Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO; June 20, 2017 - Home Again, Home Again!

June 19, 2017 - Robertsville State Park, Robertsville, MO; June 20, 2017 - Home Again, Home Again!

June 19, 2017 

Our stay at the KOA in Terre Haute, IN was quiet.  Once we picked up our burgers at the restaurant we stayed in the rest of the evening.  I guess we were tired from all of the activities and the drive today.  

It was a nice cool morning when we woke up and we walked here in the campground, about 2 miles.  We really had a chance to see what a nice RV park this was and I took a lot of pictures to share.  If you had kids this would be a great place to visit for a few days as there is quite a few things for them to do.  Besides spots for RV's, they also have tent camping, large Tee-Pee's you can rent, cabins, and upgraded RV spots.  Here are the pictures I took of the area:

Little Village - it looked like they might have a small train for small guests but it may just be a prop.

Checkers and Chess

There are two small ponies/donkeys in this barnyard.

Covered bridge

Nice playground area

Dog Playground

Panning for Gold

Go-cart track


Nice conversation spot with firepit

One of the cabins for rent, includes table/chairs and firepit

Tee-pees for rent

Bentley in our spot

Upgraded RV spot with table/chairs and fire pit.

Another Rental Unit

Office area

Swimming Pool

Another shot of the go cart track

Hoosier Dadee Gem Mine  (where they mine for gold)

Entrance to Park

Even though the Interstate is just beyond these trees we had no idea we were this close.  Very quiet here.
After breakfast, we hooked up and we pulled out of Terre Haute KOA about 9:00 and pointed Bentley towards St. Louis, MO.  

This truck had a really long load on his trailer.  

Traffic backed up during road construction but fortunately it didn't last too long.

The Mighty Mississippi 

Different bridge than our trip to Indiana.

I love this bridge structure.

We have about a five hour day ahead of us but it was a nice easy ride, despite working our way around St. Louis - which went very well considering some of our past attempts at making it through this city.  We both breathed a sigh of relief and while we might have taken a little longer route we'll probably stick with this one in the future because it went so well.

We have a few grand-kids that would have loved to stop here at Six Flags!  Wish they were here!!

It was just another 40 minutes or so until we arrived at Robertsville State Park.  You might remember we stayed here on our way to Goshen as well.  We do like this park even though it only has 30 amp electric.  However it is in a very wooded area and fortunately the temperatures had dropped quite a bit and it was very comfortable with just the one air conditioner running.  

While we were at the Escapade Rally in Tucson we purchased grill mats for our Weber Q but we had never used them.  We decided we would try them out tonight and we fixed breakfast outside on the Weber.  Hash browns, bacon, sausage and eggs, plus biscuits in the cast iron skillet on the Weber as well.  It took a little bit to get it all done but it was quite good and the grill mat worked well.

I was exhausted this evening for some reason and could not keep my eyes open.  When we went to bed I had no problem going back to sleep either - that is unusual, but sure was glad I wasn't laying there wide awake.  

June 20, 2017 - Home Again, Home Again!

After our morning coffee Dean asked if I wanted to walk and of course I did.  It was so nice when we stepped out of Bentley, in the upper 50's.  What a nice beautiful morning to be outside.  We walked slightly over 2 miles, had our breakfast and then packed up for the last leg of our trip, back to Oswego.

I'm not sure if I have shared our window upgrade with you.  We won a gift certificate for $50 off a stained glass window for Bentley's door when we were in Branson - and this is what I chose.  I love it as I can now see out our window.  When the sun hits this in the evenings it makes for a beautiful site as well.

We love our new steps that we purchased from Lin while at the Heartland rally.  When we parked here before we had to have a step stool in order to reach our lowest step into the rig.  These are just perfect.  
Our drive today from Robertsville State Park to Oswego was very easy, but very long - over 6 hours.  Here are a few pictures I took along the way.

City of St. Roberts Water Tower
"St. Roberts Supports Our Troops"

Lebanon Water Tower
I love the bees!

I can't resist a great FLAG!

It was good to see Joplin, and then the exit for Downstream Casino - we knew we were almost home.  

We arrived home around 3:00 p.m. - and who did we meet as we rounded the curve into Oswego but my sister Cindy - she was waiting to turn into the RV Park my uncle owns here. I think we were as surprised to see her as she was to see it was us!

Once Dean parked Bentley in his spot at our home, we hauled most of our stuff inside so I could get started on laundry right away.  This is the longest I have ever gone without doing laundry - over 2 weeks.  I do not look forward to getting it all done but I'm going to make a dent in it tonight so hopefully tomorrow will go quickly.

