10.07.13 Winnebago Factory Tour – Forest City, Iowa

On Sunday we attended Worship Services at First Baptist Church in Forest City, Iowa.  Very friendly people  and what a blessing to be back in a Baptist church. Their Senior Pastor Eric Weaver preached a phenomenal sermon from Malachi.  He taught while he preached and it made everything much easer to understand.  I don’t know how long he preached but  I’d have loved to heard more.

This morning, Monday, we toured the Winnebago factory.  They do not allow pictures to be taken inside the plant which is a real shame because it was fascinating to see all the aspects of assembling their beautiful RVs.  I did find some pictures on the web and am posting them below. I took several outside pictures if I thought it was interesting. The first pictures below are of old RVs that are on display inside the Visitor’s Center.  Before the tour we watched a 15 minute video telling about everything we were going to see which helped us understand it when we went into the plants to see it.

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The facility is huge and employs thousands of folks. We saw ceramic tile being installed on sheets of wood which will be  lifted in the air onto the RV.   I the RV gets vinyl they lower a sheet of wood on to the frame; and then install the vinyl.  We also went to the fabric shop where all of the window curtains, bedspreads, sofa coverings and driver/passenger seat covers were made.  We watched fabric being cut using a stream of water and a demonstration of how the foam filling is put into the cloth covering for a sofa.  They shrink the foam (which is extremely cool to see) in this soft  saran wrap like stuff to make it easier to get the foam in and out to clean the fabric.   This was a great, great tour and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to buy an RV if you happen to be up in Iowa.

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We’re ging to tour the Fleetwood plant when we get to Indiana.  It will be very interesting to us to see how our own RV was made.

It’s about noon now and we just pulled out, taken Dora to the potty and filled up our fresh water tank.  We’re on I-35 headed to Lake Shore Resort in Oelwein, Iowa about 2-1/2 hours away.  It usually takes us twice as long to get somewhere than it should because e like to stop along the way and see things There is beautiful farm land and the sky is clear today so it should b a nice ride

‘We’re planning to go to Dyersville, Iowa tomorrow to see the Field of Dreams.  I’ll let ya’ll know how that goes

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.05.13 Forest City and Mason City, Iowa

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Forest City, Iowa

Our first Saturday off in months!  I can love Saturdays again!!!

We’re giving our son power-of-attorney to represent us at the act of sale for our rental property on Brenda Drive.  We needed to get the power of attorney notarized so I did a google search and found the nearest notary was a few miles way in Mason City, Iowa at a PostNet store.

We drove over there, seeing many thousand acres of corn fields along the way.  Just what I’ve always thought back roads Iowa would look like.  I promise I won’t post a picture of every wind turbine we see but in one of the corn pictures there are about 30 turbines in the distance.  If you click on the second corn field picture and enlarge it you can see them. It’s amazing how many of these we see here.

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Iowa cornfields on the back roads
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Corn fields with several turbines in the distance

The young manager, Jennifer, at PostNet was very nice and helpful.  However, as we were going over the paper we realized that we needed two witnesses (which couldn’t include the notary) but there was no one else in the store.  Not to be stopped I said “I’ll go recruit some people from the store next door.”  The store was a Rue 21 which had many customers in the store.  One of the two sales ladies asked if she could help me so I told her what we needed and I felt like I was in one of those reality shows that put people on the spot. While she was discussing this with the only other sales lady I see Roy outside talking to a young lady and figured he was recruiting her.  Into the store they walked and sure enough she said she would be a witness.  I turned around to the sales ladies and told them we only need one witness now so one of them came with us and the young lady from outside over to the PostNet store.  They witnessed us signing the form and we thanked them and the manager for their services. If you’ve had anything notarized in Louisiana you know that it normally costs $15 to $25.  Here in Iowa at the PostNet it was only $8.  I like that and I really like the nice ladies, Dana and Andrea, who were our witnesses today.  Thanks for being our Good Samaritans today!

We road around Mason City and Forest City today and came across a bunch of cars parked along both sides of the road in front of the Forest City Cow Palace with a crowd of people standing around outside the cow palace.  We parked and walked over to the crowd. It soon became apparent that they were having a farm equipment auction.  We watched an old tractor being auctioned and head the auctioneer doing his thing which was fascinating.  After that was sold they went over to some farm gates and started bidding. It was an interesting event to see but we weren’t going to buy anything so we didn’t stay too long.

