Monday, May 8, 2017

What to do at a Mtce Rally?

May 4 -10/17  Weather  has recovered but the temperatures are about 10 to 15 degrees F below normal.  Days are just into the 50's and we had 2 nights of frost but it is only 40ish at night for the next few days.  Is it because the winter was so mild in the north the spring is begrudgingly here? 
entering the Elkart Fairgrounds, beautiful spring flowering tree by their emblem
Vendor building and new coach display
there we are - 1st one on the right in the long row

The Elkhart 4H Fairgrounds are a great place for a Rally.  Facilities can accommodate huge numbers, I think they said there were about 350 coaches here this year.  Below will be a few pics of the camping.  It is very organized and everyone has full hookups, just no cable TV.   The week cost $245 and they feed you breakfast daily, lunch at least 5 times, 2 dinners and an ice cream social.  Everything you want serviced on your coach happens right at your campsite.  It is so convenient.  The REV Group that owns Monaco, Holiday Rambler, American Coach, Fleetwood and Beaver will service 2 items on your motorhome for free labour, you pay the parts.  We had a new swing arm on the door and a new step motor installed.   Billy had the parts waiting.  2 technicians were on it for 1 hour so at $100 an hour there is $200 we recovered.  Then we had another fix on our topper awnings, springs put in last year were readjusted for free by the service shop.  Another 1 hour with 2 guys at $200.  We will also have our generator serviced by Cummins Crosspoint and a new heating element put in our hot water heater.  In the days there are seminars from 9 am to 4 pm on all kinds of topics.  Billy went to a TV tips and tricks and info while I went off to a Convection/Microwave cooking class.  Most functioning equipment on the coach is covered in a seminar.  Fire Safety, Aqua hot, furnaces, hot water heaters, TV, roofs, toppers and awnings, electricity.  and much more.  This year we tried to take in the ones we didn't get to last year.   It might take a few more years to really cover all the topics. 
more camping inside the horsetrack (we were there last year)

driver training for co-pilots, the teacher and driver wear microphones to talk to each other

sign in one of the motorhomes - priceless!!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Indiana Rally

May 5/17. Weather cool 50, but the rain stopped thank goodness.  In the afternoon the sun even came out!  We were in an out most of the day checking out the vendor booths, and the rally fed us breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We heard there are over 350 coaches this year., and 80 first timers.  Wow that's big.   It does seem like the numbers are up, you can see the difference when the food comes out. Haha. 
Lined up inside the main hall for dinner, new coaches in the background

Sunshine, what a difference a day can make 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oh boy ,,,,, Mother Nature Is not cooperating

May 3 & 4/17 Weather Forecast is nasty, cold, rainy, windy!!!  We have boots and raincoats and gloves and scarves and long underwear ready.  You think we are kidding?  Haha. Well it's true.  Last year we came to the Holiday Rambler 419 Mtce Rally in Goshen, Indiana and it was the worst weather we have ever participated in.  Participated is the word since we were walking around everyday in the stuff...... this year we had hoped it would be better but it's not starting out so good.  
We decided at the last minute to leave Wednesday afternoon while it was sunny and calm to get the big drive in from Blenheim, Ontario to Shipshewana, Indiana.  We stayed at Shipshewana South RV park.  It's a great campground.  We are patting ourselves on the back this morning.   Smart idea.  Today is rain, wind, cold (high of 44).  So glad we only had 1/2 hour drive to the Elkhart Fairgrounds in Goshen.  
Isn't life fun???  Ok, out we go in our raincoats, good thing I got one to go to Scotland (never needed it there)!!!!
Our view from our motorhome - clouds packed in 

The radar show a massive storm front

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wake Up!

Apr 12/17 Weather sunny 67, low 40.  

Apr 12/17 in Ontario.... weather 67 sunny, low of 40.  
Pulled into the Farm, hooked up to the shed.  Mum was happy to see us.  We will stay here for a few weeks to take her to appointments and do the spring yard work.  
This morning we were serenaded !    The roosters came right up to our coach from the neighbours!!!!
Bad chickens I told them, go away, we are sleeping.  
If I catch one maybe we will stuff for Easter!!!! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Smells like Texas Pecans in here

April 10/17  Warm, hazy day.  Storm front coming in by end of day.  We traveled to Indiana and stopped at Indianapolis today and hooked up at 3 pm before the rain came in about 5:30.  We also jumped ahead 1 hour; 2 pm was actually 3 pm, now back on Ontario time.  On the east side of Indy is a nice park, Indianapolis East KOA.  There is a MickeyD's right across the street so we can pop over for a ice cream cone.  Tonight while getting my morning coffee ready I noticed that I only have one Texas Pecan Coffee Beans bag left!!!!!   Oh no!   Spirit Wind Java in Ingram, Texas has the best coffee in the whole world.  There are pecans roasted with the coffee.   When you grind the coffee the whole motorhome smells heavenly....  then the next morning the coffee brewing smells even better.  It is my favourite treat in Hill Country.  Good thing they ship globally.  I'm never going to be able wait a whole year for Texas PecanCoffee.
One bag left

