from the challenging situation upon our arrival we have no complaints about this campground. It’s a nice place in an interesting area.
We spent time in this area last year as we headed to an event in Indianapolis. This year we are working our way east and passing through this area again.
We drove a short distance to Elkhart to visit the RV/MH Museum. It was a nice way to spend a hot day. The museum displays highlight the evolution of RV from early days to current century. The early canvas tents on wheels were fascinating to me. Seeing the outdoor cooking gear and utensils was fun too. We saw a RV belonging to Mae West and the one owned by Charles Lindbergh. The variety in size and and how they were decorated inside was fun to see. The museum is well worth the price of admission and I highly recommend it.
We went to the flea market in Shipshewana last year. This year we decided to skip it and do a little shopping and a bit of “recreational eating” instead. We looked around and made purchases on Main Street and then enjoyed pastry and coffee at one of the many bakeries. Before we left town we bought some delicious meat and cheese to bring home. From there we drove some of the back roads and enjoyed seeing the many Amish farms. It was a pleasant drive on a hot day.
Shortly after arriving in this area one of Scott’s cousins told him that we were close to his home town and that he had several relatives nearby. On Sunday we attended Sturgis, Michigan Nazarene and met several of his family. Scott says there were 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins there and then together for an enjoyable lunch. This was an unexpected bonus for us!
Again, there is a lot to see and do in this area – all to the more reason for us to return on a future adventure.
Being close to South Bend, Indiana and having heard of Notre Dame University all my life we decided to drive down and tour of the campus. I was impressed with beautiful well kept grounds. The famous Gold Dome and statue Of The Virgin Mary on top is a well known landmark. We toured the bookstore and saw the many items ranging from text books to Fighting Irish themed clothings. We took a walking tour with a friendly young lady who is a sophomore at the University. She said they have about 16 female dorms and 17 male dorms. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a beautiful ornate place of worship with the stained glass windows first installed In 1893. Our final stop was The Hesburgh Library featuring Jesus depicted in a famous mural as the “Word of Life” facing Notre Dame Stadium. This giant mural is better known as “Touchdown Jesus”. There is much more to see on campus should you decide to visit.
We also enjoyed our day in St. Joseph, Michigan. This city is at the mouth the St. Joseph River on Lake Michigan. Many people were enjoying the Silver Beach County Park. This park offers wide beaches with playgrounds for kids of all ages. There were several volleyball nets. We saw lots of children playing in the water at the Whirlpool Compass Fountain. They were having a blast being sprayed with with water shooting up from the floor for them to run through and stand under and huge water cannons shooting across the park on timers. There is also a paved trail above the shoreline with benches to sit on and enjoy lake view.
From the river walkway we could see the two lighthouses called Range lights at the mouth of the St.Joseph River. They were built in 1907 when the pier was lengthened.
A major attraction of the Park is the Silver Beach Carousel open year around and along with unique handmade horses. It features a rocking peacock and sea serpent benches that are wheelchair accessible.
This is a great area to visit and I know there is much more to see. In fact, I’ll have another review of the area as we continue our visit in the vicinity at a different campground next week.