Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday May 31, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Below you will see some of the things that we have been doing during the past week or so. Having lots of fun!

 A small group of Heartlanders got together at Bobcat's trailer for lunch. From the left, Stella (in white blouse), Pat (Mrs. Bobcat), Bobcat, George and Marilyn from Montana, and Donna from Georgia.

We were joined by Andy and Joanna in their brand new Big Country. They had a few "brand new unit" issues that the dealer and Heartland took care of for them, and they pulled out for their Louisiana this morning. Safe travels friends!

Yesterday we went to the RV/MH Hall of Fame with Andy and Joanna. There is a great history of RV's there and is worth the trip when you get to the Elkhart area. We have been before but still enjoyed it.

Pictured are a couple of the elk in front of the museum that have been painted up. Similar painted elk are found all over town in Elkhart.

Several other HL owners will arrive beginning Sunday, and I wish you could be here with us to enjoy it.

So long.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday May 28, 2013-Elkhart Campground

We woke to more cloudy and rainy-looking weather this morning so we decided to put off any activities until this afternoon to see what it was going to do. It had rained off and on all day yesterday which kept us at home all day. It's nice to be able to stay home when it rains.

We went out to see our friends George and Marilyn, in their new Bighorn trailer, as they pulled out to leave. They are from Montana and have decided to head up east from here, perhaps the east coast but more likely Niagara Falls and then decide how much further they want to go. 

Later in the morning I got a call from Andy and Joanna, who had come up here to pick up their new Big Country trailer from the local dealer. They have taken delivery and are staying at the dealership for a couple of days to "shake it down" and want to take a factory tour. I called the factory and set up the tour for this afternoon. Since I had to go over to the dealership, I offered to take them to the factory for their tour since they may not have been as familiar with the area. They had a very nice time at the tour and learned a lot about the construction of their trailer. 

After dropping them off at RV Capitol, I returned home and Stella fixed some great hamburgers for supper tonight. It had stormed earlier this afternoon and continued to shower into the evening. About 11 last night a storm blew through that Stella said sounded like a tornado. The rain beating on the roof woke me up and I learned that the power had gone off for a few minutes, but since we didn't hear any commotion or sirens, we settled back down for the rest of the night.

I was asked about the birds that were growing in a nest on the ladder on the back of our trailer. Unfortunately the birds didn't make it. One of the eggs never opened and three of the birds that were born didn't survive. We found one of the dead babies after we moved that the Momma bird had removed from the nest. I don't know what happened to the other two but only one bird was still alive when we changed sites. This little bird did not survive that day. I don't know why the birds didn't make it but am sad to have to report this. 

So long.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday May 26, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Another catch-up entry. There hasn't been too much going on here in Elkhart. I've been capping a few Munzees and getting some good exercise but I have gotten most of them in the Elkhart area. I am still waiting for my shipment to arrive so I can start deploying some.

We went to the church service in the park again yesterday. The weather was nice and we got together with Bobcat for lunch of tacos with some other Heartland owners that are in the park. Gary and Donna are here to have some water leak repairs made and George and Marilyn are brand new Bighorn owners, still checking out their new rig. While sitting around talking after finishing up our lunch, another couple, Andy and Joanna arrived. They are here in Elkhart to pick up their new Big Country. We met them at the South Toledo Bend state park in Louisiana about three years ago when we were there for a New year celebration. 

We can't wait for more of our friends that are coming in for the Goshen rally to arrive so we can have even more fun.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday May 22, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Yesterday was a very slow day around here because we both slept late due to the exhausting move across the campground. TxBobcat, our next door neighbor, invited us over to eat some corn on the cob that he cooked on the grill along with some guacamole that Ms. Pat had made using a Paula Deen recipe. Both of them were very good and Stella furnished some sausage. We also furnished some beer and both Stella and Pat had wine. It was a nice afternoon and I later brought Tramp over to play with their dog Trevor. 

It has been raining off and on for the last couple of days, especially at night and it sure makes good sleeping! I slept in until almost 7AM this morning but that Stella, well SHE slept until 9:30! It rained a couple of times this morning and the wind picked up during the rains, but at least we didn't have tornadoes. I still feel so bad for the people of Moore Oklahoma who lost everything. There are two couples in the OK chapter that live in Moore but I have only met one of them, the Wrights. The others, the Molsbees, lost not only their home but their Bighorn trailer too. They lost another house in 1999 to another tornado. I spoke with Orville and he said that they had gone into their underground shelter and although they heard the storm go by a couple of blocks away from them, they suffered no damage except debris in his yard. Lucky!

