Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 Jun 3 - Jun 5 Hudson Collection in Shipshewana, IN

Thursday, June 3, I get up at 8:00. After breakfast we go to Shipshewana around 11:00. We wave at Don and Jim as we head out. They are on the porch with a fire going already. On our way to Shipshewana we see a funny sign again that says “Backyard Bull Bash.” I don’t even want to speculate!

When we park at the museum we find old Cadillacs on the parking lot. I don’t know if there is a car show in town but it’s obvious they drove them here. We check them out and I snap pictures before we head inside. Here in Shipshewana Eldon and Esta Hostetler have amassed “The most complete collection of Hudson’s in the world.” The docent tells us that the Hudsons we saw at Gilmore Auto Museum in Michigan were part of this collection on loan. The couple left the collection to the city of Shipshewana along with a $5 Million endowment and the land to go with it. The Indian Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum and a Conference Center were built. The Conference Center provides revenue for the collection upkeep and additions.

The collection includes Hudsons from 1909 through 1957. We pay $8.00 each for admission. I snap some photos of Amish quilts in the lobby and get 14 postcards of these great old cars. As usual I’m fascinated with the hood ornaments, brake lights, emblems, trim, trunks and spare tires. The detail and craftsmanship are unreal. It’s easy to see why they had trouble staying in business. Like Studebaker, they made a product that was high in quality and too good to afford.

In 1954 (the year I was born!) Hudson directors approved a merger with Nash to form the American Motors Corporation. Later that year production was move to the Nash factories in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Hudson production continued although it grew to resemble the Nash until 1957 when the Hudson name-plate was dropped. American Motors concentrated on the production of the Rambler (and we all know how that worked out for them.) Approximately four million Hudson (two million), Essex and Terraplanes were built during the 46 years of production! Placing that figure in perspective, Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908 and by 1924, in less than 17 years of total production, the 10 millionth Model T rolled off the line. The original stock holders of Hudson now hold stock in Daimler-Chrysler Corporation after American Motors acquired Kaiser-Jeep in 1970 and Chrysler engineered a take-over of American Motors in 1987.

Love the color of this 1929 Hudson R Coupe

I just love these fancy hood ornaments-this one is from the R Coupe above

Pretty racey for the 1928 4-door Town Car

Fancy door handles!

And fancy instrument panel to match!

And here's the 1929 Model L club Sedan with fancy features on the exterior too

1937 Terraplane Pick-up Express, 6 cylinder, 88hp, Cost $700

Check the detail on this 1942 Woody Station Wagon

Bob and I always try to pick out our favorites before we leave. He went with the boatail, 1931 Hudson T Model Sports Roadster. Only 12 of these eight-cylinder beauties were produced. They had a 233.7 cid engine, weighed 2,675 lbs and had a wheelbase of 119”. The boatail body was Bob’s favorite Auburn as well. Only five of these cars survive today.

I had a hard time choosing but at last I had to go with the 1929 Hudson Dual Cowl, Four Door, Sport Phaeton. This five-passenger Phaeton was built on the Hudson Great eight Model T chassis. It is one of the 7 of the original 17 left today. The engine is six cylinders and 288.5 cid with 92 horsepower. It weighs 2,940 lbs. and cost $1,300 new; later the price was cut to $965!

Rita's favorite--1929 Hudson: Dual Cowl, Four Door, Sport Phaeton, 6 cylinder, 92hp, Cost $1,300

Close-up of the spare tire on my Phaeton

Bob's favorite: 1931 Hudson T Sports Roadster, Custom built boatail body, 8 cylinder, 87hp, only five of these survive!

We are dazzled by color and style as we leave this fun museum. I take more quilt pictures in the lobby and we head across the street to Yoder’s (Yup’s owner perhaps?) meats and cheeses. For $21.00 we get a basket load of smoked turkey bacon, Wind ‘n Willow cheese ball mix, Boysenberry jam, pickles, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, oyster crackers, chocolate graham pretzels, and munchies for trail mix. The flax seed corn chips turn out to be our favorites. Now we’re really starving. But first we go to the antique mall across the street. We get halfway through and have to go find lunch.

