Archives for May 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015 – Cleaning

Spent the day cleaning. ‘Nuff said.

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – Made it Home!

Out early as planned, and thankfully, had an uneventful drive home, never overheating until we started to climb the mountain home, when Hubby had to stop halfway up the mountain to cool down. We had agreed that I would carry on and get the house opened up, and he would come along when he could. I arrived at the gate shortly after 2:00, which gave us the afternoon to get settled in as best we could. We had planned to spend at least the first night in the RV until I could get some preliminary cleaning done, and we had dinner and spent a usual evening there. Glad to be home, super quiet here today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – Seminar Day

We had planned on staying in one place today for two reasons; 1) to rest from the longest drive day we’ve done in years (made longer by all the fun we had yesterday), and 2) so that I could do a teleseminar via phone. According to the Verizon coverage map, this place was supposed to have a good cell phone signal, but sadly, that was not the case, which meant I had to drive out someplace until I got a good signal and do the seminar from the vehicle. We had planned on unhooking the truck because we didn’t trust the van much, but then we had trouble with the RV winch, the one that raises and lowers the RV on and off the trailer hitch, even though we’ve never had any trouble with it before. Naturally! So in the end, I had to take the van anyway. I drove back down to the Walmart near the interstate, found a nice quiet shady spot near the back, facilitated the conference call, and then went inside and shopped, I figured that would save us having to stop on the next leg of the journey home, and even though I was already tired, I figured it would be worse tomorrow, so I got it done. Finally got back to camp after 4:00, ready to crash! Hubby had managed to figure out the problem with the winch, mostly just corrosion that he cleaned up, but now it was working like a charm, thank goodness! We did all we could to get ready for another early start tomorrow, then spent the evening doing our best to relax and forget about the trials of yesterday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – A Horrible Day That Makes Us Appreciate the Good Days!

Murphy’s Law was in definite force today, with everything possible going wrong. It started out with rain that came in more than an hour before we got out of bed (about 5:45), despite all forecasts saying it wouldn’t arrive until 8:00, so we hurried up to get the last minute stuff done asap. Once we were just about ready, Hubby decided to pull out onto the road before loading the horses into the trailer, but with all the rain, he almost immediately got stuck. After several attempts using blocks and tarps, it became evident things were just getting worse, so rather than play around in the muck and rain, we decided the fastest thing would be just to unhook the truck from the RV and pull it out. A 6.6 liter diesel is no match for a pile of mud, and even though it takes time to hook and unhook, it was definitely much faster than anything else. Miraculously, we were pulling out of the campground intact at 7:00, which had been my original schedule before we started planning around the 8:00 rain, but we lost almost an hour screwing around with the mud. We were already in a slow, intermittent drizzle, but I had to pull the tarp off at the end of the campground road (Broadway, would you believe!), knowing we may lose some of the top bales. Fortunately, we managed to get ahead of the rain in less than an hour, so we hoped it would dry out as the day progressed. Then, on our way through Texarkana, we were on a road with signal lights, and I was just at the wrong timing on a light, and had to slam on my brakes big time to avoid running the red. I saw trucks coming in the crossroad, and was concerned Hubby would try to follow me through the intersection, and not make it. Unfortunately, I came to such a sudden stop that Hubby, though he slammed on his brakes, slid the last 25 feet on damp pavement, and ended up running into the back of me. Fortunately, the rack we have on the back took the brunt of the hit, it wasn’t even enough to set off the airbags in the van, and just barely cracked a few placed on the rack. The front end of the van, however, is a mess! It hit just on the left headlight, and creamed the whole front end. Miraculously, it still ran and didn’t make any disturbing noises, though we clearly had a leak of some kind. We proceeded out to see what would happen, and sure enough, it started to overheat. We stopped for a further inspection, and all I could see leaking was the top radiator hose, so we taped it up and then carefully made our way to the next town, Hope, Arkansas, and made it to a parts store that had a replacement hose. Happily I had a pair of mechanics gloves that gave me some protection from the heat, and I was able to change out the hose in about 45 minutes. Apparently the fan isn’t turning, though, so we’ll have to rely on air cooling for the duration! At least the radiator wasn’t leaking, though it did appear to be bent a little. What a mess! We continued on this extra long day, made even longer by our delays, and finally arrived at Village Creek State Park near Wynne Arkansas. The last bit was uphill, and a slow speed limit, so the van, for the first time the whole day, started to overheat a bit. We didn’t waste any time getting set up, glad we had stalls to throw the horses in (and who seemed no worse for the wear despite the erratic trip), and we finally settled down, exhausted from the length and the stress of the day!

Monday, May 11, 2015 – Rough Night, Busy Day

A few hours after going to bed early last night, the rains arrived, trumpeted by much thunder and lightening. It continued off and on all night, waking us up every several hours, both from the noise and from having to get up and close windows. So far, most of the rains here have been almost windless, and even these had very little wind, not even enough to make us bring the awning in. Of course, that might have to do with the fact we’re surrounded by forest, so that may have cut down on it a bit. In any event, we both had a pretty horrible night sleep, not exactly what we needed for this day. Started off taking the dogs for a good walk, though, with Hubby along as well. We’re trying to balance exercise with his meds, every time he takes his pills these days, it makes his legs ache and gives him a headache. We walked before he had his morning dose, and he did just fine. After a late breakfast (we had to sleep in after the rough night!), we started putting things away, because we want to get a REALLY early start tomorrow. There’s rain in the forecast in the morning, but we’re hoping we can get out before it starts up too much. We’re going to start out with the tarp on (something we hate to do, as it ruins the tarp and sometimes beats up the truck, but we haven’t tried it since getting a heavy duty canvas tarp), but hope to be able to take it off once we run out of the potential rain area.

