Our fifth wheel and the truck

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week Eight

‘Boot Camp’ on Goshen, Indiana this week.

Sunday we started looking around the Fairground for another couple that we had been chatting with on the Escapees forum and eventually found them. Only about 800 RVs in the place!!!

They took us on an excursion around the Fairground and we eventually located about eleven couples who are also members of the Class of 2010. For the uninitiated the Class of 2010 is made up of those people who take up full time RVing during the year of 2010.

By general consensus, the decision was made, that as we had the largest grassed area around our RV that the group would have a ‘pot luck supper’ at our place on the Monday evening. It was a really good night. More food than you could possibly eat and a beautiful evening to make it just lovely. Everyone came prepared with food and drinks, chairs, tables, cutlery and the best thing was that when they had all packed up and gone home there was nothing for Norm and I to do. Great way to have a large group over for a meal!

The whole week was very busy with workshops and seminars and both Norm and I learned an awful lot - especially some really important things that we were not aware of. Like not pulling into a service station with the fridge and water heater turned on as they both run on gas when we are on the road. They both have a pilot light which, if you are really unlucky, can ignite any petrol fumes around. Needless to say that now, before we pull in for fuel, we pull over and turn them both off!

Norm has a new mantra. He has become a bit of a story teller. But for those of you who know the man, I am sure you can just imagine him embellishing any story he is telling. His new mantra is ’Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story’! Boy does he do some embellishing! Some times I don’t even recognise the story!!!! He has often had his audience in stitches as he retells some of the more gruesome moments on our trip.

Wednesday was an early start as we were going on a bus tour of the Amish area of Indiana. It was really interesting and we were both so impressed by the attitude of the people to living their lives as simply as possible. In this day and age we had to admire that simplicity. We finished the tour off by having dinner in the home of a gentleman who, at the age of 25, converted from his Catholic upbringing, to Amish. He has married an Amish lady and has brought up three sons and established a successful horse breeding program. It was a fascinating day.

Finally on Thursday we had a chance to catch up with the ‘TrashQuiltLady’ and her husband Dick. I had met Nita on a quilt forum quite a while before we left home. The only problem was that the time was way too short but I am sure that we will meet again somewhere on the road.

The only positive about the end of the boot camp was that we would no longer have to listen to the numerous trains that moved around the perimeter of the Fairground at all times of the day and night! Apparently Goshen has the record for being the third busiest train depot in the US. And we heard every one!!!

We had decided to leave the boot camp after the closing ceremony on the Thursday evening. The thought behind this was to try to get through Chicago some time early in the night (8.30 - 9.00pm) and avoid some of the traffic problems for which Chicago is infamous.

It was very sad saying our farewells to the Class of 2010. We have been so lucky to meet such an amazing group of wonderful people and we will certainly miss them but will always have the opportunity to meet again somewhere in the great outdoor. Some have even said they may even come to Australia in the future. I have a list of those who said they would so they better watch out because I don’t forget!

We did manage to get through Chicago without too many problems - except for running a toll way. Oops we didn’t see it coming up and went straight through! Isn’t modern technology amazing. I got online straight away (as we continued driving down the Interstate) and using the computer and the credit card paid the exorbitant fee of $1.70 LOL! Norm thought I was mad but if you don’t pay it they add $20.00 to the fee to cover chasing you down!

We did witness the problems Chicago has with its traffic. For about five miles, the east bound traffic (thank goodness we were west bound) was at a stand still. There were probably two trucks for every car and they were just sitting in the biggest parking area you have ever seen. Four lanes of traffic standing stock still and not going anywhere!

We pulled off at a truck stop later in the evening and had a meal and then crawled between the sheets to have a sleep. Early to rise we headed north to Wisconsin where we are spending a couple of nights with Mary and Bruce. They have reliably informed us that we must not miss the ‘Cheese Days’ in Monroe, about half an hours drive from their home.

We arrived way to early - we had forgotten that we needed to put our watches back an hour!! Mary was trying to tidy the house before we got there and Bruce was still working but anyway it gave them both an excuse not to continue.

Back to the saga of the connection for the barbeque!! Mary had rung several times during the week to be told that it was in the mail!!! (US Postal Service again!) On Thursday she was told that it would be here Friday so I got on the phone to be informed that yes it had arrived!! Woo Hoo - Norm can start cooking now!!!!

The four of us climbed in the truck - the back seat is not a good place to sit for any length of time - and went to Camping World. Oops sorry Norm but the piece you need, and that they told you was all you needed for $25.00, was not all you needed and now you have to pay about $70.00 oh and that includes $22.00 for delivery because it was a special delivery. Not happy Jan!! To cut a very long story short they refunded us the delivery and we took home the two pieces so now at least we can have a barbie!

Oh by the way, I forgot to tell you that just after we arrived at Mary’s, Norm was leveling the fiver while I stood and gave him directions and all of a sudden there is this almighty bang followed by a prolonged hiss! Scared the proverbial out of me! I walked around the fiver to discover that one of the tires was flat on the bottom! LOL. Made Norm’s day as you can imagine. Anyway we did some ringing around and found someone to fit a new tire on Saturday. Very fortunate as it turned out that the tire place was also in Monroe which is where we were headed for the Cheese Days.

Now to tell you about the Cheese Days. Wisconsin is the dairy state of the US and they have a three day festival every second year to celebrate the cheese makers and their products. And we just happened to be able to fit it in to our itinerary!!!

There are tents around the town square of Monroe that are full of cheese to be sampled. As well as many food vendors and entertainment. The big thing is cheese curds! The only problem is that if they are any good as you eat them they squeak which puts my teeth on edge. Monroe has a Swiss heritage with buildings resembling those found in Switzerland. In fact Bruce has a Swiss heritage. We had a great day and, as always when we are with Mary and Bruce, spent much of the time laughing.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we will be getting an early start to our trip to Seattle because next Saturday we will be getting on board the Norwegian Cruise liner Star Princess for our cruise to Alaska. Week nine will be pretty boring as we have to cover 1877miles from Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington in about five days.

Take care and love to all our family and friends.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't they prepare you to change tyres at the Boot camp. LOL