Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Leaving Indiana, arriving Ohio. Annoying RV Manufacturers and repair people

June 26 - 27, 2014 

Thursday the 26th we slept in at the hotel that the RV manufacturer was paying for and then had a just OK hotel free breakfast.  The only good part about the breakfast was that it was free.  It was the standard carbohydrate type loaded in fat, sugar and flour.  Of course I had to have biscuits and gravy; I had not had any since being in Indiana.
It’s very hard to get going any farther east and this far north.

After breakfast, we arrived at Recreational Specialists around 11:30 am and picked up the RV to head east.  The RV had been moved about 50 feet further from the shop since we left it the day before.  We also had an RV on each side of us now. Ron, the owner, was not there so we couldn’t discuss a new time for the repair to the frame.  We hitched up and were out of there heading to Gibsonburg OH for our first stop on our way to visit friends Pete and Beckey who we met during the winter in Natures Resort in Texas.

We decided to take Route 20 to travel the180 miles to Gibsonville OH.  We could have taken the interstate toll road 80/90 but that is so boring.  We, like a lot of others, have found that taking the smaller roads is so much more relaxing and fun. The time goes so much faster when there is something to look at.
Amish horse and buggy as we are leaving north Indiana on rout 20.

Entering Ohio on Route 20.

There was a little surprise in Gibsonburg as the RV park we were going to was closed to transients like us.  They are now just for seasonal rentals.  We pulled into the campground and needed to turn around to get out and were met by a very nice lady from the office.  We asked about somewhere close to stay and she gave us the information about the County park not more than 2 miles away.  So we headed to White Star Quarry Park just on the edge of Gibsonburg.

White Star was a much better fit for us than the other place.  A little pricey for a county park at $25 a night without a sewer hook-up.  They have an easy dump station on the way out so it is fine and works for us.  The sites are big just as you would think a county park to be.  The water was a shared station so I just parked and then ran my hose to it and filled our fresh water tank for the 2 nights we would be there. 

Our site at White Star Park.

Another view before dark. Restrooms are the building on the left.

Before I could fill the fresh water tank I needed to get the hose from the under floor compartment on the driver’s side of the RV.  Wow, the compartment is locked!  We never lock any of the compartments as it would cost much more to fix a broken door/lock than what someone could steel from us. 

Anyway, none of the other compartments were locked including the one for the outside TV.  This was strange as we would have thought that if Recreational Specialists wanted to lock up the RV as it was sitting outside they would have locked all of the compartments.  Also, Recreational Specialists didn’t have a key for these compartments so how did it get locked?  Is there a special universal key for these doors? 

Now we need to find the key to get the compartment unlocked.  Since we don’t lock these we weren’t sure which key fit these and just where it was.  We keep all of our keys in the RV in a sort of hidden place but easy to get to.  

Patty found the key and as I opened the door it didn’t feel right.  This compartment door has 2 air pistons to help open it and to keep it open.  The right side piston fell off as the door opened and the other one was very loose.  It looks like someone opened the door not knowing it had these pistons and tried to force the door all of the way open.  After they found out they made a mistake, they slammed the door closed pushing the piston supports into the door, denting it on both side as well as dislocating the right side piston.

We were both just a little pissed off, maybe more than pissed off!  I sent Ron at Recreational Specialists an e-mail with pictures explaining the situation and especially about the compartment being locked.  We believe that whoever opened the compartment and damaged it, locked it for some reason.  Anyway, since we don’t lock our compartments and didn’t give them a key to do so or tell them where the keys were, we think there must be a universal key that they have. A random thief in the area wouldn’t open a compartment, not take anything and then lock it.  It had to be someone at Recreational Specialists.

Ron got back to me the next morning and basically said no one was responsible for this at his place.  He can’t explain why the door was locked after being damaged but his people had nothing to do with it.  Someone at his place is not telling him the truth.  Not much I can do about it now.  I did do a walk around the RV before we left to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the outside and to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be as a precaution. I don’t want to, but I guess next time I will check the compartment doors and make sure nothing is broken or missing.

The bigger picture with the door is that the damage is not that big of a deal.  On Friday the 27th I fixed the door myself with some left over Bondo body epoxy I had.  I removed all of the piston hardware and propped the door open so I could work on it.  I filled in the dents in the inside of the door with some rubber and epoxy I had and also filled in the mounting screw holes with more epoxy.  After the epoxy dried, I refitted the door hardware and the one piston that fell off.  The door was as good as new, maybe better, within a couple of hours of easy work.  All's well that ends well!

My fixes with epoxy and rubber sheet.

We also found out from Prime Time Manufacturing that we have tentative date of September 22nd to have our frame repaired.  I am more than pissed about the word tentative. We are changing our travel schedule to return to Elkhart IN in September and all Prime Time can do is give us a tentative date.  The date really depends on the frame manufacturer Lippert.  One would think that Prime Time could use a little leverage and force Lippert to act more professional in fixing their frame issue.  It seems they don't have enough traveling welders to handle the emergency road repairs and the people like us who are trying to not become an emergency!

The rest of the day on Friday we did our own things.  Patty made some more cut shirts and I went for a trail walk in the park.  I got some new sneakers that I wanted to try out and the park has some nice wide trails around an old quarry.  I managed to get in a 5 mile walk/jog with only one blister on my right heel.  Now my feet and new shoes are matched and broken in!
The quarry in the county park.  This is a swimming area.

Picture of the swimming area from the other side of the quarry lake.

Tomorrow we head further east to near Fredonia PA about 200 miles from here.  The weather right now is perfect and normal for northeast summer.  It’s clear, hot, in the upper 80s, and very humid.  We are planning to be at the RV Village Campground around 3 pm tomorrow afternoon and stay for a couple of nights before moving on to the east side of PA.

Stay tuned!

Patty’s Birthday, Dr. Appointments,Grandkids Time, and Travel changes

June 17 - 25, 2014

Like the title of this post says, we mostly hung out with the grandkids for the past week.  The exception is that we spent about 2 days in Lafayette seeing Patty’s doctors and having various tests done.  Patty has been having increasing difficulty walking.  Back in December she has some neurological tests done and back x-rays that were all negative.  

This time around she went to a orthopedic Dr. and found she has bilateral bursitis.   I had heard of bursitis before but didn’t know what it was, now I know.  It is an inflammation of the lubricating sack under the tendon(s) that travel over the side of the hip.  These sets of muscles and tendons control the motion of your hips from side to side.  They actually keep your hips straight while you walk. The good news is that we know what the problem is and how to fix it.  The bad news is that Patty needs to stick to a daily regimen of strength and stretching routines to take the pressure off the inflamed area.  Patty is not a regimen sort of girl!   The Dr. gave her a shot of cortisone in her left hip to see how she would tolerate it before giving her a second in the right hip.  She did not get the second shot, the first shot in her left hip made the problem worse.

Thursday the 19th we got a call from the RV manufacturer that the frame welding tech couldn’t make the Tuesday appointment next week and needed to reschedule for the following Thursday the 26th.  This means that we would not head for Elkhart on Monday the 23rd but would now head north on the 25th Wednesday.  That’s not really a problem for us as we are paid up here at the Crawfordsville KOA until the 28th, next Saturday.  We just need to get to Palmerton PA by the 2nd of July which is 610 miles east of Elkhart.  So if they finish the frame work as promised by Saturday the 28th, we will have just enough time to do our leisurely 200 miles, stay 2 nights, and arrive by 2 pm each travel day. Anyway, we get to stay another couple of days here with my family.

On Friday the 20th we celebrated Patty’s birthday at the RV. We got Savannah in the morning and I took her out for Breakfast (Patty needed to sleep longer due, we believe, to the consequences of the cortisone shot).  Then she came over to the RV to help Patty with braiding and beading shirts. I cooked some big beef back ribs, sometimes called Flintstone ribs.  

