Friday, July 19, 2019 – Run Into Town, Conference Call and Dialysis

Got up early enough to run into town this morning for horse feed, and I also found a 20-gallon metal trash can I’ve been looking for at an old time hardware store in downtown Logan. On the way out, the fish fry host asked if I wanted to buy his leftover hay, and since I was low, I said yes. I had talked about that the day before with another one of that group who also said he’d sell me his leftovers, but I only have room for so much! Anyway, he sold me 5 ½ bales for the price of 5, and we loaded it up on the back of my truck on the spot. Got my shopping done, and when I got back, there was another even nicer bale of hay on my picnic table, which Hubby said the hay-maker of the group brought down to me. I headed up to pay for it, too, as that was his only available bale, and it was really nice so I wanted to definitely keep it. I tucked it away in the back of the trailer, which I’m now going to have to do with several other bales, since I’ve got too much hay for the back of the truck now! I managed to just get settled down and eat a bowl of cereal before a scheduled conference call with a freelance writer who might be interested in telling our “traveling with dialysis” story to a number of news outlets she writes for. We interviewed for about half an hour, and she seemed pretty positive about it, will let us know early next week. Then we finally settled down to a dialysis session, watching old movies on Prime (what a great selection they have!), just trying to keep cool. With 90+ degree temps and almost the same in humidity, it’s just too darn hot to try to do anything else that requires any energy! It seems this heat wave will break on Sunday night, just in time for our trip further north, so hopefully, next week we’ll finally arrive at the 70’s we’ve been seeking all summer, and so far, not finding! Can’t wait to get up to NY state, though, it’s been 70’s almost all along this summer. Next year, we’ll be up there or in Michigan a month earlier, that’s for sure! Not going to suffer this heat again! Love having a house on wheels, chasing the good weather!

Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Long Ride on Flash, Fish Fry

Well, after all the rain yesterday, I expected the trails to be pretty sloppy today, and no surprise, they were! Nevertheless, today's the day I put aside to take Flash on the long perimeter ride out to Airplane rock and points east, and since the weather is forecast to only get hotter over the next few days, I figure this is my last chance. Saddled him up and headed out on my own down the orange trail, slipping, sliding and sucking hooves out of muck most of the way down. Once I got past some of the more used section of the trails, though, it did get a little better. I'm glad Phyllis told me about how all the old white trails either loop around or go out to a linear destination and dead end, it helped me not get lost today. On the old map, the orange trail was an entire loop, on the old map, the orange trail became a white trail at Airplane Rock, and on the ground it's still white, but then it turned to orange later, as if someone had started to change to markings and didn't finish or I missed an intersection somewhere. In any event, the ride took me along some really mucky areas, and then into some long stretches of gravel (though I didn't bring horse boots since I knew I'd lose them in the muck, or have to take them off and put them back on half a dozen times), but it didn't seem to bother Flash too much. The trail had it's highlights, though Airplane rock was kind of a disappointment. I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe a rock suspended precariously on another rock or something, but this was essentially just a bluff with a view. Granted, the outcropping did look like the nose of an airplane when looking from the side, but the call the actually bluff it's "wings" seemed like a stretch. Of course, my house in on a bluff, and our view is much more expansive, so I guess I'm spoiled. Maybe it was the buildup to it. The trail led up to a area that was cordoned off, with a bunch of highlines stretched between trees and half a dozen picnic tables and even an outhouse. It made it seem like it would be something spectacular like Niagara Falls or something. Anyway, I did tie up Flash on the highline and walk down to the rock, taking pictures along the way. We rested a bit before moving out on what will be the orange trail going north, but is still the white trail for now. That actually turned out to be my favorite part of the trail once it went back into the woods after a stretch on a road. I think I passed Twin Falls and Chapel Cave, but I'm not sure because the trail seemed to go above it, not to it, but there was less much and gravel here, a truly nice section of trail. Eventually that took us down again, and we came to a creek with dubious markings again, but I managed to get on the right orange trail (there was a white trail leaving the creek as well) and before long we were back on the long stretch home. It was nearly 11 miles, less than 4 hours, so a good long ride for us both, which we needed. Flash didn't seem any worse for the wear, though the heat was pretty intense by the time we got back to camp. I gave him a nice cool bath and put him away, then boiled some eggs to make deviled eggs with later, then sat in my chair a dozed off for awhile. One of the campers up the road from me had invited me to his fish fry tonight, and as I went by on the way back to camp I confirmed the time as 6:00. I set my alarm for 5:00 so I would have time to finish off my deviled eggs for the fish fry, and wandered up about 10 minutes early, only to find everyone had already started eating. I joined in, ate, chatted with some folks, then about a half hour into it, it began to rain! This was NOT in the forecast, it was supposed to be clear for the next few days, and I had left my saddle and tack on the picnic table to dry after I came back from my ride! I waited around for a bit until the rain stopped, then made my departure back to my site, where I finished wiping down and putting away all my tack. It gave me a good excuse to wash my lambs wool seat cover, though, it needed it after all the mud we've been riding through! That took me the better part of an hour to get all that done, and I was exhausted by then, so I took a much needed shower and settled down for what was left of the evening.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Rainy Day

Had a bout of rain overnight, and many, many more throughout the day, so other than the bare essentials of chores and dialyzing (another great session!), we spent the day quietly watching old movies on Prime. Two days of rest in a row, unheard of!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Rest Day

I refilled all the water tanks this morning, and did a little computer work, mostly planning our next few weeks of travel, then I decided I needed to spend the rest of the day completely resting for a change, so Hubby and I binge-watched the Atlas Shrugged trilogy, which we enjoyed very much, and did nothing else other than essential chores. Nice quiet day for a change!

Monday, July 15, 2019 – Shopping and Dialysis

I did sleep a bit better in the quiet last night, then took a run into nearby Logan today and did some shopping essentials in the morning, had a great dialysis session with the Hubby in the afternoon, and had a nice quiet evening.

Sunday, July 14, 2019 – Hubby’s SECOND Ride This Week!

Amazingly, Hubby felt well enough to ride again today, so happy he's feeling better! I think this new dialysis schedule of one day on, on day off is doing him a world of good. We just have to hope his blood is getting clean enough, which we should know soon from the labs we drew last week. Anyway, We had breakfast, and then I got the horses saddled, and again, Hubby rode Apollo. We decided to take a loop that was less than three miles, and that hopefully was a bit more gradual on the downhill grade than the orange trail. The start of that trail was up the road just a bit, but we decided to take Lola with us today, she's been feeling a bit left out lately, especially having to be on a leash so much of the time here. We found the trailhead with no problem, but just as we crossed the road, Hubby lost a fastener on his slobber strap, so I had to stop and jury-rig it with a spare piece of leather string I had strapped to my saddle. Once that was done, we continued on our way, and it was quite a nice ride, except that there was a couple of trees down, one that required us to climb quite a ways up a hill to get around, and Hubby got a little stuck for a few minutes (he had to rest from the exertion), but eventually he got around it with only one small scrape on his arm. After a few more rests along the way, we managed to reach the orange trail with it's upward climb, and were back in camp in no time. Another great ride for Hubby!! Yay!!! No trouble dismounting, and he made it back to his comfy gravity chair, where he planned to stay most of the rest of the day, reading. I unsaddled Apollo and put him away, but I still wanted to take a longer ride, though I realized it wouldn't be the long ride I had planned yesterday, but another ride was still possible. So I headed back out the orange trail, which is about the main trail that most other trails end up on at one time or another, and based on some suggestions from Phyllis, turned left at Marker M, which led me to a fence, turned right there, and right again when I came to the next "T." This took me on a trail that was marked white on the trees (which, evidently, is how practically every single side trail is marked, including all directions at every intersection, so it's not very helpful), but on the map it's marked in purple. The story I got from Phyllis was that evidently all the trail markers are sitting around somewhere waiting to be put up, but the powers-that-be didn't want the trail markers to go up until the maps were printed and ready for distribution. Well, they were distributed last Monday, but since the trail markers aren't up yet, it's very confusing to someone who doesn't know their way around, like me. The route that Phyllis recommended, she said wasn't even on the map! How crazy is that? Anyway, I did follow her instructions, and it was quite a lovely ride, weaving along edges of bluffs and and through the woods. Most of the footing was pretty good, with only a few really sloppy spots. Fortunately, there weren't any other trees down along that route, so we had no more detour troubles. When we turned onto the orange trail for the final leg home, I let Flash pick and choose his own way, trying to get him to use his mind a bit more. In the woods, I still have to steer him around practically every tree or he starts heading off the trail, but when I let him choose his own way on the orange trail, I think he finally started to get the idea that he could make his own decisions, and that seemed like a new idea to him. I think he's always been kept under a tight rein, never having to think for himself, but I really need to get him like Apollo, where he can just be put on a loose rein and he'll know to follow the trail himself without constant supervision. A work in progress, for sure! When I got back and downloaded the route to MapMyHike,which was just over 4.5 miles, then opened it in Google Earth and overlaid it on the trail map, it turned out that trail was on the map after all! It was just colored purple when the trail markers were white, so I guess that must have been confusing to even an old hand like Phyllis! Anyway, it was after 4:00 by the time I got back, so I quickly got everyone and everything put away and settled down for the evening. Was delighted to see our neighbors with the generator had packed up and left, so I'm looking forward to a quiet night and a good night sleep tonight!

Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Quiet Day

I considered riding this morning, but I didn't sleep well last night and felt too tired. There were a lot more campers that came in yesterday (naturally on a Friday), and for some unknown reason, the campers just up the hill from us decided to run their noisy generator all night long! Amazing! In all the years we've been on the road, I can only remember one time in Louisiana when someone ran their generator all night, and now it's happened twice in as many weeks! What is wrong with people? It's clearly stated in all of the literature and on the kiosk that quiet hours are 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. but it doesn't seem like anyone is enforcing it. Which is funny, because I have had a neighbor get all bent out of shape when Lola went over to say hello, and her dog went berserk (which he did anytime anyone or anything came within 10 yards of him for the rest of the weekend), and then she kind of went berserk and yelled at Lola to get out of her camp, which Lola was only too happy to do, but couldn't understand why, since as a therapy dog, most people are so happy to see her. She just couldn't understand why the woman and her dog were so mean to her. Well, I got read the riot act about how all dogs are supposed to be on a leash, but I looked everywhere for that rule, on the kiosk, in the brochure, on the Hocking State Forest website, on the Ohio Division of Forestry website, and NOWHERE did it say dogs had to be on a leash. I finally found one general regulation for Ohio properties that said "on a leash or under control," but that was it! Anyway, I've been cooperating as much as I can, but Lola just has to play fetch at least twice a day or she's restless all night, and I have no choice but to put her in the truck or we would never get any sleep! Anyway, enough griping, suffice to say that lack of sleep doesn't help my attitude. I've said it before, though, it's seldom the horse camp that disappoints, because there's always something good about some aspect of it, but it's often spoiled by the people one meets there. Which is weird, because ever since we got into Ohio, everyone has been super-nice! I've had several incidents when folks have said kind words and offered help out of the blue at unexpected moments, and it's been lovely. That's why it's been kind of disappointing that the same hasn't been true in this horse camp. Sigh. Well, it was a good day for Hubby's dialysis, anyway, he felt better than he has in a long time, for which I'm grateful. Maybe tomorrow he might even feel well enough for another ride! I plan on taking a long ride tomorrow, even if it's after a short ride with him, since we have the day off from dialysis, and there are so many trails here. They just issued a new map this week, with all the highlights and destinations around the forest, a great improvement over the old maps I had downloaded earlier. In fact, I'll post a copy of the trails nearest the horse camp, so you can get an idea of all the cool sights to see here. Hopefully by end of day tomorrow, I'll have some photos of those places to go along with it. Stay tuned! And good night!

Friday, July 12, 2013 – Rest Day

After a busy week and a long ride yesterday, I decided today would be sort of a day of rest, with just a load of laundry and a little bit of housekeeping and tack cleanup today. Lots of mud on everything, and it’s been a while since I did a good leather cleaning and conditioning on the Aussie saddle that I use on Flash (our other saddles are cordura, and don’t need much), so I pulled out the Lexol and got busy for a bit. With no dialysis today, that seemed like more than enough to keep me busy on my “day of rest!”

Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Nine Mile Ride on Flash

Didn't have the best night sleep last night, not sure why, but slept a little late because of it. Got up about 8:30 to hungry horses, had breakfast with Hubby, then decided to get in a ride before his dialysis session. There was rain in the forecast for this afternoon, and considering how muddy so many of the trails are already, I figured I better get a ride in before they get any worse. I saddled up Flash and headed out, having planned to do the purple trail to the orange trail in a loop. Of course, I got lost at the first intersection. I thought I left on a red trail, but when I got to the bottom, the trees were blazed in white. I couldn't quite figure out how that happened, but at the creek there was a sign that said I was at Marker B. From there I was supposed to take the red trail that I thought I was on straight to the purple trail, but since I believed I was on the white trail, and there were two red trails and two white trails marked at the intersection, I couldn't figure out which red trail I was supposed to take. Eeeny, meeny, miney, moe, I picked a red trail, which was a nice trail, but never ran into the purple trail, and in fact, came out at the entrance to the day parking area at the camp! What the heck! Whatever. I decided to do the trail in reverse since that was closer, so I headed south on the orange trail and followed that until I got to a place where the orange trail seemed to fork. Hmmm, not on the map. I finally figured out that one fork went to a kiosk and the other along the road. I couldn't find any markings, except that it appeared that the orange trail continued past the kiosk. Purple had to be along the road, but I went down a hundred yards, didn't see any markings, turned around because I thought I must be wrong, and THEN, FINALLY, saw a purple blaze on a tree going in the opposite direction. Guess I was on the right track after all. Since we were going on a gravel road, though, I stopped to put on Flash's boots, then headed down that way for a while. Then we came to more purple blazes that went into a deep wood, so the trails were particularly mucky, and what appeared to be a trail along the utility line that paralleled it, which was mostly dry. We opted for the dry route, hoping it wouldn't get too far from the purple mud. Fortunately, it didn't, it crossed over purple again later. When we reacquired the purple trail, it was sloppy downhill for quite a ways, and of course, Flash lost a boot, so we had to stop on the hill and I had to go back and retrieve it. He was a little antsy, but not as much as usual, and I left both boots off and kept going. That ended up on a road that went through a neighborhood of log cabins. I hadn't realized the trail would become road, but the blazes were still there, so I kept following it. Eventually, back on the trail again, we ended up back at the same Marker B at the creek. Since I remembered which trail we came down, and which trail we took up the wrong way, it was easy to get back to camp, using the shortest distance, which was the one we came down, of course. A bit longer, later and muddier than I had planned, but we made it, nine miles! There was a line of other people washing down their horses at the one spigot that you connect a hose to, so I had to wait awhile before I could get Flash washed down, but he was soon on his highline and I was soon getting ready for Hubby's dialysis. The session went well, we started watching an old John Wayne film neither of us could remember seeing before, and then the storms moved in. Boy, did it storm! Rain, wind, even hail for awhile was knocking on the roof and awning! Fortunately this awning with the weight of the screen room doesn't seem to be bothered much by the wind, so other than rain running off the awning and under the grass carpet, we had no problems. The electric flashed out for a moment, but I had already put the inverter on, so it transferred immediately and we had no loss of power at all, thank goodness, though I did have to restart the washer and dryer, as I was doing laundry today, too. Busy day! Had dinner, Hubby went to bed early, and I did some writing on my blog, though I can't upload it right away, as evidently the cell phone tower doesn't have power or has some other mechanical problem, as there is now zero cell phone reception at the moment. Now all I can do is take a quick shower and head off to bed! Good, though tiring, day!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Runaround Day

Since yesterday we had taken labs samples before Hubby’s dialysis which we had to get to FedEx for overnight shipping tonight, we took the day to run around and do some shopping. We bought a few things that we’ve needed for a while and which we’ll really need here, like a new utility cart/wheelbarrow. I’ve been using a canvas bottomed folding wheelbarrow for quite some time, but the canvas wore out once already, and I managed to sew a new one last year, but then it got left out in the rain too long and when I tried to load up a tub of manure to roll it to the manure station here in camp, the material started to split. Pity, but I decided I needed something sturdier. I had been looking at those folding utility carts, both canvas and metal, but when I was in Lowes I found the perfect thing, a totally plastic utility cart on two wheels, only $40. Works perfect, super lightweight, but when I got back, I used it to carry four bags of feed at once with no problem! I also filled it up completely with manure and rolled it up a hill, and it was perfect again! Should have done that a long time ago, but I thought I needed a collapsible one, but when tipped up, this one hardly takes any more room than my folding wheelbarrow, and will fit just fine in the last stall in the back of the trailer. I also managed to find a new water tub, I’ve been looking for weeks but no one has had one (at least, not at a reasonable price) and managed to find a perfect one in Meijers in Lancaster. We also found a great clearance on peach and pear nectar, something that’s really good for Hubby, but really hard to find anyplace but in Publix, which they don’t have in this area. Now we know, though, Meijers has that, too! Filled three tanks of propane at what I was told was the local coop, but I’m not sure they were as inexpensive as I’d been told they were. That’s because they go by weight, not by gallons, and you pay a flat rate for the weight. Since one bottle wasn’t entirely empty, I’m sure it would have been cheaper going someplace that went by gallons, where they are more inclined to try to fit more in. It certainly seems like the bottles are heavier when I get it that way. Anyway, water under the bridge, I’ll stick to Tractor Supply for propane in future. Bought a big bucket of KFC before heading back to camp, and settled down in the screen porch until it got too hot, then headed into the air conditioning. The first night we were here there was a lovely cool breeze coming in Hubby’s window, but tonight there’s no air movement at all, and high humidity. Nothing like the heat in Kentucky, but still enough to be uncomfortable, so we left the AC on, as well as a fan in the bedroom, just to keep things moving. Just another day on the road!