Local quilt hanging in the lobby with a price tag of $695.00

We head to US 20 where we see Dutchmaid Diner and we do a bat turn in a gas station. But I spot a Dollar General so we hop in for Bob’s SoBe’s. Another $44.00 later we head back to the diner. It’s 3:05 and they closed at 3:00. Will we ever get lunch? We walk in the Amish produce place next door and get amazing tomatoes, apricots, grapes and bananas for very reasonable prices. We see a young Amish boy about five or six years old in bib overalls with a big straw hat who has a tall twist ice cream cone. We love those cones and will have to come back after lunch.

By now we are deadly serious about lunch. We go directly to Rulli’s, Sam and Mary run this four generation Italian restaurant. We saw this place with Rick and Debbie on our Sunday drive on US 20 in Middlebury but didn’t stop. Bob has Good Fella’s Pasta (chicken, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach in a sweet marinara sauce with ricotta cheese sauce over rigatoni, garnished with crushed red peppers.) I had Stuffed Chicken Breast (breaded boneless chicken breast stuffed with broccoli and mozzarella with a side of pasta.) We both enjoyed a trip to the soup and salad bar. Thankfully the buffet was closed. They had plenty of fancy side salads that were really good (big shell macaronis, broccoli salad, cabbage salad and three-bean salad.) I really enjoyed the savory vegetable beef soup.

We rolled out with ‘go boxes’ and made it home by 5:00. I made some Chocolate PB Ritz cookies. Bob Googles Dunlop golf balls that we saw at the antique mall to get a feel for their value. It’s 5:55 p.m. and 75 degrees with 48% humidity. The high was 77 and the low was 63.

The smoke coming out of Don’s fire pit smells like marijuana so we go out to give him some grief about it. He says “Shhh, don’t let everybody in on it!” We grab our lawn chairs and sit out with him. Soon Reva returns and then Jim, Ginger and finally Betty join us. Betty gives Bob two Sudoku books (she ordered 32 of them through the mail!) I share Ritz PB cookies with everyone. We watch the birds and hummers on Don’s feeders. Ginger almost catches a ground squirrel and stares up in the pines at a red squirrel forever. We chat until 9:15. What a fun evening with great weather. We go home and have a bowl of soup. I call Patti about the color of old hankies she’s looking for to make her blouse as we saw some at the antique mall. She wants blues to purples.

Friday, June 4, Antiques and Bulk Foods in Shipshewana
up at 7:30, cloudy, chilly, 54. High gets to 80 and sun comes out in the afternoon. The local RV Park preacher knocks with a brochure regarding the Sunday service here at the park. After breakfast we go to Shipshewana to finish the Antique Mall. On the way we see a sign "Backyard Bull Bush." Hmmm..... I find 40 postcards, two mitt potholders, a sweater for Gertrude and a golf Valentine. Bob passes on Dunlop golf balls in the original box since they are not mint. He also passes on a chalk fish plaque.

As we leave there are vendors setting up for an antique show tomorrow. We go to Dutchmaid Diner and have the buffet lunch. It beats the Amish place we ate at before; sausage cabbage soup, salad bar, great tender BBQ ribs, fried fish with tasty cornmeal coating, yummy dressing and the Banana Bread Pudding that was like a spice cake!

On the same parking lot we go to E & S Bulk Foods. $31.00 later we emerge with lots of goodies that you can't find anywhere else. The store is very busy with Amish folks shopping along with the tourists. We're home by 4:30. I make crispy thingies with the Amish whole wheat English muffins in spite of 81 degree temp inside RV. The convection oven only raises the temp one degree while baking at 350 for 1/2 hours. No way that would have been the case with the propane oven. It's 5:45 p.m. and 80 degrees with 45% humidity.

Bob and I bring the bikes in as it's supposed to rain tomorrow. I put some of the decor away (since the bikes sit in front of my sofa drawer storage.) Bob sweeps off the roof. Don and Reva and Jim and Betty are outside and they kabitz with us. I go over and say hi but then rejoin Bob so he can toss the broom down to me and restrap the ladder rack.

We go inside and strap the bikes down. Don knocks and gives us a bowl of pecans (I guess he thought we weren't coming out.) We finish up and I package Crispy Thingies for the freezer. Then we go oustide. I join Betty and Reva at the picnic table. The guys are on the deck. Reva is cutting out cat fabric for doggie pants. Don't ask.

