Sunday, September 29, 2013

MOC Day 5

Goshen, Indiana
Elkhart County Fairgrounds #311

The weatherman promised a light rain while we were sleeping and it would clear up by 8 am and he didn't disappoint us.

John Kohl, came over this morning to install plastic in our screen door.  It was damp and cool, but that didn't discourage John.
 He came fully equipped including his remarkable positive attitude which a camera couldn't capture.


The project soon drew a crowd.

John said the project went faster than most.
Thumbs up and thank you John.

Keystone donated ham and chicken for dinner and everyone else brought side dishes or desserts.  

That was a lot of food and I didn't get a picture of the desserts.  This was taken after everyone ate. 

We're afraid we're going to have to get bigger springs on our truck to be able to haul us after all the food we've eaten at this rally.  

While we were eating dinner the wagon masters had a slide show playing of all ten years of the MOC Rally.  

The prize drawing was held after the dinner and we won a prize, a light and some barbecue sauce.  After all that food, we walked back to the fiver and decided to skip the campfire.  

When we got back an alarm went off.  I thought it was coming from the propane alarm.  Bill turned off the propane and we turned on the vent fan but the alarm kept going off.  I walked over to the campfire to ask if anyone knew anything else we could try.  The next thing I knew two men were are the door, followed by Rondo Lichtenberg and John Kohl.  It turned out to be the carbon monoxide alarm battery in the bedroom.  John always bragged about the number of the opposite sex he took to his bedroom, but I don't think he had 5 of them in there at one time like I did.  This MOC group is wonderful.  

Turtle Safely.........

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Moc 3 and 4

Goshen, Indiana
Elkhart County Fairgrounds #311

Another beautiful day in Indiana even if we needed to be up and ready by 8:15 am.  The Keystone factory Montana plant tour was scheduled for 8:40.  With all the extra traffic from the bridge being out we arrived at the parking lot at 8:40.  As we entered the plant, we could see our group leaving.  No problem they said, just have some Dunkin Donuts and Coffee and wait 20 minutes for the next tour.  (Eat your heart out, Roger.)
Keystone closed the operation of the  Montana plant for the Montana Owners Club.  It allowed us to look anywhere we wanted and ask questions.  I was impressed by all the things that Montana does and uses that the rest of the industry doesn't.  They have been the number one seller for 13 years in a row and everyone we talked with at the rally is happy they own a Montana. 

 We were allowed to take pictures inside the plant, but not to take pictures of the prototype.  All of the different models were opened for us to see.  Keystone employees wanted to hear our feedback on what we liked and didn't like.  

Our plant guide was so informative that I got caught up in everything he was saying and showing us that I realized I didn't take one photo in the plant.  They have a lot of Mennonite employees and therefore the work hours start at 4:30 am so they can go home and take care of their farms.  We truly enjoyed the tour and speaking with our guide.  You could tell they really liked working for Keystone.

When we got back to the fairgrounds the Mennonite Relief Fair was in full progress.  I couldn't believe how quickly the fairgrounds filled up.  Bill and I walked around to all the different buildings trying to decide which place we wanted to stop at for our dinner.  After careful consideration, we choose the ham wrap.  We sat down at a picnic table and while we were eating Don Sellers and his wife sat down beside us.  We last saw them in Gillette.  It was nice seeing them again.  

One person told me they made over one million dollars for the relief fund.  The quilt show was impressive and when we walked by one bid was $1500 and still open.  

For dessert we decided we couldn't go wrong with pie and ice cream.  The big problem was standing there looking at the selection.  We both said just pie, we were watching our waistline, but when we got to the end of the line and saw the homemade ice cream, we weakened.  We sat with other MOC members and chatted and laughed until it started to get dark.  

The rest were going back to the campfire, but we said we had a busy day and were just going to crash.  As we started back to our coach, we saw Jeannette and Tom, Escapees members we met at Chapter 51 rally.  That makes 3 couples, not with the MOC that we've seen while here.  It truly is a small world.  
Les and Darlene Atkinson

A potluck breakfast began this morning at 8 am.  It was fun and there surely was a lot of food.  

Some of the door prizes
Some more door prizes.

No sooner than the breakfast and door prize drawing was over, it was almost time for our group photo.  Everyone wore their souvenir 10th anniversary MOC t-shirt for the photo.  

