Greetings all! I know…I’m getting really bad at doing frequent updates. I think this is quite possibly the longest stretch between posts yet. Thanks for hanging in there with us!
It has been a busy month for sure. A lot of time in WI, a trip to MI for a wedding, and back to WI. So let’s get on with it and see what we’ve been up to.
We departed our park in Caledonia, WI on Tuesday, the 21st of June, a day earlier than planned. We had reservations at the Detroit-Greenfield RV park in Ypsilanti, MI (near Ann Arbor for the wedding) starting on the 22nd, but we wanted to leave a day early to stop in Elkhart, IN for a day on the way. Elkhart is pretty much an RV Mecca. If they make it…you can get it there, or in the immediate area for the most part. We have been looking for a new couch, or to get our couch re-covered for quite a while, as ours is getting a bit worn out:
The biggest issue we have had in getting a new one, or a re-cover is the extreme expense. Some folks want north of $2,000 for a re-cover, and to get a new one made is almost twice that amount. The reason they are so expensive is that they are made by Villa, a California company, and they are made to the exact specifications of your Coach, so unless you have had a long line of production of the exact same model, you won’t find a replacement that will work…special order only, and your wait time is two to three months, plus having to pay shipping from California.
We did find a store in Elkhart that carries Villa, and they actually had a couch in stock that had been ordered for someone else, and never used. It would have been a bit shorter than the one we have, but would have worked. Terri did not like that it was leather versus material for one thing, and the fact that it would not have fit perfectly was another issue. Also…the place that had it would only discount the shipping cost…no other break on the price, so we passed. More on the couch issue later.
We spent the rest of the day trying to find other options, but to no avail. We ended up grabbing a bite to eat in downtown Elkhart, right on the river. They have done a nice job restoring parts of the old downtown.
We were up early on Wednesday, the 22nd and took the back roads to the Detroit-Greenfield RV park. Jason and Meghan and family arrived shortly after we did, and Ashley and Garreck and family showed up later in the afternoon. While we were setting up camp, Terri took Peyton and went to the airport to pick up our daughter Mandi who flew up from Florida with my parents. Mandi stayed with us, and mom and dad stayed near the wedding venue in a hotel.
The rest of the week and weekend flew by. Here are some shots from the time we all spent together. It was quite amazing that we had the whole extended family together with the exception, unfortunately of Justin, Mandi’s husband who had to work.
The films and tour are all very informative. They take you from the company’s founding to present day production, and all of the environmental efforts they are spearheading. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed in the plant, so I have none of that part of the tour. It was awesome though…over 3/4 of a mile that you walk around the factory, suspended above the floor.
We spent the rest of the day and all of the next just enjoying each others company at the camp ground, playing games, eating and enjoying the lake.
Saturday, the 25th was wedding day for Alex and Ashley. What a great outdoor venue!
Before we knew it, the night was over and we got the kids all back and in bed. We were up early on the 26th for a brunch at one of Ashley’s relatives houses, then went over to my brothers for some time with family before everyone headed their separate ways.
Just like that the long weekend was over. Monday the 27th had us all packing up and heading to the Kenosha and Caledonia, WI area. Ashley and family headed to the house, and Jason’s family joined Terri and I at our park. The trip back was not without suspense however. I had another opportunity to lock up all the wheels on the bus and the truck. We were approaching road construction, and a semi that was headed onto the freeway caught one of those huge orange barrels with his left rear tire, which caused it to spin onto the road right in front of me…I had nowhere to go initially, but after some quick air brakes, I aimed for where the barrel had been, and snuck onto the on-ramp, then back on the interstate. Thump thump thump goes the heart! I don’t know if you have ever seen what kind of damage those barrels can do to fiberglass…it is not a pretty sight.
We got in and set up by mid afternoon, and headed down to Ashley’s for pizza and some cards. We spent the next day with Jason’s family at the park. He headed up to the Wausau area on Wed. We were not headed that way until Friday, when Garreck and Ashley and family would be joining us.
And just like that, the week had passed and it was ready to pack up and head up north, or “Up Nort” if you will. We headed out early on Friday, the 1st of July, and made it to Tigerton, WI and the Embarrass River ATV Park early in the afternoon. This is a no-frills park, but a lot of room between sites. It is only 30 amp, and no water or sewer, but they do have a dump station, and nice shower and bathroom facilities. Terri and I have gotten to the point that we can go almost two weeks without having to dump if we are careful. The thing that fills up the fastest is the gray tank with all the dish water, shower water, etc. Thankfully, we have large tanks. Our fresh water tank holds 110 gallons (don’t like to travel full all the time, but this time it was worth it…110 gallons at 8 lbs per gallon…is a lot of weight;) our gray tank hold 75 gallons, and our black tank holds 60, so we can manage for a while.