Betty brings me two crossword books (she got a big order of them today.) How nice of her to share! Both her and Bob worked a "Wordoku" today. Don brings their laptop out and I show Reva how to send pictures as email attachments. I'm clueless about Windows 7 (her HP and operating system are great however.) It takes us several tries. Betty gets bored and calls it a night. Jim follows her home. Reva and I finally get it-Success! We sit out by the fire until 9:48. We go in for leftover pasta and watch "Change Your Brain; Change Your Body." It's 10:30 p.m. and 74 degrees with 58% humidity.

Saturday, June 5, Reva's Email Pics and River Inn Up at 8:45 after reading 'til 3:00 a.m. Reva calls while I'm doing breakfast dishes around 11:30. She sent emails to me with picture attachments and wants to know if I got them. I was checking email and editing journal pages an hour ago but she just sent them. While I was on before I saw Patti's blog that says her daughter Sarah is engaged!

Bob goes out to dump holding tanks and check air pressure. I clean up the kitchen and pack up the rest of the decor. Bob's over on Don's porch and it's sprinkling. I clean up and go over to join them. Reva comes out too. She gives me the cutest black shirt with red, white and blue motif (says the arms are too tight for her.) How nice of her to share with me.

It really pours as we watch the rain. Patty next door starts her truck to charge their dead battery and walks over in the rain to join us for a few minutes. It's chilly and Reva gives me a towel for my legs and gives Bob a jacket. We're in shorts and short sleeves.

There's a lull and Bob goes home to take a shower. That darn Don threatens to shut off our outside water--can you imagine? Bob emerges and I go home to put long pants on. I check email white I'm at it and get a cup of coffee. Reva successfully sent her pics via email (love that chipmunk with the pecans!) I go back over to their porch. Jim and Ginger join us. Jim invites us to a spaghetti dinner at their place at 1:30 tomorrow. We'll be long gone but it was nice of him to ask us. There's wine and cheese at noon or 1:00 today at the pavilion but we missed it.

Bold chipmunk

Reva and Betty are chatting with new arrivals (Amber and Jim?) Bob and I head to lunch at River Inn. We have a friendly waitress. I have hot chai latte tea in a cool clear glass mug. We both have Polish Beef Soup (same as vege beef soup we loved-waitress says the broth is grandma’s family secret "Buska" Hungarian? I have European Lake Perch lunch special with mojo's (big home fries.) Bob has Whitefish Sub. We donate $5.00 to young gal with cancer (but skip the raffle ticket for a side of beef!)

We go to Speedway where the young kid behind the counter says "I would have no idea" when I ask him if their diesel is Ultra Low Sulphur. It is not marked on the pump. I head out the door and a nice guy by the check out with a cane says "Go to BP at CR 17 or Yoder's, they're the only places I know with it." How nice of him to speak up.

So we go to BP. I have to go inside for the whole tax-exempt spiel. Remember when fueling up was simple? We go home under cloudy skies. It is not raining now but it looks like it might. Don and Reva are gone; the lid is on Don's fire. It's 4:30 p.m. and 69 degrees with 75% humidity. We watch James Taylor and Carol King special and old Ed Sullivan Rock 'n Roll. I work on RV Hall of Fame journal pages 'til 9:00. Don and Reva are still gone.

2010 Jun 2 Before and After Holiday Photos at Eby’s Pines Campground

Wednesday, June 2, I am abruptly awakened at 4:00 a.m. as a dog nearby lets out an unholy yelp for ten minutes. I thought it was a little kid being tortured. My neck is kinked again so I move to the couch and toss and turn there for an hour before I finally fall back asleep until 9:45! It is cloudy; one front came through in the wee hours of the morning and another arrives late morning. We had quite a bit of rain and some wind with the second one.

I start my day with a stretch to work out my neck kink. Bob’s back is still delicate so we are quite a pair. After breakfast I work on my journal pages and Facebook until we have leftovers for lunch around 2:00. It’s possible all of this catching up of my journal and sitting at the laptop for hours on end is contributing to my neck issues. Whatever! I work on more journal pages after lunch.

We go out for a walk with the camera to get “after holiday” shots of the campground. It is completely amazing how this place was transformed over the holiday weekend. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it. I’ve seen it before on other holidays in other campgrounds but I never took the time to gets ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. You still had to be here to really get the feel of the circus atmosphere and then the isolation afterwards.

Our campground row without the holiday mob--The Titanic enjoys peace and quiet.

Our campground row with the holiday mob surrounding us!

