Archives for August 2021

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 – First Ride Day at Waterloo

Hi Babe!
Had a great night sleep, without earplugs, yay! No trains or traffic nearby, just the sound of night insects, there was no one else in camp, and the temps dropped down to perfect sleeping weather, couldn’t have asked for a better first night. After chores this morning, I spent a little time trying to diagnose my brake problem, with no luck, so then I reached out to a mobile RV service that’s only 20 minutes away, and he said he would get back to me today about whether he had someone he could send. Unfortunately he didn’t, but I’ll call again in the morning to see if there’s a chance. Meanwhile, I saddled up Flash, put his boots in the saddle bags rather than on him, since a hiker that was here yesterday told me there aren’t too many stones here, but I took them anyway just in case. Just as we were setting off, a big deer came right into the campground grazing for a bit, but ran off as we started to move out. Flash was in an energetic mood today. Not sure if it was because of the cooler temps, lower humidity, not having to wear boots, or maybe the high percentage of alfalfa in this last batch of hay I bought, but he was definitely in the mood to move today! While they use the same great intersection numbering system I’ve grown to love here in Michigan, they didn’t execute it entirely, there are a number of poorly marked intersections and renegade trails around, so naturally, I got lost a couple of times. Took one trail twice when it circled around, and completely missed another trail that led us onto a gravel road that we had to follow in order to find our way back to the next trail. Other than that, though, it was a fabulous ride! A beautiful forest, a few steeper grades than we’ve been seeing lately, which was fun, and the far west trail was like a trail challenge course, with logs down every few yards! Flash was brilliant today! I gave him a loose rein practically the whole way, let him make his own decisions as to speed and alternate trails, and at one point, he had a choice between a bridge and a water crossing and on his own volition, he headed straight for the bridge! He did a great job today, it was such a pleasure to ride him today. We even saw a big snake on the trail, and we usually both miss those, but this one was slow to cross and even Flash noticed him (though I don’t think Lola did). It was a longer ride than I had planned, and he certainly was ready to get back to camp, as was Lola, who thoroughly enjoyed herself, too. The temps were perfect, the woods were thick and cool, couldn’t have asked for a better day. The rest of the week looks like it will be more of the same, so I can see us getting a lot of riding in this week! Got back to camp, put Flash up, then got out Lola’s pool and used the last of the truck tank water to fill it, then went up to the solar well pump and filled up the truck tank, so that should last for a bit. Later on, a big old truck with a guy named Butch showed up with a load of logs, evidently he’s stocking up for the weekend when a bunch of folks are coming in. Another RV had come in which I hadn’t noticed already, so it looks like I’ll be getting a lot of company in the coming days. I’ll be glad when the season is over and I’ll have places like this to myself, though having a bit of company might be good for book sales :-). Anyway, I settled down for the evening, now I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Monday, August 30, 2021 – Travel Day to Waterloo, Then Shopping

Hi Darlin’!
Well, a good night sleep, slept rather late because I read late, but it was nicer because it was a little cooler after the rain, thank goodness! No worries, I had such a short drive today, probably the shortest I’ve ever done, less than 30 miles, but it was all back roads so it took about an hour. When I was at the dump I asked a guy to listen for my electric brakes on the controller, it’s not reading that it’s connected, even though the lights come on, so I don’t know what’s wrong. He said he didn’t hear anything, which means the brakes aren’t working, so that’s a problem I’ll have to address asap. Meanwhile, I drove VERY CAREFULLY on al those back roads, making the mistake of following Google maps. They actually had the horse camp right, but I thought I needed to check in first, so I was trying to find the main entrance where they usually have a ranger station where they do that, but instead it took me near the riding stable, with no ranger station is sight, and pronounced that I had arrived! Naturally, there was no place to turn around so I kept going, then turned on to another road thinking that I might back up and turn around, but there were bends on both sides and I didn’t dare back out without help, so I checked to see where the road I was on went, and decided that could bring me back to the horse camp, where I had decided to go first. Well, I made it, but the roads were almost all dirt and gravel and had some slippery spots and a few steep hills, so it was a bit dicey. Once I got to the camp and filled the trailer with water, I called the reservations office to see which sites were going to be open the full two weeks I plan on staying here, and after getting that list, reconnoitered around the campground until I found quite a nice spot. Like Brighton, most of the sites aren’t very level, but I did manage to find one that wasn’t too bad. Of course, according to their website, my rig wouldn’t fit into ANY of their campsites, when in fact there are a number that are just fine. I opted for a shady spot, even though the forecast is for cooler weather (not falling for THAT again!), so I won’t get as much solar energy, but I shouldn’t have to use much propane if I’m not running my AC anyway, so it sort of balances. Anyway, I got all set up, my only con is that the site goes uphill at the back, so I had to run up my levelers so high that the stairs/mounting block leaves me with a very big first step out of the trailer, which I’m going to have to be careful with or I’ll be doing a header straight to the ground! The slope makes the screen room very tall, the bottom just touches the ground, so no problem with the door opening against the awning like it does sometimes. Despite getting lost, I was pretty well set up by about 2:30, so I headed out to find the ranger station, where a very nice gentleman helped my get registered and paid up, then I headed off to Jackson, the nearest town, to fill up two propane tanks and do some overdue grocery shopping, and was back by around 5:00. Did a few more set up chores, like the grill, then settled down for the evening. It’s much cooler, and supposed to get down into the low 60’s tonight, and the low 50’s over the next few nights, so we’ll be going from one extreme to the other! But I’d rather have 70’s during the day and 50’s at night anytime! That’s always my weather goal, and I’ve finally made it! Seems like the first time in awhile, though I’m sure it hasn’t been that long. Anyway, all settled in, time for shower, bed, reading, then sleep after my busy day! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, August 29, 2021 – Prep for Departure

