Friday, May 10, 2013

Land O Goshen!

Welcome to the Annual  HRRVC Chapter 419 Ramblin' Pushers 2013 Maintenance Session ...

That a mounthful, isn't it? Deciphered, it's simply a gathering of Holiday Rambler motorhome owners who are also members of Chapter #419 which involves itself specifically with diesel powered Class A motorhomes. Chapter 419 of the Holiday Rambler RV Club puts on a weeklong workshop every year to address maintenance issues and to answer questions about Holiday Rambler diesel powered motorhomes.

The weather is near perfect with very little rain chance. 
Low to mid 70's every day. Take a look at that grass!

More views of Elkhart 4-H Fairgrounds at Goshen.
The black wagon under the cover on the left is a great little lunch station.
Good food... good prices.  Nice grassy campsites for many attendees.

We came here to the Elkhart 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen Indiana specifically to learn more about the maintenance, care and operations of Endie, our coach. There are some 700 others of us here too.

Always a good crowd for breakfast.
That's Wayne on the left chowing down on a donut.
A long single line anytime food is being served.  Seems there should be a better way.
This particular group is waiting for free hot dogs, potato chips and beer.
Having registered early and submitting an additional registration for the annual Holiday Rambler International Rally (two weeks from now) we were assigned our campsite here at the Elkhart 4H Fairgrounds. It is our first time and I'm sure they want us to return next year, right?  Well, campsite #RR 304 is one of about 20 sites on the only stretch of dirt road here at the fairgrounds.  To add insult to injury, the railroad track is 30 yards (no exageration) behind us.  It runs 24/7 and it's no whimpy freight line. Sometimes the trains sound like they are going to run directly over us!  It is an undescribable sound and the thundering vibration shakes the entire coach.  Watching tv is not an option.

The only stretch of dirt road in the entire campground.
That's us at the far end with out front stuck out into the road... we're too long for the site.
 It hasn't rained here in weeks and the dust flies easily.

First thing on arrival is to hear the rumor that a change will soon be announced for the production of both Monaco and Holiday Rambler, currently owned by Navistar, who, it is expected, will sell of this arm of it's otherwise truck related business. The news will be broken within a few days. That development, it is felt by most, is a good thing.  Other not-so-new news is that the MaxxForce engines will, in 2015, no longer be used in Holiday Rambler / Monaco products.  Cummins will return as the diesel engine used.

While I didn't attend nearly as many sessions as planned, Wayne was busy every day going to class. It was exhausting and hurt his brain, but he appreciated all the good maintenance information on all aspects of the diesel coach.  We also got to meet lots of nice folks. There were plenty First Timers and Full Timers with whom we enjoyed sharing stories (good and bad) of our experiences both as First Timers to the Rally and as Full Timers RVing.

Warren has an ever present friendly face. I forget where he and his wife are from -- maybe here in Indiana.
They're not full-timers.  He's the first person we met.

Our neighbors, Joan and Emil, are from New Jersey. He's watering the road in front of his coach with a garden hose.
Another day, he got the road watered by going directly to the fairgrounds office and offering to drive the water truck. 
Linda and Chuck are from New York but live in St Augustine now.  They are serious contenders for full-timing.
Their dogs, white minature poodles are Lexie and Nikki.  
Our other neighbors are Donna and Harold. They are real South Dakotans and now full-timers.
This is their new brand new Holiday Rambler Endeavor!  Congratulations!  
The vendors sold coaches like hot cakes during the whole Maintenance Session.  We met a half-dozen or so new owners.  I think good deals were being made.

A particularly interesting acquaintance happened while we were walking Lexie and Ozzie and I caught a glimpse of two small dogs in a portable pen outside the door of a nearby motorhome.  Next I saw two little tongues hanging uncontrollably from their mouths.  As they walked about cautiously on the grass (like Lexie does), I could see there were actually three small dogs there and they were not steady on their feet.  I simply had to meet these people and ask about their dogs. 

Karen and her husband (who's name I can't remember) are from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They adopted their dogs through Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue (SCMR) in Chattanooga.  They specifically sought the adoption of special needs dogs and they surely have them.  All who know me know my obsession with rescue animals.  I was so impressed with this couple who care so much for their little dogs...  Like us, they are so devoted to the care of these tired little bodies, they sometimes miss out on things they would otherwise like to do.  Yes, there are others of us with this obsession.  Sadly, though I tried to catch them for a quick photo, I wasn't successful.  Maybe another time.

Getting the leftover travel bugs off the front.
Sometime around the half-way point of the Maintenance Session, Wayne and I threw in the towel. Between the never ending trains and dust, we decided we'd leave at the end of the session if we couldn't move to a new site. When I asked Tom, the guy in charge of parking, he supplied an abundance of double talk and superfluous complaining about the impossible job of managing the parking project. So why does he volunteer for it? He added that the road was watered last year.  Great... that was last year.  I called and got a refund on our registration for the upcoming International Rally.  We'll leave on the last day of the Maintenance Session.

Land O Goshen!

I've found myself with a "ear worm" again.  Now let me say this up front: absentmindedly humming "Sweet Home Alabama", "Yellow Rose of  Texas",  "Kansas City",  "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" and so forth is common for me when we're in a location referenced in a song.  But I haven't thought of the "Land O Goshen!" phrase in a long, long time.  I've rarely heard it as a matter of fact.  But when we approached Goshen, Indiana a few days ago, the saying kept running through my mind. I asked Wayne and he had never heard it. I finally "googled" the phrase and this is what I found:  

"Land O Goshen!" is a Southern expression of amazement or frustration. The Land of Goshen is a place refererenced twice in the Bible: once as a province of Egypt, during the time of Joseph and again in the Book of Joshua. After Moses led the Jews from Egypt (Goshen) and Joshua finally led them into Canann, they named a portion of the Promised Land "Goshen". This may be why the phrase is used as an exclamation of amazement and frustration, as the Land of Goshen was the place of the Israelites bondage, and later a place in the Promised Land.

So now, whether you've ever heard "Land O Goshen!" or not, you know where the phrase originated.


  1. I cannot believe they put you on those sites. I know exactly where they are and they aren't nice. How disappointing for you. But you did get to meet some nice folks and hopefully were able to learn a few things about your rig that you didn't know.

  2. We're sure the memories of the great people and information will outlast the memories of the dust and train. I forgot to mention how bad the TICKS were in that area too. We found two -- one on Wayne's shirt, another on the couch -- none on Lexie or Ozzie, thank goodness.

  3. I'm not familiar of how many families live in motorhomes, until I saw your post about the annual gathering of motorhome owners. Seeing you guys happy with your retirement WITH your motorhome convinces me how great it is to own one.