Travel Supreme rigs began rolling into the Amana campground for our International Rally. On the 1st we had Pre-Rally registration. We registered and got our information packet and badges.
On the 2nd, Millie went on the tour of the Amana Colonies. The tour guide was a member of the Amana Society and was very informative with a wonderful sense of humor. She answered our questions about the society and the area.
Stops on the tour included a communal kitchen, Society museum, woodworking shop, general store and church. The woodworking shop also contains a large rocking chair. It reminded us all of the Lily Tomlin character, Edith Ann. Yes, Lily Tomlin has been there to sit in the rocker and photos are on display of her in it.
Our last tour stop was in Amana, where we shopped and had a late lunch. Several members of our group ate at the Ox Yoke Restaurant. The food was great and we enjoyed the fellowship.
Opening ceremonies of the rally were held in the evening and refreshments were serviced afterwards. Later we gathered at a community campfire.
Seminars were on tap for the next few days. On Tuesday evening Travel Supreme sponsored a catered dinner. The food was delicious and entertainment by the Route 66 Band followed the meal. This band was a local group and was really good. Everyone enjoyed their music.
On Wednesday we enjoyed a catered ham, sausage and egg breakfast. Team games were on tap for the day, along with a pet parade and an Ice Cream Social. One seminar, new this year, was really interesting. It allowed attendees to give rig tips, ideas, gizmos and gadgets we find useful. Everyone who attended enjoyed the session and commented that we hope it continues every year.
Following dinner (on our own), we had a great time playing Travel Supreme Owners Association Bingo.
Judging for the Halloween Rig Decorating Contest was held after bingo. This contest has been growing since its inception several years ago. One rig has won it the past three years but this year we knew they were in trouble. The winning rig had a fantastic display and we all enjoyed it.
Thursday was the final whole day. Millie attended the Red Hat Society get-together. It was loads of fun, with a catered lunch and games afterwards. All the ladies had a great time visiting.
The fashion show, sponsored by Amana Woolen Mill was well attended and the models did a great job. All the models were rally attendees. We had 8 women and 3 men who volunteered to model. On Wednesday we all gathered at the Woolen Mill shop where we were permitted to choose 6 outfits to model. It was great fun picking out clothes and accessories. The show was a great success.
Millie was one of the models and of course, she chose several outfits with cat themes.
Dinner on Thursday was a catered affair which Dick and Millie helped with serving. Following dinner, we had an awards ceremony with plaques for the winners of the Photography Contest, Halloween Decorating Contest and team games.
Entertainment followed by Dave Moore, who did a musical program, playing several instruments.
Friday morning was the Farewell Continental Breakfast. We waved goodbye as many of the rigs left the park. The week passed by fast, it was hard to believe it was time to go.
We stayed at the park for a few more days. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed being in the area.
On Saturday a Fall Craft Show was held at the campground. Millie spent some time at the show, browsing the many booths. There were a lot of fall and Christmas type crafts. This was a great show with many vendors and Millie did make a few purchases.
Since it was such a beautiful fall day, we decided to go to Cedar Rapids and go to the Ushers Ferry Apple Festival. Ushers Ferry is a village of historical buildings located in a pretty little valley outside of town. We toured several of the buildings. Folks in period costume were located throughout the town demonstrating crafts and everyday activities of the 1800’s.
We saw demonstrations of apple sauce making, apple jelly making, soap making, pressing of cider, and various apple crafts. One particular demonstration that was interesting was at the log house, where a lady was cooking from a cookbook of Laura Ingles Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. The dish she was preparing was fried apples and onions. It was apparently a favorite of Laura’s husband. It doesn’t sound real good, but Millie was game to give it a try. It was surprisingly good!
A craft show was also held on the ground and Millie purchased some fresh apple cider and homemade pumpkin bars before we headed back to Amana.
On Monday we hitched up and headed east on I-80. It was a nice day and we enjoyed seeing the soybeans and corn harvesters working. We exited I-80 in IL to catch US 30 to Elkhart. As we stopped at the bottom of the ramp, a truck next to us motioned for Dick to put down his window. He then told us he thought we had lost the spare tire on our trailer. Dick pulled over and we got out to make an inspection. Well, we did not loose our spare – we lost the center tire on the driver’s side! The bolts had sheared off and the entire wheel was gone! We couldn’t put the spare on as the bolts were gone, so we limped along at 30 mph towards Elkhart.
