Archives for June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 – Research Day

Spent most of the day trying to learn the best computer to replace my current one, and it seems Lenovo still is the only one with the features I like, i.e. A matte screen that doesn’t reflect strong light (inside or out), and a keyboard that has concave keys rather than flat keys (for a touch typist, the curved keys are a must!) After spending a lot of time trying to get through the Lenovo site, I still ended up with virtually the same machine I have now, just a later model. Guess I got it right the last time! Only problem to solve now is where to have it shipped, since it will take about 2 weeks to get, and getting things delivered to a horse camp is not usually very easy, by UPS. But I’m looking into alternative. Rained in the morning but cleared up later in the day, but too late to get a ride in.

Monday, June 29, 2015 – Runaround and Computer Repair Day

After two days of pretty much solid, cold rain, it finally started to clear up today, and as much as we’d like to take a ride, we had some running around to do, most particularly to try to find hay for this increasingly finicky mare of ours. I’m beginning to think a trip to the vet might be the only option. She has no trouble eating horse feed or grass, but she just turns her nose up at hay, no matter what kind it is. Today didn’t help. We drove over 30 miles round trip to pick up a couple of bales of hay at a farm south in Cayuta, but she ended up turning her nose up at that, too. Even the nearly pure alfalfa is being stomped on by her. In addition, when I went to turn on my computer this morning, it refused to boot up! Perfect! I found a computer repair shop in town and dropped it off there before heading out to the farm, then we went to Walmart to shop, and Tops for gas, plus I ran Lola into a vet next door that happened to conveniently have a scale in the lobby, and she weighed in at 59 pounds, the same as a few weeks ago. Guess I need to pump up her feed again! Got some puppy food at Walmart, maybe that will help. Got a call from the computer repair guy, it seems the ram slot went bad, but they moved it to a second slot and all is well (thank goodness!), with a warning that it’s an indication the motherboard might be on it’s way out. Well, it’s been since Spring 2011 since I bought my last computer, so I guess I’m due. Time to research what’s available again! Didn’t get back to camp until after 5, did the unsuccessful hay test, did some training with Lola before having a late dinner and watching a movie before bed!

Friday, June 26, 2015 – Gorgeous Ride Day at Sugar Hill

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After the best night sleep we've had in awhile, with perfect sleeping temps in the mid-50s, Hubby, who's been feeling better in the last few days than he has in a long, long time, was ready to go for a good ride today, even though we had traveled yesterday, so after breakfast and a quick hoof trim, we saddled up and hit the trail just before noon, taking the dogs along with us. Lola is learning to be quite a good trail dog, though she's young and still doesn't always come when she's called, especially when she's almost back to camp, but most of the time is really good. Little Billy somehow manages to keep up, despite his little legs, and he stayed with us for the whole 4+ miles. We started out on the road west out of camp, then cut over onto C trail, turned a bit early as we made our way down to B trail, then got onto Mohawk trail, which is usually one of our favorites, but with all the rain, it was very muddy. In fact, for the first time since I've been using them, I kept losing my Cavallo horse boots. Hubby had no problem, so I think it had more to do with maybe the fresh trim I did on Apollo's feet before we left, I might have trimmed a bit too much, but the mud here was really heavy and pulled them right off on several occasions. Once it was so deep in the mud I couldn't even see it, and walked back about a quarter mile just trying to find it, only to finally discover it feet away from where I first noticed it missing. It was a miracle I could even find it, it was so deep in the mud! I gave up on boots at that point, tying them to my saddle for the rest of the trip home, which fortunately, didn't include too many stony areas. It was a great ride though, although Apollo was feeling a bit restless and evidently frustrated at the footing, and Clio got a bit frustrated, too. The last stretch home was all on the road, though, so they were settled down by the time we got back to camp. I did a couple of loads of laundry, figuring I better get it done while the sun was shining, because the forecast is rain for the rest of the weekend. Helped some neighbors get their awning down, then just settled down for the day. A great ride, and we feel right at home here, with perfect temps and a beautiful day. It doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, June 25, 2015 – Travel Day to Sugar Hill-Six Nations

