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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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Rainy Day at the Storage Unit

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The Truck is Loaded up

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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.

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Back Home

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

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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.

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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).

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Covering the Plywood

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Buggy Parking at E&S Sales

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

 

 

Our Visit to Seattle

Last Thursday, May 18, the three of us (including David) loaded into our car and we drove up to Atlanta. We made a lunch stop at Cracker Barrel on the way, then on to the airport after parking the car. David had to get his own tickets much later than when we got ours, so he was on different flights. Fortunately, his flight departing Atlanta was only about 10 minutes different than ours.

Once we arrived in Seattle (at nearly the same time), we picked up our checked bag and headed down to get our rental car. We drove on to Violet’s school, where they were having an art walk. We got to see her art hanging in the school halls. After the art walk was over, we headed over to Cole and Elizabeth’s house to drop David off. We headed on out so that bedtimes could be administered on a near normal basis. We stayed at Val’s sister Annie’s apartment nearby. She moved out here a couple months ago to take a contract nursing position.

On Friday morning, we drove over to Elizabeth’s house for breakfast with she and the girls. Violet was getting ready for school. We stood outside at the bus stop with her to watch her off (the bus stops at their driveway). After she left, we loaded Elizabeth, David and Scarlet in the car and headed towards Tacoma. Scarlet’s preschool class had a field trip to the childrens’ museum there.

We stopped for a quick lunch at Chick-Fil-A, then headed over to park so we could catch the commuter trolley up to the museum (Scarlet requested riding on the “train”).

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Let’s Ride the Train

Scarlet had a fun time at the museum. We had all been there before, so we were familiar with everything there. After the field trip was over, we rode the train back to the car and headed back to the house.

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Elizabeth and Scarlet Outside the Museum

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Building Things with Uncle David

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Making Sure the Garden is Watered

We dropped Elizabeth at the house to get her car and met her over at Violet’s school (we needed her car as well since it had Violet’s car seat in it). We met her teacher and talked for a few minutes before heading back over to the house.

We were originally going to keep the girls so that Elizabeth and Cole could have an evening out by themselves, but the girls wanted them to join us for dinner, so all of us headed over to Famous Daves for dinner. After dinner, we split back up and we headed back to Annie’s apartment for the evening. She had to work all day, but was home when we got there.

On Saturday, we got up really early and headed over to Cole and Elizabeth’s. Cole, Malcolm, David and Violet headed out at 5:30am to go shrimping. Val, Elizabeth and Scarlet spent the day out shopping and having fun.

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Waiting in Line to Drop the Boat

The shrimp season where they were going is only active for four days in a two week period. This day was the last day for the year. Malcolm and David had purchased licenses in case the haul was big (you can bring back 80 shrimp per licensed person, and children can bring back 80 as well). Cole had pretty good luck the three previous trips, so we had our fingers crossed.

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Waiting for 9:00 am to drop the pots

The official time to be able to drop the shrimp pots was 9:00 AM, so once in place, you sit and wait until 9:00. Cole has four shrimp pots (big wire cages) that he can drop into the water. Each has 400 feet of rope, but we were fishing in about 250 feet of water.

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Violet helping to raise the pots

After the pots are in the water about an hour (each pot has a buoy marking its location), you run back around in the boat and pull them up to get the shrimp out of them. The first pot pulled yielded about 13 shrimp, but most of them had much less. Many of the shrimpers mentioned that their haul was much lower that day then the previous couple of weeks.

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Shrimp

The total haul for the day was 85 shrimp. We attributed 80 of them to Violet and 5 to Cole. Malcolm and David didn’t technically catch any. It was a fun and interesting trip, regardless.

On Sunday, we all met at church (including Annie, since she was off work), then off to Trackside Pizza for lunch. Malcolm and Elizabeth cooked stirfry for dinner (one of Malcolm’s specialties).

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The two chefs

On Monday morning, we headed to the house and had breakfast with the girls. We watched Violet get on the school bus. After that, Malcolm and Elizabeth went to the AT&T store to get her failing phone replaced. David, Annie, Val and Scarlet met up with them at the Puyallup library parking lot to shuffle around people. From there, David and Elizabeth went out to have a brother/sister lunch. The rest of us headed to McDonalds (per Scarlet’s request) for lunch and some play time.

We ate dinner at Elizabeth’s house on Monday evening and just visited for a while. David packed up his stuff and headed to Annie’s apartment with us since we all had very early flights on Tuesday morning. We said our goodbyes then.

On Tuesday, David’s flight left about an hour before ours. We dropped him at the airport and Malcolm went to take back the rental car. After riding the shuttle bus back, he met up with Val and we headed to our flight. We met David back at the Atlanta airport, picked up our bag and ate a late lunch (it was around 4:00 eastern time) before driving back to Wetumpka and the trailer.

David spent the night with us Tuesday night, then headed back home to Panama City on Wednesday. After a bit of discussion, we decided to keep Callie with us instead of sending her back with David and his new kitten. We thought she might like the quieter life lazing around the RV instead of being chased around by a kitten and a dog.

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You mean I can stay?

Time for Some Visiting

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Last week was pretty uneventful. Malcolm worked at the office from Monday through Thursday. Several people were going to be out of the office on Friday, plus it was supposed to be a rainy day, so Malcolm stayed home and worked from the trailer.

On Saturday we hooked up the trailer and stopped by the dump station to empty tanks. Then we convoyed on back down to Wetumpka to set up for a few weeks. We had doctors appointments set up for this Tuesday morning. Plus, Malcolm’s crown decided to pop off again last week, so he had an early morning dentist appointment on Monday to have it reinstalled yet again.

One trailer modification was started last week while we were in Nashville. Malcolm started removing the RV stereo and speakers that were mounted in the entertainment cabinet. We’ve been wanting to do something with that space and Malcolm came up with the idea of building a pull-out desktop into the area. Our previous trailer had one built in.

Once we got to Wetumpka, Malcolm started cutting out some of the wood to make a wide opening about five inches high. Then, it was off to Lowe’s to pick up various pieces of wood and other hardware. Malcolm pretty much finished up the entire project on Monday afternoon.

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The “Work Bench”

Malcolm put together the entire drawer out on the picnic table. The drawer front was initially going to be an oak 1×6 that we bought, but we found a better alternative. The trailer originally came with a shelving unit behind the TV that was meant to hold DVDs, etc. We had pulled it out and mounted the TV directly to the wall to free up counter space in front of the TV.

We had stored the shelving in our storage unit all this time and brought it back in case we might want to use the wood in the project. As it turns out, two of the shelves in the unit were cut from one piece of wood so that joining them together end to end had the grain matching up perfectly. Lacking anything more fancy to use, Malcolm mounted a few L brackets on the back side to hold the two pieces together.

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The Drawer Fully Deployed

The front of the drawer flips down to allow it to be used as a keyboard drawer. Magnetic catches on either end hold the drawer front up in place otherwise.

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Drawer with Front Flipped Up

The drawer rides on soft close drawer glides, letting it easily open and close. We’ll still need to put some type of positive latch on it to keep it from sliding open while in transit.

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The Drawer Closed

We’re still debating whether or not to install drawer pulls. We like the clean look as it is now and it is not difficult to open and close.

Yesterday afternoon, our son David arrived along with Callie and his new kitten, Maui.

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Maui

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Callie

We’ve all noticed that Callie has started showing her age (she is 14 this year). She’s also not real happy about her new little roommate, but she tolerates him.

We are all flying out to the Seattle area to visit Elizabeth and family on Thursday. The kitties are staying in the trailer and our neighbors will be taking care of them (and the trailer) while we are away.