We hitched up on the 1st and made the 45 minute drive to the Elkhart County Fairgrounds. The International Rally of Travel Supreme owners would be taking place here beginning on Monday.
We were met by members of the parking committee and directed to our space. Most of us attending the rally were fortunate enough to have full-hook-ups for the week. We registered at the fairgrounds office for our space before and after the rally, and then headed to Goshen to find the Post Office and pick up our mail.
Saturday evening a potluck dinner was organized. We had a great meal and spent time visiting with fellow rally participants.
Sunday we went to the Laundromat, only to find it too crowded. We decided to come back on Monday and do our wash.
Monday was opening day for the Rally. We went to the Laundromat in the morning and got our laundry done. We also got the quilt shipped to Nashville to be quilted.
In the afternoon we walked to the Rally building to pick up our registration packet. While there we said hello to folks we had met last year. It was great to see everyone.
Our Opening Ceremonies took place in the evening. We had a large crowd and were welcomed by Goshen dignitaries and members of the Travel Supreme organization. The entertainment for the evening was “The Rivoli RV Roué”. We had seen this husband and wife team last year and really enjoy them. They do a great show of musical parodies about the RV life.
Tuesday was a busy day. Millie boarded a bus at 8:30 for an Amish country tour. (Please note: Amish don’t want photographs taken of themselves and we were asked to please leave our cameras on the bus.)
Our first stop was the Hoosier Buggy Shop where we met the owner and were given an overview of how he constructs the buggies used by many Amish. Of interest was the fact that he also makes coffins and acts as undertaker for the families in the area.
After driving through the countryside, viewing Amish farms and learning about the Amish culture, we stopped at a cheese factory. We were able to watch through viewing windows at the cheese making process and try samples of the various cheeses made there. Everyone had a great time shopping for cheese and souvenirs.
A short trip down the road was a bakery. We were greeted at the door by a young man with a tray of samples of their wonderful donuts. Inside we watched as several young ladies readied products for the ovens. The Amish love music but do not permit the use of musical instruments. All music is done acopella and these young ladies in the bakery were singing as they worked. We enjoyed the beautiful music as much as the baked goods.
We drove by several of the Amish schools in the area. The children were outside playing softball and would wave as we drove by. Our noon stop was a real treat. We arrived at the home of Carol Yoder who, along with several members of her family, had prepared an Amish meal for us.
We were seated at long tables and the meal was served to us family style. It consisted of Broccoli Salad, Chicken Breast, Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Mixed Vegetables and Home Baked Bread. Desert consisted of Pecan, Pumpkin and Lemon Fluff pie.
The family has constructed a building behind their house which contains the dining room and a kitchen where the meal is prepared. They are one of 5 in the area that are licensed by the state to serve these types of meals for tours. It was a wonderful meal and afterwards we visited with Carol, her daughter, baby granddaughter and Carol’s father. They were very friendly and willing to answer any questions we posed.
After lunch we toured the Riegsecker Furniture Company. Beautiful custom furniture pieces are produced here. We walked through the facility and watched the various stages of production. You can find their wonderful pieces on the web at www.riegsecker.com.
Another industry housed there is Stone Horses. These collectable horses are hand painted. We were shown the various stages of production that take them from a blank polystyrene model to the finished product. There are more than 9 steps alone in painting the eyes of these horses.
We had been scheduled for a time in Shipshewana for shopping, but were running behind so we were just driven around town and shown some of the sights from our bus.
We returned to the fairgrounds at 5:00, a very tired group after a long but most enjoyable day.
While Millie was on the tour, Dick took advantage of some of the seminars being offered at the rally.
At 5:30 we were treated to a catered dinner consisting of BBQ Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Green Beans and Cake. Following dinner we were entertained by Carol & Kaye’s Dixieland Band.
Wednesday we visited with friends and attended seminars. Dinner was on our own. The entertainment in the evening was The Tuba Dan Band.
Thursday we had a pancake breakfast served by Chris Cakes. This is the same firm who did the fun breakfast last year. You stand in front of the griddle and they toss the pancakes to your plate. Everyone has a great time.
We attended a rally on the Freightliner M2 and learned a few things. Millie attended a seminar by Pat Newsome. This witty lady did a 2 hour cooking demo using the microwave and Tupperware.
