Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday June 29, 2013-Heartland Resort

We stayed home for most of the morning due to heavy rains off and on during the morning. If you remember, a pretty good rain shower sent us running home from Mack and Mattigene's place last night and it continued through the night. 

One thing I didn't mention in yesterday's post about the Air Force Museum is the fact that the tours of the presidential airplanes has been stopped due to cutbacks in the government. It's a shame that this has happened because there was little or low cost to take folks by bus to tour the former Air Force One airplanes which are off the museum grounds. As far as I know, the planes are still here but unavailable to the public. 

Today we made a drive over to a huge outlet mall in Edinburg IN. Although it's about 30 minutes south of Indy, it is also a little over an hour from Louisville KY and this place is HUGE! Most of these factory malls are the same and offer the same brands and this one is no exception. Even though Mack and I didn't do much shopping, the girls did a fine job. Stella didn't buy anything and Mattigene only spent about a dollar, so it was a good day for the budgets! Since we live in our trailer, there isn't much room for an excess of "stuff" so we're pretty picky about our shopping and try to stick to one new item in and an old one out so we don't build up too much. Have to watch that trailer weight!

When we got to the mall, a small but pretty powerful rain shower came over us and dropped a lot of water but we managed to stay dry. Of course, I had gone out to capture a couple of Munzees but only got one before the clouds and thunder sent me scurrying back under shelter at the mall.

When the shopping spree was over, we drove back home where we looked after our dogs before going to the local Mexican food restaurant, the El Nopal. The food was good and we had a good time. We ended the meal with some of the 50¢ ice cream cones at Burger King. If you haven't tried them, you MUST!

We came back home and sat outside, listening to the 4th of July music from the pavilion across the lake before the cool night air sent us inside. It was in the low 60's but felt cooler after the hot days we have had. I'll take it!

So long.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday June 28, 2013-Heartland Resort

Here you will see some of the photos I took at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base Museum of the Air Force. Stella and I went through this back in 2009 and there have been some major changes since then.

We will start with aircraft from World War II.

The museum has added many mannequins to the displays, adding a lot of interest.

 A lot more interest! These are very lifelike figures.

As you can see, aircraft are crammed in here in every available space, including some hung from the rafters.

This set portrays the Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle raid on the Japanese military facilities. The raid caused negligent damage to the Japanese but the boost to the morale of the American people resulted in the promotion of Doolittle to Brigadier General, skipping over the rank of Colonel.

This is the largest aircraft that we saw today, a B-52 Stratofortress. I am told that this airplane was suspended in the building before its completion and the roof and other supporting beams were added after. It is HUGE! 

They have several drones displayed here. 

How would you like to look in your rear view mirror and see all those machine guns coming up behind you?

A Huey helicopter from the Vietnam era. 

 The F-22 Raptor modern day stealth fighter.

 Here is a picture of Mack looking at another huge bomber.

The B-2 Spirit bomber. I've seen these in flight and they are MUCH larger than they seem.

 The Pave Low covert entry helicopter. See below

 The RF-4C fighter used in Desert Storm.

 This pilot apparently hated camels, taking out 65 of them. I feel pretty certain that there was something attached to or riding on these camels.

 The Apollo 15 module. 

Some of the Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles. This is another new display for us and just more HUGE displays. 

 Monstrous defenders of the United States.

Notice again the size of this airplane and the backwards-facing propellers.

I'm not sure of the area of the museum, but it certainly wore Mack and I out! It was absolutely worth the drive and we had a great time.

We ran through some heavy rains on our way back to Greenfield and one minor accident that backed traffic up a lot due to the slick roads. We made it back safely and we had some of Stella's great soup waiting for us when we got back. We played a few hands of dominoes before another rainstorm chased us inside. Great Day!

So long.

Thursday June 27 2013-Heartland Resort

It has been cooler here than at home but it's still plenty warm! We went to a flea market in Strawtown that Mack knew about. Many of the booths are outside and even though it was just after noon, the vendors were packing up to leave. A couple of the men told me that they arrive about 5 AM, so when it starts to get hot, they go home. I don't really understand that business plan, but then they didn't ask me for advice either.

Mack then took us for a drive out in the country around Indianapolis and we saw some beautiful homes and scenery. We had a bite of lunch at a small Mexican restaurant before returning home. 

We went inside and rested (napped) before coming back outside to chat with Mack and Mattie until it began to get dark, about 9:30. That's also when the skeeters start coming out, so it works out pretty well. Mack and I made plans to go to the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio tomorrow, so I wanted to rest up. Stella and I went there back 2009 and I remember walking a lot, but it's a great museum and worth the time.

So long.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday June 26, 2013-Heartland Resort

I skipped over Tuesday because it was a very slow rest day. Stella went to the laundry and washed our dirty clothes and I took care of some chores around here. Other than that, we napped and rested up after almost two weeks of rallying.

Wednesday morning after breakfast, we went into Greenfield so I could capture some Munzees. I "capped" all of them except three that were not there. I marked them and sent a message to the person that had deployed them, so hope he will take care of them. I have found some more in nearby cities and some other areas, so I'll be able to keep busy.

Our friends Mack and Mattigene came over yesterday from their home in Carmel. We had a nice visit with them for most of the afternoon. We went for a ride and ended up at the Ponderosa for supper. We came back here and made plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week that they are here with us. It's good to see our friends and catch up with them.

So long.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday June 24, 2013-Moving day-Goshen Fairgrounds to Heartland Resort, Greenfield IN

Most of our Heartland friends had left yesterday (Sunday) and today several of those that had stayed pulled out, including us. We went out to eat with our friends Doug and Judy at the Supreme Oriental Buffet, while about 75 or so of the others ate a potluck of leftover rally food. Everyone was pretty tired today and we sat outside chatting with Doug and Judy for awhile before we were chased back inside by the skeeters.

Just about dark, which is about 9:30 up here, I decided to go capture some Munzees. I found a virtual Munzee, which is one that is special, and you only have to be within 300 feet of it to capture it. I asked Stella if she would like to be the one to cap this one and she did. She did a fine job and I went and got a few more before it got too dark and we quit for the night. I may get Stella as interested in the game as I am.

This morning our neighbors Duane and Debbie pulled out about 6AM to take their trailer in for some service, but we weren't in that big of a hurry. I didn't go outside until about 8 o'clock and it only took an hour for us to be ready to go. We pulled out a few minutes after 9 when we pulled out. We exchanged hugs and handshakes with our remaining friends in the area and were soon on our way.

I had a bit of misfortune before we even got out of Goshen. I had forgotten to secure the flap on the kitchen vent, but was reminded when we were driving on the same road out of Goshen where another one blew off a previous trailer. I pulled into a parking lot to fix the flap but as soon as I touched it with the rod used to lock it down, it broke off. I did catch the vent cover and will try to fix it.

We made excellent time and only made one stop at a rest area on I-69. Of course, the first thing I did was get out my phone to check for Munzees. Rest areas are hotspots for Munzees and sure enough, there were three there. I capped them and we were soon on our way again. The only thing was that I took a lot of extra time, but we have plenty of time to get to the next park.

Here's our place. The sites are pretty close together, but it's nice to back up to the lake. 

I mean we're RIGHT on the lake! The food thing is, we can leave the rear blinds up because there is no one behind us but some ducks.

I am always surprised at how tired I am when we travel. I always have a cup of coffee and drift right off to sleep after getting my chores done and today was no exception. I talked to our friend Mack and he will be coming out here on Wednesday. It will give us a chance to rest up tomorrow before they get here. We're looking forward to seeing them again and catching up with Rayford.

So long.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday June 23, 2013-Goshen Fairgrounds

I know I've been remiss-again!- in posting here but the rally has really worn me out! It is over now, so I'll give you a quick overview of what we did. I was pressed into service for parking and enjoyed the two days that I helped out. Most of the time I rode with my friend Doug, but did get a few that I got parked. This place is so big with so many parking areas, it took several drives around to learn where each area was located.

Once the rally started, it was a blur of activities, seminars, many meals and lots of visiting with friends both old and new. With around 250 trailers here, it was impossible to see everyone but I tried to. With friends all over the country and in Canada, you'd think we'd be able to get together with them at other times, but some are working and others live in other areas of their state than we're visiting so we only see them at rallies.