Sunday, April 9, 2017

2 for 2

April 7 & 8 & 9/17  Weather good.  No storms.  Time to head North.  Travel temperature was very comfortable high 70's so we did not heat up in the motorhome.  Today there was a Wind Advisory with gusts up to 57 mph. South to South West direction.  We got lucky since it was mostly at our back corner.  It was so strong that if we had been traveling the other way we would have sat out the day.
Texas Flag

 1) We went sideways across Texas heading towards Texarkana.    We thought we would stop before 3 pm at a park that was in our Big Rig RV Guide called Staway Ranch RV Park in Murchison, Texas. (if you look at the link to the park it does not look like the advertising).    Last year I looked at it on my camping map and I thought it meant "Stay Away"'; like stay away from this area.   But "no that can't be"  the people that write the guide have a beautiful big rig so they only pick good places.  HA!!!!   Yes the name says it all.   Needless to say we were the only transient RV, and the park needed a bit of TLC.   
Arkansas Flag

2) Second day we went up towards Little Rock, Arkansas and across almost to West Memphis.   There wasn't a whole lot of parks to choose from so we kind of kept going.  Stopped at a small park in Forrest City called Delta Ridge RV Park
Yes the park did look like the advertising it was just the area around it was bad. 
The area was very sketchy, a motel out front of the property was in some stage of dereliction/remodel, police sirens going, heard about muggings in the Walmart parking lot in broad daylight.  Park owner told us to lock everything and no walking around after dark!!!
Thus my title of this posting:   Billy told me I was 2 for 2.  
Illinois Flag

3) Today we took our time and made it just into the Illinois border taking I55N & I57N.  In Benton we found a nice KOA.  Really KOA means no surprises.  You can pretty much count on it being just fine.  Well usually a bit noisy by a freeway and also a train station but hey after the last two nights choices it is great.  No adventures tonight!
redbud trees blooming at Benton KOA

Friday, April 7, 2017

Prayer Garden

March 6/17     With Easter coming we wanted to go up to The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville as our last stop.  Simply a special place.   The Empty Cross is 77feet 7 tall and 40' cross arm.    The gardens are shaped in the cross.    The walk in the Cross is full of scriptures and sculptures.  Then you will find the prayer garden where thousands of rocks have been written on to pray for someone or be thankful to God.  Really beautiful and moving.   You feel your Guardian Angels here.  Peace everyone.
The empty cross


sculpture by evangelist/artist Max Greiner Jr.

God's Rock Garden

Poppy Fields

The Windmill Gang at Fredericksburg Airport diner
April 6/17  Weather 80 sunny.   Last ride today.   Time to tie it down and pack up and head out tomorrow.  We have been so lucky with the weather - since  arriving in Kerrville a month ago we have put 2200 miles on the motorcycle!!!  Maybe we had 6 days we did not ride?  That gives us an average of 92 miles a day for 24 days.  It has been much warmer here this spring than 2016.

Billy & Rosey leading
Billy is leading the Windmill Gang through the backroads today.   Lunch (of course) was at the Fredericksburg Airport Diner.  So cool.
Poppy Fields at Wildseed Farms

Cool Dude!
After lunch we popped down to Wildseed Farms.  The poppy fields are amazing. 

Old Yeller

April 2/17  Weather 80 sunny. 
The Windmill Gang
Today the Windmill Gang really grew in size.  Mostly we ride in a pack of 4 or 5 but today we were up to 9!  Big ride heading north to Mason.  You guessed it; yes we are going for lunch.....  hills were a pretty ride.
north to Mason
 Mason is has a pretty little town square with old storefronts and a beautiful courthouse in the center of the square.  But that is not the best part.
courthouse in town squre
 In 1956 Fred Gipson wrote Old Yeller here.  A boy and a stray dog in post-civil war Texas; and the struggle for Travis into adulthood understanding life and death. Ahhhhhhh!  Love that movie.  Get your Kleenex's out, you know you cried when Old Yeller dies.  And that is not a spoiler alert:)
Travis and Old Yeller in the Disney Film

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Future site of an Immortal Village

March 30  Weather 82 sunny, night clear down to 50. 

