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Rally time……

Our last days in Indiana we spent in Elkhart Campground for the Back Home in Indiana 2017 Rally. A three day event for us NeXus RV owners. Turned out to be a nice few days, made some friends, learned some stuff.  

They kept us busy.   


First evening was a meet and greet.

Of course there was food 🥘 

Next day breakfast at the factory showroom, factory tour, lunch, question and answers with the owners and staff, tour of the lamination / service center and BBQ dinner back at the campground. (Notice the food theme – BBQ was delicious, btw) 

Next day breakfast, owners meeting, outside vendor displays, pot luck lunch, complimentary repairs from Nexus and finally, bus trip to dinner at Amish Acres in Nappanee.  (more food) 

The next day, June 11th, off to Ohio.  

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Thoughts!! 

Glorious day! Nothing better than sitting under the trees, nice comfortable breeze, blue sky, watching the puffy clouds drift by. Drinking iced tea and basking in the sunshine. We’ve been kinda laid back the past few days. Except for an occasional shower the rains have departed for awhile.  

Not much going on. Oil change for the Terrain the other day. Have to keep our ride running tip top. Grocery shopping the other morning. It’s funny, had a trip down memory lane at the store here in Buchanan. This is a very small country town. No mega stores here, including WalMart. Walking in to that grocery store took me back 50 years, like I was walking in to the old A & P.  Ah nostalgia.  They even had the same pasta Mom used to buy. Can’t remember the last time I saw that.  

This is definitely small town U.S.A. It does have a lot of appeal, living in a town like this. Slower pace. Mom and pop shops, few chain stores. Though there’s the usual McDonald’s & Subway. Didn’t see a Starbucks. Homes built early 1900’s and earlier. No cookie cutter homes here. Big yards, few fences. And traffic…….there’s so little of it. I could get used to that. But everything is a good distance away so I’d probably shop online a lot more than I do now. Hmmmm…..that could prove to be really expensive 😐

One big negative for us…..winter! 

It’s been an enjoyable stay. We’ll be leaving this region in a few days and on to new adventures! 


Safe Travels!! 

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Back in Bear Cave  campground……

After two weeks, our coach is fixed and we’re back at the campground enjoying a partly cloudy day on this Memorial Day weekend.   

We got to the Nexus factory service center in Elkhart for our appointment on Tuesday, the 9th.  There are sites set aside for those staying overnight and longer on premises with an electric hookup.  Basically it’s part of the parking lot.  But it works nicely.   Inside they have set aside several rooms for customers to wait comfortably and separate from other customers. They took the coach first thing and while it took all day rebuilding the slide mechanism, it’s working just fine.   

There were still several other issues that needed attention, which they would get to eventually. The problem with the engine cutting out was taken care of by freightliner center, turns out it was not the dash but the key slot, it was loose and jumped whenever we hit bumps turning the key. 

The window still had that crack so we decided to have that replaced.  We couldn’t get an appointment for several days so we stayed at Nexus through the weekend.  

Window replaced, then back at Nexus for a few minor issues to complete then the kitchen slide started making odd noises.  Turns out we were quite fortunate we were still on site because what was thought to be a simple fix turned out to be a complete rebuild of the kitchen slide.  It was just a matter of time before it would of completely broken, probably out in the middle of nowhere.  

So….. everything that needed to be was fixed. We’re hanging out at the campground for a couple of weeks just relaxing this time.  Staying around to attend the Nexus Rv rally early June.  Then it’s on to Ohio and eastbound. 

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend.  

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

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Elkhart County IN – RV Capital of the World 

So they say.  

We’ve heard that 80% of rv’s built are manufactured here.  Imagine that! 

It’s pretty cool what they have in this building…..if you’re in to that sort of thing! 


Cool huh!!  When you just have to get away from the bear cave for awhile……

Travel trailers 

1931 Ford Model AA Camp Truck 

          

.
…….

Winnebago  1969            Breaking Bad!!

The Mae West  1931 HouseCar 




1935 Covered Wagon travel trailer

1969 Stites Chassis Mount Truck Camper 


1978 – 1982 Travco Motorhome 

This region is so picturesque….and green. Country roads, lush farmlands, a partiality to red barns, a bustling Amish/Mennonite community….. 










