Wednesday, July 24, 2024 – Stormy Day

Hiya Sweetie!
Had a good night sleep, though I didn't end up getting to bed as early as I hoped (what else is new?), but woke up refreshed. We had a little rain in the morning, then some good thunderstorms come through later in the day. I tightened the screws on the exterior panel, I had noticed a few seemed to not be flush, and a lot needed it. I spent a good part of the day going through mail and sending notices to several groups with my change of address. I was saddened to get a letter from the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska, informing me that Luna, the muskox we adopted when we were in Alaska all those years ago, had passed away earlier this month. She lived to be 22, with is about seven years longer than the typical lifespan, so she did well! They took good care of her. I've asked them about adopting another one, in memory of you, my love, and we're in discussions about that. I also requested an absentee ballot (not going to miss THIS election!), and a few other things online. Had a good storm come through late in the afternoon, then there wasn't a cloud in the sky for awhile, which is when I fed the horses and chatted with my neighbors for a few minutes, but now I hear some good thunder, so I'm expecting another batch of rain to come through in a bit. I'm enjoying it, though, I haven't been through too much rain this summer, and up here, a good rainstorm really cools things down, so it will be lovely sleeping weather tonight! Which is where I'm headed shortly! Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2024 – First Short Ride on Apollo, Repairs

Hey Darlin'!
Last night when I went to bed, the weather forecast was showing a short break in rain around 11:00, so I figured I could get a short ride on Apollo, since it's his turn to get some exercise. Then this morning, the forecast showed no rain today until 5:00. Then it started raining at breakfast, twice. Sigh. It finally started to look like it might clear up around 12:30, so I figured I better get going while the getting was good, and saddled up Apollo. Lola and I headed out on trail just before one, and took a short 3.6 mile ride around the Hiawatha and Twin Lakes trails, which only took about an hour and ten minutes, which was a faster pace than usual! Back to wonderful footing, which helps a lot. The weather was perfect at that point. The first part of the trail was nice and easy, letting Apollo warm up and stretch his legs a bit, the second part was a bit more technical, with a bit more mud and some hills and stair-climbing, giving him some good exercise. I didn't want to tax either him or Lola, so it worked out perfectly. After we got back I got to work on some more repairs, the most major one being the front exterior panel on the trailer. I've tried every adhesive, sealant and tape that I could find. but every time I move from one location to another, the aluminum panel pops out from the upper frame, so I decided the only thing for it was screws. I popped it back into position and used my handy-dandy impact wrench to pin it down, which will keep it under the frame (I hope!), and used some silicone sealant around the edge. I'm sorry to say that the inside wood was wet from the rain, and I considered waiting for it to dry, but with so much more rain in the forecast (yeah, if you believe the weatherman), I thought it safer to just go ahead and close it off. At least no more rain will get in at this location. I only hope that will finally solve the problem. May not look that great, but at least it won't pop out any more. I also re-velcroed my sponge frog and washed my placemat and potholders. Finally settled down for the evening, made a big pot of homemade dirty rice and watched an innocent little movie. Just another day in the life! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, July 22, 2024 – Travel Day to Otter Creek, NY

Hiya Babe!
Didn't rush to get out of bed this morning, but still managed to get on the road by 10:00. The issue with Brookfield is that it's at higher elevation, and there doesn't seem to be any road that doesn't have some serious grade on it, so there were a few places that were a bit nerve-wracking, like coming down a steep hill on the Skaneateles Turnpike and having a stop sign at the bottom. We made it, okay, though, except for at the very end, when Google told me the entrance was beyond where the entrance really was, so I passed it, then had to turn around using a narrow driveway, which took me several tries to back up onto the road without hitting anything. Thank goodness no traffic came by when I was trying to do that! Managed it, though, that's the important thing! Arrived in camp just after noon, walked around to find the best spot, there was only a couple of other campers here, so I had a lot of choices. I ended up in Parking Loop 2, closest to the manure bin, which had the longest site and, I think, will have the most sun for my solar panel, while still having the trailer almost entire in the shade. Perfect spot! I was delighted to discover that the adapter I used at Sugar Hill also fit the spigot here, so I was able to fill up the trailer and horse tub with no problem, yay! Once I got the horses settled in their standing stalls, I did a few more odd chores that needed doing, like changing the filter in my water hose, shaking out the carpet and mopping the floor. I also brought out the grill for the first time in a long time, and put up the screen room, since there were quite a few flies around. I was all settled in by about 3:00 (I wasn't exactly rushing my setup), happy to be in a new place! It wasn't long before another camper came in and parked two spots away from me, so campfire smoke was coming my way by evening. Cooked a white hot on the grill, watched a movie, had a short rain shower somewhat ahead of schedule (it's supposed to rain most of the night) and I'm ready for my shower and bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, July 21, 2024 – Busy Day of Odds and Ends Repairs and Packing

