Monday, August 7, 2017

Lake Erie and The FROG Rally

Previous Location: Sterling State Park (el. 590 ft); Monroe, Michigan (4 days)
Previous Location: Middlebury KOA (el. 870 ft); Middlebury, Indiana (1 day)
Current Location: Elkhart County Fairgrounds (el. 800 ft); Goshen, Indiana

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell phone
Click pictures to enlarge
Route through stop #8

Looks like I'm playing catch-up again with the blog. It is hard to write about things when I'm not exploring a lot. I left the St. Clair River with a little tinge of sadness. It is a really nice looking river and without river levees blocking the view, it is easy to see a long ways up and downstream. I hope I see it again someday.
Last look at the St. Clair River

It was only a short tow to my next stop in Sterling State Park which is another Michigan park. However, I did have to backtrack through the outskirts of Detroit again but this time with no excitement. Whew!!!. I chose Sterling because it sits directly on the shore of Lake Erie. I was lucky in getting the last campsite on the first row next to the beach. The water was a little clearer than it was at Maumee State Park but still a dirtier than Lake Huron and the St. Clair. I had high hopes of catching a nice sunrise coming up over the Lake, but on the days that I did wake up early enough to see it come up, there were too many clouds. Oh well, maybe somewhere else down the road. The only thing I explored while at Sterling was the River Raisin National Battlefield from the War of 1812. They had a nice little museum but the battlefield was small and plain. Apparently most of the battle site had been purchased long ago by private individuals. Other than that short trip, I just lounged around the campground and enjoy the view of the lake.
Campsite at Sterling State Park. Camped as close as you can camp next to Lake Erie.

Man-made sand beach area. The sand had ground up shells that was a little rough on the feet.

Lake Erie at evening time.

This is the best sunrise I could get.

After leaving Sterling, I camped one night at a KOA in Middlebury, Indiana so I could empty my tanks in preparation for the FROG Rally. The KOA was a typical KOA in that it is overpriced for my needs, but it is like McDonald's, you know exactly what you're going to get with very few surprises.
This is northern Indiana and Ohio. It obviously isn't the place "where corn don't grow". (name that song,,,lol)

They also beans. I liked this picture because of the contrast between the red barn, blue skies and black highway.

I got gas at a Love's truck stop and took advantage of a nice oversized parking lot. I enjoyed a Hardee's Cheeseburger with curly fries. While eating I watched my two traveling companions and thought about many of the places we have been. It was a nice lunch stop. 
Saturday morning I moved to the Elkhart Fairgrounds where the Forest River Owners Group (FROG) Rally is held each year. This will be my third time to attend. One of the great things about this rally is they do free work on your RV. Last year, I received $4,000.00+ free work to Liberty. You can use the archive for August of last year to find the blog post. This year I only have about $1,000.00 worth of requested things. But I got a surprise this evening when two technicians from Airxcel (manufacturers of my AC units) showed up and asked if they could look at the fan on one of my AC units located on the roof. I asked why and they explained that the company had improved the blade design since my AC unit was built and they would be glad to upgrade it for me. I asked if anyone had refused that offer and they said "no, yet". So up the guy went and sure enough I had the old style blades. He replaced them and said it will run more efficiently and quieter. He also oiled up some things while he had the cowling off. While the guy was doing the work on the roof, I was talking with his partner on the ground. He mentioned they also made my hot water heater. I told him I hadn't had any problems with it and that I change the anode rod on a regular basis. He reached in his truck and grabbed a new anode rod and gave it to me. I tried giving them a tip but both refused it and simply gave me their business card. They said it was be appreciated if I dropped an email to their boss, which I will do. Remember, this work was all free of charge and wasn't even on my list of requests. I asked if they were being reimbursed by Forest River and their answer was "No, Airxcel was doing it free of charge just like Forest River does just for the word of mouth advertising and to highlight their good reputation.
Campsite at the FROG rally. I got lucky this year and have a great campsite with shade.

Since I'm in Amish country, I took this picture of the carriage barn at the local Walmart.

This is one of the buggies leaving Walmart. I thought the pictures worked well with the "Tractor Supply" store in front of the buggy.

This is after they turned right out of Walmart. I followed him for about a half mile before he turned off. 

Today, was the first official day of the Rally and I had a nice breakfast, attended a great seminar on slide-outs, looked at several new RV's and walked through the Vendor's display. I bought three new water filters for my in-RV filter. I replace it yearly and usually have to order them at $30.00+ each. I bought these today for $10.00 each so I'm good for the next 3 years. :)

If they finish working on Liberty early, I'll be heading back south early. 

I'll try not to take so long to post update again. I think I've said that before,,,,,uhmmmm.   

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Glad you posted. I've been waiting. Beautiful pic of the water

    1. Thanks Phyl,,,I got a little lazy about posting.

  2. Thanks for the post. Since we both have basically the same kind of setup I always like to read how you travel. (Routes, fuel stops, etc..)

    1. Hello John. When I was really traveling and moving campgrounds every 2 to 3 days, I always tried to stay under 200 miles of towing in a day so I would not need gas while hitched up. On trips over 200 miles I scout out a gas station that I can get in and out of easily. I use the software Allstays and Google Earth to do that.

  3. I'm glad you're having a good trip, Darrell, and getting a few tweaks done to Liberty. How is your son doing? Continued prayers for him.

    1. Hello Cat, Brandon will be put on the Kidney/Pancreas transplant waiting list sometime in September. Thanks for the prayers.

  4. Sounds like another good experience at the FROG Rally. We are hoping to attend next year. Curious to see where you head next. Travel safely.

    1. Hello Barb. Yes the Rally I'd definitely worth attending. I will be heading home to Louisiana from here. Be safe out there.

  5. Coming South!!! Now that's a GREAT idea---- From what I have heard "No one retires and moves up North" Have a wonderful trip and if you're ever in our little corner of the world please let us know!!!

    1. Hello Jenny. It's been a long time since you've commented and it looks like you added another name. Congrats??