We had a busy day on Wednesday, going to a Heartland Leadership meeting, then to a Wisconsin Meet and Greet and then a Michigan Meet and Greet. All served food, so at the end of the day we were stuffed! We went home to relax and then went out to sit outside in our yard with our flashing lights going. It was a nice time to sit and chat with friends, and several people stopped by to look at the lights and to join in the chatting. This was an every night occurrence sitting outside and visiting with friends.

I met a few fellow bloggers while we were here, Malcolm and Val, Larry and Samantha, and saw several new people that are thinking of starting a blog at a seminar put on by Kelly on blogging.

I went to a seminar by Lippert Components and learned that they planned to bring a crew out to put the new fluid into our hydraulic leveling systems to prevent an annoying popping noise. The work was done early Friday afternoon and required us to put the slide out rooms in and then run the jacks up and down a few times to get the fluid distributed. There were no problems in getting this done and we left to get the door prizes ready to distribute tonight and then had supper with entertainment afterwards, when we got back home we learned that the Lippert guys had come back over and had mistakenly added more of the expensive additive instead of our neighbor's. Since he and others in our neighborhood needed this service done, they had scheduled more work to be done on Saturday. I was told that the additional fluid wouldn't hurt a thing and should improve the working of our system. I guess time will tell whether this clears up the problem.

The service guys did another outstanding job of working on the various rigs here. They got us fixed up right after we arrived, since we were in the Pre-rally group. I added another item that I wanted them to do but they weren't able to get to it. Oh well, it's not that big of a deal and I'll get 'er dun on my own.

I did help Michael, Bob and another fellow when they replaced Michael and Kelly's awning slide cover. There wasn't room for me to help on a ladder but I fetched parts and tools as needed. Hey, every little bit helps when it's hot outside and I kept someone from having to climb down off a ladder to get a small part.

The entertainment was good throughout the rally. We had a disc jockey that played 50's, 60's and 70's music and lots of folks danced to the music that we all grew up with. Dave Hallett, Mr. Hypnosis, was back again this year and his act was hilarious! He started with 14 volunteers that wanted to be hypnotized and they did great! This time, a couple of the guys went to "sleep" and didn't participate in the fun, but we learned that this is normal. Dave (Cookie) did this last time but when asked after it was over, he said he did everything asked of him. I didn't get a chance to ask these guys this time, but I suspect their answers will be the same. They are so deeply hypnotized that their body doesn't respond. The last act, last night, was the Gold Wing Express and they were AWESOME! We felt especially good about them because we had suggested them to Jim and actually went with him the night that he signed them up to perform here. I still can't believe that they drove all night from West Virginia to get here and left when the performance was over to go back for more performances there.

Today was the final day and we joined many others in the rally hall for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. After many hugs and handshakes, the rally was over. We will see many of these folks at their state chapter rallies in the next couple of months. 

We have had a great time here at the rally and look forward to next year in Virginia.

So long.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday June 14, 2013-Goshen Fairgrounds

I woke early today and began working on yesterday's blog entry with all those photos. The photos can take a long time to upload, depending on the Internet connection, but the park has a pretty good signal and they didn't take too long. I took over 250 pictures, so it took some time to choose which ones to  use. Gotta love digital photography!

Bernie came over about 9 and we went out and capped some Munzees until my phone battery died and I had to stop. I returned home and finished up the blog entry and then spent some time catching up on the computer. I haven't been on for a week or so, so I am very far behind on the forums and other places that I frequent.

I talked to Mack, my friend that we are going to visit after the rally and we made some plans and decisions on our visit. Mack had found a county park that is very pretty and backs up to a river, and is prettier than the Heartland Resort that we had planned to stay at. The problem is, we would have had to move for the 4th of July at the county park and we can stay in place at Heartland. Beside that, I like the name better. We are looking forward to our time with them.

Tonight we went to a "pig pull" a meal of pulled pork 'tater salad beans and a drink that a Heartland employee had won in a raffle. They furnished food enough for 200 people and even though we were under that number from the rigs here today, they ran out of food before everyone got something to eat.

