Sunday, October 10, 2010

Better Late than Never....

I know.... I am TERRIBLY late in the next posting... just getting old.. and slow, I guess.....

We had such a great time in Goshen, sight seeing, mixed in with the rally.  The time just flew by.  We were very apprehensive about the large crowds, especially after going to the balloon festival in New Mexico, but this was a world of difference.  Having full hook ups made so much difference.  

One of our sight seeing trips took us to the RV/MH House of fame.  For those of you who are not up on RV traveling, this was for  RV and Mobile Home travelers.  It was very interesting, and we were told that this was a new place for them.  The building was beautiful, and spacious.  We especially liked the "Little Prince".  this was a prototype for the Bambi in 1958.  Only one was made  I loved it!!  Isn't she sweet?

We were able to go up to a higher floor, and look down on the groups of RV's from above.  That was interesting too.  Looking at all the campers, and how they progressed through the years was quite a lesson.  I would advise any traveler, when in the area to make a trip over there to enjoy this place

A few days later, we found time, between the seminars and doings at the Escapade to go and visit the Amish.  There was a whole car trip, mapping out all the Amish homes and places of businesses.  We never had realized that so many Amish and Mennonites were in this area.  Due to their religious beliefs, which we were aware of and did not want to offend, we did not take as many pictures as I would have liked.
One of the Amish homes we were allowed to go in, and see and visit, we took some pictures. 
The first one is of a Amish kitchen, and how it is set up, and used.

The second was how they keep their clothes..  they are hung on hooks, not in closets like most of us keep our wardrobes,  It made me wonder, how do they keep them from getting all wrinkled?

In one of the surrounding towns, we went to a place called the Amish Acres.  We both found this very informative.  Sometimes, quite disturbing, but then, history is often quite disturbing.    The Amish that were there answered our questions (which, I had many, I am afraid).  The lady, who we took a distant picture of, is making apple butter.  She informed us that this took ALL DAY to cook.  It smelled so good!!  sure wish I was not diabetic, I would have bought some right then and there!!!!

While driving around the area of Goshen, there was one place I just had to see!!  They say it is one of the largest old time Dime Stores!  It was like walking back into time.  Hundreds and hundreds of jelly beans, and all the "old timey" candy, in glass bends.  Soda pop in the old ice chests, packed in ice.  I don't know if any of ya are old enough to remember these Coca Cola ice chests, but it sure brought back memories for us.  And all that candy... wow... my sugar level went up, just being in there!!  Old wood floors, that creaked when you walked across them...  It was neat!!

Naturally, I had to make a stop at the local Wal Mart, to check it out...  Around the back was the "parking" for the Amish...  yes, not for cars... for their horses.... 

One of our last classes while at the Escapade was with our friends, Jim and Chris, the Computer Geeks.  We just love going to their classes!!  They are ALWAYS packed.  But, no matter how many we go to, there is always something we come away with, saying "I did not know that"!!

Well, after the end of our "first" Escapade, we were all tired out!!  Time to head off for home.  (Which I have to admit, I was more than ready for).  Ah... home....  I love it!!  Guess I would never make a "full timer", but they all tell me, that is ok... not everyone is made for that life.  I was already looking forward to that Looooong, nice hot shower, and my big kitchen, to cook in, again,  Of course, not looking forward to all that washing that had to be done.. lol.    Next few days, a rainbow hovered over our house, from all the washing being done...  oh well....
Coming back home, meant that Thor had to be all winterized for the next few months, and his coat put on him (which is a MAJOR job... kind of like putting a coat and boots on a elephant)...  but, thankfully, he is all ready for winter now....

So, friends, thanks for traveling along with us on our trip to Goshen.  Hope you enjoyed it.  We will be uncovering Thor and getting ready again in April... for our trip to Tennessee and seeing all our Dreamer friends again for the Rally.....  Guess we will be all rested up by then..... 
Till then... ya'all take care and as always....   Walk Softly......

As Always.....
The Thomas'
Jim, Pat and Thor.........

