Posting From The Home Front

It’s been a busy and somewhat meaningful 9 days since my last post.

What with the trip up to Tampa for new military ID cards, getting setup for the winter, and whatnot…we barely had time to breathe. 

Gordon our local mobile repair tech was here and fixed our water heater electric heating issue…the thermostat had failed and one of the wires going to it burned through. No thermostat…no heater workie. A quick fix with part from the truck and it was back in business. We also talked about the toilet issues and he recommended replacing it…at 8 years old it’s on it’s last legs and by the time you buy and pay labor for all the replaceable parts you’re almost up to the cost of a new one…so we’re ordering a replacement and he will install it when it arrives.

We got an email from the fellow coordinating the trip for some NHOG folks up to Calgary Alberta for the Stampede saying it was time to send money for tickets…which pushed up the timetable on a decision we need to make as well.

The last travel seasons have been much harder on both of them physically than the previous 6 combined…and by the time we got here Connie was pretty much ready to be done with this RV lifestyle. Our original intent was to wait until the end of the year to make a decision to get some separation from the immediate stresses of the travel season but with the need to pay almost $800 for tickets at the Stampede that decision got moved up.

Neil had already told her that she had earned the right to decide when/what/how for whatever comes next in our life…after all, she’s followed him ‘round the country, cross the continent a bunch of times and such in the Navy then for 8 years as we full timed in the RV. All of that came at some expense to her career…although she’s pretty happy with her work career as it turned out anyway…but given that she’s followed him without much complaint all these 43 years he said he would support whatever she wanted to do…as long as there was no snow or yard work involved.

She thought about scheduling the travel season for next summer…and we considered numerous options involving a shorter travel season with longer individual stays at campgrounds. That doesn’t change the number of travel days…but traveling 1 day at a time and staying a week for a month vs traveling 4 days in a row and then staying a month in one place is a whole different experience…the latter is a lot easier. We considered that we did have a 7 week stay in Cody this past summer for the kidney stone treatment…and mostly that was not a difficult process, but it’s not really where we would have picked to stay for 7 weeks on our own.

After some thought…she came out and said she was done and ready to get off the road, sell the rig, and move back into a Sticks and Bricks house…and with very little additional thought she decided that staying in this area was her choice…she’s got choir, hair stylist, Elks, friends, and all that so this area has become home to her.

After very little thought on his side of the discussion…he agreed with her. First, as noted above it is the right thing to do…and second he actually does agree with her.

So…looks like we’ve arrived at our terminal campground for the full time RV lifestyle. We’ll find a real estate agent down here, look at some places and pick the one that’s closest to what we really want. Then after closing we’ll do whatever remodeling, renovation, painting, or whatever it needs to be perfect before moving in. In the meantime…we’ll continue living in the rig and it as well as Big Red won’t go up for sale until we move into the house. In any event…we anticipate all of that taking until at least the end of April when our current commitment here at Seminole runs out.

So what does this mean going forward to this new phase of our life? 

Beats me…we haven’t figured it out yet. We know we want to do some international travel as there are places that we want to see…Iceland, Spain, France, Australia, New Zeland. Add in Africa for a wildlife safari, a visit to the South Pacific to stay in one of those grass hut hotel rooms out in the lagoon and alll the other places we’ve either been before and want to go back to or haven’t been to and we’ll still be traveling. Our initial thought is that we’ll travel for a month or so two or three times a year with some rest periods back at home in between…that may change as we get into things and see how taxing a month on the go at a time is. What I’m pretty sure we won’t do is anything of the “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium” sort of travel with a lot of travel days…our initial thoughts are to go someplace and get an apartment for a month with both day trip and overnight excursions around the area but coming back to the home base and eating more meals in instead of all out like hotel travel normally entails. On the other hand…our initial thoughts may be completely out of whack with either reality or whatever we decide to do later.

Will there be another RV in our future? Again…beats me. We would like to get out of southern Florida for the serious parts of the hurricane season if possible…either for the aforementioned international travels or perhaps up to VA to see the kids and Alex. We could do the apartment thing up there…or we could get a small RV that’s sufficient for a month or so at a time. Our…well Neil anyway as Connie has yet to express an opinion either way…going in thoughts are that we would not be using an RV enough to make the investment worthwhile and that in the long run doing the apartment thing when we visit longer term up in VA is right…but heck, we can afford it either way so it will really come down to what we feel like doing I guess.

