IN: Indiana Meanderers
The Who’s Yur Winnies state outing was held June 9-12 at Acorn Oaks Campground near Francesville, Indiana. The officers of the Indiana Meanderers were the hosts for the outing which began and ended for some of us with lots and lots of rain! In between the rain and storms though there were some parts of each day that remained dry and sunny and gave us the opportunity for some great activities and visiting. We had 11 RVs with a total of 21 people throughout the weekend including Wrede and Kathy Banta, Ron & Peggy Campbell, Kerri and Mike Ely, Glen & Janet Gish, Al & Janet Grove, Frank & Monica Lamm, new members Mike & Ellen McLaughlin, Gene & Kathy Rieck, Bob & Ruth Stoeckley, Fred & Carol Thomas, and Lori Tindall. Mike and his wife Ellen joined us for the weekend and I assume they had so much fun that they joined both the Who’s Yur Winnies and the Meanderers!
Or maybe it was Lori’s high pressure sales pitch and my offer of a one year free membership. We don’t know for sure but we’re glad they came and we all enjoyed meeting them. They are from Westfield, Indiana and have a Winnebago Travel Trailer. After setting up we waited until the sun came out and then ran into Rensselaer for dinner at the eMbers Station Bistro & Bar. Very good food and nice atmosphere. Stoeckleys, who arrived at the campground after we were already eating dinner, went into Rensselaer for Mexican food. Then we all sat around afterwards for a nice campfire before heading to bed. Thursday morning Ruth and Kathy rode with us for a drive north of the campground to take a walking tour at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area. During the months of October to December thousands of sandhill cranes and sometimes whooping cranes come to that area to rest in the 300 acre field which is surrounded by wetlands. We walked to the observation platform reading the information signs along the way and of course did not see any cranes on our walk but we did have a good time. On the observation platform observing no cranes.
People started arriving early afternoon and we took walks, visited, and checked out the campground until it was time to leave for dinner. There were 16 of us who went south to The Whistle Stop/Monon Connection Museum and Restaurant. We had a room to ourselves and even though it was a little on the chilly side most of us had room for the ice cream that came with the meal. We gathered for a photo after dinner and then it was back to the campground for a campfire and games in Lori’s coach. Friday morning Lori put on a Pampered Chef demonstration and we got to see some of the latest and greatest kitchen tools and appliances. She made Cool Veggie Pizza and S’mores Dip. For most of us it was a not only a delicious breakfast but a delicious lunch too! We all won a door prize but Kathy Banta won the grand prize which was $230 of free items and also three 1/2 priced items. Mike and Ellen arrived in the afternoon and brought some sunny weather with them. Introductions were made for those who were still at the campground and preparations began for dinner at the building. The meal was provided by the officers of the Meanderers with help from Peggy Campbell (she made the yummy pork loin), and Lori (she brought watermelon and a dessert). Janet Gish and I brought the other side dishes and dessert. We had set up tables outside in case people wanted to eat outside (thanks to Ruth for cleaning the tables) but right about dinner time the rain came in. After dinner it was really raining so no campfire but there were games at the building. Saturday morning we sent the men off to breakfast at Royal Oaks Family Dining and to pick up the donuts and fritters from Main Street Bakery in Rensselaer. They had instructions to take a photo for the newsletter and to pick up the baked goods. They came back with no photo and barely remembered the baked goods. Ack!!
It was nice enough in the morning to have “Crafts with Carol” outside on the picnic tables. The seats were wet but Kathy Banta had some nifty covers for them which she let us use. We had wood coloring kits with mermaids, cactus, llamas, and a butterfly to choose from which came with coloring pens and we also had brush markers to use. It was a fun time and as always great company and conversation. Our finished crafts Saturday afternoon 15 of us drove to Fair Oaks Farm where we had lunch and ice cream at the Cowfé restaurant and gift shop before beginning our Pig and Dairy Adventures. We saw baby pigs just a day old all the way up to many full grown sows with their litters. But before we headed by bus to the Pig Adventure we saw a calf being born! It’s always exciting to watch the miracle of birth. We also got to see the new robotic milking equipment that is being used. One at a time the cows go into a “milking booth” where they are fed a sweet snack while a robotic arm places the milking cups on them and a monitor shows the progress of the procedure. The cow we watched produced 51.3 pounds of milk!
The rain followed us back to the campground and continued until after dinner. We had a pitch-in at the building with all kinds of main dishes, sides, salads and desserts. Some played games and when the rain finally stopped there was a nice campfire to keep us warm. Sunday morning started out good but as we were enjoying the donuts and fritters it started raining once again. As we scattered and began preparations to leave Al & Janet had an issue with their slides not going in. The guys tried lots of different things but nothing worked and when we left the Groves were still there. I got a message from her last night that they somehow managed to get them in and were on their way home. Then I got another message from Janet later saying their steering went out and they were parked at the Flying J in Lebanon. This morning she said they were having to have the coach towed to Stoops. Fingers crossed and prayers that all goes well and it’s an easy fix and not too costly! So we hope everyone made it home safely and we’re very happy that no one got stuck in the wet grass at the campground. We pulled right out and I think everyone else did too. Thanks to all for coming and to everyone for the wonderful food and fun weekend!