Big Trip West – Days 3 and 4

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

On Sunday, we rolled out of Chattanooga around 8:30 in the morning and headed on up I-75. It was a little foggy for the first part of our trip, but nothing bad. Traffic was busy as usual on a summer Sunday on I-75. We hit a bit of construction traffic here and there, but nothing too bad. We stopped for lunch at the Kentucky Welcome Center, which was fairly crowded. We did find a nice spot off the side of the truck and RV area with a bit of shade.


Shady Lunch Spot

We rolled into the Kentucky Horse Park campground around 3:00 and got checked in. As we were finishing backing into our site, which sits on a corner, another Heartland RV pulled around the corner to turn into the other side of the campground. They tooted their horn as they went by. We didn’t see who it was, but noticed that they had an owners club plate on the back of their rig.


Our corner site with the big yard (just lacks shade)

After we got set up and ate dinner, we went for a walk to see who the mystery folks were. It was Glen and Fran Schaff from New Jersey. They had just finished their dinner and came out to sit and chat with us for a couple hours. It was fun catching up with them. They had plans to visit the Horse Park on Monday and Old Friends on Tuesday. We agreed to take them out to dinner Monday evening and show them around a bit.

Today, Malcolm worked all day and Val worked on some sewing projects. We called the Schaffs to see if dinner was still on and they said they’d walk over since we offered to drive. We took them to Ramsey’s for some good Kentucky cooking. Ramsey’s makes about the best Hot Brown we’ve had in the area and Glen tried one. We also had the server bring out an Ale 8 soft drink for the Schaffs to try. Might as well get all the Kentucky in.


Ale 8 and a Hot Brown – Winning Combination

After dinner, the Schaffs sat around outside our rig and chatted with us until it got dark and late. They’ll be doing the tourist stuff again tomorrow and Malcolm will be working, but we promised to catch up later in the day to see what was going on.


Dinner at Ramsey’s


Heading South

Previous Location: White River Campground, Cicero, Indiana

Current Location: Bowling Green KOA, Bowling Green, Kentucky

We said some of our goodbyes Sunday morning before we left the fairgrounds in Goshen and we hit the road about 8:30 AM. We drove down to Cicero, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. We wanted to stop overnight in that area to visit Malcolm’s Uncle David and Aunt Judy as well as assorted cousins.

We arrived at the campground (after having made a previous reservation) a couple hours before check-in time. Fortunately, whoever had our spot before us had already left, so we were free to get set up on our site.


Our Site at White River Campground

Once we were set up, we headed out to Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana to meet Uncle David at the Fathers’ Day car show going on there. We viewed a few cars, then had hot dogs and sides for lunch. After lunch, we walked around a bit more then decided to head over to Uncle David and Aunt Judy’s home to visit.


At the Car Show


Neat display complete with carhop

Malcolm and Uncle David took a tour of the various hobby displays around the house, including the outdoor garden train layout and the basement slot car track.


The Garden Train


Cousin Luke and Uncle David in the heat of the race

After visiting for a while, we headed out to have dinner at the local BBQ place and dessert at the ice cream spot next door. We said our goodbyes after dessert and we headed back to the campground by way of a fuel stop.

This morning we headed out fairly early and started down the road. We weren’t sure exactly where we were going to stop, but we were making good time. Instead of driving really far, we actually stopped a bit short and landed in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the KOA here.


Our beautiful patio site at the KOA

Once set up, we headed across the interstate to shop at the Camping World here. While hooking up the water, Malcolm kept running into water leaks and issues, so he decided to just replace both the water hoses, all the quick-couplers and replace the water pressure regulator he left at the previous campground (it’s been a while since we’ve left behind a pressure regulator).

For dinner, we headed across the interstate again and ate at Cracker Barrel. On the way back to the campground, we stopped by a park near the campground that had several aircraft sitting around on display. It was a really nice and interesting park to visit and a nice surprise.


Aviation Heritage Park

It turns out that all the aircraft were flown by local aviators over the years. Each plane had a nice plaque in front of it that told all about the plane and the celebrated aviator associated with it.


Aircraft with Informative Plaque

There was also an FM transmitter that had a narrative being broadcast. If it were raining, you could back into a parking spot (where you could see all the aircraft on display) and listen to the narrator describe each plane and the aviator associated with it.


Navy Plane on Display

We finished visiting the park and headed back to the RV for the night. Tomorrow we head out and will be traveling back to Wetumpka, Alabama for a couple nights. Malcolm has a dentist appointment Wednesday morning and we’ll be clearing out our storage unit there and packing it all into the truck, car and trailer to take down to Florida.

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.



Catch-up Post – Kentucky

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the first of a few posts to catch up.

We were in Kentucky from Thursday, September 15th through Monday the 18th. On Friday we headed over to the Horse Park to visit and to go horseback riding. We picked the first horseback ride of the day (11:00) since it was supposed to be pretty hot in the afternoon.


