Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

RV Dreams Rally, 90 Degree on Satellite System

May 23 - 31, 2015   

Our site stayed open on both side all week so we had loads of room at the Rally.  We met lots of people and quite a few we had met before at the 2 other rallies we have attended. We now have been to 3 of the RV Dreams rallies in the past 4 years.  

Our site at the RV-Dreams Reunion.

The first was in 2011 in Sevierville TN before we even had an RV and I was still working.  Then in 2012, just after we got the RV, we went to another rally in Harrisburg Oregon.  This rally will be our 3rd and the first RV-Dreams reunion rally they have had.  

This rally was only for people who have attended an RV-Dreams rally in the past.  About ¾ of the people here are now full-time RVers.  This means that they live in their RVs full time.  By a show of hands one night at dinner we found out that about half of the ¼ not yet full-timing are going to very soon.  

We are a very interesting group of people who are traveling nomads.  We just can’t imagine sitting in a house in one place all of the time anymore.  Ah, I could go on and on with this!

We started the week on Saturday the 23rd with the official check in and getting our rally tee shirts. Patty was having issues with her laptop. Then I started having issues with my phone! I could not shut it off and it is one that you can’t remove the battery.  We also made a 90-degree decision turnabout regarding the satellite system and decided to ship it back to Winegard to see what is wrong with it.  

So we got checked into the rally and then off to Asheville (20 miles away) to UPS and Verizon. First was getting my phone working.  We stopped at a small local Verizon store first and was told to go to Asheville for better service as they didn’t have a tech there.  

The Asheville store couldn't fix my phone and I was just 4 days away from having the phone for 2 years.  I got lucky and had a salesperson and the manager working with me on getting me back up and running.  The manager was doing some retraining as a sales person so she could keep sharp. 

Anyway, we walked out of the store 2 hours later with a new phone, phone case, a computer tablet and case, and a Bose Bluetooth sound system.  My damage for all of this? We now pay $10 less for our service with the tablet added and I paid $39 for the phone and $50 for taxes on the entire deal!  How can that be, I have no frigging IDEA!  Patty got the tablet so she could get by without her laptop. I got a new phone and a Bluetooth sound system I have been wanting but just didn’t want to pay for it.  We were happy campers!!  

After the great phone experience we headed off to get the satellite system sent back.  I had already boxed the turret and the feed arm up.  I had attempted to box the reflector but just couldn’t get the damn thing sufficiently boxed so I let UPS do it.  I learned a lot from this experience!  My standard 12x24x12 box weighed in at 48 pounds and cost $45 to ship. The reflector with the odd box weighed in at 9 pounds and cost $55 to ship!  The non-standard box is much more important, as far as cost, than the weight. So now we are into the satellite fix for $100 shipping, and $70 for Winegard to analyze the system and tell me how much to fix it. Hopefully we will know the full cost soon enough as the system will arrive at Winegard in Iowa this coming Friday the 29th.

I had a conversation with Bill Napier (a rally regular) at the rally on Friday night about my satellite system. After the talk, I was sort of convinced to at least find out what it would cost me to fix it. I had originally intended to have him show me how to aim a satellite dish and just what I would need to purchase for a good system.  He did give me ideas about what to purchase if I went that way. The cost would be higher than I thought, mainly because I wanted the best stuff.  He went through what was involved to set up the portable dish each time we stopped for the night.  I just had a hard time with not just pushing a button as I did with my broken system.  We also had about $1,500 dollars invested in the roof installation already.  

Patty and I talked it over and we reluctantly decided to spend the $170 (shipping and Winegard Tech charge) to at least find out what it would cost to fix it.  I’ll write more about this when I find out the actual costs.  Right now we will continue to use the bat wing for locals and the DVR for our already recorded stuff.  We should be good for the next few weeks.

For the week we had 3 catered dinners, 3 catered breakfasts, and one potluck dinner.  My diet went all to crap this week.  I did manage to get in my regular exercise but we had way too much food.  We also went off the wagon a little bit.  We had a beer each and a small bottle of wine during the week.  I try to stay at 1500 calories a day and this week I was closer to 2000 most days.   It will feel good to get back to my usual routine.

Playing a cool game with water balloons.

Both lines of people toss a balloon down their line until the end where you fill a water bottle.  First side gets the bottle full wins. 

Then, the water balloon fight breaks out!

There were many group outings during the week but I only did a couple; golf and a zip line adventure.  Patty had originally signed up for the Zip line but woke up not feeling well and whimped out. After completing the zip line I don’t think she would have liked the hiking part of the trip.  She is good with flat trails with some moderate inclines but this hike was a fast paced hike of 20 minutes up 700 feet of incline.  It was a good hike for me but this would have Patty taking up the extreme rear of the pack. She would not have liked that.  

Great looking bunch on the 3 Zip line Adventure.

This was called the Brady Bunch picture.

The zip line was a 3 line trip. The first was a moderate 2000 feet in length at 3500 feet in altitude.  The second was the fastest at 65 mph at 1500 feet.  The last was the longest at 3500 feet long and took 70 seconds to complete.  It was a lot of fun.  

Here we are waiting for the gate to be dropped.

The roughest part of the zips were the auto stops.  This zip line had auto stops that are around 150 feet before the platform.  As you approach the platform zipping along at say 60 mph you can see the stop on the cable ahead.  There is really no real way to brace yourself for the stop, just cross your legs and try not to flip up when you hit the stop.  It’s a fairly hard bump and you can hear the cable stop mechanism making a loud squeal sound.  Very exhilarating to say the least!

Me flying!

We went with a couple of guys to golf at a very nice course in Linville about 15 miles away on Thursday the 28th. Unfortunately, Patty had a severe blood sugar low on the 5th hole so we had to stop playing for the day.  I hadn’t played for about 6 weeks and it looked like I hadn’t played for 10 years.  The last time I played I had a score of 94.  I think I doubled all five of the holes before we needed to quit.  As most golfers do, I was hoping for a real rebound on the back 9 to redeem myself but that wasn’t to be this time.

This has been a real battle for us as Patty seems to go low just about every day now.  Dr. Mark (me) feels that her pump settings are not correct for her.  Her carbohydrate to insulin ratio I believe is somewhere around 2-3 times too high, meaning she is getting too much insulin per gram of carb. She can change this and she has some, but just not enough for Dr. Mark's liking.  I’m not a real doctor but I play one in our RV.

Patty’s computer hard drive crapped out a couple of weeks ago so we took it to a repair guy here in Marion.  We waited until we knew we would be stationary for the week before taking it to anyone.  This repair guy was located in a pawn shop!  We left the computer with him with no receipt, just the promise he would get it fixed in the next day or 2.  We got it to him on Friday just after we arrived at the rally site.  Since this is a holiday weekend, he would be working on it over the weekend to get the computer back as soon as he said he would (Monday).  

We had not heard back from him on Tuesday after the weekend so Patty called him for an update.  He said he would have it done on Thursday with a new hard drive and he would replace the operating system with a newer one than the Vista that was on it.  All for that for just $99!  

Wednesday we took a tour of the nearby little town of Black Mountain.

Mascot for Bear Mountain.

One of the shopping areas in town.

Eclectic shop. 

We had a great lunch at this german restaurant.

While in a german restaurant we just had to go off the wagon and have a german beer.
Kids playing in the park downtown.  It looks like this park was just built a few months ago.

Patty checking out the gardens in the new park.

More of the new park.  It was very well done.

We got the computer back on Thursday as promised and it seems to be working fine.  We will see how long we can put off getting Patty another computer.  Her computer is now 6 years old this month.

Patty planned a trip to the Linville Falls, Little Switzerland and the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday the 29th.  The falls trail was a fairly easy hike of about 3 miles in and out with a few hills.   That was a nice hike in the woods for us.  We then got on the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 20 miles to the town of Little Switzerland.  The town is basically a tourist trap with the exception that it is very beautiful there.  

Friendly squirrel!

We got to try out our new walking sticks!