Not a soul in the pool before the holiday

Standing room only for the entire holiday weekend

You can see the row in front of us before the mob descends

The row in front of us is jam packed

This circle of campsites down by the river was empty the entire time we were here except for the holiday weekend.

The same circle of campsites down by the river with no sites available!

In my usual overkill fashion I took photos from every angle. There are many more rows and sections of the campground but the story the pictures tell is the same. A peaceful, almost empty campground became a mass of swarming humanity overnight! What a zoo!

Don and Reva are just returning from lunch. She says she almost came and knocked on our door this morning as their water heater is still working! They even turned it off and back on again! We go for our walk and the mosquitoes get us after all of this rain. The campground is empty except for a few seasonals who have stayed on.

Back home I work on more journal pages. I’m caught up to May 24th. (Little do I know we’ll have no Internet access for weeks after we leave here and I get way behind again.) Bob is bored. His back won’t let him fish, work a puzzle or get on the computer (not that he could with me hogging the laptop.)

Don and Reva’s family is over playing cards. He is finally done with his woodworking and cleared off their picnic table. It’s 6:13 p.m. and 54 degrees with 54% humidity. The high is 80 after a low of 65. We have an email from Blair at Hay Lake in Minnesota. She forwarded my Shipshewana Flea Market blog to a cousin in California who is from here. It is interesting to hear about their hiking and rock rappelling adventures considering they just celebrated their 40th!

Around 7:30 we join Don and Reva outside by the fire. It gets chilly as the sun goes down. Jim and Betty and Ginger join us too. Ginger is on my lap and Reva takes a picture. She doesn’t know how to email it so I offer to show her sometime. (We manage to work it out before she leaves and here is the picture she took!) Patty in the Avion next door comes home with her hubby. She comes over to chat. Her black dog with the muzzle is still barking like crazy while she tries to have a conversation with us. The poor thing wants his momma! We go in around 9:15 as Don’s solar lights come on.

Reva snaps a picture of Rita and Ginger sharing a quiet moment

2010 Jun 1 Lucchesse’s, Antiques and Visit with Burgers

Tuesday, June 1, I can’t believe it’s a month since Travis and Callie’s wedding! Where did the time go? When I get up at 8:00 my neck is stiff and it turns into a major migraine. What a bummer. After breakfast I get out buckets and brushes to get the pine pollen and bugs off The Titanic. The awnings are full of the stuff. Bob scrapes off putty around the skirt that has been there since they built it.

Bob joins Don and Reva to kibitz from their front porch as I clean on our side of the road. Reva walks over to show me her moccasin planter she wants to put a cactus in. I clean myself up and take a magic pill for my migraine since the physical activity didn’t knock it. Don and Reva leave so they put Ginger back inside Jim and Betty’s trailer. She did not want to go inside. They are at the laundry room.

Bob and I leave shortly for lunch at Luchesse’s, an Italian place in Elkhart. Bob has the mini-rigatoni and meatballs. I enjoy the baked mostaccioli with meatballs along with a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. I am a big fan of this delightful soup and try it wherever we travel. This one is in the top three of all time. Wow! We get go boxes and head to Middlebury Street through the construction detour to Main where we get cash at our bank that we saw a few days ago. I get some rolls of quarters for the laundry while I’m at it.

Then we head north on 19 to CR 4 to Elkhart Antique Mall. It has a small storefront but a big, long metal building proves to be roomy inside. They have interesting stuff to look at. We find five books and leave to head east on County Road 4 and arrive home by 5:30. We drag our lawn chairs to Don and Reva’s. Don and Bob go around the back to see if Bob can get their water heater to do anything. Reva and I go to our place where I give her a tour of The Titanic. I show her our new coffee table that prompted us to give our old tray table to them. We chat for a bit in the living room. Bob comes in to say he got their water heater to light once and heat up. They’ll have to see if it starts up by itself next time.

I take some trail mix over when we head back to their place outside. Doug and his son James come by to drop off some wood for Don. Don and Reva put curtains on a salt ‘n pepper and napkin holder for his wife. We head home at 8:30 before the bugs start up and watch a repeat NCIS. It’s 9:46 p.m. and 73 degrees with 54% humidity. The high was 80 with a low of 63. What a perfect day. We end it with leftover soup that was mighty tasty.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2010 May 31 Rain, Rain Go Away

Monday, May 31, it starts raining early and the campers pack up like wild people. I get up at 8:00 and watch the show. It turns into a strange, quiet day as the campground empties out. A guy starts to pull out down the way with his front door wide open and a roof vent open in the rain. He jumps out to check it out when he realizes it and his dog jumps out of the camper onto the muddy road. The good times are over early.

I work on journal pages and pictures off and on all day. Bob has a hitch in his back and takes it easy. We do leftovers for lunch and dinner. This evening we watch a new TV show, The Good Guys, starring Bradley Whitford of West Wing who has transformed himself for the role. It’s 9:31 p.m. and 68 degrees with 77% humidity.

New Studebaker National Museum

Great old neon sign as you enter the first floor

Sunday, May 30, I’m up at 8:15. It is hot already after a low of 61 degrees it gets to a high of 86. Our new motor home neighbors pulled out before we left this morning. Too bad! They were overnighters I guess. Anyway, we got our view back.

We leave around 11:30 to take US 20 to Michigan north to Samples west to Chapin to Studebaker National Museum. There are actually two museums here; “The Museums at Washington and Chapin.” The other one besides the Studebaker National Museum is “Center for History” which includes topics such as Women’s Hard Ball, Notre Dame, Knute Rockney and regional art. We just toured the Studebaker Museum for $8.00 each.

Reet checks out the first display in the lobby of the new Studebaker Museum

Bob checks out the Big Six with a dummy auto mechanic

Bob and I enjoyed a great lunch in the old Studebaker home when we were here the last time.

1935 President Convertible Sedan, 250 cu. in., 110 hp, Cost new $995

The museum consists of three stories: The Main Level Gallery covering 1736 through 1920, Upper Level Gallery from 1920 to the present day, and Lower Level Gallery showcasing Studebaker War and Remembrance. I personally enjoyed 1920 to the present. Many of the exhibits were the same as the old Studebaker museum location but there was plenty of new stuff too. I love the peach-colored Hawk, the New Muppet Movie Car, the golf club side door, and an exhibit of the Studebaker Brothers. This time we didn’t see the Studebaker pocket watch. They have added an exhibit of old toys that is really cute. And now they have a coffee shop.

Lower level of the Museum

No sticker shock back then!

1963 Studebaker Zip Van could be driven by the postal worker from a standing or sitting position

Part of the huge toy display includes this 1895 tricycle

My favorite Studebaker-1961 Hawk, V-8, 289 cu. in., 225hp, Cost new $2,650, Color-Flamingo!

Flight Hawk

Upper Level: 1920 to Present

We stopped in the gift shop for postcards and some miscellaneous items. I really thought the old museum that was located in the original Studebaker dealer showroom building was neater but the new museum’s displays are much more professionally done. In the “Club Room” I signed a story book that was provided for visitors to leave memories of their favorite Studebakers. I said my Dad and oldest brother drove Studebakers and I learned to drive my brother’s 5-speed on the floor (slightly modified) 1955? Silver Hawk. A policeman in my hometown stopped me when I was in high school and asked if he could buy it (in the 1970’s!) Some guy who signed the visitor book before me was grieving the wreck of this Studebaker. “I’m nothing without that car. I can’t talk about it.”

As we left we tried to pinpoint the old location. We weren’t sure of the exact corner but the new museum is not too far from the old site near all of the abandoned factories. We headed on to lunch at Texas Roadhouse that we spotted at US 20 and Michigan. Same great food as in the ones in Texas but the line dancing by the wait staff was not as enthusiastic. They just don’t get that country beat this far north.

We were home by 4:30 after fueling up at Speedway. It’s 4:450 p.m. and 86 degrees with 23% humidity. I go outside and join Reva in the sun, trying in vain to find some shade. Bob soon joins us. Don is building another corn hole set. I get a picture of his face through the hole! Jim and Betty join us shortly. As Betty drove up she opened her car door on the road behind us and let Ginger out. She came running over to Don and Reva’s site. The golf cart parade is a non-event as only 5 or 6 decorated golf carts are in the parade. We all chat until around 7:30 when Bob suggests ice cream at Yup’s. Everyone is in for that idea. Jim and Betty go in their car and take Ginger. Don and Reva come with us. Our truck is a bit higher that theirs but they manage to get in.

There is a big line at Yup’s. Betty is already saving a table in the shade with Ginger. Bob, Don and I get in the back of the long line. I start chatting with a younger gal who has two small dogs in her car. She says they get their own dish of ice cream. She says she likes Turtle Topsy Turvy. As we chat I mention we’re full-time RVers and a local couple behind us starts asking me lots of questions. They want to sell off parts of their 5-acre farm and go RVing.

The line moves fast and I have to decide on my two scoop cone: Traverse City Michigan Cherry Fudge and Bear Claw Brownie. Bob has Raspberry Yogurt. They don’t have their famous Black Cherry today. Bummer. Don had me all set for that. He gets the Traverse City Chewy Fudge for Reva. It is all very good and we can see why this place is so busy. The couple I was chatting with comes by our table in the back and says the place is a gold mine. John Yoder (prevalent local name) bought it from the original owners who celebrated 50 years in business last summer. You can easily tell that it is a local tradition.

We chat with a young couple with two toddlers. He teaches locally and we discover he teaches Reva’s granddaughter. We head back to the RV Park and sit out until 9:45 when the mosquitoes chase us in. It’s 10:03 p.m. and 75 degrees with 50% humidity.

Lark letters used on a 1950's dealership to announce the arrival of the Studebaker Lark

Saturday, June 5, 2010

RV Hall of Fame Museum and Library, Elkhart, IN

Saturday, May 29, it is 60 degrees when I get up at 8:00 a.m. The high gets to 82 later. We had the windows open all night and it was cool with the Fantastic Fan going. I admit it was a bit smoky late last night.

After breakfast and a stretch we're off to Elkhart to tour the RV/Mobile Home Museum/Library/Hall of Fame. First we stop at the post office to mail some cards and an anniversary packet of Travis and Callie's wedding journal pages to my Mom and Dad for their 62nd wedding anniversary on June 5! The Bristol post office is open until 1:30/ We get there at 11:50-plenty of time.

1935 Kumfort Travel Trailer looks a lot like our 16-foot Casita we used to have.

We take 120 est to CR 17 north to the RV Hall of Fame's current 80,000 sq.ft. location since moving to new digs in 1999. Admission is $8.00 each and a volunteer guide points out the path to take and then we're on our own.

1954 Shasta 15-foot Travel Trailer-the year I was born! It has a gravity water system with a reservoir in the cabinet above the sink

The new RVs are first on our list. We see models ranging from pop-ups to motor home coaches. But we're anxious to see the older stuff so we head for RV Founder's Hall to view the historical exhibits. We follow the macadam roadway and enjoy a wide range of old-time campers.

1954 (Good year!) Holiday Rambler Travel Trailer has double-wide "army stretcher' type bed with canvas between steel pipe bars located above the standard bed.

Love the old refrigerator in this 1954 Yellowstone Travel Trailer. The kitchen range was also a residential apartment style unit.

1962 Mallard 13-foot travel trailer includes a kitchen, dining area and beds for up to five people! Toilets were yet to become available.

Bob inspects a 1957 Serro Scotty 10-foot Teardrop Trailer

This 1939 Schult 8 x 20-foot House Trailer is one of the models where we both banged our heads in the short doorways of these old travel trailers in spite of all the signs saying "low clearance."

One of my favorites is a 1915 Model T Ford pickup with a 'telescoping apartment' that features a rear bed, and a kitchen and shower that slides out on each side. Warm water for the shower is produced by radiant heat from the engine! None of this is covered so you are totally dependent upon good weather.

1915 Model T Ford 'slide-out' kitchen

You gotta love this "Auto Refrigerator"! I wonder how cold it kept things in Texas in the summertime?

This 1932 Zagelmeyer Tent Trailer looks a lot like the ones the Harley riders pull behind their motorcylces today.

Now that's a commode!

I've seen double-decker golf driving ranges but never a mobile home park!

1946 Studebaker one-ton truck set up with a 5th wheel style hitch to pull a long, long trailer; price new=$1,285.

Star Streak II, second of two custom built all aluminum motorhomes. Built in 1988 using a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Chassis and a 1976 Olds Toronado 455 cu. in. engine. Designed to fit in a standard garage; length 270 inches, weight 5400 pounds, height 83 inches.

1969 Stites Chassis Mount Truck Camper. Example of the first Lance camper-like slide-ins that outgrew the ability to be slid in and out of pickup trucks and required the truckbed to be removed so the camper could be mounted to the cut-off truck cab. This actually morphed into Class C motorhomes of today.

