Archives for 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 – Travel Day to Brother Jeff’s House

Once again set the alarm early. Rain came in during the night, so everything was wet when we started getting up. Easy send-off though, with the horses in a corral and no satellite dish. Grabbed breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (after two miles of washboard road again), a quick stop at Royal Battery in Palm Bay to pick up two Trojan batteries for the new RV, arriving at Brother Jeff’s by 12:30. There was a bulldozer blocking the driveway, he was in the process of putting up a large sign over the entrance to his abode, and the bulldozer was, in essence, his means of reaching heights capable of putting in the sign. He moved it so we could come in, and we quickly got the horses settled into one of his paddocks, and set the RV in a place that would make it easy to make the transition to the new RV. We left shortly thereafter, setting bug bombs off in order to take care of a bunch of ladybugs that had been with us since South Carolina, as well as anything we might have picked up along the way, and drove to the RV dealer to finally see our new unit in person. It was almost everything we had hoped for, with just a few difficulties we’ll have to figure out how to overcome. Spent several hours there going over what modifications would need to be made, then headed back home to find a short but strong rainstorm had stopped work on the sign. We soon got in, though, aired out the RV and relaxed the rest of the evening, content we would all get a good night’s sleep tonight, knowing we had a plan for the next few weeks!

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 – Travel Day to Tiger Bay WMA

Set the alarm for a little later this morning, as our trip is a lot shorter today. Out of camp by 8:00 anyway, though, as Hubby hadn’t bothered to put up the satellite dish, and everything else was stored last night. Stopped for breakfast at Denny’s along the beltway, then a straight shot down to the Tiger Bay Wildlife Area, stopping at a gas station to pick up water, because apparently they only have a hand pump there, and to top off with fuel. Then, my Google Maps app on my smartphone failed me. It tried to take us onto a very minor forest road that had a locked gate on it. I should have looked a little more closely at the map, but I knew there was a south entrance that seemed to have more facilities around it, so we detoured back to the freeway, south an exit, than REALLY got lost as my navigator tried to first take us through a middle school, then through a correctional institution, both of which were the dead end at the end of their respective roads. Finally I pulled up the map of the park I had downloaded, and that wasn’t too helpful either, because the name of the roads seemed to be mostly different. I finally found one in common and set out sights from there, finally finding the entrance to the park. Unfortunately, it was four miles from there to the campground, two of which were so wash-boardy we had to travel at about 5 mph just to keep from shaking our teeth out. The last few miles were better, and I confirmed with the office that the road, did, in fact, lead to the north road we had originally planned on coming in on, apparently we just didn’t go far enough west to find it. In any event, we finally arrived at the campground, which was actually quite a quaint little place, with lots of huge trees, new wooden corrals at every site, hitching posts, mounting blocks, the whole shebang. The trails looked typically Florida as we came in, lots of squash palms, sand and a few taller palms, along with the live oaks, but mostly like narrow forest roads. Our plan had been to stay two nights, riding tomorrow before moving further south, because we had ordered two special batteries for the new RV which we had to pick up on the way down, and they were supposed to arrive tomorrow. I decided to call to see what time they would be in, thinking maybe if it was early enough we could actually finish the trip tomorrow, and lo and behold, the batteries had ALREADY arrived! That made the decision, we would save riding here until another time, and get out good and early tomorrow so we could progress this plot. Since we had full tanks of gas, no highline since the horses were lounging around in corrals, and no satellite dish, we knew we could get out in a hurry in the morning and make good time. Having made that decision, I spent the rest of the afternoon settling some banking issues and researching for cabinet-makers for the remodeling we were set to do in the new RV. A relaxing afternoon, despite the little directional snafu earlier. Had a nice dinner and settled down for the night.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 – Travel Day to Cary SF

Got up with a very early alarm this morning, as we had a long drive today. Got delayed by my truck not starting again, though I couldn’t find anything that would account for the battery draining. Could just be The only problem with Mill Creek is that their dump (though it’s nice they have one) is under a full-blown sewer lid, and needs a crowbar and a lot of muscle to lift off enough to use. That done, though, we headed out with empty tanks shortly after 8:00, picked up breakfast at a Wendy’s in a truck stop a few miles down I-95 (love their pannini and breakfast potatoes!), took a diversion to Rincon, GA for the Walmart and Tractor Supply, one more stop for fuel before crossing the Florida border, where we had to stop at the Ag stop, as always. Our papers were in order, but another older gentleman was having to work around a problem with the paperwork on one of his horses, or rather, a friend’s horse whom he had agreed to transport. He left about when we did, but I got the impression he’s been there quite a while. On their way to Pompano with several trotters. Anyway, we arrived by 3:00, it took us no time at all to set up as this is a usual stopping place for us these days, got everyone fed and got to bed early, which we all needed after such an early morning start!

Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 – Second Ride Day

Took another, shorter ride today on the Yellow Trail, also known as the Governer’s Trail, which makes a nice 10.5 mile loop back in the Palmetto Trail. We stopped at a kiosk area and just lazed around there for a while, letting the horses graze, giving us some quality time together without being on their back. Looped back on the Blue Connector, though we missed an intersection we managed to find our way back again, which took us back to the Yellow Trail again for a perfect romp home. Lots and LOTS of cantering and trotting today, even swinging around trees in the forest at a pace we don’t usually enjoy. Fantastic day once again, really enjoy it here! Got back by 4:00, then spent the next hour putting things away for our departure tomorrow. A good night sleep and we’ll be on our way to Florida to pick up our new home!