Dean was a sweetheart and took me to "Mi Pueblo", our local Mexican restaurant tonight for dinner.  It was so good and most of all I did not have to cook after this long day.  Thank you honey!

So, we are here at home for awhile but we have some trips coming up the latter part of July-October so watch for new posts!

**I realized I forgot to insert pictures of the harness racing from last Friday so here are a few pictures from that as well as a picture of Lady E during the last class on Induction Cooking.

Nancy cheering for her rider!

Corbin & Flora's Jake (white dog) and Mike and Peggy's Molly (brown) were checking out the harness racing too.

Peggy cheering on her pick in the harness racing!

Lady E during the Induction Cooking Lifestyle Presentation!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 16-17, 2017 - 2017 North American Heartland Owners Rally, Goshen, IN and June 18, 2017 - Terre Haute KOA, Terre Haute, IN

June 16-17, 2017 - 2017 North American Heartland Owners Rally, Goshen, IN and June 18, 2017 - Terre Haute KOA, Terre Haute, IN

Friday - June 16, 2017 

I was up early for my morning coffee and spent time catching up on some blogs I read and checking Facebook before Dean got up.  I ate a quick breakfast and then got ready for my morning Wake Up Workout and the Pole Trekking.  Today is our last day for these exercise classes.  I've really enjoyed them.   Anne Mayer has done a great job.  She makes it a lot of fun and the time flies by.

The exercises consist of massaging your brows, temples, TMJ area, your head, and then using a fan we do a variety of facial exercises (no one can see your silly looking faces you make hiding behind the fan).  Then we move on to squats, arm rolls, twists, etc.  She has all of the exercises to music which makes the time go so quickly.

Today, because there were some new pole trekkers, Nancy Anderson took the advanced group (yes, me, I'm advanced--haha) and we redid all of the steps from yesterday and then we did a 1 mile walk strolling around the perimeter of the campground with our poles.  

After I showered I headed up to the Rally Hall for a session on Induction Cooking.  While I've heard about this I have never tried it nor have I even been around anyone who has, so I am wanting to learn more.  It was a great session - as all of them have been.

Lady E picked 3 folks from the audience to help.  I was selfish and did not offer to help because I wanted to make notes.  I would offer to help in the future though now that I've set through most of the classes.  Today her helpers made potato soup in tiny bread bowls - small rolls with the center cut out.  

Here's the recipe:
6-7 medium potatoes, cubed (she used red potatoes and peeled them but typically she leaves the peel on and I would too)
water to cover potatoes while cooking  (you do not drain the water once they are cooked)
1 pint sour cream (fat-free does not make the soup as smooth, but it tastes the same and is healthier)
1 # Mexican Velveeta, cubed; can use regular Velveeta
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook bacon and chop in small pieces for garnish.
green onions
shredded cheese
pico de gallo

Cover potatoes with water in large pot (use more water for thinner soup).  When potatoes are tender, add sour cream and cubes of Velveeta.  Heat, stirring nonstop.  When cheese is melted, soup is ready.  Add green onions, bacon, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo as garnish.

So, there were two induction plates being used - one to cook the potato soup itself and the second one to cook the bacon.  The bacon was beginning to splatter, so she lifted the frying pan from the induction plate and laid a paper towel over the plate, and then set the frying pan back on it to finish cooking the bacon - with the paper towel now catching the grease splatters.  How cool is that?  How can it be the induction plate is hot enough to cook the bacon but not incinerate the paper?  The pans used on the induction plate must be magnetic and cast iron can be used.  She suggested when looking for pans to carry a magnet with you so you can be sure they will work on the induction plates.

She placed her hands down near the pan - not on it but close to the outer edges.  The pan is hot but only right close to the pan - the heat is not radiating into the room like a gas fire does - so again you are managing to keep heat out of your RV.  Wow, who knew?

I think an induction plate will be on my birthday or Christmas list this year!

We were able to pick up our bread bowl and soup and leave right at noon and I walked back to Bentley eating my lunch!  Yummy!

Dean returned from the presentation he attended around 12:30.  He ate a quick chicken salad sandwich and then we needed to get a few groceries and to get some of those yummy donuts we talked about earlier we are bringing home to share.  I called the Nappanee bakery first and they did not have enough donuts, so I checked with the Middlebury bakery and they had plenty.  But just in case, they are setting aside 2 dozen for me so I'm sure to have some by the time we drive over there.  They can go very quick.  We made it to the bakery and then headed back to Goshen to Wal-Mart where we picked up a few things to get us through until we get home. One of the reasons we went to Wal-Mart was to get cash - and guess what we forgot to do!! Does that mean another trip later?

