Saturday, October 24, 2020

Indy and the Condo - All's Quiet on the Eastern Front


Here she is, 5:15 on a Saturday evening, and she looks pooped out.  Well, it has been about 10 days since we got home, and everything is finally caught up, and we are all pooped out.  But with ALL we have gone through with the Condo Association with Skruffy and with Bubba, just how is Indy doing being in the Condo?

Friday I get the motorhome into storage.  There are a few minor items still in there that need to come to the condo, but nothing that can't fit in one bag.  So Saturday I decided to print out the forms needed to make Indy 'legal' in the Condo as a service dog...and the printer does not work.  Something about the ink head.  So I soak the ink head for a few days in Rubbing Alcohol, and put in new cartridges, all to no avail. We rarely print anything, and the Cannon Printer probably had not printed more than a few hundred pages during its lifetime.  It has now been replaced with a HP printer.  Submitted the forms Wednesday, and had a talk with Ken the maintenance person who the board has used as a liaison between them and us in the past. He told me that with the new President, AND with the person who bought a unit about six doors down from us who also has a Service Dog, that he did not expect any problem whatsoever with the Board this time since they just went through it.  (Kinda implied that they talked to the lawyers again.)  Well, so far, so good on that front.  (Eastern Front since we are in Florida.)

On Monday Indy and I dropped Marcia off at Bible Study, and went over to the motorhome...a weekly thing while it is in storage.  I run the engine to get the batteries up to snuff (they did not need it this time since it had only been there for 3 days), but Indy was a bit excited to see that we still have the motorhome.  She settled right in while I listened to the radio and I caught up on emails and blogs and stuff.  90 minutes later we were in the parking lot of the church waiting for Marcia.

The first thing on Marcia's mind after getting home was getting her hair cut after five months of growth.  She was able to land a Saturday appointment (week ago), and here is Indy looking at the entrance of the beauty shop looking for Marcia to come out.

And here is the result.  (Picture taken with my phone...had I had the camera out she would have never looked over at me.)

On Sunday I knew that Indy was dying to run around for a bit.  So I took her over the Public Library where they have a back lawn, nearly fenced in, that I could allow her off leash for a good running around.  She really enjoyed it.  She also enjoyed seeing the Sand Hill Cranes that frequent the pond in front of the Library.  Amazingly, she did not bark at all.

On Wednesday I gave Indy her first Condo haircut.  She did pretty good since this was her second haircut that I had given her.  Another few and she will be an old pro at it.  So on Thursday I took her to the Dog Park in Tarpon Springs.  Here (above) she is greeting a new arrival.  This dog is 12 years old and they frequent the Dog Park just about every day.

In this picture she is looking at the adjoining park for larger dogs.  Amazingly, she did not bark once.  It was a good first visit, and we will be back soon.  She did not "RUN" like she does, but she got her exercise.  By the third of fourth visit she will be so eager to get out of the car when I pull up...

Above is a 30 second video of Indy in the Condo.  A few times a day she gets into this mood and she just starts running around the Condo.  She might have her Squirrel toy, or her favorite ball, or a chew stick.  Sometimes she just runs for no reason whatsoever. This time she had the remains of a chew stick.  If you listen to the video at the end I say "Thanks Sis", in reference to Sandy who found Indy and helped us get her.  What a joy of love she has been...and it has only been a few months now!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Back Home Again (Oh It Hurts...)


Our first Florida Sunrise in over four months!  We were 300 miles from home and got up around 6 central time and hit the road.  Within 30-40 minutes we were in Eastern Time, and lost an hour.  By 2 am we were home and unloading.  By staying two nights in Cottondale, we were able to pack up our clothes, much of the food, and we were ready for the move back into the Condo.  In less than an hour of arriving at the condo, I was driving over to the RV park next door for a two night check in.  Finished with most of the stuff by loading up the car a couple of times, and we were both exhausted.  Today, more of the same...what is put in bags, has to be removed from bags.  The motorhome needs cleaning on the inside before storage, and I got most of that done, with the remainder being done Friday before storage.  We had not done laundry since California, so Marcia has been tackling that, along with kitchen and bathroom stuff that needed unloading.  I think by Saturday we will be finished...maybe by Wednesday or Thursday we won't be sore anymore from all this lifting, moving, climbing in and out of the motorhome, and chasing Indy all around.

