2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in Dickinson North Dakota

Crawfordsville Indiana (Family Visit 2nd half) and NJ Birthday Party Trip

June 27 – July 10, 2017: 

Back from getting the new suspension for the 5th wheel we have another week in Indiana with family.  


Needed to some surprise maintenance on our hot water heater.  I was draining the black tank when I saw that the water heater was dripping a little water, I decided to fix that.  The drip was coming from the original nylon plug so I tried to tighten it.  The nylon plug broke and now I needed to remove the plug that no longer had head on it!  Luckily, cutting very lightly against the threads was enough for me to just roll the old plug out!  Now off to Home Depot to get something brass to replace it with.

I replaced the original water heater drain plug with the brass drain valve pictured in the middle of the picture with a blue knob.  With my now 20/20 hindsight, I suggest that everyone throw away the original nylon plug and replace it with whatever you want in brass.  I was lucky that a hardware store was close by. 
Our original dinette chairs have storage under the padded seat.  The chairs need a couple of modifications for now instead of replacement.  For one, we will be adding foam to the seat that we will do at another time.  The more pressing modification is reinforcing the bottom.  The bottom of these chairs is just a fiber board stapled to the bottom of the chair.  I have re-stapled these bottoms several times in the past 5 years.  The bottoms come out because we put stuff in them that is too high and then we sit on the chair and blow out the bottom.



I came up this modification to reinforce the bottoms of our 5 chairs.  First I removed the bottom and all of the old staples.  I then cleaned the chair bottom and added wood glue along the entire circumference of the bottom.  I placed the original fiberboard back in and added nylon cross braces.  The nylon cross braces are just cut down wire ties that I screwed down with 1.5 inch wood screws.  I really don't think we will have any more problems with the bottoms now!

Last week we had each of the grandkids spend a night in our RV so we could get a little personal time with each of them.  So this week we (Patty) decided to take each of the 3 grandkids (girls) shopping for clothes.  We also went on a 10 mile canoe trip down Sugar Creek through Turkey Run State Park.  The following are some pictures of our family time here on our second week in Crawfordsville Indiana.


We tried a little Geocaching with the grandkids.  These are 2 we found in a cemetery in Crawfordsville.


Livy, Savannah, and Bailey hanging out in the RV

Patty and Livy out for breakfast.


Livy and I at breakfast.

Livy shopping.



The gang getting fitted with life jackets before the 10 mile canoe trip.

Livy and Dad Tony.

Savannah and Livy on the bus to the canoe trip start spot.

Tony and Tracy

Most of our trip was within Turkey Run State Park.  Covered bridge up ahead.

Foot path suspension bridge

Lunch time!


A bald eagle stood watch over us as we passed.

Another covered bridge

This happened a lot, Livy and Jocelyn running into the bank!

Tony and Tracy were the only ones to flip their canoe!  Patty and I just about did.  Amazingly the kids didn't!


Amazing what a flood brings down the river!

Livy and a canoe, just a nice picture.

Last covered bridge.  This was our end point.  Only took us 3.5 hours for the 10 miles.


On Thursday the 7th of July we had one more dinner with everyone and said our goodbyes for now.  We are leaving our rig at the campground here in Crawfordsville and are flying to Keyport New Jersey for our friend Rob Laughlin’s 60th birthday party.  His party is on the 8th Saturday so we are flying out of Indianapolis on Friday the 7th.  This is our first time flying on Southwest Airlines too!

For those who don’t know about Southwest Airlines, they don’t offer reserved seats.  They also only fly 737 (3 by 3) planes so they are pretty big but old.  Southwest lets you on board the aircraft by a group assignment and you take whatever seat you want.  The groups are 30 people each in Groups A, B & C.  Before boarding you are asked to stand next to lettered poles (A-C) that are labeled on each side with your number within the letter group.  We had A25 and A26 so we stood next to the pole side with A25-29.  On the other side were higher number of the A group.  So we boarded according to our letter and number group. We boarded in the first group as there is no first class.  We got pretty much any seat we wanted as the aircraft seats around 140 and there were only 80 seats sold.

We had an interesting experience at the gate in Indianapolis. We don’t know if it was due to the relatively small Indianapolis airport or if it was due to Southwest Airlines.  I think it may be due to both the size of the airport and the laid back nature of Southwest.  Our plane departure was at 8:30 but they were having a mechanical issue with the plane; couldn’t get one of the cargo doors closed.  We were told that our flight was pushed back to 9am but we were still going to be on-time in Newark!  Being on-time still was one thing but next we were told that the flight was going to be moved to another plane and we were not taking off until 10am.  This time we were not going to be on-time.  10 minutes later we were told they fixed the plane and that we would leave at 9am and that we would be still on-time in Newark!  I have never had that happen before.  My experience has been that if the airline changes the airplane then that is it, we never go back to the original plane and flight.  By the way, we left at 9am and arrived 10 minutes early in Newark!



Beautiful day in Indy and cold with rain in New Jersey.  That was the only time we had any cold on the trip though.

We liked flying Southwest and would fly them again.  The attendants had personality and were friendly.  They were also on the younger side of attendants we have had on other airlines in the past.  However, that could just be because we are getting older.  Our flights both ways were very non-stressful and actually relaxing. I can see why they get good reviews.


Rob blowing out his candles on his cake.  Cindy (wife), Leigh, and Leeann looking on.

We got back to Indianapolis, again ahead of schedule, at 8:20am.  We headed back to Crawfordsville to give our Grandchild Savannah her birthday gift before we hitched up to leave.  We had forgotten to give her a gift before we left on Friday so we made the short trip to give it to her.

By 11:30am we were heading west toward the Badlands in South Dakota as our first sightseeing destination.  We had an hour time change from Eastern Time to Central Time at the Illinois border so that helped.  Our first stop was a little over 200 miles in Galesburg Illinois.

OK, that is it for now.  Next post will be after we change our residence back to South Dakota in Sioux Falls SD.  I will write some on our decision as to why we are leaving Texas as a domicile and going back to South Dakota in the next post.

Stay Tuned!

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