Sunday, October 1, 2017


September 5-30, 2017

Grand View Bend Community Association

Howe, Indiana
We had planned out an itinerary for the entire month of September that included visiting the Indiana Dunes, the Chicago area and staying at a park along Lake Michigan.  But like a quote I once read, “Man makes plans…and God laughs.
We planned on staying at Grand View Bend Community Association for five days.  The park has over two hundred seasonal sites and approximately 40 sites for short term stays.   A Passport America discount is valid for 2 nights.  The normal price is listed as $25/night so the first two nights were rated at $12.50 and the remaining nights we were only charged $15/night.

There is no office.  Upon arrival we pulled over to the side and called the number listed on the PA website.  Within a few minutes the camp hosts, Jim and Erma, pulled up in a golf cart.  While Jim directed Monte to our site, I sat with Erma in the golf cart where I filled out the registration form and wrote a check for our rent.

Monte bent down to place pads under our landing gear.  As he straightened out I noticed he looked a little unsteady.  He said he felt a little woozy.  I helped him sit down on the ground.  When I asked him how he was feeling, he began slurring his words.  My first thought was stroke.  So I ran into the rig to get my phone. 

In the meantime, Monte stood up.  I found him holding onto the side of the truck.  He was still feeling woozy and slurring his speech so despite his objections I called 911.  The operator stayed on the phone with me until two members from the local volunteer fire department arrived followed shortly by an ambulance.
We hadn’t unhitched yet so I was thankful the guys from the volunteer fire department offered a ride to LaGrange Hospital, five miles away.  One of the fellows gave me his personal phone number so I could call him if I needed a ride back to the campground.  I ended up taking him up on his offer.

After a battery of tests we were relieved to find out that Monte had not had a stroke or a cardiac episode.  At that point the doctor thought he might have an ulcer. 
I went back to the campground and unhitched and then drove back to the hospital. 
 
The following morning Monte was released because he had began to feel better after receiving IV fluids for dehydration.

 
 
 
 
 
Two days later I brought him back to the hospital because he complained that he just wasn’t feeling “normal”.  He was re-admitted to the hospital.

 An endoscopy revealed he had an ulcer and a hiatal hernia.  The reason he had almost passed out was due to loss of blood through his stool.  He ended up needing two units of blood before his hemoglobin levels normalized.

He ended up spending another three days in the hospital.  His doctor suggested he have a colonoscopy to rule out the cause of his bloody stools.  It had been over 13 years since his last procedure so he agreed.  Because it was not considered an emergency the procedure would have to be performed as an out-patient.

At that point we made the decision to stay at our current location for the remainder of the month.  We have an appointment scheduled for October 2 in Elkhart to have our frame issues fixed.

On Tuesday, the day Monte began his two day prep for the procedure, our refrigerator died on us.  Luckily we were able to get an appointment for that Friday, the day following his procedure; to have the fridge looked at. 
We bought a 60 quart Igloo cooler and ice in an effort to save some of the food but still ended up throwing out most of the items.
Waiting to be called in for his colonoscopy
Monte’s procedure went great and we were relieved that there was no cancer. 
 As soon as he was discharged we went directly to a local restaurant where he indulged in a Philly Cheese. 

The next morning we hitched up and were on our way at 6:30.  We only had to travel 11 miles to National RV Refrigeration located in Shipshewana.  
The repair shop is owned and operated by Leon Herschberger, and is located next to his home. 
Both Upper & Lower Access Panels Removed
Leon (Our Refrigeration Expert and his helper)

have removed all screws securing the unit and
 it is now it can be removed from the enclosure.
Great care is taken to protect our floor is protected from any damage.
Fork lift is used to place wood pallet at floor level making
it easier to remove refrigerator from inside of RV. 
Refrigerator is now on pallet and ready to be lowered. 
                                                                       Down it comes.
Inside view of where refrigerator was.
This is the Norcold Cooling unit.
The construction has less cooling coils so it is not as efficient as the model below.
This is the Dutch Air Cooling.
Much better cooling surfaces and construction is far superior
and designed for efficient cooling.
 I was surprised to discover that Leon is Amish.  After doing some research I learned that the majority of Amish households in the Elkhart-LaGrange area find employment in the local recreational vehicle industry.

When the fridge first died I thought it was just another bad break added to a long list of things that have gone wrong since we departed Florida in May.  But upon reflection I realized that it was actually a blessing in disguise because it happened in the RV Capitol and we are still under warranty so all it cost us was our deductible.

 Now that we have a properly working refrigerator we realize that the old cooling unit had not been working properly since the beginning.  We confirmed this when we purchased Ice cream and it actually got rock hard in the freezer.  We haven’t bought ice cream in a long time because it just never got hard.

The remainder of the month we mostly relaxed and shopped in the many local RV supply shops and at the Shipshewana flea market.

One of the nurses at the hospital told us going to Rise N Roll Bakery is a must. 
She was not kidding. 
The donut holes just melt in the mouth.
 
This place is a cheese and meat lovers paradise 
 
One of the RV Surplus places we shopped at
 was Bontrager's in White Pigeon, MI 

 
The Shipshewana flea market is the billed as the Midwest's largest. 
E & S Sales bulk store in Shipshewana 
Ben's Soft Pretzel restaurant
Oh my-this pocket was stuffed with
 cheese, chicken and bacon baked in a pretzel dough.
  I was glad that we opted to share one because it was very filling.
Downtown LaGrange
When we had first arrived at Grand View Bend the field behind us was filled with tall stalks of feed corn. 
During our last weekend at the park the field was harvested.
 

Monday, September 11, 2017


August 28 to September 4, 2017

Harrison Lake State Park, Fayette, OH

Harrison Lake State Park has 203 campsites with north and south sections separated by a lake.  The north section is the main campground where there is a ranger station for registration, a dump station and bath houses. 

Although we arrived on a Monday, a full week prior to Labor Day, all sites in the north campground were reserved through the holiday.  We took one of the three walk in sites available on the south side. 
After filling up with water we made our way around the lake to site 237 located across from the vault toilets.
 
   There was only one other camper in our section.  By Friday there was not one spot available.
To take showers we had a choice of driving over to the north campground or walk/bike around the pedestrian trail around the lake.
Monte tackled a project he has been dreading doing-he serviced the topper on our big slide.  We had been having issues with the slide for a long time.  The tape along the seam was bunched up.
After removing the slide, Monte spent the next two days scraping off the residue left by the tape.  He washed the roof of the slide, applied new tape and re-installed the slide.