Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Purdue Football Weekend, Sept. 8 2007

We hooked up and pulled out about 9am on Friday morning, Sept. 7th.

Since our last trip Ken had some graphics added to the side of the jeep to coordinate it with ‘Baby’. Ken was able to order them for $40 and nephew-in-law Jim did an awesome job of applying them for us.

I had been asked to put a series of cost models together for work while we were on the road, so I focus on my laptop while Ken fought the winds from the incoming weather front.

We did make a stop at Hopper RV in Jacksonville, IL. Ken had the replacement ladder delivered to that Coachmen dealership so that we could pick it up on the trip. To be able to transport it, since it is one-piece and LONG, he had to duck tape the new ladder to the old ladder until we could get back home and he could properly install.

We pulled in to the Prophetstown State Park and Ken snapped these shots of the site just before it started raining. It was about this same time that I was notified from work that there’d been a change in direction and I needed an entire new set of cost models sent in by Sunday evening…the weekend wasn’t off to a great start!

The good news was that Prophetstown State Park was really nice and almost brand new. The sites were well laid out, with paving grass, a nice patio and firepit area covered with small gravel, and reasonable privacy for a new park. There were lots of pine, fir, spruce trees, beautiful natural prairie areas and miles of paved bike paths. The campgroupnd is actually a new addition to Historic Prophetstown which has a working 1920’s farm and an Indian village to visit. The bad news was that we were only there for the weekend and wouldn’t be able to take in all there was to offer.

I did get a few minutes to check out the playground which was in a wooded area and so big I couldn’t get it all in one shot.

We walked the dogs between the raindrops and met lot’s of neighbors who were diehard Purdue fans.

The prior evening’s rains gifted us with a cool, foggy walk with the dogs on Saturday morning.

One of our neighbors provided directions to a free parking area near the stadium. By the time we were in West Lafayette and parked, the foggy morning had turned into stifling humidity.

We got a few minutes to wish Trev luck before the game, then met the Larson’s (Pug’s family, #59) at the ‘will call’ office. We all picked up our tickets and headed back to their car for a little tailgating.

Back at the stadium, here's Drew Cairo-Gross, one of Trev's housemates, and team captain, looking pretty concerned about what Coach Spoo it telling him he's going to face on the field.

The Purdue students in one section of the 53,000 fans were amusing themselves pre-game by bouncing around a giant inflatable..... oh, gross!

The game itself was a fiasco. As Ken told Purdue fans at the campground later, "Yeah, we had you guys worried....right up to the first kickoff!"

But I guess to put on a good spin...Trev got plenty of playing time. Here he is attempting to block a field goal (keep your eye on # 65!)

Hard to pass-rush with these two guys in the way!

Ok, an then things got a lot started to rain and rain and rain. As the teams came back on the field after half time, but before the kickoff, there was an announcement. A severe electrical storm was headed in and all fans must evacuate the stadium and seek shelter immediately. At first I don't think fans were taking it too seriously but then the police and security staff began requiring people to move toward the exits.

We spent the next 45-60 minutes sitting in the basketball arena watching the radar map on the jumbotron.

Not many fans went back to sit in the downpour to watch the game after that.

The final score was Purdue a-whole-lot and EIU not-very-many.

We waited outside the locker room and met up with Trev and the guys for awhile after and then took our time walking in the rain back to the parking garage. Strange to have been sweating on the way to the game and have my teeth chattering from being wet and cold on the way back from the game!

The pups were glad to see us back at the RV and Ken took them out for a walk while I got rid out of my soaked clothes and into something warmer. Ken had joked on his way out that he'd have to go take the abuse now from all the Purdue fans.

We had laid out salmon for dinner but Ken was taking his own sweet time about getting back from the walk. When he did show up he had a beer in hand and told me to get my shoes on and grab some drinks...oh, and throw the salmon back in the fridge!

As it turns out we were invited to spend the evening with 2 great couples from the Indy area who we'd met the day before. They were avid Purdue fans 'but cheered for 65 too'! They had tailgated at the campground and watch their dish satellite on the Big Ten Channel. They shared their gameday feast with us including some bean and vegetable soup that really was perfect for the rainy, chilly evening.

One of the couples, Randy and Eileen, have a child living down by St. Louis and stay down their in Babler State Park which just happens to be nearby our RV dealer. So, we all talked about perhaps getting to meet up again. I really hope so since they were all great fun.

Isn't it strange - we've lived in our house 20 years and I can't remember every just spontaneously popping over to a neighbors backyard and setting around enjoying the evening together--like I've said repeatedly, this friendly RV neighborhood atmosphere is one of my very favorite parts of this lifestyle.

About 11pm Sox started getting tired and kept crawling up on my lap trying to find a comfortable spot to snuggle in for the evening. She was making it pretty clear she was ready to go home to bed. We finally had sympathy for her and headed back in for the night.

We slept in Sunday morning, then Ken fixed a big breakfast and we packed up. We spent quite a while standing around talking to folks parked nearby.

I spent the drive back organizing on the new set of cost models for work Monday while Ken listened to baseball and football games. Sox and Ditka got to play with an 8 week old golden retriever at the rest stop which I'm sure was one of the highlights of their weekend!

Well with the rain, the stifling humidity, the big football defeat, the rain, the stadium evacuation, half the time spent on work, the rain, the cold, and absolutely no time to explore our surrounding beautiful, this wasn't one of our best weekends. But even with all that, we still had plenty of fun in between the raindrops and anxiously await next weekends game between two nationally ranked teams as Eastern Illinois hosts Illinois State.

Hugs, C

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