By yesterday morning there were only a handful of RVs left at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, and several of those left by mid-day. Mike and Elaine Loscher were the first to pull out, headed for Elkhart, Indiana to get some service done on their Winnebago Class A motorhome.
Soon after Mike and Elaine left, Ron Speidel fired up the Caterpillar diesel engine in his Winnebago Journey motorhome, and while Ron and Brenda hooked up the Saturn they tow behind them, Larry and Carolyn Stover stopped to say goodbye before they headed on down the road with their Carriage fifth wheel.
Ron and Brenda have been with us for seven weeks now, first at Elkhart Campground and then at Celina, helping us get settled into our new to us Winnebago Ultimate Advantage motorhome, and then in Celina, doing 101 things before, during, and after our Gypsy Gathering rally to make sure it was a success. We couldn’t have done it without them, and we appreciate them more than we can ever say. Now it was time to say goodbye, as they headed off to begin their winter travels. There were lots of hugs and loving words as we said our goodbyes and saw our friends pull out.
Then it was time for Terry and I to take our leave. We had debated leaving the motorhome at the fairgrounds, and driving the van down to Lexington, Kentucky for my annual appointment at the V.A. hospital today. But at the last minute, we decided that we wanted to take our home with us and avoid a night in a hotel. While we were hooking up the van to our Blue Ox tow bar, Ken Barker came over to say goodbye. He and wife Billie were staying over another night at the fairgrounds in their gorgeous 1991 Safari motorhome. We had only met Ken and Billie once before, but we became so close to them this year that we look forward to our next time together.
It’s always sad to say goodbye, and in the fulltime RV lifestyle, we have a lot of goodbyes. But the good news is, we also have a lot of hellos in this lifestyle, and we know we’ll see all of our friends again somewhere down the road.
All that was left was a quick scan of our PressurePro tire monitoring system to make sure our tires were all properly inflated, and we pulled out of the fairgrounds and drove east on State Route 29, hooked up with U.S. Highway 33 and continued east, and in less than a half hour we were on Interstate 75, headed south.
It being Sunday, we chose to stay on Interstate 75 right through Cincinnati, rather than taking the longer I-275 bypass around the city. Traffic was light, and except for several stretches of road construction where we had to slow down to 45 miles per hour, we cruised along just fine. Before we knew it, we were crossing the Ohio River and were in Kentucky.
This was the first test for the Winnebago’s big 350 Cummins diesel engine on a familiar route. There are several hills south of the river, and we’ve taken this route in our old MCI bus conversion many times, towing the van. On a couple of the climbs, we used to have to get over in the right lane and let everybody pass us as the Detroit diesel chugged right along, pushing us up faithfully, if not quickly.
In the Winnebago, we got down to 48 miles per hour on one hill, and that was only because other traffic slowed us down. On the others, I was passing eighteen wheelers, just to see what the big Cummins engine could do. Normally I try to keep my speed between 55 and 62 miles per hour, if I can safely do so without getting run over by speeding trucks, but this trip I ran a bit over that most of the way, just to see how the new rig performed.
We arrived at Kentucky Horse Park Campground, on the north side of Lexington, and backed into the same site we had last year. I hooked up to water and electricity, and said a silent thank you to Daryl Lawrence from Lawrence RV Accessories when I glanced at the Electrical Management System (EMS) he installed at the rally, and saw that everything was fine. I know from experience that not all campground power is reliable, and the EMS in our bus conversion saved us from damage several times in the past.
This was our fist solo trip in the Winnebago, and I have to say that we were both very pleased with its performance and ride. It has lots of power, holds the road great even in the curves, and is comfortable at every speed we’ll be driving at.
Thought For The Day – Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem.