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Cactus in Bloom

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Not Much Going On...

I think I'll start walking at least part of my "route" tomorrow.  The stitches don't come out of my knee until next Monday - it's fairly flexible now, so ...  no running.... but at least a few thousand steps!

Since I haven't been out and about much, I don't have any new photos...
I met this guy along my walking route last week.  At first I thought it was a Holstein Cow...  I'd never seen a mule (donkey? jackass?) spotted like this.  I didn't have anything to give him and boy! did he let me know he wasn't happy...  brayed for about 5 minutes after I had walked on up the road.

Not on my walk, but right here in the yard...
Hmmm...  there's a chicken among those guineas...
Yep.... these guys were all raised together from chick-hood...  not sure whether the rooster thinks he's a guinea or the guineas think they're chickens.... but they hang out together all the time.

Meanwhile...
The girls are checking out what Bill's doing in the garage.  These chickens were handled a lot as peeps so it's quite normal for one to hop up on your lap while you're sitting on the porch.  They are just new at laying eggs and haven't quite figured out where the nesting boxes are....  the other day one just sat down on the sidewalk and laid her egg.   They'll get it figured out.

I don't have any game cameras up, but the deer come into the yard all the time...
Especially in the early morning or late evening you can look out and see a half dozen or more.  Victor keeps the deer feeders filled and they know where dinner is.

Yesterday, Bill & I drove into Ft Worth to Trader Joe's and Barnes & Noble....  we had intended to have lunch at the In 'n Out (umm ummm...  a double-double)....  but we had stopped at a roadside burrito wagon and had a greasy chorizo breakfast burrito and still weren't hungry at lunchtime...  so headed back home.

A good excuse to head back to Ft Worth again soon.

That's All For Today!



Sunday, September 28, 2014

On The Mend...

This applies to both our motorhome and myself....

Thanks to all of you who wished me a speedy recovery.  I get impatient and expect instant results..... I have to remind myself that I fell pretty hard and those little stitches are minor when I look at the bruises on my knees turning lovely shades of green and yellow and the scrapes on my hands scabbing up.  I drove to church this morning and had no problem with the clutch pedal, so figure I'm well on the way.

The motorhome is still under repair...
The AC is fixed...  the rear shocks were checked but appear okay.  The front right shock is bad...  Bill is still trying to get the left shock out; it might be good, but it's going to be replaced anyway.  Makes me wonder...  why would the right front be worn out and the left front good?  I'm not tiny, but not overweight...  Bill has at least 50 pounds on me...  hmmmm......  

I had to ask what all has been happening to the rig's innards...  So far they've replaced the ac compressor and dryer, replaced the alternator, replaced all hoses, replaced the water pump and thermostat. They've replaced the belt and tensioner and idler bearing; replaced carrier bearing and u-joints.  They've cleaned the radiator and replaced fluids.  They also replaced the steering stabilizer.  Right now the front shocks are under repair...
This is how I see Bill these days...
Being a bit paranoid, I had to go out and check how we're jacked up...  looks pretty secure and Bill assures me it's okay.

We'll be parked here until mid-December when we return from our Asia trip, so some of the work might be put on hold until new shocks arrive.  Apparently shocks are under lifetime warranty as long as the vehicle belongs to the original owner.  I don't know where we'll have to send the old ones, but it probably costs a fortune to UPS them there.  No matter...  things need done.

It must sound like we are a rattle-trap waiting to fall apart along the road.  But really, most of these repairs are kind of like "preventative medicine"....  fix it before it breaks.  We're fortunate that Bill checks things regularly and even more fortunate that he can fix almost anything.  And especially fortunate that Victor, our son-in-law is not only willing, but eager to help.  He has not only the expertise but the necessary tools and equipment to make this project work.

Both me and the Lazy Daze will be back to normal soon.

That's All For Today!






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Road Wear..... and Tear

Our Lazy Daze is nearly 14 years old.  We've lived in it full-time since purchasing it in January, 2001. We've had the normal expenses of tires, oil changes and the such.  We had one major problem a few years ago...   wheel bearings....  we had to be towed and spent a couple of days in a small Texas town having that repaired.  Another time the fuel pump filter needed replaced.  The refrigerator went bad, but was still under warranty.  The furnace and hot water heater both have needed repaired.  Over the years Bill has replaced faucets, restrung blinds, put new screen in the door...  things that any type of dwelling needs as time goes on.