Great picture of Savannah out with me for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

Roses I gave Patty for her Birthday.

I know it isn't much, but I got Patty a massaging pillow for her birthday.

Bailey and Savannah having a squirt gun fight at the campground.

Picture of Bailey at the campfire.

Mom and the girls together on the sofa in the RV.

Saturday the 21st we all went out to eat at the Yacashia Japanese restaurant on the south side of Crawfordsville. We were all impressed with the food.  It is nice that there is some other place to eat out in this town that has very limited facilities.  After dinner we went back to the RV and Savannah stayed overnight again.

Curtains that led to the restrooms at the Japanese restaurant.

Savanna looking glam at the pool.

Bailey being Bailey at the pool.

The remaining days we basically had the grandkids over to swim in the KOA pool.  The weather got very hot with temperatures into the low 90s each day so the pool was a welcome relief.
Grandma showing Savannah how to use the sewing machine.

Bailey using a needle and thread to mend her pillow.

All three grandkids striking a pose for the camera.

Wednesday the 25th we got everything packed up and set off for the 140 mile trip to Elkhart by 8:30 am.  We arrived at RV Specialties by 11:30 am just ahead of our noon time frame for arrival.  We dropped the rig and headed to a diner for lunch and then to check in at our hotel for the next 3 nights.  

We had to move all of our stuff from under the bed and out of the dresser in the bedroom before taking the RV to get the frame repaired.

The repair requires that the bedroom slide and the dresser are removed from the RV.  Also the bedroom floor and the front fiberglass nose is removed.

Then we got the bad news heading to the hotel after lunch. Ron from RV specialties called and said that the frame builder’s (Lippert Industries) welding technician cannot make the appointment until next week.  We told Ron that we will not be here next week and we will need to work something out for a later date.  The only good news is that Prime Time is picking up our hotel bill for the night.

Leaving the RV at the repair shop.  We thought when this picture was taken it would be 3 days before we got her back.  We got her back the very next day.

Now we need to decide on our next travel plans before we arrive in Palmerton PA next week.  We are thinking we will stop and see friends in PA over the weekend as we had planned a few weeks ago.  Also, tomorrow we will work with RV Specialties and Prime Time to get a new commitment date to have the work done.  Our preferred time will be in the middle of September after we leave NJ.  This will mean that we will cut our trip down the east coast this year and do that in a future time. It will also mean that we will pull the RV another couple of thousand miles before the frame work is to  be done. 

We hope to know by the next post what are future plans are.

Stay Tuned!

Indiana Canoeing, brother and sister visit

June 12 - 16, 2014 

Thursday the 12th we headed out for a canoe trip with the grandkids and family through Turkey Run State Park. Turkey Run is about 30 miles south of where we are camped in Crawfordsville IN.  We chose the Clements Canoe rental on the south side of the park just off of state roote 41 because it was the cheapest and had a trip that went through the state park.

All into the truck to head to Sugar Creek for Canoeing.

Entrance to the canoe rental place.

It had been at least 25 years since I had been in a canoe and over 30 since I had canoed on Sugar Creek.  It felt a little weird at first until I got my boat legs then all was fine. 

Livy and Savannah waiting for the canoes to be loaded.

The trip through Turkey Run was all of 2 hours with a couple of short stops.  The creek was up a couple of feet so we didn't drag the bottom but was not so high to give us big thrills in the way of rapids, probably a good thing this time.  We started the trip down Sugar Creek at 9:45 am and ended just after noon.

Getting the canoes ready.

First of 2 covered bridges.

Break time!

Savannah and Patty change places.

Ready to go under the Turkey Run Wooden Suspension Bridge.

A very large dragon fly at one of our stops on Sugar Creek.

Second of 2 covered bridges.

All out, end of the run.  This was a very hard place to get out of the creek, very steep.

