Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 – Shopping and Hay Day

Since I ran out of hay yesterday (and was given a couple of bales by Lisa, for which I’m very grateful!), I had made arrangements to pick up new hay in a town called Sandy Lake, which is only about 30 minutes away. Phil met me, and sold me some gorgeous 2nd cutting, some of the best hay I’ve seen in a long time! I wish I had room for more, but 10 was all I could manage, and at $5.00 a bale, I was happy to take it! On the way back we stopped to shop at our usual places, Tractor Supply and Walmart, with a quick stop at Aldi, though there wasn’t much there that I use, then back to camp. Got everything put away before starting dialysis, and spent the rest of the day watching old movies and munching. Another great day on the road!

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 – Rainy Cleaning Day

Rain came in overnight and continued most of the day. Since I couldn’t go out and look for Apollo’s lost boot in this weather, I decided to take advantage of it and spend a good part of the day doing some long overdue deep cleaning in the trailer. Not a thrilling event, but one that must be done occasionally, and this was a good day for it! Hubby sat in the screen room and read most of the day (he really loves being able to be outside the trailer, even in the rain!), and I finally joined him mid-afternoon, relaxing the rest of the day after hours of hard work. A nice quiet evening, though my neighbor had a group of girls join her late in the day, and they did a lot of tree-climbing and giggling, as girls of that age do. Fun to watch, wish I still had the strength to climb a tree! Apollo finally discovered these were apple trees, I saw him munching on a couple of fallen fruit this afternoon, as they are just reaching peak ripeness (though I tried them, and the are not quite sweet enough for my taste!), but he didn’t seem to mind. Settled down for another relaxing evening.

Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019 – Shopping Day

The plan was to shop first and ride when we got back, but of course, the best-laid plans… Though we got out fairly early, we ended up making so many stops, getting propane at Tractor Supply (just $2.59/gallon!), a grocery store, Home Depot, Walmart, a beer store, then another beer store, then a liquor store (just to get wine!), and a stop for fuel, whew! It was nearly 3:00 by the time we got back to an empty campground (only a couple of day rider trailers left), and Hubby was too tired to go for a ride, so we decided to postpone it until tomorrow, when we was more rested. It took me a while to put everything away, and to look for my truck key which I somehow misplaced between the trailer and the truck just before we left, but I didn’t find it yet. No idea where I set that puppy down, or where it fell out of my pocket! Still didn’t find it by the end of the day, will look again tomorrow. Thank goodness we had a spare set! Anyway, we sat in the screen room and read for a while, threw the ball and frisbee for Lola, eventually made a nice Beef Red Curry, then settled down for the evening. We were pretty sure that once this place had emptied out, we would probably have it to ourselves, and we did for a couple of hours, but then a couple came in, so it looks like we’ll have company all week after all!

Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 – Travel Day to Two Mile Run County Park, Franklin, PA

Got up with the alarm at 7:00, finished packing, and managed to get out before 9:30. I'm happy to say that Flash gave me no trouble at all today getting in the trailer, he just took one side step, then immediately jumped on the ramp and ran in. Just a matter of time before he got used to that! It took a little maneuvering to back up onto the road, which seemed the easiest way out of the camp, and we managed it with no problem. We made several stops, one at a Giant Food Store in Cuba, NY to stock up on Zweigles White Hots (you have to be from upstate NY to understand 🙂 ), again at a truck stop on the Seneca Indian Nation territory (no tax, so diesel is only 2.78/gal, while everywhere else it's upwards of $3.25!), and finally at another truck stop next door for a nice breakfast before hitting the road again. We took a slightly longer route because we wanted to stay on good roads for this monster rig, but when we got close to the park, we made the mistake of following the signs rather than the GPS (usually it's the other way around!), and we ended up turning into a very narrow road, where my back wheels got caught a bit in a ditch, though I managed to pull it out without any apparent damage. At least, I hope so! We reported in at the office, paid our bill for 10 days (though we may stay a couple of days longer, depending on the weather), and made our way out, first to the RV dump, though Hubby made a mistake in the directions and we went down the wrong way on the loop, which put us in a bit of a pickle as there was no easy way to turn around, but finally managed to do it by backing up down the road about 75 yards, then finally to the campground which, again, have a very narrow entrance, with a tree I barely missed and which looks like it's going to be even harder coming out. Sigh. I love this trailer, but it's extraordinary length is no doubt proving to be a challenge! We arrived at a nice big field around 4:00, where there were two buildings, one apparently an old observatory with a picnic pavilion, and another smaller pavilion off to one side. The larger building had electrical outlets all around the outside, but the water spigot didn't function. The smaller building had electrical outlets around the inside, but none of the sites had individual boxes. There was signage for the site numbers, but I called the office just to make sure, and sure enough, electric comes from the small pavilion. There was only one other trailer here at the other end of the row of sites, so we back into out spot right next to the pavilion with no problem. There were a couple of old apple trees where I put up a highline, and there's also highlines already in place way at the back end of the site. I couldn't believe how large an area each site was allowed, so after getting the trailer mostly set up, I pulled out the portable corral and set up a large area for the horses to graze. I started a load of laundry (our sheets were overdue!), got the screen room up, all while Hubby sat in his comfy gravity chair and looked on, throwing the ball for Lola. Our neighbor had a labradoodle that Lola started playing with, and they ran around camp together while I was setting up. Nice to see her getting along with other dogs, and even learning how to play! Good progress! As the afternoon progressed, more trailers came in, so it's obviously going to be a busy weekend. Of course, that also means there must be some decent riding, since it's attracting such a crowd. I'm sure we'll be back on our own again after the weekend, but for now, we've got company! We finally got around to dinner at 8:30, though neither of us were that hungry, but I threw a few Zweigles on the grill just for fun, and that did the trick. Well, that and our usual ice cream for dessert! With fresh sheets and a couple of showers, bed time won't be long in coming!