Oh...and speaking of Indy, she thinks she has a new playground.  More on that another day.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Oklahoma to Florida - 1, 000 miles in Two Days


We left Oklahoma (Downstream Casino) on Sunday morning, bright and early around 6:45 am.  Quickly came into Missouri, then within an hour into Arkansas.  Spent much of the day in Louisiana, and stopped in Vicksburg Mississippi at a Cracker Barrel for the night.  Only hitch, a 2 hour delay crossing into Mississippi due to construction on the Mississippi Bridge.  SURE did not need that after nearly 600 miles, but it is what it is.  

Today we left the Cracker Barrel by 7 am, and went through Mississippi (sign not shown since it was DARK last night when we finally crossed that border), into Alabama, and finally into Florida. 

On our way to California back in June (seems longer than four months ago, but that is all it was) we stopped at Hitchinpost Corral & Campground RV Park, Cottondale, FL the night we left our condo.  Decided to do the same on our way home, but for two nights so we will be rested for unloading the motorhome on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before we put it in storage on Friday.  We are in the same spot we were in four months ago.

Since we were here in June Vonda, the owner/manager, painted all these fence posts and rails Red, White and Blue, and put up a few flags.

Her husband died around the time that Hurricane Michael came through the area just about two years ago now.  Michael did more damage to the east of here, but damage was done in the area here too. Her and her husband worked very hard improving the property, and now it consumes every day of her life.  She has tried workcampers (RVers who work for their site), but they have taken advantage of her situation.  I urged her to keep trying...I know there are workcampers out there who will give her the help she desperately needs.

Did not even know they had two doggie parks (off leash areas) here, and they are not far from our campground.  When I took Indy there, unfortunately it was dusk and the mosquitoes were out in force.

It is a small, pretty park.  Yes, there are some living here full-time, but they are nice folks who take care of their sites, and follow the rules.  Many of them have children.  You should call to be sure they are not full, and don't be afraid to text if you get the message that says "Please send a text..."  She answered me within 2 minutes with a "Come on in" message, and when she saw us she knew she had seen us before.  Vonda is just one of those people that once you meet her, you realize that what you see is a genuine person with nothing to hide.

There are ponds on and off the property, and my guess is that you will catch some fish if you try.  Yes, the Interstate runs along the property, but we have hardly heard the cars and trucks, and it is hard to see from the Interstate.  

A day of rest tomorrow, and onward to home on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Hurricane Blew Through, Should be Home mid-Week


Yesterday and today things were a bit gloomy.  Last year we lost Skruffy on Christmas Eve in Sacramento area, took off for Florida two days later.  It was a very sad trip because her demise came so quick...hit us both very hard.  With Bubba we have seen his decline for the past few years.  We knew it was a matter of time...but it still is not easy.  Staying here two nights allowed for the Hurricane to clear out of our way home, and for us to gently mourn life without Bubba.  As for Indy, she does not seem to realize Bubba is gone, but her territorial nature is slowly going away.

Last night we had a nice sunset.  There is a small pond near our campsite where I took the picture at.  (If you call concrete camping a campsite...but hey, free with electricity and water is something you can't complain about).

I think we parked here last year when we stayed for a couple days in April.  Next to the grass for an easy dog walk, and these sites down near the end are flatter.

Above is our section, the back half of the park.

Below is the front part of the park.  When we arrived, only 1/3 of these RVs were in the park.  Most of those that pulled in took off this morning, and fewer have pulled in today.  However, we had two 5th wheels pull in right next to us around 4:30.  With so many empty sites, I wondered why...but then I saw that they were both from Michigan, traveling together, 

It will be interesting where Indy sets herself during our travels from this point on.  Lately she has found a spot right behind my chair next to where the slide-out is "in" for travel.  Of course, every so often she has to jump on Marcia's lap to get her "whiff" of air.

We are heading directly south to I-20, then east, then south again to I-10.  Hoping for four days of travel and three nights after Saturday night's stay here at the Casino.

And we appreciate our friends and family who reached out to us about losing Bubba.  Thank you so very much.

Friday, October 9, 2020

RIP Bubba Dog, You ARE Missed


Our Bubba Boy is with his sister, sitting on Dad's lap with cousin Charlie (Patti's dog).  Above is from our 2013 travels, and no...they did not have sunglasses on, and no, Bubba did not have that big white smile.  They were together so much, Bubba and Skruffy, now they are together forever.

Countless times they were staring out the motorhome door waiting for their FAVORITE time...their Arny Treat to start the day.  "IF" we let them out early, Skruffy and her big mouth would wake the entire neighborhood.  This year we let Bubba out, and Indy once we got her, and they would wander the yard and then wait for Arny.  