Neil did get drafted to be in the Veterans Day Parade last Sunday as part of the Elks Lodge 1288 Veteran contingent. We were able to rejigger our symphony tickets and trade the ones for that afternoon (that we really didn’t care much about the program for) for another Beethoven concert later on in the spring. So he got to ride in the convertible and wave to the adoring crowds, then went to the ceremony put on by the city of Fort Myers.

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He did see one elderly lady on the side of the road that was really touching. She was about his age, holding a folded up flag like they give you after the funeral of either a veteran or a soldier killed in action, waving to us as we passed with tears running down her face. Don’t know whether it was her husband or a child…or whether they were killed in action or just died after a long life…but it was a touching moment and he wished he had been quick enough to get her photo to post here.

Interesting things found on the net.

More military dog photos.

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MilitaryServiceDog 00011

MilitaryServiceDog 00014

MilitaryServiceDog 00019

Signs that humanity is doomed because somebody found it necessary to post these signs.

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ThanksCaptainObvious00003

ThanksCaptainObvious00004

ThanksCaptainObvious00005

ThanksCaptainObvious00009

And a few more

BabyPictures

SixStories

NotAFlightRisk

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

We’re Back Home In North Fort Myers

My last post went up our last day in Cedar Key but before Happy Hour and sunset. We had a great last day…did the outside packing up and dumped/flushed our tanks and put away some of the inside stuff…then went over to the Tiki Bar for Happy Hour followed by a great pasta dinner Neil put together. Along the way there was a pretty decent sunset.

Friday Nov 1 we did our usual travel day routine…alarm at 0530 and then coffee and breakfast and then started underway preparations at 0800. We were done, hitched, and pulling out of the campground by about 0930 for the 250 mile trip down to North Fort Myers. The first 100 miles is on 4 lane at grade highways on US-19 and US-98 then we hopped on I-75 for the last 150 miles. Stopped and had a hot dog for lunch shortly after getting on the freeway, got stuck in some traffic in the Tampa area, and proceeded on arriving at Seminole Campground for the winter right before 1500. We quickly got checked in and backed into our normal site 101…then did as much setup as we could until we ran out of gas…that got us about halfway done inside but with all of our utilities connected and some of the outside setup done as well. We ran over to the local Chinese take out and picked up some dinner…this place we just found out about and it’s really good…which is outstanding since we’ve been looking for years for a decent Chinese restaurant down here and the closest we’ve found is the sushi/Chinese place we frequent for raw fish but their Chinese isn’t that great.

I gotta tellya…it’s really, really nice to be back home…we’ve pretty much moved way, way too fast the last two travel seasons and are really ready to be non-mobile for awhile.

Saturday…another setup day…inside done and about 80% of the outside stuff done before it got too hot and we quit again. Besides…we had to run over to church in the afternoon…November 2 is All Soul’s Day and there’s a special indulgence that you can get that will break one person each out of Purgatory. Connie’s got a list of folks to break out going but this year Baby Sis got moved to the head of the line…so Neil went with her so she wouldn’t get any further behind. After that…we went over to the Elks Lodge for a hot dog for dinner and a couple of brews…Neil got drafted to be in the Veterans Day Parade next Sunday since he’s a veteran…he’ll be the guy in the back of the convertible waving to the cheering throngs I guess. We also got our flu vaccines in the late morning…and since there’s a new Shinglex vaccine which is better than the old shingles vaccine we got the first of 2 shots for that as well…Tricare covers all our immunizations with zero co-pay. Pro tip…don’t get multiple immunizations on the same day, especially if one of them is the Shinglex. Neil gets the high dose flu vaccine now since he’s over 65.

By bedtime…we were feeling sort of lousy again…immunizations as you know cause your body’s immune system to kick into gear and create the antibodies which actually protect you from whatever the immunization is for. Well…ours kicked in pretty good, especially with the double immunization…and we were still not back to 100% from the crud before.

Sunday…we felt worse again…low grade fever and a lot of aches and stuff…but that’s what Advil is for. We made it through Mass then came home and took naps in the afternoon. Dinner was supposed to be duck breast which we had taken out and thawed and was sitting in the fridge letting the skin dry out since that helps it to get nice and crisp later…but we felt so lousy we ended up eating the leftover Chinese instead.

