Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Hard Travel Day to Burnt Cabins, PA

June 28 Friday, 2013

Wednesday night at the Spring Valley Campground in Cambridge OH it started to rain around midnight.  It rained all night and sort of let up during our morning departure routine.  We watch Raindar (mobile app) to see where the rain is and where it is going.  There was a narrow band, maybe 50 miles across but a couple hundred miles long north to south moving East and slightly North.  That was the thunderstorm that just passed us overnight. However, it looked like we were going to follow it in Pennsylvania.  That’s exactly what we did.  About 50 miles from our stop in Burnt Cabins, PA we caught up with the main part of the storm.  It just got worse as we went farther East.  Driving on the PA Turnpike is no real joy anyway with all of the trucks, hills, and curves.  Try doing that in rain and thunder to the point we couldn't see but just few feet and the truck tires were actually slipping going up hills due to the volume of water on the roads.  

The last 5 miles were the worst.   The exit for Burnt Cabins, 180, is on an upgrade curve with and emergency pull off right next to it.  As I approached the exit all I could initially see was all of the vehicle lights in the pull off making it look like there was major congestion at the exit.  It was only after I got in to the pull off that we found out it was not the exit!

We got to our new site at the Ye Old Campground at the Burnt Cabins Grist Mill safe but real tired.  This was one of our longest pulls for a while of 240 miles and with all of the rain and road conditions it was grueling   Then, to top it off, I got to set up for the first time in pouring rain.  Then, about half an hour after we got set up the rain went by us and stopped.  We took advantage of the dry conditions and went for a quick walk around and got a couple of subs for dinner at the camp store.  This is one of places where we wish we had more time to look around.  We are on a schedule to be in NJ by late Friday afternoon.

Our site in Burnt Cabins PA.

The Campground in behind the old Grist Mill.

The campground office and store.

Another view of our site.

A small nature trail at the campground.

Today we travel to Franklinville, New Jersey to our friends Debbie and Ian’s house.  Their place is about 191 miles from here in Burnt Cabins.  However, we need to negotiate Philadelphia on a summer Friday afternoon.  We need to hit Philadelphia midday to avoid most of the traffic, if that is possible.  We will be there until Monday when we move up to Sunny Rest Resort in the Poconos for a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned!

Wrap-up Indiana and Start to New Jersey

June 26 Wednesday, 2013  

Friday the 21st was our night with Bailey the oldest granddaughter, she’s 11.   I promised Bailey if she ate dinner we would go to Wendy’s for a frosty.  She did eat some after her mom came over and helped with getting some dinner eaten.  So we did get those frosty’s after all.  

It was sort of a crappy evening weather wise as it was on and off raining.  We planned a campfire and Patty made sure we had one even in the rain.  We made some smores for Patty and I as Bailey was too cold to be outside.  I stayed up with Bailey till around 11:30 and it seems that she stayed up most of the night watching TV, playing games on Patty’s phone and making her own smores (cold).  I guess she had fun.  Ah, tween!

Saturday the 22nd we went to visit with my brother Roger and my sister Diana.  We did some catching up and looked at all of the house projects they have lined up.  They had a lot of hail damage so with some insurance help, they are doing a lot of stuff to their house and garage.  They both look great.  Seems like life is being good to them right now.

Patty with new color, cut, and style by Diana

Diana and Patty

Sunday the 23rd we had breakfast with Roger and Diana at Bob Evans and then headed out back to Crawfordsville 60 miles away.  We went over to my son’s house and had our last evening with the grandkids.  My daughter in-law had some of her family over with kids so we didn't stay too long.  My son went to work at 5:30 pm so we left shortly after that.  Ah, back to our RV house!

Patty, Suzanne, and Bailey played HORSE.

Livy mugging for the camera

Livy climbing the fence to say bye to dad as he leaves for work

A view of our site from across the lake at the Sugar Creek Campground.  We are the left most RV in the center of this photo

Monday the 24th we started getting ready to leave Crawfordsville.  I rearranged the “basement” again.  As we move around the basement becomes less organized so every so often it needed special treatment.   After some work around the site we headed off for a lunch with my stepfather Leon and his wife Barbara at Cracker Barrel.   Leon always likes to be early so he arrived at 10:30 am for what he thought was an 11 am lunch with us.  The time we agreed on was 11:30 so he and Barbara spent almost an hour there before we arrived.  Since lunch wasn't served till 11, they had breakfast before we arrived to have lunch.  This seems to be happening a lot now with them.  We had a good meal and they had massive strawberry shortcake for dessert as we chatted.