Getting up early again, we headed first to the office to pay for the night, but after expressing our disappointment, they waived the fee in lieu of me writing a commentary on how they could improve the horse camp, which I did. From there, we headed toward Watkins Glen, stopping once for fuel and again for liquor, before making our way out to Sugar Hill. One of the reasons we headed here early is because we were concerned that with July 4th falling on a Saturday, that some folks might arrive this weekend and stay for the week, and we wanted to be sure to get our “usual” spot, which was a well graveled spot with a water spigot at one end, and an angle which would allow Hubby to get his satellite signal. In addition, there was zero cell signal at Alleghany, and we knew we had one here, and were thrilled to discover the signal had even improved since the last time we were here, so all is good, all around!! It didn’t take long to get the horses on anchors, water in the tank (which was confirmed!), and completely settled into this free campground. There were some new horse stalls built as well, so we decided that rather than high line, we would put them in the covered stalls at night and let them graze on their anchors during the day. We met up with maintenance man Ron, the same one who was here the last time we were here, and a new assistant ranger named Creighton, who issued a camping permit through July 6. We soon settled down for the day, while numerous campers came into the camp, making us even more glad we came early, though time will tell if they’re just here for the weekend or for the entire week. Having got all that we wanted here, we’re happy campers today!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – Travel Day to Alleghany State Park, Water Mystery

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After considering our options, we finally decided to go to Alleghany State Park, primarily because I was told, on several phone calls, that they had several water spigots throughout the campground, and at one point, was told they even had electric, though I had serious doubts about that. The drive was uneventful, with a single stop at Walmart in Ohio to top off the gas tank of the van and to pick up a couple of last minute groceries before we arrived at the park. Very nicely landscaped, and very full of people around the beach and main campground area, we had high hopes for the horse camp. After stopping at the rental office, I learned that my suspicions about electric were correct, there was none. I was told we should get water at the dump, which we did, but I was still under the impression there were multiple spigots at the horse camp, which had prompted our decision to come here, as I have a bunch of laundry to do. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the horse camp, we couldn't find any water at all, except an algae infested water trough that was evidently spring-fed. No spigots, nothing. In addition, most of the sites were grass, and very soggy, so we had to opt for one site that had some gravel, but that had a pretty serious grade up in the back, so we ended up not being level, again! After several debates, Hubby and I decided that it would be a very uncomfortable and work-heavy weekend if we stayed, so we came to the conclusion, for a variety of reasons, to leave tomorrow morning and get to Sugar Hill near Watkins Glen, which is our ultimate goal for the 4th of July weekend. Having decided that, I started the washing machine, as I didn't want to carry a full tank to Watkins Glen. Then something very strange happened... We ran out of water! We were both sure we had filled the tank, and also sure that there was no way we could have lost 85 gallons of water without noticing it, but sure enough, we ran out of water! The only conclusion had to be that despite believing we heard water going into the tank, and I saw water coming out of the overflow under the RV, we must not have put water in. Don't ask me how, I have no explanation, because everything seemed to go as it normally did, but the water just didn't get into the tank, period. So we ended up having to put water from the horse water tank in a bucket and use that to finish washing dishes and bottled water for brushing teeth and other personal ablutions, making it even more imperative we leave tomorrow. We didn't even bother putting up the satellite dish, so we watched some things that were recorded and went to bed, ready to move out tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 – Rest and Prep Day

After a delightful day yesterday, today we slept late and spent the day simply getting ready to leave tomorrow. Hubby and I took a short walk down to the other campground, which he hadn’t seen yet, and frolicked with the dogs a bit, but otherwise had a fairly easy day.

Monday, June 22, 2015 – Visit from Old Friend

Being near Cleveland, the home of an old high school buddy of mine, we arranged to meet at the horse camp today, though we crossed paths in the nearby town of Ravenna and hooked up so I could show her the way. I had been doing some shopping, getting fuel and horse feed, and we arrived at camp by 12:30, after I made a side trip to the camp office to pay for two more days here. Today was the first decent weather we’ve had in more than a week, and we were happy to see the sunshine. We visited for awhile, then saddled up and hit the road, this time staying on the road because of her inexperience as a rider. Had a good time nevertheless, chatting the whole way. The dogs accompanied us, and other than getting a warning that dogs should be on a leash from a passing ranger (despite the fact there wasn’t anyone around and there was no one to complain), we got back to camp, fixed some late lunch and chatted some more, catching up on times old and new, making arrangements to meet up again, before she finally dodged out just a new storm began dropping rain on us. We are getting sick of all this rain! What a wet spring and summer they seem to be having up here. Well, not just up here, we had plenty along the Gulf Coast and in Texas as well! Hoping it gets drier as the summer progress, though I have to say, I can’t remember seeing so much green, which is a welcome respite afte nearly two years out west, where everything is brown, brown, brown (except the blue bonnets at Muleshoe Bend, of course!) Looking forward to getting to NY state in a few days!