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 – Rest and Sit in Sun and Read Day

We were so worn out from yesterday, we actually decided to do nothing today, something I haven’t enforced on myself in a long time. Though I did get a few computer things done in the morning, by mid-day I was pulling out my lounge chair with my Kindle and finishing off a book I started almost two weeks ago (and whose loan period was just about to run out, thus the rush to finish it). Sitting in the sun seemed like a luxury I haven’t enjoyed for ages, and it was most welcome. Felt much more relaxed by the end of the day. Met some of the neighbors, an ever-fluctuating group of very nice ladies who live locally and were most intrigued by Hubby’s and my adventures. Really enjoyed the day, a nice change from the hectic pace we’ve been keeping lately, and the one we’re destined to undertake once we get to Florida and the new RV!

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 – Ride Day in Manchester SF

Had a wonderful ride today. We couldn’t remember if all the footing here was sand or if there were some gravel roads, so we put boots on the horses just in case. It turned out to be surplus to requirement, as, indeed, there was only sand and dirt footing, which was perfect. It was also perfect because there were many great places to trot and canter, and the horses seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, especially after some of the rougher terrain we’d seen in recent weeks. We headed out the Palmetto Trail, which transverses all of South Carolina, and which was the only one “officially” open during the week. Apparently, most trails are considered closed on every day except Sunday, in order to prevent conflicts with hunters (who apparently rule the other six days), but rumor has it that as long as you wear your blaze orange and go out in the middle of the day (as opposed to morning or late afternoon). We eventually had to loop back, so we took the Red Trail to do that, and it was a beautiful section of the forest. A lot of this forest has been clear cut, and so it isn’t very pretty, but some sections like this are really gorgeous. We made one wrong turn on an intersection that was poorly marked, but the good news is that there’s one road that goes right down the middle of the forest, so as long as you know which side you’re on, you can always find it. We headed in that direction and soon found our way back. The ride actually ended up being quite a bit longer than we had anticipated (over 15 miles), and the horses were just about done in by the time we got back, but it was fabulous, with perfect weather, perfect footing, perfect horses! Got everyone settled in with extra rations, then relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 – Travel Day to Mill Creek Horse Camp

A chilly morning with lots of frost around when we pulled out around 9:00, but it’s a fairly short trip so we weren’t too worried about getting out early. A quick stop to pick up breakfast at BK, then on to Mill Creek Horse Camp, which sits at the edge of the Manchester State Forest. We’ve been here before, so it was easy to find a spot and get set up. Though it’s a pretty wide open field, there wasn’t much grass, so even though we put them on their anchors, they were looking for hay pretty quick. We got the highline set up and got them on there, then proceeded with the rest of the setup, which was pretty quick, too. Spent the rest of the day doing office work and bookkeeping, with barely a good enough cell phone signal to occasionally check my email, before settling down for the evening.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 – Drizzly Day

Woke up to rain and drizzle and cold this morning. I had hoped the weather might be nice enough to take a quick ride today, but not so. It had gotten cold during the night, and we were glad the we had put the winter blankets on the horses last night, and we put them out on the grass again this morning. The rest of the day was mostly working on the computer, setting up a long overdue mailing list with Constant Contact, among other things, before spending the evening split between watching a quirky Australian movie and getting caught up on my long overdue blog.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 – Shopping and Vet Day

Our vet appointment was for 11:00, so we had everyone packed up and ready to go by 10:30. Sorry to say, that although we headed out on time, Google Maps on my smartphone really missed the mark on this one, leaving us a good 3-4 miles away from the actual location. In fact, the address it took us to was the Civic Center, which was a very busy polling place today. We called the vet and got someone on the phone who walked us through the rest of the way, and for the next 90 minutes or so, everyone got their appropriate shots and treatments. The Animal Care Center had a very laid back attitude, very friendly, but almost to the point of being less than fully professional, but I assumed she was just so distracted because of the recent death of her ex-husband. Whatever, everything got done, though a lot less than usual (no worm check in the stool, no blood test for heartworm?), but we got the health certificates for the horses, which was the most important thing. Then we headed over to the next town for ice cream, shopping, liquor, and some time finalizing details on the new RV. Got back to camp just before the sun went down, so early these days now that we’re into winter. Settled down once again, for a somewhat more relaxed evening.

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 – RV Decision Day

We had originally planned on taking all the animals into a vet for their annuals today (which after last year, I had finally managed to get everyone on the same schedule), but the vet I had selected had had a death in her family and preferred to wait until tomorrow, which turned out to be fine with us, as we were on the brink of making a decision about the new RV trailer. I had been discussing the two units, in Florida and Texas, with both sales guys, and after many hours of emails, phone calls, and discussions with Hubby, we decided the answer was the Florida one, partly because of convenience, but mostly because it really had more features that we liked better than the Texas one. We negotiated terms, and set the wheels in motion. It means a lot of work over the next few weeks, but at least we’ll have something to show for it soon! We had considered heading straight to Florida and being there by Friday, but word came down that some of the parts for the retrofit would have to be ordered, and would take a week to get there and several days to install, so we could take a somewhat more leisurely journey south, though not too leisurely, as it’s getting too darn cold up here! Had a more relaxing evening, having finally made the decision that had been plaguing us for months. Yeah!