Adventure Day 7

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Another day that started out so nice and calm and lovely and ENDED IN A CRAZY FRENZY OF *%$#&**%& what just happened??

We joined our local and long time friends Lyndel and Carrie Moe at their church then we all went to lunch at a BBQ place called Big Hoffa’s BBQ. And, I’m sorry to say, I was so hungry that I once again forgot to take any pictures. We got a sampler platter that we all shared. Brisket, ribs, rib tips, mac & cheese, garlic rolls (to die for!) and seasoned french fries. All fabulous.

Then we went back to the hotel in a food coma. Dave stretched out on the bed to “study,” but soon fell asleep. I read for a bit. We got an email saying we had a go-ahead to take the trailer to the venue for tomorrow’s event, a city hall in a small town, Beech Grove, surrounded by the greater metropolis of Indianapolis, about 30 minutes away from us.

Dave woke around 4, and we hooked up the trailer and headed out. Except my trusty Google maps app showed an accident on the freeway was causing a significant delay, about 20 minutes. There were two alternate routes. Greater Indianapolis is surrounded by a freeway, the 465. It goes East, West, North and South. I’m not kidding. One of the alternate routes just took the 465 the opposite direction. That was about 10 minutes longer. The other alternate route went straight through Indianapolis and was only about 6 minutes longer. So … I chose that one. The other two routes, I cross-checked with our trucker/RV/annoying-harpy-app. (Remember her from yesterday?) But I neglected to check the through-town route with her. (You see where this is going, right?)

Sure enough. We were 3 miles from our destination (after going through some reeeeaaallly sketchy neighborhoods and narrow residential roads with low hanging branches), Dave looked ahead, and there’s an overpass we have to go under labeled 10′ 7″. The trailer is 13′ 5″. Uh oh. The trucker/RV/annoying-harpy app knows our dimensions. *&^%#&(^@$!!!! Though no one actually swore.

And by God’s grace, Dave saw it in time. So we pulled into a parking lot and I opened the trucker/RV/annoying-harpy app and she was able to get us there without much further incidence. In a bit of poetic justice, we had to stop for seven minutes for a train that if we were three and a half feet lower, we could have avoided by going under the bridge on the original route.

But anyway …

We made it to the venue, only to discover that the parking directions we’d been given were for a one-way street and we’d be facing the wrong way. Sigh. I had a phone number for a local contact to call. Which I did. And she ignored it. Because it was an unfamiliar number at 6 pm on a Sunday. I get it. I left a message. She called me right back. She’s local, so came over right away. We showed her our dilemma. The trailer has doors on one side. The wrong side for the one way street. We decided to pull the trailer around the wrong way.

Our plan had been to set the trailer up completely, do a couple of practice tours with each other. By then, it was almost 7 pm. Rain was predicted for 7 pm. Clouds were gathering. We unhooked the trailer from the truck. We put up cones to save a spot for the truck tomorrow. And so much for any practicing. We left.

We have to be back there at 4 am tomorrow.

The good news is that the accident was on the opposite side of the freeway, so we could use the freeway to go back to our hotel. The bad news is that we could see there will be freeway construction going on in the middle of the night. Just when we need to be coming back. So we’ll be taking the second freeway option in the morning.

As we pulled off the freeway for our hotel, we passed a White Castle. Another non-California (or non-Central Valley?? chain) that we’d planned to visit. We’ve heard good and bad about it, but decided to pick up some sliders and have a quick dinner in our room. We just ate, and now we’re going to bed. We have to be up at 2:30, to leave by 3:00. We want to be on site by 3:30-3:35, because we still have to set up the trailer (which we didn’t do tonight–see above re: parking, one-way street, and rain woes) and be ready to go by 4 am. So no pictures for today’s post. I did take a few, but … good night!!

 

 

The Adventure: Day 6

Saturday, July 20, 2019. Day 6.

The usual Holiday Inn Express Breakfast. We’re near a big sports center, so there are a lot of teenage athletes here for various tournaments. We’ve seen baseball players and basketball players, male and female, here. They load up on the breakfast, shovel it in, and stumble back out.

