Chinese Food and a Big Fish…

We left Little Farm on the River RV Park in Rising Sun, IN a few minutes after 9 and headed north on US 127, arriving in Celina, OH about 12:15.

We drove into the Mercer County Fairgrounds and spent about 10 minutes driving around trying to find where to check-in. Finally saw a small sign in front of an RV parked over in one corner that said “Camp Host”.

Way to make it easy, guys..

We parked and got set up along the side of a barn with no problems, and settled in.

Mercer County Fairgrounds 1

This fairgrounds is a lot nicer than others we’ve stayed at, and makes for a pleasant stay. We were here last September for the Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally and really enjoyed it then too.

Mercer County Fairgrounds 2 

Mercer County Fairgrounds 3

About 1 pm we headed out to China Wok Buffet, one of our top five Chinese restaurants, and it was as good as we remembered. After lunch we drove over to WalMart, and along the way we encountered “Big Bob”, “The World’s Largest Man-Made Bass”, a promotion gimmick for Grand Lake here in Celina.

Big Fish

Constructed in the 1800’s as a reservoir for the Miami and Erie Canal which connected the Ohio River with Lake Erie, Grand Lake was once the largest man-made lake in the world. Strangely though it covers over 13,000 acres, it’s only 5 to 7 feet deep.

And in case you’re wondering, Owen Falls in Uganda is now the world’s largest man-made lake.

After getting back to the rig about 3 and having a short nap, I got the satellite set we could watch some TV.

Then about 6:45 we drove over to our other favorite restaurant here in Celina, La “Carreta Mexican Restaurant. They make a great Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Jan really likes their Grilled Chicken dishes. The chips and salsa are really good too.

Tomorrow we travel about 155 miles further north to Elkhart, IN, where we’ll be for a month.

More tomorrow…

Quote of the day:
After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed. – De La Lastra’s Law



EnterTRAINment Junction…

We’re presently parked at the Little Farm on the River RV Park in Rising Sun, IN, about 25 miles from Cincinnati, OH.

This park is in the middle of a working farm that runs right down to the Ohio River and we’re surrounded by corn and soybean fields

Little Farm 1

Little Farm 2

Little Farm 3 

Little Farm 4

About 10:00 am we headed into Cincinnati. Strangely enough, although Ohio is just across the river, we have to go through Kentucky to get there. Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky all come together right here in this corner of the country.

Our first destination was Quaker Steak and Lube, a hot wing place we first ate at in Buffalo, NY last year on our way back from Newfoundland. When we were there the big promotion was their “Atomic Wings”. These rate about 150,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale (a jalapeno rates between 2500 and 8000) and you have to sign a release before they will serve them to you. Jan and I got a sample order (5 wings) and we both thought they were pretty hot, hotter than anything we’ve eaten before. Jan could only eat one.

This time they have a new deal. “Triple Atomic Wings” with a 500,000 rating. Unfortunately they don’t offer a sampler of the Triples, and I didn’t want a whole order of 10, so we didn’t get to try them.

But Jan and I both agreed that either we had both lost a lot of taste buds, or these “Atomic Wings” today weren’t as hot as the ones we had last year. But they were good. We also had some regular Hot Wings and some Buckeye BBQ, which rates at about  5000.

One thing I really like about Quaker Steak is that their chicken pieces are a good bit bigger than either Hooter’s or Buffalo Wild Wings.

After lunch we stopped off for gas and car wash before heading over to the main course for the day, EnterTRAINment Junction. Yes, it’s spelled correctly.

EnterTRAINment Junction is a trained-themed attraction that has a railroad museum, and what I was really there for, the world’s largest indoor model railroad.

With over 25,000 sq. ft., 90 trains with more than1200 cars, 2 miles of track, and over 6000 handmade trees, it’s really something.

Train 1 Train 2 Train 3 Train 4 Train 5 Train 6 Train 7

I had a large HO layout when I was a kid, and if we weren’t living in the RV I might think about building another one. But in the meantime I still like reading about them, and visiting large layouts when possible. Last year I visited the Model Railroad Museum near Lancaster, PA, but this one is much bigger.

As I said, my layout was HO, which at the time was the smallest scale at 1/87 real size. The trains we say today were G scale, or 1/22.5

Now there are two smaller scales than HO  N scale, at 1/160, and Z scale at 1/220. An locomotive in Z scale is less than 2 inches long.