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The Winnebago factory is a big thing here and there is even a Winnebago River.  We saw that there is a swinging bridge across the river and stopped to check it out.  We don’t know the story behind this but every board on the bridge was engraved with someone’s name or In Memory Of someone.   I hope you can make out some of the names in the pictures.  The bridge lead to a beautiful golf course.  I’m normally a real scaredy cat about swinging bridges but I sucked it up and was a big girl today and Roy was very proud of how brave I was!!

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Roy enjoying the view from the Winnebago River swinging bridge
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Rosalyn along the shore of the Winnebago River
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The golf course side of the bridge

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Even though we didn’t plan to be in Forest City but a couple of hours I’m glad we are. staying the weekend

We drove around town  and saw these neat house representative of local houses here and neat painting on the side of one of the businesses.

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fc side of bldg.Tomorrow we’ll go to church at First Baptist Church of Forest City and hope we get to see the Saints on TV and maybe look around the area more.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.04.13 Bye, bye Minnesota – Iowa here we come!

1239871_424507554319814_426618956_nToday we said goodbye to Minnesota.  Since we’ve spent so much time there this summer we probably won’t return anytime soon.  It is such a beautiful state and we are very thankful to have been able to spend time there.  Here’s pictures of our comfy little home spot in the Camping World’s parking lot.  It’s interesting how, after you get use to all this, it doesn’t feel odd to live in a parking lot. 

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One of the things that we purchased from Camping World while we were there is cord that allows us to plug into 2-30 amp outlets to get the 50 amps we need to have full power.  Since all parks don’t have 50 amp sites this is a great way around that. 

We stopped at Northfield, MN where we strolled down the  streets of the little town until we came to First National Bank where Jessie James and his brother and 6 other men tried to rob the bank in 1876.  The bank is still set up like it was back then and we got to walk through it, go in the vault, see the paper ledgers they kept back then of people’s accounts.  We watched a video of an annual reenactment they do of the robbery.  The robbers hopes were to get $300,000 but they only came away with $26.  Jessie James and his brother were the only ones that lived through the shoot out surrounding the robbery and the search for them afterwards.   The city is very quaint and historic looking. I loved the sign made out of pieces of license plates outside a shop called MAKESHIFT ACCESSORIES.  We stopped at a garden center on the way and took some pictures since it looked so harvesty.  We also stopped at the Quality Bakery for donuts but they wouldn’t let me take pictures of the inside of their shop.  It was really cool looking on the inside but all we could take pictures of was outside so of course I did. 

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Welcome to Northfield, MN
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This was on the sidewalk and I don’ have any idea why or what it mea!
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Garden Center in downtown Northfield
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Garden center in downtown Norhfield, MN
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Unique store sign in downtown Northfield, MN
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The bank in Northfield that the James brothers robbed
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Jesse James and his brother – they don’t look anything like I imagined!

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Traveling down the backroads in Northfield we came across a wind turbine which I took a picture of.  Later we came across about 20 in one place and couldn’t get my camera out in time.  We also saw a neat Christmas tree farm with hundreds of baby Christmas trees growing.

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Our Garmin GPS is turning out to be very handy and helpful.  It alerts us to traffic problems, weather problems and when we’re coming up to a state line.  It also knows when an overpass is too low for us to go under and changes our path accordingly.  Knowing when the state lines are coming up can better prepare me to take pictures of the states welcoming signs.  The picture of our entry into Iowa wasn’t too clear but we’re here now and that’s what matters..

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After our visit to Northfield, we headed to Forest City, Iowa where the Winnebago Manufacturing Plant is located for a tour to see how that brand of RVs are made.  Being new at this travel planning I forgot (when we decided to stay an extra day at the luxurious Camping World spot) that they only have tours Monday through Friday at 9 am or 1 pm and we’re going to arrive there betweent 3:30 and 4:00 so we called them and they said it is okay for us to stay there hooked up for the weekend and take the 9 am tour.   

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We’re here in Forest City now and settling into our weekend home at the Winnebago factory.  We may decide to skip the Monday tour and leave before then.  We’ll see how we feel as time goes on! 

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!