Camp in the Airstream in Indianapolis on Race Weekend?

Last year, after attending Alumapalooza, a great rally held in Jackson Center OH by R and B Events, we were on a serious quest for Apple Genius bar help on a portable drive/router we’d bought. Fortunately for us, the Apple Store in Indianapolis is easily accessible from the Interstate. Most times we get excellent assistance from the Apple store pros and we always look forward to correcting what we’ve goofed up on our devices and learning something. We fared less well that time, but whetted our appetite for a later visit to Indianapolis.

One year later we’re again heading west from Jackson Center, but this time to a very sweet little town a little north of Indianapolis, Noblesville IN. Our friends Carolyn and Mike invited us to stay with them and gave us a nice choice — park in Indianapolis or park in the countryside near Noblesville. Hmm, it’s Memorial Day weekend, the Indy 500 runs this weekend, there’ll be 1/2 million folks in and around Indianapolis. What would you do?

Nice place to stay

Nice place to stay

We parked in Carolyn’s meadow for the long holiday weekend. Good choice! It was quiet in her part of the countryside, we had lots of room, partial shade, 3amp electric, all much better than we usually bargain for. Little did we know, our hosts had even more in store for us.


Mike and Carolyn drove us into Indianapolis, gave us a nice tour, and we visited the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum. We spent a wonderful afternoon slowly touring the exhibit, then had a bite to eat at the museum’s patio café, and returned to speed crawl the remaining exhibits. Not at all fair to Remington and CM Russell, but we just weren’t there for them this time.

Hmm, there's a start switch somewhere. . .

We took a day off enjoying life in the country. A little hiking, some great eating, and we were ready for some aviation. Rick, Carolyn’s neighbor, showed us one of his little project UFOs. Actually, they’re UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, I guess it means. He has tremendous electronics skills and plenty of energy, and has put a little of it into building some really neat UAVs.

It does much more than just fly

It does much more than just fly

Rick skillfully (he humbly admits, skill involves painful and sometimes expensive errors) piloted the six-motor battery-driven UAV up, then up some more and more. No matter how high he took it, we could still hear the carbon-fiber rotors spinning. And he was able to track where it was and also, with a GoPro camera, watch us or anything else he wanted to track.

Wow! This is so COOL!

Wow! This is so COOL!

Debbie watched the monitor briefly, fascinated by the amount of information and the video quality. It displayed both the GoPro camera live video and the UAV’s vital statistics including altitude, speed, and battery usage/life.

You're letting him fly it?

You’re letting him fly it?

We don’t know what Rick was thinking, but he let Jim pilot the UAV for a couple of minutes. Two joysticks moving back and forth, the UAV soared, dipped, and went left and right. Jim may never get one like Rick’s hand built from scratch model, but maybe a ready-to-fly would be fun. . .

Conner Prairie experience

Conner Prairie experience

The next day, having experienced all facets of country living (there’s not more to it, is there?) Mike and Carolyn drove us to Conner Prairie, an interesting living history park nearby. We spent the afternoon talking with the “actors”, enjoying how they respond to out of context questions or remarks. They are dressed for and reenacting life in 1836. When you ask one of them about any terms or concepts newer than 1836, like sanitation or sterility, they are most likely to give you a blank stare then ask, “What’s that word again?” Wonderfully done, and a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.

Image captured by spy guy

Image captured by spy guy

We did more, we ate more, we saw more — but without further elaboration suffice to say, we had a great visit with our fun friends and look forward to another visit sometime.


15 responses to “Camp in the Airstream in Indianapolis on Race Weekend?

  1. What a wonderful place to stay for the holiday weekend…..score. It doesn’t get much better. Love the GoPro shots :-)

    • Definitely, Ingrid. We tell folks, we only make campground reservations for the long weekends (okay, “holidays” in the US). We were really lucky this Memorial Day weekend to be at our friends’ place. The GoPro shots were another lucky surprise. Fun!


  2. Hey, nice post! I’m Cameron and I’m very interested in style and traveling. I think you would enjoy my posts; I would really appreciate a follow back! Thanks!

  3. Nice campsite. Our Safari is currently camping at a friend’s house too.
    Having friends as campground hosts is the best! And the price is, well, priceless (I am going to pay for our electric usage out of gratitude).
    Now besides having my sights on a good metal detector, an UAV photo vehicle has also moved onto my wish list.
    We’re in the Ozarks until end of June and then heading towards South Dakota.
    Thanks for the post guys and happy trails…

    • So many toys, so little time, Bob. We saw probably the nicest (read: $$$) UAV we’ll get this close to. Rick knows what he’s doing, and loves playing with these. He designs and builds these from scratch. I wondered what EE degrees were for . . . Just kidding.

  4. Carols Gmail

    Love it, love it!!


  5. Only 3 amps? I bet you meant 30… regards, Bob Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    • No, really like about 3a. The number is a loose reference to rally power, where a bunch of us share a 15-20a circuit with a couple of four-way outlet boxes. If everyone turns their fridges to gas operation and uses the 120vac circuit only for maintaining their batteries, 3-4 amps can be enough for each trailer.

      This apparently was a 15a circuit with 250 feet of cord to the fence line, then we plugged a 50′ 12-3 tool cord into it and an adapter at the trailer’s shore power inlet. So with insertion losses at the plugs and over 300′ of extension cord, there was voltage but not much power. A little north of 3 amps (360 – 400 watts) is about what we seemed to have. It ran the fridge, all we needed. The solar panels keep the batteries up pretty much on their own.

      Thanks for your comment.


      • I really thought it was a typo Jim.
        I haven’t run that much cord from a 15A circuit on our travels yet. It seems like a pretty big resistance resulted with the long, small gauge conductors and connection losses you had on your circuit. I wonder how many connections overall on the cords? I recently purchased a 10/3 30A 25′ extension cord to reach my friend’s 30A receptacle and then discovered just how much power loss occurs at insertions/connections. Didn’t measure it but sure could feel the heat loss at connectors…
        We have a GoPower 120W portable solar panel unit that hasn’t been used yet… I think I’ll eventually mount a couple of panels topside like yours, but our panel is ideal if we are parked in shade. I can just set the panel up where the sun is shining. But… it is not as secure from wandering away…

      • The first length of cord is Rick’s from the barn down to the field. It’s 250′. Yeah, I’ve never carried that much either, HI.

        Good on the GoPower portable panel. It should keep you going out there, and because you can accurately tilt it and spin it to track the sun, you’ll get good output. We’ve seen portables in use but didn’t notice if they tethered with steel cable. I guess I would.

        I like GoPower – they market nice things like our tilting kit, a swift automatic transfer switch with bypass for charger/converter, inverters and, of course, pv panels.


  6. Carolyn Beardshear

    Hey, we represent that! Glad you had a good time. We sure did and Rick and Nancy want you back. So do we. Your parking spot is available any time.

    • I would also have talked about the great dinners and breakfasts on the deck, and dining with Rick and Nancy and also at Matteo’s in Noblesville with you and the Bells, but for two problems. One, people wouldn’t believe anyone would take such good care of me, and Two, it might seem like bragging to share just how great a time we had. Thanks for hosting us. We’ll get our road finished and invite you all up to our place soon.


  7. Jim and Deb,
    Thanks for the report on you visit and the joy of camping on friend’s property. Reading about the GoPro made me want to put it on my wish list. When you build in Ashe County, will you be including a guest area with 3 amp. service? See you down the road.

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