Monday, September 13, 2010

ESCAPADE at Goshen, IN

We have been planning on attending a Escapees Escapade for years, and this was the year we finally made it!!  It is being held in Goshen, Indiana, so beside attending the Escapade, we are looking forward to seeing lots of things we have read about.  There is a large community of Amish who live in this area, and there are  quite a few places to visit that they live, work, that explain their way of life. 

 Our choice of campgrounds usually run in the Mom and Pop variety, not the larger chains such as KOA and the larger camps.  Our choice in Kentucky led us to a small, family owned camp, which we enjoyed so much.  It had ponds, complete with five ducks, which seemed to run the place.  We loved watching them, walk all over the campground, always in a line.  One cat (#1 cat), who took care of unwanted rodents, and such, completed the group.  At the end was a lovely farm, which I found to be so peaceful, we had to take a picture   If you notice, that is tobacco drying in the barn.
(click on pictures to enlarge)

 While traveling through Bowling Green Kentucky, we stopped and visited a train Museum.  It was very interesting, and we found ourselves staying hours.  When first going in, there was a HUGE train set, that took up the whole room.  Hand made buildings, and numerous trains ran on tracks around the set.  Short people, such as myself, had little stools that we could stand on to be high enough to look down upon the set, and see it all.  After looking at this, we were taken by a tour guide out to the trains, that we were able to go through, and learn all about there functions, those many years ago.  He was a very entertaining guide, which we learned later, about his being a actor.  That boy sure did love to talk!!!  After this, we walked through the rooms with all kinds of memorabilia of the time of the trains.  One thing I found interesting was the china that was used in the dinner cars.. Real china, with white table cloths and silver wear ... all served by a waiter, wearing all white.  Wow... it must have been something.  I can see why it was a very special occasion to travel in this time.  We saw how women all dressed in their best, and the children were dressed in the same fashion.  This is a picture of the china sets that were used....

Of course, Pat had to try out the caboose.   These have not been used since the 1980's... such a shame.... we all remember these little red cars, I am sure...

Finally, we arrived in Goshen....wouldn't you know it.... it was raining!!  the roads going into the fair grounds where the Escapade was to be held were seas of mud!!  But, we finally got into our place, all dirty and muddy, but we were here.  Setting up is no fun in the rain, but when you do any camping at all, you find that it is something we all have to do now and then.  Got something fixed to eat, and fell into bed, exhausted....
Still dark out side, sleeping soundly (even the trains did not bother us), and a knocking came at our door!!  Geeze, who can that be? Ignore it... no... better not.  A man at our door, telling us we had better move our truck.  What? Why?  We were told water was bubbling up under the truck!!  Looking out, my gosh, we was right!!  Yes, Murphy's Law.. what can happen, will.   A water main break.. under our truck!!  A thousand campers here, and ours were the one that had a break.  Go figure.  And this is a Sunday.  But surprisingly, they were here in a hour or so, working.  They worked all day, it was loud, dusty, but it had to be done.  Of course, we had no water during this time, and it took all day to be fixed, trucks, back hoes and all kinds of trucks filled our street.  One thing, it gave a lot of people a lot of entertainment.  This is one of the pieces of equipment working on the break...

Our friends, Jim and Chris Guld, who we have seen and attended  their computer classes and boot camps at other rallies were here too.  There booth was set up at the market hall and had to be visited.. naturally....
We will be attending their seminars while here at the Escapade, so I am sure we will be seeing them quite a bit.  No sign of Odie (the perfect poodle) today...  guess he must have been kept back at their camper.

The fairgrounds a quite nicely kept up, with gardens and flowers all around.  Across our street is a bush, and naturally, we had to stop and look at it. 

To take a photo of all the rigs attending the Escapade would be a impossible task, but we thought we would try.  Walking around, we found bleachers, so climbing to the top, we took this picture over the grounds.  They say there is about a thousand rigs here, I would not doubt it.  To find your friends in a crowd such as this is a task that is rather daunting.  But, we have accomplished finding quite a few.  Hugs and laughs are abundant...

