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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Today we are driving up to Elkhart, Indiana, to pick up our new Phoenix Cruiser 2350. We will take delivery tomorrow. It rained off and on the entire trip. In fact, we have not seen any sunshine since last Wednesday. I wanted to take a photo of a rainbow but the camera battery was dead. We took a different route to Elkhart this time. Once we got to Springfield, Illinois, we headed east towards Champaign and then north on I-57 all the way to Gilman, Illinois, and then we headed east again towards Indiana. It was kind of an interesting way to get there, but we really wanted to avoid the Chicago area traffic. The further north we drove the more beautiful the fall colors were. Very nice indeed! Once we arrived in Elkhart we started looking for a place to spend the night. The first two motels we stopped at did not have any vacancies. We drove more north on Hwy 19 and ended up staying at a Super 8 motel close to I-90. We finished watching the Cardinals National League playoff game (Cardinal’s lost), and then went to dinner at Applebee’s.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
We woke up very early because we are very excited about picking up our new motor home today. We ate breakfast at a place called Callahan’s Family Restaurant and then we headed over to the Phoenix Cruiser facility for our 9am orientation. It is somewhat overwhelming because there is so much to learn and become familiar with on our new motor home. We had a ton of stuff in our rental car that we piled into our RV because we need to return the rental car by 2pm today. We have a lot of work to do later today finding places to put all our clothes and kitchen gear. We plan to stay at a KOA campground close by in Middlebury for a few days until we become comfortable with all the systems in our new coach. We left the Phoenix Cruiser manufacturing facility late in the afternoon and went straight to Walmart to shop for groceries. I tried to get our refrigerator going (when not hooked to “shore power” the refrig works off of the LP gas) but it would not start. This is not good because we have groceries that will spoil if not refrigerated. We need to get to the campground as soon as possible so we can plug into shore power and get our refrig working. We didn’t get to the KOA campground in Middlebury until after 6pm and we still had a ton of work to accomplish. It was sort of like Christmas opening up all the boxes and bags that were filled with everything from dishes, pots & pans, and silverware to bedding and towels. Of course we had to find places to put all our household stuff and our groceries. It was kind of fun! We didn’t have much for dinner because we were so busy, but I bought a roasted chicken at Walmart that tasted wonderful. Not sure when we finally went to bed, but I think it was late.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
So this morning we cooked our first meal in our new RV, which we have affectionately named “Baby Beast”. Breakfast consisted of eggs, turkey sausage, and coffee. Dale just has to have his low carb eats. Dale practiced dumping the black and gray water this morning and we just hung out in the campground for most of the morning trying out all the different systems in our new RV. Also, everything in the KOA camp store was 30% discounted, so we picked up a few items that most campers can’t live without. Oh my, we have a small water leak under the bathroom sink that destroyed 2 rolls of toilet paper. Anyway, we have several questions to ask Phoenix Cruiser regarding our refrigerator operations, and there is a thumping sound when we drive on the interstate, and there is this water leak under the bathroom sink. So we headed back to the Phoenix Cruiser manufacturing facility for help. They were very helpful and they answered all our questions and fixed the bathroom sink leak and the annoying thumping sound that we heard when we drove down the highway. After our visit to Phoenix Cruiser we headed back over to Walmart for more supplies. We are spending a second night here at the Middleburg KOA, which is very close to Elkhart. Dale cooked a delicious dinner in our new convection oven. Neither one of us has ever used a convection oven and we are trying to learn how to use it.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Today we checked out of the Middlebury KOA campground and we visited Bonneyville Mill County Park, which is an Elkhart County Park that was only three miles from our campground. Bonneyville Mill is the oldest continually operating grist mill in Indiana. This grist mill still produces flour and cornmeal products, and we bought a bag of their flour. This was a very nice park. After visiting the Bonneyville grist mill we decided to visit the Elkhart RV/Motorhome Museum. Elkhart, Indiana is a city that produces almost all the recreational vehicles that you see on the road today, and their RV museum was fascinating! Tonight we stayed in an RV park in Shipshewana, Indiana, called Amish Log Cabin Campground that is not too far from Elkhart. Shipshewana is a big time Amish community. Horses and buggies are everywhere!