Hi Sweetie!
Took a long time to get to sleep last night, but ended up with it being a good night. I spent most of the day just putting stuff away, letting the horses graze, reading and watching a movie, a nice relaxing day. It was actually more relaxing after I texted this Dan guy to tell him to buzz off, turns out he’s not only a poor communicator, but he’s been increasingly high-maintenance, and NEVER on time for anything, with no apologies for it, or any sense that being late is the least bit rude or wrong. Not what I need in my life! So once that was done, I was able to relax the rest of the day. As I was putting stuff away, Flash kept coming over to see what I was doing, and at one point, he literally leapt into the trailer! I don’t know what he planned to find in there (breakfast maybe?), but when he discovered there wasn’t any grain in the manger, he promptly turned around and leapt out again. Silly horse! I remember the days when I could hardly get him in there! How times change! Anyway, I managed to get most things put away, then a line of thunderstorms came in late in the afternoon and cooled things down, yay!! It’s supposed to be a much cooler and absolutely beautiful week, and I’m so glad, this heat has been a real killer! Being that it’s almost September, I’m hoping I’ve seen the last of the great heat, and that I can time it right to get to Florida before seeing any frost this year. I’m setting my sights on a Halloween party at my friend’s in Jacksonville, figure that’s about right weatherwise. Then I can bounce around the state all winter, wherever the weather suits! Well, I’ve already had my shower, just need to finish making the bed (oh, yeah, I did laundry today, too), and retire for the night. Good night, babe! Love you!

Saturday, August 28, 2021 – Ride and Beach Day

Hi Babe,
A pretty good night sleep, though I was woken up early by a phone call. I had changed by Do Not Disturb time to an hour earlier in case Mike, Jeff’s neighbor called, about picking up the mower deck I bought the other day. Unfortunately it wasn’t him, it was Dan, who told me last night he wanted to ride but couldn’t get here until 3:00. I told him I was riding in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon, which is what I did. Flash and I did a pretty short ride, though, it was so hot and buggy, and Flash was reluctant, and I discovered it was because his foot bulbs were raw again, despite using the socks Cavallo sent me, sorry to say! He’ll need some time for those to heal, so I’m hoping the next place has less rocks so maybe I can get away without boots. Not a bad ride, just that I had to put on another layer of Off! Spray about every 15 minutes, the mosquitoes were SO BAD!! Got back to camp, and immediately after putting Flash up I changed into my bathing suit and Lola and I headed for the beach, where we ended up staying until about 6:30. Dan never showed up, a comedy of errors starting with the fact he showed up without letting me know when he was coming, then hung around the trailer for way too long before finally coming over to the beach without telling me that was what he was doing, then couldn’t find me (the beach is only about 150 yards long! And I was where all the dogs were, not that hard to figure out!), then my phone died, yada yada yada. He apparently gave up because he was gone by the time I got back to camp and got my phone on charge. Just as well, really, it seemed he had some grand plan he failed to let me in on, and I DON’T like surprises or playing head games, and that seems to be all I’m getting from him. Don’t need that kind of irritation and annoyance in my life! Enjoying myself by myself, thank you very much! Settled down for the evening, then after 8:00 Mike arrived, and we unloaded his truck, got the mower deck in, and reloaded everything. So now Jeff will have his mower deck in a few days, hope he’s happy about that! And remembers to pay me for it when I get down there later this year! Enjoyed the rest of a good movie, had a glass of wine, now it’s late and I’m heading to shower and bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Friday, August 27, 2021 – Really Lazy Hot Day

