Coronavirus is causing us to change our April

April is usually the month we start getting ready for spring festivals to sell our glass pendants.  The pendants all need to be shined and all tablecloths washed.  Usually we are getting ready for antique shows, where we sell antiques that we collect all year.  In fact our first show of the year is usually in April. This year we’re not even sure if there will be any festivals or shows for us to go to.

Selling our pendants at an Austin show

We have gotten everything for the spring, but doesn’t look like we will able to do any.  Not even sure that we can do any at all this summer. We are hoping that by fall things will back to normal, but we can’t count on it.

We’ve been in Texas for most of the winter and came back at the end of Feb. because of Coronavirus.  Then when it was suggested that older people and people with other diseases were high risk, it caused us to “shelter in place” at our home.  We still have family, kids and grand-kids that live in Indiana and Ohio and we’ve postponed seeing them for the time being.

We use facetime a lot and it has helped keep our sanity.  Very thankful for all we do have.  We have a warm home, food, and don’t have the virus.  We have books to read, movies to watch and facetime with family.  We have time to get caught up reading blogs we haven’t had a chance to read.  And, we are so grateful for all our online friends that keep us on our toes.

Keep safe!!!

 

Roadtirement’s 2019 revisited

My gosh has this year gone fast, or what?  We started the year traveling from Indiana to Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Park Place RV Resort was our home for two months.  Some pure tourist type stuff was of course a requirement in the new to us area. The border with Mexico, those daunting US Border Patrol SUV’s and the fence/wall were eye openers for us. We enjoyed the sights of Port Isabel and the beaches of South Padre Island. That 55+ RV resort living helped us realize that we liked being “Winter Texans”!

Nice concrete patio at our site in Harlingen.

One day we went to the border wall in Brownsville.

The Port Isabel lighthouse

We spent some time in March with family in Austin, then back to Indiana. It took a bit to get back into being in the Midwest again, but there was lots we did over the summer. We try to go to as many musicals as we can at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. An excellent buffet and even better show make for a great evening out. In May we also set up at the US Highway 40 Yard sale in Dunreith, a small town  between Greenfield and Richmond, Indiana. For four days folks travel the highway looking for treasures and bargains.

Musical “Hairspray” at Beef and Boards

Our set up for the Highway 40 Yard Sale

 

 

 

 

 

Camping with kids and grand kids became a fun past time this summer. We took our RV and our kids brought their tent(s) for themselves and any of the grand kids that could come along. An Ohio State Park, US Forest Service Recreation Area, and a Jellystone Park RV resort served us well. Never a dull moment when camping, especially in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest after a toad strangler of a rain which flooded a tent. Yes, we were able to sleep 6 fairly comfortably in our 24′ Class C Four Winds. We had to use an alternate route to leave the area as the main road was washed out.

Spacious campsite in the Monongahela National Forest

West Virginia’s Horseshoe Rec Area

Our campsite, tent is out of site on the left

Entrance to the Ohio State park, lake in the background

Gorgeous end to the day at Ohio’s Kaiser Lake State Park

Another summer highlight was our trip to Niagara Falls. The guided tour was definitely worth the cost. The small Gray Line tour bus picked us up at our RV campground. The tour was all inclusive, including of course the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride taking you into the soaking up close view of the falls. If you have not been to Niagara Falls, go!

Here we are after our Maid of the Mist adventure. That is the American Falls barely visible between us.

Restaurant view of the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls. The food was good, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I were pretty busy during the summer, including some additional selling at several town festivals. By the time the end of October came around we were ready to head back out on the road and head south once again. We had talked before about visiting the Diamond Mine State Park in Arkansas. The weather had been rather wet, but we decided that it would be a great time to check this place out on our way back to Texas. We went and had a ball. No diamonds found, and the muddy ground was hard to traverse. But, we have a bucket of neat rocks for our rock garden.