City of Elkhart- Downtown 



Artwork around town: 

Murals 


And all through Elkhart these guys are hanging around ….





     







Get It??  😄


And here’s my heart! 💕

Till next time! 

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Michiana …..

We arrived at Bear Cave Campground on May 1st.  (yes there really is -maybe- a bear cave on site, get to pay $3.00 to tour it which we haven’t done yet.) 

Rather small, very rustic campground, full hook ups, very green, nestled next to the St. Joseph river. 


Most days it was cloudy and lots of rain. 

But the sun decided to shine the day we left! 

So many dogwoods around the area……. I’ve missed this springtime beauty. 

The following Sunday we took a day trip….we were so close to Lake Michigan I had to see the beaches in the area.  I love the beach! Any time of year.  
Silver beach park, St Joseph, MI 


A working lighthouse, one of many in Michigan. 

Sand dunes 

Coast Guard 

Cold and windy that morning 


After lunch we headed to South Bend, IN to walk around Notre Dame U.   

Home of the football legend Knute Rockne 


That little green speck in the photo is the field….. this is the closest we could get.  The whole stadium is fenced off, looks like they’re getting ready for the coming season.  

It’s a beautiful campus 



Library 


Administration building 


I love these doors in the administration building.   


Norte Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart


Pipe organ, 2929 pipes.  

Lady Chapel with Bernini Altar


Our Lady of Fatima Chapel 


Beautiful stained glass windows 


There are over 1600 relics in the Basilica from over 800 saints.   The remains of St Severa are below this wax figurine of her.  


No matter what religion you adhere to, the artwork here is wondrous. 

Very glad we decided to drop in this museum.   A wondrous collection of ancient to modern art.  










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…….on to Michiana 

While the trek from Texas to Michigan was slightly anxious due to the mechanical and weather issues we had, overall it went rather smoothly. Each day we stopped for the day early afternoon at a rest area. Learned a lot about nostalgic Route 66. All the fun places travelers used to stop that most are long gone. They had the right idea back then for traveling. These days along the interstates are so sterile, no charisma! It’s a shame the most sites of that era are gone. Route 66 is an icon. Funny thing is growing up in Maryland I had no idea it was real. I just knew the tv show (Route 66) and that oh so cool corvette.  


Yeah I’m dating myself …… 😂😊😂
We did drive by St Louis and saw the arch in the distance. (We had stopped there a few years back). Then we had to cross the Mississippi River. I’m not to fond of bridges, in fact it’s a phobia …… Gephyrophobia!  Been that way since I was very little hiding in the back seat while Dad drove over the Delaware and George Washington bridges……those were the worst. 😳😬

 I know…… TMI 

Next we hit Illinois. Land of Lincoln and ⚡️⚡️🌬💦💦🌪 We did stop in Springfield and took a break at the Abraham Lincoln museum. Did you know he was terribly ridiculed ……



…..and widely loved by he time of his death. 

There is a library adjacent to the museum, tho no exhibits while we visited, the library is used mainly for research.  

Being too cold and still raining to walk around the area to see more sites, we left and continued on our drive north. 

Next day we were at the rv park in Michigan. 

FjK

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…….thoughts from being on the road…..

One of the reasons I started this blog was to remember……for some reason my memory isn’t quite as sharp as it once was, I needed a way to track where we were and when, maybe some interesting trivia and thoughts along the way. And if those who read this get a laugh or two or find something interesting…..that much better.  