Patty trying to get one of the flowers down to check the smell.  These flowers were all over on this trail.  This particular flower bush has spanish moss hanging in it too.

After walking around a bit we had dinner at the Switzerland Inn.  This is where we had the bottle of wine.  The dinner was not that good, just OK.  We were surprised that the food wasn’t better.  We think that we are just a bit spoiled as we cook very good meals for ourselves and are very picky when it comes to paying for someone to cook for us.  

We got up to a little over 4000 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Little Switzerland.

Captured this rainbow!

They were having a Porsche Boxter rally while we were there.
We were told that they had 160 Porsches there.

Dinner at the Switzerland Inn.  Our first bottle of wine in 3 months.  It was a special occasion, we are alive and doing well and we had a very good day!

Saturday the 30th we took a tour of Asheville NC.  We booked a comedy tour with LaZoom tours.  We didn’t learn a lot about Asheville but the tour was fun.  To be honest here, the tour is billed as an introduction to Asheville while having some fun and the tour fully met that standard.  What we really learned was that Asheville could easily consume a couple of days, if not more.  The town is just a lot of fun besides the tour.  I would say Asheville is similar to Seattle Washington; lots of hippies.  It’s a little more artsy than Austin TX or New Orleans LA.  We were surprised at how big the fun areas of Asheville are too.   It’s not just one or two streets.  It has many great and different areas to explore.  They like to call themselves the sin city of the east.

Our tour guide.

One of the many "hippie" type restaurants.

Sister Harry Mary as part of the comedy routine.

Cool mural along the tour route.

Bennie bee who just wanted to pollinate everyone and everything!

A nice house in Asheville.  There are loads of these.  To build the town back up they offer homesteading to anyone who will live in the abandoned houses and fix them up.  This seems to have worked real well here.

Beer Man.  He represents the many breweries here.
He said he had visited 12 today!  We left him peeing on a building.

Sister Harry Mary doing drive by baptisms with a squirt gun.

It was beer week in Asheville!

Just run upon this in Asheville!

This guy was performing in front of this restaurant for money.
Now he is resting up for his next performance.

We had not seen a booze mobile since we were in Oregon 3 years ago.

The passengers actually pedal power the car and the bartender steers.  

Another eclectic restaurant.

Saturday night we had a catered luau at the rally for our last night.  The caterer did a real good job with a real whole roasted pig!  Again, WAY too much food to eat!  We played some fun group games and then sat around the nightly campfire until around 10pm.

The last group campfire!  It looks like Howard and Linda are going to do another reunion in the future as this one was a success!  My bet is is will be in the west, AZ or TX.  We will be there too!

The last morning of the rally I woke up with the Doors song “The party is over” playing in my head.  I felt like I just wanted to “turn out the lights” at breakfast.  Again, another catered breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, and yummy cheesy hash brown casserole.  I managed to keep away from the biscuits and gravy and from the sausage this time.  I was good this morning!  

After breakfast there was the usual saying goodbye or, see you later stuff.  The organizers and owners of RV-Dreams thanked us all and started to cry.  They really are great people and are one of the reasons we are full-timing successfully. There are a lot of us that feel like we are part of the RV-Dreams family and that is because of Howard and Linda. They are an inspiration to us all as full-time RVers.

That wraps up the rally week!  We are staying one more night in the rally park just so we can leave at a leisurely pace.  We are going to get some propane for the grille, wash some laundry and do a little planning for our trip back to Indiana for our months stay there.  We are reserved there in Indiana on the 10th of June so we have 10 days to go 550 miles.  For us that is around 3 travel days which leaves us with 7 days to explore on the way.  

A little rain rolling in over the mountains.

We are just going a few miles after we leave here to High Point NC to see a friend who relocated here from PA a few years ago.  After that, we want to spend some time in West Virginia before getting to Indiana.

Stay Tuned!

1 comment:

Dianne and Steve said...

Looks like you guys had a blast! Love the Booze Mobile idea. Hopefully Howard and Linda make it back out west.
Safe travels!