Monday…feeling pretty much back to normal although we will most definitely not do the double immunization thing again. We went down to our dentist here and got our semi-annual cleaning…all is well on that front…and were back home by 1100. We picked up our computer shipping box from the office…Neil’s 2015 MacBook Pro got recalled for some sort of battery issue…he’s not having the problem that caused the recall but he’ll get a completely new battery out of the deal…his battery health is down to 84% of original so that will be nice. Apple will pay the shipping both ways as well as the new battery and he’ll be laptop-less for probably 4 or 5 days total.

Gordon…our local repair guy down here…will be by Monday afternoon as well…we need to get out toilet rebuilt as well as figure out why the water heater won’t work on electric the past few weeks…parts will likely be needed but at least we’ll get the ball rolling on that front. We’ll do the duck breast for dinner along with some rice and winter squash that Connie is picking up while she’s in the Publix shopping center getting her nails done as they’re well overdue for a refill and polish.

We’ve got a busy first full week here…a trip Wednesday up to Tampa to get her military ID card renewed and Neil’s fixed as they screwed it up when he got it renewed in April before we left. Thursday…a visit to his audiologist to get his hearing aids checked and then run into Coconut Point Mall to the Apple store to look at the new Apple Watch Series 5…they’re thinking about getting them for their anniversary. Saturday night is the Snowflake Ball at the Elks…dunno what that it is but there’s stuffed pork roast for dinner and dancing so it should be fun. We were going to have a trip to Sarasota for our first Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks concert of the season…but since Neil got drafted for the parade we swapped those tickets for a Beethoven Symphony #3 Eroica concert in early February. Next week we’ll be back to a more normal Fort Myers schedule…thank goodness for that.

Don’t know if we’ll have much Fun Stuff© for the next six months…but I’ll try to make sure that I post regularly even if most of what you’ll read is everyday life sort of things…I can’t report on Fun Stuff© that didn’t happen and we’ve mostly done all of the close to Fort Myers stuff already. We did check and the eagles Harriet and her mate M-15 are back in residence at the nest doing what the
eagle cam
web page reports as nestorations…and they’re having to defend the nest against a pair of Great Horned Owls that are apparently trying to drive them off with frequent nighttime harassment operations…I don’t see that working as the eagles are larger and stronger and the nest is way too large for owls anyway. 

Ok…let’s see what photos I have for you today. We did get a few nice ones the last evening in Cedar Key.

RAW from iPhone XS image

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Interesting stuff found on the net.

This woulda been better last week before we fell back from Daylight Savings Time.

TurnBackTime

Be afraid…very afraid.

BeVeryAfraid

Here’s a few Marvin ones…he’s the male version of Maxine the cantankerous old lady.

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And a couple more military/police service dog ones.

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Penguin1

CaveDrawings

If you still work…try playing B***s*** bingo at your next meeting. Every t time one of these words is mentioned in the meeting cross out that square and when you get 5 in a row horizontally, vertically, or  diagonally…or a postage stamp which is the adjacent 4 in a single corner…or when you get all 4 corners…you jump up and yell B***s***. Your prize is that you get kicked out of the meeting.

BullshitBingo

EpiPen

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Cedar Key Diaries

As I noted in my last post…we arrived in Cedar Key at the Low Key Hideaway about 1400 or so Tuesday afternoon after the 200ish mile drive from Brunswick GA. Neither Mo or Frank were at the LKH and the Tiki Bar was not open yet…so Connie parked the car and walked out in the road to block traffic until Neil got pulled out across the road. Once he was out there…she ran around the back and was his mom-backer and he successfully got into site 3 straight in one go. After they consulted…he decided to move 3-4 feet to the left in the site to give us more patio space and put the awning out without hitting the tree space. This required pulling back out into the road pretty straight and backing up to get the trailer to the left, but the amount of fore and aft movement available necessitated doing the S-maneuver twice before he was where we wanted to be. Oh…you don’t know what a mom-backer is? He’s the guy riding on the back of the garbage truck down in the south and when the driver is reversing to pick up the dumpster the mom-backer stands back behind him and yells “Mom back, mom back.” Most southerners will recognize the caricature.