A classic yellow 1974 GMC motorhome has the first airbag suspension system

Bob watches the Winnebago video in front of their classic 1967 Motor Homes. If you purchased 100 shares of Winnebago Industries stock in 1966 for $1,250, the stock split into 64,000 shares and grew to $1.98 million as of 9/5/2005. There was no discussion of what happened to the value in the past two years!

I have to put the Airstream Ranch in Florida on my bucket list since we've seen the Cadillac Ranch in Texas!

The museum is home to the Mae West Housecar, a 1931 Chevrolet. Paramount Studios used it as an enticement to get her to leave the Vaudeville circuit and make movies for them. It is designed as a chauffeur driven lounge and not at a 'camper' unit. She even had a porch on the back with a rocking chair.

And we saw the 1935 Covered Wagon, one of the first RVs, that we saw a few years ago at the Gilmore Auto Museum. In 1935 Covered Wagon was one of the largest trailer manufacturers in the country and produced one out of six "house trailers" built in the U.S. The exterior is "genuine leatherette"over a thin plywood shell and the roof is covered with coated canvas stretched over tarpaper.

1935 Covered Wagon Travel Trailer

One thing that struck us is how few changes have been make over the years. Many of these looked the same inside as both of our full-time RVs. Only the materials have been updated.

1913 "Earl" trailer and Model T Ford-the oldest RV known to exist.

The 'Earl' trailer has a dining table that seats four, then converts to a double bed.

After we view all of the models we head upstairs via The Grand Staircase to the library. Here they have years and years of "Motortrend", "Highways", "Trailer Life" and any publication related to the RV industry.

Follow the macadam road down memory lane at the RV Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, IN!

I buy postcards in the lobby and snap a picture of the building outside. As we stare at the Tollway, appropriately enough, a Casita travel trailer like our little one zooms by.

A Casita zooms by the RV Hall of Fame

In the lobby I found a brochure for Lucchese's Italian Restaurant at 655 Cty Rd. 17, just south of 120. It turns out to be a great place. I have Penne ala Vodka in creamy red sauce with basil. Bob enjoys Baked Beef-filled Tortellini with tomato sauce and mozerella. Their side salads are very fresh and the Poppy Seed dressing is a winner.

We're home by 3:30. The gal at the office stops up on the way in. She didn't see our tag in the windshield and asked if we were visiting for the day. Geez! We can't cut through the site next to Don and Reva like we usually do to park in front of our rig. There are so many campers in the Park we have to go all the way down the hill and back around. What a mob! It's like Phil's in Michigan on the 4th of July that we encountered our first year out on the road and were so shocked by.

It's 4:40 p.m. and 82 degrees with 31% humidity. I get on-line and work on one journal page from May 2. Wow! I'm behind again. A young couple in a motorhome pulls in next to us but can't get level or else realize they're in the wrong site. So they pull across the road.

I go for a walk around the campground with my camera to snap pictures of The Zoo. I'll post 'during' and 'after' the holiday pictures later. There is one half of a row of "RVers", not "campers", on the far side of the campground. They are just here overnight or for the weekend basically hiding out for the holiday. They have no awnings out, no lawn chairs out, no BBQ pits out, no corn hole games and the windows are closed and the A/C is on to keep the smoke out--Just like us!

In this sea of humanity no one waved at me as I walked around the Park except for Dianna who I saw on a golf cart. I took pictures of all the jam-packed rows. As I neared our section I see Jim building a fire for a BBQ by his deck. Betty's sister and son Don from Goshen near here are on the deck. I told him we saw him opening up their trailer a few days ago. He said he checked for leaks and everything was good. Good thing he turned off the water again before he left.

Bob is online when I get back. I read my book as late afternoon clouds move in. We watch a recorded Good Wife. Chris, the owner, comes and looks at Rick and Debbie's empty site next to us (the only one left in the Park I think.) Ten minutes later a Class C pulls in. It looks to be Grandma and Grandpa with two boys around 9 and 12 years old. The fire pit ends up inches from the front wheel of their motorhome. She lights the fire in it while he's gone to the pool with the boys. He does a lot of gesturing when he returns and makes her put it out-thankfully! She puts brats on the grill on top of the picnic table. He tries to get the awning out but has no idea how it works and gives up in disgust.