Then there was the time on our first visit out west in 2012.  Stopped at a rest area in the middle of the Mojave Dessert and not a blade of grass could be seen.

But Bubba ALWAYS walked to the beat of his own drum.  He was kind, gentle, quiet, always in search of a handout (treat), and loved the smells of the outside (and of food, of course).  His love of outside smells had him taking off at any opportunity he could. And those smells would over-ride his normal obedience.  You say, "Bubba NO!", he would mind...unless the call of the smell was there...then off he went.

Of course, Bubba loved to get his naps.  With our first motorhome, he got his own man cave, where the original old TV was encased and would pop up over the dashboard at the push of a button.  He loved that man cave.

But he sure loved his food...and the food of others.  This had to have been his happiest 3+ months, when we left him at Sandy and Arny's while we went back to Florida.  No Skruffy, his favorite Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy, and he only ran away (sniffed his way down the block) two or three times!

And boy did he like a nice green lawn and a roll on his back.

No matter HOW HOT it was, Bubba would go lay on the grass in the sun.

This was him all groomed out for the initial trip out west.  From this point on, I did most of his grooming, and although he did not like it at first, he came to put up with me.

While we mourn, Bubba is rolling on his back laughing.

This morning, in the middle of the night, Bubba got up and walked over to the front door, 2 am.  I got up and let him out, he walks about 10 steps and just stares out into the night.  After 5 minutes of him staring, I ask him to come in and he turns around and comes in...but won't get in his bed.  I turn the light on and see that he peed in his bed in his sleep.  Yesterday morning after coming back in from his morning duty, he stood up in his bed and was shaking...every leg shaking, his whole body  was if he was so weak that he could not stand but he did not want to lay down either.  Over the past week he has nearly fallen out of the motorhome 2-3 times, and needed help to get back in nearly every time he went out.  When I let him out at 2 am this morning, with it being dark and the light on, he just went down the stairs like they were nothing, and back up again.  In the sunlight it was so bright on his eyes that he could not see where he was going.  He bumped into trees, bushes, picnic benches, the was just heartbreaking.  On top of that his cough was getting very persistent. About all he did was eat, sleep, pee and poop.  So our decision was do we let him eventually fall out of the motorhome and get hurt (break leg or neck) and then put him down, or do it now while he was failing but before he got hurt.  Marcia could not stand to see him continue going downhill, and did not want to see him hurting (from a fall).  So now he is free from that aging body...he was a GREAT dog, and good boy, and went so peacefully to sleep.  They have a butterfly garden where they spread the ashes of the dogs and cats and other next time you see a butterfly, think of Bubba.



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Made it to Blue Springs Lake Campground

 We made it to the Blue Springs Lake Campgound, where we have been a few times over the past few years.  Tomorrow we see my cousin Cassie, sister of Donald...both have been blogged about over the years.  We planned on just one night, but the Hurricane put a hold on that.  Not sure where we are going, our route, our timing....but by Friday morning we will have a better idea.

More info in the future, along with pictures.  It is nearly 9 pm and I am tomorrow will have more info, more pics.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Long Drive Today - Lennox South Dakota

We started off this morning early, on the road by 8 am.  Yes, the sun is just coming up around 8 am, and I am not going to drive in non-sunlight because the Deers are jumpy, and I "HOPE" I have hit my last deer in my lifetime...having hit one between Little Rock and Pine Bluff back in or around 2007.

Indy getting her early morning air again, and again, and again, and late morning air, and early afternoon air...I think you got the picture.

We sure like looking at the trees...fall is in full force in the Dakotas, and soon the cold air will be moving in.  So down south we head.  Nearly a 400 mile drive today to get to Lennox, South Dakota.  Countryside Convenience Motel and Campground was our target, and we pulled in at 3:15. 

Thirty eight camping spots, of which 25-30 seem to live here full-time.  Although it is along I-29, and there is a gas station/convenience store, it is quiet enough that I am sure we will have a good nights sleep.  Last night in Dawson it was very quiet, except for a train or two which passed through the town about 3 blocks away.

Although there is this nice play area, I have yet to see any kids.  I think they need to put a doggie park in instead of a play area.  😁

Which reminds me, we stopped at a TA Travel Plaza on I-29, and they had a doggie park.  On left is Indy, and on right is Bubba, and YES, the doggie park was that big and had grass...lots of grass.