Hi Darlin’,
Had an excellent night sleep, seems like the first in a long time, probably because I splurged and ran the AC for a couple of hours to well and truly cool the trailer down before I went to bed. We also had some rain move in, which helped a bit, so it was all good! It rained a bit in the morning, managed to get the horses fed between showers, then I put them out on the grass for most of the day. It got really hot and humid once the rain passed, though, and the mosquitoes were swarming so bad, I just couldn’t see doing anything outside, so I literally spent most of the day in my recliner with a floor fan blowing on me, so for the first time, I actually felt pretty cool most of the day. Still had to run the AC in the late afternoon, though. I considered riding, but frankly, just didn’t feel like dealing with the heat and the bugs! Can’t wait for a cool front to come through, this has evidently been an unusually hot summer here in Michigan, just my luck! Anyway, watched some good programs, did a lot of reading, played games on my computer and just generally did nothing today. Not very exciting, I know, but it’s hard to get up the energy to do anything when it’s so hot and humid! Anyway, the day is done now, off to shower and bed. Good night sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, August 26, 2021 – Sandy Departs, Then Massage, Hay and TSC

Hi Babe,
It was so hot, it took me forever to fall asleep! I did run the AC for a bit, but not long enough, and I ended up having a terrible night. Sandy slept on cushions on the floor and said she was more comfortable than last night, but it still must have been tough with the heat. Of course, up in the “loft” the rising heat is always worst, and I don’t think it ever got below 75 last night, if that. Anyway, we had breakfast, didn’t have enough time to ride, so Sandy was all packed up and left just before 11:30. I changed my clothes and head out shortly afterward, first to my second massage this week, then down to a nearby farm for some beautiful hay, and finally to TSC to pick up propane and a few bags of horse feed to get me through. When I got back it was so hot, I just had to run the AC for a couple of hours just to get the heat out, and to be somewhat comfortable. Hoping I’ve done enough to get me through the night, it does seem a bit cooler in here now. I settled down for leftovers and a movie, now I’m headed to bed to read and hopefully, SLEEP! Would like to have a good night sleep for a change! We’ll see. Heading off to my shower and bed now, my love! Good night!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 – Ride and Beach with Sandy

Hi Sweetie,
A pretty good night sleep, it seemed a bit cooler, then chores, breakfast, and then Sandy and I saddled up and headed out around 10:00. It rained hard several times during the night, but was all gone by morning, though, of course, all the trees were wet so we got the occasional sprinkling as we went through the woods. Before we left camp, though, Sandy had some kind of problem mounting Apollo, not quite sure what happened but she evidently overshot him and fell off on the off side, bruising her hip a bit. She got back on, of course, and we had a very nice 9.25 mile ride, at just three hours, so it worked out. Apollo has been much more fleet of foot lately, perhaps because of the pad in his shoes and maybe he’s finally gotten over his sore feet from months ago, but whatever it is, he has been much livelier lately. So a very good ride. It was a lot cooler in the woods, so once we got back, it wasn’t long before we put on our bathing suits, grabbed Lola and headed for the beach, where we stayed for nearly four hours. We took our small flotation devices and floated around for quite awhile, which was lovely, then layed out on the grass for a while, reading and napping until after 6:00, when we headed back. I stopped at the water spigot to fill up the barrel, then got to camp where we fed the horses, heated up leftovers from our Irish pub meal yesterday, had a bit of ice cream, watched a movie, then headed to bed. We tried to get the kitchen table down to make into an extra bed, but it was so stuck in place we couldn’t budge it. She learned from last night that it’s too stuffy in her car, too buggy if she opens a window, so she actually slept on the floor of the trailer last night. Tonight she’s going to take a cushion of the dining room bench seat and put that on the floor instead, hopefully that will be more comfortable for her. Anyway, heading to the showers and bed shortly! Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 – Happy Birthday to Me!

Hi Babe,
Well, another year has come and gone, my second birthday without your physical presence, but no worries! You’re still with me! Had a quiet morning, did some reading, and thought about going riding but frankly, my hip has been sore for the last few days, maybe from the fall, maybe night, I don’t know, but in any event, I decided against it for now. My friend Sandy drove down to spend a couple of days with me, and it worked out well that we met at an Irish pub for a late lunch/early dinner, so I had a nice plate of bangers and mash and a couple of Guinness drafts, all served in delightful air condition, so I was a happy camper. Got back to camp and decided to head for the beach to cool off, as it was very hot again today, too hot to ride anyway! We got in our bathing suits, grabbed Lola and headed for the beach, where we tossed Lola’s frisbee and swam a bit to cool down, it was lovely. There were several other dog folks around, and Lola had a good time playing with a big German Shepherd names Ava, and we all had a good time while we cooled off. Stayed until nearly 7:00, when some clouds moved in, and radar showed some rain headed in our direction, so we got back to camp, Sandy went ahead and fed the horses while I cleaned up, and then we sat in the screen room enjoying the cool breezes that preceded the storms. It cooled down beautifully, so it was a much more comfortable evening, thank goodness! I even got phone calls from every one of my brothers today, what a nice surprise! Sandy and I discussed plans for tomorrow, now she’s gone off to bed and I’m headed for the shower and bed, too! A nice day, a nice way to spend my birthday.Thinking of you, my love! Good night!