We brought on power and leveled…then Connie did the inside while Neil hooked up the remaining utilities and dumped and flushed our waste water tanks as we had transited the last couple of days with half full tanks that had vinegar and Dawn added to help get the gunk washed off the sides of the tanks from the sloshing…we’ll repeat that process when we leave here so they’re as clean as possible on arrival in North Fort Myers.

Tuesday

After arrival and setup…we went over to the Tiki Bar for Happy Hour and had a couple of brews. Came home, made some leftovers for dinner, watched TV, and crashed early as we were tired. Neil did get a couple of low tide sunset photos but they weren’t that great…hopefully we’ll get some better ones during our 10 days here.

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I’m calling this one Osprey at Sunset…he/she was sitting on the dry oyster bed…looking for dinner I guess but the tide was pretty much at maximum low so there were just puddles in front of him. He is actually sitting on the long skinny sandbar left of the sun and below the island just inside the horizon in the above shot but Neil didn’t notice him until later on when the sun was almost gone behind the islands in the background.

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We had declared Wednesday and Thursday to be rest days before starting our scheduled deep cleaning of the rig on Friday…and you’ll recognize a lot of “rinse and repeat in the rest of this post”. We consider this last stop at the LKH to be “vacation” from our travel season so that we arrive in North Fort Myers with a clean rig and enough energy to jump back into our routines down there…but with the way we’re feeling with the cold/flu/crud/whatever it is I hope we actually get the cleaning done.

Wednesday we sat outside in the shade, setup the grill, went to Happy Hour, and had some pan-seared halibut with dill sauce and some Caribbean curry rice to go along with it. Sunset was poop. Colds about the same…stuffy head and coughing for both Connie and Neil but there is some overall improvement so we’ll just hang in there. She is about 4 days behind him in the cycle since she caught it from him but it seems to have mostly hit him worse than her.

Thursday we again sat outside…are you starting to sense a pattern here…made some more roasted garlic in the oven that Neil hauled outside, went to Happy Hour, came home and grilled some bison steaks and fresh corn that we ate with the aforementioned roasted garlic (it was yummy) and some Mexican butter with cilantro pesto, hot sauce, chili powder, and lime juice in it. Both were excellent…then we did dishes and watched TV until bedtime. We had to give up and turn on the A/C units about 1400 in the afternoon as it was beastly hot. Colds about the same although again a little improvement.

Friday…we were supposed to start our cleaning today…but by unspoken agreement since we didn’t talk about it we put this off to another day…sat inside all day with the A/C units on before having Happy Hour and then some grilled chicken and leftover Caribbean curry to go with it. Ditto colds…still hanging on but continuing to improve ever so slowly. Sunset was nice.

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Saturday Connie felt a little better so we started on doing the screens and inside of the windows…got about halfway done and Connie was tired so we stopped with about 60% of them done…Neil took the screens out and hosed the dust/bugs out of them while she vacuumed inside the screens and Windex-ed the glass. We went over to Happy Hour then had some seared Ahi tuna with rice and wasabi…then watched the Alabama-Arkansas game until halftime…41-0 and then went to bed. Final score was 48-7 with the backup quarterback playing the whole game as Tua sprained his ankle last week and is using the Arkansas game and the bye week to recover. They still slipped from #1 to #2 to LSU because LSU beat Auburn by 3…go figger that one. Nick Saban is happier not to be #1 anyway…gives him more things to motivate the team…he’s on record that polls are “rat poison”.

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Sunday Connie felt poorly again…so we skipped cleaning and just went over to Mass…there’s a chapel on the island now so we no longer have to schlep the 24ish miles up to Chiefland…then we had Happy Hour and some carne asada pork with peppers and onions on corn tortillas for dinner. Sunset was pretty nice on Sunday. We had to sit not at the bar since all the weekend riff-raff was here…luckily they all left the next morning.

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Noticed this license tag near where we were sitting.

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Monday…rinse and repeat…finished the windows and fan blades/screens and cleaning in the bedroom and bathroom with the exception of the floor which we’ll do last and the dusting. Tried opening back up for fresh air…we had been closed since Saturday with the A/C running as it was hot/humid…but ended up closing again as it was hotter and more humid than we thought and was only going down to 78 over night. Happy Hour and a steak on the barbie was dinner and we used up a bunch of leftovers in the process. The leftover dill/onion dip sauce from the halibut last week went into the mashed taters along with a couple cloves of mashed garlic. The leftover onion/mushroom/cream sauce from the last week’s chicken and the leftover Mexican butter from the grilled corn last week got mixed with some white wine and tarragon which turned it into something resembling Bernaise sauce with a little more kick and got poured over the steak. Sunset was poop as it was cloudy.

