Frontier Days

Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Dates: Oct. 30 to Nov. 6, 2017

The beginning of the week was spent in preparation for being busy the rest of the week with our volunteer duties at Frontier Days. Malcolm made sure that the RV tanks were emptied and, after having several evenings of cool weather, getting one of our propane tanks refilled.

After returning with the filled propane tank, Malcolm hooked it up to the trailer and found that the connection was leaking propane. After checking nearby at Lowe’s to see if they had anything (not really), Malcolm ordered a replacement on Amazon for next day delivery and fixed it on Wednesday after the piece arrived.


Waiting for the new hose to arrive.

On Wednesday, we all headed out to take care of our volunteer duties for Frontier Days. Malcolm and David directed traffic and parked cars. Val worked with herding the school buses full of children in and out.

Thursday morning, Malcolm woke up feeling fairly bad (fall allergies) and stayed in while David and Val headed out for traffic and bus duty. It probably was good that Malcolm stayed in as there were light rain showers off and on during the day.


Maui watching people outside the trailer

On Friday, Malcolm was back outside working with the traffic crew. Val was back with her bus crew. This is the only picture Malcolm took at Frontier Days from his vantage point in the middle of the road.


Saturday was fairly hectic, parking-wise. We have a smaller number of people working parking duties. There were no buses to take care of, so Val spent part of her time sitting in the Friends of the Fort tent and handing out information while wearing some of her new period costuming. She also took our golf cart and offered rides to people.


Photo Op with Davey Crockett

This morning (Sunday), we loaded up our sewer tote and took it with us to donate to some friends. We went to church and met a friend of David’s after church for lunch at Cracker Barrel. Once we were back home, we started the process of breaking everything down to travel back to Florida. David packed up his stuff, along with Maui, and headed back home this afternoon.

On Saturday, Malcolm had run out for a bit to pick up a U-Haul trailer so that we can take our golf cart with us back to Florida. Today, Val drove it around the park for a bit to get used to having a trailer behind her. After running around for a bit with the trailer empty, we loaded up the cart, strapped it down and went out again for a practice run. We also stopped by the gas station and filled up the car.


Loaded and ready to go

We realized that the golf cart really was the last thing of ours still here in Alabama, so taking it with us more or less finalizes our move away from Alabama as a sort of home base. Of course, we’ll still stop by from time to time since we still have so many friends here.

Speaking of “friends”, this week also ended up being ladybug swarming season. We’ve found a few flying around inside the trailer, but not near as many as we’ve seen in years past. We think we may have eliminated more entry points over time.


Please – let us in!

Tomorrow (Monday) morning, we’ll hitch up the trailer to the truck and, with Val following along with the car and golf cart on the U-Haul trailer, we’ll head back down towards home. It will probably be a two-day trip there.


Hanging Out Up North

Location: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Madison, Florida

Dates: Oct. 24 to 25, 2017

We stopped for the evening in Madison, Florida at the Jellystone RV Park. It helped break the trip up since it is 480 miles from Davenport to Wetumpka. We unhooked the truck and took both vehicles to fill them up with fuel, then relaxed in the trailer after fixing dinner. We were up the next morning, hooked up and rolled on out to Wetumpka.


Our site at Jellystone

Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Dates: Oct. 25 to 29, 2017

We arrived at Fort Toulouse around 2:00 in the afternoon and set up in our usual site. We went over and retrieved our golf cart and our sewer tote and settled in for a several day stay. Malcolm worked on Thursday and Friday. Val did some running around, shopping and picking up items we had delivered to friends.

David came up to stay with us on Saturday. He will be with us for about a week. He also brought his cat, Maui, with whom Callie is not impressed.


Maui “helping” Malcolm

Today, the three of us went to church and caught up with old friends while we were there. We had lunch out and headed back to the trailer. David and Val relaxed while Malcolm took care of emptying tanks and filling the golf cart batteries with water.

We have a couple more days to relax (or work, in Malcolm’s case) this week before Frontier Days starts (on Wednesday). We will all be volunteering for various parking duties during the week (Frontier days runs from Wednesday through Saturday).

Heading on Home

Location: Horse Cave KOA, Horse Cave, Kentucky

Dates: Sept. 15 to 16, 2017

After leaving Shipshewana, we traveled south to approximately the midway point to Wetumpka, Alabama. That, generally, is the Cave City, Kentucky area. We chose the KOA in Horse Cave, Kentucky. Since we went shopping in the morning and left Shipshewana fairly late in the morning, we arrived in Horse Cave around dinner time.


After getting the trailer set up, Malcolm noticed that there were several farm animals in the area behind our site. Of course, he had to go investigate.


There were a couple horses, quite a few roosters and chickens, a couple donkeys and miniature horses. Malcolm found that the donkey, especially, loved to have his ears scratched.


The roosters were crowing when we got up and going fairly early the next morning. We left the campground around 7:30 am.

Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Dates: Sept. 16 to 18, 2017

We drove on from Kentucky to our old standby in Wetumpka. Our favorite site was available and reserved for us already when we got there. We got our new propane fire bowl out and tried it out, even though it was very warm and muggy outside.


Also, our golf cart was all cleaned up for us. We plan on leaving it here for about another month so it will be here when we come back in late October for Frontier Days. We plan on trailering it down to Florida with us after Frontier Days, in early November.


We stayed in Alabama two nights so that we could go to our old church on Sunday morning. We saw lots of people we hadn’t seen for a few months and had lunch with our good friends, the Miltons.

We were up and moving slowly on Monday morning since we were driving a shorter distance.

Location: Pineglen RV Park, Panama City Beach, Florida

Dates: Sept. 18 to 19, 2017

We headed on down to Panama City Beach for an overnight, staying in another of our old standbys. We even got our favorite site on the end of the row.


We did a quick grocery run, then waited for our son, David, to get off work at around 6:00 pm. He met us for dinner at Salt Water Grill which was fairly close to the campground. It was a great meal. We also handed off various items we had picked up for David on our travels. We said our goodbyes in the parking lot as he had to get on home and get some sleep.


We stopped on the way back to the campground and filled up the truck with fuel. We hit the road fairly early on Tuesday morning so we could make the long-ish drive on down to our home base in Davenport.

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 19, 2017 to sometime in October

Our drive on I-10 east and I-75 south went smoothly. There was slightly more traffic than usual as some stragglers were probably still flowing into the state after escaping from hurricane Irma. We didn’t have any problems finding fuel along the way. We filled up about halfway home just to make sure.

We pulled into our spot around 4:00 in the afternoon. We did just a little clean-up, uncovered the car and made sure it would start and warmed it up for a bit to charge the battery. We pulled the golf cart out of the shed and got a few things organized between the sheds and the trailer.


Malcolm decided that Wednesday morning was going to be spent cleaning bugs off the front of the trailer. The love bugs were out in full force in Florida. Their guts are rather caustic to paint, so we need to get that knocked off as soon as possible.


We’re glad to be back home. We drove around the neighborhood in the golf cart to see some of the damage that we had already seen in pictures. It wasn’t too severe, but a few people did lose their big RV ports. We also had a nice sunset to finish welcoming us back.


We’ll be here until late October (about a month) when we’ll head up to Alabama for a couple weeks for Frontier Days. Malcolm has jury duty some time early in October.




Home for a Bit

Current Location: Our RV Lot in Florida

We left the Bowling Green KOA on Tuesday and headed on into Wetumpka, Alabama and Fort Toulouse. The weather in Alabama was rainy for the whole 48 hours we were there. After setting up the trailer, we headed out to pick up our mail and our car from its temporary parking spot at the Milton’s house.

On Wednesday morning, Malcolm headed into Montgomery to get another crown put on his back tooth. The last one came off back when we were in Washington in May and it had cracked, so Malcolm disposed of it. The dentist indicated he would make up a new one and see if he couldn’t attach it more permanently, for no charge.

After Malcolm left the dentist, we met at our storage unit and emptied it out, loading up the truck and the car with everything that was remaining in it. Back at the trailer, we loaded most of the items from the truck into the trailer. The car remained packed front to back.


Rainy Day at the Storage Unit


The Truck is Loaded up


The Car is Full, Too

On Thursday morning, we hitched up the trailer and headed out in the dwindling rain towards Florida. Rather than trying to push the whole trip in one day, we decided to stop in Lake City at Casey Jones RV Park.

On the way down to Alabama from Indiana, the truck indicated that an oil change was due soon. On the trip from Wetumpka to Lake City, the truck changed its tune to an oil change was due NOW. Malcolm made an early morning appointment at the Ford dealer just up the road in Lake City for an oil change.

Malcolm was back from the dealer around 8:45 AM, so we hitched up and headed on to our lot in Davenport. Once the trailer was set up and both air conditioners were running, we headed out to grab some lunch. Back at home, we unloaded the items from the truck, car and trailer and stacked everything in our storage sheds.


Back Home

Malcolm worked Friday afternoon, then decided to start back to working on our brown shed. He started taping and mudding the drywall.


Getting a Start on the Drywall

On Saturday, we took care of a couple of projects we’ve been wanting to do. The main one was to fix our bed frame. We purchased a new mattress in Indiana at the rally, but noticed that the board underneath it was sagging. We replaced the factory 1/2 inch chipboard with 19/32 inch plywood. Malcolm found parts of the frame were cracked or sagging.


Cracked Frame, etc.

Malcolm shored up the frame members and shimmed areas that needed work. Then he cut and attached the plywood and re-installed the lift struts. Once the deck was complete, we started covering the plywood with cheap peel and stick tiles (makes it easier to slide the mattress out to make the bed).


