Sunday, June 4, 2017 – Calamities on the Road Home

Though I had the alarm set for 6:50, I actually woke up just after 6, so I got up and started getting ready to leave. I checked the radar and the rain was coming in earlier than we thought, so Hubby got up early, too, and we packed up and were on the road by 7:45, stopping to dump at the exit to the campground, and relieved no one was there ahead of us. I was worried that with literally hundreds of RVs in the campground there would be a line at the dump, but we were first, thank goodness! We headed out, once again stopping at the Wendys at the Pilot in Dickson to pick up breakfast, but just as I was pulling out of the truck stop into the driveway of a motel next door, which was the easiest way back on the road, my truck suddenly quit. It behaved like it was out of fuel (I had ¾ of a tank), and I couldn’t get it started again. The only thing we could think of was that it was the fuel filter, so Hubby ran up the road to O’Reilly’s, who happened to be open already (yeah) and had the part we needed, and was back pretty quick. We struggled through the process of replacing the filter, keeping our fingers crossed that that was the one and only problem, and sure enough, after some good cranking for about 30 seconds, the truck started up. We were back on the road again by 10:30, having lost nearly 2 hours, and the rain lurking nearer, in fact there were showers all around us. We made one more stop at a Tractor Supply off I-840, running into occasional showers along the way. I stopped under an underpass in order to keep my hay from getting soaked once, and started to do that again under another one, but for some reason it was actually more narrow under the underpass than on the road, and it was way too dangerous to stay there, so I pulled back out when I could. Unfortunately, when Hubby pulled out to follow me, he just clipped the wheel well of the horse trailer on the guardrail, and just bent the aluminum enough to turn it into the tire, which was just enough to brush against the tire, taking a chunk out of the sidewall and making it go flat. We had only traveled a short way from the underpass when we stopped to check on it, and sure enough, flat as a pancake. I threw the tarp over the hay to keep it from getting any wetter (it was still raining, but starting to taper off), and proceeded to get the trailer up on the Jiffy Jack, get out the brand new spare we had just bought last month and get the tire changed. We were back on the road again in about 15 or 20 minutes, having changed the tire and pulled out the wheel well so it wouldn’t scrape the new tire. From there, we were only about 45 minutes from home, the rain had stopped along our route (though more was coming in soon) and we finally made it home around 1:30, many hours past our scheduled arrival, but home, safe and sound, nevertheless. We covered the hay, put the horses out in the pasture, brought in the essentials we needed from the RV, took a shower and crashed for the rest of the day, exhausted from all the calamities we had encountered. As I had mentioned in my clinic on Friday, you need a Plan A, a Plan B, and sometimes even a Plan C, and even then, there are times when you just have to wing it. Still not sure why the fuel filter went bad, it had been changed in July last year, and we had only put 9000 miles on it, supposed to be good for 15K. So now we need a new wheel (the rim has been irreparably bent) before we can go on another trip, and Hubby thinks something else is wrong, as the wheel doesn’t seem to be running straight. Something else for him to look forward to doing after he gets his heart back in rhythm! Crashed the rest of the day and evening, to bed early!

Friday, June 2, 2017 – Clinic Day

Well, today was the day! I had worked diligently on putting together what I thought would be an informative clinic on Horse Camping Across America, Top Ten Things You Should Know When You Hit The Road, and at about 2:15 I went over to the pavilion and started to get set up. There didn’t seem to be a lot of publicity or communication going on, so I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd would turn up, and it did turn out to be small yet enthusiastic. I thought it went very well, managed to sell a few books, and chatted for quite a while after I finished. I had kept Hubby in the dark completely about what I was going to do, although I did let him see my outline, and he thought it was very well done (not that he’s the least bit biased :-). It served its purpose, though, letting me get it on its feet and see how it went, and it was well received, so mission accomplished! Spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging around, nothing else really remarkable happened today, though I did walk over to the pavilion once the music started for a few minutes, but didn’t find that particularly intriguing. There was probably only about 30-40 folks in the audience, if that many. Surprising considering the crowd that’s out in the campground, the place really got packed today! Hardly any room to turn around. Not my favorite kind of “camping,” actually, my least favorite, to be honest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 – Busy Day at the Doctors

Got up early, stopped at Wendy’s at the Pilot in Dickson to pick up breakfast, then headed to our first of three doctor’s appointments today. Started out with a sonogram to check Hubby’s neck, he’s had a blockage in his artery, but it hasn’t changed in 10 years, and it didn’t change this time either, so we don’t have to come back again for another two years. We grabbed a quick nosh at a cute little restaurant next to the hospital, then headed over to Vanderbilt for another appointment where all went well, then finally to St. Thomas for a device check, where we learned Hubby has been in A-fib for 29 days! That coincided exactly to when he started feeling so poorly, but for some reason, his defibrillator alarm had been turned off, so we never knew! So now we’ve scheduled a procedure to shock his heart back into rhythm next week, which answers the question about whether we would go to a horse camp or home after finishing here, guess it’s home! As there was a back up on the freeway, we took some side roads, with a stop at the Walmart in Waverly for a few things, before finally getting back to camp quite late. Had just enough energy left to feed the horses, have a beer, and settle down for the evening.