Orville and I had a discussion of tornado damage that we have seen. Mother Nature can do amazing things! He told of a stop sign that was undamaged but had a large guardrail that had become wrapped around it. I told him of a 2 X 6 board that went all the way through a palm tree that I had seen after hurricane Carla in Galveston. Amazing! And just the other day, Stella and I were driving out in the Amish countryside when a small "dirt devil" blew across a field and hit the truck. Even though it was a tiny little whirlwind, it pushed the truck over. Imagine one of those that is over a mile wide like the one in Oklahoma.

I am trying a new font on this entry. I will try another on the next entry, so please give me feedback.

So long.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday May 20- 2013-site 411 to site 732-Elkhart Campground

I went out the first thing this morning and grabbed a bunch of Munzees, catapulting me to #10 out of 16 on my friends list. I just ordered some Munzees to deploy, so I'll soon be on a streak! This game is truly addicting!

When I got  back home and had some breakfast, we decided to change sites today. We knew we were back in the rally section but I had spoken to Gita and she said we could stay back here. That was before we decided to have a Pre pre rally before the Goshen rally and would be expecting a huge number of Heartlanders in for this gala event. Well at least 5 will show up, I hope. TxBobcat came in over the weekend and they put him up in a new site up front that is reserved for weekly or monthly renters, so we decided to join him and wait for others to join us. Besides that, the grass was getting really high under the trailer and I didn't want any bugs living in the underbelly. We had hoped to wait until the baby birds were big enough to fly, but one egg had not even hatched and two of the babies were missing and feared dead. The only one remaining isn't looking too good, so we decided to move. We had hopes that the Momma bird would follow us to our new location.

The move wasn't bad, but we had set up for a long stay and now all that stuff that I had set out in cool weather, and just after a rain, so the ground was very soft so stakes to hold the outdoor rug down were easy to sink into the ground were very easy to do. Even our sign out front to tell everyone where we were parked was now a bear to stick into the ground. It's supposed to rain for the next couple of days, so it will be easy to do then.

Long story short, we got 'er dun! It was much more exhausting to move within the park than to go to another city. Mostly because it was a spur of the moment move and we made no preparation, but it's done now. Then, just after we finished up and were relaxing under the air conditioner, the power went out. I waited about ten minutes to give it a chance to reset itself, but nothing happened so I walked across to the office to report the problem. Just as I got to the office, Stella called to tell me that power had come back on, but it went off again and almost instantaneously went off again. I told Bob the owner about the power pedestal problem and he said he would come over and check it out soon. By the time I got back home, power had come back and stayed on. We never did figure out what the problem was but it had to be a low voltage problem that caused the surge protector to do its job and cut power because of low voltage to protect the appliances and air conditioners.

I came inside and laid down on the floor under the ceiling fan to cool off and almost went to sleep on the floor. U dozed for a little bit but woke to a major pain in my left shoulder and arm and feeling a bit nauseous. It scared me so I got up off the floor and immediately the pain and sick feeling went away. I guess I was just laying on my left side in an awkward position and just got too hot because I was soon feeling back to normal. I messaged Kim to ask her about what had happened and even though she's a nurse, just like a doctor, she told me to take aspirin and call her in the morning. At least she didn't charge me for an office visit or a consultation fee.

Tonight we were horrified to see the damage in Oklahoma. I called Larry Keever, the Oklahoma Chapter Leader and found out that they are fine. I called a few other Oklahoma members but could not get in touch with one couple that live in Moore OK, right in the path of the storm. I will be praying for them and all the other folks that are affected by the storms. May God bless them all.

So long.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday May 17, 2013-Elkhart Campground

There wasn't much of anything going on here today so today's entry will be about the grandsons. I've already told you about Tyler, who is the oldest, starting college at age 16, but Ian, the youngest reached a milestone in his own schooling by graduating from Pre-K. I haven't gotten any photos of this event yet but hope to soon and will post them.