I believe everyone skipped lunch today to prepare for tonight's dinner in Shipshewana at a Mennonite home.  We were on the waiting list for this event when we first got signed up for the rally.  It was a wonderful family style meal for over one hundred and fifty people.  There is no way you wouldn't have enjoyed it.  No photos were allowed.  
When we returned to the fairgrounds, we went for a bicycle ride.  I think everyone that went for the dinner was out walking or riding a bike trying to wear off that huge meal. I knew I had eaten too much when my rear bike tire gave out.

What do you think we are doing tomorrow?  Dinner sponsored by Keystone.

Bill said the definition of RVing is, "One long meal and no one cooks."

Turtle Safely........ 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

MOC Schol is Over

I forgot to mention something yesterday about the awards.  They gave an award for the newest Montana Fifth Wheel.  One couple (sorry I forgot their name) had just received delivery of theirs 30 minutes earlier.  Now that is new!

I did give Bill an anxious moment.  I opened the shower door to ask him something and then shut and locked it.  I heard this banging and I thought someone was at the door.  He did not see any humor in this incident.

It was cool when I went out to start the truck up and it had dew all over it.  I drove the truck to get in line with the ones going to the Keystone Montana Ladies Driving School.  Marilyn Wyatt Hill and Nancy and Sharon climbed in the truck to ride with me.  I won't say there was a lot of hot air in the truck, but the windows were all fogging up.  I never knew we had defrosters on the mirrors before, no need to use them in Arizona.  

Keystone Montana had a continental breakfast set out for us.  Twenty four women were signed up to take the free course offered by Keystone.  The course was a 30 minute seminar on the basics of driving.  Even though they said no men, there were some that had to drive their wives over and wanted to stay.  Other men were sending texts or calling their wives while they were there.  I'm lucky, Bill is supportive and encouraging.  I can see why some of these women will never be able to drive with their husbands along.  

There were 5 other trucks besides ours used in the course.  
While we were in the classroom, six of the techs hitched 6 brand new Montana Mountaineers to the trucks.  Everyone got a chance to drive a truck with a Mountaineer on a 15 minute drive with a tech.  They had a good route planned out with a lot of turns.   Two other trucks were used for hitching and unhitching a Mountaineer without 6 point level-ups.  I realized I never want to go back to the other kind of jacks.  Two other trucks were used for backing into a campsite.  

How do you think our truck looks with a new Mountaineer?

These people were responsible for making the program run smoothly.

I was happy that I got to do the road portion with our truck.  Even though I have driven the rig, it was very different using a different brand.  Yes, Jim, I did drive a Chevy to hitch up.  

We were all rewarded with a certificate "For Successful Completion of the 2013 MOC Ladies Keystone Driving Course."

Bill attended some classes today sponsored by Dicor and Domentic while I was at the driving seminar. 

I arrived back about lunchtime and the RV yard sale was going strong.  I never got a chance to check out anything. 

There was a 15 minutes to talk with a Montana tech appointment for 2:15 and Bart was right on time and answered questions about anything on our Montana.

I put out our patio rug for the RV sale and someone came by and bought it.  While we were outside talking, Les and Darlene Atkinson came by in their truck.  They had been trying to call us and see if we wanted to ride with them to the free dinner sponsored by Tiara RV Sales. We just jumped in their truck and off to dinner we went without my camera.  

Tiara had all their fifth wheels opened so the Montana Owners Club could all look through them.  For dinner they cooked chicken and had potato salad, beans, pickles and cookies for dessert.  I don't know how many prizes they gave away but they even gave away a new mattress.   

We opted to forget the campfire tonight and just came back and kicked our shoes off and relaxed.

Tomorrow morning our appointment to tour the Montana plant is at 8:40 so we have another early day.  

Turtle Safely.......  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Goshen, Indiana
Elkhart County Fairground #311

Yesterday we watched all the Montana's roll in.  Except for a short trip to Walmart we didn't do much.  We ended up talking to people and missed Happy Hour at Janet and Rollie Newman's.  Every time we finished talking to someone and were ready to walk up to the Newman's, someone else stopped by.  We finally gave up and just came in to watch TV.

This morning we walked up to register and Les and Darlene Atkinson walked in.  They were going to look at furniture and stop at the Shipshewana Flea Market for peaches.  Les and Darlene suggested we meet them for lunch at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.  Next thing I knew, we decided to ride along with them to the Lambright Furniture store.   

