Sliders, Plumbing, Doubleheader and a Fire

August 20 – 23

Sunday 8/20 – Michael got up bright and early and immediately went to work on removing the cracked grey water tank.  Once it was down he realized that he’d forgotten that there were two holes in the top of the tank – one for the gray water to enter and the other for a vent pipe.  He’d forgotten about the hole for the vent pipe so when he order the fittings he only ordered one.  Oops!  What to do, what to do?

Look at all those fresh veggies – corn, green beans, carrots, broccoli, celery…Yum!

I made a pot of chicken, vegetable and orzo soup for lunch – delicious!  It’s never too hot for a big pot of home-made soup!

Later in the after noon Michael needed to make a run to Menard’s in Columbus for some parts for his latest projects.

While we were out we decided it was a good time for me to sample a White Castle burger.  Michael had had them in the past but I never had so he’s been telling me for a while that he take me to a White Castle so I could try it.

Pretty darn good little burger

For those that have not had them…they’re sliders.  If you order a combo meal it comes with four sliders, fries and a drink.  The burgers are very small and thin and come with onion and pickle…nothing else.  The burgers are cooked on a bed of fried onions (so they’re basically steamed).

I liked ’em.  I thought they were pretty darn good and would go back.  They’re not a gourmet burger but for $5.50 for a meal…you can’t really go wrong.

Monday 8/21 – First thing this morning Michael called the local RV dealer to see if they had the fittings that he was missing and to see if they could cut the holes in the tank and insert the two fittings.

Old tank on the ground…new tank on the table

After being told that they could do the job but it might be the end of the week before they could get to it, Michael took tanks over to Edmundson RV to have the fittings added.  It took a week to get the one he’d ordered online and since we leave here a week from this Friday we didn’t want to wait that long.

By mid afternoon we got a call back from Edmundson RV letting us know that the tank would be ready on Tuesday!

Some of Michael’s handiwork for the Anderson valve install

While at a stand still with installing the new gray tank, Michael worked on getting the lines run for the Anderson valve and he conned me into going under the coach with him….mind you I didn’t stay very long! He pointed out all kinds of stuff he’d worked on in the past, had been working on today and stuff he still needs to do to get both the gray tank installed and the Anderson valve project completed.

Old school eclipse pic by our son, Zack!

It was ‘Eclipse’ day.  We didn’t get into the craze like some but were interested in seeing how the whole thing was gonna play out.  I thought it might get a little darker…but it really didn’t.  I took a couple of ‘selfie’ pictures with my phone so I didn’t have to look directly at the sun.  It was pretty cloudy so I basically got some clouds with a sun shining behind them.

Our sons also took a couple of pictures and we all shared pics back and forth.  Oldest son, Zack, did the old paper thingie method and got a cool result.  We had a couple across the way in their lawn chairs with their glasses on, staring up at the sky.  That was about the extent of our ‘Eclipse’.

Tuesday 8/22

Movie and Grocery day!

I placed my order with Franklin Walmart and let them do the shopping and then I picked the order up about 10:00 am.  Then I went across the street to Meijer to pick up some meat and produce (not a fan of Walmart’s meat or produce).  Took it all home, put it away and we were ready to head to Columbus for a movie double-header!

Small but tasty buffet

We stopped at Peking Chinese Restaurant in Edinburgh for lunch.  They had a small buffet set up and we both decided to go with that….$7.00 included drink, dessert and tax.

For such a small town there was quite a bit of lunch traffic.  The food was pretty fresh…although a few of the lesser eaten dishes might have gotten a little cold.  Everything had good flavor so we wouldn’t have any issue going back.

The grey tank with the addition of the spin fittings

We also picked up the gray water tank that Michael had dropped off at Edmundson RV the day before to have some fittings installed.

We decided to do a movie double-header…Annabelle:  Creation and The Hitman’s Bodyguard.  Annabelle is a horror flick…not my first choice…ever.  But Michael wanted to see it so I watched a good portion of it from behind my shirt.  He enjoyed it…me…I could have done without.  LOL

The Hitman’s Bodyguard on the other hand…very good!  We both really, really enjoyed it.  The team up of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson?  Awesome!  They had us laughing through the entire film!  I was even laughing after the movie on the way home at some of the lines…  Go…see it!

Wednesday 8/23

Michael was back to work getting the finishing touches done so that he could get the new gray water tank installed.  He even added a board under the kitchen floor where we had a soft spot where a pipe from the kitchen sink drained into the tank.  Can’t even tell anymore!

The soft spot in the kitchen floor was due to this cut out, as seen from underneath the coach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the same spot but with the addition of a small board to help reinforce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I worked on making some reservations for tours we’ll take while we’re in Little Rock in a few weeks, blogging, a few household chores and did some work on our upcoming South Texas rally.

Dave’s Delicious Dawgs

For lunch Michael went and picked us up some ‘dawgs’ from Dave’s Dawgs here on post.  The post is small so it was less than a 5 minute drive.  We’d been told that they were very good so figured we’d better give ’em a try before we leave the area.  They’re made with Nathan’s hot dogs so you know they had to be good.

The weather has finally cooled down enough that we were able to enjoy another fire tonight!  It hasn’t cooled down much below the 70’s at night.  But we’re getting down into the 50’s for the next few nights and only getting highs of the low 80s.  Good stuff.  Plans are to have a fire the next couple of nights.  Yay!

 

 

 

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Hope, Indiana

Saturday 8/19

We didn’t leave the house until after 11:00 am.  The days venture only took us about 20 miles from home.  We headed east to the small town of Hope, Indiana and started out sight-seeing at the town square where there is a small museum.

Yellow Trail Museum & Hope Visitors Center

The Yellow Trail Museum covers the history of Hope, which was a Moravian community founded in 1830. The museum is housed in an old Hardware store so it was fun to see the old ladders, winches and other miscellaneous equipment from days long ago.

Most of the artifacts in the museum are either donated or on loan from area residents.  I was really impressed by how well everything was very labeled as to what it was and who donated.  We’ve been to several museums where things weren’t labeled well or at all and that just doesn’t get it for me.  I want to know what the objects are, how they were used, who used them and why.  LOL

We spent an hour or so roaming through the museum before taking a walk around the square.

