Archives for August 2019

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 – Post Office Trip and Ride Day

Got up and out early today, headed down to the Richmond Post Office where I've had several packages delivered (2 out of 3 had arrived), discovered there was NO cell phone data service in town, not even a library or cafe with wifi, so I headed back toward camp. When I got to the top of a hill just outside town, though, I noticed 4G on my phone, so I pulled into a church parking lot right at the summit and had a fabulous signal there. I spent about 45 minutes or so sending off email, uploading pictures to my diary, doing some planning and research for our travels later in the month, and general housekeeping on my computer before heading back to camp. Since we had the day dialysis free, I decided to take a longer ride today, but my plans changed a bit when an organizer from one of the local horse groups that help maintain the trails told me that they were doing trail work today on the trail I was planning to ride (Logan/Red), and that they had had reports of a number of trees down along that trail, so I decided to explore the other side of the park instead. I saddled Flash and we headed down Hillside to the lake, then took Lakeside trail counter-clockwise around the south side of that lake. That led me past the dam that created the lake, past the ball fields, then up into the woods on the other side of the road for a bit, then back across the road to the parking lot and beach area. From there I connected to the yellow trail, which turned out to be the most treacherous trail yet, very narrow, a bit slippery, and with quite a number of trees and brush to traverse around. Eventually that led me up the hill to some wider trails, back around on the green campground trail, where Flash steered VERY wide of the hole he had stepped into the other day, then back across the campground to the trail that led to the old horse camp, which had a surprising number of sites, though unkempt. Rather than take the same trail back to camp, I decided to follow the driveway out to confirm what I already thought, it came out at the playground area. A nice canter up the hill to camp (passing Lola's lost chucker on the way!), and we finished a lovely ride, about 6.5 miles, though I accidently lost the GPS info by closing the app before it synced, though I thought I had done that before and it saved it, but this time it went missing somehow. Anyway, after putting Flash away, I walked Lola down to get her chucker, which she had evidently carried down there when some kids were playing in the playground, then I taught her to go down slides and through the tunnels that make up the jungle gym. We settled down for the afternoon, reading and watching TV as the clouds started rolling in. Rain in the forecast for tomorrow!

Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 – Ride Day with Hubby at Jefferson Lake

Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 – Ride Day with Hubby at Jefferson Lake

Happy to have another beautiful day, and Hubby feeling fit enough to ride! After breakfast we saddled up and headed out on a short ride that I planned for him, on trails that I mostly hadn't been on yet and hoping they didn't present any surprises for us. Fortunately they didn't. We left on the campground loop trail, that was a bit narrower than I expected, but it provided a fairly gradual downhill grade which Hubby could handle just fine, then went down toward the lake, but didn't go all the way to the beach, since we had Lola with us and there were quite a few people around this holiday weekend. We took a trail just above the lake, which led us to the Hillside Trail, which was a straight shot up the power line, but not too steep, which was a perfect end to this short and sweet 2.4 mile ride. Hubby felt just fine when we got back, which is the way we like it, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Looking forward to a few more of those during our stay! Got him going on his dialysis machine, and relaxed the rest of the day.

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 – First Ride at Jefferson Lake

After a decent night sleep and a quick breakfast this morning, I saddled up Flash under a beautiful sky and headed out for our first ride here at Jefferson Lake. The trail map that the park provides online is pretty poor, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got out on the trails that they are quite well marked, with "you are here" placards at all major intersections. There are also names for some of the trails, and intersection letters out there, but their park map shows neither of these, so it was a bit challenging until I got started using the placards. It's a fairly small park, but the trails are nicely formed to make the most of it, and we covered part of Logan's Trail and most of the western side of the park except the southwest end, which is the longest part of the trail, which I'm saving for another day. Flash did a great job, though he got a bit nervous when the trails got really narrow, and at one point, he stepped off on the downhill side into a culvert and his legs collapsed. I stepped off and let him get back up, looked him over for any damage and found none, remounted and carried on. The ride even included a short section down by the beach area, where I found a flock of Canadian geese obviously gathering for their annual southward migration. So beautiful to see, but definitely a harbinger of the coming change in the weather which is bound to start happening after Labor Day next week. It was a great ride, the trails were in pretty decent shape, though I started out with boots, and when we lost one in deep mud that I had to climb back down and up a hill to retrieve, I decided to take them off since there was very little gravel or stone on the trail for the most part, other than a few isolated places, and he didn't really need them anyway. Got back after a couple of hours to a happy husband who spent the afternoon reading in the screen room, then settled down for the evening. A perfect day!