With 14 years and 163,636 miles on it we've been fortunate to have had relatively few problems.  Of course, Bill doing much of the work himself has saved us a bundle.

On our drive from Maine to Texas the Air Conditioner quit working...  our home is built on a Ford chassis with a V10 Triton engine.  The AC is tucked WAY behind everything else and it's a major job just getting to it...
Bill can fix about anything, but he readily admits that the AC isn't in his line of expertise.  However, our son-in-law is very knowledgeable about these things and happens to be home for a couple of weeks.  Since they had to remove so much just to get to the AC unit they decided to replace hoses and various other parts...  even though some of the stuff probably has some life left, it's the perfect opportunity to do it while we're here, while Victor's home, and be able to work in a place with all the proper tools and equipment.  I think they have since kinda wished they'd pulled the rig over to the garage...  handier to the tools and all.

So far I think the parts have cost just over $1,000.  Victor and Bill's labor is free.  Many of my friends are like me...  they wouldn't even know there's a problem until it becomes major.  Not just the cost but even finding competent repair people can be formidable.  Still, I feel fortunate that we've had such few problems in these years on the road.

Speaking of repairs by being on the road...  I've been walking for an hour each morning before it gets too hot and humid.  Trying to ramp up the aerobic benefits, I kind of jog a few times during my walk.  The road here is asphalt, but has very little traffic.  There aren't even any hills to conquer.  This morning I hardly got out of the driveway and was jogging...  must have stubbed my toe.  Went face down...  skinned up both hands and even scratched one of my glasses lens.  But the worst part was my left knee...  when I got up I took one look and knew I was in trouble.  I tied my handkerchief around it and headed back home.  Bill took me in to the local hospital ER....  at 8:00 in the morning I was the only patient.

An hour and 5 stitches later we headed back home.  I've had a few surgical stitches before but this is the first time I've ever had stitches due to an accident.  So far I've had no pain.  Well, my hands sting some from their abrasions, but none at all in my knee.  What, no photos?  Well, yes...  I asked Bill to take some with his cell phone, but I don't think anyone out there wants to look.

That's All For Today!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Here For A Month...

We got to our daughter's place Thursday afternoon...
Got a big welcome....
Yep!  Ole Pistol Pete was stationed along the winding driveway leading to the house.  He's a Texan to the core (rebar?)...  and I always have to smile as we head in.

As I've written in the past, Celeste and Victor put in an RV site right at the edge of their yard.  A full hook-up that we are welcome to use as long as we want.  The trip here from Maine did include a short visit with our daughter in New York (and, by the way, today is our Great-Granddaughter, Evie's 3rd birthday...  Happy Birthday to our little charmer!).  But because of the unexpected volunteer job at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR, we didn't get to stop in Pennsylvania nor Ohio to visit our 2 other kids.  

Back to our welcome here...  there have been some additions since we left this spring...
A new chicken house...  
Right now it houses 3 chickens, 1 rooster...  and 6 guineas if they chose to come in at night.
Even as I write this, I can hear those guineas announcing their presence somewhere fairly close.  Having raised both chickens and guineas for many years I have to smile a little..  remembering how I really do like hearing them and at the same time get annoyed at their constant chatter.

That wasn't the only thing awaiting us...
I have read Joanne's blog...  Cup On The Bus  (don't know how to make a link, but if you aren't familiar with her, she's definitely a person worth reading)... and among other things...  she's a weaver...
She sent me these tea towels.
Okay... I think she just considers them something to dry ones dishes with, but... oh my...  if you could feel the texture...  if you could really see the pattern...  I know you'd be as honored as I am to receive such a lovely gift.  Thank you, Joanne.  One of these days I'm going to meet you in person...  I'll see the town hall...  look at that new roof...  see where that pumpkin grew last year.  One of these days we'll sit together over cups of tea...  I love my blogging friends...  y'all mean so much!