My kinda place!

The place that caught my eye was the Swiss Maid Country Market.  I didn’t know what it was but was pleasantly surprised when we walked in to find a small Amish store selling home-baked goods, bulk goods, meats & cheese and custom-made sandwiches.

There were quite a few people there ordering sandwiches for lunch but we had lunch packed so we just opted for some yummy baked goods (a cinnamon roll, a brownie, a whoopie pie (all to be shared over the next week or so) and a small strawberry rhubarb pie).  Plus, I got a bag of home-made noodles since I used the last of our a few weeks ago.  Pretty sure I’ll be going back the last week that we’re here to pick up a few odds and ends.

The deceased’s motorcycle led the procession with a friend driving.

One of the buildings on the square is the Norman Funeral Home which was built in 1880 and is the oldest business in Hope.  The front of the building is almost all made of glass blocks…pretty unique.  There was a funeral going on while we were there – a biker killed in motorcycle accident.  His motorcycle friends attended on their bikes and they led the procession to the cemetery afterward.  It was pretty poignant to watch.

We found this all out because we were talking to a couple at the ice cream place across the street who were there to attend the visitation at the funeral home.  The whole thing was pretty appropriate for us since we’ve been so consumed with watching the Sons of Anarchy lately.

After our walk around the circle we headed to the Moravian Cemetery where we found a spot in shade to enjoy lunch.  Another light and easy lunch of cheeses, meats, nuts & veggies.

Moravian burial custom

The real reason we were at the cemetery was to visit  ‘God’s Acre’, the historic section.  There are 1070 graves in this section dating back to the 1830s.

An example from the ‘married woman’ section

The Moravian burial custom was done using a ‘choir system’ which meant that there was a section for boys, unmarried men, married men, girls, unmarried girls, married girls and paupers.

Flat stones were used as a symbol to the Moravian belief of equality in death.  Some stones have a footer area used for planting flowers.  These types of gravestones (kind of a mix between a tomb and a cradle) are unique to this cemetery in Hope.  Interesting…

Although the earliest graves date back to 1833 we had a hard time seeing dates on most of the headstones as most have been worn off of the years…so we never did find the oldest ones.

Nice, narrow road to the cemetery

Not having our fill of cemeteries yet…we ventured about 6 miles down the road to the small town of Hartsville to find the Hartsville Baptist Cemetery which is the final resting place of Barton Mitchell, who is credited with finding Lee’s Lost Orders, which revealed Lee’s strategic plans and location of Lee’s Army.  Because of Lee’s discovery the Union was able overcome Lee’s Army in what became the Battle of Antietam.

The cemetery was not easy to find…the GPS took us the wrong way but we were able to find it on our own. The road to the cemetery wasn’t much wider than our big hipped truck but we made it in and out without incident.

Hot, humid and buggy hunt for Barton Mitchell’s grave

The cemetery is quite small and old, with graves reaching back into the mid 1800s.  Usually the site I use (Find a Grave) has directions or coordinates to help in the search for the gravesite.  This time it didn’t…but since the cemetery was pretty small and we did have a picture of the gravestone we thought we’d be able to find it fairly easily.

The prize that was not meant to be…Thank you Findagrave.com for the picture!

We hunted high and low in 90 degree heat, uphill, over weeds, clearing mown grass from gravestones and never found him.  Part of the fun, I think, for us in finding these finally resting spots is the ‘hunt’…but eventually we do find them.  I’m pretty sure that this is the first time we weren’t able to find our target.  It was kind of a bummer.

After our disappointing search through the humid heat we decided we deserved an ice cream treat for our troubles.  That’s when we stopped at Cornett’s Corner Café as we passed through Hope on our way home and chatted with the couple about the funeral across the street.

Back at home we settled in for the remainder of the day.  Michael grilled a ribeye that we cut in two and I made a side dish of cheesy orzo and broccoli to go with it.  And…of course, we watched several more episodes of Sons of Anarchy.  There are seven season and we are almost done with the fifth season at this point.

 

 

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Indy’s Monument Circle and Scottish Rite Tours

Friday 8/18

We left home, headed north to Indianapolis, about 8:00 am to be sure to get to our destination by 10:00 am.  We wanted to give plenty of time for any traffic delays, finding parking, walking to our destination and finding where we needed to be.

It’s a good thing we allotted extra time because we wasted 20 minutes messing with the parking meter.  It was supposed to take a credit card but after fiddling with it forever we were only able to get 15 minutes on the meter.  I finally gave up, scrounged up a bunch of quarters and got the 4 hours we wanted on the darn meter!

The center of the circle…the Soldiers & Sailor’s Monument

We found where we needed to be for the start of the Monument Circle Walking Tour.  The free tour is put on by Indiana Landmarks every Friday and Saturday morning at 10:00 am from May to October.

We were the first to arrive, followed by our tour guide and by our 10:00 am start time our group number close to 15 people.

Janet, our tour guide, was very personable and really knew her stuff.  She carried a binder that held pictures from the past so that we could compare what things look like today versus what they looked like many years ago.

Indianapolis was actually the third capital of the Indiana.  Indianapolis was actually chosen to be the capital before there was even a city in place.  It was chosen for several reasons, one of which was its central location.

The architect that designed the city was the same one who designed Washington DC, and you can easily see that if you were to look at a map of each city.

Janet always made sure to stop us in the shade, which was much appreciated.

The Governor’s mansion was originally built at the center of the circle with a residential area planned around it.  Unfortunately, the governor’s mansion was never lived in as the governor’s wife refused to live as the ‘center’ of attention.  Used passed and the mansion fell apart and was eventually torn down and a park created in its place.

Over the years the park evolved and eventually the Soldiers and Sailors Monument was erected and then dedicated in 1902.  The residential area surrounding the monument eventually evolved into more of a metropolitan area with an Opera House, newspaper offices, a theater etc.