Getting ready to head to the muddy field and begin our search for diamonds

Here I am shovel ready to find one of those huge diamonds shown in the picture next to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to Texas with a quick stop in Texarkana. There the courthouse is positioned literally on the Arkansas/Texas State line. Interesting to say the least. We stopped at our family’s place in Austin for a couple of days before we went to our spot at the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin. The La Hacienda is a Sun Resort property, complete with all the expected facilities. We have been here since the first of November. The past two months have given us a chance to explore the Austin area. The Hill Country is filled with wineries, breweries and distilleries. Yep, we have enjoyed more than one of these establishments.

A beautiful Saturday at the Bull Creek Park in Austin

Los Pinos restaurant is only 1/4 mile from our RV Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 has been quite the adventure for Roadtirement! We can’t list everything, but know that we have had a great year. In figuring up where were have been, we discovered that in 2019 we actually lived 5 out of 12 months as Winter Texans. This could get to be habit forming! We are going to start 2020 by going to Seattle to visit our daughter and her family in January. Stay tuned, we’ll fill you in!

Wishing you and yours and all our friends a safe and prosperous New Years!

Maj and Sher

Some nice fall Indiana festivals

Our set up at Atlanta Earth Days

Our set up at Atlanta Earth Days

Indiana offers some really nice fall festivals that are suitable for the entire family. Depending upon your home location, many of these will be a great event for a one day outing.

Atlanta Earth Days has been a tradition in central Indiana for years. Entertainment and hundreds of craft and merchandise vendors set up all over town. You can find anything for sale at this exciting shopping event. Bands also perform, and there are tons of food vendors scattered throughout the town. Thousands of folsk take advantage of this iconic festival each year.

Atlanta is just minutes north of Indianapolis. Here is their website.

The Cataract Bean Festival is held the first weekend in October in the tiny town of Cataract, Indiana. Home to the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area, the site is perfect for a fun event. The Cataract Volunteer Fire Department puts on the event which is their fundraising project each year.

Over 700 pound of beans are cooked over open fires in huge cast iron kettles. Served with cornbread, the firefighters always sell out each day! In addition to local entertainment, one of the highlights is the huge open air market. Crafts and flea market vendors fill nearly every open spot in the town. In addition you’ll find the full range of food concessions set up. Here is the VFD website.

Fort Vallonia Days in Jackson County is also one of those huge festivals set in a tiny town. Each year this festival continues a decades long tradition of providing a wholesome family event. The normal crowd size reaches nearly 30,000 people! Running for two days, Saturday is the day of the large parade that is fun for kids of all ages.

Hundreds of vendors are set up selling all kinds of goods. You can find inexpensive new merchandise, great antiques and lots of beautiful handmade crafts. Food? You bet! There are all the usual food concession trailers scattered around the town. Here is the Fort Vallonia Days website.

Indiana’s huge covered bridge festival

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Each October Parke County, Indiana is the scene of the annual Covered Bridge Festival. This event sees close to two million people converging on the area for a ten day festival. While there are several beautiful vintage covered bridges scattered throughout the county, most folks come for the shopping.

And shopping there is! There are several small communities that become filled with vendor tents, food concession trailers and outdoor ‘yard sale’ type setups. It is true to state that if you can think of it it can be found for sale somewhere amongst the thousands of different vendors set up.

That's our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

That’s our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

We have set up camp in the little town of Bridgeton at an old (1920’s) school building grounds. There are several vendors set up on the grounds along with some food concession trailers. A few blocks north of our location there are hundreds of inside and outside vendors set up selling their wares. There are hand made crafts, new merchandise, antiques large and small and tons of “re-purposed” items. It is amazing how many ways an old wood pallet can be reused!

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival should be on your bucket list. It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country. People from all over the country come to shop, as well as come to set up their booths and tents to sell. There are plenty of RV campgrounds nearby and many private land owners open their yards and fields for RVs to camp during the festival.

You never know what you’ll see

This “modified” Class C was set up across from us at a show this summer. Wow. The fellow who drives this did all the artwork/painting himself. He is from Canada and sets up at shows all across the country. You might see him at a festival some time. His rig is hard to miss!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

Luther Logging Days in Michigan

20150703_115256_resizedSher and I had an absolute ball at the Luther Logging Days festival in Luther, Michigan. The festival ran the week of July 4th. We heard about this festival from a fellow vendor who was kind enough to give us the information for registration so we could set up and sell our wares.