After breakfast, we took a walk. We found out there’s a park right behind our hotel with IMG_2261a short path connecting the two. We walked about a mile, wandering some really lovely trails as well as a IMG_2260wide asphalt road. There was a swing overlooking a creek, so we sat for a moment, enjoying the green and the water.

 

Back at the hotel, we looked up the nearest truck wash and decided that was today’s project. After hooking up the truck and trailer, (our second time on our own–it’s getting easier), putting the address into my phone, we headed north.

Dave had talked to a couple of friends yesterday who had experience pulling trailers and he’d made a couple of adjustments. He felt better about how the truck and trailer felt today, compared to our trip here on Thursday. I could also feel the difference. We felt more stable, there was less swaying/fishtailing. So thank you, guys!

The scenery on the way was beautiful! Green. Lots of corn. Small farms. Small towns. We passed a small executive airport. An old cemetery. Lots of brick homes. I normally read while we’re driving, but not today.

On our way to the truck wash, we saw a Menard’s. We’d been told it was the local place to go for hardware. Kind of a cross between Home Depot and Fresno Ag. We pulled in and made our purchases. Some more boards for letting the trailer rest on when it’s unhooked. Some towels for wiping ourselves down after hooking up (have I mentioned the heat and humidity?) Dave needed a few minor supplies (washers, a drill bit). Then back to the truck.

We found the truck wash, about thirty minutes away from our hotel, without any trouble. We had to wait a few minutes for them to finish up the garbage truck ahead of us. They didn’t offer a towel off or drying service, so we hopped on the nearby freeway, hoping to blow off the worst of the water and reduce spotting. We only went a few miles and quickly turned around. The winds had picked up, so we didn’t feel quite as stable as earlier.

IMG_2263

By then, it was 2:00 and we were hungry. Again. How odd. Considering we’d had breakfast 6+ hours earlier, walked a mile, hooked up a trailer in 80% humidity and driven 30 miles.

There was a Steak & Shake back by the truck wash, so we exited there and parked. Steak & Shake had been on our radar to try so it was meant to be. Except we seemed to have caught them at the end of a rush. We waited about fifteen minutes for a table. It was worth it. The burgers were really good. They advertise steak in the burgers (of course) and they did have a great flavor, a nice char, and the toppings were fresh and there was a wide variety to choose from. We were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture. We both had a pretty basic burger. I had a single cheeseburger. Dave had a double bacon cheeseburger. We shared some fries. We were less impressed with the fries. We agreed the burger can easily hang with an In ‘n Out, but In ‘n Out’s fries are far superior. Dave had coleslaw which he also liked and compared to KFC’s. And since we were at Steak & Shake, well … it’s in the name, so we had to. We chose the Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter shake and it was amazing. Thick, chocolatey and peanut buttery. Alas, no picture of that either.

Because of the trailer, our trainers had recommended we use a different map app. One that would tell us if there were roads we couldn’t take the trailer down. I decided to use that app for the way back to the hotel, since I already knew the way. It was incredibly annoying. My phone is synced to the truck’s stereo/navigation system. We had the radio on, but instead of interrupting the radio to tell us something the app would just stop the radio, tell us the info and not return to the radio. Argh. Then when it was time to get off the freeway, it gave contradictory information and we missed our exit. The written directions said to take Exit 129B, but the map (and the street we knew we were on said we should have taken 129A). I was looking at the written directions, so we missed it and had to be rerouted. By then, I was D.O.N.E. with that app and opened my trusty Google Maps. I have a lovely British female voice give me directions and she immediately told me exactly where to exit and turn around. I closed the annoying app.

Except it refused to close! I exited the thing. I did the swipe up to close. I did everything I know to exit/close/shutdown an app, short of restarting my phone. So we had my lovely British Google Maps friend directing us, as well as a rude, mechanical-voiced harpy telling us to “TURN AROUND NOW.”

We managed to tune her out and made it back to the hotel, albeit a bit frazzled. We parked and proceeded to unhook. Dave said to time him, so I set the stopwatch.

