190816–Rockford, IL; Lakeville (South Bend), IN.

What a great time in Milwaukee (Waukesha, Oconomowoc, Hartland). Hard to continue our journey. But, the good news is that the Chil’ns and a few of their friends will be in St Pete in early October to celebrate Christine’s birthday.

Norm, Jake and Evan did get to the golf driving range, albeit 2-hours late. First time for Jake and Evan had been there only once before. They both did a great job. Jake slammed the ball a good distance. And Evan did too. They’re both naturals, we think.

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Rockford, IL. We departed Wisconsin around noon. It was only a 60-mile trip to Rockford, IL. However, the trip went on for another unexpected 40 miles.

The site assigned to us at Rock Cut State Park had at least a 10% grade. There was no way we could level the bus. And, the bus must be level for the fridge to work, not to mention comfort.

We asked to be reassigned. Unfortunately that new site was just as bad. We made an emergency call to the closest KOA (UGH) and they did have room. So we drove the additional 40 miles to the KOA and a level site.

It rained off and on the rest of the day. We couldn’t grill out so we went out…to a joint that had pretty good thin crust pizza.

On Saturday, 8/17, Vicki’s niece, Rachel drove over to spend the day. We all got caught up and in between the rain storms we were able to grill up a nice meal.

Thanks for driving the extra distance Rachel. It was awesome spending time with you. Hopefully we’ll see you in St Pete again during Spring Break 2020.

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Sunday 8/18, Lakeville, IN. Our departure day, didn’t start out so great. First, thunderstorms rolled through till 11AM. Then, with only a small widow of good weather to make South Bend IN, Buster’s levelers wouldn’t retrieve. Norm scratched his head for a while, checked all the fuses and no luck. Then he remembered that Buster’s new leveling system was installed by the previous owner, so, Buster’s manufacturer’s schematic wouldn’t be accurate. He eventually found the control unit with it’s separate in-line fuse. Blown! He replaced the blown fuse and we were back in business. He raised the levelers, completed the remaining tasks for getting underway and we were off.

We’ve mentioned this before but we’ll say it again: why are roads worse is states that charge tolls? We bounced, bumped, and were battered around all day. And paid a lot of money for that. (The toll for Buster is much higher than for a car.) If our fillings didn’t shake loose, something in Buster’s suspension could have easily failed. But, neither happened and we arrived shaken not stirred in Lakeville, Indiana. Tomorrow we try to find some bike trails that Norm can handle. He’s still having a lot of pain in his L leg and neck. And, Vicki tells him he’s still forgetting recent events. What events?

On Monday, 8/19, we drove up to South Bend to the historic University of Notre Dame du lac for their 3pm tour. It was a very nice tour led by a recent graduate from a local high school and aspiring ND student. His father attended and works there. His sister attended and graduated last year. Unfortunately he was not selected because he was not among the 18% of applicants that are and are prepared to spend up to $70, 000 per year on Tuition, Books, Room and Board. His older brother just started University of Dayton, 🍾💥🎉, Norm’s Alma Mater. Both Catholic universities. But Norm’s tuition, books, room and board was $6,000 per year. Now, that was over 50 years ago. Inflation?

Here’s some pics of our tour that could tell a lot…

Oops, that was grandson Levi unblocking his toilet. Here’s the real ND pics….

First, at the “house Knute built”, the ND stadium….

Inside the main chapel….

What a great campus. Eighty-five hundred full-time students and another 3500 graduate students. The architecture is awesome and grounds are immaculate.

On Tuesday 8/20, we tried some mountain biking. Believe it or not Northern and central Indiana has some of the best trails in the US as rated by the National Mountain Biking Association (NMBA). That’s why we scheduled a stop here back in November.

Vicki has really improved her speed, endurance and agility. Norm’s skills on the other hand have diminished. His leg, neck and lower back continue to hamper his progress at getting back to his previous skill level. Especially his leg which hurts almost all the time.

Fortunately we were on the green (easiest) trails. We got a few, slow miles in; then quit. We might try again tomorrow if the weather stays dry.

In the meantime, Norm had noticed that our Aqua Hot (heat and hot water system) was “absorbing” the boiler antifreeze. So, he called some local service centers for an appointment. Now, we’re near Elkhart, IN. One can find anything RV related here. A good portion of all American-made RV’s are manufactured here. So support businesses are here too. But, the RV industry is hot now and getting a repair appointment is difficult. That’s what we experienced! “Soonest we can get you in is mid-September”. UGH!!

We were lucky, though. A mobile RV specialist returned his call. Although he couldn’t come by this week, he did talk Norm through a potential fix based on the diagnosis Norm gave him. Da Da!!!! Norm repaired the leak and we were back in business.

Wednesday, 8/21 we drove back to where Vicki’s mountain biking started, Bonneville Park in Bristol, IN. Vicki was a bit of a timid rider back then. In fact, she only wanted to bike the “sissy” perimeter trail. But Norm convinced her to try a green trail saying “Come on; you can bail out anytime you want”. Well, she didn’t bail and the rest is history.

Vicki calls it the “shrine” .

Important Note: We’re experiencing technical difficulty with uploading photos to WordPress. We’re working on it with the publisher. As soon as this problem is resolved, we’ll continue to update the blog. Stay tuned…..

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