As we strolled along the sidewalk around the base of the monument Janice spouted facts, dates, little stories and shared the pictures in her binder.

Christ Church Cathedral

Several buildings are original and have remained or been given face lifts.  Janet took us into three of the buildings for a brief glimpse.  Christ Church Cathedral was one of the buildings we entered.  Made of Indiana limestone and opened in 1857 the church is one of several that originally sat around the circle. Christ Church is the only one still standing today.

The lobby of the Columbia Club

Right next door to the Christ Church is the Columbia Club which dates back to the time that Benjamin Harrison was running for president.  A gorgeous establishment with a lot of history in its lobby area alone.  A painting of Benjamin Harrison looms over a marble table that was used in the White House while he was president.

A piano played by Hoagie Carmichael sits in one corner while one of the Eagle’s that hung above President Lincoln’s casket in the Indiana State Capitol building sits in another.

City Market, downtown Indy

We really enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend it.  Our tour guide really made it worth while. Hopefully all of the tour guides giving this tour are as friendly and knowledgeable.  Janet even pointed us toward City Market, a couple of blocks away.

City Market dates back to 1821.  Currently it’s mostly a place to grab some refreshments…anything from popcorn to BBQ, bakery, Greek food, ice cream, coffee, beer, wine…etc.  We roamed the whole place and decided to grab a soft pretzel to snack on.

After relaxing for a bit we headed back to where the truck was parked several blocks away.  I’d packed a lunch of cheese, sausage, nuts, veggies.  We enjoyed that in the comfort of the truck with the air conditioning running for a short while and then rolled down the windows to enjoy the day.

Scottish Rite Cathedral

After lunch we walked the few blocks to the Scottish Rite Cathedral.  They offer free tours Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.  The funny thing is…is we really didn’t know what we were going to tour other than a beautiful building!  LOL

Shortly after meeting our tour guide, Steve, we learned that the Scottish Rite is a fraternity of freemasons…related to the Masons.  Huh…who knew!?

For the second time, in the same day, we were blessed with an excellent tour guide!  Steve has been a member of the Scottish Rite since 1979 so we was very familiar with the Cathedral and all of its ins and outs.

The ballroom

The architect of the building was a German by the name of Schreiber and he was involved in nearly every aspect of the building process.  He also paid quite a bit of attention to detail.  Since there are 33 ‘degrees’  of the Scottish Rite he made sure to incorporate that number many times throughout the cathedral.  Steve pointed out the ’33’ over and over as we toured.  Ceilings 16.5 feet tall (16.5×2=33), Rooms that are 66 feet wide or 99 foot square.  Floor tiles that are 33 inches by 33 inches…etc etc etc.  Very cool and interesting as well.

The auditorium

This gorgeous piece of architecture was built faster than any building of equal measure would be done today.  Work began in May 1927 and first event was held in July 1929!  Just over two years later!  Crazy fast!  Plus, it cost a whopping 2.5 million dollars to complete.

We visited several of the grand rooms within the Cathedral – the Ballroom with its ‘floating’ floor, Auditorium with 1200 seats, Lounge, Library and each were beautifully done with patterned ceilings, ornate carved woodwork, and stained-glass windows.

Steve with his ‘class’ photo

Our tour guide, Steve, is a 32nd degree.  We also had one other person on the tour with us, a gentleman who will be 90 next month.  He gets around better than a lot of 50-year-olds and exercises 3 to 5 days a week.  He is also a member of the Scottish Rite and had never toured the building…although he’d been there many times.

Elbert Bradshaw, our tour mate, class of 1951!

The last stop on the tour was the ‘Photo Room’.  Here there are pictures of every ‘graduating class’.  We found both Steve and Elbert’s pictures from when they joined – Steve in 1979  and Elbert in 1951!  So fun!

Our 1 hour tour took nearly 2 hours and we were fine with that!  It was awesome.  Steve even gave Michael his personal card, in case he ever needed anything.

Several of the rooms are available to rent for events such as weddings, graduations, plays, etc.  Wow, what be like to attend and event in the grandeur of the gorgeous place!

We headed home, hitting a little bit of Friday rush hour traffic but nothing terrible.  We stopped at El Jeffe in Edinburgh for an early dinner.  We were there shortly after we first arrived in the area and enjoyed it so much we wanted to go back.  I got the same thing (steak nachos) while Michael opted for a burrito this time.  Once again everything was very good and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

Back home not long after 5:00 pm we had lots of time to enjoy several episodes of Sons of Anarchy before calling it a day.

 

 

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Real Life Home Improvement

‘Home Improvement’ projects continue…after hunting down a package that was sent here to Camp Atterbury, Michael has all of the necessary pieces to get the new grey tank installed.  Woohoo!

The camp host ended up with the package and somehow doesn’t know the names of the campers (whatever – insert eye roll) she sat on the package all week while Michael went back and forth between the mail room, Logistics and the Edinburgh Post Office trying to locate the package.  On Wednesday  he happened to see her and mentioned the package…that’s when she told him she’d had it all week.  (insert throat grab here).

Still in GOOD shape!

Our calendar reminder reminded us that it was time to check the anode rod in the water heater and Michael got that out of the way right away.  He emptied the water heater and pulled out the rod to find that it is still in great shape!  We do need to remember to buy a replacement so that we have one on hand when the time comes.

FoodSaver doing it’s thing!

A while back we ordered a FoodSaver as Michael has been talking about one for quite some time and we’ve read quite a bit about how Andy from My Old RV enjoys his….so we bit the bullet.

We purchased the 2244 model, which is one of the smaller units but since we only have so much space in this here tiny home we opted to go with the smaller unit.  Plus, since it’s just the two of us rather than a larger family we think this size will do just fine.

So far, it’s great.  The machine vacuum seals the food in a nice little package and provides quite a bit more storage space in our itty bitty freezer.  The food stays fresh longer and no more worry of freezer burn!

Poor Mikey’s appearance AFTER he finally came out from under the coach when he took the underbelly down.

Michael got the underbelly pulled down and out of the way in preparation of starting work on removing a replacing the cracked gray water tank and installing the new Anderson valve.  Hopefully, with those two projects done we will see NO more water in the basement!  Prayers are welcome.

We’ve also been working on putting the details together for our first Heartland Owners Club rally as Chapter Leaders….exciting stuff!

I’ve done some research on things to do in the area, good restaurants, etc.  While Michael’s been working with our friend Ericka to put together a t-shirt design.  Things seem to be falling into place nicely…only 51 days until RALLY TIME!

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No More Tippy Toilet!

So…we’ve had a ‘tippy toilet’ for  a couple of months.  Pretty much since we had our tanks cleaned while we were at the rally in Elkhart.  After the guy finished we noticed that the toilet was ‘popped’ up off the floor a bit.  Michael was able to ‘pop’ it back into place but it’s been kinda tippy ever since.

Michael decided it was time to do some plumbing anyway so he waited until we got here to, Camp Atterbury, to tackle the project.  He wanted to run all new ABS pipe (which was NOT easy to find in this area!).

Cracked flange

When he removed the toilet he found that the toilet flange was busted and that was most likely the cause of the ‘tippy’ issue.  He removed all the old pipe, got the new pipe cut to length and got it replaced fairly easily.  He also moved the toilet about an inch further away from the wall to give a little more space between the wall and toilet.

You might remember that a few days ago he was cutting a board to put under the toilet on the basement ceiling to help give the toilet more support.  He even painted it black so that it blends into the basement ceiling.

He also gave the toilet a thorough cleaning inside and out…so much so that it now sparkles!  The end result?  No more ‘tippy toilet’!!

Michael and I follow several blogs…most of which are either RVing blogs or Gate Guarding blogs…some of which are both!

Here you can see the board Michael added to help sturdy the toilet.

One particular blog that we both read is My Old RV.  The writer, Andy, has been gate guarding since the beginning of time…well, ok…maybe not quite that long.  But a long time anyway…therefore he is an excellent resource for all things ‘gate guard’.  Plus he offers a lot of ‘life lessons’ in his writing.

Michael has been following his blog longer than I have but now that we both read his writings we will often discuss his latest post.  What we didn’t know was that Andy, in turn, reads our blog!  How did we find that out?  Read below:

“Instead of me getting all riled up,  let me shift gears and clue you in on a blog I thoroughly enjoy – and have been enjoying since early Winter last year.  Michael and Kelly are fulltimers and gate guard a part of the year.  To me, they epitomize the full time RV lifestyle.  They work hard and smart and value the old school work ethic, they travel to historic places that interest them and they utilize their mobile lifestyle to visit friends and family often.  Seriously, how much better can it get?  Kelly writes well and their blog is one I visit on a regular basis.  I would highly  recommend you do the same-same especially if you are contemplating a fulltime RV lifestyle or if you are interested in becoming an oil field gate guard.”

We were both shocked and honored to wind up as subject matter in Andy’s latest blog post.  To be mentioned in such a way was quite humbling…and by the ‘King of Gate Guarding’ no less!  Thank you for such kind words, Andy.  We’re glad to hear that you are reading and enjoying!

Speaking of Gate Guarding…the summer is winding down and it’s getting closer to us having to head back to south Texas to work in the oil patch.  We’ve been in contact with our Company Man throughout the summer and still hope/plan to join back up with our crew when we get back to the patch toward the end of October.  You just never know what will happen.

Sadly, our supervisor decided it was time to move on and has taken a job elsewhere.  We’ll miss him!  He was always good to us and truly appreciated us…which is rare, it seems, these days.  We wish him well and will continue to check in on him now and again to make sure that he is enjoying his new life outside the oil patch.

 

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Awesome Day in Indianapolis

We haven’t been doing a whole lot the last few days…just kinda hanging out.

Prepping for the toilet replumbing job. This piece will go under the floor (from the basement) and the toilet will be bolted through the floor and into it to provide more stability for the toilet

Michael has a couple of bigger projects coming up (Installing the Anderson valve, replumbing the toilet & installing the new grey water tank) and has been either picking up parts at local businesses or ordering online.  One of the projects required some ABS pipe (which has almost proved to be nonexistent in this area…he was finally able to order some from Grainger and had it delivered to the store in Indianapolis. What a pain.

We tried having another fire one evening but the wood just didn’t seem to want to cooperate.  Michael started with his normal kindling which caught on quickly and once he added some wood it burned nicely…for a couple of minutes and then died down.  Michael fiddled with the wooded and fanned the fire and it took off nicely again…only to burn down shortly after.  He repeated this process several times and we finally decided to give up…it was still fairly warm out and didn’t warrant overworking.  So in the house we went!

Tuesday we did our normal ‘movie of the week’…this we we went with ‘Kidnap‘ with Halle Berry.  It was only rated 6.0 on IMDB but there wasn’t another good option.  I told someone else that it was in no way a blockbuster but it certainly kept us engaged the entire time.  There were a few things we would have changed but in the ended we both enjoyed it.

There is a large outlet mall here in Edinburgh (just about 6.5 miles from home) and Michael needed some new shoes so we decided to see what we could find at the mall.  We wandered through Skechers, Nike, Clarks, Famous Footwear, Adidas and several other non-shoe stores in search.

Michael ended up finding two pairs of shoes (one casual and one athletic pair) as they were buy one get one 1/2 price.  After paying we were on the way to the door and stumbled upon some tennis shoes without backs on them that would work great for gate guarding as we find it easiest to have slip on shoes at the ready by the door.  We both ended up with a pair and now we’re all set!

Set the tortilla in the bottom (or pancake batter, egg for an omelet, waffle, etc)

A while back I purchased a Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker and it came with a Burrito Maker. I loved the sandwich maker so much that I was excited to try the burrito maker but I never got around to it until just recently.  (The burrito maker is ridiculously cheap on Amazon ($13.49!) currently that if you’re mildly interested..(Zack!) I’d suggest you purchase one as that almost seems like a closeout price!)

Put a scrambled egg and whatever goodies (peppers and crumbled sausage this time) in the top.