The only one left is Cameron and instead of school, his accomplishment is on the baseball field. Cam is quite the athlete and loves to play baseball and football. His team,  the Bengals Black" is ranked the number 1 team out of 66 teams in the Triple AAA teams in South Texas 13U for USSSA with a 1226 power ranking and 650 UsssA points! 

I am a very proud grandfather, and thankful for all my kids. That's all I got today.

So long.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday May 16, 2013-Elkhart Campground

The weather is improving but it was still cold this morning, about 58 degrees, but it got hot later in the day. I got out pretty early this morning to go out munzeeing while it was still cool. I put in a couple of hours before my feet got tired and sweat was running into my eyes, so I came back home.

We went over to the Goshen Fairgrounds where the Holiday Rambler was starting to check out some vendors for our rally. We were disappointed to see that they only had about 25 vendors and nothing that we were interested in. 

Stella wanted to go to the Golden Corral for their all you can eat chicken wings tonight and since I still owed her for her Mothers Day meal, I took her over. It's not that far, about 10 miles but since we were in Goshen it took a long time to get there. We had a nice meal but ate more than we needed to, but at least she got what she wanted.

When we got home, we sat outside for awhile and I noticed the robin that had her babies flitting around. I walked over to check on her and the babies and discovered that two of them have hatched.

She built her nest on the rear ladder, between my Little Giant stepladder and the built-in ladder on the back of the trailer.

Two little bitty newborn robins. I don't mean to rush them but I need to use my ladder soon, so I hope they start growing feathers soon so they can get out on their own. I NEED MY LADDER BACK!

So long.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday May 15, 2013-Elkhart Campground

The last couple of days have had better weather. Cool mornings and warm days make me happy! This is more like it! We haven't been doing much, but I've been capturing lots of Munzees. I have learned to really like this game. It is a little time consuming but I am walking a lot and having fun doing it. A few of the munzees have frustrated me because I can find them but they don't capture and then don't show up on my list. Bummer!!!

I did get some good news from Tyler. He's in college now! At 16 years old! I've told you he takes after his PePaw! He is in the Gifted and Talented classes, as he has been since early in elementary school. When reaching high school, they are allowed to take high school for a half day and college in the second half of the day. By the time he finishes high school he will have 7 classes or in his second semester of his freshman year done.

We went down to the Heartland warehouse and started an inventory of all the door prizes that have been bought so far. This is going to be our job for the rally, and so far, so good. We should be able to enjoy more of the rally.

So long.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday May 13, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Yesterday, Sunday, it rained and was cold, so we didn't get out all day long. I'll be glad when they start the church services here in the park. They had a man that was staying here a couple of years ago that did a Bible study on Sundays but I haven't seen him back in the park yet, Perhaps he'll come back soon.

It was another cold morning, about 36 degrees, but the furnace and fireplace kept us warm. I'll be sooo glad when winter finally leaves for good, but that is beginning to look like July! The day improved with clear skies and warming temps, but it only warmed into the upper 50's but still a pleasant day.

Stella wanted to go shopping at Wal Mart, so I took her to the store and while she was inside shopping, I captured most of the Munzees that had been deployed in the parking lot. This was my first experience in large numbers but I think I did all right. Some of the Munzees that I captured did not show up so I recorded a few more than once, but my phone soon told me of those. I'll get it figured out soon and may go back out tomorrow to get some more. Today I went from only 1 capture, level 2 to

In case you don't know what a Munzee is, it is a cross between geocaching and a scavenger hunt. You are looking for small pieces of paper with a QR-code barcode and use a Smartphone to "capture" the Munzee. When deployed, or stuck onto a flat surface, the geographical and GPS coordinates are recorded by your Smartphone where the munzee is deployed. It can be camouflaged, or left in plain sight. Hopefully, the more I play, the better I'll get. It's real popular with my friends, but I probably won't be as avid as some of them. We'll see how this works out.

So long.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday May 11, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Thursday morning, I met with Jim for coffee outside and to wait on a visitor that would help me make a decision about buying  a new hitch. When he arrived, he referred me to another man, Dale Fenton, the inventor and designer for the Trail Air hitch that I have already. Dale told me that he will be doing some testing on the new hitch and gave me his number to call him before I make my decision next month.