I thought I remembered where it was but we stopped at the office to get a map to be sure.  The fairgrounds have the best package of maps and information of any RV park I've been to.  I was surprised when we came in on Monday that we didn't get a packet.  While we were in the office, Bev explained that it was in our MOC welcome bag.  As we turned to leave, in walked David and Joyce McCreary, Chapter 51 Escapee members.  We didn't get much of a chance to talk to them but it sure was a pleasant surprise to see them again.  
Joyce and David McCreary and Jan and Bill Mains

I played navigator while Les drove.  The roads are so crowded with the bridge work and all the detours.  We enjoyed seeing the craftsmanship of the furniture and will probably think about replacing our sofa in the future.

Lunch buffet at Das Essenhaus was just as good as the last time we stopped.  We browsed through the bakery, but we were so stuffed nothing jumped out at us to buy.  I showed Les and Darlene how to take a detour to get to Walmart.  We arrived back at the fairgrounds with an hour or two to spare before Meet N Greet.

What a kickoff for the rally.  All the events are held in a huge tent with tables and chairs.  I'm sorry I didn't get very many photos but here are a few.
Our wagon master Jim Schlee with his pacifier.

A representative from Montana Keystone
This is the 10th Montana Owners Club Rally and these three couples have attended all ten.  

There's a lot going on tomorrow.  I leave for the ladies only driving course put on by Montana personnel tomorrow morning at 8 am.  We have an appointment with the Montana tech tomorrow afternoon to answer any questions we may have.  Mor Ryde, Lippert, Dicor, Dometic, Thedford, Norcold, Dexter Axles, Tredit, Fantastic and Crane Components will all have seminars.  We also signed up for a tour of the Mor Ryde plant.  Dinner tomorrow is sponsored by a local Montana dealer, Tiara.  

Enough said....time for bed

Turtle Safely........

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to the Tracks

Goshen, Indiana
Elkhart County Fairgrounds Site #311

We woke up this morning to 42 degrees so we weren't in any hurry to get moving.  By the time we left around 10 am it was in the 60's and the sun was shining.  Our travels took us on county highway 205 to highway 6 to 33 north.  Sounds like a long way but was only about 50 miles to Goshen.  We made a quick stop at Walmart before taking the detour to the fairgrounds.  I don't think they have done much with the bridge since we were through here two weeks ago.  I hope it will be completed before the Escapade in May.

I ran into the office to pay for our two extra days before the MOC (Montana Owners Club) starts.  Bill and I had checked out this section when we stayed at the fairgrounds a couple of weeks ago.  We knew they had changed from the infield sites to these on the south side along the creek.  Knowing that we were some of the last people to register for the rally, we figured we'd be down here in the 300 section.  We had no problem finding our site and it's a good thing as they gave out no site maps or the nice packets they usually give you at the office.   

It looks like the field directly across from us is where the big tent will be.  We're right along the creek and train track but they don't blow the whistles here.  
We even managed to get a tree.

Both sides of us are empty now, but I'm sure this place will be filled Wednesday.

We walked up to the northeast side and Linda and Dennis Ward were waving at us as we were walking.  They wanted us to meet some friends of theirs and we were invited to happy hour with them.  After a couple of hours of enjoying everyone, we decided to leave as we were getting chilled.  They invited us to go to the flea market tomorrow in Shipshewana but we went two weeks ago and I wasn't ready yet for a return visit.

We've attended a lot of rallies but other than the MOC rally in Nebraska this is the first where there is all 5th wheels.  I've never seen so many Montana's.  I would guess that probably half have already arrived.  

Tell me they don't think highly of the Montana here!

Turtle Safely..........

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not me this time!

Auburn, Indiana
Fireside RV Resort

This morning when we woke up it was 42 degrees outside.  I had a hard time getting myself moving.  I ended up throwing on a pair of sweat pants and sweat shirt and went to the pavilion.  I wanted to say good bye to everyone before they left and I was afraid they'd leave before I had my shower.  There were danish rolls and coffee for everyone.  No one left the pavilion before about 10 am.  It was like no one wanted to leave.  They were having a great time talking.  You'd think there wasn't anything left to say.

Check out time is 12 noon. We finally finished our good byes and helped load up the last of the supplies.

I decided I'd do laundry today since I know this will be a very busy week.  Bill loaded up the truck and we drove over to the laundry.  I checked the laundry and every washer and dryer was in use.  Since we had the laundry in the truck we decided to drive to Garrett to a laundromat.  As we pulled up to it, I noticed big rolls of carpet padding by the front door.  The doors were locked.  OK, no problem, we'll go to Auburn.  We arrived at this laundromat and it looked very nice on the outside.  Unfortunately, it wasn't open on Sunday.  Does this sound like Bill trying to find a barber pole?