Sunday, June 21, 2015 – Ride Day at West Branch State Park, Ohio

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Though it rained for a while in the morning, further making everything soggy (if that's even possible at this point!), the sky started to clear up by late morning, and I determined we were going for a ride, period. Hubby was feeling the best he's felt in a while, so with ponchos secure in our saddle bags (as always), we headed up the road. With all the rain, we figured the side trails would be really sloppy, so we initially stayed on the road, following it back to where it turned from pavement to gravel, then turned around and headed back. We decided to try the same trail I walked yesterday in reverse, just to make the ride a bit more interesting, which, with all the mud and slipperiness, you could say we succeeded. Not deep mud, fortunately, but slippery nonetheless. We stopped briefly at a little peninsula into the lake that had a couple of highlines, and let Lola go for a swim. We finally make it back, finding the sections of horse trail that I missed on my walk yesterday, with lots of dirt on everybody, so I got a bucket of water and sponged everyone down. Just as we finished putting the horses back on their anchors and got back into the RV, we had another tremendous downpour! I thought we were done with rain for the day, but no such luck. Glad we missed it on the trail, though! Not the most interesting ride, but definitely good for the horses, dogs and us, great to be back in the saddle again! No drama, just a great ride, and even little Billy managed to keep up, though we did have to slow down for him a couple of times after some canters on the road. After yesterday's walk and today's ride, this old boy is certainly getting his exercise! The dogs even behaved beautifully when a group of riders passed on the road, for which we were very grateful! A small tree had fallen during the day, but someone from the other group pulled it out of the way, so I guess they got out all right. Settled down for a peaceful night, since all our neighbors for the weekend were long gone. A nice, peaceful but rainy night!

Saturday, June 20, 2015 – Rained Out

Woke up several times during the night with the sound of rain on the roof, and it was quite steady from about 7 to 9, so it seems that unless it clears up this afternoon, our ride day is off, darn it! After checking the forecast again, there’s a huge blob of rain heading this way, so I got out one of our portable barrels and put it by the awning to collect water, and after feeding the horses their rations, put them back on their anchors so they can keep munching on the grass and clover here. Not much else likely to happen today, with all the rain. Several people walked by, and apparently did a few landscaping chores, obviously part of the group down below, though we only saw a couple of horse trailers come in yesterday, so they aren’t exactly taking up the whole camp. Whatever, we’re happy up here now that we’re almost level, and it did look awful soggy down there, probably worse now with all the additional rain since yesterday. Took a walk to try to find the short trail next to the campground I’ve seen on the map, with the dogs along, though I lost Lola within 10 minutes, and was relieved when I discovered she had gone straight back to camp. Struggled with some really slippery mud, and apparently I had misremembered how long the loop was (I thought it was ¾ of a mile, turned out to be twice that), so it was more than 1 ½ hours before I got back, wet and muddy for my troubles. Little Billy stayed with me the whole way, though, what a trooper! I never would have found the north trailhead on horseback, as it was invisible where it comes out on the utility easement, so I’m glad I made the reconnoiter. Cleaned up, then settled down to an evening of dinner and watching TV.

Friday, June 19, 2015 – Straighten out the RV

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Had some pretty full buckets by this morning, but as the day progressed, the clouds broke up a bit, and we even had an occasional smattering of sunshine. I took a walk down the road, where on Google Earth it looks like there's another campground, with the dogs along for the walk. Indeed, there was quite a nice campground down there just 100 yards or so further on, with much longer gravel pads, and more wide open space, a loop for easy access, and high-lines throughout the camp. There was even a path down to the lake. Just as I had convinced myself that we should ask management if we could move down there, an older man in a small pickup with an old horse trailer behind it drove in, and when I asked him about it, he informed me it was a group camp that his club had built, and they were coming in for a work weekend, and would be filling up the place, so there went that idea. Walked back to camp and shared the bad news with Hubby, so we set about doing our daily chores. After finally getting the satellite dish set up, with no explanation discovered for why it didn't work yesterday, we set about leveling the RV, which fortunately, only took about half an hour. It was such a HUGE improvement that we really enjoyed relaxing the rest of the day, without have to walk as if we were on shipboard and stuck in the mud at a list. Watched the 2nd part of a movie that we started yesterday, had a relaxing evening, and kept our fingers crossed that we would be able to get to ride in the morning. Forecast says rain later in the day, so we're planning on getting out fairly early. Can't wait, it seems like ages since we've had a ride!