By Kevin Williams, Amish Cook Editor
Adams County, Ohio still gets my vote for "favorite Amish settlement" because of beauty and sentimentality. But Holmes County, Ohio is king when it comes to the sheer numbers of Plain people and it is gorgeous in its own right. Holmes County doesn't have the rugged beauty of Adams, it has a more gentle, pastoral beauty. Adams is edge of Appalachia, Holmes is emerald-colored rolling. It's a different beauty, less stark, less rugged. Look at this photo we took in Holmes, a perfect panorama of buggy and valley. I'll be visiting Adams County next weekend so the comparisons are on my mind. I have many Amish and Plain friends in Holmes County and I never have to be persuaded very hard to make a journey there. Entering Amish country from the southwest from Columbus, Ohio on US 62, you can be among Plain people almost continuously for over 80 miles, the largest such concentration of Plainess in the world. The southern edge of the Amish sprawl is near Johnstown and Gambier and continues along US 62 all the way to Navarre. Laundry on the line dries crisp and fresh, a constant sight on a drive through Amish country. As someone who studies Amish culture, I find this drive invigorating and interesting, covering an amazing array of Amish culture from the most conservative Swartzentrubers to the most progressive Plain Mennonites. And as someone who loves to bike, one activity on my wish list to do some day is pedal on the Mohican Valley Trail, it's a great way to explore Amish country and share the trail with buggies and bikes. I visited the trail once on a chilly November day (not the best biking weather). If you'd like to watch a short video about the trail click here. So these are some random thoughts and images of this amazing Amish ,archipelago.