I watched a video on YouTube and was surprised to find out that you can make a lot more with it than just breakfast burritos…crepes, pancake sandwiches, small pizza’s, etc.

However, I started out small and just made us each a breakfast burrito…green & red pepper, crumbled sausage, egg and cheese.  They turned out quite good although I have a little bit of a learning curve to get past before I’ll make my final decision as to whether I love it as much as it’s cousin the Breakfast Sandwich Maker.

Thursday we ventured into Indianapolis for some touristy stuff, the first of which was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.  Neither of us are big racing fans so we didn’t really know what to expect or if we’d even enjoy the visit.

Standing on hallowed ground, for some

We ended up taking the ‘Kiss the Bricks Tour’ which took us on a trip around the oval in a tram at speeds nearing 15 mph!  We made a stop at the finish line so that people could ‘kiss the bricks’ or just use the time for a photo opportunity, which we did.

The first and recent winners of the Indy 500…can you tell which is which??

The museum was interesting to wander around, looking at all cars on display.  Incredible to see the changes over the years…especially from the first car to win the 500 in 1911 to the car that won in 2016.   Some of the drivers names were familiar to us (Unser, Foyt…etc) but many were not…like I said…we’re not race fans.

Mikey the Racer

There is an Indy car on display that is set up so that fans can get in and see what it feels to sit in one of these cars.  Michael, of course, took his turn…he’s my guinea pig for all those kinds of things!  He got in just fine and I got my pictures…but getting out…LOL…that was another thing!  After a big of a struggle he finally made it but not without my doing a bit of giggling!

Yanina, Autumn and Isabelle.

It worked out that we were able to meet one of Michael’s former co-workers from his time at HHC 926th Engineer Brigade in Montgomery, Alabama.  Yanina was an AGR soldier at that time too, but she was an E5 and is now a Warrant Officer…impressive!  She is now a stay at home mom and Army Reservist.  She is recently remarried with nine month old twin daughters to keep her busy.  She also has an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son from a former marriage that also keep her running.

We met for lunch at Big Woods Speedway location which was just a mile or so from the museum so it worked out great!  Yanina brought the twins with and we had a wonderful time catching up with her and her new life and admiring the twins (Isabelle and Autumn).

Food was absolutely delicious!  Michael ordered a pulled pork sandwich & fries which he really enjoyed.  I went with the knife and fork bleu cheese salad with chicken.  It was SO good!

Eventually after about 2 hours we had to let Yanina take the babies home for a nap and we headed to our next destination.  Our destination was just  few miles from the restaurant and a Roadside America find.

Lonehenge

‘Lonehenge’ was inspired by the Cadillac Ranch in Texas but rather than several Cadillacs standing on end there is just ONE bright yellow Pontiac Bonneville planted nose up in the middle of this quiet little neighborhood.

The lot on which the car sits originally had a condemned home on it but in 2015 the lot was turned into a small park with a picnic table and, of course, a big yellow car standing on end!

We made a stop at Grainger (just a few miles down the road too!) to pick up the ABS pipe that Michael had ordered for the toilet project.  With that being the last piece of hardware needed, in hand, Michael can now start one of his projects!  Hooray!

The center of Obelisk Square

We had some time to waste before our evening plans so we ended up downtown at the War Memorial District.  We walked several blocks checking out a couple of fountains in the area but the highlight was the War Memorial itself.  A beautiful building on the outside that house a museum (among other things) on the inside.

The Indiana War Memorial

We spent about an hour roaming the museum but could have spent more time as it is really nicely put together. While the museum honors those from Indiana who served, even if you’re not from Indiana you’ll find it interesting and worth a stop.

That evening we had tickets at Beef & Boards a dinner theater on the north side of Indianapolis.   The play was ‘Ring of Fire’ the story of Johnny Cash.  We’d seen and enjoyed the movie so we were looking forward to the play.

The buffet was removed and the stage rolled into place

Dinner was a buffet served from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  The buffet was very well done…probably the best we’ve ever had at a dinner theater.  A very nice salad bar accompanied broccoli casserole, honeyed carrots, baby potatoes, cooked cabbage, fiery red fish, bbq chicken and carved roast beef.  Everything was very good and we really enjoyed it.

Jim and Joanie…great dinner companions!

Our table mates were Jim and Joanie, who live just north of Indianapolis and come to the theater often with their church group.  They couldn’t make it to the performance the group went to and had to reschedule and luckily we were seated together.  Such a nice couple.  We really enjoyed our conversations over dinner with them.  Joanie and I even exchanged FB info!

Arlene and Janice – So nice to get to know both of them!

Before the show started we even got a chance to chat with Janice and Arlene who were sitting at the table behind us. Janice overhead us saying that we were fulltime RVers and since she is considering the lifestyle, as well, she was interested to hear our thoughts.  We exchanged FB info too!

The show started at 8:00 pm and featured some really talented singers and musicians.  The three women in the show really had some beautiful voices…the guys not so much.  Most of the ‘players’ played at least 3 different instruments.  We both really enjoyed the show and it turned out to be a great night out.

The show finished about 10:15 pm and we had a little more than an hour drive due south on I-65.  Traffic was really light so we made good time and arrived home about 11:20 pm.  We were tired but not exhausted as it had been a really awesome day filled with old friends and new friends!  Can’t ask for much more.

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Rocking Chairs, Graves & Helicopters

Thursday 8/3

I had a couple of some small sight-seeing adventures planned for today and we needed to run a couple of errands so we left the house about 10:30 am.

Our first stop was just a short drive from Camp Atterbury, where we’re staying at the FamCamp.  Camp Atterbury was built in 1942 as a training camp but soon after became a POW camp, holding soldiers from both Mussolini’s Army and Hitlers.

Chapel in the Meadow

1943 the Italian (they were here before the Germans) soldiers asked and received permission to build a Catholic Chapel.  They weren’t allowed to use ‘good’ materials but used scraps to build the small 11×16 foot chapel.  An US Army Chaplain held services on Sundays.

Over the years the tiny chapel fell into disrepair but in the 1990s Historical Society helped to restore it.  It sits in a pretty little meadow across from a small fishing pond, hence the name ‘Chapel in the Meadow‘.