To end the day, we were treated to a musical program by a young man, named Johnny Counterfit, and his group.  It was a extremely entertaining program.  The hall was packed, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show with great gusto.  We are looking forward to the rest of the week, with its seminars and meetings and being with our camping friends. 

Thanks for stopping by and enjoying our travels with us....
Take care now... and as always...... walk softly.......

The Thomas'
Jim, Pat and Thor

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greetings from Jim, Pat and Thor

We are back on the road again…. on our second leg of our vacation.  This year it is kind of taken in increments.  The first few nights out, we met up with our good friends, Char and Denny.  We just love being able to see them again, and catching up with all our news and travels.  They are full timers now.. and enjoying it to the fullest.  Always look forward to meeting up with this wonderful couple…



While in Galena, Illinois, we drove over to see President Grants home.  While we were not able to see the inside, it was nice to see the home. 







Our travels took us on up North, and into Wisconsin.  As you know, this is cheese country…. and you know what that means, right?  Yes….  mice…   Everyone out there knows how Jim loves them.   So, when we were passing by this fella, we naturally had to stop and take a picture with Jim and his friend…Igor. 



We drove on up  the route along the Mississippi.  It was quite a pretty drive, and we enjoyed it. 

While driving through Wisconsin, we saw quite a bit of Amish farms.  The horses that they have are awesome, and beautiful.  We came upon this mother and baby, which we thought was precious.  The Mother was not interested in us at all, but the little one was somewhat curious about us, and why we were taking pictures..




While in the area of Sparta, Wisconsin, we found these tunnels fascinating.  They are very interesting, in their history.  Trains ran through the  tunnels.  They are now used for many of the bike trails here.  The rails have been removed in the early 1990’s.  If you notice the big gates, there was another set on the other side.  They were opened up for the trains passing through by a railroad man, and closed again when the train passed through.  He had a guard house on one end, and his job was to open and close the gates upon the arrival and passing of each train.  We walked into the tunnel, and the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler than the outside.  Soot from the trains covered the  roof of the tunnel.  I  can only imagine the noise when the train was passing through. 



From the inside of the tunnel, looking out, this   was the  view.  The fog gave it a somewhat eerie appearance…




Sparta is not flat land, like other parts of Wisconsin, and even somewhat mountainous, as you

see, from the lookout of Wildcat Mt. State park.  Even with  the rain, it was a beautiful  view.



Our campsite, while visiting Sparta, was at Fort McCoy.  It was a very pleasant place to stay, and

we enjoyed it.  Each campsite was very wooded, and back away from the next camp.  I  enjoyed

it very much… even with the reveille and retreat being played out on loud speakers over the whole

base.  It was too much memories of the Army for poor Jim.  I think he had fears that they were

going to keep him.  All and all, it was a very interesting experience.



Sparta is the bike riding capital, and there are bike paths all over the town.  We had to take a

picture of this guy… “ Ben Biking”.. isn’t he cute?  Everyone in town seems to know who he is,

and knows he is the biking mascot.  The paths run for miles, and every one who bikes seems to

come here.  For such a small town, I found it quite impressive how they have make such a nice

and beautiful place for all the biking community.




The biking paths run over beautiful bridges such as this one.


We will be on our way again tomorrow, to South Dakota, so we will be back, telling you all the news. 

It has been so nice and cool up this  way , and with all the news we have been hearing about the

heat Georgia has been having, we are most thankful, and enjoying it.

Till we see you again… take care…. and… as always….  WALK SOFTLY….


Jim, Pat and Thor

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jim, Pat and Thor on the move again….