Tuesday the 25th was a very busy day.  First, we are leaving the site today to go a short distance to New Paris OH 125 miles away.  We also have dentist appointments in town starting at 8:45 am.  So we were up at 6:30 and started getting the RV ready to leave.  Patty also had another Dr appointment in Lafayette at 11:30.  We wanted the RV set-up for travel when we got back from Lafayette.

After getting the RV set-up to leave we jumped into the truck to go to the dentist.  We wanted to be early so we wouldn't need to rush to Lafayette after the dentist.  That plan didn't work; the truck battery was too weak to start the truck.  That was the first time that happened!  I had turned on the truck auxiliaries so I could see the tire pressures from the tire pressure monitoring system before we left.  This is the first thing I do before we leave so I am not surprised as we are leaving with a low tire.  It looks like we are going to need new batteries very soon.  We will get new ones from Chas, Patty’s son in NJ.

We were able to get a jump start quickly and were on our way to just make the appointment on-time!  The good thing was we were still out of the dentist quicker that we had planned so we had time to go back and finish setting up the RV for our move.

Our lunch place in Lafayette.  Way too much fat, but good!
Menu at the lunch place.  I had a pork tenderloin sandwich and Patty had a Baltimore with horsey sauce.  Both came with great fries and we had a starter of onion rings.  We both needed more Nexium after this meal!

Where you picked up your order.

We arrived back at our site from Lafayette at 1:15.  We hooked and off we went just before 2 pm to New Paris.  We had no issues getting there, however, the Indiana part of Interstate 70 is in terrible shape.  There are even signs letting drivers know that the roads are in bad shape and to take caution!  I 70 is a very heavily traveled road with a speed limit of 70 mph.  I only travel at 61 mph so trying to avoid potholes and large cracks in the road was very hard.  At one point I slowed down to 45 mph and at another time I moved over to the left side of the road for a few miles and was still just doing 55 mph in the 70!  We made it to our site for the night by 4:30.  We had a long day and just chilled out in the RV mostly.


Our site at Archway Campground in New Paris Ohio

Today we traveled to Spring Valley Campground in Cambridge, Ohio which is about 200 miles west of New Paris.  This is still one of the shorter distances for a travel day for us which I like.  I like moving, just not all in one day.

Our site in Spring Lake Campground in Cambridge Ohio

Tomorrow we travel to Burnt Cabins Campground
Burnt Cabins, PA.  Sounds like an interesting place!

Stay tuned!

Travel from Berea KY to Crawfordsville IN, Medical stuff, and a Birthday

Friday June 21, 2013

Sunday we packed up and got on the road for my hometown, Crawfordsville, Indiana.  The trip was uneventful traveling up through Louisville Kentucky.  Then between Louisville and Indianapolis we ran through heavy rain for about 90 minutes.  That was the most rain we have driven through with the rig so far.  It really wasn't bad, just got the rig dirty is all. We arrived safe and sound at Sugar Creek Campground in Crawfordsville IN at 3:30 pm.

Bridge crossing into Indiana from Louisville Kentucky

I was a little anxious to get my new replacement phone (last one drown at Disney World) which was sent to my son's house about 1 mile away.  So we got our site set up and then went to the grocery store for one of those store cooked chickens and some side dishes for dinner to eat at my son's house.  My new phone was there and waiting for me.  I got a RAZR HD Max on Verizon service as a replacement for my drowned Bionic.  I'm use to the Motorola UI (User Interface) and I prefer it over the Samsung UI that my wife has.  I got somewhat familiar with her S3 the past couple of weeks without having a phone.  I was very pleased that the UI  only changed for the better on the RAZR. 

Just a note about Verizon and replacement phones. I don't' know if this is true with all carriers, but Verizon requires that if you purchase your phone from a 3rd party like I did from Amazon I need to verify my account with Verizon.  Amazon does this by sending me a text or phone call to my old phone.  Since my phone was dead, that couldn't happen.  So the phone needed to be sent to my billing address which is in South Dakota.  If I purchased the phone from Verizon (for triple the price) I could have it overnighted to me at Disney World.  For a savings of $120 I decided to wait the 3 weeks.

Monday we were up by 6am so we could get to Lafayette IN 30 miles north for routine lab work and the first of our doctors appointments.  We set up our medical teams here because we know we will be in this area a minimum of 2 times a year.  So the next 10 days have many doctor appointments for us.  I also had the dreaded colonoscopy on Wednesday.  