We did it together (sort of–he does the heavy lifting) and did it in just shy of ten minutes. Then we got back to our room and collapsed. It was 4:00. It took us pretty much all day to get one 32′ trailer washed. Oh, and it’s covered in water spots. So, it’s not ready for its television appearance on Monday.

Sigh.

 

 

The Adventure: Day 5

Friday, July 19, 2019

Another low-key day, but with news, nerves, and index cards.

IMG_8812 2We mostly stayed in our hotel room studying the videos I took of our trainers giving us their mock tours. We made our own notes. We discussed.

We each have our own “learning style.” Because we’re different. You know … opposites attract. He needs to talk, to hear things, to process. I need to think. I need quiet.

You likely see the problem.

But actually, the problems have been few. Just when I’m about to say, “Hey, I love you, but you’ve got to go for a loooong walk,” he runs out of oxygen. Or something. He probably realizes (after almost 42 years, he’s got me figured out) that I need quiet, and he stops processing out loud and I get some quiet to think and do my own processing.

We were in the midst of studying and thinking and processing and going over the tour details when we got a call.

We have three appearances next week. Before the Colts Training Camp. Great! We’re happy to have something to do other than sit around a hotel room.

The first one is Monday morning.

Okay.

On two local morning television shows.

Ooookay.

Which means being on site (30 minutes away), and set up, by 5 am.

And ready to speak on camera about the trailer and the tours.

Gulp.

Yep. This is what we signed up for. We’d already discussed that if there were any media interviews, I would handle those. Dave tends to follow rabbit trails. He knows that. I’m able to stay on point, and be succinct and articulate. I may not have his people skills and charisma, but I can say what needs to be said in the 30 seconds allotted, so in this instance, I’m elected.

So … deep breath … and … back to studying.

There will be two local stations interviewing us Monday morning. RTV6 at 5 am. WISH-TV at 6 am. (We’re hoping to be able to set up the trailer Sunday evening. Then we just have to get ourselves to the site by 4:15 am.)

Beech Grove City Hall, 806 Main St, Beech Grove, IN. We’ll give tours to the public from 10 am – 2 pm Monday.

We’ll be off Tuesday.

Wednesday, we’ll be at the Indianapolis City Market, no firm time, but it looks like tours around lunch time. 222 E Market St, Indianapolis, IN.

Thursday, Fort Benjamin Harrison Farmers Market, Civic Plaza, 9230 Memorial Park Drive. Lawrence, IN. Tours 4-7 PM.

So … apart from watching the videos, taking notes, mumbling facts about opioid and

IMG_9961 2

opiate use in America (who knew there was a difference between opiates and opioids??), we ventured out for lunch at Arby’s and dinner at McDonalds (both across the street from our hotel). We’ve avoided fries, sticking to salads and sandwiches. Dave’s used the treadmill here and we’re on the 4th floor and we use the stairs, so we’re not total sloths.

IMG_9828 2Other impressions of Indiana: It’s still hot. And humid. I get that it’s an unusually hot streak/heat wave for here, so I understand the obsession the news has with the weather. And the brown grass makes us feel right at home.

Thanks, Indiana!

I didn’t see the news item until it was too late to grab a screen shot, but a local radio show/host/DJ is planning an endurance contest. It looks like he’s planning to sit in a car … for ??? I don’t know how long … and I don’t know why? He might be raising money. I hope he has a purpose. But as a Californian who annually reads news articles about children and pets who die of heat exhaustion in cars during the summer, I just found this “stunt” to be fool hardy. And–yes, I’ll say it–stupid. Others may want to imitate it.

So no. Just. No.

The Adventure: Day 4

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Today was pretty low key. Mostly.

We did move hotels. Which involved moving the trailer. Which meant Dave and Carrie were alone for the first time and solely responsible for hooking up, driving, and IMG_2212unhooking the trailer from the truck.

We did it!

We’re alive. The trailer and the truck are unscratched and unscathed. Whew!

IMG_2211
Those miniature people are us!

