Sunday, August 26, 2012

From Decatur to Anderson to Indianapolis

We finished up our repair work in Decatur on Thursday ... or so we thought! We got up slowly on Friday morning since the previous two mornings had both been up at 5 and down to the repair shop at 6. We weren't in a hurry, anyway, since we were only going down the road a little ways to Anderson, IN. We were just killing time until heading for Indianapolis on Sunday.

Imagine my surprise when, just before 11 am, after we had hooked up the tow car and Mary had run down to the office to turn in our parking pass, I reached over, grabbed my seat belt, pulled it across me, and discovered to my great dismay that the technician on Thursday afternoon had neglected to reinstall the seat belt BUCKLE and support! There was NOTHING to which to fasten the seat belt! Apparently the tech, in all of our excitement over finally getting the missing pedestal in from the parts depot, forgot to take the seat belt buckle assembly off of the old pedestal and transfer it to the new one.

I suppose some of you who know me best can imagine the fuming I was doing as I walked the length of Buildings 1 and 2 at Fleetwood Repair to tell someone about this latest development. Steam was probably rising from my ears as I rapidly walked the length of the parking lot to the office. Service advisor Julie said that technician Jim wasn't at work on Friday and they didn't know what happened to the missing part but that they'd look for it. Uh huh. Yeah! And just what am I supposed to do? Well, the answer was simple. Wait. And, oh, by the way, everyone was taking lunch break at 11 am! Say what?!

Amazingly, technician Bob showed up in about 15 minutes with the missing buckle assembly. It took every bit of two minutes to reinstall it. Where had the part been? Well, in cleaning up after Thursday's work, the replaced parts had been thrown in the trash bin! But it seems that Fleetwood recycles everything it can and the defective pedestal had been thrown in the metals trash bin for recycling ... and the recycling had not yet left the repair facility! Halleluhah! So he dug through the trash, found the part, took it off the pedestal and walked the length of Buildings 1 and 2, found us sitting in the parking lot, and reinstalled the seat belt buckle assembly so I could fasten the seat belt and legally drive. All of this, by the way, while he was supposed to be on his lunch hour (or half hour). Now that was good customer service and I hope Fleetwood recognized his efforts on our behalf. And thank you, Julie, for getting him right on looking for the part.

After that, the rest of the day went easily. We drove down I-69 to Anderson, IN, home of Anderson University and headquarters for the Church of God, Anderson, IN. There we had arranged to stay at the Timberline Valley RV Resort for Friday and Saturday nights.

This was a pleasant little family oriented campground along the White River. And it was nearly full! (I'm glad I had called the day before and made a reservation.) It seems that the Honda Goldwing Motorcycle club was having a big rally of their own for the weekend. There were several dozen beautiful Honda Goldwing motorcycles all decked out in lights! They did a nighttime ride around the RV park showing off their finery. It was quite pretty. And for someone used to Harley Davidsons, Wisconsin's own motorcycle of choice, the Goldwings were amazingly quiet. You could even carry on a conversation as they "purred" by. In addition to the Goldwing riders, there were quite a few motor coaches on their way to Indianapolis and the FMCA Homecoming rally.

Every day in the life of a full-time RVer is not a vacation day. We still have our domestic days and it was time for one. Saturday was a day of grocery shopping and clothes washing. We did have time for a walk around the RV park and over to an island that was part of the grounds. Mary took some pictures of the White River and the scenery.
The White River, near Anderson, IN 
White River

Trail on Island at Timberline Valley RV Park

After a working day on Saturday, we were up early on Sunday morning. We had been assigned an arrival time at the Indiana State Fairgrounds of 8 am until noon. We had to be there in that time period or lose our place in line for a camping site. That meant no church for us and that wasn't what we preferred but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So we headed south down I-69 to Indianapolis.

The Indiana State Fairgrounds is HUGE! Of course, there are some 8,000 of us expected to be at the rally and it takes a lot of space to hold us. It was impressive to see all the coaches that are already here and there are many more to come tomorrow. Yesterday and today were "early arrival" days. Monday is the real arrival day. I'll try to get some pictures that give a hint of the number of coaches that are around here.

The place we are assigned, Lot LL, Street 5, is a long way from the area where the seminars and displays are located. Fortunately, there will be shuttle buses and trams to move us around. A rally is all about meeting friends, making new ones, and going to educational seminars and seeing displays of useful (and not so useful) products and displays of brand new RV coaches. There will MANY of them here at this rally of all brands. And some of the big names are debuting new coaches here at the show.

In addition to all of the above, we have been getting some things in place for our schedule. We know that after our stay in Indianapolis, ending Friday morning, we will be heading back to the Beloit area for about two weeks, camping at Hidden Valley RV Resort, Milton (Newville, for those of you who know the area). We've still got some business to take care of.

Then we'll head across country towards New York where we'll camp at King Phillips Campground, Lake George, NY, for the Adirondack Balloon Festival, September 20-23. While we're there, of course, we'll visit Mary's sister Barb and her family in Glens Falls (which is the real reason we're heading to New York).

After that, who knows where we'll go, EXCEPT we have reserved a space for December 31 - January 21 at the Sunset Isles RV Resort at Cedar Key, FL.  We also know that we will be working out the details of a trip or two back to WI in the wintertime, one for Christmas with the kids and grandkids, and another for son Vini's graduation from Herzing University with his Bachelor's in Graphic Design.