Weather is something we talked about, realizing that it will be a factor in our travels. And intending to stay away from the worst! Now that we’re on the road I find it’s not quite as easy to keep away from some really severe weather. Different seasons in different regions each unique and I guess I’ve been in Southern California way too long, just spoiled with that weather. Note to self: do not travel from Texas to the Great Lakes March through May.   When weather looks like this:    


{{….yep that blue dot in the middle is us….}}

…….it’s best to avoid. Trouble is one can’t travel west to east without crossing the Midwest. While we were in Texas each storm that went through our area brought lots of rain, wind, possible hail, possible tornadoes and flood watches. Luckily for us at least, the locations that did get hail, flooding and more were somewhat to the east of us. We missed the worst, but got enough. There was storm after storm, even after we left Bridgeport, TX. From Oklahoma to Michigan, rain, thunder, lightning….. while the threat was there and very real in some of the areas we passed through we missed the flooding, hail and tornadoes. Again the worst of the storms east of us. William didn’t mind driving in rain much, tho the wind really made it much more stressful. He was much happier driving on dry roads. After arriving in Michigan on May 1st there was still rain and this time cold. Several mornings we woke up to below freezing temperatures. In May! 😳

Driving the house around, I think I’ve said it before, there’s always the possibility of problems. Just south of Oklahoma City on I 35 we hit a bump, while I was blissfully ignorant in the passenger seat, William quietly mentioned there was an engine issue. And just as fast he exited the highway (amazing there was an exit just when we needed it) pulled across the street and landed half in half out of a motel parking lot….yep the tow car was still in the road. He didn’t tell me the engine quit while still on the highway….. we just coasted through the exit. Fortunately he turned the key and the engine kicked alive and we parked…..looking at each other wondering what happened and what to do next. 😐🙁

Nervously we got back on the road. And the drive went smoothly. Stopped for the night and wondered what the next day would bring. Rain!! 💦💦💦

Driving through Missouri every now and then hitting a bump we’d loose the instruments, radio and the engine. A second later all was right again. This continued all through the drive to Michigan, not every bump but enough to be vigilant. Fortunately the engine always started back and didn’t completely stop.  

Since our appointment wasn’t until May 9th we bided our time at the campground. And now we wait. And wait. I’m writing this as the coach is in service. Yesterday the slide was fixed, now we’re waiting to see if they found the dashboard issue.  

Till next time! 

Safe travels! 

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Leaving Texas…… 

We’re on the road again, left Texas on Wednesday. This time though we’re headed to Indiana.  

Last Friday afternoon there were impending thunderstorms (which seem to happen often in Texas in April) and a tornado watch so we decided to put in the slides just in case.  3 closed just fine, the fourth wouldn’t, then it tilted, totally out of alignment. Can’t drive with the slide open, so until we found a way to close it we were stuck. Nice place to be stuck tho…… 

Not much to be done with it over the weekend, so on Monday we gathered some help with strong arms, and after several hours, manually pushed the slide in.  (It’s a big, heavy slide) Met some very nice neighbors too.  And we really appreciated their help!!   They shored up the slide with some two by fours, yes that’s to keeping it from sliding out on to the road.  That would be so messy!! 😂

We decided to leave Bridgeport a day early and change our plans to go directly to the factory and get the coach fixed.  It was our intention to go to Kansas, Nebraska and S Dakota first….. but we’ll hit those later this year.  Sometimes plans change.  It’s nice to be able to be flexible. 

Right now we’re driving along I 44 (Route 66) in Missouri.   Yesterday was a lovely sunny day……today it’s rainy with a few ⚡️ bolts ⚡️ of lightning.  Chilly too.  

The rest stop we stayed at last night just outside Conway, MO, was so nice. Clean, plenty of oversized spaces. Lots of trees all around.  Missouri is so green! There was a welcome center dressed up as a diner from the 50’s along Route 66. If only they served chocolate shakes, that would of been perfect! The ladies there we very friendly with lots of trivia. It was interesting talking with them.  

We’re taking our time and plan on arriving in Elkhart this Monday.  See what happens from there.  

So far the drive has been uneventful.  Home is intact, the engines working, we’re Good! 👍

Relaxing a bit…..



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Cowboys and the Old West…… 

Ok, well the 🤠 (cowboys) in this instance don’t ride horses, but they do run up and down a football 🏈 field!  William happens to be a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan.  Really, I do love football myself, but growing up outside D.C. I am a long time Washington Redskins fan (in spite of not having really good winning season in a long time).  Anyway, since we’ve been staying not far from Arlington, TX we went to AT&T Stadium last week for a tour.

To be honest, we both enjoyed the tour.   The place is huge, TV just doesn’t do it justice.