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Happy Birthday, Mom. I miss you so much! This morning we ate breakfast at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana, which is an Amish Restaurant. Today we are traveling to southern Indiana towards Brown County and the City of Nashville, Indiana. We spent our first night in Brown County at The Last Resort RV Campground. This was very much a travel day. Our GPS failed us in finding The Last Resort RV Campground. It took us to the middle of nowhere and I had to call the campground for directions. We finally found our way to the campground and cooked dinner. We watched a little TV in our camper, the reception just with our antenna is excellent.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
We left the Last Resort RV Campground in Nashville, Indiana this morning and we headed straight over to the Brown County State Park where we will spend two nights camping if they have availability. When I googled them on the internet it said that their campground was completely full. Also, when we pulled up to the main gate there was a sign that said their campground was full. But this was Sunday morning and I knew that a lot of weekend campers would be leaving and we didn’t have any problems getting a camp site for two nights. This state park was really crowded today with people enjoying all the beautiful fall colors. This is a gorgeous state park! We secured our campsite and then we just drove around the entire State Park enjoying the wonderful colorful trees. The weather was really nice today.
Monday, October 20, 2014
After a wonderful breakfast of sausage & eggs, we headed over to Ogle Lake. We hiked around the perimeter of the lake and it was a very enjoyable hike because the sun was shining and the fall colors were very vibrant. We took tons of photos. After our hike around Ogle Lake we drove over to the city of Nashville, Indiana, which is a tourist community featuring many shops and restaurants. It was very crowded for a Monday. We ate lunch at a place called The Artist Colony Restaurant. After lunch we just strolled around the town visiting all the small shops. It was a beautiful fall day.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Today we are leaving Brown County State Park and we are driving south again to the resort community of French Lick, Indiana. This resort community has two historic hotels that were built around 1900. The hotels were quite impressive. One hotel was called West Baden Springs Hotel and the other hotel was called French Lick Springs Hotel. There is a casino attached to the French Lick Springs Hotel and also a historic train station where you can take a train ride through the Indiana country side. We took the 1pm train ride and then we ate dinner at the French Lick Casino. We spent the night in the parking lot at the French Lick Casino because there aren’t any RV parks near this town and we had nowhere else to go! We even had free Wi-Fi. This is what you call “dry camping” because we were not plugged into any water or electric, but our RV still had on-board power and water and a bathroom, so not a big deal, and the price was FREE!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Odd thing about when daylight appears in Indiana. THE SUN DOESN’T RISE UNTIL 8AM!! This drives me nuts. Anyway, I was up and dressed way before the sun came up so I decided to drive over to the McDonald’s restaurant for coffee. Dale was still in bed sleeping, mind you, but that didn’t stop me. I love that about our RV; very versatile and you can be very spontaneous. Today we left French Lick and drove south again to Patoka Lake State Park where we will camp for two nights. Again, this is a very beautiful park and the fall colors are very attractive. We took a hike around the park and then cooked a very tasty pot roast for dinner in our convection oven.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
After a tasty breakfast we headed out to explore Gentryville, Indiana, where we plan to visit the Lincoln Boyhood National Monument. But before we made it to Gentryville, we stopped and did two loads of laundry at the laundry mat. Anyway, around Gentryville, Indiana, Abraham Lincoln spent his boyhood years from the time he was 7 years old until he was 21 years old. In 1816, the Lincoln family came to this area from Kentucky to farm the land, and then they moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1830. While living in southern Indiana the Lincoln’s were very good friends with the Gentry family. Dale thinks that these Indiana Gentry’s are some of his ancestors. After our visit to Lincoln’s boyhood home, we headed back to Patoka Lake and cooked dinner. Tomorrow we are driving north to Indianapolis to spend two nights. Ashley is performing with her high school marching band in Indianapolis on Saturday and we hope to get tickets to watch the competition.
Friday, October 24, 2014
We departed Patoka Lake just after sunrise. Today is a travel day. We are heading north to Indianapolis to attend the Bands of America Super Regionals to see Ashley’s high school band compete among 63 other high school bands. We are staying at a KOA campground just east of Indy. We are staying here for two nights. The weather is beautiful today.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
We prepared the Baby Beast for travel to downtown Indy, which was only a 20 minute drive from our campground. Ashley’s marching band competition is being held at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts football team. We parked right across the street from the parking lot of the stadium. We had to pay for two parking spaces because the Baby Beast is kind of long. Anyway, Ashley’s high school band does not perform until 3:30pm, so we have a lot of other bands to watch before Rockwood Summit performs. The Super Regionals is a pretty big deal, and I was surprised that so many high schools have huge semi-tractor trailers to transport their band equipment for these events. When Ashley’s school arrived to the parking lot of the stadium around 1:30p, we were able to say hi to her and take photos. Their performance was very good and they took second place in their class. We got to see Ashley after she performed as well, just before they loaded up the buses to head back to St. Louis. Dale and I headed back to our campsite to cook some dinner and watch the World Series. Tomorrow is a travel day to our home in St. Louis.