Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – Mostly Movie-Making Day, Took Apollo For A Ride

Hiya Babe,
Glad to say I got my eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in last night, yay! Started my morning off after chores and breakfast with finishing off the rest of the movies I’ve been making of the two Shore to Shore rides in June. I’d forgotten how much I love doing production work, I had a blast doing it, and I think they came out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I’m hoping that the horse camp I’m going to tomorrow has a good wifi signal, or at least good cell service, so I can get them loaded up on YouTube. I finished around 2:00, so I saddled up Apollo, he hasn’t been ridden in a couple of weeks and he needs the exercise! There are no short loops here, at least none that don’t take you on a road, and since Lola came along, I didn’t want to do that, so we just took the trail to the first road and turned around, which made it linear, but it was almost five miles, so it was just the right length for him. I let them graze the rest of the afternoon, and put almost everything away. I don’t need to leave too early tomorrow, the next camp is only an hour away, but I have an appointment to pick up some hay at 4:00, and I want to get my shopping done before then, so I don’t want to leave too late either. Anyway, settled down for the evening, a nice meal, a new British series on TV, now I’m ready for shower and bed, nice and early. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 – Mostly Movie-Making Day

Hey Darlin’,
A better night sleep, having had Sleepytime tea and a couple of ibuprofen to soften the throbbing in my thumb, though I was woken up after 2:00 by some whinnying. At first I thought it was Flash, and he only whinnies when Apollo escapes, but it sounded like it wasn’t near the highline, and I could just see Flash standing there. Then I caught sight of another white horse, and remembered the neighbors here telling me they had a white horse that escapes once in a while, so I figured it had to be her. She went right up to Flash and squealed a few times. Evidently she spent most of the night here, because when I spoke to the neighbors later in the day, they said he came and got her around 6:00 this morning. They were quiet after their initial meeting, so I gratefully went back to sleep for the duration. Later in the morning, I got a phone call from an old friend I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years, John, a guy that I worked with at the radio station in West Palm Beach way back when you and I first met. I don’t know if you ever met him, he was half of a morning comedy team, and they were hired away to a station in Birmingham while I was there. The other half was a friend of Richie’s (my former boyfriend before you!), and that’s how I got hired there in the first place. Anyway, we had a long talk, getting caught up. So strange to talk to someone you met at the beginning of your career, then hook up again after that career is all but over! Life is too darned short! Why he decided to look me up I have no idea, but it was an interesting conversation. He lives in Michigan and winters in Florida, so maybe we’ll get together in person when I get down there. Anyway, spent most of the rest of the day sitting in my chair outside and working on turning my Shore to Shore pix into little movies. I have the hang of the program now, so it’s been pretty easy, it just takes time to find the right music and put the pieces together. My current plan is to get my Equicamping YouTube channel up and running again, and try to get enough subscribers to get a few sponsors. It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything creative, and I’ve been enjoying the process. I let the horses graze most of the day, after a day rider came and went, then I took Apollo for a walk around the campground so he could stretch his legs a little. Didn’t get around to riding him today, hoping to do that tomorrow for a bit. Of course, Flash followed us around like a puppy off-leash, and we found some nice long grass so I let them munch for awhile. Settled down for the evening to dinner and a little TV, now it’s time for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, September 18, 2023 – Laundry and Movie-Making Day

Hiya Sweetie,
Well, forget what I said yesterday about sleeping well, I couldn’t get to sleep last for the longest time! Woke up tired this morning. Managed to get two loads of laundry done, and a tiny bit of housework, but unfortunately, I hurt myself when I was putting up the clothesline. Somehow, I managed to jam two long splinters right under the nail of my right thumb, so deep they were within a quarter of an inch of the bottom of the nail. Needless to say, it was extremely painful! I had to cut my nail down at the top so that I could reach the splinters with tweezers, which was hard to do with my left hand, and it still took me awhile to be able to grab it and pull them out, one at a time, and it hurt like crazy. I was happy to get them out, even though it took some time and patience. Well, almost all of it came out, there’s still a tiny piece at the bottom that didn’t, but there’s no way to get it out without taking my whole nail off, so I’m just going to keep an eye on it and hope it doesn’t get infected, I figure it will work itself out eventually, though it may take a couple of months. I soaked it in alcohol, and I’ll take some painkillers before bed, but every time I use my right thumb (which is for almost everything!), it hurts. Anyway, while the laundry was drying, I worked on taking all my Shore to Shore pictures and turning them into a video with a nice music background, day by day. I managed to get five done today, it took me awhile to learn the editing program, but it’s pretty straightforward now. Well, that was my day, ready for shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, September 17, 2023 – Nice Ride and Some Computer Work

Hey Babe!
Sleeping so well lately, feeling really refreshed! Had a nice ten mile ride of Flash, today we did essentially the entire outside perimeter loop, and it was another beautiful ride. It’s quite a nice unit of the forest, with enough variety to make it interesting, and the trails were dry and pretty nice. They’ve fixed quite a few sections with small gravel, but with boots on, Flash didn’t seem to mind. There’s still a lot of down branches and roots that make it slower going, but not bad, just not wide open for a lot of fast riding. Of course, that didn’t stop him from speeding up once we hit the halfway point and started heading back to camp! Still, it took about 2 1/2 hours to do, very nice ride. When I got back, I started to do an exercise I had been thinking about for awhile, taking all the pictures from the Shore to Shore ride and putting them together into a slide show. I’m actually thinking about doing that with every ride somehow. I haven’t worked with this movie making program before, so there was a learning curve, but very easy to learn, and I had the first day finished in no time. The time consuming thing will be uploading them to my Equicamping Youtube page, with I discovered I haven’t done anything with since our trip to Costa Rica back in 2012! I almost forgotten I had it! But I figure now that I’m essentially retired, it’s time to figure out how to either monetize my site or get sponsors to help keep us going. There are a lot of ways to do it, I just have to take the time to get it started. Had a nice stir fry dinner, watched the last Jack Ryan episode, then decided to watch all the Jack Ryan movies in chronological order, if that was possible. Not when they were released, but technically Ryan’s life, although there is quite of bit of theatrical license taken in intermingling the stories. The first one is actually the latest movie, Shadow Recruit, with Chris Pine as Jack. I hadn’t seen it yet, and it was a thrill a minute, so it was a nice way to spend the evening. Anyway, done with that, so now I’m getting ready for bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, September 16, 2023 – Quiet Day in Camp

Hey Darlin’,
Had a pretty lazy day in camp today. Looked at the power mirror switch on the truck, trying to figure out if it’s a bad switch or a bad motor. I’m pretty sure it’s the switch, but I need someone to listen to the mirror on the far side to see if it’s trying to engage, I can’t hear it over the motor on my side. But several things don’t work on the switch correctly, like the actual adjuster, works on the far side, not the near side. The extender motor works on the near side and not the far side. Problem is that switch is hard to find for some reason. Up until 2002, the switch is about 11 bucks. In 2003, all I can find is the entire door power control system, which is upwards of $150! I’m still looking, though, hoping to find something. So I spent a lot of time on the computer today. Gorgeous day, though, perfect weather! Though we did have a little unforecasted rain a few minutes ago. Finally, some other horse campers showed up, a couple and their young daughter, and they just got a new horse trailer and are not very experienced, so I gave them some pointers about their highline and a few other things. They bought a book, figuring it would help them out as well. Managed to watch a few more Jack Ryan episodes (almost done!) miraculously with no interruptions. Not sure what I did on my phone, but something has suddenly improved, and happy for it! There was another family here, looked like a family reunion, and Lola ended up going over there and keeping a bunch of kids entertained, wore her out, fortunately! Ready for shower and bed and another good night sleep! Love you, sweetheart! Good night!

Friday, September 15, 2023 – Truck Repair and Ride Day

Hi Sweetie,
Another late morning, but loving it! After chores and breakfast, I decided to fix the window on the rear door of the truck. For the past month or two, when I opened that driver side rear window, it wouldn’t always go back up right, getting stuck about halfway. I figured a screw got loose or something with all the bad roads I’ve been on, so I took off the door panel to take a look. I didn’t find any loose screws at the bottom of the door, but I soon discovered the problem. The bottom part of the window slots into a track, and then a screw tightens to the two sides of the track, and that had, in fact, loosened up a lot, just not enough to fall out, but the glass wasn’t between the tracks. A little jiggling and loosening of the other side, and pretty soon I was able to slide it back in and tighten it back up. I had to be careful not to go too tight and break the glass, but I did managed to get it just right, I think. Anyway, that solved the problem and only took me about half an hour. After that, I saddled up Flash and fully outfitted him with boots and breast collar and we took a nice 9+ mile ride, going backward from Wednesday’s ride, and hitting a different section of the south loops than last time. These trails were in better shape, a lot wider in most places, and a bit steeper on a few of the grades, but a lot of long straightaways, too, so it was a nice variety. I read somewhere that these trails are supposed to be more difficult because they’re steeper, but I haven’t really seen anything extraordinary yet, at least not as far as I’m concerned. There were a few with some grade to it, but nothing like some other hills I’ve seen. Flash lost his boot a couple of times, from the foot that has the square front to it, which I think might be the reason. This was the foot that had a split in it, and then we put a horizontal dent in it to stop it from going higher, and then that dent chipped as it dropped down, and now it’s almost reached the ground, but it’s still a little flat on front chip. Hopefully it will resolve itself as the hoof keeps growing, and meanwhile, I’ll just have to keep an eye out for missing boots! Anyway, it was a lovely ride, Lola came along and enjoyed flopping into a couple of creeks along the way (or what’s left of them during this dry season), and a very enjoyable day! To make things even nicer, I was finally able to watch a couple of Jack Ryan episodes with no interruptions! Whoo-hoo! The only big problem today was that I was trying to fix my Equicamping website so I could start doing more with my Maps page, and I ended up screwing it up so bad the whole site crashed. So I’ve had to call in the experts, hopefully they can get it resolved. It’s so frustrating, since no matter how well I get everything working, then someone updates a plug-in and the whole things quits working. Oh well, a minor inconvenience for the moment, hopefully it will result in bigger and better things. Meanwhile, time for shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Thursday, September 14, 2023 – Shopping and Organizing Day

Hiya Babe,
It stays so dark here in the shadow of trees until well after 9:00, so I’ve been getting up later and later these days! Was delighted to learn that the local Tractor Supply recently started refilling propane tanks, even though when I checked the website, it said they didn’t. Happy to pay just $3.09 a gallon, too! Way less than in Michigan! Filled three tanks, so I’m caught up for awhile, especially since I’ll be on electric for a few days next week, and once I get down to Sheila’s in Florida. Weather is absolutely perfect here right now, so I’m not in a big hurry! Went to Walmart and did a little shopping, I didn’t need much, but I had decided today would be the day when I would organize my “office” storage. When I took out the second recliner and built in a storage/dog bed area and moved all my stuff out of the drawer under the bench seat, it’s been gradually getting more and more messy under there, and my stackable trays have all broken, so I bought a couple of file crates and some hanging folders and completely rearranged it. Now everything has a place, and everything is immobile, so nothing can slide around, and I still have room for some of the dog stuff. Much better! I’ll get it all together one of these days, slow but sure! I let the horses graze again today, they’re really enjoying the nice lawn here, and having a day off probably didn’t hurt either. They seem perfectly content, and keep coming to the trailer door and staring in, as if they want to come it, or at least be with the rest of “the herd.” Fun to see them standing right outside the door, though I’ve had to clean up some manure on the porch carpet, not surprisingly. Had a nice dinner, finally managed to watch almost a whole episode of Jack Ryan without buffering, though I did stop it on purpose a couple of times, just to be safe, and now, of course, it’s almost bedtime. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 – First Ride at Youngs Creek, IN

Hey Darlin’!
Another goodnight sleep, so happy to be on the end of a quiet, dead end road! Took our first ride today, not exactly the one I had planned, but the trails here aren’t very well marked, so it’s not too surprising. We ended up going about 7.5 miles, so it was fine. We started off without boots, but we kept running into small pea gravel, so I ended up putting them on just to keep Flash from getting ouchy. I should have put his breast collar on, and will from now on, because there were a few good hills, and I expect more on the other trails we didn’t get to today. Heavy deciduos forest here, with some trails not very well maintained, but quite beautiful. There’s only about 12 miles total here, but they wrap around in a couple of figure 8 loops, so I can get creative on future rides. Before we left, a forest service guy, Fred, showed up and tried to tell me all the nonsensical reasons they don’t have threads on the spigots here, but in the end, he rigged up a hose end and clamped it onto the pipe so now I can run my hose. He also told me I needed a trail pass, so I got on and bought a one-day pass for $5, but then after I did that, he told me that the trail pass was necessary for every day I was here, whether I rode on the trail or not! Their website and the national website are in total conflict with each other. The national site repeatedly says there’s no fee here, and nothing about a trail fee either. The Hoosier forest website says there’s no fee to camp here either, but it does say something about a trail fee, then refers you to another paragraph on the next page, which also says a trail fee, but then says if you have a horse at the horse camp, there’s a fee, too. It’s not very clear that the trail fee and the horse fee in camp are the same, but evidently they are. So there’s no fee at the horse camp, unless you bring a horse, then there’s a fee. It’s all very confusing, really poorly communicated. Anyway, I had to go back on and buy an annual pass for $35, which, if I had gotten in the first place, would have saved me the first five bucks. Oh, well, it’s still cheap to stay here, and now that I have easy access to water, I’m a happier camper. There’s beautiful weather forecast for the rest of the week, and I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the trails here. After we got back from the ride, I let the horses graze again, Apollo on a long line and Flash wherever he wanted to go, which is never too far, though he started down the road again, just about ten yards, then wisely turned around and came back. There’s only one other non-horse camper here, but there were two trailers of day riders here, which rather surprised me, being the middle of the week. Did some bookkeeping work on the computer, linking my old brokerage account to my new one (TD Ameritrade was bought out by Schwab), so that took some time. Settled down for the evening, had a nice dinner, finally managed to be able to watch some less interrupted TV (off and on), and soon off to shower and bed! Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 – Lazy Day at Youngs Creek, IN

Hi Sweetie!
Slept late, even after going to bed early, so I guess I was more tired than I thought! Woke up to the sound of a bit of rain on the roof, and that put me back to sleep. Finally got up after the rain stopped, had a pretty lazy day today, though, mostly working on the computer, finishing the MTRA article, and just generally hanging out. Nice to have days like this, such a luxury! I let the horses graze in the yard most of the day, so they’re happy. I plan to ride tomorrow, want to see what kind of trails they have, albeit only about 12 miles. A couple from the neighborhood came by in their side-by-side and chatted for a bit, and I spoke to a couple of people about the spigot situation, not sure if they’ll do anything about it. Seems that they had trouble with people stealing water from their cistern (they don’t have a well, so they have to have water brought in), and that’s why they took the threads off, but the guy I spoke to admitted it was like that when he got here 16 years ago, so maybe it’s not that much of a problem anymore. Of course, he also said the most determined ones have created ways to steal it anyway, so once again, those of us that don’t abuse the system have to suffer because of those that do. Oh, well, the way of the world! Mostly just killing time here anyway, don’t want to get to Florida too early, it’s still plenty hot down there, and the weather here is absolutely perfect right now! Not the mention the price is right (free!), so I’m happy to just chill here for a bit. Plus I’m back in Indiana, so I’ll be able to get my preferred beer at last! They don’t sell it in Michigan, so I’ve hoarding the few bottles I had left, though I did drink two yesterday after a hot day of setting up. Anyway, a quiet day, not much happening, but enjoying every lazy minute of it! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, September 11, 2023 – Travel Day to Youngs Creek, IN

Hi Sweetie!
For once I actually got to bed nice and early, like around 9:00, read for a bit then dropped off to a sound sleep. Woke up about 5:45, read for a bit more, then got up with the alarm before 7:00, fully rested, yay! Got up and had breakfast, finished packing, and headed to the dump to top off my truck tank. The Youngs Creek website has this ambivalent message on it, saying they have non-potable water, but advise you to bring your own. Weird. Anyway, we were on the road around 8:40, and had an uneventful trip. I feel a lot more comfortable now that the power steering is fixed and I have front tires on the truck and everything else seems to be working well. After two stops, we arrived at Youngs Creek, a free, primitive camp just south of Paoli, IN. It says on the website there’s room for 40 rigs, but I have no idea where or how. The actual campsites are tiny and around an impossibly small loop, at least for me, but there was a fairly open area just as you come into camp, though I’m thinking 6 to 8 rigs of any size at best up here. I found there was two spigots, and after a bit of reconnoitering, decided a spot essentially in the middle would work. It was fairly close to a spigot, so I backed in and started to get set up. Then I discovered the water problem. Though they have frost-free spigots, they’ve filed down the threads, so I can’t put a hose on it. How stupid. Not the first time we’ve seen this, but it definitely makes things more complicated. I had to use some of my potable water for the horses when they got out of the trailer, then I just let them wander in the nice grassy lawn that’s here. Eventually I jury-rigged the pump with a water bottle that had a hose attached, it took a long time but I eventually was able to fill up a big tub by the highlines. That’s going to be a pain, because I don’t think I’ll have enough pressure to fill the truck tank or the trailer, but since the highlines are slightly lower, that worked. Sigh. Guess I’ll just have to fill up in town somewhere later this week. Meanwhile, I got settled in, had dinner, tried to watch a little TV, though I’m disheartened to say that even though I have a good signal, I’m still having huge buffering problems. I’m think I have to take the phone into Verizon and figure out why this suddenly started happening. Oh, well. It was pretty warm today, but there’s a front coming in tomorrow, supposedly, that’s going to bring rain and cooler temps for the next few days. Probably won’t ride tomorrow, I have stuff to do, so it won’t matter. Anyway, time for shower and bed! Good night, honey! Love you!