We are here for the night, then off to Kansas City area for a 2 night stay at the Blue Springs Lake Campground.  We have to make some decisions because the Gulf has a huge surprise in store...

Hurricane Delta came to life and quickly grew into a Category 4 storm.  Above is the storm's predicted path as to Tuesday night, but a lot can change in the next 24-48 hours.  So we will watch things while in Blue Springs and decide what to do by Friday...which is when the storm is predicted to get close to landfall.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Bubbalo - Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Unit


Hi Folks, Indy here again, I HAVE to tell you about what I saw was a BUBBALO!


Yes Dad.

I told you, it is a BUFFALO, not a BUBBALO.

But Dad, it poops as big as Bubba does, it LOOKS like Bubba, and frankly, it looks as stu...

INDY, don't talk about your big brother like that...Bubba is not stu...I mean Bubba is smart, he is just old and a bit slower than he use to be.   Now look, since you are going to act like this, I am taking over...

We got up a little after 7 am, and we were on the road by 7:45 having parked the HHR in the back parking lot of the restaurant near the RV park.  The drive up to the North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was uneventful except for the road construction being done just before and after the entrance...another bridge being replaced...this one over the Little Missouri River, a tributary of the Missouri River which is about 550 miles long.  As you get close to the park, you do see some of the rock formations like we saw yesterday.

Right after the bridge you turn left into the park...which you need to watch for very carefully with the construction because the sign and the left hand turn are together, and the sign informing you of the park entrance blends in with the construction stuff.

At this entrance during this time of year you have to enter the Visitor's Center to show your card...and MASKS are required...even though she looks at the card from 15-20 feet away and you exit.  But like any place that want masks, I am happy to oblige.  For those who don't, I just maintain my distance.

After we came upon the first batch of Bubbaloes, I mean Buffaloes (INDY, Why did you EVER put that into my mind?) we came upon another batch of Buffaloes.  (YES, we KNOW that in America we have BISON, not Buffalo...but why be such a stinker about it?)

After getting these pictures of the Buffaloes, Marcia turns to me and says, "Ok, let's go home!"  But we continued in pursuit of more horses.

We continued with our climb to Oxbow Overlook.  At one of the pullouts along the way, we stopped and I cooked some egg burritos with the last of Arny's wonderful tri-tip he cooked before we left, and our low-carb burritos.  YUM!  We take off and we are still 4-5 miles from Oxbow Overlook where the road ends and you turn around and head back to the front gate. 

Know that we left at 7:45, entered the park around 8:30, I could not understand why it was now 10:30 and we still had 4-5 miles to go to the top.  I asked Marcia if it was possible that we had been in the park for two hours already, and she said "Yes".  WOW, time sure flies when you're having fun!

For nearly 4 miles you drive along the top of a plateau, and can not see down into the canyons below except for an occasional glimpse here and there.

Finally you get to the overlook, but to see anything you have to walk out on this rough pathway, so Marcia stayed in the motorhome.  I found the view a bit anticlimactic, but that is because one naturally compares it to other views they have seen, such as the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and numerous other views which just blow you away.  Yes, this was nice...but not a top five view, maybe not a top ten view.

We see more, or the same buffaloes that we saw when we entered the park back at 8:30.  Unfortunately we did not see any more horses, nor any of the Big Horn Sheep.  It is now close to noon.  Wow, time does really fly ...

I take a right headed back to the RV Park 45 miles away through the construction...and I see this sign..."Entering Mountain Standard Time".  WHAT?  When did we leave MST?  Then my phone changes time, the GPS changes time...we got our missing hour back.  YES, we were having fun...but not enough to account for a missing hour.  Who would have known that the Little Missouri River in this area was the boundary for the difference between Central and Mountain Time in the park, the South Unit is on Mountain Time, the North Unit is on Central Time.  It also means that in that construction zone, part of the crew is working on Mountain Time, the other part on Central Time.  I can just see a guy in Mountain Time asking his boss what time lunch is.  "Noon" the guy says.  It is only 11:00, so he goes to the other end of the work zone, where it is noon, and has his lunch.  Very confusing situation.

So we got back to the HHR, loaded onto the motorhome, at started down I-94 east.  I took these two pictures about 100 miles apart...yes, not much of a difference, and that sums up the trip to Wolff's Grill & Bar, Dawson, North Dakota where they have a Passport America RV Park behind the Grill/Bar.  

There are around twenty spots, and there is only one RV in the park other than us, and I think he/she might work in the Restaurant/Bar.  For $15 it is a deal.