An ice cream social was held in the afternoon. (Travel Supremers like to eat! )
Our entertainment Thursday evening was Bingo evening with prizes consisting of Travel Supreme logo wearables, Rally fees for 2005 and cash. Dick had a bingo and won a very nice polo shirt with the TS logo.
A craft show was held on Friday. Millie checked out the craft items being sold but didn’t add to our possessions. Afterwards she attended the Red Hat Society luncheon. Over 50 ladies were present and we all had a wonderful, fun time. The food was delicious also.
In the afternoon we walked over to the stable area of the fairgrounds. A large draft horse sale was taking place on Friday and Saturday and we went over to look at the horses. We watched as some of the horses were shown pulling sulkies and small wagons.
While we watched the horses, it began to rain. In the afternoon it rained really hard. Well, the large slide is leaking AGAIN! Dick went out and put towels under the topper to catch the water and we called Travel Supreme. We will be going back to the repair facility on the 19th. This is really getting old!
Friday night was our farewell catered dinner. The menu for this meal was Pork Chops, Applesauce, Broccoli Salad, and Potatoes Au Gratin. Desert was Pecan and Pumpkin pie. Afterwards we were entertained by Riverbend Chorus Sweet Adelines & Juxtapose.
Saturday morning we had a continental breakfast before many of the participants hitched up their rigs and left the fairgrounds. After breakfast we walked over to say goodbye to Laney and Loyce Finch. We met this couple last year at the Marshall, TX Rally and were happy to see them at the International Rally this year. We are hoping it will not be so long before our paths cross again.
Sunday we hitched up and pointed the rig south. Our destination was Renfro Valley, KY where we would be meeting our dear friends, Dick and Phyllis Davis. We arrived around 5:00 and were directed to our space next to the Davis’ Allegro Bus.
We had requested a full hook-up site when we made our reservations over a month ago, but were only given water and electric. Dick decided we would not unhitch until the next morning so he could get us moved to a full service site.
Dick and Phyllis very graciously offered us their jeep so that we could go get something to eat. After dinner at Pizza Hut, we returned to the park and spent the rest of the evening catching up on our summer travels and enjoying the good company.
Monday Dick walked over to the park office and got us moved to a full service site, but only until Thursday. As we were planning on being here for a week, we needed the sewer hook-up, especially after learning that the bathhouse and laundry were closed in the park!
After we moved and got set up, Dick and Phyllis walked over to visit. We decided to drive to Cumberland Gap National Park. It was an overcast day but we had a nice drive and soon arrived at the Visitors Center. We watched the film on the Gap and one on Daniel Boone and his contribution to the westward movement.
We were directed to by one of the park rangers. As Dick Davis has been under the weather and Phyllis had developed a problem with her knee, we needed advice on what to see that did not require a lot of walking. The walk from the parking area was short and easy and the view was spectacular. The fall color was not at its peak yet but was still nice to see. On our way back down the mountain several deer crossed in front of us.
As it was Millie’s birthday, we decided to go out to dinner. Millie had taken our Next Exit book out of the truck and left it in the trailer but thought she remembered where to find an Outback or Red Lobster. NOT! We ended up eating in a Bob Evans and had a less fancy meal but lots of fun just visiting.
Tuesday Dick and Phyllis came over and she and Millie worked on a craft project. The two husbands watched the movie “Seabiscuit”. Dick and Phyllis had been to Lexington, KY the week before and toured the Kentucky Horse Park. This legendary horse is buried there.
On Wednesday the four of us toured the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. This museum is devoted to performers from Kentucky and was very interesting. It was surprising to see how many performers have come from this state, from country music stars to rock stars. Later Millie and Phyllis drove a few miles away to visit a quilt shop.
Thursday we moved back to the site we had occupied on Sunday. In the afternoon Phyllis and Millie toured the shops at the Renfro Valley complex. The four of us then had dinner at the Outback (we finally found it) and returned to the Davis’ to watch the movie “Cold Mountain”.
Dick and Phyllis left us on Friday. They were on their way to Birmingham, AL for an appointment with Dick’s heart Dr. We were sad to see them go but know that this appointment was important.
We drove to Berea in the afternoon for a visit to the Berea Weavers. It was too late to see the weavers in action, so Millie browsed the gift shop. We stopped at Wal-Mart for a few grocery items then back home to fix dinner.