Luther is a very small town (population 310) and is in the heart of logging and outdoor recreation country. The festival took place on the one main street in town, and we set up our selling space right next to the curb.

This festival was really fun. Sometimes when we are set up and selling we don’t get to share in the festivities. Not so at Luther: most of the activities took place near or in front of our booth space! There were bands, games for young and old alike and a wonderful parade on July 4th.

This was our set up

This was our set up

AM VET bikers in the parade

AM VET bikers in the parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people of Luther were very friendly and enjoy life to the fullest. Young and old alike really know how to have a good time.

Check the dryer first

Yes, those are leopard sheets...

Yes, those are leopard sheets…

There is something about coming off of a long weekend festival and heading to a campground for a little rest, relaxation and doing some laundry.

The campground was nice, great roads, only 15 bucks with the Passport America discount and the laundry was only about seven sites away. Ok, it was small, two washers and two dryers. One dryer had an “Out of order: does not spin” sign on the door with the coin slots taped shut. Ok, I got that. A couple of loads won’t be bad, waiting for the one dryer.

Two loads started, no sweat. First load into the dryer: coins in, heat level set for high, start buton pushed. Well, 30 minutes later the laundry is still wet. Long story short, this dryer had no trouble spining. It just didn’t provide any heat. The result was turning the Four Winds 22E into a clothes line.

When checking out that campground laundry, check the dryers first.

Tom Raper RV is now a Camping World dealer

Our Four Winds with the new cargo trailer

Our Four Winds with the new cargo trailer

Sher and I bought our Thor Four Winds class C motorhome from Tom Raper RV in Richmond, Indiana in December of 2014. We got a great deal, were treated well and very satisfied with the transaction. Tom Raper has been in the RV business for decades and most in the Midwest recognize ads for Exit 149A on I-70 in Richmond.

I was surprised when I went to the Tom Raper website in the search for a cargo trailer and bam! there was the Camping World website! The deal was reported back in January by media. Sadly media also reported that founder Tom Raper passed away this April in Florida. Tom Raper RV is now a Camping World dealer.

We got another great deal on a cargo trailer, working with Mitch Crowe, our salesman from the Thor Four Winds deal. Once again Mitch took great care of us. Within a couple of hours we had purchased the trailer, had it correctly hitched to our motorhome and were on our way.

We went to Michigan to get some merchandise to sell at upcoming festivals and shows. The pesky April weather was chilly, and our furnace in the Thor would not work. Heading back south we detoured to the Tom Raper/CW dealership. Long story short, the service department with no hassel found the problem (a bad contact in the thermostat) and even took care of a couple of other minor issues. Hats off to technician Steve and Hank and Paul at the service desk.

I have talked to several Tom Raper employees from the sales, parts and service departments. All said they were pleased with the transition from Tom Raper to Camping World. This change sems to be a good thing for not only the staff but also the customers of this dealership. I was very pleased with the way they took care of our furnace issue and the help with the other minor issues.

Saw a lot of antique John Deere tractors today

Today Sher and I finished setting up for the Flywheelers show that starts Wednesday. Final cleaning of some of the glassware and a couple of cabinets was needed. Then we finished putting the price tags on anything not already priced.

Later in the day friends of ours kindly let us borrow their golf cart. We took it for a tour of the grounds looking at lots of the other vendors and their displays.

On our route we passed a couple of areas that were filled with antique John Deere tractors. This show is featuring John Deere. I’m not really sure what that means, but there are a ton of the old green and yellow tractors on display. There are other different makes of antique macinery here, but the John Deere machines are everywhere.

An impressive line up of antique John Deere tractors

An impressive line up of antique John Deere tractors

An old Case threshing machine

An old Case threshing machine

CAM00244_resizedWe also drove through the Flywheeler’s Village. It will be very busy during the show, but today we could see all of the old fashioned looking buildings. There were many, many of these.

 

 

 

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