Monday, May 27, 2024 – Lazy Memorial Day

Hey Sweetie,
Had a good night sleep, then proceeded to have an extremely lazy day. It was cloudy in the morning, culminating into a few showers that passed through, then it cleared up nicely and was a little cooler, but I was in an exceedingly lazy mood today and did nothing except read and watch movies. A very quiet day! Very enjoyable, though. Now for another good night sleep, then tomorrow I'll get a little busier, maybe! Good night, baby! Love you!

Sunday, May 26, 2024 – Finished Off The Trails on Flash, Nice 13 Mile Ride on Flash

Hi Babe,
Started off a little cooler this morning, but ended up getting hotter, so a nice long ride in the woods was the best place to be today! I had plotted a route to finish off all the little connector trails that I've missed, and it turned into a lovely 13 mile ride around the area. The trails here are really nice, just the kind I like: single track, no gravel, only a little mud, lots of creek crossings, which Lola took full advantage of, and beautiful, dense forest. My only con is that I had to watch out for knee-knockers, there are quite a few out here! I managed to get Flash moving a bit faster today, so we made better time, but it was still 4:00 when we got back to camp, which to my mind, is perfect. Only ran into one other couple the whole day! Rinsed off Flash, splashed a little pool water on me to cool me off a bit, ran the generator just long enough to cool it down a bit inside and recharge the batteries, and was happy when clouds starting forming and I heard thunder, but as of yet, it hasn't rain, just a few drops I've heard is all. We could really use a nice refreshing downpour about now! There's still a little rain out there, so I've got my fingers crossed we get some more. Settled down for my usual evening, looking forward to a cool shower and a good night sleep! Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Saturday, May 25, 2024 – Nice Ride on Apollo, Got Some Extra Chores Done

Hey Darlin',
Slept well until I woke last night to the sound of thunder, how far off I sat and wondered. Started humming a tune from 1962, okay, enough of that! The unexpected shower did help cool it down today, it wasn't as hot as I figured it would be, so it was a nice day to take a ride. It's been awhile since I took out Apollo, so I saddled him up and planned a fairly short, 3.5 mile loop that would take us out to the Woods cemetery, which I'm sorry to say, is sorely in need of some TLC! He was a bit stiff at first, understandably, since he's been hanging around in a small corral for the week, but limbered up a bit as we got along. Kind of like me these days! Lola came along as well, and it was a nice ride. The last stretch was long the road, not really an established trail from there, so we had to pick out way down the hill to the road. Once we got back and he got rinsed off and put away, I decided to do some odd chores that have been piling up. First, I put the little plug in the brake adjustment hole in the trailer, which only took a minute. Then I decided to change out the control panel on the inverter. It's been getting more and more flaky, and since I had a new one (that the manufacturer actually sent me for free, would you believe!), I went through the process of writing down all the settings, which took about ten minutes, then changing out the panel, which took about a minute, then checking the settings to make sure they were correct (they were, apparently all the default settings), which took just a couple of minutes. Viola! All done, brand new panel, works beautifully! I did change one of the settings, there was one that would put the inverter in sleep mode until there was a draw on it, which I tried, but as the evening wore on and the batteries drew down, it started hunting, so I ended up changing it back to disabled, so it will not hunt. Then, since I've been having a few problems with the flames on my gas stove getting so hot they're leaving terrible black gunk on my pans, and my research suggested that the gas holes might just need cleaning, so I took a paperclip as instructed and cleaned them out. Not sure how much it helped, it didn't seem like much, so I may have to keep looking for the answer, but it might have helped a little. Anyway, I finally settled down to dinner and a movie, ready to take my cool shower and head to bed. Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Friday, May 24, 2024 – Computer and Rest Day

Hiya Sweetie,
I had intentions of taking Apollo for a short ride today, but got started on the computer with a bunch of little odd jobs that needed doing, and by the time that was done, it was too late and frankly, too hot. It was so hot, I actually put on my bathing suit and climbed into Lola's little pool just to cool off, and it did the trick! Late May in South Carolina is too dang hot! I should be further north, and will be next year, but this is how it worked out with my Red Rock trip. BTW, it's perfect temps right now where that's going to be, mid 40's at night, upper 60's and low 70's during the day. Can't wait! So a quiet day in camp, a few more campers came in, had a chat with Ranger Rebecca about a downed tree and some other items, but I'm still shocked that this place isn't full, what with it being a holiday weekend! Anyway, settled down for the evening, running the AC for a bit to blow out the hot air, got every fan going to keep the air moving, so hopefully I'll sleep tonight. So glad I bought that little rechargeable fan for the bedroom, I've learned I can even connect that to the little power pack I bought for the cattle drive and run that baby even longer! Hasn't quit on my yet! Anyway, cool shower and bedtime soon! Good night, baby! Love you!