The next stop was also nearby…the Camp Atterbury Welcome Center/Museum.  The museum is small, covering the building of Camp Atterbury, WWII, POWs, unit history and the current Camp Atterbury.  While the museum is small and fills just one room I was really impressed by the amount of memorabilia packed into that one room.

Pew from the Pisgah Church…such history!

My favorite piece of information was about a church pew from the Pisgah Church that was on display. When camp Atterbury was built all of the homes, buildings and even churches had to be removed to make way for the new military facility.  The Pisgah Church was one of those buildings.

When it’s sister church, down the road, heard that the church was to be destroyed they asked to be able to remove the pews.  They were told no, that the church and its contents were to be destroyed on Saturday.   Saturday came and the men of the sister church arrived with two trucks and began loading the pews onto the trucks.  As they were finishing an Army Captain approached them and said that he needed to secure the area because it was to be destroyed at 2 pm.  The men said they needed to be on their way, as well.

The pews were used at the Trafalgar Methodist Church for over 50 years.

Oh my…I dream of these nachos! Add a little sour cream and guac…ohhhh…sinful!

By the time we finished at the museum Michael was talking ‘hunger’ so I navigated him to a place I’d read about, El Jefe, which is located in Edinburgh and is less than five miles from home.  Yelp had it rating pretty highly and it had been a while since we’d had Mexican so I thought it was a good time to give it a whirl.

Wow!  Were we glad we gave it a whirl!  Michael had 2 enchiladas with rice and beans (one of the days specials) while I went with steak nachos that were served with onions, tomatoes and green pepper.  We shared a side of sour cream and a side of guacamole.   Everything was delicious!  I’d even venture to say that they were the best nachos I’ve ever had.  Oh my.  Can’t wait to go back!

After lunch we got our errands out of the way…Menards for a few items Michael needed for ‘coach improvement projects’ and a few items that just happened to fall into our cart.

Then it was a quick stop at Walmart to pick up a few groceries to last us until we go grocery shopping next week – milk, butter, fruit…that kind of thing.

Now I just have to find this man and his home again! His cucumbers were delicious!

Oh!  I almost forgot!  As we were leaving Edinburgh, heading toward Columbus for our errands I noticed an older gentleman sitting on his front porch with a sign advertising fresh garden veggies (squash, tomatoes, cucumbers).  I had Michael stop and we picked out some cucumbers (I have to go back!), a few tomatoes and a squash.  There is nothing like fresh garden vegetables!

There is a pool here on post and it’s right across the street from the FamCamp!  How convenient.  We decided to stop and check it out quickly…you know…find out the hours…who was allowed to use it..that kinda thing.  The lifeguard was very friendly and answered all of my questions.  The one bad thing is is that it will most likely be closing soon as all of the lifeguards are college students and have to go back to school…so we better get our fill NOW!

Time to get rid of the bugs!

Back home we hung out outside.  I got a call from our friend, Jay, and we discussed rally stuff, travel plans and a bunch of other stuff.  While I did that, Michael was working on getting the ‘Love Bugs’ off of the front of the coach.  The sooner you get them off after traveling…the easier.

Friday 8/4

We continued with our weekly movie.  This time we drove north about 13 miles to the Canary Creek Cinema in Franklin to see ‘The Dark Tower’.   The theater is an old one that has had some updating.  They even have a drive in theater in the parking lot…strange.  But for $6.50 (military matinée price) we can deal with the ‘older’ theater.

I was a bit leery of the movie as reviews I’d read were not glowing.  However, we both enjoyed it and that’s all that really matters.  It’s based on a Stephen King book so obviously it’s gonna be ‘different’.  So if you like Stephen King…give it a try.

On our way back to Edinburgh we made a couple of brief sight-seeing stops, both of which I found by using Roadside America. (LOVE that website!)

Ok…so here’s my best attempt at a picture of US with the rocking chair!

The World’s Largest Rocking Chair (there are lots of claims for this) also known as Big John is located at a furniture store (how appropriate!?).  The store originally had a large set of drawers as well…but the drawers and the store burned down several years ago, leaving just the rocking chair.  The store has been rebuilt and the chair is still ‘just a rockin’.

I tried taking a ‘timer’ picture of the two of us in front of the chair and after a couple of attempts thought that I got one…not.  So you get one of just Michael and the chair.

Our second Roadside America stop was about 3 miles from the first.  The Grave in the Middle of the Road is literally in the MIDDLE of the road.  This area was once a cemetery.  Nancy Kerlin Barnett died in 1831 and was buried on a hilltop that eventually became a cemetery.

SMACK in the middle of the road…I wan’t kidding!

In 1905, a county road was planned to be built…right through Nancy’s grave.  Her family refused to have her body moved.  In fact, her grandson met workers with a shot gun in order to protect her grave. Eventually, the road was built but Nancy grave was left in tact…the road splitting around her grave.

In 1912, a concrete slab was placed over the top of the grave to protect it.

May she (they?) rest in peace!

In 2016, due to accidents and damage to the grave it was decided to widen the road.  In order to do that, they exhumed Nancy’s remains and discovered a the remains of 7 bodies!  The thought is that not just Nancy’s remains were saved from being moved that day way back in 1905…but several other family members as well.

In the end, the road was widened, the mound was leveled and Nancy and her ‘neighbors’ were placed in coffins and buried deeper.  A concrete slab was placed on top and a plaque with Nancy’s birth and death dates was embedded in the concrete.  Click HERE to read an interesting article about Nancy’s exhumation.

A few of the helicopters that we could see

Back on post we did a little more scouting.  Camp Atterbury is a National Guard post now and not very big at all.  Although we have heard (and seen) frequent helicopters overhead.  Today we found their home!  In two separate fields (one with round hay bales!) there were a total of about 13 helicopters parked.  Ten or so of them were Blackhawks while the remainder were Kiowas.  A least we thought they were Kiowas…but learned that the Kiowas were retired in January of this year.  Perhaps the National Guard is using old equipment…wouldn’t surprise me. (After doing some research Michael now thinks they are Lakota’s)

Lets hope there are LOTS more fires while we are here!

It was a gorgeous day with the highs only in the mid 70s.  Michael was bound and determined to have a fire (even though it was pretty windy) so he chopped up some kindling and got a fire going.

The wind made the smoke almost unbearable at times but after a while the smoke calmed a wee bit.  The heat from the fire felt great when the temp dipped down to the mid 60s.  I grabbed my Kindle and hunkered down to read for a while before we headed inside for the night.  I nice way to end the day.

 

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Travel Day: Urbana, IL To Camp Atterbury, IN

Had a nice quiet night…a little warmer than we care for (no ac) but it wasn’t bad.  I was up at 7:15 and woke Michael at 8:15 (he’d taken a muscle relaxer the night before).  I wanted him to have time to wake up a bit before we headed out the door.

We walked across the parking lot about 9:15 to grab some breakfast before we hit the road for our last 158 miles of this journey.  Breakfast was very good.  We asked for crispy bacon, which we got and I asked for over easy eggs…and they were perfect.  Plus our server was very friendly.

Wowza!

As we walked back to the coach a camper pulled in and went to park in the RV spots but there was a delivery truck sorta blocking the way.

The camper proceeded to squeeze behind the truck and was close to hitting the truck.  Michael stopped the camper and guided him safely into the spot.  Disaster averted!
We pulled out of our overnight campsite at 10:19 am with 158 miles to go…and the GPS giving us an ETA of 2 hours and 26 minutes.  We had a uneventful trip…I can’t say smooth as I74 is pretty crappy.

Rest time…

With just over an hour left to travel Michael pulled into a rest area…those darn diuretics!  Nice rest area with green grass, trees and picnic tables.  I was able to pick up several area brochures to browse through to find some adventures while in the area.

Right before we stopped at the rest area we passed a Landmark with our same paint job being pulled by a red truck.  We wondered if it could be our friends Gus and Debra who we knew we’re in the road today after leaving Wright-Patterson.
I messaged Gus on his Facebook wall asking if it was them. Before he saw my message he messaged me and asked if it was us!  LOL. The really sad thing is is we’ve been Facebook friends for several years but have not yet met in person!  We plan to rectify that in September at the Oklahoma rally!!

Home for the month

We arrived at the FamCamp about 2:15 pm (est) and were sent to site 4 by the camp host.  We got backed into our site, taking extra care as we are here for the month.

We got semi set up and turned the AC on full blast (86 inside!) And then went over to the housing office to pay for our site ($350) and get checked in.  We were given a key to the clubhouse which also  the and a bathroom.  However, their system was down so we weren’t able to pay today…we’ll have to check back another time.

Sweet campfire wood…not so much on the nasty butts!

Our site also comes with cable and free firewood.  Let’s hope it cools down a little so that we can enjoy a couple of fires while we’re here.  Unfortunately, the fire pit has a TON of cigarette butts in it…nasty!

I did get the laundry sorted and a load started before we left to go pay for our site. With no sewer at our last location the laundry was starting to pile up.

Home Sweet Home – with the Trail Runner behind us and the Big Country on the right

Once again, we have a mini Heartland rally going on.  On our off-door side there is a Big Country.  Right behind us is a Trail Runner and on the other side of them there’s a Big Horn.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet the owners at some point.

I whipped together and easy dinner (leftover brats & hot dogs, potato salad, jello, baked beans and corn on the cob) and we watched several episodes of Sons of Anarchy before calling it a day.
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Travel Day: Rhinelander, WI To Urbana, IL

With a long day ahead of us I was up at 5:30 am so that I could get a little quiet time before we needed to get moving.  However, Michael was up about 30 minutes later…so much for my ‘quiet me time’.  LOL

Not much work to do this morning as Michael dumped last night.  He combined our sewer hose with the neighbors and made a 55 foot hose to reach the dump station since we’re right across the street from the dump station and were in the site so funky it would have been a real pain to try and maneuver the truck and coach over over there when we pulled out.

So with that out of the way it was just a matter of unhooking the power (water was disconnected yesterday) and hitching up!

After doing a pull test and a light test, dropping off the garbage and setting the GPS we pulled out of the campground at 7:09 am.

Nice and peaceful at 7:30 am

We we’re headed south on US 51 20 minutes later.  While the road itself isn’t exactly smooth, traffic was light and flowed easily.

We passed by Wausau just after 8:00 am and while traffic picked up a tiny bit..it wasn’t really anything to worry about.

My Zen moment for the day

We made a quick stop to use the restroom and I couldn’t help but take a picture of the hayfield across the road. I don’t know what it is about those round bales littering the feel but it gives me a sense of peace and nostalgia.

We made another stop at the Mousehouse Cheese House.  We’ve driven by the place for YEARS!  This time we decided to stop since we were making REALLY good time.  It was a good excuse to stock up.
We sampled several kinds of cheese and ended up with 4 blocks to enjoy (Colby, medium cheddar, sublime lime and french onion soup) and one cheese spread (aged asiagio).
We had hoped to be able to meet Michael’s niece, Crystal, for lunch as we passed by Rockford, Illinois but it didn’t work out for Crystal so we’ll have to try again the next time we pass by.

Chillin’ with the big boys while we enjoyed lunch at Culvers

We stopped for lunch at Culver’s, just south of Rockford.  Gotta get the last of our Wisconsin treats before we get too far away!!  We ended up parking 2 businesses down from the restaurant, at a Pilot as there was more RV friendly parking and then just walked over.

We ended up chilling at Culver’s for close to 2 hours so we didn’t arrive at today’s destination too early.  No biggie as we enjoyed some people watching, surfing the internet and of course our lunch.
We had originally planned to stop in Bloomington for the night but when we realized how early we’d arrive we pushed our destination out a little further to Urbana, which just gives us that much less to drive tomorrow.  So our originally long travel day of 381 miles turned out to be an even longer 433 miles.
We made one last stop (just south of Bloomington) to fill both tanks with fuel. Would have preferred diesel to be a bit cheaper than the $2.39 per gallon that we paid….but you don’t always get what you want.  Now we’re good to go for tomorrow’s journey.

