Friday, May 19, 2023

The Beast is Ba-a-a-a-ck!

After 31 days in the shop, we got our "Beast" back...our Dodge Ram 3500 dually. Caliber Collision in Elkhart did a fantastic job. The truck looks brand new. They kept us informed by text messages all along the way where they were in the completion of repairs. They even informed us of a recall for something called a drag link, something to do with the steering alignment. We had never received any notification from Chrysler/Dodge about that. Josh, the technician at Caliber, researched more about that as it is a two stage repair that should be covered under warranty, yet Chrysler is not making this recall widely known. We will tackle that hurdle in the near future. We highly recommend Caliber if you ever need body work done on your car or truck. 

The latest on our Pinnacle fifth wheel is that Progressive was not happy with the 51,000.00 estimate from one repair company in the area and went "shopping" for two other possibilities for us. That 51,000.00 estimate was for replacing the entire side wall of the driver side of the RV along with a 12,000.00 cost for replacement decals (included in that cost). Everyone who has looked at the damage directly seems to think that big expense is not necessary, that the damaged fiberglass and frame can be repaired and the wall will still be structurally sound. After reviewing quotes, we have a repair date of August 14th with Allegiant RV Service and Sales. That's the soonest we can get in. We will discuss thoroughly our concerns about the difference in repair costs with both our insurance rep and the repair company about the repairs that are to be done. We want to be sure the rig will be structurally sound and not have cracking issues or other frame issues down the road.

In the meantime, we CANNOT travel. We cannot risk the cracks and broken fiberglass/bent support frames getting worse if we travel somewhere, limping along with our rig. We are so lucky we were able to drive it back to Elkhart to get it fixed,  so here we stay. We will be in Elkhart, IN all summer and well into the fall while we wait for the repairs to get done. Even if the rig should be completed sooner, Sparky is enjoying subbing so much that we have decided to stay till November so she can teach and earn some extra money. One can ALWAYS use some extra money, right? Like for craft supplies, haha. (Just kidding, Eldy!) 

Sparky is subbing a LOT--they really need subs. Sparky only subs K-3, for many reasons. Stay tuned for more on that later. The other day, a kid asked her, "How old are you?" And when she said, "Seventy-two", the kids all gasped and that same kid said, "DANG! That's OLD! How are you still alive?"

early May for trilliums

Sparky has been riding the Pumpkinvine Bike Trail and watching the sequence of wildflowers blooming as the weeks move along and the temperatures warm. This is a wonderful bike trail, and Sparky has written about it many times. It's May and the trillium are waning....This deep rose one was a beauty and even as it fades, it's still gorgeous, a rare color on the trail.

The wild geranium are coming on strong.....
Greater celandine are adding a beautiful yellow POP to the scenery....
If you get on the Pumpkinvine Trail between Abshire Park in Goshen and head towards Middlebury, you pass an Amish ice cream shop called "Mooey's". They have good burgers and great ice cream, and a small farm pen out back where you can see newborn piglets in spring and this awesome turkey strutting his stuff. One of Sparky's dubious skills is she can really gobble like a turkey, so when nobody was around at the moment, she let loose with some gobbledygook, but this one wasn't having any of it and strutted off. (Sparky also clucks and communes regularly with the chickens in the chicken coop right outside our door, explains E.) We get to have fresh eggs, still warm from laying for breakfast! (FOCUS, Sparky! reminds Eldo).
Oh, right. Many local Amish frequent this ice cream shop that opens in late April. In they come on horseback down the country lane, in their buggies or on their bikes, so you can hobnob with the Amish, although very briefly. They are reticent, usually, and photos are a big no-no, but it's great to see the old order Amish and their families enjoying ice cream as much as the next person. 

Eldy is going to take up golf again while we are here. He's got more family in this area, and they are all excited to have him here for awhile to play golf and visit. So he's enjoying picking up the sport again!

So, with that update, we will leave you right there....If we do anything noteworthy or new developments crop up, we will keep you posted! Thanks for reading and following along with us....
                                         Sparky and Eldo


  1. Enjoy your summer and fall in Indiana beautiful country side

    1. Thank you, we will...Hope it's not going to be a record breaking heat this summer in Indiana!

  2. I am SO happy for an update, even though I'm sure it's not the update you guys wanted.

    Love your decision making. Safety is paramount in all things, and traveling with worries would not be fun in the least.

    Carry on, and enjoy that golfing Eldy. It has become Dave's life. Happy life. . .happy wife. Love my mornings while Dave is off golfing!

    1. Hi, Janice. Eldy has needed an interest for some time besides researching and planning, so I'm glad he's going to be getting some exercise, too!

  3. Thanks for the up date and good luck with the repairs. Hope you have a great summer .

  4. I totally get the only subbing K-3 thing. :) I'm really enjoying reading and relating to your sub stories! Sorry to hear about your current travel restrictions, but it seems like you're making the best of it!