Thursday, May 23, 2024 – Another Great Ride at Woods Ferry

Pix to come.

Hey Babe,
Had another slow start to the day, I've being pretty lazy here, but it feels good! Did a few things on my computer after chores, but finally saddled up Flash and headed out to pick up some more trails. I looked back on the earlier times when we were here, and recalled a day when we galloped up a hill with some berms every 10 or 20 yards, and instead of stopping at the berms like we though they would, Apollo and his mama Clio used them like a launching pad and raced again each other up the hill. It was fantastic! I found that trail today, part of the yellow trail, and relived that memory, though Flash and I didn't gallop up it like we did back in 2010, but it was nice to remember those early days, when you were healthy and able to do a lot of miles. Got back to camp around 4:00, it's actually cooler on the trail in the afternoons than back at camp, so I haven't minded getting a late start to the day around here. Rinsed off Flash, refilled everyone's water buckets, Lola's pool, and the trailer, so we're good to go. Settled down for another quiet evening, heading over to take a cold shower and get some sleep! Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 – Shopping and Attempted Repair Day

Hiya Darlin',
Had a good night sleep, didn't wake up early for a change, very happy about that! Got my chores done, then started looking at some of the repairs that need to be done on the trailer, only to realize I didn't really have the right adapters for my new impact wrench to get the job done. Since I was needing to go into town to do some shopping anyway, I headed over to Chester, went to the Tractor Supply and got the adapters I needed, as well as some shavings for the horse pens, then took a side trip to a haymaker north of there to pick up six bales, which would be enough to get me through to my next stop. Back to get fuel at Circle K, glad to see diesel prices getting back down a bit, just $3.49/gal. Last stop at Walmart to get a few things there, then back to camp around 4:00. Tried to do the repairs, but I'm afraid it's beyond my skillset at this point, so I'm going to have to let it go until I can hire a professional. Also had a conversation with Jo about helping with another endurance ride, scheduled for the same weekend as when the Goethe ride was supposed to be, said I would be glad to help with that. Chatted for a while with another camper who was walking by with his Goldendoodle, who, coincidentally was named Lola! I let my Lola out, and after an initial warning that this was my Lola's bailiwick, they got along just fine. After they left, I put down the shavings, and Apollo promptly rolled in it, so I'm a happy camper for his appreciation! Finally got my evening chores done, covered the hay with my tarp, and settled down for the evening, usual Northern Exposure and a movie. I was pretty hot today, so I had the AC running when I put the generator on, that blew out most of the hot air, and kept some fans running, which also helped. Getting too hot for me down south, looking forward to getting farther north when I return from my Red Rock Ride trip! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 – Absolutely Gorgeous Ride at Woods Ferry!

Pix to come

Hey Sweetie,
What a fantastic ride today! Weird that I don't have a great memory about this place from our last time we rode here, though that was back in 2010, our first year on the road, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I had forgotten how lovely the trails are here! I planned a full perimeter ride, which turned out to be about 14 miles, and it was truly stunning! I guess having mostly done Tennessee trails at the time, it wasn't that much of a change, but after having ridden in all 50 states, I can tell you how fabulous it was! The footing was wonderful, mostly dirt, almost no gravel, and only a few spots where it got muddy, but not very much. The first half of the trail followed the Broad River, and was cut about halfway down the slope rather than along the top, so there were no serious grades, but a few switchbacks and lots of going up and around ravines along the way, all below the ridge line, the way the Indians/pioneers liked it to avoid being seen. The trails were well-marked for the most part, although there were a few intersections that weren't, and one trail that someone had actually put the wrong markings on, but thankfully, I had downloaded a map with Geomapping information, so I had it on Avenza, which was a tremendous help. My phone almost gave out before I got back to camp, but made it back just in time. The trails were in good shape, very few downed trees and nothing you couldn't get around, with lots of creek crossings back and forth. I ran into two guys, twice, and there were some folks parked at a northern trailhead that were getting ready to go out, but otherwise, it was extremely quiet. Lola thoroughly enjoyed herself and will no doubt sleep well tonight. The only thing that was of any concern was that Flash keep wanting to walk on the side of the trail rather than in the middle, and it was always the side where there was a serious drop-off! I was nervous he might slip and careen down the hill, but fortunately that didn't happen. I didn't like having to keep steering him away from the edge, but obviously we survived it just fine. I couldn't find the entrance to the trail on the east side, it wasn't marked and wasn't clear on the map, so we finally entered down by the boat ramp on the east side and did the trail in reverse from what I'd planned, but at least then I discovered where the east entrance is now. Got back to camp just after 4:00, did my post-ride chores and settled down for the evening, as usual. Fantastic ride, and it was a lot cooler in the woods, as the temps were in the mid-80's today, but felt fine. Can't wait to go out again! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, May 20, 2024 – Travel Day to Woods Ferry, SC

