Heartland LTV’ers 2024 Spring Rally

Heartland LTV'ers
All articles Close

The Heartland LTV’ers 2024 spring rally was held at Fort Massac State Park near Metropolis, Illinois, from April 29 through May 3. The rally started with rain for check-in and our evening meal, but the clouds rolled on, leaving the area with beautiful weather for most of the rally.

Our evening was a time of meeting new people and catching up with old acquaintances. Everyone enjoyed a catered meal from a long-time local establishment called Bill’s Bar-BQ, which Van City of St Louis provided. The catered meal was exactly what everyone needed to refresh themselves after a long, windy travel day for many attendees.

Thank you to the ‘new members’ for volunteering to serve

Introductions helped us discover that the Chicago area was represented by about one-third in attendance, and many were at a Heartland LTV’ers rally for the first time. Later in the evening, the rain found us retreating to our coaches to escape the chilly and wet weather.

Tuesday morning brought welcome sunshine and breakfast sandwiches provided by LTV. Following an overview of the rally agenda, Ken Johnson led a discussion on ‘Coach Maintenance Awareness.’ Then, the group made its way to the Park Visitor Center, where everyone enjoyed a presentation given by Sheryl Durham, Tourism Director for Metropolis, Illinois, sharing things to do in that area, a little history of the Fort, and a walk-through museum.

Kim Kleinhans and Anita Reid led an afternoon session on ‘How to use your Convection Oven’. Both ladies prepared cakes and muffins just for the class.

Eight members volunteered to use their oven instructions by preparing a breakfast casserole and agreeing to bake it for Wednesday’s breakfast. This cooking class, which included student participation, was declared a great success by everyone who enjoyed the morning casserole.

As promised, here is the recipe that we used for the class:

Egg Bake Casserole

3 – 3.5 oz seasoned croutons
1/2 lb sausage
1 C sharp cheddar, shredded
1 C pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 eggs, beaten
1 C Half and Half
3/4 C milk
3/4 tsp dry mustard

  1. Cook sausage, and drain.
  2. Spread croutons in a lightly greased 8×8 pan.
  3. Cover croutons with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
  4. Sprinkle cooked sausage over cheeses.
  5. In a large bowl, beat eggs, cream, milk, and mustard; pour the mixture over the sausage.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Bake 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
  8. Let stand before serving.

For an afternoon activity on Monday and Tuesday, Susan Butler taught everyone interested in learning how to play pickleball. Susan brought all the equipment needed and was very patient with everyone! Thank you, Susan—it was fun!

Again, in the evening, we gathered for supper and games afterward. Patrick Reid taught us how to play a dice game called Nickels. Yes, nickels were needed to play the game. Lots of laughter yells of joy, and, yes, loud moaning were a part of this new game!

Now, when finally calling it a day a few members chose to play possum as a ‘friendly’ neighborhood skunk made its way across the meeting area and headed towards the river. Thank heavens the uninvited visitor paid no attention to our presence and went on his way without a care.

Wednesday morning, everyone enjoyed the egg bake that was put together the day before in class. Thank you, volunteers! You did a great job of using (many for the first time) your convection oven successfully!

The day’s classes included “Travel Planning for a Group”, led by Rob Westfall. Rob shared the process needed to get the campsites and campgrounds you would like when traveling with other LTVs. He shared his 2023 travels with friends who were there and chimed in with their suggestions and encouragement of traveling with others as you journey in your LTV.

Kelly Westphal led a class on “Safety in and out of Your Coach.” The morning ended with a breakout session with “Ford Chassis Maintenance,” led by John Hasse, and the “Mercedes Chassis Maintenance” led by Rob Westphal—SKYMed provided lunch.

The afternoon was left for time on your own and pickleball. Supper included Chicago hot dogs, chips, and root beer floats, among a few other fixes.

After cleaning up, a drawing was held for the gift giveaways provided by LTV: an “On The Go” Water Softener provided by On The Go – Portable Water Softeners and two handmade bathroom sink covers made and donated by Bob Butler and the evening ended with a campfire and a game of Catch Phrase.

Thursday began with pancakes and all leftovers. It was decided that the last morning coffee would not happen because of the rain forecast. As it turned out, the weatherman was correct, and Friday morning was a soggy one!

Morning sessions were ‘Show and Tell’ led by Angie Kramer and ‘What happens when your Macerator gives out? Can you fix it?’ led by Sam Langham. Both were enlightening and provided great tips and knowledge for that moment that many of us never want to face. The final session was a breakout into floorplans, where we discussed likes, dislikes, and how to handle this or that in each plan. Learning from one another is priceless! Following the morning classes, seven coaches were made available so everyone could see the upgrades and special choices they had made.

Our last gathering time for the spring rally was a Thursday evening meal provided by LTV. Once again, the rains began, and it was time to retreat to our coaches.

I want to recognize these two, Patrick and Anita Reid–thank you for all you do to help us in making this rally happen and Patrick thank you for taking all the pictures.

Someone new best summed up the Heartland LTV’ers spring rally: “We’re really just a big family!” I agree with their observation. It is a joy to meet new people and reconnect with friends and acquaintances—along the way, you become just like family! And just like with family, we celebrate birthdays! Happy 84th Birthday, Monte! Thank you, Carolyn, for the yummy cake!

If you would like to become a part of the Heartland LTV’ers, join our club on MyLTV and join us for the fall rally in Iowa or in the spring of 2025 in Branson, Missouri. An invitation for that spring rally will come later this summer.

Written by: Kendra Johnson

Heartland LTV'ers

Related Posts