Toured thru the locker rooms……


The Dallas cheerleaders have nothing to fear from me….. 😂


What was really fun was being able to go on the field …….

sitting on the ‘boys bench……

Where did the reporters go…….

Really was a fun morning!!

After lunch we drove to the historic district of Fort Worth!



Plus an old fashioned cattle drive….cowboys (and cowgirls) horses and long horns!!




And for $5.00 you can take a picture with this guy……somehow it just didn’t seem right. 

All in all, great day!! 

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TEXAS…….

Bay Landing campground, Bridgeport, TX 

4/6 thru 4/26/17 

Bay Landing is a nice campground on the shores of Lake Bridgeport. 












Nice campground, lots of wide open spaces, lots of grass.  Lots of room between each site.  And deer! 

We’ve been quite comfortable here.  

Decatur, TX

 About 15 miles or so from Bridgeport is the small town of Decatur.  


Dates back to the mid 1800’s, the eastern fork of the Chisholm Trail passed by the town. Then the railroad a few decades later.  


There is a story behind the railway, dice and the nickname of “eighters from Decatur”….. something to look up.  

The Wise County courthouse, completed in 1896, is a designated historic site.  Made from pink Texas granite and marble.  



In person it’s an impressive building.  

On the outskirts of town we passed by this gas station.   


What a cool find!! 😎


This was built in  1927 as The Texas Tourist Camp (with five cabins), gas station and cafe.  Originally it was built in wood.  Legend has it that Bonnie and Clyde stayed there a few days not long before they died. In mid 1930’s he covered all the buildings in petrified wood.  They no longer sell gas (closed in the 80’s) but the cafe is still open. The current owner uses the gas station as an office.  



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Texas didn’t like us….

Within a short time after crossing from New Mexico to Texas, we were driving along and wouldn’t you know it, a rock flew at us and hit the windshield. 😳 Big chip. I got on the phone to look for a repair shop along our route. Long story, short, I finally made an appointment at a repair site in Fort Worth two days later. 

Shortly after that was taken care of, William quietly tells me to look for a Freightliner shop as the coach just gave us an engine warning light. Not good news. Found what we needed about 20 miles up the road, a shop right off the highway in Odessa. We got there late afternoon and they said there were too many ahead of us, couldn’t get to us for a few days. It was suggested we try the Cummins shop down the street. They were much more accommodating, ran a quick diagnostic. There was something definitely wrong with one of the sensors but couldn’t get to us till the next morning. They let us stay in their parking lot and even plugged us in. We were good for the night.  

Next morning they got to work, found the culprit, switched it with a new sensor and sent us on our way by late morning. This shop was super nice, great service. Very happy the first shop turned us away. 

We finally got to Fort Worth repair shop early morning a few days later and checked out the windshield. While they could have taken our money, they said it really wasn’t worth fixing right now. As long as the chip doesn’t spider web we should be fine until we’re ready to replace the whole windshield. On our way again. The chip is still there.  

The final drive to the rv park was uneventful, fortunately.  

While these incidents make life a bit more stressful, it was a good lesson that we can get service on the fly. I know it won’t always be that easy…..but it is doable. 

Can’t help but wonder how difficult it must have been before the internet and smart phones. Both make our travels so much easier.  

……….. Texas decided it liked us after all.   

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Side trip……

Heading south after leaving Roswell, we kept seeing signs for Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  I mentioned that next time traveling thru N M we should check that out as we had heard it was worth stopping for.  William said since we’re not in any hurry, why not now!  Since we’d already passed Carlsbad we turned around and found the local Elks Lodge, who had room for us, and stayed there for the weekend.  


Next day, Sunday, we drove out to the NP.   It’s hard to imagine driving through those desert 🌵 hills that underneath are miles of caverns with awesome stalagmites and stalactites of amazing shapes and sizes. 

The stairs at the opening of the cavern


Overall it took about three hours to walk through, took the elevator back up the top.  A very enjoyable day.  

Next morning we took off again and continued on to Texas.  Saw lots of these on the way…….. 


Had no idea there’s oil in NM.