That evening we all met up at the Strawberry festival in downtown Crawfordsville.  I had to have another tenderloin sandwich which I seem to only be able to get here in Indiana.  Too bad this time the sandwich was not very good. I think they bought the breaded tenderloin from a grocery store! The Strawberry festival goes on for the next 3 days.

A look around the Strawberry Festival in downtown Crawfordsville.

This high handlebar bike was at the Strawberry Festival.  Later we saw the guy leave on this.  I have never understood why you would want the handlebars so high.  My arms would get tired real fast!

Friday the 13th we played golf with Savannah in the morning.  We picked her up at 8 am and teed off at about 9:15 am for a round of 9 holes.  It was great day for golf, low humidity, bright sun with a nice 70 degree temperature. We didn't keep score and just had a good time playing. Savannah has a great swing and can hit the ball very well. She, like most of us, needs to play more often to improve. 

Saturday the 14th we traveled about 80 miles south east to the town of Nashville IN in Brown County.  Brown County is known for its vibrant fall colors and small towns with hilly twisting roads.  We met my sister Diana and my brother Roger there around noon.  Our plan was to walk around and enjoy the town sites and shops and to have lunch which we did.  It was another great day to be outside and this was a great place to be with nice weather.  We managed a wine tasting and some more wine for lunch making it an even better day!  The only problem was that I seemed to get a sore on the left side of my tongue during lunch.  I didn't feel like I bit it but it swelled up and made it difficult to talk, swallow or eat.

My brother Roger (right) and sister Diana.

We left Nashville and headed to my brother and sisters house in Acton IN about 30 miles northeast.  We had a dinner of very good grilled hamburgers.  Roger made them over charcoal and wood chips, yum!  We managed to talk in to the early morning hours of Sunday!  We always have a good time when we are together.

Sunday the 15th, Father’s Day, after a nice breakfast that my sister Diana cooked we headed to see our step-father back in Crawfordsville.  We all went to see him on Father’s Day, how great is that!  We stayed for a couple of hours then left for our respective homes.

Monday the 16th we spent the day in Lafayette IN with Patty’s 4 doctor’s appointments.  The day started with an 8:20 am DR. visit and ended with a 4:30 pm visit.  We were back at the rig by 6:30 pm, long day!  

We also learned that Prime Time Manufacturing (maker of our RV) will be doing the frame repair starting on the 23rd next Monday.  Yahoo!  That was the most optimum date for us getting the work done.  Elkhart is at the northern most end of Indiana near I-80/90 that goes across the state to Ohio and then into Pennsylvania.  Our destination after the work is done will be just off of I 80 in western PA to visit friends from Texas, Pete and Becky.  From there we will travel across the state to the eastern side near Palmerton where we will spend a week around the 4th of July.  Seems it all just fell into place, YEA US!

Tomorrow we are not planning to do anything special.  The weather is supposed to get very hot and humid for the next few days.

Stay Tuned! 

Crawfordsville Indiana Fun

June 03 - 11th, 2014 

June 3rd Tuesday Granddaughter Savanna and Daughter-in-law Tracy came over to our RV to hang out while Tony worked.  We played some ladder golf and went to the pool. Patty made beef stew in the crock pot that we had for dinner. After dinner we made a camp fire and had s’mores. Savannah fell asleep on a camp chair around 10:30 pm. It was good day!

Patty and Tracy playing ladder golf.

Savannah playing ladder golf.
 After everyone left for the night we took down all of the camp lights and the awning in anticipation of the storms that were coming from the west.  These were slow moving storms that the news talked about most of the day.  The winds were in the range of 25 mph so we decided to put down the awning. However, we have had it up in up to 30 mph wind with the hold downs connected and we had them on now.  The news scared us so we just wanted to be careful.  It turned out that the storm was just a lot of rain with what we would call mild wind.  We could have left the awing up, Oh well!