Tuesday…dare I say it…rinse and repeat again. Finished up the dusting, fan cleaning, overhead hard drive area cleaning, sink scrubbing, and everything but the floors which we’ll do tomorrow…we originally thought we would have 2 more days after today but got more done than we figured on. Happy Hour and dinner which will be (this portion written before Happy Hour, dinner, and sunset) spaghetti with Italian sausage, mushroom and other goodies in a lemon wine sauce. Sunset TBD. Neil did get a photo of the Osprey with a Great Blue Heron in the background while we were cleaning…he noticed it out the window.

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Sunset turned out to be acceptable…but we didn’t have the camera with us at sunset time so Neil took one with his iPhone. With the newly released iOS 10.3.3…Apple has enabled a computational photography technique they call Deep Fusion which is supposed to produce better output but it only works with the newest iPhone 11 models. Fortunately…he also has a camera app named Halide which takes RAW photos instead of the HEIC ones that the built in camera app does and uses the available API to extend the benefit to older models like his iPhone XS Max…I’ll have him take one with Halide Wednesday and see how it works…but here’s one he too Tuesday evening…not too shabby for a phone shot.

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Wednesday we finished up our cleaning…then headed out to the Island Hotel Restaurant for a fancy dinner. Connie had an Island Hearts of Palm Salad…it was supposedly invented here…and some crab bisque while Neil had some loaded baked potato soup and some redfish picatta. All was good except the fish…the first half was excellent but the second half which happened to be the thick end of the filet was overdone and fishy. Neil thinks they put the pan half off the burner to keep the thinner end from over cooking which worked but they ended up overdoing the thicker portion of the filet so it was dry and fishy.

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Here’s a shot of Connie’s salad…and yes…that is ice cream on top of it…I told ya it was a fancy place.

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Neil spotted this in the mens room over the urinal.

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When we got home…he went out and took a couple of those RAW format sunset shots with his iPhone…first one is straight out of the camera and the second was processed to look like it looked to the eye. They’re a little noisy compared to the DSLR shots he’s been taking and not quite as nice…but iPhone image quality is getting pretty close to what you get out of a DSLR these days.

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Today’s our last day here…we’ll pack up the grill, chairs, and other outside stuff and head out tomorrow the last 250 miles of the travel season…over to I-75 and then south to North Fort Myers where Seminole Campground site 101 awaits us. I’ll get some more sunset photos tonight…well actually Neil will as I can’t get the camera up to my eye and my paws are too clumsy to focus and hit the shutter button…and report back in over the weekend.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Can we just get this whole impeachment political maneuvering crap over already? The House is going to do what they’re going to do…and eventually they will vote to impeach despite the fact that it will cost them politically. Then the Senate will acquit the President since it takes a supermajority…67 votes if they all vote…to convict and convincing 20+ Republicans to vote to oust a President based on hearsay evidence isn’t going to happen. The President’s lawyers will say that his duty to uphold the laws of the country require him to ask foreign countries to investigate potential wrongdoings by American citizens and that the Constitution overrides the election law about soliciting foreign assistance…and the courts have never ruled on that question. Heck…at this point…it’s not clear that any actual crime was committed and the Constitution does say “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Apparently Ms. Pelosi has agreed to hold a vote today to approve some “rules” for conducting the hearings but the vote specifically does not authorize impeachment hearings…so whether what they’re doing is even legal is open to interpretation.

Can we get this whole Brexit thing over as well…either leave or stay but quit messing around with it. Now the Remainers…who lost the referendum on whether to leave or not…are demanding another referendum…sort of like the Democrats want to redo the 2016 election because Mrs. Clinton was supposed to win.

So on the
National Geographic
site…there’s an article about this study in Nature that claims that previous science that Homo Sapiens (thats the species of modern human beings) developed simultaneously in numerous places around Africa is wrong. According to this study…which studied Mitochondrial DNA that is passed only from mothers to their offspring…anyway they studied this DNA from various ethnic groups around Africa…and they have “conclusively determined” that there was a single birthplace of our species in a small area in central Botswana. Further…according to this study it’s obvious that “every living human being” is descended from a single female that lived in that area of Botswana about 200,000 years ago.