Let’s go horseback riding!


Val is saddled up and ready.


A group of horses watches us ride by.


It may be “nose to tail”, but still fun.


Still back there?

Before and after the ride, we wandered around the Horse Park. It’s not an uncommon sight to see folks (typically volunteers) sitting or riding around the park on horses.


A couple of costumed riders outside the main building.

We wandered through a couple of indoor exhibits since it was pretty hot outside and there weren’t many horses outside.


Full-size diorama in the history of horse museum.


Exhibit in the Arabian Horse exhibit

On Saturday, we headed to Paris, Kentucky to take in the annual Secretariat Festival. The festival celebrates the famed racehorse, Secretariat. A good friend of ours – Patrick the Miniature Horse – is the official mascot. We hung around with he and his owner, Sarah, and her mother.


Patrick, Sarah and her mother talking to Val.

Each year, they usually have a few people show up to sign autographs. This year, Secretariat’s jockey, Ron Turcotte, and his exercise rider, Charlie Davis, were in attendance. Last year, Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, was also there. She didn’t make it this year.


Charlie David, Secretariat’s warmup rider, gives Patrick the Mini Horse a peppermint.


Charlie gives Patrick a kiss.

After the downtown festivities, we followed Patrick, Sarah and her mother out to the fairground where Patrick was giving a demonstration of his jumping abilities. It ended up starting to rain just as his turn came. He did his best, though.

We said our goodbyes to Patrick, Sarah and her mother and headed on back to the trailer where we entertained Val’s sister Anne and our niece, Jasmine, for dinner. We visited for a while until they had to leave.

Sunday morning we drove down to Nicholasville and attended church with Malcolm’s Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jerry. After church, we went to Margaret and Jerry’s house for lunch. We were joined by cousins Lary and Dale. We visited most of the afternoon.

When we left Nicholasville, we headed to Columbia’s Steak House in Lexington to have dinner with some friends, then back to the trailer to start packing up for our move on Monday.

On Monday, we packed up, hitched up and headed down to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We’ll cover that in the next catch-up post.


And We’re Here

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

“Here” would be Lexington, Kentucky, where we were heading after leaving Washington state 9 days ago. We’ll be here at the Horse Park campground in our favorite spot for a few days. Here’s a rundown of the rest of our trip here:

Once we left Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we decided to just drive as far as we felt like and stop for the night. As we were heading south on I-29 we decided to stop just after crossing into Missouri. Malcolm found a nice sounding campground (Rock Port Riversedge Campground) on our Allstays app and we just drove in. It was fairly full, but the super nice couple that run the campground found one open spot for us – perfect.


Parked next to the cornfield in Rock Port, Missouri

It was sunny when we arrived in Rock Port, but it was rainy the next morning. We drove on south on I-29 to Kansas City, then turned east on I-70. That’s about when we ran out of rain and the skies turned sunny.

We realized in the last couple of days that we were going to have more days than miles, so we changed our Kentucky reservation to arrive on Thursday instead of Friday. Given that, we divided the drive from Rock Port, Missouri to Lexington into three fairly even increments. For Tuesday night, we ended up at another nice campground find – theĀ Lazy Day Campground in Danville, Missouri. It was a really nice campground and had the bonus of giving a 15% discount to Escapees members (like us).


Lazy Day Campground site.

We left Lazy Day on Wednesday with the intent of staying the night in Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park campground in western Kentucky. We entered the campground mid-afternoon to find the office closed but instructions to grab an envelope, find a site that isn’t reserved, drop money in and deposit the envelope.

We drove around the campground and found that the only empty 50 amp sites had the power post located 50 or more feet away from the site. Our power cord wouldn’t reach that far. We then decided to drive around and look at the 30 amp sites. About the time we found one that looked suitable, a gentleman in a plumbing company van stopped to tell us that there was a water leak in the park and that most of the park water was going to be off overnight. We decided to look elsewhere since all the sites were fairly unlevel, under low hanging branches or other issues.

We ended up Wednesday night in the nearby Paducah / I-24 / Kentucky Lake KOA, run by a very nice older couple. Given the For Sale sign outside of the campground and their age, we figured they were ready to fully retire. We left the truck hooked up to the trailer for the night and headed out in the morning. The gentleman that owned the place stopped us and thanked us for stopping through.


Our KOA site

Today we headed up the road to our final destination here at the Horse Park. We had reserved our favorite site based on previous experience with the site. The nice thing is that it is the last site on the row with our door facing the large expanse of grass between our site and the main road. Plus, it is in the back part of the park, so less traffic going by.


Most of our front yard here at the Horse Park

Plans for the long weekend are to visit the Horse Park, head over to Paris, Kentucky for the Secretariat Festival, visit with Malcolm’s aunt and uncle, have dinner with some friends of ours that live in the area and visit with Val’s sister and family.

Monday morning we head down the road to Chattanooga for several days at a Heartland Owners Club rally being held there.