I had wanted to mail some letters so we decided to drive the few blocks to the post office.  The main square of town was closed and it appeared that carnival rides were being set up.  I believe there county fair is soon so that could be what was going on.  

When we came back to the "RV Resort", I stopped back in the laundry and the washers were full and all of the dryers were going.  The fellow that was doing the laundry came over and said the dryers would be finished soon so we waited and did the laundry. 

We no sooner came back to the coach than the park host came and knocked on my door.  He said it was past noon and we had to move now.  There was a fifth wheel directly behind us waiting for our spot.  I said I thought I had paid through Monday. He said no, you paid through the 21st.  No problem I said I'll pay for another day.  He said, "no you won't, I'm full."  Everyone knows the problems I have with a calendar.  I went and got my receipt and showed the host that we had paid for a week and one day.  The receipt showed the week was up on the 21st and it also showed I paid an extra day but it didn't change the day I was suppose to leave.  The host came back and said OK, I didn't have to leave until tomorrow.  Can you believe I was right!  Mark this day down on your calendar.  It wasn't so much the problem as the way and attitude it was handled.

I guess we'll be leaving in the morning.  

Turtle Safely.......

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Johnny Appleseed

Auburn, Indiana
Fireside RV Resort 

Okay, I admit it.  I thought the Johnny Appleseed Festival was going to be the same old arts and craft fair with 10-20 booths.  Polly Miller suggested we leave by 9 am as the parking lot fills up and she was right. 

 The festival was suppose to begin at 10 am but when we arrived at the coliseum parking lot it was nearly full.  It was a beautiful crisp day perfect for a light jacket. 

This festival had it all--antiques, floral, farmers markets, historic re-enactments, dancing, music, quality arts and crafts, re-enactment gear, everyone wearing period clothing, children's games, and entertainment on six different stages.  All this  and there was no admission charge just a small charge to park.   

Bill knew that John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed passed through his hometown of Wellsburg, WV but never knew where he went afterwards.

First let me tell you about the Johnny Appleseed Archer Park where it was held.  It was a beautiful setting along the St. Joseph River and there were sections for different areas.  One area you walked across a small bridge for the Traders and Trappers Section.  I was fascinated to watch the skill of knapping which is how arrows are made.

There was so much going on all the time.  The Drum and Fife group had some children learning to play their primitive flutes under the direction of their instructor.  The cannons were being shot while a group playing the bag pipes marched by us.  

On the directory there were 107 booths with just arts and crafts.
There were 40 different demonstrations such as tin weave, corn husk, wood products, stoneware, blacksmith, weaving, leather work, and even scarecrows.

The Living History Encampment encompassed re-enactors from the infantry, naval, and artillery life during the 1812 era, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. They really enjoyed playing the parts.

The settlers pioneer village and country store area was my favorite.  Authentic pioneer recipes were used to prepare all kinds of foods over open fires.  I wish I had taken a picture of the stacks of wood they were going through.  I did happen to find a really great place for beef brisket.  This vendor had won some awards and he definitely gets my vote!  The smells were enticing.  

Church groups, school programs, scouts and other organizations were all participating in the festival.  

We saw this fellow and then later in the afternoon it looked like he was standing guard over the grave.  
Bill liked his "outfit."

This was my favorite vendor, even better than the brisket.  Heaven in a bowl was hot apple and peach crisp.  Bill and I split a bowl on our way to the Traders and Trappers area.  It was so good after walking through the whole settlers country store we came back over and split another big bowl of it.  Then before we left we ordered one bowl to go.

I guess I also failed to mention the great show the cloggers put on.  There was also a reenactment of a medicine man show in which the performer played on a dulcimer over 100 years old.  

We didn't even get to the pie baking contest section.  We tried to see everything but it was very crowded and there were huge lines for food even though they moved fast.  
It was a wonderful fun day and we were so glad that the Chapter 51 Escapees planned their rally around it.  We'll put this on the list to see again.  

By the time we drove the 16 miles back to Auburn, it was almost time for social hour.  After happy hour the chapter  had a bingo game with half the proceeds going to CARE. The wind really picked up while we were playing and they tried to shorten the games.  It dropped down into the 60's. I was glad when it was over and we could come back home and turn on the fireplace.   

Turtle Safely..........