Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indiana State Football Weekend, Sept. 22, 2007

Ken was busy all week preparing for our next outing.

The latest addition to the RV is a cellular booster and antennae system. We seem to spend a lot of time in out-of-the-way state parks and back roads so he really wanted to have something that helped insure we had phone access to our guys and my work when needed. Hopefully it would also improve the number of places my air card for my laptop works as well.

Since we have little-to-no signal in Fox Ridge State Park this would be a good weekend for testing. We were able to prove that Ken did have it hooked up appropriately as it did boost signal giving us up to 5 bars where before we weren’t getting any reliable signal. Unfortunately, you have to have the cell phone or air card almost right on top of the inside antennae before it works. The other possible problem is that the booster box seems to get really warm in the cabinet where Ken has it discretely mounted. There is a different antennae Ken may have to buy to solve the first problem. He’s going to call the manufacturer about the booster getting hot. In the meantime, we are not leaving it on for long periods, and we leave the cabinet where Ken has it installed open to disippate the heat. Once Ken has the chinks out I’ve asked him to include more info here for those interested in how this works.

Ken finished the booster/antennae job by Wednesday so that on Thursday he could focus on doing another round of cooking for the boys. This time he made vegetable soup and sloppy joes…continuing the theme of having things the guys would get to enjoy if they were outside tailgating before the game instead of inside getting ready to play the game.

I ordered a cherry and peach pie from the Amish restaurant in Sullivan. That made for a good excuse for us to stop there for lunch Friday on the drive over. Absolutely awesome buffet and a lady in Amish attire, who looked like she could have been my Grandma Genenbacher, brought our pies out of the kitchen just as we were finishing our meal. They were still warm from the oven and it was lucky we were both stuffed from the buffet because they added a great aroma inside the RV for the last hour of the trip.

We had campsite #10 this time. It looked ok but ended up being a bit uneven and took some blocks under the tires to get leveled. We’ve decided that for our needs campsite #12 is by far the best will lots of room for the dogs. #11 is a close second so long as we keep the dogs out of the tree sap and #7 or #9 would probably be ok as well if our top picks are reserved. Unfortunately, now that we’ve gotten to know the park we probably won’t be back again this football season.

Because Ken had almost all the food prepared in advance, all we had to do was get the soup on our ‘Big Gas Grill’ burner and the sloppy joes and nacho dip warming in the crockpots. Then, we kicked back and enjoyed a late afternoon siesta before the guys arrived.

I barely had time to get things uncovered before Trevor was digging in.

He’d brought 6 other Panther dinner guests. Notice the orange topped bottles on the table. They went through 21 gatorades during the meal besides all the sloppy joes, 3 bags of nachos, with dip, lot of vegetable soup and 2 fruit pies. There’s not much worry about leftovers with this crew!

The guys came in to the RV and watched the ISU game we had taped. I hadn’t thought about it but they don’t usually get to see the TV broadcasts so while they have to relive these games with the coaches again and again on tape, the broadcast version really gave them a different perspective. They have to keep things pretty low-key the night before the game so we they weren’t in any hurry to take off which made it nice.

Once they did head out, Ken and I finished the cleanup and then took the dogs for a walk under an almost full moon, and then called it an early night.

Saturday morning, Trevor dropped by for breakfast. We enjoyed time with the coffee pot out on the patio and walked the campground with the dogs. As usual there are always interesting new neighbors to meet. There was a large group of Amish enjoying a weekend outing together. We also met a 65-year-old man and his wife who were adopting 4 small foster children, at least one that obviously had special needs. What an amazing commitment to make at that stage of life—how lucky those little one’s are to happen into the arms of such loving people.

We took our time on our way over to Terre Haute. We stopped in Greenup, IL for lunch.

It’s know of as ‘Village of Porches’. We had been told they had a really great restaurant called the Stockyard, but after driving around the town a bit we decided instead that we really weren’t very hungry and stopped instead

at Janet’s CafĂ© for lunch…while the building itself appears to be very old and a bit rundown, they appears to have a very good ‘working man’s lunch fare including a great homemade butter brick/heath bar cake that day.

Since we had time and were in the jeep we took the two-lanes over to Indiana. It was a lovely drive through farmland and wooded areas that are just showing a twinge of gold and orange at this early start into autumn.

The Terre Haute Memorial Stadium where the Sycamores play football is a large stone structure that was once a baseball stadium, now converted for football. Compared to Purdue, we were able to park closeby and spent time checking out the area around the stadium.

Do you recognize the name Max Carey? Well, you know more about baseball than me if you do (which doesn’t take much).

Max Carey – is Terre Haute’s contribution to baseball. Ken was amazed at a couple of his 1922 stats in particular, stole base 51 or 53 attempts that year and holds record for being on base most times in one game with 9 times. This is the kind of fun stuff we enjoy finding when we are able to take our time and explore a bit.

Since Indiana State is known for its basketball (eg., Larry Byrd, John Wooden), their football team isn’t exactly to that caliber, so we weren’t facing a packed stadium ...

and were able to be pretty close to the boys during warmups.

Here’s Coach Spoo, Trev and a horde of Panthers headed out toward the field and some unsuspecting flag girl !

We got a tip from Pug, that we could ditch the stands and watch the game from behind the visiting team bench.

Here’s the Larson, Frericks and Nasti families enjoying the game from that very comfortable vantage point.

In fact, it even gave us the chance to be close enough to hear a lot more of the sideline chatter.

Here’s Coach Roc and the d-line strategizing.

It was actually a pretty relaxed game. There was never much question of the outcome as we were ahead within a few minutes of kickoff and by 4th quarter were purposely not further running up the score. A lot of EIU players got playing time. We spent some time with Trev and the guys outside the locker room after the game and then drove the hour back to Fox Ridge State Park.

Sox and Ditka were very happy to see us and take a nice long walk. With a cool breeze through the RV bedroom, all 4 of us were sacked out before 11pm.

We enjoyed a quiet morning around the campground and had Trev out to for breakfast at what was much closer to lunchtime. We took our time and packed up and were on the road by about 1:30.

As usual, it’s on the road home when I get the time to write this blog. We’re passing the smokestacks in Springfield right now and the Cubs are beating the Pirates right now 8-0 so Ken’s enjoying the drive home!

Weekends like this are the best…we don’t have to rush anything or hurry anywhere….and EIU wins!!!

Stay tuned…next weekend is Trail of Tears State Park, and the EIU game against Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Hugs, C

No comments: