Country road fall colors scenery near Burnstown, Ontario, Canada. Photo taken yesterday!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Elkhart, Indiana

Friday October 24…9:30pm

Woke up at about 6:20am.

Yes, you’re thinking, this is far too early to be waking up. We thought the same thing. The first thing that entered my mind is that I could hear a generator running. I know that when we went to sleep last
night, there had been another motorhome that had pulled into the parking area, but I didn’t think it was that close to us. Ruth moved the blind on her side of the bed, and exclaimed “there’s somebody parked right next to us!”.

Where Sherman was parked by himself in the Cabella's RV parking lot last night

So here we were, in this huge empty parking lot, with someone parked right next to us with their generator running. At 6:20am.

I simply can’t figure this out, so I get up and get dressed and open our door. Yes, there is a small motorhome right beside us, and two guys standing outside of it. I ask them, incredulously, what they were thinking. A big empty parking lot, at 6:20am, and they park right beside us, running their generator. I shake my head, and one of them mumbles something about moving. I closed the door, and within minutes we hear their engine start up and they move further away.

I am certain those two were not even sharing a single brain cell between them!

We couldn’t get back to sleep so we got up and showered, emptied our tanks and refilled with fresh water. Thanks Cabella’s!

It was almost 10am by the time we hit the road. We were headed for one of the Michigan State Parks, but when we got there we found out that they wanted $8.00 US ($9.60 CAN) for a day use pass just so that we could go for a walk. Sorry, too much for us!

We drove a little further and came to Michigan International Speedway. I wanted to see it a bit closer, but the visitor center was closed for renovations and I couldn’t even get to a good spot for a picture.

By this time, it was raining steadily. We found an internet connection, and figured we could make it to the Thor Motorhome Corp by the time they did their 3:30pm tour at their Mandalay and Four Winds factory in Elkhart, Indiana. Elkhart is the motorhome capital of the world, and there are quite a few manufacturing plants here. We made it to the general vacinity within lots of time, but Google maps messed us up with their lack of distinction between “State Road 15” and “County Road 15”. We did eventually figure it out and made it to the plant with half an hour to spare.

We chose the “Class A” tour in order to see the big expensive motorhomes being built. These are the units ranging in price from about $75,000 to over $350,000. There were only four of us on the tour, and the guide was one of their regional sales reps. Very interesting, and amazing how they can build up to 175 of these units per week during busy season.

One of the $350,000 motorhomes fresh our of the paintshop

 Next, we try and find the Walmart SuperCenter for overnight parking. The GPS has the address right, but the coordinates are off by a few blocks. Eventually we find our way to the right place, but our day has been marked by several bad GPS directions, and the wet weather on top of it.

On the bright side, we really enjoyed the motorhome manufacturing tour.

So we are parked up at the Walmart SuperCenter in Elkhart, Indiana. We will drive a little bit south from here, and then west towards Kansas.

Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…368

October Fuel $219.95

October Grocery $271.94

October Overnight costs $ 0

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