Now that just defies logic. For every living human being to be descended from a single female would have to mean that she was the only fertile female in existence and that would have to mean that she was the only female in existence…in other words her name would have been Eve. The problem with that scientifically is that inbreeding from a single maternal source would have most likely cause the species to die out instead of continuing to exist…and the math probably doesn’t work anyway…it depends on which googled article you believe. 200,000 years is about 10,000 generations…so starting with 2 people back then there would only be about 2 billion people on earth today. That doesn’t count the ones that died or the fact that some generations had more than 2 children that survived…or the effect of inbreeding or potentially fatal genetic issues.

In the second place…there was another study a few years back that “conclusively determined” that all living human beings were descendants of a single male who lived 160,000 years ago in a completely different part of Africa. Since caveman probably never traveled more than 10 or so miles from their birth place…and since their lifespan was nowhere near 40,000 years…Adam lived in a completely different time and place than Eve.

So…both of these studies are pretty much BS…which is what the National Geographic article says.

UrineTest

Only older folk and Russians will likely get this one.

OneTicketReally

HorseDrawnCarriage

PetsSleepingOnBed

A friend sent me a whole bunch of military/police dog ones.

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Bad ass of the week.

MilitaryServiceDog 00034

 

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 2 Comments

Visit with Friends and Transit to Cedar Key FL

The first thing I can report is that both Connie and Neil are still feeling poorly…this thing they’ve got is going on two weeks now and while they’re slowly improving…it just ain’t fast enough.

After finishing up our visit with the human kids and Alex…we headed out Thursday morning for the trip down to Fort Mill SC. Leaving Cozy Acres…we wandered cross country on 2 lane roads for 20 miles or so before intersecting first US-460 and then US-29…both of those are 4 lane at grade highways…before hopping on the freeway for the last 130 miles or so. 

Why Fort Mill SC? It was the only place with an opening to park near York SC and Belmont NC where we had plans to have dinner with Connie’s older sister Cindy, her husband Butch, and her daughter Jennifer down towards York a bit on Friday evening. We pulled into the Fort Mill KoA…which for being right in downtown and looking pretty seedy as one drove into the parking lot…you check in at a gas station…was a pretty nice place once you got past the gate. No satellite visibility due to trees…but we had plenty of recordings and watched a couple of other shows streamed on our AppleTV. Friday we had a nice dinner with Connie’s family members before heading back to the rig. Saturday…we were out early afternoon for the 30ish mile trip up to Belmont NC to visit our friends Bill and Linda. We talked and ate until about 1800 before heading back again to the rig…then watched most of the Alabama game on TV before we gave up and went to bed.

Sunday we went to Mass…then bought enough groceries to get us through to Fort Myers as our next stop was just scheduled to be an overnight and after that 10 days in Cedar Key FL at the Low Key Hideaway…and grocery pickins’ are pretty slim in Cedar Key.

Monday we did 320 miles straight down the freeway…good thing it was a relatively easy travel day as we were all feeling poorly…stopping in Brunswick GA at the Coastal Georgia RV Resort. Nice pull through concrete full hookup site…easy in/easy out…we headed out and had dinner at the same place we ate the last time we stayed here as it’s the only really nice looking place that’s not a long drive. On the way there…we stopped and filled Big Red with fuel…again getting enough to get us through to Fort Myers as diesel is pretty expensive on the island.

Tuesday…the last 200 mile push to Cedar Key where we again quickly pulled into site 3 at the Low Key Hideaway. Setup everything, had a beer at the Tiki Bar, ate some leftovers for dinner…and crashed for the evening.

We have nothing planned for the next 10 days here except vacation, happy hour, eating, and probably doing a deep clean on the rig spread over a couple of days assuming we all feel better. Absolutely no Fun Stuff© is planned…we’re considering this a decompression period from the summer travel season and intentionally have nothing planned.

I’ll get Neil to take some sunset pictures when there’s s nice view…but other than that I may not post again until we get to Fort Myers on Nov 1 unless something blogworthy happens…ya never know.

One quick shot for ya…this one taken from inside the Tiki Bar on our arrival day…Connie tweeted that it’s her “happy place”. 