Monday evening we went over to see the grandkids for a while.  We played a new game called Mad Gabs.  Difficult to explain this game, but in essence you try to decipher  sayings that sound like the words you're are given by the game cards.  When you guess the correct saying you win that round.  It was fun!

Tuesday I went out and purchased the prep stuff for my colonoscopy on Wednesday.  Yippee!  Then we went for a visit with my stepfather Leon and his wife Barbara.  They live just a little over 3 miles from the campground.  We had a nice visit catching up and made plans for lunch next week before we leave.  After the visit is was time for me to start the prep.  I decided that I just wanted to stay home the rest of the night and enjoy the prep in peace!

Wednesday was my big day but first we both had doctor appointments in the morning before my procedure in the afternoon.  With the morning appointments over I got my procedure done.  They found 4 polyps that they removed.  The good news is that the Dr wasn't worried about them, although they need to be checked.  The bad news is that I need to now be checked every 3 years now.  Oh well, what can you do, it is what it is!  Anyway, I can now get back to enjoying myself.

Wednesday evening we had the grandkids and their parents over to our site for a BBQ.  By 6 pm I could finally eat real food after going without for 2 days.  I was ready for a burger now!

Thursday is Patty's birthday.  Since it is Patty's day, she decided we would stay in Crawfordsville for the day and have a Girls Night Out (GNO) with the granddaughters.  It was actually a short afternoon to a party store to get stuff for a joint party for Savannah and Patty this evening.  We also brought the girls over to the campground to swim again in the creek.  

Livy and Savannah
Savannah, Livy and Bailey from left to right

Savannah and Bailey covering up Savannah in sand and water

Livy bringing up the water to put on the sand that is going on Savannah.  She is using a pool noodle to carry the water.
Close-up of the bat caves on the river bank across from where we were on the creek

Bat caves along Sugar Creek in the upper left

Savannah making herself artistic with the pool noodle in the sand.
After the swim we decided to go out to eat in celebration of Patty's birthday at a nice restaurant in town, the Iron Gate.  After dinner we went back to my son's house and set up for the after dinner party.  I took Livy and Bailey to the RV to make Patty's favorite cake which is fresh strawberries mixed up with torn up pieces of angel food cake and whipped cream.  I like this too! With the cake made, we all met back up for the party desert event at my son's house.

Bailey, Savannah, and Livy with new dresses for the night out for dinner




All of the girls dressed alike in Patty's dresses for the birthday dinner

Bailey having her order taken.  The waiter is very young and new at this, he  told us that the fettuccine was served on noodles

Tony and Livy

Me being artistic.  This is an old 1834 church with the full moon in the bell tower.  Saw this on our walk back from the restaurant.
Savannah with the hat

Livy had the job of tearing up the cake.

Bailey had the job of cutting up the strawberries. No fingers were lost!

The birthday desert party including the cat.  Note the hat on Savannah

We decided to have each of the girls one at a time for a sleepover at the RV.  It is a little much to have them all at the same time and it also gives us some one on one time with them.  Tonight it was Savannah's turn to sleepover.  We stayed up watching the Disney channel until a little before midnight, then lights out, time for some sleep.

Today, Friday, Patty has an MRI scheduled in the afternoon in Lafayette.  No other plans for today just yet.  Tonight is Bailey's turn to sleepover at the RV.  Tomorrow we travel 50 miles to the east to visit with my brother and sister in Acton IN.  We will spend the night at my brother's house and return to the RV on Sunday.

Stay tuned!

Travel to Berea KY. RV Repair and Small Town Visit

Sunday June 16, 2013

Today we head to my home town, Crawfordsville Indiana 276 miles to the North West of where we are here in Berea Kentucky.  This will be our longest pull so far this year.  In our effort to slow down as best we can, we have been only traveling as far as one tank of fuel can take us.  We have a 38 Gallon fuel tank and that can take us roughly 250 - 270 miles without being on fumes when we get to our destination.  So we will probably need to pull off and get fuel this time.  Just depends on how hilly it is and how much traffic.

We arrived here at Walnut Meadows RV Park in Berea Kentucky on Friday around 3 pm.  We had no problems on the 236 mile pull up from Chattanooga TN. The park is quite a bit run down but at least the cost is only $20 a night and the WiFi works great!  I guess I shouldn't bitch much, the sites are mostly level, good size, lots of grass, and did I say only $20 per night!  The park is basically a place to pull over for a couple of days and chill.