Sunday, May 10, 2015 – Rest Day

After having such a nice ride yesterday, Hubby and I spent most of the day relaxing, though we did take a walk with the dogs. Didn’t have a very good night sleep last night, just too dang hot and muggy. Never got below about 75 degrees, no sheets and still sweltering in the heat. Hard to sleep when you’re dripping with sweat! We ran fans until bedtime, but even that didn’t help too much. Proof we’ve spent too much time in the south, need to get north! Unfortunately, the weather forecast is looking like rain, rain, and more rain, except for one brief window Tuesday, so we’ve changed our plans again. We’ll leave Tuesday and head north to Village Creek State Park east of Little Rock, Arkansas. It will be a VERY long day, but there’s not really anything in between, and I have a teleconference to facilitate on Wednesday, so we need someplace with a good cell phone signal. We’ll stay on Wednesday to do the conference and recuperate from what will likely be nearly 10 hours of driving (about twice what we normally do, but weather is forcing our hand), and then run home on Thursday, just ahead of a front that’s coming in. Fingers crossed, it will all work out as planned! Having finalized that decision, we spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching TV (further reducing the recorded programming on our DVR, a long overdue exercise), before going to bed early.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 – Ride Day at Last!!

SAM_3758 SAM_3759 SAM_3760 SAM_3761 SAM_3756

With the sun peeping out from partly cloudy skies, and a bit more of a breeze than we've seen since we arrived, we had a quick breakfast and saddled up the horses, for just a short, test ride to see how Hubby does, as well as Lola. We decided to really experiment today and take little Billy with us. When he was younger, he was kind of a pain on the trail, because he would bark at the horses whenever we stopped moving, and it would agitate the horses. Now, at about eleven years old, we figured he wouldn't be able to keep up with us on the trail, but as this was just 3.5 miles, we decided to give him a chance and see how he does. Turns out, he was perfect! In fact, everything went great, no drama at all! The only worrisom part was when we had to cross an FM road, which didn't have too much traffic, but the traffic it did have was moving VERY fast, including large trucks, so when we got near it, I jumped down off Apollo and grabbed Lola by the collar and walked her across. She had begun to get close to the road, and is still not listening to me completely yet, so I wanted to to be safe rather than squashed. Once we crossed the road I let her free, and did the same when we got close the road crossing back again. The trail was pretty soft and muddy in spots, understandable considering the weather we've been having, but under the mud it was fairly firm, so no one went in deeper than the top of the hoof. No knee-deep anything, thank goodness. One creek had spilled over its banks, making for a valiant swim for Billy, which he did with great aplomb, although swimming isn't anything he's shown a great propensity for. He did walk through every puddle, though, to cool off I guess. Anyway, it was a wonderful ride, Lola mostly staying close, which is good news, and Billy making it all the way back to camp easily, better than I could hope for! I had thoughts of having to pick him up and carrying him towards the end, but he trotted along the whole way like a trooper! And Hubby, well, Hubby made it just fine, and his blood pressure was even down after we got back! Nothing better than the outside of a horse for the inside of a man! A great day!

Friday, May 8, 2015 – Another Rainy Rest Day

Hot and humid as only the Deep South can get today, and once again, we decided, based on the forecast, to wait another day to ride. Hubby is determined to recuperate, and doesn’t want to push himself to hard and have a relapse, and I concur. We spend the day watching movies and trying to move as little as possible, using just a few floor fans and the overhead paddle fan to try to stay cool with, not easy with humidity this high. One thing I will say, I look 5 years younger since getting out of the desert! Horses are doing a good job of chomping down the grass throughout the area, haven’t seen but a couple of cars come down the road, turn around and go back, since we’ve come here. No sign of any forest personnel at all, either. Very quiet!

Thursday, May 7, 2015 – Discussion and Another Rest Day

After reviewing the weather forecast, which is looking rather rainy for quite a long period of time, we spent some time in the morning reviewing our options. The advantage of where we are is that it is very quiet and peaceful, far away from any traffic so the dogs can run around, and has lots of grass for the horses so we can save on feeding them hay. The down side is, it’s still in Texas, a long way from home, and there’s no satellite signal (too many trees). The next several places I have lined up are all near roads with traffic, one is next to a railroad track, and two have just a possibility of a satellite signal. All will likely suffer from rain and mud, including here. We determined the real priority is to get Hubby fit. Right now he seems to have one good day, followed by a not so good day. We were going to ride today, as it’s only a 20% chance of rain after 1:00, but he decided he wanted to rest instead, to put his full recuperation behind him, or at least get used to his meds so he doesn’t feel as bad as he did on Monday driving. I did manage to persuade him to take a brief walk, just to help him build his strength up, but otherwise we spent most of the day relaxing, watching movies and watching the sun come out late in the afternoon. We took a second walk in the afternoon, just around the campsite area and up the road a bit so Lola could take a swim, then settled down for another quiet evening. Beginning to think we may not get a ride in at all over the next week, the way the weather is looking. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – Rest Day

Though we had hoped to take a short ride today, Hubby persuaded me to take a rest day (though I’ve felt more productive and had more energy since we’ve been here than I’ve had in a long time!), and in between cloudy skies, a few showers, and the occasional burst of sun, we had a pleasant day, mostly reading, with me doing some inevitable work on the computer. Late in the afternoon he suddenly got a headache, something that seems to happen every time he takes one of his new prescriptions. We’re hoping that will work itself out, we certainly don’t want daily headaches to be the new normal! I put the horses out on their anchors today, so they could mow some of the very long grass out here (and save hay : -), and they’ve done a smashing job, though there’s plenty left for the rest of the week. A quiet day, a quiet evening, hopefully tomorrow will result in a ride!