Hey Sweetie,
Woke up pretty early, but since I wasn't in a real hurry today, I took my time getting up. Had breakfast first, then worked on the final packing and moving out. Ran over my mounting block again, did a little damage to the edges of the trailer. It amazes me how a plastic set of steps can actually cause damage to an aluminum and steel frame! Anyway, I got everybody loaded up and headed to the dump around 10:30, then had a dickens of a time getting around the corner and through the gate. There just wasn't enough room to straighten out before reach the gate. I had to take three tries at it before I finally was able to swing wide enough to just make it. Not sure why they have to make gates so narrow! Anyway, we were on the road, but for some reason, Google didn't take me on the roads that I told it to go on (a U.S. Hwy) and ended up taking me down a bunch of narrow, twisty, windy road until I finally ran into that highway and took it despite it telling me not to go there. Anyway, the rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, though I did have a flashback to the last time we were here. I remember staying at the top of the hill by a gravel road that was called "Campground Rd." at the last turnoff while you went down with the van and the little horse trailer to make sure it actually led to the right campground. You ended up just about out of walkie talkie range and told me to come on, and I did with much trepidation. Turned out it was okay, but I remember a lot of non-horse people in horse camping sites, so I don't think we found a site with corrals and had to highline the horses. Not sure, I'll have to look that up. I reached the campground and stopped to reconnoiter, found my site and then proceed to maneuver into it. For me to be facing the right direction, I had to back into another site and turn around, and ended up scraping into a ditch before I got the right angle. Must be my day to bend the trailer! I lost the door panel to the sewer outlet, which was already hanging on by a thread because the lock didn't work anymore and the tape I put on it didn't hold, so I'll need to replace that whole framework. Not an urgent job, but on the list. I finally got situated, though I'm a little low on the front from the grade, I'm going to have to get some thicker blocks so I can raise it higher. One very happy note was that there is a threaded water spigot right next to me, so I was able to hook up a hose with a splitter and reach both the corrals and the trailer. Happy days! I took the opportunity to get out Lola's swimming pool, since the forecast was calling for some pretty hot temperatures later this week, and since we're so far out in the boonies here, she's in heaven because she can wander and take a swim! Well, get wet, anyway. I also rinsed off the water buckets and the wheelbarrow, they were covered in mud from the last place. Took me about 90 minutes to get mostly set up, including the solar panel, and now that we're settled in, I'm looking forward to my time here. I hope the trails are better than Canebrake! And it's very quiet, I don't hear any cicadas! I even have two bars on my phone, so streaming Prime is easy! Looking forward to a nice ten days here. Settled in for a nice stir fry and a movie, so good night, darlin'! Love you!

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – Quiet, Steady Day of Packing

Hi Darlin',
Took a long time to get to sleep last night, then Lola woke me up at 6:00, having gotten herself tangled up on the lantern post outside. She's been having a lot of fun with the cicadas that have been out in full force while we were here. They're just big enough for her to be able to see and play with, though they're pretty slow so she gets bored quickly. But evidently they're crunchy enough to keep here interested! Glad they're nontoxic! Took a long time to get back to sleep, and didn't get much because it was nearly time to get up anyway. Spent the day doing voluminous loads of laundry while I have electricity, had to fill up the truck water tank once, almost got stuck on the slippery grass on the site I'm on, barely made it out! Tore up the grass a bit, though. Hoping I don't have any trouble tomorrow, at least I'm on some gravel there, so I hope not! Spent time trying to figure out my post-Red Rock Ride travel schedule, which is proving to be challenging, but I think I've come up with a decent plan, subject to change, of course! I did that in between my usual packing, which I like to spread out during the day so as not to get overtaxed. I moved the five bales of hay I had left into the side stall, disappointed that some of it got wet. I had hoped I had it arranged to avoid that, but we had so much rain, and I'm on such a slope, it seemed unavoidable. What I need is a palette, but don't have room to carry one. Don't expect I'll be staying anyplace long enough to need to store hay anyway, at least not until I get back to Florida in the fall, then maybe I will pick up a palette. Settled down for the evening, watched a movie that I didn't particularly like, and am off to shower and bed shortly! Good night, babe! Love you!

Saturday, May 18, 2024 – Another Quiet, Mostly Lazy Day

Hey Babe,
Another good night sleep, another mostly lazy day. The only difference today was that I walked the horses down to a large paddock about the size and shape of a small arena, about half of which was grass, and left them in there for most of the afternoon. They did all the usual horsey stuff, rolling in the sand and grass and running around to stretch their legs for a bit, then munched on the grass. I went back to the trailer and mostly read, so a lazy day. Just resting up for the next couple of days, which will be a little busier, getting packed up tomorrow and moving on Monday. Nice to take a couple of days off! Enjoyed a nice dinner and a Brendan Fraser movie, will be off to bed soon! Good night, sweetheart! Love you!