Our site in Berea Kentucky

This area is very much in the heart of redneck country USA. We are just a half mile off of I 75 with all of the usual stuff you have at an interstate exit; Walmart, several gas stations, and every fast food joint you can think of.  Funny story - Friday we went to Walmart and saw 5 large people get into a 2 door 90s model pickup truck.  One of the ladies was actually hanging out of the passenger window!
Walmart parking lot.  5 full size adults in the cab of that pickup truck.

Yesterday we went into the town of Berea to check it out.  It really is surprising that this small town of 13,000 has so much stuff.  They have a public swimming pool, a college, an arts center, and many festivals, which we missed.  We walked the 4-5 blocks of the arts district in town in the afternoon.  We got an ice cream cone and just did a relaxing walk saying hello to people on the sidewalks as we went by.  It was sort of like being in Mayberry and Otis should have been at the gas station.  Several couples asked us where we got the ice cream as they wanted some too.  It was a nice afternoon!

This is the store where we got ice cream cones

Tourist trolley bus.  No one on it, but they are ready

The log cabin to the left dates to the revolutionary war.  The cabin use to sit  a few miles from here and was donated to the town by the descendants of the original inhabitants!

The town has lots of these hands done in many ways.  In the background there are 2 guys under the tent, one playing a guitar and the other playing a fiddle.

Hand made out of wire

The old Berea Hotel

When we arrived and set up the rig, the bedroom AC unit would not turn on.  It was getting an error code saying there wasn't any power to the control boards.  I tried rebooting the control system and turning off the breakers.  Nothing worked.  Good thing the temperature outside was only 80 and it was getting dark, the big AC unit in the living area could handle that load easily.  Saturday morning I climbed up on the roof, took the cover off of the AC unit, and then took off the cover to the control boards.  I was looking for a loose wire or a blown fuse, which didn't appear.  I then checked with my volt meter for power and there definitely was no power at the unit. So the problem seems to be somewhere in the rig itself.

My next move to diagnose the AC power missing was to check the circuit breaker panel in the rig.  The breaker panel is located in the kitchen below the area where we have our coffee pot.  I have been wanting for some time to pull off the breaker cover and see how it was wired.  This was going to be my time to do it.  The cover comes off real easy with the removal of 5 screws.  As I was figuring out how the panel worked I noticed 4 burnt wires in a row! Upon further examination, I found that the 3rd wire down was the one that caused the others to overheat.  I also noticed that the wire was loose in it's connection.   Ha Ha!  I found the problem, a loose wire in the breaker panel.  I tightened the wire and turned on the AC and it started up immediately!  Problem solved!

What we have found is that warranty repairs are a pain in the ass.  First, it takes weeks to get an appointment at an RV dealer.  If I had to take this in for a warranty fix it could have been several  weeks if a part was needed.  RV dealers do not seem to stock warranty parts, everything must be ordered from the manufacturer.  When you live in the RV, this can be a real pain.  This is why I try to fix stuff or at least have an idea of the parts needed so I can work on getting the parts delivered before I arrive to have the work done.  So far this has worked for us and our manufacturer, Prime Time, has worked with us to get things done.

We are heading out of Kentucky in about 2 hours (10 am) for Crawfordsville Indiana.  We should arrive around 2:30 pm. We have doctors visits over the next 3 days including an 8 am blood work appointment in the morning in Lafayette (the home of Perdue University), an hour away from our site in Crawfordsville.  Then on Wednesday I have a colostomy scheduled in the afternoon.  The colostomy is fine, it's the freaking prep on Tuesday that I dread.  Oh well, need to have some "crap" so the good is so much better!

These are some pictures around the campsite.

The clubhouse from long ago here at the campground

An old bus conversion (into and RV).  Just behind the driver is a telephone on the back wall.  In another life I would love to do a bus conversion.

An old fire truck

Nameplate on the fire truck.

This is a picture of Rosie, our plant just after we arrived in Florida in December.  She was liking the Florida weather and was blooming even though she had very few leaves.

Now look at her!  She has lots of leaves and has 15 - 20 buds at any given time.  She just didn't have any flowers at this time which has been unusual for the past few months.  She usually has 3-6 flowers every day.  Maybe she knows she is going back north!

Very cool flower pots at this campsite.

Stay tuned!