After sitting on my buns just watching the miles roll by for the past week I knew this morning that I had to get out and take a long walk.  Well, maybe you could throw a little guilt in there as well...  my daughter and son-in-law ran an 8K race the day after we left...  our daughter and son-in-law here spent 2 hours at the gym doing zumba exercises last evening...  At any rate, I could hardly wait to take a walk this morning... 
Down a dead-end road that has no traffic...
I saw a deer, both cottontails and jackrabbits, a couple of squirrels, even a tiny snail carrying its tiny shell across the road.  Not seen a roadrunner yet...  but I saw several cardinals...  a beautiful bird that doesn't travel as far north as Maine.

It's hot here... but even harder to deal with is the humidity.  I was glad to be done with my walk by 8:30 this morning...  We're here for only a month...  maybe it will rain?  maybe it will cool down?  We sure hope so.

We do have both phone service and internet here...  WoooHoooo!  Maybe now I can get caught up on my "social" life.

That's All For Today!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Almost There...

And where might that be?
Well...  with us, that's always a question....

We left Aroostook NWR on Friday, August 22...  drove about 325 miles to Lake Umbagog NWR...  arriving there on Sunday, August 24. 

Bill worked almost 100 hours (I worked all of 9 hours) and we left there on Thursday, September 4th.  On to visit our daughter in New York, then down to Eastern Shore of VA NWR....  arriving there Sept 7.  We were greeted by 2 days of rain, totaling 7" which seriously cut into the time Bill could work there.  But, work he did (I didn't)....  and we left there this past Sunday, Sept 14...  heading across that BIG bridge...  across Virginia, North Carolina, into Tennessee and 
 Finally...  across the Mississippi, into Arkansas.  I never feel like we're really making progress until we cross this mighty river.

Down around Little Rock...  and over to Texarkana...  always an oddity to me because this town spans 2 states...
Tonight we are in Texas!
Over 1,300 miles since we left on Sunday.
We have about 300 miles left to travel...  tomorrow....

Tonight we're at (another) Wal-mart. (Have I mentioned that Bill & I are cheap travelers?  In fact, one of my little "hobbies" is to take my morning walk in the Walmart parking lots picking up coins...  today I found a quarter...  yesterday we found 69c).  Anyway...  I see that there's a Subway not far from where we're parked...  guess what's for dinner tonight?

I'm so far behind on reading and commenting on other blogs that I know what I'll be doing soon after we get to Glen Rose.  

Sometimes I think this travelin' is for the birds...

Starlings..
Probably on their way south 
(Kinda reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock...)

But then...  I can't think of any life I'd like better...  
So...
That's All For Today!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moving Right Along....

Our week here at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR is about to end.  Bill's had a busy week.  Despite all the rain on Sunday and Monday (7" total!), and the humid and very hot temperatures,  he'll still have over 40 hours in by the time he finishes today.

The job here was to re-roof at least one building, power wash and paint another building, install some new doors in one area, and general maintenance on what needed done.  The top left is a "before" view of the building that needed the new roof.  There were 4 men working...  Tracy, the maintenance mechanic at this refuge, Jesse, from Wallkill NWR in NJ, Bob, from Great Dismal Swamp, VA, and Bill, who has become an itinerant volunteer.  The bottom left is of Tracy and Bill, starting to rip off the old roof.  The bottom right...  they are starting to cut the material to install, and the top right...  the finished job, which includes the new roof, but also repaired or replaced fascia.  This building will also get painted.

The other 3 guys worked on the roof on Wednesday while Bill used the power washer to clean the debris and flaky rust from another building....
He was moving right along doing quite well...
Then he looked down and noticed that the power washer was on fire.  Not just a little fire, but shooting frames up high.  He moved the lift he was on out of the way and yelled for help.  The washer was a total loss...  (lower right)...  talk about having a melt down!  The upper right shows the building cleaned and ready for it's new paint job.  I hope they have better luck with the paint sprayer than that power washer!

Today I walked over to the job early and Bill took me up in the lift to get some photos...
The Maintenance Shop area is quite large, and all the buildings are in need of repair or just spruced up.  The volunteer RV park is nearby...  that's our rig in the lower right.  I didn't take that photo from the lift but you can see the RV area in the upper right...  in back of the re-roofed building.  

I have written before that Paul Horning, our friend from Crystal River NWR in Florida volunteers here.  He no longer moves back and forth between VA and FL doing volunteer service.  He took us out to dinner last night, and you can see below a very nice reason he's here year-round.
Paul and Lola
Paul will soon be 83....  I swear, he looks exactly as he did when we first met in in 2005!  It's so good to see his happy smile.