I had connected with a couple here at the rally via an app we use called RVillage and we wanted to stop by to introduce ourselves so we walked over to their rig a short time after we got back.  We had a nice visit with Dave and Karen from Pennsylvania for about an hour and then we drove over to where some of our South Central Region friends were parked to watch some harness races.  Their rigs are parked just outside of the racetrack which gives them front row seats for the races.  We stayed for the entire set of races and our friend Debbie would have made a few bucks were they taking bets.  She sure knows how to pick a winner!  It was fun and before it was over at least 6 couples were sitting around.  We met the Talley's from Florida at this get together.  

We returned home where we had a taco salad for dinner.  Can you believe that I went to make this salad and realized I forgot to bring the taco seasoning for the hamburger; and when I went to get the dressing I barely had any in the bottle; and I forgot to bring the new bottle I had at home.  I just knew I had them both, so I didn't even think about it and there we were at Wal-Mart just a few hours earlier.  So I improvised - I just threw a few seasonings together with a Mrs. Dash Chipolte seasoning and stretched that dressing as far as I could.  It turned out pretty good considering what I forgot to bring.

But ---- Dean still wanted to go back to Wal-Mart.  He said, I'll drop you at the door and you can buy something and get the cash.  Okay!  Well, let me tell you everyone in Goshen goes to Wal-Mart at 7:30-8:00 to buy their weekly groceries on Friday evenings and I was in that store for over 30 minutes to buy a box with individual potato chips and get $100 in cash. You know what it's like when you take your kids to Wal-Mart at this hour and they are either hungry or tired?  Yes, that was me stuck between this for 30 minutes!!!!  Dean owes me big time for this!

Well, tomorrow is our last full day here at the rally.  It's hard to believe the time has passed so quickly.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I got up and had the coffee going at 5:30 or so.  We need to walk down to the rally hall to load a bus this morning by 7:45 a.m.  We are traveling to Elkhart, IN to tour the Heartland RV Plant where Landmarks, Big Horns and Big Country RV's are built.  Our Bentley is a Big Horn so we are looking forward to seeing the construction process.  We arrived at the rally hall shortly before 7:45 and loaded the bus - this was probably a mistake on my part.  I should have waited until right before the bus was ready to leave before I got on it - after I had made a quick trip to the restroom. Early morning trips often result in a stop before an hour is up when we are on the road, but you can't just stop a bus anywhere you want.  Of course a train can stop the bus - but it didn't do me much good.

Lots of trains going through Goshen - this is the one that goes by the fairgrounds.

My eyeballs were about to float by the time we arrived!  I was quick to find someone to direct me to the restroom, and I guess he knew I was serious, because he didn't hesitate for a minute.  I wasn't the only one heading that way though.  Whew, now I could concentrate on why we are here!

This was really an interesting tour.  We started at the first station and went through each one to see the process of the RV's being put together.  It was really neat to get to see a Big Horn similar to ours going through the construction process.  While some of the finishes have changed, the floor plan was somewhat similar to ours.  

Here are a few pictures I took:

Dean going up the stairs to look at the roof of the RV at this point in the construction process
It's really neat that Heartland provides this opportunity to their owners.  I really am impressed with the Heartland product.  We love our Big Horn and they seem to really care about their customers.

Our next stop on the tour was at the Furrion Innovation Center to see what they are doing in the RV and boating industries.  I should have taken pictures here and I apologize for not doing so because they had some really cool things.  

The first thing I was interested in was the cooking innovation center to see the new electronic ignition ovens - no more messing with a butane lighter to light the stove.  They are nice and the cook tops look more like a home stove top rather than the old camping style stove tops in most campers today.  The newer Heartland models all have this new technology.

They had a motorhome on display that had some of the neatest technology you can imagine.  The shower looked like a spa in high dollar homes, kitchens with dishwashers, wine coolers, induction stove tops versus the gas, fancy electric refrigerators/freezers, and get this - a stairway to the top of the motorhome where a hot tub is located.  The inside was pretty stark, all white plastic looking which didn't appeal to me but it did have some really great technology inside of it.

Our next stop was at the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame.  Dean and I visited here last September so we just did a quick walk through while we were here.  Within this building is the Ingram Hall where Heartland served us lunch and provided a panel of Heartland Leaders to address questions and answers from the many Heartland owners in attendance.

