First Day of Rally

Current Location: Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Goshen, Indiana

Today is the official first day of the Heartland Owners Club national rally. Several folks indicated that they wanted to run up to Shipshewana to go to the flea market, so we were all ready to go, but couldn’t find the folks we thought were going. After waiting around a while, Malcolm saw our neighbor arrive with a keyless entry system for his trailer. That is something we had wanted to get, as well, and found out he bought it at the rally in the vendor building. We headed up there and picked one up ourselves. Malcolm and David had it installed and programmed in about 15 minutes.

Old door handle assembly removed. Held in with six screws.

Old door handle assembly removed. Held in with six screws.

Malcolm and David installing the new door handle.

Malcolm and David installing the new door handle.

A few finishing touches and adjustments.

A few finishing touches and adjustments.

The outside keypad sticks on the outside wall.

The outside keypad sticks on the wall.

Once the keypad was programmed with a new combination and the remotes were verified working, we locked up the trailer (remotely) and the three of us jumped in the truck to head to Shipshewana. As there is a heavy Amish and Mennonite population in the area, the roads are set up for their buggies to ride on the sides. They are well used. We passed many buggies on the road, as well as many folks on bicycles.

Amish buggy driving down the road.

Amish buggy driving down the road.

Our first stop in Shipshewana was E & S Bulk Foods. We bought several items there, including one of Malcolm’s favorites – hot pickled cauliflower. We also picked up a few other items such as dry soup mixes, pickles and cheese. It was a fun store to browse around and the prices were good. The employees were all Amish (from what we could tell) and there was the typical Amish parking area next to the store.

Amish buggy parking at E&S.

Amish buggy parking at E&S.

As we were loading in the truck at E&S, we saw some fellow Heartland owners heading inside. We said “Hi” and headed a little ways up the road to the Shipshewana Flea Market. Once there, we immediately headed to eat lunch. After lunch, we browsed around the flea market for a bit before heading back to the truck.

Since we were already out and about, we headed over to Elkhart to pick up the wheel we ordered for the trailer. It is an aluminum rim that we will mount the spare tire onto so that we will have five matching rims, which will make rotating tires easier.

Heartland parts department.

Heartland parts department.

After picking up the rim, we headed on back to the fairgrounds and unloaded our food into the trailer. We plan on doing the spare tire thing on Thursday while our trailer is down at Lippert getting the six point leveling system installed.

The rest of the day, we mainly relaxed or rode bikes around. Malcolm found a large group of people congregating at the northwest section and found out one of the couples was making tacos for anyone and everyone that wanted to stop by. Malcolm headed back and rounded up Val and David, as well as some chairs to sit in and we went back to have tacos with the others.

After our unexpected dinner out, we headed back to the trailer to pick up our dessert for this evening’s potluck dessert get-together and headed back to that. Announcements were made, we all enjoyed desserts and met new folks at our respective tables. At the meeting, we heard that this year there were 250 units registered (and pretty much all but one or two were here), and about 505 rally attendees. This was a record number for the Heartland Owners Club.

Big group of folks at the dessert get-together.

Big group of folks at the dessert get-together.

After this evening’s program, David offered his services in assisting with the audio-visual setup for the various seminars. He will be up bright and early tomorrow to go help with that. Tomorrow is a short day, with only morning seminars scheduled and no evening get-togethers, dinners or entertainment planned. We’re going to spend the afternoon sightseeing.

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