Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wednesday May 30, 2018-Moving Day-Peculiar Park Place Resort to Gunsmoke RV Park, Dodge City KS

We had another uneventful travel day today. We were up and on the road a few minutes after 9, even taking time to fill up with fuel at a Flying J service station, where fuel was a good price, so we took advantage. Stella found some "new" sandwiches, a sausage and egg and bacon and egg, both of them on French toast bread. Mine was just okay, but it was a good experiment.

We only made two pit stops again, the first at a rest stop in Kansas and the second at a very small truck stop out in the boonies. We did take time out to let the dogs out alongside the highway. We found a place where the grass had been mowed, and took them out for their own little break.

The only interesting things that happened today was that we saw a bull in a pasture that had the largest horns we've ever seen. It was a longhorn bull and it was not the length of the horns but the diameter. Those things had to be 6 or 8 inches around! 

The other interesting thing was that we got stuck behind a big truck carrying a load of round bale hay. He must have had 10 or more bales on his truck but he managed to drive at a decent speed, so I just stayed behind him. He was being followed by a couple of cars that refused to pass him and a motorhome that did find a long enough stretch to pass this group of cars and truck. He has more guts than I do, to pass this group with fairly heavy traffic. I must have had to follow him for 40 miles or so before he finally turned off. Then, when we got here to the Gunsmoke, the motorhome that passed was here ahead of us! I went by to talk to those folks but they were gone somewhere.

We did find some Shell diesel fuel at a great price here, so we filled up again. this will give us plenty of fuel for our stay in Creede.

Just one more overnight stop!

So long.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tuesday May 29, 2018-Moving Day-Double J Campground to Peculiar Park Place Resort, Peculiar MO

We made an uneventful drive from Chatham Illinois to Peculiar Missouri. We pulled out about 9:30 and made very good time on the freeway. We had freeway driving all day and it was a nice trip.

We only made two pit stops today (hooray for Stella!), the first in a rest area, which we always like to do, and the second at a large truck stop where we picked up a couple of sandwiches. I love truck stop burritos, but haven't been able to find any recently. Rest assured, I'll keep looking!

We saw a large coyote loping down the road. He got near us and turned off out into the pasture and his normal running grounds. This is the first time we've actually seen a coyote in the wild, not counting carcasses on the shoulder of the road. Nice...

We crossed the Mississippi river at Hannibal Missouri, home of Mark Twain. We should plan a trip here to explore this area sometime. I never really thought about it until now.

It was rather confusing when we got to the Kansas City area. I knew we were in Missouri, but all of a sudden I saw a large Welcome to Kansas sign along side the road. Then, a few miles down the road, we saw another welcome (back) to Missouri. I knew the park has a Missouri address and we have been this way before, but I guess it never hit me that we went through Kansas in ten minutes!

We pulled in here and were soon checked in and escorted to out site. In no time at all we were hooked up. This site (#58) is very unlevel and we ended up with three tires off the ground, but there was no rocking, so all is well.

The trip will continue tomorrow, please stay tuned.

So long.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday May 28, 2018-Moving Day-Elkhart Campground to Double J Campground, Chatham Illinois

It feels pretty good to be back to my blog for day-to-day reports on our travels. I tried the Facebook thing and didn't like it, so here I am, back "home".

I woke about 6:30 to begin getting ready to leave. Stella had already gotten up and had the coffee brewing and was busy packing stuff away. We had a quick breakfast and the packing began in earnest.

We took our time and were ready to go a little after 9 and it didn't take long to get back on the Indiana Toll road, and we were off! We made good time, with light traffic, and made our first pit stop on the toll road at one of their very convenient "service plazas" that are about 30 miles apart. They are so nice and I wish Texas would do something similar with our rest stops. It could be done easily, by selling or leasing some land to a convenience store/fast food restaurant for snacks and soft drinks for hungry and thirsty travelers.

We made another stop at a run-down service station/truck stop on I-55. It was laid out funny and we had to park out in a separate lot with the big rigs and walk a long way to get into the store to use the rest rooms. We decided to pick up something to eat while we were there and bought a couple of sandwiches to eat in the truck. It turned out that we only got one sandwich that was really thick, so we ended up with a half sandwich each but they were very tasty.

We ran into some rain along the highway. The clouds rolled up and I could see the rain in front of us, but by the time we reached the storm, it had broken up a bit. We still got some ran but it wasn't too bad after all. 

We had no further incidents and pulled into the Double J Campground about 3:30 Central time. Don't forget that we had been on Eastern time while we were in Elkhart!

This is just the first stop in a four stop week of traveling to Creede Colorado.

So long.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday May 27, 2018-Elkhart Campground

I want to begin with yesterday. We took our new friends Chuck and Gayle over to Wakarusa IN and the Wakarusa Dime Store. First, the name Wakarusa. The actual source of the name is unknown. It was first traditionally believed to be from a Native American tribe, with its meaning "knee deep in mud". A more recent source claims a settler named it after a location in Kansas. At any rate, it's a beautiful little town with huge, beautiful trees hanging over the streets.