A bunch of our friends came back to our place and sat outside chatting until the chilly temps sent us inside. Can you believe this weather? Cool nights, enough for a jacket in June... Wow!

So long.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday June 13 2013-Goshen Fairgrounds

We went on some tours of a plant and some private collections today and had a great time. Unfortunately, Stella was not able to go along, but there were plenty of friends with me.

Here we are, loaded onto the bus and ready to head out. There were probably 47 or 48 of us on the tours.

 The first stop on the tour was at the RV Parts Nation store. We also went to this store during the Indiana rally a few weeks ago and they have added even more inventory since we were there.

The next stop was at one of the Mor Ryde plants (there are 3 plants in the Elkhart/Goshen area. They fabricate many items for RVs and other products, and the factory tour showed us just some of them.

A robotic welder at work. 

This demonstrates the size of metal that the lazer cutting device can cut.  

These guys are using a large bender to form metal. 

They produce not only RV parts, but many other items. These are the metal bases for hospital beds.

These are stainless rails for hospital beds. They are bent and formed in huge presses.

Time out for lunch. Get it? The Sports Time grill? 

We had soup, a choice of three sandwiches and a salad. 

This unmarked building has one of the most interesting collections in it. 

We met a man named Tom who is a huge collector of Studebakers. He is also a mechanic for these cars, but also has a very nice wood shop, vehicle painting area, all of which are spotless and neatly arranged. He is also an oil painter with a huge collection of paintings, including an artist named Vargas. Most of the men reading this will recognize him from Playboy magazine.

This old Studebaker truck is being overhauled. Tom didn't say how many people work on these vehicles, but it takes a LOT of work.

From Tom's car collection, we went out to a private residence that houses the Elcar & Pedal Power Museum. 

Lots and lots of pedal cars found here. 

They even have an old soda fountain set up.

There were so many pedal-powered cars, trucks, bicycles and tricycles, that I couldn't add too many more photos. The Roy Rogers/Dale Evans collection brought back lots of memories!

 This is a Mercer automobile. They were only produced from 1909-1925 but this one was one of only three built in 1931 by a company that took over production, and this is the only one remaining in existence.

They also have a nice exhibit of restored gas pumps and I thought this was the best one but I don't know why it is sideways. Please tilt your head or hold your computer sideways to check it out.

Did you know that autos were built here in Elkhart? I didn't either, but they were. Autos were produced from the early 1900's until about 1935.

This is a 1908 Brownie two seater roadster-juvenile motorcar. It was built in Newark New York by the Omar Motor Co. and sold new for $150.

This is a 1926 Elcar 8-81 Landau roadster with a Lycoming 8 cylinder engine. I remember hearing of Lycoming engines in airplanes but not in autos.

This is another Elcar 8-90 Landau Roadster. The car was found in a barn and not restored. They left it pretty much as found and is a very interesting car. 

They also have a nice collection of soft drink machines. The old names bring back memories and of course, many of us can remember these old machines. The blue Pepsi-Cola machine and the yellow Royal Crown cola machine are both marked 10 cents. How long has it been since you could buy ANYTHING  for a dime?

1930 Custer Electric Chair.  

They have a nice collection of muscle cars here but I didn't photograph them too much since they are modern cars.

Our bus driver did a fantastic job of backing down this long driveway! First he backed into the driveway off a very narrow country road and backed up for what seemed like a half mile.

A modern military Hummer equipped with a 30 caliber machine gun. It also has the proper radios to communicate with headquarters. 

A simulated machine gun nest with replica guns and ammunition. Very, very realistic!

A Vietnam-era Jeep and trailer. 

 Rockets and ammunition on a flatbed trailer.

The owner has a nice collection of amphibious vehicles complete with weapons.

A deuce and a half personnel carrier 

Many realistic weapons. I spoke with the owner and learned that some are replicas and some are real, but demilitarized and inoperable. The ammunition is either replica or fired rounds with a bullet inserted to resemble live ammunition.

Army motorcycles. 

We had a great time visiting these collections. We are lucky to have been able to visit and were the first group to ever visit them. A Heartland employee went to school with a couple of the owners, and since they are all pretty close together, they knew of the other and allowed us to visit. Our thanks go to the individual owners.

So long.