Dumb Ron: Take your time, do it right the first time! Yep, wish I’d listen to my own advice! Right as we arrived, we pulled over at the office to register and pay. After that, we decided to unhook the truck to make it easier to wind our way into the actual camp ground. Instead of grabbing my gloves to unhook the truck (which I used to always do) I decided to just unhook rather than walk the LONG 15 FEET TO THE TRUCK WHERE THE GLOVES WERE. The truck attaches to the back of the motor home using a hitch that has two rams that allow the truck to accurately track behind the motor home, and for cornering and such. When you unhook, you lift the rams up and they slide back into a larger metal casing. Well, I had my right index finger in the wrong place, and took a nice chuck of meat out of it. Blood everywhere. It didn’t hurt at all, but it looked like a mess. Terri looked at it and said I needed to go get stitches, but I didn’t think that would do any good, as the meat was just…gone. Nothing to sew back together. Well, in the end, we stuffed a bunch of super glue in, and used some steri-strips to hold things together. That worked quite well, but Dumb Ron didn’t keep it covered well enough over the next few days and got it infected. That resulted in a real fun soaking, followed by brushing all the infected garbage out. That did smart a bit…I had to take a minute or two. Bottom line…do it the right way every time, and take your time doing it! I’ll do you the favor of not posting any pictures of that debacle.
Friday night and Saturday were spent at Patty and Rob’s cabin. Great time had by all!!
On Sunday, the 3rd, we were invited to a graduation party for one of our friends son’s. They have an awesome house on Pike Lake. We have spent a lot of time on Pike Lake over the years, and love it!
We spent the entirety of the 4th at the camp ground. Jason (and his buddy Sam who flew up for the weekend) went to town and built a beer Frisbee game. Essentially re-bar with PVC over it with and empty beer bottle on top. Two teams, points for knocking the bottle off, or catching the bottle before it hits the ground if you are the opposition. A lot of fun:
On the morning of the 5th, most of the gang went horse back riding before they packed up for the move. Ashley and family heading back to Kenosha, Jason and family heading to Terri’s mom’s for one night before heading back to Mississippi, and us heading to her mom’s as well before going to our land.
We were up early and took a nice long ride on the ATV trails, then checked out the river and more.
After everyone else had departed, Terri and I took our time, did some laundry, and dumped the tanks before we headed to her moms house. After we arrived, we watched Logan and Peyton for a while while Jason, Sam and Meghan took a ride around the area.
Wednesday arrived too quickly, and Jason and Meghan and family got on their way. Terri and I loaded up and headed to our land, where we spent the next two weeks.
The next two weeks were a whirlwind. A lot of time on the land, hanging with relatives, attending festivals, a trip up north to Terri’s Aunt and Uncle that we’ve spent the Springs in TX with the last couple of years, a trip to the corn roast near my old school to catch up with friends from long ago, and many other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Here are some shots from the past couple of weeks.
Later that afternoon we headed out to the municipal airport for the hot air balloon and rib fest.
Back to our couch. Terri found out that there is a person that does upholstery refinishing right near us. The guy has been in business for over 35 years, and we never new it! He does not advertise, and says he does not want to, as he has enough work. He does work for the NFL, NASCAR and general refinishing. Terri spent the better part of a morning getting our couch taken apart so we could get it out the door of the Coach.
Other than all of the running around, we did get a lot of wood cut. thanks to Rob for the use of the chainsaw, or we would not have made a dent.
And just like that, our time on our property for this year for the most part was almost done. On Saturday, the 16th we headed up to brother in law Craig and Terri’s sister Julie’s cabin on Summit Lake.
And just like that, it was Sunday and time to head back to Caledonia by Ashley and family. We waited out an early thunderstorm and got on the road. We stopped to re-fuel on the way, dumped the tanks when we got to the camp ground and were all set up to enjoy the evening by 5 on Sunday. This past week we’ve spent time with Toby, and got to see Emma and Eli on Tuesday. Toby spent a night with us, and he had hockey on Wednesday, the 20th. He has made huge strides in his game, and can get up on his own now, which will mean he will be moving up a class.
The past couple of days have been really hot and humid. It is supposed to cool down tomorrow, thankfully. We have the Snap On picnic tomorrow, which we attended last year. What a terrific event that company puts on. We also washed the Coach yesterday (finally, it was a mess) and Terri spent most of the day organizing and reorganizing the inside. That has to be done quite often to make sure you are taking advantage of every little nook and cranny.
Well, that about sums up this past month. We will be here until the 31st of August (with a few trips here and there,) then will be heading way up in northern WI on the 31st to attend a wedding for the son of one of our great friends. We will also be joined there by Ashley and family, as well as Terri’s sister’s family. It should be a great time!
Until next time, as always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy and Living Your Dreams!!!