Archives for July 2023

Monday, July 31, 2023 – Travel Day to Schecks, With Awning Problems

Hiya Babe,
Had a great night sleep, ended up sleeping until nearly 8:30, so I woke up refreshed and ready. Of course, as always, whenever I think, oh, well, a short day today, lots of time to spare, those are the days when things happen that take up that time! I finished packing up outside, leaving Flash to graze while I got the whole highline area cleaned up before breakfast, and just as I was eating breakfast, I heard him heading up the ramp into the trailer on his own. Only went halfway, but I went out and got him in the rest of the way, since there wasn’t much left to do. Well, one of the last things to do was to get the awning in, and wouldn’t you know, it wouldn’t come it. I figured maybe low voltage in the batteries, so I turned the generator on and let it run for a bit, then it cut out after a few minutes. Not enough to make the awning work, so I tried starting it again. After several attempts, where it would start then cut off, I thought maybe it was the low oil cutoff switch, so I put some oil into it. It didn’t look low, but it never does, it takes awhile for it to trickle down. In the end, though, that wasn’t the problem. I didn’t think it was low on propane, it seemed like I just changed the tanks over, but then I remembered that the last time I filled up, the girl stopped at 4.2 instead of the usual 4.7 (because some folks complained about them being to full, so I complained about them not being full enough!), so I’ve been going through tanks faster than usual. Anyway, that solved the generator problem, but not the awning problem. I’ve also been really worried about making that 1.7 mile single lane sandy road trip out of the campground, but amazingly, a couple of young DNR folks came in with mowers to do the lawn, and I was able to get their help. After several efforts, we finally managed to get the awning in by hand and I held it in with bungees, so I could at least move on. Then they did me a second favor, by driving out the road and blocking it off so no one could come in, so I could safely make my way down the road. Still a white knuckle ride with all the patches of deep sand, though, but I made it! Thanks to Fawn and Jack!! I had originally figured I’d be at Schecks by noon, but by the time I arrived it was nearly 2:00. I took the long way around again, so I missed the four miles of rough Brown Bridge Rd., was surprised to see a lot of campers with no horses (and none with, except me), pulled up to the well and filled my tanks with my now working generator (and this one had laminated instructions on how to use it, including the hidden switch!), and found the perfect spot right next to the Trail Boss site, which had a couple of non-horse folks parked in it. Apparently they moved in without noticing the sign, and when I explained what it was about, they moved over one, even though I told them no one would be coming till the end of the week. A nice young couple, we had a nice chat later. So now I’m all settled in, solar panel included, without an awning (I’ll open it once I confirm that someone can come out and look at it soon, there are numerous mobile RV services around), I put the fence up around the unmowed area around the highline so Flash has some room to roam and grass to mow and fertilize. The charger isn’t working, but I’ve ordered a new one that’s supposed to arrive in a few days, though Flash isn’t likely to escape, he respects that fence too much! So glad to have a better cell signal here, no trouble watching a movie or doing stuff online today, researching the awning problem. Anyway, it’s getting late, I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, July 30, 2023 – Housework, Repairs and Packing

Hey Sweetie,
Didn’t feel very rested when I woke up this morning, but had a lot of work to do. Once I managed to get myself going, it seemed everything I did led to something else having to be done. I needed to move a few bales of hay from under the gooseneck into the front stall, and found that the bracket that holds the door open had lost a screw, so I fixed that. Inside, I noticed the cover over the air conditioner had two screws that weren’t holding and had dropped down, so I found a couple of anchors and fixed that. I did one load of laundry, did some dusting and vacuuming while the generator was on, finally took a break around noon. During the day I put some stuff away, cleaned out the back, discovered my cell phone booster power cord wasn’t working, tried to jury rig that, unsuccessfully. I either need a new cord or a new booster, spent a little time searching for that. Got the back cleared out and ready for Flash. Met the woman who posted the original endurance ride map for this place, which became the foundation of the trail map I made and posted on the Facebook group. She rides a big thoroughbred, 17 hands, handsome. After dinner I put the chairs and grill away, and pretty much everything else that I could. Not that I’ll be in a hurry to get out of here in the morning, considering Schecks is only about 45 minutes away! Hope I get a better night sleep, though. I’m having Sleepytime tea tonight instead of bourbon, maybe that will help! Anyway, a mostly busy day, I’ll be ready for bed soon! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Ten Plus Mile Ride Day

