"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Monday, October 18, 2010

scary week end

We both thought the week end would never get here. We had plans to camp with a group of our friends at White River Campground in Cicero Indiana. The campground is a county owned park and they have been doing a lot of improvements during the winter and it has always been one of our favorite local parks.
Rudee had the inside of the 5th wheel ready for traveling when I got home from work. We had loaded the motorcycle onto the semi Thursday night so that chore was already completed and with Rudee's help, I got hooked on and packed up all the "outside" stuff. We were ready to roll in about 30 minutes.
We had not moved the 5th wheel since coming home from South Dakota the first of August and we were both a little "rusty" doing our travel day routines. Those first few miles are usually the worst, wondering if anything is going to fall off, break off, or blow apart :=O.
I was finally getting relaxed and comfortable towing the rig again when I notice that part of the fender on the 5th wheel was flapping in the breeze. My first thought was that a tire had blown damaging the fender but from what I could see of the tires in the truck mirror they all looked fine. I knew we were about 2 miles from western Boone High School and they had a large (and probably empty) parking lot I could pull into and check things out. We almost made it to the school when we met a semi truck going the other direction and the wind turbulence when we passed each other tore the flapping piece off the 5th wheel which was then ran over by 3 or 4 cars following the semi.
We got parked in the school and found that the piece was just a plastic molding around the wheel that had loosened and blown off. Hopefully I can order a replacement from Keystone. No one showed up at the school accusing us of damaging their car with our "flying debris" so we headed back out onto the road.
We made it to the campground and were able to get everything set up and the bike unloaded before it got dark.
This week end is the parks annual Halloween Weekend. They have a lot of special events planned topped off with the children "trick or treating" all the campers. When you check in they give you a small orange flag to stick in the ground at the end of your site to designate you want the trick or treaters to stop for candy. The flags are not really necessary though because almost everyone brings their lawn chairs to the end of their sites so all the kids have to do is follow the main drag through the park.
Our daughter Amanda and son in law Ryan brought the grand kids and they had a great time. They each had a big bag full of candy! I'm sure glad they were not spending the night after eating all that sugar :-)!
Right after the trick or treaters we had some special guests drop by. Blog readers John and Carol stopped in to introduce themselves and we had a nice visit. They are retiring from their careers in a matter of weeks and will be free to travel. They have, like us, sold their house and were living in their full time rig while still working in their careers.
We really enjoyed our time with them and look forward to seeing them again. They are going to be work camping in Colorado next year. You can follow along with them on their blog http://travelwiththeherrs.blogspot.com/ .

Sunday came way too fast and it was time to start packing things up to head for home. Man I sure am looking forward to being able to stretch out a week end into 4 or 5 more days :-).
Rudee and I loaded up the bike and I backed the truck up to the 5th wheel to hook on. I always stop and get out a look to make sure I am lined up correctly. I have even joked that I am going to put the letters G.O.A.L.S. on my mirrors which stands for "get out and look stupid!". Well I thought I was lined up pretty good so hopped back into the truck to finish backing up the last couple of feet. Rudee was watching me but the problem was I wasn't watching her! I backed into the pin on the 5th wheel but it was not aligned (missed it by about 1/2") and the hitch pushed the 5th wheel back a couple of feet pushing the landing legs off the 4x4 blocks I had them sitting on causing the 5th wheel to drop! Hard! Yikes!!!
I got the truck shut down and decided to re-group. Nothing appeared damaged and I was able to raise the landing legs so the pin would line up with the hitch and with Rudee's help, was able to hitch up normally. The only casualty was my pride and I can live with that!

The rest of the trip was uneventful (thank goodness!) and we got set up back into our site here at the KOA. Our neighbor was getting her 5th wheel packed up and said she would be leaving after spending most of the summer here. She had been taking care of her father who had been ill and passed away a few weeks ago. She was anxious to get back home and try and get her life back to normal. We went about our business finishing our set up procedures when we heard a loud crash. I turned around to see our neighbors 5th wheel had came out of her hitch and had fallen onto the bed of her truck. Man oh man, this stuff must be like a bad rash and it's spreading! Rudee and I ran over and helped her raise the 5th wheel back off the truck. Unfortunately she had some pretty bad damage to her truck's bed rails and the the tail gate would not stay latched so I took it off and put it inside her 5th wheel. We were able to get her hitched back up so she could start her trip home.

We have another week of work ahead of us. Oh well that will put us one more week closer to retirement! Nothing real exciting on the horizon and we are already talking about where we plan on going for next years vacation. John and Carol invited us out to visit them at the Cripple Creek KOA ......... hmmmmm, sounds like a nice trip with lots of great scenery. May just have to pencil that into the calender :-). I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

which way do we go?

We got up early Saturday morning and got suited up for a bike ride. The weather was pretty cool but promised to warm up. We both started out in our leather chaps and heavy leather coats. Once we got on the bike I asked Rudee which way she wanted to go because we still had not decided!
After some more discussion we made the choice to head North to see how the fall colors looked. We figured this week end they would be at their peak and we were not disappointed. Here are a couple of photos Rudee took during our ride.

We did pack an overnight bag and ended up spending the night at a nice little motel in La Porte Indiana. I had called most of the chain motels in the area and all were either booked solid or only had $200 per night suites left ... yikes! I found the Blue Heron Motel on our GPS and Rudee called them since I was striking out. They had vacancies and even had a roomavailable with a jacuzzi tub. Well alrighty, now we're talkin!!
They held the room for us and we arrived late in the afternoon. The motel sat right on a large lake at the edge of town and looked more like a large bed and breakfast. The rooms were very large and very clean. Rudee defiantly picked a winner. Here is a shot of the lobby and one of me checking out the lake on the motel's dock.

After checking in we dropped our suitcase in the room and headed for Four Winds Casino which was about 10 miles up the road in New Buffalo Michigan. We played for a little while on the penny machines but neither of us was having any luck so we headed back out. We had stayed in the area with Steve and Trish last spring when we came up her for Rudee's birthday and had a great meal at Casey's just up the road from the casino. We decided to try it again and had another great meal.
Back at the motel we took advantage of the jacuzzi since our so called "garden tub" in the 5th wheel is nothing more than a 4" deep shower stall and Rudee misses having a bathtub to soak in from time to time.

Sunday we packed up the bike and headed back towards home, well we did have a short detour back to the casino where we re-couped some of what we lost the night before :-).
We took the "roads less traveled" home and enjoyed the fall colors and warm temperatures. Steve and Trish met us in Monticello Indiana for a late lunch and we rode together for a few miles afterwards until we had to part ways and head opposite directions toward home. The weather was almost perfect all week end and we had a really nice time. I'm sure going to miss this stuff in a few weeks when the snow starts flying :=(.

The KOA has been packed for the last week. The Covered Bridge Festival is in full swing in Parke County which is probably 30 miles away. I had to drive through the area yesterday and traffic was backed up at each crossroad. The State Police were at the intersections directing traffic or the whole place would have been at a stand still and this was on Monday! I hate to think what it is like on the week end!

We are preparing for our annual Halloween camp-out at White River Campground in Cicero Indiana. We have had reservations there for the past 4 or 5 years and always look forward to it. We have to make our reservations for the following year on Sunday before leaving. They "hold" your spot for you for one week but if they have not heard from you with in that week to let them know for sure you want it they let someone else have it, and yes all the spots are booked for the following year in just a couple of days.
We will hook on and pull out as soon as we can on Friday and we are both looking forward to getting the wheels rolling again, even if it is only for a short trip. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 8, 2010

turning colder

Sunday we went traveled to Lebanon to attend the showing of a friends sister who had passed away suddenly. Dale and Diana Beason have been friends and motorcycle riding buddies of ours for over 20 years. We have shared both good and bad times together as most friends do and our hearts and prayers go out to them both during this time.

After the funeral home visit we met some of the gang at 32 Warehouse Bar and Grille where we filled up 2 big tables. We all enjoyed a nice meal and a really exciting Colts game on the projection TV. Too bad they lost the game on a last second field goal but it was still exciting and we had fun watching it with our large group.

Work has been pleasant for the 2nd week in a row. I can't put my finger on why. I guess it is the feeling that the worst is over and things are calming down. I have more of a feeling of "belonging" and "acceptance" with the company now and it is a great change from all the uncertainty of the past. It feels good and I hope it continues.

The weather has started to turn colder and we have ran the furnace overnight for the last week. I'm not looking forward to the colder weather but know it's coming :=( . We have already made the arrangements to move into our "winter" site. They shut the water off to most of the sites here in the winter leaving about 5 sites with full hook ups. These sites are closer to the office and are a little easier to pull in and out of so they like to have them open in the summer so larger rigs can get in and out fairly easily. We will make the move on Sunday October 31st and start getting the 5th wheel all buttoned up to survive the winter.

Today is the opening day of the nearby Parke County Covered Bridge Festival and the KOA is packed. The rigs started rolling in Wednesday and there was a steady stream yesterday. Each town in Parke County participates in the festival and there are huge flea markets and craft fairs all over the county. We have attended in the past but now that we live in our 5th wheel we don't have the room for "stuff" so shopping at flea markets isn't as much fun as it used to be.

The weather is supposed to warm up this weekend so we are going riding. We have not decided where to just yet but didn't want to let a nice week end go by! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

pay it backward?

Well we survived another week of work and it actually was a pretty pleasant week that passed fairly quickly. I like those :-).
I am slowly getting used to the computer system at work. My boss rode along with me on Monday and then turned me loose on my own the rest of the week. I am still a little slower than I would like to be but I am starting to feel a little more comfortable.

Thursday evening after work Rudee and I drove the 30 miles to Brownsburg to pick up our mail. After stopping at the UPS store for the mail we met up with friends Rob and Jany Runion at The Pit Stop Bar and Grille. This was our first time at this restaurant and will not be the last! They specialize in barbecue and I had probably the best pulled pork I have ever had. Rudee is not a big barbecue fan so she stuck with the Nachos from the appetizer menu.
After dinner we made a stop at Wal Mart for a few groceries and then headed back to Crawfordsville. We both had a sweet tooth so we went through the drive thru at Mc Donalds for an ice cream cone. When I pulled up to the window to pay the gal told us that we didn't owe anything, the car in front of us had paid for ours. What? I didn't believe her at first. I have heard of "pay it forward" but not "pay it backward" and pick up the tab for the person behind you in line. That was pretty cool and I plan to pass it along one day.

This morning we woke up to a strange sound. There was an odd pitter patter on the roof. what could it be? Oh my gosh, it's actually raining! We have been in such a drought around here I forgot what it sounded like! The ground is so dry they have issued no burning ordinances in most of the state. Hopefully this rain will help some because we are going on a camp out in a couple of weeks and Rudee bought some strawberry marshmallows and another bag of vanilla caramel mixed ones and we want to try them in some Smores
A couple of weeks ago we took our Grandson Nicholas geocaching. He had a great time but I kept forgetting to download the pictures I took of him that day so I will close this post with his photos. We are looking forward to watching another Colts game with friends tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.