We had an appointment the following week at MoreRyde to have a new independent suspension on the trailer so we decided to go on over there and see if they could get to us earlier. It took us nearly 4 hours to make the 100 mile journey and when we arrived it was nearly 10 PM and all the RV spaces at MoreRyde were occupied. We were tired so we parked on the street, made a quick supper of sandwiches and fell into bed.
The next morning Dick talked to the folks at MoreRyde and they were unable to get us into the shop any earlier for our scheduled work, but they did tell us we could stay there in the RV spaces and they would try to get us a temporary repair so we could get to Travel Supreme on Thursday for our service appointment there.
On Tuesday Millie checked with Loyce and Laney Finch as they were scheduled to be in Elkhart for service at All Brands. The Finch’s rig had to have some major work and they were staying in a motel. We made arrangements to meet them for dinner in Elkhart. It was good to see them; we hadn’t seen them since April of 2005 at the Freightliner rally. After dinner we went over to their hotel room and had a nice long visit.
Wednesday morning, we woke up to snow! It had been forecast as possible flurries but it ended up being about .02”. It stuck on the grass, etc but not on the roads. We had flurries most of the day.
That evening the Finch’s picked us up and we went to Nappanee to Amish Acres. We enjoyed the Thrasher’s Dinner at the restaurant and following dinner we attended a production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Round Barn Theater. It was an enjoyable evening.
On Thursday MoreRyde got us a temporary wheel on our rig and we drove out to Wakarusa to Travel Supreme for our service appointment. Some of the folks who had been at the rally were there getting service work done too and on Friday we spent the day in the lounge visiting. It’s always fun to visit with folks and hear all their stories and experiences. Travel Supreme got all our service work done on Friday but we stayed on until Sunday before heading back to MoreRyde.
On Saturday, Dick stayed home and Millie headed to Shipsawana to do some shopping. First she visited Yoder’s Department Store, one of her favorite places to shop for fabrics. The Festival was taking place in town and after leaving Yoder’s she had quite a time trying to find a place to park. She knew that there were spaces reserved for RV parking in town but when she got there, they were all full of cars. Not an RV in the bunch! We wish that people driving cars would pay more attention to the reserved spaces for RVers and leave the spaces for those of us with big rigs.
She finally found a parking place in a park and walked back to Lollie’s Fabrics. After doing some shopping there, she walked down the street to another one of her favorite décor shops. She then decided it was just too crowded and headed back to the rig.
Sunday we went back to MoreRyde to be ready for our appointment on Monday. It was Monday afternoon before they had us back into the shop. They pulled our axels off and got ready to replace them on Tuesday. Late Tuesday afternoon, they discovered that some parts were too small and it would be another day before they could get is finished. MoreRyde is really great about letting you stay in the shop in your rig. We were given a key so we could go out for dinner and get back in. They also provide customers with sweet rolls for breakfast and they provide lunch at no charge.
Our work was finished and we left for Nashville, TN. We stopped for the night at a nice new park just south of Louisville, KY. The next day we rolled into Nashville and pulled into Twin Rivers Park where we have stayed before. Oops – no room but they did call to a park up the road and found us a space, but we could only stay until Sunday morning.
Dick went to Neely-Coble to have the back ordered part replaced. He didn’t have to spend the whole day there this time, fortunately. On Sunday we left Nashville, heading west on I-40 to West Memphis, AR. We spent a couple of nights there, another sensor problem with the truck had occurred. He spent the day at the Memphis Freightliner shop getting the problem taken care of.
We spent a night in Texarkana, TX and arrived in Corinth, TX on the 26th. We were several days earlier than we had reserved for so we had to take a smaller space in the back of the park. We were so glad to finally settle in one spot and get our house all straightened up. We had spent nearly three weeks just getting by with minimal set up and having to climb over things, etc.
Robert was really surprised when we called him on Friday. We went down after he got home and visited with him and Lacey. It was great to see them after nearly a year.
We managed to get rested up the next few days. On Halloween afternoon Millie checked with the office to see if we would be having Trick or Treat. The lady in the office said she had been there 6 years and hadn’t had anyone. Not that many kiddos in the park. While we were watching TV around 4:30, the doorbell rang and we heard “Trick or Treat”. There were 7 little ones at our door in their costumes. We hurriedly rounded up some change for the little beggars. They were the only ones we had, but in the future we will try to be prepared for Halloween.
Next month – visiting with kids and grandkids, and then moving to Richmond.
As always, you will find more photos in the gallery. Next month, Labor Day in the Mountains; Nashville, TN; Winterset, IA; and Amana, IA.
(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look. We couldn't link to all of them.)