Hiya Darlin’,
Other than the usual chores and a couple of repairs, not much going on today except a nice ride on Flash. Once he was warmed up, he was speedy Gonzales today, gaiting for miles, and at one point when we turned in the direction of camp, he broke into a gallop and popped up a time or two before I managed to settle him down. Good thing he’s so small, I can just wrap my legs around him, makes it hard for me to come off, thank goodness! Did over ten miles in just over two hours, so we were making good time. Tried to do as many wooded areas as I could, but a lot was on roads, too, but a nice ride. Put a little map together an posted it on the Hopkins Creek Facebook group, hope it helps some folks in the future. Not much else going on today, pretty quiet here, unlike last weekend. Just a couple of other campers here. Won’t be long out of bed tonight, tomorrow is all about packing up, which shouldn’t take long. Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, July 28, 2023 – Laundry and Book Day

Hi Baby,
Just when I think I’m making headway on the book, something turns up that bogs me down. I discovered a little hitch, and spent hours trying to resolve it, still not sure I’ve fixed it, and I’ll have to talk to the publishing people on Monday to try to figure it out. Meanwhile, I decided I needed to fill up with water, and since I was having to run the generator to fill up with water, I figured I might as well do a quick load of laundry since I was running short of riding gear, and once I move to Shecks on Monday, I may not have easy access to water until next Saturday when they show up with a generator. Not sure I can park within reach, though I’ll try. Other than that, a pretty quiet day. Last week, a whole bunch of trailers came in on Thursday and Friday, this week, only a very few. Surprising, but apparently that’s the norm here. The forecast was calling for a good chance of rain this afternoon, but nothing showed up except the tiniest sprinkle around dinnertime. Supposed to be a cool front coming in, which would be very welcome, as it was near 90 degrees today. Hopefully overnight it will get cooler! So another rather mundane on the road, looking forward to a nice ride tomorrow. Good night, sweetheart! Love you!

Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Ride and Work Day

Hey Sweetie,
For some unknown reason, I was getting a much better cell phone signal and internet connection this morning, so I spent some time solidifying my travel plans from now until mid-September, checked on some things I wanted to order, and did some general computer work, before finally saddling up Flash and heading out for a ride around 1:00. I wanted to follow the Shore-to-Shore to the north to see how far I could get, and less than two miles out we hit a paved road. I wasn’t sure how far we had to go on it (turns out, a long way!), so I turned back. We looped around the river trail, which seems to be the local favorite, went down to a little campsite by the river where Lola and Flash were both able to get a good long drink, then headed along the river back to camp (Flash knew the way!), crossing the creek twice to get back here. It was a hot day, and a short ride, just over six miles in less than two hours, but that’s okay. Not every ride has to be a long one! Settled down to solve a few more computer problems (I’m running out of space for pix in my Google account, unless I want to pay a lot more, which I don’t!), and a few other little issues that will be resolved now that I have a better signal. Don’t know what’s up with that, but fingers crossed, it stays for awhile! Anyway, not much else going on today, so I’m heading to shower and bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – Rainy Work Day

Hiya Darlin’,
Spent pretty much the whole day working on the book, putting the camps in bolder type and adjusting the spacing to try to get back to the 499 page length of the last book. I seem to remember there being some reason I tried to keep it under 500, though I don’t recall what it is now, and the cell service is so bad here I’m having a hard time doing email and other internet stuff, much less making any phone calls, though occasionally a spam call will make it through, naturally! It started raining about midday and has been continuing off and on all day, so a good day to be inside anyway. Not much else to report, just one of those mundane days that I have to go through to get to the more exciting ones! Good night, baby! Love you!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 – Ride Day

