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September 2010 - October 2010:


 

September 28, 2010:             It has only taken us five days, but we now have the camp site set up the way we want it and most of the inside of the trailer is navigable, if not totally straightened out. I am learning new things everyday and have a whole new set of skills. I can make the refrigerator work as well as the hot water heater. I've learned how to hook up the macerator pump and empty the waste water tanks, how to secure the awning against high winds and how to tilt it to let the rain flow off, how not to back the tow vehicle so the trailer is at a 90 degree angle (this was learned by observing someone else), and how to modify 40 year old propane hoses to modern day fittings.


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Can you find two Miniature Schnauzers in the field of evergreen trees above?

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JoJo just wants to sleep but Taz likes to help move the mouse. After all, we Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred to capture rodents.

 

September 30, 2010              The end of a life style. Today the auctioneer finished moving everything out of the house and we finished cleaning up, then left the keys and closed the door. That's the end of our life in the townhouse. Now we are strictly living a life on the road.

 

October 2, 2010                     [Odometer 236934]    Today we took a day trip to see my daughter and her family who live in Malta (near Ballston Spa), New York.. Derek, my youngest grandson, has just turned six months and we had not seen him since shortly after his birth. Nathan, soon to be four, has turned a big corner with his anxiety issues. We were able to sit in the same room and even "sort of "have a conversation. When we left, I actually got a high five. Maybe next trip I'll get a hug.


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October 6, 2010                     Today we got a chance to see two more of my grandchildren. Amber, my oldest granddaughter is always happy to see me. She is old enough to truly understand our relationship. As for Lucas, he is always happy to see everyone and loves to show off his "Hulk" impression.

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October 7, 2010                     In this world of travel, it is inevitable that you will meet many memorable individuals and a few who stand out above the others. Today we met "Cappy" (Ray) and his wife Peggy. Cappy is a tugboat captain in extreme southern Louisiana. He pilots football size barges of crude oil from the oil platforms, through the bayous, to the refineries. Cappy spends four weeks straight on his tug followed by two weeks off. This two weeks he spent traveling north to visit family and friends and we got the opportunity to meet him and his wonderful wife.

 

This afternoon, we got some not so great news. My camping neighbor and I were talking about trailer tires and the chance of updating our tires to a higher load rating. When we inspected our tires, we realized all the side walls are cracked and rotting. I called Camping World where I bought the trailer and will give them the first chance to straighten this out, but I already hear their answer in their initial response that, "It passed inspection." No matter how it works out, I am now going to need to get five new tires before I travel. The question will be how much they cost me. I intend to switch to light truck tires as these have a higher load rating and a higher speed rating than the trailer tires, not that I will be exceeding the 65 mile an hour speed limit of the trailer tires, but I hate running things right at their upper limit.

 

October 8, 2010                     Today started out good, but ended up with another lesson in how fragile this lifestyle is. In the morning, Julie and I took the dogs to the top of the hill that used to be the ski slope when this was a ski resort. It took us a little effort, but we made the climb without mishap and enjoyed the walk. The dogs had a ball (literally). They enjoyed being free and sniffing all the wild animal smells and chasing the ball. They always love being off leash.

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Julie and the dogs rest at the top of the hill. Yes, I was there, too, but someone had to take the picture.

 

In the afternoon, the wind came up. One really big gust pulled my awing tie-down out of the ground and flipped the end of the awning up over the top of the trailer. Fortunately, the only damage was the two 1/4 x 3 screws holding the left awning arm to the trailer. Two seasonal campers immediately came over and helped me get the awning off the top of trailer and get it rolled up. Luckily, it did not pull out of the track along the top of the trailer. Later I went to the hardware store and got two 5/16 x 3 lag bolts to re-fasten the arm to the trailer. I am hoping this will hold, but only time will tell. There really is not a lot of support member to fasten to and the bolts are not as firmly screwed in as I would care for. I was afraid they would strip out again if I tightened them any more.

 

The camp ground totally filled up this evening. Saturday is a big Halloween activities day for the kids and Sunday there is a country an western singer giving a concert. I'd type the name, but I don't remember it and it is someone I never heard of before. Guess I was really impressed!

 

October 13, 2010                   A personal remembrance day only my family will understand, and I will never forget! I am getting a lot of little projects finalized and getting ready to travel. Today I hung the quilt my sister made me for my retirement. We only have one wall in the trailer big enough for it, but it looks good in its new home.

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October 17, 2010                   Today our dogs met a new puppy. Ollie is a 10-1/2 month old Mastif. He definitely wanted to play with our girls and did the puppy front paw bounce that says, "Come play with me," but the girls did not feel inclined to tangle with those massive paws. They mostly stayed tucked in tight between our chairs and Taz stayed so far in the background she only barely shows up in the photo. He really was a very gentle dog, but of course, he could have easily hurt our dogs without meaning to just because of his size.

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October 22, 2010                   This will be the last entry on this page of our blog. Tomorrow we start on our journey south so I feel that deserves a new page. This last week of our trial stay has been a busy week of preparation. This cold weather and rain has made it hard to get things accomplished, but we are about as ready as we can be. The inverter was finally connected last evening and is working fine so we have our electrical system completed. I also finished hooking up the backup camera. It is a little grainy at times and the refresh lines run through the screen fairly regularly, but it is a long wireless stretch from the camera on the back of the trailer to the monitor in the Suburban.

 

Tomorrow morning, we will first be heading north to Brockport. The service people at Spurr Chevrolet have helped me with the tire problem and they will be installing five new tires on my rims. They will also check to make sure the bearings are packed and the brakes are good. I still have not even heard back from Camping World so I know what their response is. I sure hope they are not looking for a positive recommendation from me.

 

Our plans for the next few days, subject to change based on the weather and our wims include going to Allegany National Forest in Pennsylvania tomorrow night. Then on to some National lands Julie located in southern Ohio. I'd give the name but I don't know it. Julie is doing all the navigating and trip planning. It's only fair since I will be doing all the driving when the trailer is attached. Anyeay, we will probably stay somewhere in this area for several days. This will be our first real test at boondocking (camping with no services). The only thing I have not determined yet is how to get potable water for our tanks somewhere close to where we will be camping. If I fill the tank, it adds about 450 pounds to the trailer which I would rather not haul all the time. If anyone has a good solution for this, by all means E-mail me and let me know what your idea is.

 

After we leave Ohio, we will be headed for Nashville and the start of the Natchez Trace. We will follow that route to Natchez, Mississippi. We have no idea right now how long that will take us and no plans at all after that, but we will by the time we get there. Wish us luck and check the next page for our further adventures.