Thursday, September 16, 2010

Traveling Again and Escapade

After finishing up with Don’s doctor visit and getting the motorhome serviced (oil leak turned out to be just a leaky cap) in Rapid City, SD, we hit the road.

Don’s walking better each day, now that the leg cast is off.


During our brief stay at beautiful Hart Ranch, our home base in Rapid City, we were lucky to link up with several friends and make some new ones as well. We gathered for lunch at the Alpine Inn in Hill City, SD. Below are L-R clockwise: Willie and Doug, Lynette and Steve, me and Don, Dave and Diane, with Fran and Bill in the lower center. I failed to get a picture of Betty and Duane, whom we saw a few times at Hart Ranch.


Don loves to sing his own version of Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” whenever we take off. This time it sounded even sweeter because we had most of our accident-related business behind us. Our first stop was in Pender, NE at the Blue Ox headquarters. They offer free RV parking in a beautiful setting while customers are getting service.


We bought a TruCenter steering device last summer and have had problems with it ever since. We even had it serviced here at Blue Ox in May, making a large detour in our travels to come to the headquarters. Now, on our second visit, the techs and manager decided to replace the device with a new one. In examining the old one, they discovered the inner cylinder leaking and creating erosion. They didn’t go so far as to say it was defective, but we believe it was. In any case, they took care of the problem. The manager also gave us a new electrical cable for the tow bar (ours was damaged) and inspected the base plate on the car (aka “towed” or “toad”). (Note: A fellow blogger reported their similar Blue Ox tow system failed when the welds on the base plate came apart and their toad broke away from the motorhome, suffering extensive damage. We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to us.) We departed feeling safer and gratified to finally have the TruCenter working correctly.

The next stop was in Davenport, IA. Friends Jerry and Sue Little live in nearby Blue Grass, and they made time in their busy schedule to treat us to tacos at one of their favorite restaurants. As you can see, Jerry is quite a character, and he kept us all entertained as we enjoyed our dinner.


Don and I have both driven through the Chicago area many times. Now that most of the major highway construction projects are finished, traffic flows smoother. However, there are still occasional delays and backups. Initially, we were happy to be heading east when the westbound lanes became clogged.


But we got our turn further down the road where 5 lanes narrowed to 3.


We still made it through the area faster than during previous trips, and arrived in Goshen, Indiana around 2 pm. After encountering a road closure 1 mile from our destination at the Moose Lodge. We had to follow a detour that took us an extra 10 miles around the closure to finally get here. We got the motorhome parked on a grassy, although unlevel, site with 30 amp electricity and water, then drove the car to the Elkhart County Fairgrounds, where the Escapees RV Club is holding its 50th Escapade rally. We found lots of friends, most of whom were surprised that we made it here since we had told them we probably wouldn’t. I’ll write again about the Escapade visit in a later blog. We’re thrilled to be here, even though the rally is almost over, and hope to spend more time with friends and visiting the exhibits today.


  1. Good to see that Blue Ox replaced the faulty part and got you all fixed up and on your way again.

    Great that you were able to get to Goshen for at least some of the Rally and meet up with a lot of your friends. Have fun!

  2. Glad things are going smoothly now for you! You have to have bumps along the way. You don't have to like them, but you can really feel better when they are behind you!


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