We also enjoyed the American Railroad Museum, which had a lot of interesting displays and artifacts. One thing that I found funny was that when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific work crews approached their meeting from opposite directions, they passed each other by and kept on going for another 100 miles. They were getting paid by the mile and didn’t want to stop. Finally the Government stepped in and declared Promontory, Utah the meeting point.

Leaving the Junction we head back to the rig, but detoured through downtown Cincinnati to get some flavor of the city. It’s a very nice town with a lot of new big buildings going up.

I kept looking for the Flimm building, but never found it.

Getting back to the rig a little before 5 we decided it was nap time for an hour or so. Then about 6:30 we headed out for dinner at Skyline Chili, one of two chili-based restaurants in this area, the other being Goldstar Chili.

Everything is pretty much chili. Chili Dogs, chili burritos, salads with chili on them, and even chili spaghetti. And of course, all of it covered with grated cheese and onions.

And it was delicious. Hopefully we’ll get to try Goldstar some other time.

Tomorrow we head north about 135 miles to Celina, OH for the night before getting into Elkhart, IN on Sunday.

More tomorrow…

Quote of the day:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye. – Miss Piggy



Rollin’ on the river (the Ohio, that is)…

Well, after 4 days without cellphones or Internet, we’re back online. And I’ve got over 500 emails to catch up on.

We’re presently parked in Rising Sun, IN, right on the Ohio River. Cincinnati, OH is about 20 miles away on the other side of the river.

We’ll be here for two days before heading on up to Celina, OH, and then on to Elkhart, IN for about a month.

I’ll have more to post tomorrow.

Quote of the Day:
“I don’t get even. I get more than even”




We’re presently staying with Jan’s sister, Debbie here in Vernon, IL. The nearest big(ger) town is Vandalia.

They don’t have very good cell / Aircard service at their house so posting will be intermittent for the next couple of days.

Sorry, Nick!

Quote of the day:
Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation. – Howard Scott



Hitting the road…

Today was our last day at The Rally, or half day really. I didn’t want to be trying to leave tomorrow morning along with 2000+ other rigs, so since there was nothing we wanted to see this afternoon, we decided to go ahead and leave. A few rigs have already started filtering out, and we won’t be far behind.

We did have a couple of early seminars this morning that we wanted to attend so we headed over to the hall about 8:30 am, and then afterwards, we did one last pass thru the vendor area, picking up a few last things.

Then it was off to lunch at Cottage Inn, the little local place we found the other day, except, apparently the Cottage Inn isn’t open on Sunday. So after a quick rethink, we headed over to Mark’s Feed Store, a really good BBQ place we ate at last Tuesday and wanted to try again.

On the way we came across another of the Louisville horse mascots

LouisvilleMascot 2

Here’s the one we saw the other day.


Mark’s Feed Store was just as good as last time, I decided to try a cup of burgoo, a local stew/soup in the Irish/Mulligan/Brunswick family. It had beef, pork, and chicken in it, along with corn, peas, and potatoes. Very tasty.

We also got an order of HoneyWings. These are chicken wings fried really crispy and then coated in a honey glaze. Really,really good, too.


On the way home from Mark’s we stopped off at a Verizon Wireless Store to get another case and belt clip for my Blackberry Storm 2, and the PO to mail a letter.

Back at the Expo it took us about 45 minutes to get ready to leave, and by 2pm we were on the road. But not too far.

We went only about  38 miles north on I-65 to the Yogi Bear Campground in Scottsburg, IN.  Tomorrow we’ve got a 270 mile day over to Vernon, IL to spend a few days with Jan’s sister, Debbie.

More tomorrow from IL…

Quote of the day:
"Marriages are made in heaven. But then again, so are thunder and lightning."



The Rally – Day 3…

Today started out with another round of seminars and vendors. Jan went to one about “Cooking with a Microwave Convection Oven” while I perused the vendor exhibits some more

At noon we met up for more corn dogs and fries. We like corn dogs, what can I say. I also had a ear of fresh roasted corn that the people from Progressive Insurance were giving out for a $1 donation to their charity.

At 1pm while Jan attended a talk by Bradd & Hall RV Interior Renovators, while I spend some more time at the PacBrake booth talking about the problems with my unit.

I was looking at buying the PRXB PacBrake upgrade and installing it myself. This would save me $200, and I figured by replacing the entire unit, that would fix my non-functioning PacBrake..