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 – Another Relaxing Day

The weather improved today, though we had one strong rain storm in the morning. Fortunately it cleared out by mid-day, leaving me the chance to do some preliminary packing in between dialyzing Hubby. Another quiet day. We’ve really enjoyed it here, it’s been so quiet, but we’re ready to move on to our next location, to check out another exciting horse camp and it’s trails!

Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 – Relaxing Rainy Day

While the morning was lovely, I burned our boxes and moved the horses’ corral first, though, I didn’t want them overgrazing on the area where I had the fence. Then I sat outside for quite a while just relaxing, reading, and miracle of miracles, just listening to the wind rustling the leaves around which we are surrounded (I can’t remember the last time I had time to just sit and listen to the wind!), but it started getting cool and eventually I needed to go back inside. The rain and thunderstorms started up again, so we decided it was a movie day, and watched several movies back to back, with only the basic chores to do. Ah, paradise!! So quiet and peaceful here, exactly what we needed!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 – The Newlyweds Come To Visit

Since we didn’t get to spend a lot of time getting caught up, my friend whose wedding we attended on Saturday decided to come and visit us at the horse camp, bringing along the bride’s two horse-loving daughters and the groom’s sister, along with a cooler full of leftovers from the reception, so we ate and talked and got caught up and had a lovely little picnic in beautiful weather. I had run around earlier in the day, down to the little town of Alfred (home of Alfred University and SUNY Alfred State College, which dominate the town), picking up propane at a cement fabrication factory, of all places, and getting rid of our trash and filling up with water, both behind the Mobil station in town. After the picnic, we had nothing else to do but dialyze, and we did that with no problem. Having this Ipad makes a huge difference, since Hubby can do all his own measurements, which leaves me free to do a lot of other things, though never too far away, of course! More old movies and a relaxing evening once again, while listening to the rain come in for the night!

Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 – Runaround and Wedding Day

We had a bunch of running around to do today, so we were up early, ran into Arkport to get the wedding gift we wanted, then drove a bit east to Bath to pick up some hay, nice stuff, just $3.25 per, though they are a bit smaller than what we usually get (but larger than what I was given yesterday), and I was only going to get half a dozen, but since we’re considering staying a couple of extra days, I ended up buying ten, since it was nice hay. I may have to put some in the back of the trailer, since I doubt they’ll all fit in the truck once we’re hooked up. Then we headed back, stopping at a quaint little restaurant for breakfast called the Country Kitchen, then did some quick shopping at the Walmart before getting home at 1:00, giving us just an hour to get ready for the wedding. I wrapped the gift, made out the card and letter, and finally got dressed and made up in the last few minutes, and headed out just in time. We arrived about twenty minutes early, but the ceremony got a bit of a late start, but it was a beautiful day, the house was huge and gorgeous, the back yard had a great big tent, and there were probably close to 80 people there by the time it started. It was a lovely ceremony, I got caught up with a number of folks, ate far too much at the reception, had Lola with us making friends, too, and overall it was a very nice party. Hubby finally got too tired to sit in the plastic chairs any longer, and went to sit in the truck, and I arranged with the groom, Steve, to get some water to top off my tank since we had decided to stay a couple more days. We even arranged for him and his new bride Amanda and her kids to maybe come by on Tuesday for a bit, her girls are into horses, taking riding lessons at a nearby stable, and Steve and I can always find things to talk about! He’s like another brother to me, and we’ve known each other since 1974. Anyway, we left shortly thereafter since we had to get back to feed the horses, made two quick stops for fuel and wine (no wine in the Walmarts here!), got back to camp shortly before dusk, and got the horses settled. Hubby was nodding off in his chair before I even came in from chores, so I decided to spend some time with the neighbors, as this would likely be my only chance. So I headed off to their bonfire and we chatted for a long time. By the time Lola and I came back, Lola was ready to jump into the truck, Hubby had already gone to bed, so I took my quick shower and climbed into bed.