He and Lola took us on a tour of Cape Charles, a lovely little town right on the bay.  He jokes about the shopping mall...  a Food Lion grocery store, a Dollar General, and a McDonalds...  but you know...  that's not bad at all!

I've eaten crab before, and love it.  But I'd never eaten soft-shell crab...
Those are deep-fried crabs...  you eat the shell and all!  Right after a crab has molted, the shell is soft and pliable.
I had to have the french-fries and slaw with my crabs - as long as I was going indulge I was doing the whole thing!  Sure was tasty!

Tomorrow morning we'll head south...  across the Chesapeake Bay.  It's that 20 mile long bridge and tunnel to get over to Norfolk.  From there we'll wind our way west...  heading for Texas.  It will take us a while to get there...  I'll post when I can.

That's All For Today!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don'cha just hate it when this happens?

Not exactly Victoria's Secret kind of undies....
 See the folded underwear... kinda hard to tell, but they're pink.  See the shirt on the right?  It's orange.  It's new...  bought it at Cabela's last week.  Didn't read the washing instruction tag (it's sewn in the side seam if you want to know...  ).  Did laundry this morning.  I quit separating the whites, colored, plaids, polka-dot stuff years ago.  I'm doing good to wash grungy jeans and greasy shirts in a separate load.  So...  after the damage was done and I got it all folded I did read the washing tag in the shirt... "wash separately before wearing".   My Mom always said to wear clean underwear with no safety pins...  just in case we were in accident.  I'll bet a lot of your mothers said that, too....  she didn't say anything about pink.

Our underwear isn't all that's coming up rosy...
Look at the sunrise this morning.
My Mom would have said "Sailors Take Warning"...  (rain's coming), but it's in the 90's this afternoon and the only moisture is running off everyone's bodies as it's one hot, sweaty day.  I don't know how those guys are working up there on that roof.

Aroostook NWR, up in Maine housed the nuclear bombs during the Cold War.  The bunkers there are a main attraction.  Here, at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR, the bunker is very different.  It's from World War II...  and the gun and shell are on display.  There are plans to have better signage and interpretive plaques in the future, but I'm guessing that funds are as big an issue here as with most Federal agencies.

I have been enjoying my free time this week.  Once the rains quit I've walked most of the trails and often seen white-tail deer and their (still spotted) fawns.  We are located on the peninsula jutting down from Delaware, across from Annapolis and along the Chesapeake Bay. 

I took this photo from the top of the tower that overlooks the bay.  We're only a mile or so from that long, long bridge that spans the waters between the peninsula and Norfolk, VA.  I can hear the traffic when I'm walking along the trails.

 Trumpet Creeper grows wild here....
I don't know if it's native or invasive, but it's wild and is all over the place.
But hummingbirds like it, so I guess that's okay.

I'm not sure how much longer we'll be here...  I can almost see the gears in Bill's head calculating how many more days he can work and how long we need to drive to Texas...  

Tomorrow I think I'll drive up to the nearby State Park... there's several geocaches hidden there, and we all know I can't resist that challenge.

That's All For Today!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Where's George?

The rain continued last night...  into today...  very heavy at times.  Outside our rig looks like the land of a thousand lakes.  The rain slacked off about a half hour ago and right now is down to a very light sprinkle.  Of course this meant that no work was done today on the new roof.  Most maintenance guys that are "on loan" from another refuge only stay 1 week so this weather is putting a serious crimp in everyone's plans.  Ours included.  We need to head to Texas fairly soon.

Our mail service is Escapees, out of Livingston, TX and when I knew we would be here this week I called them to have our mail sent here.  It was a welcome delivery indeed as we had sent our passports for approval of our Chinese visas in July and they were just now returned.  Also, I'd renewed on-line both our Scion and motorhome license plate stickers.  They both expire this month so that was another relief to have those in the mail.

Most times living on the road is fairly easy, what with on-line services and all, but having neither internet nor phone service for most of the summer made things a bit more difficult.

About those oysters we bought...  and shucked yesterday....
I dredged them lightly in cracker crumbs and sauteed them in some butter.  We seldom use butter but for this treat I consider it a necessity.  This was today's lunch, along with some fresh-from-the garden ripe tomatoes (from Paul's garden).  Outstanding!