June 4 Wednesday we headed out to my step-dads (Leon Weber) and his wife Barbara’s new residence on the south side of Crawfordsville.  When we last visited in December they were still living in their house on the west side of town but were considering a move to the assisted living facility, Whitlock House.  In April they decided to make the move and are now in an apartment in the Whitlock House.

Leon will be 83 this year and is having some difficulty walking.  He uses a cane but is finding that he needs one of those wheeled walkers more now.  They have sold their truck and car and now no longer drive.  We also saw some issues with memory as well.  However, they are still living independently in an apartment in this facility.  Our take on this facility is that it is a high-end facility for the elderly providing all the necessary additives. Good for them!  I hope I can do this when I need to.

After our visit with Leon and Barbara we went out and got a couple of pizzas and took them over to my son’s house for dinner.  We get this very original pizza here that is different from any place we have found anywhere else.  The pizza has thin crisp crust with very little sauce and all of the other ingredients are ground up.  It is very unique!  We like all kinds of pizza and this is a special treat for us.

June 5th Thursday we made a special spinach stuffed chicken breast for the family for dinner.   This is a recipe that was on Facebook a few months ago and I made it while we were in Texas.  It was so good we have made this a few time now.  This is the first time I have made this for kids, and kids who do not like spice.  This time, anyway, it was a hit and all of the plates were clean at the end of the meal!  We played some LCR and a game of Life before calling it a night.

June 6th Friday we all went out for a Mexican dinner at a local restaurant.  In keeping with the Mexican stereotype it was very cheap.  The food was not up to the standards of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas but it was OK.  Everything was in need of spice.  All in all we had a good time and we were full so what more was there to ask for.

The gang at our Mexican dinner.
June 7th Saturday we just hung out at the RV all day.  Every once in a while we need a day of doing just nothing.

We had a couple come in next to us at the campground with these beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs.

Dinner one night using our new grille pad.
June 8th Sunday our granddaughter Livy stayed all night with us for the first time by herself.  Last year she was a little too shy yet with us to stay all night by herself.   This year she really has taken to us so it wasn’t an issue.  This is one of the pros for the full-time RV and retirement was to become a part of the grandkids lives and it seems we have accomplished this!  

We spent time at the pool and later made some more s’mores.  Then at night we all watched the Miss USA contest.  We are not fans but Livy liked to watch and I liked it too!

Livy and I removed at least 6 black spiders from the pool!

Livy with her special friend named Whaley.  She made a hammock for him on the dining room table.

Livy with a s'more in her mouth.

June 9th Monday we took Leon and Barbara out for dinner at the Cracker Barrel.  The Cracker Barrel here is just about the best and only real restaurant in Crawfordsville.  They haven’t been out for several weeks so this was a welcome treat.  We have a big truck that is hard for them to climb up into, so we used a 3 step stool which worked pretty well. 
After dinner we spent some time at their place talking for a couple of hours.

June 10th Tuesday, I experimented with cooking beef ribs as I have been doing the pork ribs.  It didn’t turn out as well as the pork ribs.  The beef ribs I used were boneless and that may have had something to do with it.  Anyway, they were somewhat dry.  I think it was the lack of fat that bone in ribs have.  I may try this again with the bone in at some point, we shall see.

We got Patty a new sewing machine to replace the old one she had from her mother.  The main reason for the change is the drastic reduction in weight between the old and new one.  The new machine weighs just 18lbs while the old one is around 50 lbs.!  I don’t know much about sewing machines but Patty says that the new one is easier due to being computerized.  She just needs to touch a screen to change the stitch.  

June 11th Wednesday, we had our main doctors’ appointments in Lafayette about 25 miles north from the campground. These are our normal every 6 month appointment with our PCP.   All was mostly good, but I still have an overall cholesterol at 230.  My good is good but the bad is still too high.  So now I am going to increase my dosage of the statin drug and see what happens.  

Tomorrow we are going to take a short canoe trip on Sugar Creek with the grandkids.  We are also still waiting to hear about when the RV frame work can be done in Elkhart.  

Stay tuned!