Monday, May 29, 2017 – Travel Day to Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN

After several weeks at home completing doctor's appointments, picking up furniture and alfalfa and doing other odds and ends, we were back on the road today, heading for the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills. This place is an attraction all by itself! Camping, tubing, kayaking, riding, a little Western town to visit, restaurant, concert venue, gift shop, you name it, this is a country paradise! The trip, thankfully, was uneventful, and we were eternally grateful, as Hubby has only just started to feel better. It's been a long recovery for him, but with the help of a new special shot from his nephrologist, he should continue to improve in coming weeks, fingers crossed! Anyway, we made it safe and sound, got set up in a large clearing in Area 2 where the Legacy Rendezvous 2017 is being held, got the horses high-lined between a couple of trees across the road, and settled in for the evening. I had a brief conversations with one of our neighbors, a man who railed about the brand new RV he had, but was falling apart (he was going to take it back to Oklahoma, it was that bad!) Sat outside and enjoyed a cold beer, met Randy the Wrangler who was running an upcoming trail ride, and generally soaked in the atmosphere. Eventually it was time for dinner for all, and then we settled down for the evening.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – Travel Home

Sorry to say we never got another ride in at Owl Creek, much as I would have like to, but Hubby started to develop a serious breathing problem on Monday last week and it never improved, so we slowly packed up last night and headed home today. Didn’t even stop to shop as we usually would, he just wasn’t up to it, but we still had plenty of groceries to get us through the next few days, and we have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, so we can shop then, and hopefully find out what’s going on with him. An uneventful drive home, thank goodness, and the house was even in pretty good shape when we got here, no evidence of the meeces taking over like they usually do, guess our pest control guy is doing the job well. Got home around noon, so took a slow afternoon to bring in what we needed. Glad to be home, but still not sure if we’re going to hit the road again this summer (which we would like to do) or stay home and get some work done here. If Hubby’s health improves, though, I definitely think it will be a summer on the road!

Friday, May 5, 2017 – Rainy Day

Rain came in overnight again, and filled all my buckets once more, and the temperatures dropped dramatically. I had changed the fence around the horses’ area again yesterday, I’m trying to do a little pasture management, but with all this rain, the grass around us is starting to get a little sad looking. It’s made a bit worse by the racing around and leaping and jumping Apollo has been doing the last couple of mornings, I think he’s just trying to keep warm during the cold mornings we’ve been having! Even through they’ve had rain sheets on, it’s been still a bit chilly with a cold breeze. Anyway, it was the kind of day where you just want to stay inside and keep warm (we even had the furnace on a good part of the day!), so that’s what we did. In the late afternoon, we had visitors, Meredith and Steve, who live nearby, and read on my Facebook page that we were here at Owl Creek, and Meredith insisted Steve come out with her to meet us, and because she wanted to buy a copy of our book. We had a lovely visit! He’s a nearly retired rocket scientist, so he and Hubby had a nice chat as well. It’s great to hear from fans, and to make new friends along the way in our travels, and I really appreciated the effort they made to come and visit! After feeding the horses and changing them into their winter blankets, we settled down for another quiet evening, though we had a number of other campers come in. We even had a couple families that were here last week, and the kids came over to ask if Lola could come out and play! Of course we said yes, and off they went with tennis ball and chucker, which kept her busy until dinnertime. It started to clear up in the evening, so tomorrow looks like it’s going to be a lovely day!

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – Shopping Day

Well, not surprisingly, Hubby overdid it a little yesterday, and the pain in his shoulder was back, so he took the day to relax while I drove into nearby Moulton to pick up groceries and gas for our extended stay here. The original plan had been to leave yesterday, but with cold rainy weather at home, we decided to stay here a few more days, as it is generally going to be 8-10 degrees warmer down here, and less rain over the weekend. That’s what we love most about this life of freedom, to just be able to change plans at any given moment! It took me most of the afternoon, then on the way back I was delayed on a forest road by emergency vehicles, someone’s truck caught fire and they had to come out and put it out. They were almost finished when I reached them, so I only had to wait a few minutes before being allowed to carry on. Got back to camp, and we settled down for the rest of the day, with Hubby improving as the day went on.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – The Best Laid Plans…

Well, Hubby was not feeling any better this morning, so he stayed in bed most of the day, while I spent the day working on a number of things on my computer, including the outline for the clinic on horse camping I’ll be facilitating next month. So a slow and uneventful day!

Monday, May 1, 2017 – Laundry Day

Well, the plan today was to go riding, but it was quite windy and cool, and Hubby woke up not feeling very well this morning (always happens whenever we go into a crowd like the one on Saturday!), so we decided to hold off until he felt better, so that means it became laundry day! With all the dry air after yesterday’s rain, and the wind, I knew it would take no time at all to dry clothes, so I spent the day washing and hanging out laundry. I also moved the horses’ fence around to a new area, since with all the rain it was starting to look a little sad. There’s lots of weeds around that they don’t seem to like much, and not a lot of grass in between, even though it looks really green, but they’re managing to do a little mowing and lots of fertilizing, of course! Hubby spent the day relaxing, so hopefully he’ll feel better tomorrow, weather-wise it’s suppose to be a beautiful day!

Sunday, April 30, 2017 – Relaxing, Rainy Sunday

After doing our usual morning chores and having our usual Sunday blueberry pancakes, we settled down for a rainy afternoon of movies and relaxation.