It looked like an easy replacement. Just loosen the two clamps shown below and the unit should come right out.


The problem was that we couldn’t figure out which unit I needed. The metal tag in the photo above should have had the model number on it, but it didn’t. Only the serial number.

Finally they offered me a good deal on letting them install the unit. This way they could take all the different possible units over to our rig, and, after removing the old one, install the correct one.

I ask how long it would take, and they said “about an hour”.  I said “Go for it”.

One thing I was interested in is shown in the graph below. Unlike my old unit (when it was working) and PacBrake competitors,  the PRXB doesn’t not need high RPM’s to work well.

PacBrake Graph

True to their word, 45 minutes after starting, the mechanic was done. I’m really looking forward to trying it tomorrow when we leave.

We’ll see.

About 4 pm we headed out for supper at one of our favorite BBQ places, Famous Dave’s BBQ. And as usual, we had enough left over to take home for later.

Leaving Famous Dave’s we stopped off at WalMart for a few things before heading home.

Then about 6pm we drove over to the concert hall to see Super Diamond, a very good Neal Diamond tribute group.

SuperDiamond 0

SuperDiamond 1 

SuperDiamond 2 

SuperDiamond 3 

SuperDiamond 4

After a great show, we got back home by about 8:30 and were in for the night.

Tomorrow, after attending the morning events we’ll head out a little early. I’d rather not wait until tomorrow morning when 2000 rigs will try to all leave at once.

More tomorrow…

Quote of the day:
Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there. – Scott Adams


We’re 3 out of 4, but the iced tea was good…

Today started out at 10 am with Jan attending the Dog Talent Show and I hit the vendors area again. I bought a couple of things, and I’m looking at a few more, including a new PacBrake.

At noon Jan and I met for a lunch of corn dogs and french fries at the Food Court. What we didn’t realize at the time is that this would be the best meal of the day.

Then at 1 pm Jan caught a seminar on RV’ing the Pacific Northwest by Mike and Terri Church. A little late since this is where we were earlier this year.

I checked out a talk on RV Refrigerators, which I hoped would help with a problem I’m having with mine.  No luck.  But it was interesting.

About 2:30 pm we headed north into Indiana to Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription and some other stuff. Then it was off to the low point of the day.

Since we’ve been in Louisville, we’ve eaten 2 places that were on the Rally Tours: Mark’s Feed Store, and Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant. We also discovered Cottage Inn, a nearby local favorite. All three were excellent.

The 3rd restaurant on the Rally Tours was Kingfish Seafood. In finding the directions online, I also read a few reviews. Some liked it, but others said it had gone downhill, and wasn’t as good as it used to be.  Another said the food was “Bland, bland, bland”.

And boy, was he right.

Jan had a Shrimp and Oyster Platter with a Baked Potato and Glazed Carrots, and I had the Seafood Feast, with Tilapia, Catfish, & Shrimp, with Corn on the Cob and Onion Rings. Believe me, bland, bland, bland certainly described the meal.

Nothing had any taste or seasoning. Red Lobster is much better, and I really don’t like Red Lobster.

But as Jan said, “The iced tea is good, though”.  A ringing endorsement, indeed!

The view of the Ohio River was pretty, but it didn’t make up for the meal

Kingfish View 1

Kingfish View 2

On our travels we collected photos of a number of city mascots in last few years, including pelicans, mermaids, bears, bison, and now horses. We’ve seen a number of these around town, all with different paint schemes.


Getting back to the rig, we rested up and tried to keep cool for about a hour and then headed out for the high point of the day.

Tanya Tucker !           And just as a teaser here she is singing “Delta Dawn”.

And she was fantastic.

Tanya 1 Tanya 2 Tanya 3 Tanya 4 Tanya 5 Tanya 6

During the first part of the concert, I was impressed by the voice of the backup singer in the band. Turns out she comes by that voice naturally. She’s Tanya’s 21 year old daughter, Presley.

And boy, can she sing, too.

Tanya & Presley


Presley 2

Tanya ended the show with the first big hit she had, Delta Dawn.  When she was 13!

Tanya 7

Tanya 8


Before the concert they were selling aerial photos. So here’s what we look like here.

Rally Aerial Photo 3

We got back to the rig about 8:30 after a long day. It’s nice to be home.

More tomorrow…

Quote of the day:
At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote. – Emo Phillips