Now...  about George...
As we were about to cross the Bay Bridge from Annapolis over to the Eastern Shore, we had to dig in the wallet to pay the toll.  Bill had only four $1.00 bills.  I had found a $20.00 bill while we were at the Lake Umbagog State Park and we'd been joking about who got to spend it.  Hmmmm...   As I'm ready to pay the toll, I noticed that one of Bill's dollars had writing all over it....
Front and Back....
I kept that dollar and when we had internet again I went to www.wheresgeorge......  following the instructions I found that my dollar was entered into the "George" system at 9:56 pm on April 24, 2007, in Valencia, Pennsylvania.  He's been roaming around somewhere since that date and my entry was the first one to track his route.  

George is kind of soft and well-worn these days, but considering he's been circulating over 7 years, he's in very good condition.  I was kind of surprised that he's less than 400 miles from where he started.  

This is the first time I've heard about this game, and as far as I know, the first time I've come across a dollar bill marked in this manner.

I'll probably keep it until we get to Texas and hope when I spend it there someone will notice and play along.  Or hey...  I could put it in a Geocache container....  it's bound to find a taker there.  Sounds like something a fellow geocacher would enjoy doing.

Have any of you every found a "Where's George" dollar?  What would you do if you did?

That's All For Today?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ain't Much, But It's All I Gots.....

We stayed at Hagerstown, MD Saturday night (Walmart, of course) and drove the final 286 miles to our destination of Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR yesterday.  Another long day of driving, but we got off to an early start Sunday morning and had virtually no traffic going into Baltimore...  and not much even after crossing the Bay Bridge ($18.00) onto the peninsula, and down through Maryland and into Virginia...  566 miles after leaving our daughter's place in New York....  
Where women are strong and children good looking...
That's Donna, showing her muscles to our great-granddaughter, Evie.  Evie is curious about everything and it's fun to watch and listen to her.
Yes, that IS a shot glass in front of her...  she wanted a "little glass of milk".  So what if she drank about 5 of them?  It's such fun to be around little folks who are so new at experiencing life.

Backtracking a little....
Bill & I like to take the scenic route out of Port Jervis, NY, down to Stroudsburg, PA.  The road has a 45 mph speed limit...  sometimes we see pheasant...  this time not.  We came within a hair (quite literally) of hitting a deer on I 84.  The doe shot out from the left and bolted right in front of us.  I really don't know how we missed her, as my view of her was right in front of the passenger side headlight.  She made it...  so did we.

We stopped for a lunch break in Hamburg, PA.  I miss Aroostook NWR up in Maine and needed to get my "moose fix".....
Okay, so he's not alive these days....
I love the Cabela's stores and have to check out each store.  Bill heads for the "Cave"...  the discount section of returned or discontinued items.

That night we stayed in Hagerstown...  and Sunday we wasted no time heading to our final destination....
You can hardly see below the Dixieland sign, but it says...
Where the South Begins

And into Virginia we went.

We met our contact at Eastern Shore NWR and quickly got settled.
Today we woke up to rain.
Bill walked over to the maintenance shop around 7 am...  the job he's here to work on is to put a new roof on the maintenance building.  Hmmm...  rain and more rain.
He walked home - today's work is cancelled.

Our friend Paul, whom we met when we all were volunteering at Crystal River NWR in 2005, stopped by later.  We haven't seen him in years...  we had a great time catching up.  I neglected to get any photos...  hope to remedy that later.

One of the fittings for our waterline cracked on the way here (darned bumpy roads!) and we had to make a trip up the road for fittings etc.  Paul told us where the hardware store is...  also told us where we could buy some fresh seafood...
We bought a couple dozen oysters...  then had to shuck them when we got home.
Not an easy job for the likes of us.  Nevertheless...  we got'er done...
We each ate only 1 raw oyster while cleaning them...  haven't decided whether how to fix the others.  We both love oysters no matter how they're fixed.

It's rained all day...  quite hard at times...
We drove over to the Visitor Center...
Very nice displays...  
Met the volunteer, Joe, who is parked next to us...  learned some about the history of the place and got maps of the walking trails.