Jim and I later rode over to the Heartland factory where he showed me where the door prizes are being stored and asked me to inventory these and separate them next week. He said that there may be other gifts arriving soon which will have to be added to the inventory. That will give us something to do next week.

Friday morning, Jim and Nancy pulled out, leaving us alone again... It's going to get lonesome back here all by ourselves. We later ran some errands and while at the factory, where I showed Stella where the storage office was, we ran into our neighbor Dave, who had his trailer in a shop after the rally. He was on his way back to the park to stay overnight and will go home tomorrow. When he got here, he said he had a major problem with his new hitch but Sonny had come by and picked it up and was working on it. Sure enough, he showed up a little after 6 and they reinstalled the hitch with some new parts. I will be very interested in how it works because it is exactly the same hitch that I am interested in.

This morning Dave pulled out with his brand new hitch installed. He pulled out with no problems and after a couple of hours, he called to tell me that the hitch performed exactly as he wanted, so maybe I'll have a new hitch soon.

The weather has turned bad, with cold temperatures and rain all day long. Stella washed our laundry and we stayed home all day. It was a good day to stay inside where it is warm and dry. The weather forecast is for warmer temps early next week. Hope they're right!

So long.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday May 8, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Today two more of our friends left, leaving only Jim and Nancy. Bernie and Judi left first, going back home to the St. Louis area and a couple of hours later, Tom and Gerre pulled out for Wisconsin. The place looks bare, with only the two Landmarks left.

We hung out here at home until late in the afternoon and went with Jim and Nancy over to Mishawaka yesterday to a big Sam's store to do some rally door prize shopping and then went out to eat at Cheddars. This was the first time we've ever been to a Cheddars that wasn't busy. We walked right in and got our table with a wait. I like it!

I've gotta make a comment about the weather. It has been perfect for the last week or so! It has been a bit chilly in the morning but by the time the sun comes up, it has warmed up and is nice. I know it will be getting hotter and hotter by June and we will be dreaming of these cool nights that are perfect for sitting outside with a firepit. Oh well, we'll deal with it.

So long.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday May 8, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Our friends began arriving on Tuesday for the Indiana Chapter rally.  

 The first five trailer have arrived and the fun began!

Dan did a good job of preparing hot dogs for us to eat. 

We had campfires every night and everyone enjoyed them. The weather cooperated for us and we had cool temperatures, perfect for campfires. This one was taken after several more rigs arrived.

A beautiful campfire! This is what a rally is all about in my opinion.

Almost everyone had arrived by Friday, and we went on a tour of the local Heartland dealer, RV Capitol Wholesalers. The dealership agreed to sponsor our rally and fed us a nice lunch of Subway sandwiches. We all enjoyed the visit and lunch.

We came back home and rested up before going on a factory tour, led by Rob Reid, owner of RV Capitol, Tim Hoffman and Bryan Walczak from Heartland. I always enjoy these tours and we will do another one at the national rally and I'll take some photos then.

Saturday we (mostly the guys) went to Mobile Outfitters to see some of the new items that they have for sale. Most of these will be offered at the rally also at special prices.

Just so you won't think we haven't eaten at the rally, we ate some pretty good Mexican food at El Maguey on Friday night, several went to Ryan's for breakfast on Saturday morning and we had our usual potluck on Saturday night.

Sunday morning, Jim, Nick (new member) and I made a potluck breakfast for everyone. Nick fried up some donuts and Jim made pancakes. I only made the coffee, but helped out where I could. Everyone enjoyed the send-off breakfast and we had some last visiting time before several folks had to pull out.

Monday, more rigs pulled out, some to take their trailer for service and the rest to return home and by Tuesday morning we were down to four trailers left. This was also the first day for the Shipshewana flea market for this summer, so we all went over to shop. I think everyone bought something, but we took a lunch break at the Auction House Restaurant. Good old fashioned food and served by Amish women.

Now the rally is over and everyone but us and Jim and Nancy are gone. I think they are staying until the weekend but we will be here until the big rally in June. This way, we won't spend much money on fuel- which is rising in price of course- and maybe we can slim down some before the marathon of eating at Goshen. It has been a fun time and best of all, we had a volunteer to take over the Indiana chapter. Congratulations to Hoyt and Mary!

So long.