Cracker Barrel, Urbana, IL – site 1

We arrived at our destination, the Urbana, Illinois Cracker Barrel about 5:15 pm.  I’d called ahead to ensure that it was ok to stay in there parking lot overnight and was assured that it was totally fine.   The RV parking spots weren’t quite long enough for us so we parked way in the back over several parking spots.

We got situated and then went inside to crank up the generator and get the air conditioners running so that they could cool off the inside of the coach so that we (hopefully) wouldn’t have to run it too much throughout the night.
We chilled for about an hour before we headed over to the restaurant for dinner.  We both ordered their ‘smaller’ plates since we’d had a bigger than we’re used to lunch.  Chopped steak for Michael and chicken and dumplings for me.  Both were very tasty and the smaller portion was just the right size.
After our long walk back home (LOL!) we cranked up the genny again to let the ac’s do their magic and then watched an episode of Son’s of Anarchy before calling it a night.
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Fabulous End to Our Week in the Wisconsin Northwoods

Saturday 7/29 & Sunday 7/30

I had an 8:30 am breakfast date with 8 other ladies…4 of whom are very near and dear to my heart (my sister Vicki, nieces Tara & Nikki and my almost niece Sheila)!  We met at the Rhinelander Pub and Cafe to celebrate my niece, Nikki!

The girls!

Today after 3757 days of wedded bliss she and her husband, Joel are finally having the wedding reception they never had.  They got married in Vegas and always said that some day they’d have a reception…and today is that day.

So this morning she gathered her closest friends, mom, sister and step-daughter (I was blessed to be able to tag along!) to enjoy breakfast and go over some last minute details.  I had such a good time!  We laughed so much and so hard sharing stories about strip clubs, age, having babies, etc.  I don’t often get together with a bunch of women but this was definitely good for my soul!

Nikki and her entourage went on to get their nails and/or hair done while Vicki and I hung out for just a few minutes until Michael came to pick me up after having gotten an oil change in the truck.

We stopped at Trig’s grocery store for some groceries for a get-together we’re having here tomorrow and then made our way back home where we had some chores waiting for us.

Peking with the WI Barnett’s

While I was at breakfast I got a message from our son, Dan, asking if we wanted to meet them at Peking when they arrive in town (they drove up from Madison).  THAT’s how good the place is…they saw that we were there the other day and they just couldn’t pass it up!  It’s TRADITION!  Well…anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not about to turn down Chinese…much less at Peking!  LOL

Peking closes from 2 pm until 4 pm so Dan and Amanda really had to make some good time in order to make it to town before they closed. They made it by 1:30 pm and we were able to get a table no problem.

My chicken chow mein was SO good the other day I almost ordered it again…but made myself go with Pepperada Chicken…another of my favorites.  It, too, was just as yummy as ever.

2ps with the Hodag

After lunch we made a stop to visit the Hodag (Rhinelander’s mascot) as I thought it was something the kids would really enjoy…especially Bennie!  We took pictures with the Hodag and them headed over to Dan and Amanda’s hotel so that we could all get changed and ready for Nikki & Joel’s Shindig.

The Shindig started at 3:30 pm and we arrived just before that.  The party was held at the Rosewood Barn…and wow did Nikki (& crew) do a great job of decorating!  Nikki and Joel made their grand entrance shortly after we arrived.

Best Buds growing up! Jay, Vicki, me & Joel

While we had quite a bit of family there we also knew a lot of folks from Joel’s side of the family too!  Vicki and I have known Joel’s family since I was about 7 years old.  So it was great seeing all of them too.

Me and my big brother, John.

My oldest brother, John was there so we got to spend some time with him.  Vicki’s son, Robbie, his girlfriend, Sarah were there and we haven’t seen him in a LONG time and not yet met her.

How gorgeous are my great nieces, Tia & Tori??

Of course, several of my nieces and quite a few great nieces and nephews were there too.  Lots and lots of hugs, handshakes, laughs, ‘oh my gosh’s’ and memories filled the afternoon.

Nephew Robbie & his gal Sarah

 

 

 

 

Beauty & the Beast? Niece Tara and our son Dan

 

 

 

Audrey, Dawn and Michael

 

 

 

 

Miss Sassy (AKA niece Tori) complained that her beau made the blog before she did…so now she’s made it TWICE…and flippin’ me off too boot!

 

 

 

Even the babies had a GOOD time!

 

 

 

 

 

…and the SPECIAL couple Nikki & Joel. Congratulations on 3757 days of marriage!!

Nikki & Joel put on one heck of a show!  Appetizers, water bottles with their name and the date of the party on them, can coozies, sunflower seeds to plant and watch grow, a sit down dinner, goodie bags for any kids there, a comedian, a jitterbug dance lesson, a band, snacks in the middle of the evening, lawn games…it was almost endless.  We really had a GOOD time!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was required reading before lights out!

We left the party about 9:30 pm and left Dan and Amanda at the party and brought all three babies home with us for the night.  It gave Dan and Amanda time to be ‘Dan and Amanda’ rather than just ‘Mama & Dada’…and to chill with their cousins.  Plus it gave Nana and Papaw some extra snuggle time with the grandbabies.  Win/Win!

Dan was nice and did the grilling for me…

We had Vicki & Jimi and Dan & Amanda (and of course the grandbabies!) over for lunch on Sunday and we all just kinda chilled as most everyone was still pretty tired from the night before.

Hiding in the shade!

We got the last of our visiting in and traded hugs and handshakes before everyone left around 1:30 or so.  Vicki and Jimi went home to nap while Dan, Amanda and the babies headed back home to Madison.

Michael and I spent the next couple of hours cleaning up the house and stowing items to prepare for the next two days of travel.  Luckily, Michael got the last of his outside chores done, came in the house, sat down and the bottom fell out of the sky!  Had no idea it was even going to rain!

Monday we’ll put on a lot more miles than we normally do on a travel day…380!  But…that makes the next day more manageable.

 

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