Friday, September 25, 2015

White River Campground - Cicero Indiana

Monday-Friday (Sep 21-25):

We spent Monday night through Thursday night at the White River Campground. This campground is run by Hamilton County and is one of the nicest campgrounds we have stayed at. The sites were concrete surfaces and wide enough to park both the motorhome and the Jeep side by side. The campground was not very busy during the few days we were there and the WiFi service within the park worked well for us. We got decent AT&T service and picked up local over the air TV channels from Indianapolis.

Entrance to the campground

Our Site 96

View of the grassy area in front of our motorhome
As noted in the name, the campground sits along side the White River although the Site we were in had no view of the water. The White River is dammed in several places so as it runs past the campground it is very shallow. We thought about getting our kayak out, but after seeing how shallow the water was we decided not to.

The White River as it runs along the campground

Across the river from campground there was another county park: the Stawtown Koteewi Park. It has about 5.5 miles of walking/biking/horse riding trails along with the Taylor Center of Natural History. This area has been used by humans for several thousand years and there is still archeological digs going on around the site. Connie and I walked and biked along the trails a couple of the days we were there. The area was a family farm for a long time and was bought by the county about 15 years ago and turned into the current facility.We visited the Taylor Center and learned about the history of this part of Indiana.

Connie and Mike at the main entrance to the park.

On Wednesday we went into Nobelsville to eat lunch and do some grocery shopping at Kroger's. We ate at Rosie Restaurant on the courthouse square in Nobelsville and then walked around the downtown area for a while to enjoy the nice weather.

There was lots of sweets to choose from, but we were good and passed.
All smiles after a good lunch.

This is how us old folks do a "selfie"
We had met the couple, Vicki and Mike, who were camping next to us the first evening we were in the campground. Vicki works in real estate and Mike works for the county. They live in the area but like to take their travel trailer out the campground and stay when the weather is nice. On Thursday evening we all got together and had a "Happy Hour". Connie prepared several delicious snacks, Vicki brought us an Indiana white wine and we all enjoyed visiting with each other for a couple of hours. We gave them a tour of The Duchess along with some "tips" we have picked up along the way.

Vicki and Mike in front of the travel trailer
On Friday morning we packed up The Duchess and headed out to the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen Indiana for a few days.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lexington Kentucky & Madison Indiana

Thursday (Sep 17):

We left Crossville and headed north to Lexington to spend one night at the Kentucky Horse Park. We got a site that was open to the south so we were able to put up our satellite dish. On our earlier stay at this campground we were under several large trees and only got over the air signals from Lexington. Since we were spending only one night we only got out what we needed. This is a very nice park that is only missing sewer hook-ups.

Friday-Monday (Sep 18-21):

We made the trip north from Lexington to the Madison Indiana City Park Campground. This is a small city campground with only a few sites. We were assigned to Site 1 which is one of the few they have to accommodate rigs the size of The Duchess. The sites in the campground are right on the Ohio River and since we pulled the RV straight into the site (rather than backing in) our front windshield looked out on the river.
View of the Ohio River

Bridge between Indiana and Kentucky

Site 1 @ Madison City Park Campground
Madison has a nice paved walk along the Ohio River that we took advantage of while we were there. There a several restaurants located along the river along with some play areas for kids.

On Saturday morning we got a call from Tim & Kim Medley (a couple we met through RV-Dreams) who live in Union Kentucky which is about an hour away from Madison. They were free on Saturday and decided to come visit us in Madison. We had a very nice visit with them and then went out to eat at Hinkle's Sandwich Shop, a local hamburger place. After lunch we walked around Madison for a while until it started raining. Tim and Kim are not full timers (yet) but are taking extended trips in their 5th wheel trailer. This winter they will spend several months camping in northern Florida and southern Alabama.

Tim & Kim invited us to  join them for dinner back in Union KY that evening at their neighbor's house, Ty and Christine's along with spending the night at their place. We packed up our gear for the night and made the drive over to Union.  Once we arrived at the Medley's we had a quick drink and then drove up the street a couple of blocks to meet the neighbors for dinner. Ty is the director of golf at the Belterra Casino and Christine works for the casino in their marketing department.

Belterra Casino and Resort
On Sunday morning Tim cooked us breakfast (Connie's was impressed that Tim did the cooking - I'm suppose to learn something from this). Tim and I went over the Belterra Casino for a round of golf at the resort course while Connie and Kim went with Ty, Christine, Ty's mom Marilyn and their daughter Casey to the festival. After Tim and I finished the round of golf (I shot 81 while Tim had an 88) we took a quick tour of the casino and then ate some lunch at one of the restaurants in the hotel/casino complex.

Music at Octoberfest

The Cincinnati Octoberfest billed itself as the largest in the USA

From left: Marilyn, Ty and standing Kim 
More music at the festival

There were more than 300 vendors serving beer

Guide to the festival

Cincinnati Kelts Rugby Football Club booth (where Connie
tried one of their brews)

Procter & Gamble's headquarters building
(also called the "Dolly Partons")

Monday morning we packed up The Duchess and made the trip from Madison to the White River Campground near Cicero Indiana.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Repairs are finally finished

Monday-Wednesday (Sep 14-16):

On Monday afternoon we received a call from Bill Dodson @ Creston RV Service that the parts we needed to finish our repairs had come in and he had some time to install them. I drove The Duchess over to his shop and had the controller for the Oasis Hydronic Heating System swapped out. The Oasis was fired up but the diesel fuel option kept flaming out. Bill ended up changing out the diesel oil filter for the Oasis and that fixed the problem. SO NOW WE FINALLY HAVE HOT WATER AND HEAT FOR THE COACH THAT WORKS. Then it was on to the replay switch that allows the engine alternator to charge the batteries while we are traveling down the road. It worked once the parts were replaced and so our repairs are done for now. We are very pleased with the work that Bill has done on the coach and would recommend him to anyone who is in this area and needs work done on your RV. He is very thorough and makes sure that everything is handled in a professional manner. He does warranty work for a number of companies. His shop is so clean that you could probably have a picnic on the floor.