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Didja see the interview by Ms. Clinton who claimed that Jill Stein who ran as a third party candidate in 2016 is a “Russian agent”…and that the Russians are grooming a current female unnamed Democratic presidential candidate who she didn’t name but was obviously Tulsi Gabbard…anyway they’re supposedly grooming her to run again as a third party candidate in order to “steal the election” from the Democrats. What Ms. Clinton forgot is that in most states if you run on the primary ballot and lose you’re not allowed to run on the general election ballot…which sort of kills the whole “run as a third party candidate” idea.

Impeachment continues apace…and the more that it goes on the more obvious it gets that it’s not about “high crimes and misdemeanors” but about trying to overturn the 2016 election. No matter whether you believe the President is guilty or not…the House is completely ignoring both the law and due process in their proceedings not to mention precedent on how to impeach a President…no official House vote to start the process, no public hearings, no due process for the accused, and selective leaking of “facts” that support the Democratic case in obvious efforts to try and convince the President in the media instead of just allowing facts to stand on their own. At least 3 or 4 of the Senators currently running for President have already announced that they’ll vote guilty in the impeachment trial…before the trial starts and before learning any of the facts…for which they would be summarily dismissed as potential jurors in a criminal trial. As we’ve said here before…we’re not particularly fond of the President and think he is his own worst enemy with his tweets and rants…but fair is fair and there is a lot of validity to his rants that this whole thing is a witch hunt. Doesn’t make him innocent or guilty…but it is a witch hunt. I”m all for having impeachment hearings if necessary…but it should be done the right way. The Constitution doesn’t specify what the right way is…but it does say that “the House” may initiate impeachment proceedings and that has been interpreted as the House as a whole authorizing the proceedings and setting up rules by which they should be conducted…for both Nixon and Clinton the hearings were open to the extent that they were not classified, witnesses were identified, both sides were allowed to question witnesses, and lawyers for the President were allowed to attend the hearings…none of which is happening.

Interesting things found on the net.

Apparently…at least according to an appeals court in Michigan…putting lug nuts back on the wheel and torquing them when rotating tires is not legally required for the shop to say that they “rotated the tires”. Back in 2013…this couple took their car in for maintenance including rotating the tires…and the mechanic didn’t install and torque the lug nuts on the left front tire. They left the dealership and about 2 blocks away the wheel came off resulting in a crash with injuries. They sued the dealership for negligence…and also included in their suit a reference to the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MVSRA) because the latter allowed them to sue for legal costs as well as damages. The trial court found in their favor and awarded them $40K in damages and $70K in legal fees. The dealership appealed and their appeal claimed that the MSRA didn’t apply because they “performed the tire rotation”…and that nothing in the MVRSA required them to actually install and torque the lug nuts. The appeals court agreed…and after several pages of legalese attempting to define the word “perform” ruled that actually installing and torquing the lug nuts was not required to allow the dealership to say that they “performed the tire rotation”…that merely removing the wheels and putting them on another location was sufficient to say they had “performed” the job…and that the MVSRA did not apply, therefore the dealership had not violated it, and therefore that legal fees the dealership was assessed were not valid. Nuts I tellya. Next thing they’ll claim that if you get your oil changed and the mechanic leaves the drain plug out that he “performed” the oil change.

Jussie Smollet…he of the fake hate crime a few months back in Chicago…well he’s being sued by the Chicago PD for the expense of their investigation into what turned out to be a hoax. His lawyers filed a motion that the suit be dismissed because…I kid you not…”Mr. Smollet had no idea how much overtime the police would spend investigating the crime”…and that therefore he was not liable for damages. Fortunately…the judge laughed him out of court and allowed the suit to proceed.

It’s holiday time almost…so here’s our thought on decorating.

HolidayDecoratingDone

HappyEverything

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 2 Comments

Grandson Alex and the Human Kids

Oops…no posting for 11 days…but I got my reasons as ya’ll will understand in a bit.

Before I get to that though…a slight discourse into Reality Based Blogging or RBB as it’s known around here. If ya don’t want to read this part…feel to skip ahead to the first photo and just resume reading there.

Let’s talk about impeachment.