waterfall running strongly in Centerpoint
  Today our friends took us for a ride to Centerpoint for a burger then up a long Skyline Drive in Comfort.  Just a regular day and another beautiful Hill Country Road.  NOT. 
gorgeous ride along Skyline Drive near Comfort
What appeared was a beautiful 18,000 square foot Antebellum home built in the 80`s.  It is perched high above the hills.  We pulled into the gated driveway and the story behind the gates took shape. 
Antebellum estate home
This 645 acre property is owned by Stasis Foundation who have plans to build a $200 million cryonics castle.
Just so you understand the scope of what will be coming...
Human cryopreservation has been around for about 40 years, Patients have been frozen to the temperature of liquid nitrogen, which stops all biological and chemical activity.   Earlier cryopreservation technology, though, led to ice crystals that damage tissues and cells. (Think freezer burn.)
Under a process called vitrification, however, something akin to antifreeze is added to water to prevent water molecules from assembling and forming ice. The water becomes solid but doesn't freeze.
The fortress — dubbed the “Timeship” by its creators — will be a “Fort Knox” for the cryopreservation of patients, organs, the DNA of humans and endangered species, stem cells and tissue samples.
A research facility, exhibition area, assembly plant and conference center also are planned. Stasis' plans also include the construction of a facility to assemble Thermos-like vessels to store bodies and heads — for those who choose the neuro option. Stasis holds a patent for a cryogenic storage system.  The Timeship will hold 50,000 vessels and be the largest in the world. 
So now when we are standing at the gates we can just try to grasp all this,,,, the ride was into the future.    Wow.
sitting at the gates of future


Willow City Loop

wild Texas bluebonnets
March 28/17 Weather high into the 80's, low 60.  This week is solid warm weather.  After the rain last night the Windmill riding gang thought it would be the  right day to head over to the Willow City Loop near Fredericksburg to see the Bluebonnets.   In 2016 we went several times to see the wildflowers and they were ``spectacular``...... this year they seemed quite a bit thinner.  Apparently the flowers need plenty of rain in October for germination and unfortunately it was a very dry month in 2016.  Lots of rain came in November and December but just not at the right time.  Really it is hard to believe that has to be so exact but the stand of flowers does show the difference.
That Texas star is everywhere!!!!
First stop was for lunch in Harper.  Just have to show you what I found in the ladies restroom.   Another Texas Star...... Love it :)
winding down towards an old mill
Back on the bikes we wound our way through the back roads with a couple of turn arounds and a few stops to check the county map to find another road across the back country.
flowers along the cattle guard crossings in the Willow City loop
Then we popped out at the Willow City Loop.  The ride is about 15 miles and part of it ventures into private ranch property; this is a very popular tourist attraction every spring.  We respect the signs posted and do not stop and park and walk into the fields.    Usually this is the best viewing of the Texas bluebonnets, white poppies, and several fields of a yellow flower that we are not able to name.  The little pink flowers that are everywhere are so pretty - named Winecups or Poppy Mallows!
winecups or poppy mallows

field of yellow and white flowers along the way

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ride to Eat

Cypress Creek Road on the way into Comfort
March 27/17  Weather has been perfect for riding.  Hovering around 80 everyday and 55 +  at night.  We have been out riding everyday.  Those wheels are turning!  Seems most days the guys say "Where are we eating today?"
Billy walking into Luckenbach - Post Office, General Store, and Bar

now there is a chair at the bar for you in Bandera ,,, or should I say saddle
Closed Sign in the quilt shop in Bandera, "Headin' Out"
 So here is the list of small towns in the last week - Luckenbach, Welfare, Waring,  Bandera, Comfort, Boerne, Leakey, Hunt, Ingram and right here in Kerrville.    Now the name Welfare for a town, just has to peak your curiousity????
German word Wohlfarht, translated as "pleasant trip"
Some of the days have been almost 200 miles and other days only 50 miles.  This 'Hill Country' area is just a great area for exploring.  Motorcycles, Antique Hunters, Jewellery, Cowboy stuff, Thrift shops, Foodies, Hand Crafts, Wild Exotic Animals, Hunting, Spring Wildflowers, Wineries,,,,,,,   the list goes on and on.  If you have an interest you will likely find it here. 
riding along the hills in Kerrville

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Hangar

March 17/17  Weather today bright and sunny, 80 and low of 60
Today we were on our way to Fredericksburg to check out the airport.   We took the back way which means a scenic route on the bike, and yes it is.   Most of the way is through ranches and we are loving these old barns which seem to be melting back into the land.
the barn roofs are showing their age
look at that old ranch
Every time we take White Oak road we see deer running into the road.   So you have to be on the watch.  Again today.   We slowed down to a crawl since you are not sure which way they will run and jump.   You know the saying "a deer in headlights".
then the deer decide to cross back and forth,,, yikes
We haven't found these setups in Canada but in the U.S. we find these really neat diners at small town airports.  We heard there is a hotel and 1940's style rail car diner at the Fredericksburg airport.  So we have to go.  Sure enough there is a really cool diner which looks out over the runway.  While we were walking in an old red bi-plane took off.   The pilot had the old leather aviator helmet on with goggles!!!    After we walked into the lounge in the hotel, it was beautiful.  This is pretty cool.
entrance into the airport - hotel and diner are by the tower

Airport diner

old bi-plane taking off