We had a good time shopping the nostalgic little Dime Store, trying to keep ourselves from buying one of each item in the store. Many brought back memories of our childhood but some were newer items that looked delicious.

We ended up on a scenic drive through Amish country, ending up in Goshen, where Chuck wanted to take a look at the Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds for future reference for a rally. Since we have been there several times, we were glad to show them around.

This was a good way to end out time in Elkhart on a positive note. The RVillage rally had left us with a bitter taste.

We are leaving Monday for a 4 night-stop trip to Creede Colorado. Please stay tuned.

So long.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

First of all, I want to say, I'm Baaaack! 
I tried the experiment with a Facebook page and wasn't satisfied with the response, so I decided to go back to my blog page.

We attended the RVillage Rally One at the Elkhart Campground in Elkhart Indiana, a park that we have been to several times. We have hosted a couple of rallies here and generally like this park very much. We love the owners, Bob and Gita and appreciate all the hard work that they put in to keep it clean and running properly.

I was interested in attending the first rally for RVillage, a page on the Internet, that I have seen as the "Facebook page for RV'ers" and hoped it would go well. I expected some hiccups on a first timer in large rallies, but nothing like the mess that was created here. We have attended many rallies over the years with the Heartland Owners Club and now appreciate even more the skill and dedication of Jim Beletti and the team that produces the Heartland National rallies.

Since I have a background in rallies, I volunteered to work on the parking crew. I know how important it is to give people a good experience at a rally, and that experience begins with parking. Stella was asked to work in the registration booth and she was glad to help.

The main meeting tent, where the group activities were held, the opening and closing meetings and the huge potluck dinner. Although all of them were late beginning, things went off well.

As you can see, we were near the tent, which made out walk an easy one, but it put us directly in the path of people walking across our lot to get to the tent. It didn't bother me, but the dogs didn't like it one bit!

These are the metal fabricated "Fire-birds" that were a highlight to Curtis, owner of RVillage and producer of this rally. They were very interesting and beautiful when the fires were lit inside them. More pictures to follow.

Here you see a start to the mess that was made of parking people. The rally was over booked, although that was denied. How is it not overbooking when you schedule 240 rigs or so to attend a rally in an RV park that holds 200? I have never seen this many units in any RV park at one time.

More double parking. The first unit to arrive was asked to pull forward as far as possible to allow a shorter unit to park behind it, sharing the pedestal and sewer. One unit was given the 50 amp service and the second was given 30 amp and they shared the sewer. 

Some units pulled straight in behind and some were parked at right angles behind. 

Luckily, most sites are large enough to accommodate this method of cramming in more units than designed for.


It rained heavily before we arrived and a couple of times during our time here for the rally. Luckily the grassy areas were hard packed and didn't rut as I feared.

Boon-dockers! In my opinion, these are very fancy and high-priced rigs to be staying at an RV park without basic utilities. Some of these may have volunteered to do this, but Stella and I will never do so. I know that Curtis and some others moved out of their full hookup sites to free them up for others, which was a good thing. At least the weather cooperated and it wasn't very hot.

There were some different rigs on hand. This is called a Uni-Cat all terrain vehicle. 

There was also a VERY expensive New Horizons unit in attendance. These are very nice, custom-built trailers that are built very well and very heavy.

Above and below shows the turnout for the closing ceremonies. Just like everything else, the timing changed at the last minute and still had a late start.

Lighting up the Fire-birds.

Close-up views of the two Fire-birds.

The Bobby Dunne band. They were a decent band.

Is that a UFO?

No, just a private drone, that took some videos of the festivities. HERE is the video that was taken.

Another member of the parking crew, Dave and his wife Staci, lit up their site and had a party every night with their neighbors.

This is my parking crew partner Diane and her husband Steve, who also worked on the crew.

This is Bill, another "supervisor" of the parking crew. He and Dave, who was actually named as the supervisor have worked together before on other events.

To elaborate a bit more about the foul-ups at this rally, nothing went as planned, Nothing! Seminars were moved without notice, the rooms were not properly marked, confusion everywhere! We were never given an agenda, but were told to download an app for a smart phone to get one. Those of you that know Stella, know her opinion of smart phones, so she was very upset by not knowing what was going on. She said that in preparing the rally bags for distribution, they started putting an agenda into each bag, but ran out, so instead of making more, they pulled them out and threw them away! I will now stop ranting about this rally, but rest assured, this will be our last one.

On the upside, we met some nice new friends while we were here. We met Chuck and Gail Woodbury, editor of RV and a friends of theirs, Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM, who gave a good seminar on traveling with pets. Dr. Deanna also writes a column on RV Travels. I have already added a free subscription to RV Travels and find it helpful and interesting.

We also met Steve and Diane, whom I told you about earlier, and fellow parking crew members Dave and Staci from Washington state. We met neighbors Tom and Cheryl, who are fairly new to full timing and were first-time rally-goers. There were many more acquaintances that were here.

All in all, I made a mistake in attending this rally and own it, but it was still a good experience and I will continue to stay in touch with the friends I have made.

I am also going to welcome myself back to this blog. I'm going to keep it up better through the summer in Colorado, where we will be traveling next week.

So long.