Monday, August 23, 2021 – Massage and Errand for Jeff

Hi Darlin’,
Another late night to bed, though I woke up before my alarm this morning. I had scheduled a massage this morning, I’ve been rather achy lately, and I found this well-reviewed woman about 25 minutes away so I went to see her. My priority is still trying to get my shoulder straightened out, and I have to say, she seems to grasp the problem better than anyone I’ve ever worked with before. She spend the entire 90 minutes working on my upper body, and there was a lot more tension there than even I thought, which she attacked vigorously. I can say that my arm and shoulder do seem to be freer, but the rest of me is still in pain. I had some unexpected lower back pain when I got up this morning, and was hoping we’d have time to work some of that out, but we didn’t, so I left with that still hurting, as well as most of the rest of me. I scheduled another one for Thursday so hopefully we can get a full body massage in, with a final checkup on my shoulder, I’m hoping by then I’ll be able to tell if she truly fixed it or not, which would be a damn miracle if she did! We’ll see. When I left there, I headed east for about an hour to solve a problem for Jeff. He’s been looking for a replacement deck for his John Deere lawnmower, and apparently they’re very difficult to find, but one of his friends found one for sale in a town north of Detroit, so I agreed to go pick it up for him, which I did. A long drive out and back, but it seems like it’s in good shape, so I trust Jeff will be happy with it. He doesn’t want to ship it, but his friend Mike, who has a place in Michigan, is heading to Florida later in the week, so hopefully he can take it off my hands and deliver it. Otherwise, I’ll be lugging the thing around with me until I get down there, months from now. Not sure where the best place to store it is, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Not really a big deal, just an extra 100 clumsy pounds to carry. Got back to camp, filled up the truck water tank, then let the horses out to graze for the rest of the day. Settled down for the evening, feeling tired, probably because I took three ibuprofen to help with my backache. Heading off for shower and bed shortly, hopefully a good night sleep. Slightly cooler with less humidity tonight, so fingers crossed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, August 22, 2021 – Laundry, Kayaking and Sad News

Hi Babe,
My body clock is definitely on the late night cycle now for some reason. Can’t seem to fall asleep till long after midnight, can’t seem to get up before 9:00. Gotta fix that somehow! Well, I had planned on doing some housework today, but just couldn’t get up enough energy to do it. This heat is really taking it out of me, made worse by the fact the trailer is baking in the sun most of the day. Inside the trailer is the hottest place in the park! I did get my laundry done, that was one thing, then I decided to blow up the kayak, and in the afternoon, I took it over to the nearest pond, which is very close to the horse camp, but it was so choked with weeds and the water was so low I decided against it. Someone else that was there looking suggested the lake over by the main campground, so I went over there instead. Not much of a lake, I managed to paddle around the entire thing in less than an hour, probably a half hour, I don’t know I didn’t check my watch. There is a beach there, which was full, naturally, and they have something I’ve never seen before, something called Jump Island, which is essentially a collection of huge bounce houses of various shapes and sizes right in the water. It looked like fun, but then I discovered it was run by a concessionaire and it was pretty pricey, so I’m probably going to skip that! It was a nice paddle, though, and it did cool me off a little. Got back to camp, took the rest of my laundry down, let the horses out to graze (everyone else in camp was gone by late morning), and settled down for the day. Then I got some sad news. Wayne, the ranch manager at Loretta Lynn’s ranch, was swept away in the floods that followed 17 inches of rain in a 24 hour period, he didn’t make it. Most of the ranch is underwater, except the mansion and Loretta’s house, it looks like at least one of the barns has been destroyed. The mill and the town around it looked like it was barely hanging on by a thread, and the main road through that whole area was completely underwater. Apparently there are dozens of people missing, countless homes destroyed, a real mess. I got to know Wayne a bit when I was there in June, he was even going to help me by welding a new set of steps on my trailer but didn’t have time before I had to leave. So sad, and so sudden. Apparently a lot of animals drowned as well. Not sure how this bodes for upcoming events, I’m sure there is way too much damage to be fixed quickly or easily. My heart goes out to them and their latest challenges! Well, enough of that, I’ve had my shower, trying to get to bed soon, but am still trying to solve a problem for brother Jeff. Will head out soon. Good night, my darling! Love you!