Hi Sweetie!
Another good night sleep, after my usual morning routine, I started my usual Sunday routine, doing laundry and housework (well, I vacuumed, did a little cleaning in the shower, not much else today). I filled up the horses' water tub, then finished filling up the trailer until I couldn't get any more out of the tank (only about ten gallons left, if that!) but it was enough to do my two loads of laundry and still have half a tank left for my dishes and shower tonight, and a little left over, which is exactly how I wanted to travel tomorrow. So glad I didn't have to go pump water from the spigot up at the assembly area! I know Otter Creek has a lot easier access to a spigot, and I want to see if I can clean out my truck tank a bit more, though I'm not going to pull down my pressure washer to do it. Maybe when I'm at Patsy's and I have electric. I started doing a bunch of little repairs that have been piling up. I tore off the silver duct tape on the front of the trailer, it managed to get all torn up in the past few weeks, so it wasn't doing the job of keeping out the rain like I had hoped. I put several layers of white duct tape on, though I'm thinking about getting some thin flashing and just screwing it in, maybe even try to put a gutter around it. Gotta think on that a bit. Re-taped that little cable under the gooseneck that unlocks the hitch, that's been coming off and starting to get in the way. Fixed my phone with some better Velcro so it will hopefully stay in the little cradle on the dashboard. Started packing a few things away, though since my next leg is only 75 miles, I'm not too worried about getting an early start. Of course, I had to hang up and take down my laundry. The front plastic bumper cover on the truck was hanging down on one side, so I found a nut, bolt and washer and fixed that. Lots of little things that kept me busy all day. Sheila and her crew pulled out today, she stopped to say good-bye. The final campers left about 3:00, so I let Apollo and Flash out to graze. They ran around like a couple of mad horses for a few minutes before settling down to graze. Unfortunately, Apollo got caught up in the solar panel and one of the legs snapped, so that will be a future repair, hopefully epoxy will do that. Final settled down for my usual evening, bought some white hots in the store the other day, not Zweigles, but still, feels nostalgic to eat white hots again! Looking forward to heading out tomorrow, though it has been a very nice stay here. I'll definitely be back whenever I come back to NYS, met some nice folks here. Did some last minute packing at dusk, now I've got eyes on shower and bed! Good night, darlin'! Love you!

Saturday, July 20, 2024 – Welder and Hay Day

Hiya Darlin'!
Had a great night sleep, got my chores done, then started more downloading of RRR pix while I waited for the welder. He wasn't able to pinpoint a time, but finally around noon said he'd be at least three hours, so I made arrangements to go pick up hay. No sooner had I done that when the welder said another job had been pushed back and he was coming right then, so I changed my appointment with the hay folks and waited for the welder (whose name appropriately is Steele, believe it or not!) He arrived and got to work. He was at it for quite a while, but did a nice job in the end, though he hadn't originally put a hole for the spigot, but once I pointed it out to him, he whipped it out in no time. It now has one solid fairly thick piece instead of several paper thin aluminum pieces, so hopefully that's an improvement. While he was working, another camper came by and asked him to do a small job for her, and another camper came and got his card, so he got more work out of it, which he said he'd discount me for. Anyway, I was happy with the work and the price was reasonable. After he left, I headed out for hay. Google maps totally screwed me up and took me to some completely different place, but I finally found it. It was nice hay so I got the full eight bale load, as I still have half a bale, which should last through tomorrow. Took a longer way home looking for the best road to leave here on Monday. There are a lot of roads out of here, but some are really steep and hilly, so I wanted to check out my options. Finally figured out the best way is Skaneateles Turnpike to 8 to 12, at least I hope it is. Finally got back to camp, exerted some energy putting the hay away, made dinner, then finally went over to visit with Sheila, Skip and Judy for a bit over their campfire for a short bit, since it was so late. Just need to finish my usual evening routine and get to bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, July 19, 2024 – Perfect Weather For Our Sixteen-plus Mile Ride

 

Hi Babe!
What perfect weather today! At last, I've found 70 during the day with upper 50's at night! Seems like a long time coming! I had trouble sleeping last night, though, I stayed up late to watch Trump's convention speech, which went past midnight, at least on CSPAN, and had trouble falling asleep afterwards, read until almost 2:00 before I finally nodded off. Don't know why, I was tired enough when I went to bed! Anyway, got up, did my usual chores and breakfast, sent a few emails and texts, and eventually saddled and booted Flash for at planned 17 mile ride. We started off nicely, he seemed to have a lot of energy, but he got more tired as the day went on. The worst part was Trail 16. It started off well, looked great, but at the southern end of it, it had been seriously logged some years ago, and was never cleaned up properly. He balked at going into a bad bog (I couldn't blame him!), and my GPS said I was a ways off the trail, so we tried to find another way around and ended up going cross country until we were way off course. Finally went back to the bog, which was the only trail around, and the only way to get around it was over stacks of fallen trees all bunched up together. It was quite the nightmare. We finally got through it, with some additional technical challenges along the way, until the trail finally resumed to it's original condition. Then I made a wrong turn when we reached the end (well, actually, the trail markers were unclear, the number on the trail wasn't on the map, so how was I to know?), and got a little turned around, ended up going back out the way we came. We finally made it over to Woodland Pond, which was my main point of interest anyway. There was a group of riders there just getting ready to leave. Flash finally had a drink, and I tightened his boots, which fortunately, we haven't lost today, and carried on. He was going quite slow by this time, so I decided to cut the ride a little shorter than I had planned, didn't want to get back to camp that late. It was after 5:00 anyway when we got back. Put Apollo on his line for a bit, gave Flash two extra scoops of feed. finally fixed dinner for myself, and later, walked over to Sheila's trailer for a chat with the group. Judy's horse lost a shoe so Skip ran out and picked up their Amish farrier and brought him back to fix it. Finally came back to camp after 8:30, tonight I'm having Sleepytime tea in the hopes of a good night sleep! A beautiful, tiring day, just the way I like them! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, July 18, 2024 – Runaround Day

Hiya Sweetie,
A good night sleep, got more chores done, made a few phone calls and managed to confirm that I've found someone to do both the welding this weekend and my bathroom repair in three weeks (yay!), then headed off into Hamilton for errands. First I stopped at the Post Office and picked up my package of mail, which I had confirmed by phone that they had received. Last night I had made an online order for the Tractor Supply (so happy this store carries the Balance!), for horse feed and a bag of shavings. The standing stalls are getting smelly, so I had to do something! Then I stopped at the Price Chopper and bought groceries, then a final stop at the Sunoco for fuel, where it was $4.19 a gallon. That's the most I've paid in awhile, but it was ten cents higher everywhere else it town. Stopped at two liquor stores, neither of which had my usual bourbon, and noticed there is an Indian restaurant in town! I usually have to go to a good sized city to find one of those, and Hamilton is a pretty small town, but it is a college town, undoubtedly with a bit more refined palate. I stopped and picked up a menu, I may just have to try to get back there for a meal. Got back to camp, put all the groceries away, let Apollo out on his rope for awhile, but this place has been getting much busier, so I couldn't let Flash wander. Sheila from last weekend texted to let me know she was here (and had checked on my horses while I was gone), so after dinner I went up to visit with her and her husband and sister for a bit. Watched an episode of Warehouse 13, now I'm ready for shower and bed. Temps going into the 50's tonight, so it should be good sleeping weather! Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 – Quiet Day in Camp Downloading Pix

Hey Darlin',
Woke up and got up a little earlier again today, trying to get my circadian rhythm adjusted a bit. Did a few repairs this morning, fixing the sewer hose which had split a few inches back from the adapter, epoxying the window handle on the dining room slider (second time I've had to repair that, I'm hoping the epoxy works better than the last glue I used), plus spent some time on the phone trying to located an RV repair shop that could look at my soft floor around the toilet, and finally reached a welder who might be able to come out this weekend to repair the frame around my water compartment. Spent most of the rest of the day downloading pictures, figured I must have moved 800 or so today. Not finished by a long shot, but I'm certainly making progress. Despite the forecast for rain, we hardly had any today. Another thing I did this morning was to transfer water from my truck tank to the trailer, so now I'm full, but was hoping for enough rain to finish topping off my truck tank, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Finally settled down to dinner and a good movie, Crypto, and soon be ready for shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Tuesday, July 16, 2024 – Seventeen Mile Ride on Flash, A Little More Rain

Hiya Babe!
Woke up early and decided to get up a little early, since I wanted to take a long ride today and there's more rain forecast for the afternoon. When I checked last night, they said the rain was coming in at 2:00, then this morning it went to 5:00, so I didn't worry about getting such an early start, but by the time I was saddling up at 11:00, it changed to between 3:00 and 4:00, so we had to hustle, especially for the last couple of miles when I started to hear some thunder. It was a nice ride, although one of his boots came off a couple of times until I left it off, though the one protecting his split hoof, so it was all good. The trails were once again a combination rocks, mud and some good footing, but was a great ride. Flash did well at a much faster pace today, worked up a good sweat as the humidity and temps were pretty high, which is why I decided not to take Lola today. We arrived back in camp at 3:25, and the saddle was half off when the first spit of rain at the leading edge of the front started. I just managed to get Flash and all the tack put away when it finally came on strong, whew! Just in the nick of time! I got the buckets lined up again, but the rain only lasted about 15 minutes and wasn't anywhere near as heavy as yesterday, but I still managed to collect maybe another 15 gallons, and I didn't even empty the tarp in the truck yet. It's supposed to rain most of the day tomorrow, but I've only got so much room left in the truck tank anyway! Settled down to dinner, watched a good movie, Timeline, and managed to download a lot of the Red Rock Ride pictures as well. A good day! Now I'm ready for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, July 15, 2024 – Hot Day of Computer Work and Water Collection

Hi Sweetie,
Sheila came around at about 8:00 to say she was leaving, so I got up and drove over to pick up the two bales of hay from her. After chores and breakfast, I made some phone calls to try to solve two repair problems I'm having, the first is the frame around the sewer compartment that I bought a new door for, but the frame is too rusted and needs to be fixed, and the second is the toilet. The wood floor underneath is getting a bit soft and the base is starting to rock, and I'm afraid one day it's going to just break through the floor, so that needs immediate attention. I left messages and texted several people, and I'm disappointed to say that no one ever got back to me. Eventually I got on the computer to try to solve a housekeeping problem. When I was sent a link to all the pictures that had been uploaded from the Red Rock Ride, while trying to download onto my computer, I apparently inadvertently had them all syncing up to my Google Photos account, and before long, it was so full I almost have no more space. Since I have another backup program, I don't really need them there, I only need them on my computer, but there is no quick or easy way to move them other than to download each picture (which takes between one and three minutes to do), then erase it from the Photo account. But then I saw that they were being re-saved, and I had to spend a bunch of time trying to figure out how to stop it from syncing, so more time was wasted doing that. Eventually I got that figured out, but it's going to take days to first download and then erase all the photos. Oh, well, gotta be done! Meanwhile, it was a hot day, and I was down to only about 10 gallons in the truck tank when the thunderstorm finally came in. I was ready! I had all my tubs and buckets ready to go, though I had to line them up once the rain streamers started coming off the trailer. Yesterday, when I refilled the trailer tank, I left it leaning slightly down in the front so that all the rain would run in a more predictable pattern, and that paid off big-time. There was a huge gust of wind before the storm, and the rain was coming in almost sideways, but eventually it settled down. The best source turned out to be the slide topper. I put a 15 gallon tub there and it was full in a matter of minutes. All of them filled quickly. Once the worst of the rain had passed, I started gathering it all up and pouring it into the truck tank, and by the time the evening was over, I had collected about 70 gallons! Whoo-hoo! There's still a bit more rain expected tonight, so the buckets should have more in the morning, and more rain is forecast for the next three days, so I should easily be able to keep filling up the tanks. Water problem solved! I'm grateful for the cooler air behind the front, it went from 90 in the trailer to mid-70's so it's going to be a much nicer night for sleeping, thank goodness! Anyway, after sitting around most of the day, I was grateful for a little exercise hauling water, and now I'm ready for shower and bed! Good night, darlin'! Love you!