Everyone was wearing our blue Heartland T-shirts to show our support for Heartland!

Our table mates.

More tablemates.

Our meal was hamburgers, roasted potatoes, slaw, cookie and water.  It was really good and once everyone had gone through - you could go back as much as you wanted even filling to go boxes for later if you wanted.  They definitely made sure we had enough to eat!

The Q&A session was really interesting.  Overall it was very positive - it was clear that most Heartland owners love the Heartland product, however there were a few that were upset with their particular situations.  I do not like confrontations but mostly it was positive and constructive criticism.  The leadership that addressed questions handled things well and seemed to really listen to what folks were saying.  We sure do love our Bentley and we are happy with most everything.  There are a couple of changes we have made and a couple we would change if we could but none of them are deal breakers.  We have good storage space and a nice flow to our floorplan and I see us utilizing this rig for years to come.

We returned to the campground around 3:00.  We will have a final meal at the rally hall tonight at 5:00 p.m.  Once we returned to Bentley we rested a bit and then did a bit of preparation for leaving tomorrow by putting a few things away outside since we may get some rain in the late evening/early morning.

At 4:30 we headed to the rally hall.  What a meal they provided tonight - thick, tender pork chops, three cheese ravioli, vegetable medley, mashed potatoes, fruit compote, wonderful homemade rolls, and strawberry shortcake.  And once everyone had gone through you could go back for seconds or get a take-out box for a meal tomorrow, and that is what we did.  I could not finish my pork chop, so I added some vegetables/mashed potatoes and picked up an extra pork chop for Dean and that will be our meal on the road tomorrow.  We had a nice visit with folks at our table during the meal.

Heartland provided a band again this evening that played current and country music.  We stayed for a song or two and then we headed back to Bentley.  I wanted to get some more things packed this evening to make our morning go a little quicker and Dean wanted to empty our tanks tonight in case it's raining in the morning.

It was a really good day but we were tired when we laid down for the night.  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day to all the guys in my life!  I love you all!

My alarm woke me up at 5:30 this morning - that doesn't happen often.  I got the coffee on and soon after Dean was up as well.  They are serving breakfast at the rally hall this morning at 7:00-9:00.  I was expecting something light - but when we arrived they had a breakfast mix of sausage, eggs and potatoes; a potato mix; and biscuits and gravy along with several varieties of rolls and orange juice.  WOW!  It was delicious.  I don't remember ever attending anything with such wonderful food prepared by a catering company.  They did a fantastic job!

We returned to Bentley around 8 and we pulled out of the campground at 9:00 a.m.  We will be stopping in Terre Haute, IN for the night at a KOA.  It was about a 4 hour drive for us - which is our typical travel day.  

Here we are routing around Indianapolis, IN in 6 lanes of traffic - with no one but us!  How did we get so lucky?

Always a beautiful sight - our Flag

This campground is small but very nice and they have a restaurant on site.  We quickly got set up and Dean had the cable ready to go - there's a golf game on he wants to see.  I warmed up our leftover pork chops from last night - and they were just as good today! Yummy!  

Megan had texted us shortly before we arrived to see if we wanted to Skype with them and we set up a time for about 3.  We enjoyed talking with Megan, Matt, Josh and Sarah for about an hour, enjoying watching the kids and listening to Josh sing, count and visit with us while Sarah smiled and waved and ran around.  She won't be 1 for another month but she looks like she's been walking for months.  

Dean said it would be awhile before the golf game was over so if I wanted to we could take a drive in to Terre Haute and look around.  We drove by a few places that intrigued me and of course I had to get lots of pictures.
Clabber Girl Museum
Clabber Girl Bake Shop
900 Wabash Ave
Picture from the internet - Clabber Girl Building.
You may remember Clabber Girl Baking Powder.  The museum and bake shop were not open today but I would have loved to have visited both.  Maybe on another trip.

Just around the corner was this beautiful Catholic Church and I could not resist pictures.

One more place I wanted to see was their Courthouse.  Unfortunately the sun was not cooperating and these pictures just do not do the building the justice it deserves.  What a grand building!

By now Dean was wondering how much of the golf tournament he was missing and was getting a bit restless so we headed back to the campground.  After checking the status, we walked over to the restaurant to order a couple of hamburgers for dinner, which we brought back to Bentley to eat. They were pretty good.  While he watched the golf tournament I worked on the blog.  

Tomorrow we will head back to Robertsville State Park for the night - we were even able to get our same spot!  

Since this will post on Monday, June 19 - Happy birthday to my son Marc!  I hope your day is awesome!  I love you!