If the rain lets up tomorrow Bill will start work...
As for me...  no plans yet, but those trails look inviting.

That's All For Today!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Family That Plays Together Stays Together....

Or something like that.

These are yesterday afternoon's pictures.
Our great-granddaughter, Evie, had gone bowling recently and wanted to go again.  Well, why not?
After Donna got off work (she left early for the occasion)...  Glenn, our son-in-law, Evie, Bill and I all headed for the local bowling alley.

I'll say right now that I had serious doubts about this "fun" thing to do.  I think the last time (and maybe the only time) I held a bowling ball was in 1958...  while in high school on a date with my boyfriend.  My shoulders don't like stress these days and... well...  I thought...  hey, if a 2 year old (okay, she's almost 3 years old) can roll a bowling ball down an alley, by gosh, so can I!!!

 And I did!
Looks pretty good, huh?  Well, right off I rolled 2 gutter balls...  got off to a great start!

They have this "trough-like" apparatus that little kids can use to roll the ball down.  And... not only that, there are side rails to keep the ball from going into the gutter.  How neat is that!  That's Glenn, helping Evie heft that ball and let'er go.  
(I considered using this lane myself ;-)

We all took our turn...  Bill used to bowl, but it's been maybe 40 years ago since he's been in a bowling alley.  Even at that, he bowled 3 strikes in a row!  Evie loved the place where the air streamed out to dry off sweaty hands.  

Of course everything's electronic these days...  our scores show up for the world to see...  in huge lights right above the lanes we were using.  On the left is Evie G, then Donna right below.  On the right is Glenn, then me, then Bill.  Doggone if Bill didn't get the top score!  Evie's Mom, Heather, had to work so she didn't get to play with us today.

We had a blast!
One game was enough....  we were ready to turn in our shoes and put those big ole bowling balls away.  But...  wooohoooo!  Did we ever have fun!

That's All For Today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Change of Plans.... and Other Plans.....

When we left Aroostook NWR to head over to Lake Umbagog NWR, we expected to stay about 2 weeks or so.  The road project finished Phase I at the end of last week, but Bill continued to do some grading and other work on it hoping to get some of the rough spots cleaned up enough for the finish gravel, which will be done at a later date.

It looked like we'd be there at least another week so I asked Ian, the Assistant Manager if I could help out in any way.  He told me he was sure there were things at the Visitor Center to do and to show up around 10:00 the next day. 
Ian asked me to do some trail maintenance...  walk the Magalloway River Trail, fill the brochure boxes, pick up litter and check for fallen trees, etc.  This is a series of trails, all connecting, that wander through a variety of habitats.  I walked about 2 miles in all, stopping at the photo blind (lower right) and just enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

 I thought I'd check in with Kirk, our "boss" back at Aroostook.  Kirk had make the contacts for Bill to work the special project and I wanted to let him know it was working out well.  Well, Kirk had been trying to get in touch with us (no phone... no internet service....  I was using the shop land-line phone) for Bill to call the special project job coordinator.  Seems there was another job that needed workers coming up soon.  Real soon...

When Bill called the special project guy, he found that the job starts this coming Monday...  at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR.
Well now...  this would change our plans.  We'd planned to leave this weekend, head over to New York to visit our daughter and her family, then head to Pennsylvania to visit another daughter, then on to Ohio to visit our son and my siblings...  then head on to Texas.  We had to rethink our plans...  Bill wanted to work the VA job...  we have a special friend, Paul Horning, who is a volunteer there and we haven't seen him in several years.  So after talking with the folks at Lake Umbagog, we decided to leave there yesterday...  head over to NY to visit family...
Across New Hampshire, over to Vermont, down into Massachusetts, into Connecticut and across to New York....  410 miles in all!  

Bill...  wiped out after all that driving!

Me, with my daughter, Donna, my granddaughter, Heather and my great-granddaughter, Evie.  How much I treasure these times we get together!

Tomorrow (Saturday), we'll head on down to Virginia...  then spend a week at Eastern Shores NWR.  From there we'll head directly to Texas, as we won't have time to head north into PA and OH on this trip.  We have to be in Texas early in October.  We have a couple of routine doctor appointments, have to get prescriptions refilled and things like that.  