We are so sorry that it has taken so long to get our blog out… but we have had two very sick little computers…. :-(
Our trip to South Carolina was very nice… even with all the pollen that covered our newly washed and waxed truck and camper.
We arrived, got all hooked up, while greeting and talking to our wonderful friends.  The campground is very nice, spaced nicely, and wooded.  Of course, Thor was SO excited, being near his old friend, Myrddin.  They just had SO much to talk about!!! 
Behind us, was our  friends, Char and Denny.   It was wonderful being with them again, we had so much to catch up on, and of course, the fellas had to go shopping together to the auto stores.  This gave Char and Pat lots of time to catch up on all the goings on of  the last year. 
First, we attended a computer class, held by the Geeks on Tour couple, Chris and Jim Guld.  We attended their computer boot camp last rally, and it was great.  Seems like each time we go, we learn more!!  This is such a great couple, and we are looking forward to seeing them again in Goshen at the Escapees Rally in September.  Jim and Linda Smith were at the next table… learning lots too~


Pat’s computer buddy, Denise, was at the rally too, did not get to see her as much as we would have liked, but we did get in some good times together…  (Pat even got her to get a poodle skirt for the 50-60’s night..!!

*******PARTY TIME*********
At last.. it was “50-60’s  night!!!  What a blast it was!!!  All of us “old folks” remembering our youth…   Of course, most of us forgot our bodies were not 20 any longer, and most of us could not walk the next morning, but.. what the heck… we had  a romping good evening.. dancing to the old tunes, singing along with them, and generally getting lost in the 60’s….   Some wore what we had wore at that time, and got lots of laughs out of that too.   Pat was so lucky, her wonderful friend, Pat McConnel made her poodle skirt… and she received compliment after compliment on it during the evening.   Of course, it had to be combined with Jim’s ring on a chain, and a letter sweater (borrowed from her friend, Sarah Peck).  It was finished off with white shoes, bobby socks, and red shoe laces.   Wow.. what a hoot.. even got a compliment after the party, walking home, from another camper, walking by us… Thanks again, Pat McConnell…   you made the day… 
pat & jim
This picture was taken by Chris Guld, and was in her blog..
Leaving, and saying goodbye to all our RV Dreamer friends is always difficult… but the rally came to a end. all too quickly, and we had to say…  “See you Again”…
We look forward to seeing ya’all again next year.. if not before…
Our next stop was Plaines Georgia… to see Jimmy Carter’s home town.  So strange, living in Georgia all these years, and not seeing it.  But we thought it was high time to do so.  It was very educational, and we learned a lot about our 39th  president.   We visited his high school, where he attended, saw the class room where he learned his ABC’s, and viewed lots of documents and pictures of him and his wife during their early years in Plains and where he campaigned for President.  It is just a wide spot in the road, even now, but we were told they still get thousands of visitors monthly, even after all this time  The train station was his headquarters. 

Yesterday we drove a few miles over to see Fort Sumter, also known as Andersonville Prison Camp.  What a sad place that was.  We have wanted to go and see it  for years, especially after my genealogy work I have done on my Father’s line.  We were able to get a tape that played while we drove through the park.  It was very well kept up, and it left you with a deep feeling of thankfulness to all the young people that lost their lives here.  Over 2,000 young lives lost … and this was all in a period of only 14 months!! 
We viewed where the stockade and the line of the prison, which was marked in posts, where thousands of men were imprisoned.  The small tents were what they made for themselves, to try to protect from the elements.  In front of one of the walls, you will see manacles, where they were held by their ankles..  The cages around the trees were where they   tied to tunnel out, but were almost always caught…  It was a difficult thing to view, but something everyone should try to go and see.  As always, we have a lot more pictures, but due to space, we have just chosen these few … 
The last picture is a small portion of the gravesites that were here.  
Tomorrow, we head back home.  It has been a wonderful time, seeing our friends again, and seeing things and places we have not seen before.  As always, the time simply flew by.  We will be home for abut 4 weeks, and we will be heading out on our next trip to Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakota.  Gives Thor and us time to catch our breaths, and pack up again..  We are having a great time, and want to thank you for joining us on our journeys…  Till we head out again, will say Good-by…..  take care now… as always… Walk Softly……..
Jim, Pat and Thor…