Hey Babe,
I did a little work on the computer this morning, then went for an exploratory ride this afternoon. Started out going south toward Cadillac on the Shore to Shore trail, got about three miles before it turned into regular sand/gravel road, and looked like it would go that way for a while, so I turned back and wandered around a bit on the way back to camp. Hit several dead ends, not surprisingly, and when it came time to head toward camp, Flash was more accurate than my GPS. Except for one last turn, he pretty much brought me all the way back to camp! Lola enjoyed herself, too, though she still needs to get back into shape, she’s tiring fairly easily these days. She just needs to ride with us more! I let Flash graze on his own for a bit, and he ran around camp for awhile, then I finally looked out the window and saw him standing at the highline, as if he were hooked up! Crazy horse! Sleeping, I guess. It was a nice ride, though, most of it in the woods on two tracks and the occasional single track, and we ended up doing nearly 11.5 miles. Not a long ride, but it was pretty warm today, and we started pretty late, so it was enough. Anyway, I’m settled down for the evening, be heading to shower and bed soon! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, July 24, 2023 – Worked On The Book

Sunday, July 23, 2023 – Another Ride and Visit Day with Rain

Hiya Darlin’,
The ladies next door invited me to breakfast after chores this morning, so another meal with no clean up, yay! Afterward, I saddled up Flash and went up the road at 10:50 to see if anyone in last night’s gaited group was ready to go, and found Janet and Greg, the folks from Kentucky who have apparently made a lot of the trails just about to leave, and they agreed to let me tag along. Both their horses were a bit anxious at having another horse behind them, but eventually they got used to us. Apparently they’re being fed alfalfa cubes the last couple of days, and they were both antsy, at least that was the conclusion they drew. They took me along the river to the high banks, which I’ve already done before, with a couple of added short sections where we took very steep hills down and up to get closer to the river. It seems almost everyone goes out to the river as their ride of choice, but I was looking forward to going on some new trails, which I haven’t really done yet. In the end, the ride wasn’t even eight miles, way too short for my thinking, but that’s the compromise you have to make when riding with others. I’ve decided to stay here another week, which should give me an opportunity to explore more on my own, in the hopes of finding some addition loop riding and some other points of interest. We got caught is a little bit of rain during the last few miles, but it was clearing up again by the time we got back to camp. Then they decided to take a fast gait on the road, which Flash was dying to do as well, so we went along. As we were gaiting down the road, suddenly Greg stopped right in front of me, and we went crashing into him, smashing my left knee on his horse’s flank, and wrenching my knee. I thought I felt something shift in my knee, but I sure hope not! I don’t need to have problems with THAT knee, after having my right knee take so long to heal after my surgery years ago. Anyway, as soon as I got back to the trailer I iced it down, tried to elevate it a bit, and eventually put my knee brace on it, trying to follow the RICE protocol for such injuries. Just as I was sitting down to dinner, Charlie and Karen came by, they ride a lot at Big Oaks and wanted to get more information on the map I made, so I made my way over to their camp after dinner and we ended up chatting until nearly 9:30. We had another storm late in the afternoon with some real rain, but it seems that’s the last of it for awhile, though the forecast is calling for much higher temps mid-week, relatively speaking. Anyway, I’m ready for shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, July 21, 2023 – Laundry and a Ride

Hi Sweetie!
Another good night sleep, then the morning was all about laundry. Did three loads today, as my towels were overdue. Once they were on the line, I saddled up Flash and headed out to finish up the rest of the endurance ride map I had, just eleven miles. Again, a lot of road riding, so not my favorite, but at least now I have a good sense of direction for the place, so future rides should be a bit more adventurous. Lola didn’t come with us today, she just didn’t exhibit a lot of enthusiasm, though I’m not too surprised considering how little exercise she’s had in the past six weeks, and how fast the ride was the other day. It will take a little time for her to get back into shape. Lots more campers came into today, the place is absolutely packed, which kind of surprises me, I didn’t think this place was that attractive, but maybe I haven’t found the good trails yet! Looking forward to doing that soon. I’ve just about decided to stay here another week. It doesn’t make sense to drive 70 miles south only to drive 100 miles back north to a place I’m only 30 miles from right now. It will be nice to be in one place that long, in any event, and I have everything I need here, and I’m sure it will be quiet here again next week. I thought about visiting with some of the neighbors, but I’m starting to fall asleep in my chair, so I think it just shower and bed for me tonight! Supposed to get down below 50 degrees, so it should be really nice sleeping weather, especially on fresh sheets! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!