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019 – Runaround and Hay Day

Down to my last bale of hay, I managed to locate a source not too far away using Facebook Marketplace, and took the 45 minute drive down there, where I found some beautiful bales, heavier and better packed than much of what I’ve seen in the area, for just $4.50 a bale. I ended up take 18, hoping we’ll use enough to be able to carry what’s left over to our next stop! Went over to Tractor Supply on the West Virginia side of the river, then into Steubenville to the Walmart. I realized when I came through that we’ve been here before but I couldn’t remember when. Of course, that’s the beauty of keeping an electronic journal, all I had to do was a quick search, and discovered that when we stayed at Harrison State Forest back in September 2015, Steubenville was the nearest city and therefore where we did our shopping then, too. On the way back, I stopped at the Richmond Post Office where I was having several things sent General Delivery, but they were closed for lunch. I waited the 25 minutes only to have them tell me they hadn’t received anything yet, but the woman there was nice enough to take my phone number, offering to call me when anything arrived, which I thought was wonderful. Got back to camp to discover that the solar panel kit that we had ordered last week had arrived, as well as Hubby’s medication (which our nurse sent UPS, since we’re both fed up with Fedex!), so after getting Hubby on his machine, I set the solar panel up. I have to say, it was one of the easiest installations ever, it was just a matter of opening the box, opening the folded solar panel, locking the legs down, plugging it in one end and clipping the alligator clips onto the battery, just like that. So easy! It was a nice sunny day today after yesterday’s rain, so we’re looking forward to seeing just how much it will supplement our power system. If it can cut down on our generator usage, we’ll be able to do a lot more boon-docking, which will give us a lot more options where we can stay, as well as saving us some money in so many ways. Fingers crossed it does the job! Finished up an uneventful dialysis, including the new medication that’s supposed to help his iron levels, and settled down for the evening. Had a few problems with the cell phone signal, so the movies were a bit more disjointed than yesterday, but we did manage to get us to bedtime. Looking forward to a ride tomorrow!

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 – Lazy, Rainy Day

The rain came in late last night and it was still drizzling this morning as we slept late. Not much we can do in the rain, so we decided to take a day just to recharge our batteries, not doing much of anything beyond essential chores, and spent the day reading and watching old movies, as I’ve managed to find a sweet spot for the phone and the booster, just enough to mostly get through a movie without interruption. A much needed rest day!

Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 – Setup and Dialysis

Slept late this morning thanks to the peace and quiet here, then got up and started doing the rest of the setup after my usual chores. Put up the screen room, which was the main thing, then started to try to locate the best direction for a cell phone signal, and proceeded to try to figure out a system that would work better. I took a spin around the campground trying to send an email with some attachments that I was having trouble with, but never could find a spot any better than ours. I ended up putting my 4G booster in the truck, taped a magnet to the top of the trailer so the antenna would stick up there (the highest point I could manage), and powered it up inside the truck. That managed to get me one bar of 4G, which helped a lot, but it still teeters in and out, so the movie we tried to watch during dialysis went great for the first hour plus, then faded for a bit, until we finally gave up in the evening and went back to the Dish PVR. That’s fine, we need to clear it out, then after we pick up the satellite dish at the house in October, we can fill it back up again with some movies. It was a good dialysis session, and other than that, it was a quiet day, though it clouded up and started to sprinkle, and there much rain in the forecast for tomorrow, unfortunately, so I likely won’t be riding tomorrow. But there’s lots of sun forecast for later in the week, so let’s hope the forecasters are right for a change!

Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 – Travel Day to Jefferson Lake State Park

Since our next destination is only about 90 minutes away, we took our time getting packed up this morning, though we are glad to be leaving. Had no trouble loading the horses or getting off the grass onto the tarmac, but it was almost all back-country driving on mostly narrow roads, but nothing that created any problems, except there was a bridge out just outside Bergholtz that we had to circumvent. Fortunately, while we sat in the middle of the road contemplating the "Bridge Closed" sign, a nice man came out of his house to help us, telling us about a big gravel turnaround less than a mile up the road, and the best route to get back to the right entrance to the park. That delayed us almost half an hour, but then again, we weren't in any real hurry today. It was a beautiful day for a drive and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We finally made it to the campground, which only had a few tenters and picnickers except for one horse rig parked in the same general area where we wanted to be, and after a bit of reconnoitering, we decided on Site 29, right next to the one I had figured would work from what I could see on Google Earth. It's right across from their new dump station, so water access would be easy, and even though it didn't have a highline directly behind it, it had two great pine trees and a lot of grassy area, so I put up my own highline between the pines, and made a large paddock for them with our electric fence. We also needed to adjust the brakes on the trailer again (I can see us doing that every month or two!), which took up another half hour or so. About the time we finished, the horse rig next to us was leaving, and one other day rider was packing up as well, so by 5:00, the place was empty as far as we could see, though I know there are a couple of tenters on the other side of the campground. SO QUIET HERE, just the way we like it!! Once we were alone, I let Lola run, and she did some major exploring, the horses were running and rolling around the paddock enjoying their freedom, and I got out the loungers so Hubby and I could relax for the evening. Other than a rather weak cell phone signal, I think this place is going to be absolutely perfect for the next week, more likely two! I've ordered some stuff and used either the General Delivery address for the Post Office in Richmond, OH, and used the campground address for some other things, so hopefully UPS and FedEx can find us. Hubby was able to get some local channels on the TV (from Pittsburgh), the first time in weeks he's been able to do so, and since we didn't have enough cell phone signal for Netflix or Prime, we cranked up the Dish DVR which still had some old movies and series on it, and enjoyed a lovely evening in the peace and quiet.