We had tickets for the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and walked over to the barn. This show is celebrating its 75th birthday this year. Many folks used to listen to the show on the radio. The seating was full and we enjoyed the show of bluegrass and country music along with comedy.
On Saturday night we had tickets for the Renfro Valley Jamboree. Again we enjoyed an evening of bluegrass and country music and comedy. It was an enjoyable evening. These shows were the main reason we came to the valley.
Sunday it was back to Indiana and the Travel Supreme service facility. We arrived to find all the sites filled. There was space at the end without hookups and we backed into it. We have a generator and can use it for power if necessary and we determined this was what we would do.
We went into Elkhart for dinner and when we returned we fired up our generator and settled down to watch some TV and relax. Shortly, there was a knock on our door and a gentleman from two spaces down told Dick that the unit next to him was unoccupied and not plugged in. He thought his electric cord would reach the electric on that site if ours could reach where his was presently plugged in. There was a motor home parked between us but we carry a 50 amp extension cord so we were able to reach the power. It was great not to have to depend on our generator.
Of course, it was up early on Monday and ready for the service folks at 6:30. We got checked in and went to eat breakfast. Then we came back to sit in the lounge and wait. We visited with other folks waiting on repairs during the day. At 4:00 all the units were out except ours. We were the only ones left in the lounge. Finally we talked to Scott and the crew working on our unit. Our unit was being moved over to the factory at the sites there as all the sites at the service facility were full.
The slide had been repaired, this time much more work had been done on it. A hole had been found in the roof of the slide, so now we have a new roof. The slide was also lowered slightly so that when it extends and retracts it doesn’t rub the roof. The seal was also replaced. Maybe this time it will finally be repaired.
As we only had a couple of other things for the crew to finish up, we told Scott we wouldn’t mind them waiting until later in the day on Tuesday to work on it. That way we didn’t have to get up so early. Not so, the factory people started arriving and around 5 the pages over the loudspeakers began. So much for a nice rest.
We went to the customer service lounge and waited. Everything was completed and by late afternoon our rig was back in the same slot at the alternative lot. We spent the night and left the following morning in rain.
We stopped for the night just north of Louisville, KY. While Dick was checking us into the campground, Millie noticed a motor home with a familiar sign in the front window. It was the rig of Norm and Linda Payne (www.seeya-downtheroad.com). Millie has been a reader of their webpage for several years and was thrilled to have a chance to finally meet them in person.
After we got set up, Millie walked over and introduced herself to Norm, who was working outside their rig. Linda soon joined them and they had a nice visit. These folks have been full timing for about 8 years and were in the area to visit with Norm’s parents who are in poor health. It was great to finally meet them and we hope our paths will cross again.
We arrived at the Wil-Ro shop in Gallatin, TN where we were directed to a spot with electric service for the trailer. Dick had several things on the truck he wanted checked and the great folks there got right on it.
By evening, all of the truck concerns were taken care of and we were told we were welcome to stay for a few days if we wanted. These people are so super to deal with; we would not hesitate to recommend them for specialty truck work. We spent the night, then drove to Nashville to Two Rivers Campground, where we had a site reserved.
We went to the Grand Ole Opry one night. It was an enjoyable evening with entertainers such as Charley Pride, Riders in the Sky, SHeDAISY and Mark Chesnutt.
Dick took the truck to Neeley-Coble to have the oil changed and a few items taken care of. As it was to take at least a full day, Matt Ikard drove Dick back to the park. As it turned out, we were without the truck from Monday morning to Wednesday morning.
Millie talked to Cathy Jackson who had done the quilting on the quilts Millie made and arranged to meet her to pick up the quilts. We had a nice visit with Cathy and Millie enjoyed a tour of “Sew Much More”, a shop that Cathy works through. The quilting is really nice and Millie is pleased with both quilts. All she needs to do is get the binding on them now.
We left Nashville and headed west towards Dallas, staying in West Memphis, AR and Texarkana, TX. The KOA in Texarkana was showing the movie “The Long, Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. Millie wanted to see it so she went up to watch. This is such a funny movie for those of us who are full timers. It was “been there, done that” through the whole film. Millie really enjoyed it.
(Be sure to visit the Photo Gallery for more photos.)