Bill in front of an Airstream trailer. He specializes in restoring old Airstream trailers.

Monday evening we ran several loads of wash along with each of us taking a shower and did not run out of hot water. We also tested the coach heater for a few minutes and it worked as well. On Tuesday we switched the Oasis over to the electric elements and that worked as well (this will only work to heat the water, not the coach itself). We have decided to leave Thursday and head north towards Michigan. We will be attending the RV-Dreams Fall Educational Rally near Traverse City Michigan from October 6-11. We will also make a stop in the Elkhart-Goshen Indiana area to look at replacing our dining room chairs that have worn out.

We are excited about being able to get on the road again and see some new sights (especially Connie). I called my dad today and wished him a "Happy Birthday" (he turned 83 today).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

More repair work on The Duchess

Tuesday (Sep 1) to Sunday (Sep 13):

It feels like we are in the "Twilight Zone" and we can not get out of Tennessee. Every time we find something wrong with The Duchess and start to fix it, more problems appear.

We are still in Crossville TN having work done on the motor home. We had our old Norcold gas/electric refrigerator taken out and replaced with a Samsung residential model. Both the old Norcold and the new Samsung are both have 17.5 cubic feet of storage space, but the Samsung is a French Door model so it seems like it we have more storage space than the old one. Since we were living with 2 cubic feet of refrigerator space, this one now seems huge. For some reason the electric plug where the old refrigerator was plugged in was not on the inverter system in the coach, so a new plug was wired and installed. This allows us to run the refrigerator off of the house batteries when we are traveling down the road (instead of having to turn the generator on).

The Oasis Hydronic Heating System was having a number of problems including a major leak in the coolant system so we ordered a new one. This is the system that is used to heat the water in the coach, provide radiant heat as well as warm the engine if needed. We had the old one taken out and the new one put in. But now we have to replace a controller board to get it to work properly. We are taking showers in the bath house here at the campground and heating our water one gallon at a time for use inside the RV.

One of our house batteries was not holding a charge, so we had all four of the batteries replaced (this is the recommended method of replacing batteries in an RV). While doing this it was discovered that the relay switch that allows the house batteries to charge off of the engine alternator while we are traveling was not working. So we have ordered the parts to have this repaired. While the batteries were being replaced, they cleaned up the battery tray, greased the rollers and sprayed a new "bed" onto the tray.

While The Duchess was not in the shop, Connie and I created a space next to the new Samsung refrigerator to install a TV that we can view from our driver and passenger chairs along with still being able to use the front TV as needed. We installed the rack to hold the TV, a space for a sound bar & wireless HDMI receiver and a space for storing our wine bottles.

Hopefully all of the parts we need to finish up the repair work will come in on Monday and be installed on Tuesday. We will stay here for a few days to "test" everything and make sure it works properly.

New Samsung residential frig

Are you sure we cut it to the right size?

All the holes have been cut and everything works!

Finished project after trim has been installed.
This morning the temperature in Crossville was 48 degrees. We slept last night with a blanket on the bed and were able to open the windows in the coach and not use the air conditioners. This was a nice change for the warm weather we had been having the last week or so. Connie and I have continued to do our modified yoga almost every day along with walking for about 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Waiting on a Refrigerator in Crossville TN

Thursday - Monday (Aug 26-Aug 31):

Not much to report here in Tennessee. We are still waiting on the refrigerator to arrive so that we can schedule the install. Connie and I have doing our 30 days of yoga each morning (Connie has to modify some of the routines due to her back) and walking about 2 miles each day. We have met one other couple in the park who have been here for several months. Rod had back surgery (upper back disks fused) earlier this year and his wife is on a regimen to slow down her Multiple Sclerosis. They have been full timing for about 4 years and want to continue to do it for as long as they can. Just when you think you have some problems you find out that other people are dealing with issues a lot more serious than ours.

On Sunday we travelled over to Knoxville to pick up some items for the motorhome. The dining room chairs we hoped to pick up at World Market were down only one in stock (with a 30 days wait on an order), so we passed on the one chair. At SteinMart the pillows that we had seen on sale were no longer on sale so we passed on them. We did eat at Noodles and Company again so at least we had a good lunch.

Monday night we attended the local county fair here in Crossville. There is a midway with all types of rides along with games of "skill" to win stuffed animals. There was a number of food vendors along the showing of animals raised by the local children and teen-agers. We had been told that the musical group that was playing, Phil Dirt and the Dozers, was very good and we were not disappointed. They played music from the 50's and 60's for an hour and half. Most of the audience was our age or older, so we fit right in with the crowd.

This rooster at the fair reminded us of
Beth Clare's puppy dog - CoCo

Phil Dirt and Dozers
We are now hoping that the refrigerator will arrive on Wednesday and get installed Thursday or Friday. We also want to wish a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to our friend, Kay Law, back in Austin Texas.