We requested a late check-out at the first hotel. I have to give a shout out to the Indianapolis Holiday Inn Express Airport West, on Rockville Road. The staff there are incredible! Devonesha at the front desk and Julia: Wonderful! Kevin and Robert: Amazing! Gayla in the breakfast room: super sweet and so helpful! We hated saying goodbye to them, but we needed to be closer to our venue for next week.

So just before 2:00 we loaded up our luggage, attached the trailer to the truck, and pulled out. There were some prayers sent heavenward–not gonna lie–but we made it safely to the new hotel.

We had just enough time to check in, unhook, (and I took a quick shower because–OMWord!!–have I mentioned the humidity??), and headed out to meet long-time friends from Fresno who relocated to Indianapolis, for dinner. (I no longer refer to anyone as an “old” friend. You’re welcome.)

IMG_2216We had dinner at Bub’s, in Carmel. It was yummy! Dave had an elk burger, while I opted for the familiar, though some would say boring, beef. After dinner we went to Lyndel and Carrie’s home to visit some more. We got to hug their daughter and see two of their grandchildren.

We’re back at the new hotel now and have settled in for the evening.

I think tomorrow’s plan is to figure out our new location and I will do some of my paying work. We hope to find out a firm schedule soon. We know we’re going to be at the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp, but there may be other events before and/or after.

Thanks for reading!

The Adventure: Day 3

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I guess I’ll continue with numbering the days from Monday when we left. So today is Wednesday, the 3rd day we’ve been gone.

Today we did a review of the trailer set up. Because each time we move the trailer, it has to be taken apart somewhat, then put back together. So Dave and I put it back together like we had just arrived at a venue and were setting up to give a tour.

We passed!

Dave also passed unhooking and hooking up the trailer from the pickup.

107B7229-3A14-41EA-9069-1304268ABED7Then he took our trainers to the car rental agency. One of them is driving back to DC. The other is flying. One of them has a fear of flying. A while ago, Dave texted the one driving, intending to jibe him, saying How’s it going? Your partner’s home by now. Dave got a swift reply. Oh, no he’s not. His flight’s been delayed twice. He’s still in Indianapolis. I’m in Pennsylvania. 

Oops.

I spent the afternoon finishing the transcribing then printing out the nine page document. And of course, the printer in the business center at the hotel took one look at my document and thought, Oh, this will be fun.  IMG_2208

After spending a fruitless half hour with nothing but several pages of gibberish instructing me to print the document as a PDF (which I attempted to do–several times, from several different approaches), I gave up and asked the front desk for help. The very helpful clerk said I could email the document to him and he would print it out. Which I did. And he did.

Then Dave and I went to dinner.

This was our first meal on our own.

Oh, the pressure.

There is a restaurant that shares the parking lot with our hotel. It looks Greek …we like Greek food …

Dave asked the desk clerk about it. He said it’s good, but he also said another restaurant a couple blocks further away is even better. The shuttle driver Monday night mentioned it also. And when I plugged “Nearby Restaurants” into my Google Maps app yesterday, it was one of the first IMG_2210suggestions: Grindstone Charley’s. According to Chris, the shuttle driver, it’s “like Applebee’s, but better.” And since the desk clerk recommended it, we plugged it into the GPS and headed there.

It’s very like an Applebee’s or a Chili’s. We shared an appetizer platter. Fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, and Killer Kettle Chips. It was all great. The Killer Kettle Chips’s description said “house fried potato chips, queso, cheese, … ” and described other toppings. There was definitely melted white cheese. Dave asked the server what it was and she said it was the queso.

Ooookaaay. It was no queso either of us have ever had. Which is totally fine. We’re into new experiences. It was still good. But we’re unsure … if that was the queso … where was the cheese? Or if that was the cheese, where was the queso? Que paso?

I know … I’m a spoiled Californian.

I want the rest of the country to know what real queso is. I want no humidity. I want high-speed rail but only at my convenience (meaning not through my family’s living room).

Tomorrow we switch hotels to one closer to where we think we’ll be for the rest of our time in Indiana. We’re still unsure of where exactly we’ll be for what dates. But we’re feeling better about what to say and how to set up to say it.

So that’s good!