Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coral Snake!

"Red to yellow, kill a fellow; red to black, venom lack" .  That's a rhyme taught to Florida school children to help them identify coral snakes, a very deadly venomous snake.  But thankfully, your chances of being bitten by one are very small.  Their mouths are too small to grab onto much of anything, except something like the webbing between your fingers or toes.

Having dogs, I'd be very concerned about one of our dogs sniffing it and then getting bit on the lip.

I'm grateful that Bleecker doesn't have coral snakes.  I'll stick with bears, coyotes, and Sasquatches.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pam's New Toy

Pam's new toy is a Heritage Rough Rider revolver, given to her as a birthday gift from our Florida neighbor Denny.  I was actually going to buy one for her for Christmas.  I decided to buy her the next best thing, a hand tooled holster.

Now she's all set for her 'squatchin' expedition in December.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Difference Between an Ordeal and an Adventure is Attitude

"The Difference Between an Ordeal and an Adventure is Attitude".   Pam and I have a plaque that says that.  First it was on our boat, and later in Harvey the RV.  Depending on your attitude, we've certainly had one or the other.

This has got to be the longest snowbird migration from north to Florida at 16 days. It also has to be the most expensive at $8,000.  Granted, $4,000 of that was for hearing aids bought from the Walker center at Cabella's, but I wouldn't have bought them had we not been stranded in Pennsylvania for six  days waiting for new brake lines.

100 miles from Lexington, Virginia, the tread on one of Harvey's rear tires had had enough and decided to leave our family, and we limped along at 50 MPH the rest of the way to Lazy Acres. We love it there and sometimes chose to spend two nights, but since it took longer to get all of Harvey's old dry rotted tires replaced, we stayed six.

But we are finally in Florida, happy but $8,000 poorer.  Pam is very happy because she has decided to stop mumbling and I no longer ask her to repeat herself.  I can also now hear birds and peepers at night, which is nice.  I can also hear people eat potato chips and apples though.

But it is nice to finally be in Florida.  Adventure, or ordeal?  I'm thinking about it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lazy Acres Dog Play!

It rained most of yesterday and the dogs were cooped up in the RV all day.  Today the weather broke.  Pam took the dogs out in a pasture where they found a pond to swim in.  Lilly has to be the dumbest dog on the planet.  She swam out to the middle and then couldn't figure out how to get back to shore.  She was swimming around in circles.  Ruby, our dark brown pit, who fortunately is smarter than Lassie, recognized that Lilly was tiring and needed saving.  She swam out and kept nudging Lilly until she was close enough to shore for Pam to grab.

Later, we put them in the arena to play.  It was a game of "let's see if we can catch Olivia the Pointer".  It was actually pretty funny to watch.  Olivia would let them get close and then kick it into high gear, literally leaving them in her dust.

Even Leo Pard the cat wanted to run.


Tomorrow, I get the rest of the tires put on the RV, and we should be back on the road on Tuesday, early, since we're going to shoot for South Carolina.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Stuck" Again, This Time in Lexington, Virginia

After spending almost a week in Bethel, PA (and dropping a couple of thousand bucks) we finally got underway to Lexington, Virginia.  I was concerned about the RV's tires after having been warned by Chad at 61 Auto that they were really old and should be replaced.  I'll do that once we get to Florida.

Well, needless to say that the treads peeled right off one.  There was some wild vibrations, a huge WHAP as the tread hit the wheel well, and a strong burning smell.  I have four tires on the back, so the RV was still driveable, but I got off at the first exit I came to, to check it out.

What you see in the pic above are the steel cords.

We decided to limp the last 100 miles to Lexington at 50 MPH, which we did without incident.

On Friday, I brought the RV to a TA truck service shop.  They could get their hands on five tires, which I had put on.  The sixth will be there on Monday, so Tuesday we head out for Charlotte.

If you break down, consider Lexington Virginia, and Lazy Acres in particular.  This hardly sucks at all.

To top it off we met Pete and Tooney who are as insane as we are.  They're traveling with two horses three dogs, a rabbit, a sheep, and a pig.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Still "Stuck" in Bethel, PA

A brake line in Harvey the RV blew out last week and we couldn't leave Windy Ridge Farm for Lexington, Virginia.  We're "stuck".  I put "stuck" in quotation marks because, quite honestly, we could have been stuck on the road, or plastered at the base of a huge tree at the bottom of a hill on interstate 81.  This is hardly "stuck".


So while Harvey the RV is getting his brake lines replaced, we're staying in a motel with a strict "no pets" policy.  This is the dog bed they gave us for Ruby.

Sadly, the other three dogs spend nights in a stall in the barn at Windy Ridge Farms.  Hopefully, we'll all be a family and together again tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bleecker NY to Bethel PA

The pump house was done for this year.  The last task was to make the Dutch door.  Well, it is a single door now, but next year I'll cut it in half, in place.

Our last evening in Bleecker was beautiful, with a gorgeous full moon.

The next morning was cold and frosty, a sign of what is coming.  

We loaded up the four dogs, two cats, horse, and two goats and headed off the mountain to Florida.  I couldn't find the adapter to plug the trailer lights into the RV, so I lead, and Pam followed towing the horse trailer.

I could tell that the trailer I was towing for Judi was much heavier than the last few times I hauled it, but I didn't realize how heavy until I hit hills.  Going downhill, Harvey the RV was being pushed and I was riding the brakes.  Going uphill, Harvey struggled.  In Pennsylvania it was especially bad.  I'd slow to 40 MPH on the uphills and ride my brakes going down.  But on the back roads to Windy Ridge Farms was stunningly bad.  At one hill, the best Harvey could manage was 5 MPH, and even then I thought the engine was going to blow.  Harvey's engine shuddered and shook and the temperature gauge was soaring, but then I finally crested the hill.  I then had to stand on the brakes to slow Harvey on the downhill side.

Finally  we arrived at Windy Ridge, one of our favorite stops.  Judy treated us to dinner and then it was off to bed, exhausted from the drive.  The next morning we were ready to head to Lexington, Virginia at 9:30.  It was a gorgeous foggy morning.

Unfortunately, I started the RV, put my foot on the brake, and the pedal went right to the floor.  Standing on the brakes on the final hill was the final straw, and I blew out a brake line.

Thankfully, I was smart enough to sign up for AAA premier RV towing.  A Peterbilt tow truck arrived to tow us to an RV repair facility.

Pam told AAA that we were traveling with many animals and it was important for us to get this fixed ASAP.  But when we arrived at Tom Schaeffer RV, we were told they couldn't look at it until December.  Fortunately, the tow truck driver took pity on us and called in a favor from a buddy.  Harvey is at his shop and should be done by Monday at the latest.

So what of the animals?  The horse and goats are in stalls in the barn at Windy Ridge.  Sadly, so too are three of our four dogs.  They must feel abandoned, again.  We have Ruby, the smart one, who wouldn't understand being left in a stall, so we paid extra to have her in our no-pets motel.  

The cats are locked in the RV.

We have a sign in the RV that we also had in our trawler, Drift Away.  The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.