Our plan was to spend the weekend in Goshen, then head into Michigan for a week or so. Plans change. Rather than explore Michigan, we decided to get a few housekeeping chores taken care of and take a short test trip to watch the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, OH.
It was nice to be quiet for a few days, get caught up on work and see the familiar sites of Goshen. The field behind our campsite was growing tall. One afternoon we caught a glimpse of a mower at work. A few days later, this man came back with a machine that put the hay in rows for bailing. In another field, we saw a horse-drawn roller/baler at work. We have no idea how it all works, but with a little extra time these traditional horse-power machines get the job done just like the larger, more modern ones.
After a few days of working in Goshen, we decided to take a test trip in the truck. We love our truck and fifth wheel combination, but our size keeps us from being as flexible and nimble as we'd sometimes like to be. When we are near National Parks, we must find a park large enough to accommodate us. This is not a huge problem, but can often put us 30+ miles from the park entrance and means our park visits are all day affairs. We have been talking about leaving the trailer behind and camping in the truck for short periods. We could just pack our things in the truck, load the scooter, and take off.
Our goal for the test trip was comfort. We didn't worry about food preparation at this point (we could eat out if needed), we just wanted to see if we could live in the truck comfortably for a few days at a time. We are not campers - we like electricity, running water, and AC.
Drive to the Memorial Golf Tournament and stay for two nights at a nearby campground.
We would carry the scooter for transportation.
We would plug into the campground for electricity (20 amp) we had one outlet in the truck plus a power strip and extension cord.
Meals would be eaten out: early breakfast and late lunch, no dinner.
We would be gone from the truck all day but would be at the campground each night.
We brought small fans for air circulation, made curtains for privacy, and redistributed some long-term storage items so we could store what we needed close by.
Of course we chose the three hottest days to do our trial run. Temps got to 90* each day and didn't cool below 80* until after midnight. Mid-80s were predicted by the weatherman. The fans worked if you sat right in front of them, but because two of our four truck sleeper windows wouldn't open, it was difficult to get cooler air inside. We lowered the front windows and risked getting bugs inside. There was no breeze to help the first night.
About 12:30 AM the first night we lost all power. That meant no fans! It took a little bit of time to realize that our power plug (installed in the truck by the previous owner) was not working properly. Trey plugged the power strip and extension cord directly into the power pedestal at the campground and all was well. Everything went better the second night.
Privacy was not an issue - the curtains worked well for that and kept the rig cooler during the day.
We found that we would rather have the dinette in the bed position. It was more comfortable to sit on the bunk or in the passenger chair than it was to sit at the table. If we were both working on this trip, the dinette would have stayed up longer, but this time, it stayed down.
Our truck is big - even for a semi - but it was a bit crowded when we were both trying to do things at the same time. We took showers at different times so that one of us could get things done in the truck while the other was away. That helped some. Seriously, I don't know how truckers do this for weeks at at time!
We worked hard to keep clutter to a minimum, but we will find more ways to reduce this in the future. Power cords were the worse offender. We had two fans and a light plugged into the power strip and had to keep re-running the cords as we moved about the cabin.
We will plan our truck trips when the weather is cooler. 90* is just too warm for camping. We really like 70*!
We are fixing our broken windows. We knew one window didn't work before we left. It has been broken since we bought the truck. The other window was a surprise. Opening the sleeper windows is the only way to get fresh air in the back. We are also making screens for the driver and passenger windows. This way, we can leave those windows partially open at night and not worry about too many bugs getting in.
Trey will redo the power inlet. In addition to this, we will add a few plugs to the front and opposite side of the cab. Once this is done, we won't have cords running haphazardly through the rig.
This trip we focused on shore power (AC). We can have the same conveniences using only the truck batteries (DC), but we don't know the limits of that system yet. We know we would be fine for one night, but two nights without a charge? We didn't want to risk it.
We have already rearranged some items that are permanently stored in the truck. More reorganization is needed. We knew we would be away from the truck all day on this trip. We will plan to take our camping chairs next trip so that we can sit outside to read, relax, and refresh.
It was nice to not worry about cooking (or cleaning) this trip, but at some point we will need to figure that out also. The only real difficulty this trip was the heat.
The Memorial Tournament
The tournament was great! We arrived early and saw them preparing fairways and greens for the day. Everything was detailed. When you see these beautiful courses on TV, you don't always know the work that goes into getting them that way.
There were several teams of people on each hole. They were mowing the fairways in patterns that required precision and accuracy. Leaf-blowers followed, working every inch of the course. Those fairways were spotless. Sand traps were raked multiple times so that there were no ridges or bumps and they even blew leaves and grass out each day!
Three or four people were mowing the greens (the greens were mowed in two passes). Cardboard mats were placed at the edges of the green so that no damage was done when the mowers were turned around.
Another group was testing the putting greens for speed and hardness. They rolled a ball off an inclined plane three times in each direction while another man dropped a ball from a set height to determine the size divot it made.
The first day, we mostly walked the course and watched pros practice. It was very hot and we were quick sticky.
The second day, we found a shady spot to sit where we could see three greens, one tee box, and two fairways. This is the 12th hole tee and green.
One gentleman near us needed help taking a picture with his flip phone. He told us that his wife claimed Phil Mickelson as her boyfriend and he needed to get a photo of him for her. We talked for a bit an he told us some of the tournament lore. See those grandstands in the background of the picture above? He told us that those have not been here for other tournaments. For several years the owner of the house behind those grandstands would invite friends over and rent bouncy houses and have a party during the tournament. It was quite noisy. Tournament officials decided that this would be a great place for grandstands. Problem solved. I walked behind those stands on the way to the bathroom later. It was a beautiful home - one of the best on the course. I wondered if this story was true.
We chit-chatted a bit until he asked what Trey did for a living. The conversion pretty much ended at that point as he quickly realized that he needed to get to another part of the course. Trey concluded that we must have offended him (even though all he said was that he was a pastor). Susan decided that no, we were quite delightful because the gentleman willingly talked with us for half an hour; Christ was the offense. True story. Happens way too often.