Friday, August 2, 2019 – Travel Day to Turnpike State Forest

Set the alarm extra early today in order to be able to cope with all the potential problems that might arise, and managed to get out of camp is around an hour, including topping off the water tank in the back of the truck, since we know Turnpike only has a hand pump for water (gotta love that 1st century AD technology!), and we're only planning on spending the weekend here anyway. As soon as we had a cell phone signal, I stopped and called the ranger station, and the man I spoke to wasn't positive about what size rig might fit in there, so he sent someone out to take pictures and text them to me so I could see for myself!! What incredible service! We had a few stops to make anyway, and headed down to the Tractor Supply in Olean (which, remarkably, carried the Nutrena Balance I feed Apollo to keep him from getting fat!), and stocked up on feed, but, unfortunately, I used my last bale of hay for their breakfast in the trailer this morning, and no one could point me in the direction of a feed store or haymaker that had some. They've been having rain up here, too, so I guess they've had a hard time getting hay in this year as well. I'll have to check on craigslist when I get where we're going. Then we diverted to Walmart to do some shopping, and sure enough, I got a bunch of pix texted to me, showing several large horse trailers already there! I asked if there was still room for us, and he said, but it's first come, first served, and after all, this was Friday! We flew back onto the freeway and drove the 40+ miles to the campground, coming in the more difficult west side of the forest road loop where it's located (naturally!), so it was a bit of a rough ride in, but sure enough, we arrived at this small camp in good order, and found a perfectly level spot that we fit into easily enough! I've had such mixed reports on this camp I was afraid it would be unsuitable, but with covered stalls, covered picnic tables, and enough room to get the slide out (though where I parked I can't quite get the awning out the entire way, so no screen room unless I move the trailer again), so I think we'll be quite comfortable here for a few days. The only drawback is the only water source is a hand pump, but we left with a full 110 gallons in the tank in the back of the truck, so we should be good for a while! Once we got a little settled, I went over to meet the neighbors, a total of three LQ trailers, and to see if they knew where I could get some hay locally, and unfortunately, they didn't because they bail their own, and didn't bring enough to spare. Sigh. Anyway, I went back to the trailer and found I did have enough cell signal to get online, so I did a search for hay and found just one source near Bath, which is a bit of a drive, but it can't be helped, since no feed stores around here seem to have hay. A few minutes later, one of the ladies from the group named Carol came over and told me she was sure she had met me before, and it turned out we met had met at Sugar Hill back in June 2012, and she recalled with great clarity how we had all watched the International Space Station do a flyover, and there were Boy Scouts in the camp that weekend, and all sorts of other details, most of which I recalled. She also told me she had just been at Sugar Hill last weekend, and have had a conversation with someone there about us! What a small world, full of connections! Anyway, we had a nice chat before I started to get Hubby ready for dialysis, and a little while later, she came back again and told me that she had arranged for one of her group to bring me some hay! How incredibly thoughtful! Not long afterward, Glenn came by with six small bales of hay, and when I went to pay him, he refused it, saying it was a gift. Above and beyond, for sure! So my immediate need for hay disappeared, though I'll still need some more in a few days, but at least the horses won't be going hungry anytime soon! Finally got on with the dialysis, which, for the first time since last December we were able to do with our new Fresenius Ipad (yay!) then settled down for the rest of the evening, though some rain came in, which was fine because I put all the buckets out and collected enough rain for at least a day or two for the horses!

Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 – Travel Day, BIG Change of Plans

Set the alarm so we could get up early this morning, and after another round of putting our final stuff away, and going to the RV dump (which camp trustee Jerry was kind enough to come out and open for us yesterday afternoon), we still managed to get out around 9:30. With a full tank of gas, we didn’t even need to stop before we got to our anticipated destination, a stable near Allegany State Park. We thought a stable might be more secure for the horses, but when we arrived and saw it, though the folks seemed kindly enough, we quickly decided it wasn’t quite the kind of place we were looking for and departed. That left us in a quandary. Do we carry on to Turnpike State Forest, which we’ve never seen and still haven’t been able to confirm has sites big enough for our rig? Or do we go back 20 miles to Allegany State Park, where we’ve spent the night once before, knowing the only problem there is that there is only a single water spigot at the front of the camping area, but since we still had a half a tank in the back of the truck we didn’t really need water anyway? We decided on the latter, because it was getting late and I didn’t want to have to solve a bunch of potential new problems, not the least of which is, will we fit in there? If we couldn’t, that mean another 90 minute drive (by now in the dark) to Sugar Hill, which is way to far east for this day. We were getting low on diesel, but fortunately there was a small truck stop on the same exit that we needed to get on I-86 with, and very inexpensive (probably because we’re in Indian territory), which alleviated another worry I was having. It didn’t take long to get to Allegany, and it was too late to go to the rental office to make a reservation, and there’s STILL no cell service at the horse camp, so we just picked a spot (the place was empty), and I let the horses graze for a bit before tying them in their covered stalls for the night, and played with Lola to tire her out. She kept me awake last night and I ended up having to put here in the truck at 4:00 in the morning, so she’s going back in tonight so I can get a full night sleep! Didn’t unpack much for just overnight, raring to go in the morning!