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 – Non-Event Birthday

So we sat around all morning waiting to hear from the clinic, as Fedex was supposed to be delivering a new medication for Hubby that we needed to get before leaving tomorrow, and finally decided we’d be better off being closer to the clinic when it arrived, so I found a nice little restaurant called Pete’s nearby, where we had a spectacular breakfast. By then it was after 1:00, so we went to the clinic and learned that Fedex had come and gone, picking up a package but not dropping one off. I HATE FEDEX!! Since it was too late to do anything else but top off with fuel (though I tried to get a replacement carpet for our screen room, but Home Depot didn’t have the right size), we headed back to camp and got Hubby started on his dialysis session, already much later than usual. Met some interesting ladies who stopped by after their ride and we chatted for some time about various Ohio camps that we’re thinking about going to, carrying on until it was almost dusk, then got the horses taken care of and settled down for the evening. REALLY looking forward to getting out of here tomorrow! We are NOT having any fun here at all!

Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 – Clinic Day

After another pretty crappy night sleep, we got up and headed out to the clinic, losing our green screen room carpet along the way, unfortunately. Everything went fine there and at the doctor’s office, then we went to an Indian restaurant for lunch as an early celebration for my birthday tomorrow (and to generally just try to cheer ourselves up after all the aggravation of the past few days,) then a trip to Tractor Supply to pick up some supplies, then straight back to camp (except a quick return to the area we thought we lost the rug, just in case we could find it, but it was gone) where we spent the afternoon under the awning, and playing frisbee fetch with Lola off the leash. No visitors this time, everyone left us alone today, thank goodness. As dusk waned, we headed inside to watch what turned out to be an excruciatingly slow and boring movie, then a short one hour before heading to bed, hoping for a better night sleep tonight!

Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 – Delivery Day and More Harassment

Had a pretty bad night sleep during the night, then ended up sleeping until 10:30 before I was rested enough to get out of bed, very unusual for me. Got all my chores done, had a late breakfast, played frisbee fetch with Lola for a bit, then started getting Hubby’s machine ready around 1:00. Shortly thereafter, our delivery of dialysis supplies arrived, so I spend half an hour getting those loaded in before resuming his dialysis session. Sorry to say at one point early in the morning, Lola escaped for about two minutes, but the rest of the day I had her either locked up in the trailer or on a cable outside. That wasn’t enough to stop the complaints though. Halfway through the afternoon I got a visit from a couple of the trustees, one apologetic while the other one railed on about Lola having to be on a leash. I again explained, she only was out for two tiny minutes and had been cooped up or tied up the rest of the day, and it ended up in a shouting match. Finally it came out that someone was upset that I was playing frisbee fetch without her being on a leash! Really??? Here’s one of the most obedient and friendliest dogs you’ll ever find, totally focussed on fetching her frisbee, never going beyond 20 yards away from the trailer, and someone on the OTHER SIDE OF THE CAMPGROUND is complaining that she’s not on a leash. Good Lord, where is the common sense God gave these people! All this because two dogs that WERE on a leash, but beyond the ability of their owner to control, made some trouble a few months back. Of course, I wouldn’t want to wish bad things to happen to anyone’s pets, but you don’t put 100 well-behaved dogs on a leash just because one of them MIGHT make trouble, any more than you’d put 100 people in jail because one of them MIGHT commit a crime! Grrrr! Maybe I’m overreacting because of a lack of sleep, but there are such negative vibes here now, we even felt it as we were coming in yesterday, but we were committed because of our clinic day in Canton tomorrow, so we can’t just pack up and leave, which is our inclination when we are faced with this much unwarranted irritation. I know there are people who won’t like what I’m saying here, but I feel it’s only fair that I tell you our experiences, truthfully, whether you agree or disagree. As Dennis Miller used to say, “That’s my opinion, I could be wrong.” We won’t be coming back here after this weekend, too much stress! And I can’t even relieve any of that stress with a ride in the woods, since the map is so bad and the trails are so poorly marked that it’s impossible not to get lost, which only adds more stress! Thank goodness we only to have to suffer this a few more days. So disappointing, this place could be a real gem if the people here would just chill out a little bit, do some real work on the map and trails, be a bit more welcoming, and just use a little common sense!