Covering the Plywood

With everything back together, we found that the bed sleeps better now.


Callie Inspecting the “New” Bed

Today we headed to Home Depot and picked up plumbing supplies for the shed. Malcolm plumbed all the water supply lines for the washer, toilet, sink and hot water heater. He did not tie it into the outside water pipe yet. We’re trying to get most everything in the walls complete so he can finish insulating and drywalling the laundry/bathroom area. That may or may not be done this trip, since we’re only here a couple weeks.


Washer Water Lines Ready

Some of the work here is going slow due to the weather. On Saturday, when Malcolm was in and out of the trailer cutting plywood for the bed repair, the temperature got up to 100 degrees. With the humidity, the temperature felt like 116. Today was a little cooler, but working in the back part of the shed (uninsulated) was hot, even with the air conditioner in the front half of the shed working overtime.

Malcolm will be working during the day the coming week, so the shed chores will be done in the evenings once the temperature has cooled down a bit. The forecast for the next week is showing temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s. Hopefully, that holds out.

Time For a Rally

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

While in Wetumpka, Alabama the past couple weeks, we took care of various doctor appointments and Malcolm worked from the trailer. We enjoyed a quiet Memorial Day weekend. Our plan was to leave Alabama on Tuesday, June 6th and arrive in Goshen, Indiana for the Heartland Owners Club North American Rally on Thursday, June 8th.

Many of our friends arrived late in May or early in June. We kept seeing everyone posting pictures of all the fun they were already having in the area. We started to regret leaving later. On Saturday, June 3rd, Malcolm called the head of the owners’ club to see if we could come up earlier and he said it would not be a problem. So, we packed up the trailer Saturday night and headed out Sunday morning.


Callie displaying her enthusiasm about leaving early

On Sunday, we dumped the tanks and headed up the road about 8:30 AM. The halfway point is the Cave City, Kentucky area, so we stopped there for the night at Cave Country RV Campground. We’ve stayed there a couple times before. We just left the trailer hitched to the truck overnight.


Cave Country RV Campground

Leaving the truck hooked up was nice since it decided to rain overnight and into the morning. It wasn’t a hard rain, fortunately. We pulled up stakes and hit the road early on Monday, continuing up I-65 into Indiana, then I-69 from Indianapolis up to Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were making good time and decided to stop for lunch south of Fort Wayne at a rest area. When we pulled into the rest area, we recognized a couple other RVs as other club members, so we chatted with them as we all ate sandwiches.


Lunch with friends

Neither of the other two couples had traveled to Goshen on this route, but we had, so they decided to caravan with us and we led the way. We all arrived at the fairgrounds around 4:00 PM, got checked in and set up.


All set up

We visited with others that had already arrived before heading to bed for the evening. On Tuesday we drove up to Shipshewana and stopped by a few favorites in the area such as E&S Sales and Yoder’s Hardware and Department Store. We ate lunch at the 5 & 20 Country Kitchen.


Buggy Parking at E&S Sales


Outdoor Furniture at Eash Sales (next to E&S)

On Wednesday, Malcolm did some work in the morning and took his weekly Wednesday conference call in the trailer. We headed out to Menards to find some trash bags and also purchased an outdoor screen room. We set that up when we got back to the trailer.


Screen Room set up outside

On Wednesday evening, we went out to eat dinner with Andy and Joanna Grimes at South Side Soda Shop in Goshen. The food was pretty good.


On Thursday morning, Malcolm worked for a couple hours, then we wandered around downtown Goshen. We shopped around for a bit and Malcolm took his weekly Thursday conference call outside on a sidewalk bench and on the way to lunch. We ate lunch at Culver’s restaurant.


Downtown Goshen

For dinner, we went with out with several friends to eat dinner at Goshen Brewing Company. The food and the beer were all very good.


Goshen Brewing Company

Today, we went on a bus tour of Amish country. Malcolm didn’t take many pictures, but we stopped at Rise ‘n Roll Bakery, toured a camel milk farm (we did that two years ago), had lunch at an Amish home, stopped by Guggisberg Cheese, Yoder Popcorn Shop, E&S Sales and Teaberry Wood Products (the only stop we haven’t been to before).


Teaberry Wood Products

The family that runs Teaberry are Mennonite-Amish, or as the husband put it – “Amish on Wheels” (they own a car). They had many fascinating products and it was neat to see how they put them together. Their baskets are made by cutting several concentric pieces out of a flat piece of wood, separating them and stacking them alternately. Then, small strips of wood are slid into the resulting gaps giving it a basketweave effect. (Check the website and you’ll see what we are trying to describe).

After getting back from the tour, we dropped off our purchases in the trailer and headed to dinner out with several friends. Once back from dinner, we walked around a bit before retiring a bit early in the trailer.

The official rally starts next Tuesday, so we’ve still got three more days (Saturday through Monday) of pre-rally days to visit the area and visit our friends.