On October 23 we'll be flying out of DFW to Tokyo, Japan.  We'll spend a couple of days doing some sightseeing then board a cruise ship that will stop at a couple places in Japan, Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Bankok and Singapore.  We'll fly out of Singapore On November 24, stopping in Honolulu for a couple of days.  (I want to find a geocache there... then I'll have cached in all 50 states).  From there back to Los Angelos.  We'll stay there a couple of days then board a 2nd cruise ship that heads down to the Mexican Riviera for 1 week.  This cruise is the annual Wholly Genes (genealogy software) cruise that we go on every year.  Arriving back in LA, we'll fly back to Texas, arriving at DFW on December 6.  That's pretty much it all in a nutshell....  I doubt if we'll have internet during that time.  One of these days I'll get caught up....

When we get back from the cruise, it will be mid-December...  winter just beginning.  We haven't made any plans for this winter yet.  I guess we've been just too busy.  

We're looking forward to going to yet another refuge...  one we've visited but never worked at.  We should have internet and phone service there...  we'll see....

That's All For Today!




Monday, September 1, 2014

Now in New Hampshire

We left Aroostook NWR, way up near Caribou, Maine on August 22, spending our first night on the road only 23 miles down the road at Presque Isle.  The next morning we woke up to a hot air balloon festival ....  11 balloons were in the sky over Wal-Mart.... all so colorful and a delight to see.

On down the road..  through Houlton, through Bangor and on to Farmington, 241 miles later...  still in Maine, but not far from our final destination, only 69 miles away.


Lake Umbagog NWR is in New Hampshire... actually it's in both Maine and NH, but the Visitor Center and Maintenance shop are both located in NH.

Bill is on a "special duty" detail...  working on a road that needs culverts replaced and other serious maintenance.  The refuge has made arrangements for us to stay at Umbagog State Park, which is just a few miles down the road from the maintenance shop.

 We quickly find out we have neither phone nor internet service here, which is pretty much as we expected.  Bill works long days and I have plenty of time to get caught up burning photos to CDs, knitting, reading and just wandering around.

The road is 3 miles long from the main road to the gravel pit.  It's narrow so the guys use radios to communicate where they're at...  it's a long way for a huge piece of road equipment to back up and pull-overs are far apart.

We love getting tours of the refuges we visit or work at...  Paul Casey, the manager at Umbagog didn't disappoint us...

He brought around his boat to the campground one evening and took us on a 2 hour tour of the lake.  He showed us the Potter House, where the office and visitor center will be located once renovations are done.  He told us some of the history of the refuge and about future plans.  It's easy to see we're with a man who loves his job and loves where he lives.

There was a huge event celebrating the completion of the 7 year Androscoggin Headwaters Project with all kinds of dignitaries and presentations of plagues to honor their part in the project.
That's Governor Hassan in the middle...  she was the keynote speaker.  Other folks spoke for the senators and Representatives offices, as well as a spokesperson for the Plum Creek Timber Company, the State Fish and Wildlife, and the US Forest Legacy Program.  The lady at the lower right is the Assistant Director of the Region 5 Fish & Wildlife office.  The event was open to the public and even though the weather turned windy and cold, about 100 people attended.  Since the refuge had put us up here for the week, I got lucky and happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Our reservation at the State Park was up on Friday and due to prior reservations for Labor Day Weekend,  the park was filled to capacity.  We had the option to move to the headquarters office or to the maintenance shop.  Since Bill works out of maintenance that was where we headed....
We'll have to go back to the State Park to dump, but this is just a perfect spot for us.  Not only is it quiet with a good view of the surrounding forests, there are trails leading to the lake.  There's a washer and dryer in the shop, as well as a restroom with a shower...  also room in their fridge for extra supplies.  The road equipment is housed here, so Bill has only a few yards to walk to "work". 

Phase I of the road project just finished and Bruce, the other equipment operator "on loan" returned to his home refuge last evening.  We'll stay another week and Bill will work on the Potter House with the rest of the crew.

Today we'll drive to a town that's big enough to have phone service and use our MiFi to catch up on internet messages.  Living in the boonies does have its downside, but it's only for a short time.  We'll leave here next week and head to NY to visit family... then on to PA, OH...  then on to Texas.

We do have plans for October through December, but that will be in a later blog.


That's All For Today!