First off…this has nothing to do with us being supporters of the President or not…my views are about the process and hypocrisy we’re seeing. As I’ve stated before on these pages…we’re not great fans of the President and think he does a lot of dumb things…and his constant tweeting of said dumb things…well, he’s almost his own worst enemy. No matter whether you like or dislike him…the fact remains that he did win the election and as a Democratic president once said…elections have consequences. In this case though…the other side wasn’t interested in those consequences and have been talking impeachment since before he was inaugurated. Come on people…give the man a chance. We’re not against impeachment if it’s warranted ‘round these parts…but come on, it’s gotta be a fair process and have some resemblance to a legal proceeding instead of just being a political hatchet job.

So we’ve got “impeachment inquiry hearings” going on…but we’ve had no vote in the House to authorize those proceedings. In my opinion…there are really only two possible reasons for that. First…Speaker Pelosi wants to give her party moderates that were elected in mostly Republican districts a little political cover by not forcing them to vote on an “inquiry”…second, and more importantly in my opinion is that whether you like her politics or not…she’s a brilliant politician and vote counter. My guess is that when counting the votes it was close enough to not passing that she’s not sure it will pass…especially if some of those swing district moderate Democrats vote against it so as to help get reelected a year from now. As a politician…she really didn’t want anything on impeachment because she realizes the political consequences it will subject her party to in the 2020 election…but there are enough wacko/he’s guilty/my mind is made up liberals in her caucus that if she didn’t allow at least the inquiry she might very well lose her position as Speaker…and as I noted before…she’s an excellent politician so will do whatever is necessary to prevent that

So instead of having an “impeachment inquiry” full House vote to authorize the hearings…and instead of setting up appropriate due process protections for the other party and potentially impeached party…she just announced that the inquiry was in progress and let the chairpersons of the six committees she’s designated setup the rules…and those six committee heads are all part of the rabid impeachment crowd.

The Republicans have complained…rightly so in my opinion…that this is unfair. Democrats have pointed out that there are no rules in the Constitution on how impeachments are to be conducted…and technically they could be correct. The wording in the Constitution says…”The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Democrats say that this means that the only full vote of the House that is required is the actual impeachment vote and that the committee hearings do not require full House authorization. Republicans…naturally, since the President is of their party…say the opposite.

The problem here for the Democrats is precedent. While I’ve not found any specific information about the process used by the House back in the 1800s against President Andrew Johnson…there is precident based on the only other Presidential impeachments since and in the more numerous impeachments of other officers including both executive branch officials and judicial branch judges.

In both Presidential impeachments…the abortive one against President Nixon as he resigned before the full House vote to actually impeach as well as the successful impeachment effort against President Clinton…there was a full House vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry itself.

In at least the two Presidential cases…the full House voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry by the Judicial Committee and laid down ground rules for those hearings. The rules included allowing the President’s legal team to attend the hearings, to allow both party members of the committee to question witnesses, to have the hearings public to the maximum extent possible, and laid down requirements that essentially mirror the due process rights that all criminal defendants have.

In this case…the 6 committee heads have set the rules.

All hearings have been private…ostensibly because of security classification requirements…but then all the juicy parts that seem to implicate the President are somehow leaked. My guess is that the heads know that the majority of the country’s citizens recognize this as mostly a politically motivated process and they are trying to try their case in the press in an attempt to turn public opinion to their side.

Republicans have been barred from the hearings…not the Republican members of the committee holding the hearings but those from other committees. For instance…the ranking Republican on the Judicial Committee was kicked out of the hearing by the Intelligence Committee chairman because he wasn’t on the Intelligence committee. This just adds to the perception that the process is unfair.

Witnesses have been guaranteed anonymity by the committee chairmen…despite the fact that the whistleblower act specifically does not allow this to happen. What the whistleblower act says is that a whistleblower is protected against “retaliation in the workplace”. No more…no less.

The President’s legal folks have likewise been barred from the hearings.

Now let’s assume that the Democrats are successful in impeaching the President. It seems that a lot of their mouthpieces seem to think that is the end of it and he will be removed from office. Not so fast though…there’s going to be a trial in the Senate to see if the impeachment is upheld or not…and let’s not forget that the Senate is controlled by the Republicans.

Numerous Democratic Senators running for President have already announced that they will vote guilty in the Senate trial…essentially Senators serve as the jury. Now…in every other trial in America…jurors are dismissed from the jury for talking about the case, doing independent research, and the like…they are required to vote solely based on whether the evidence presented by the prosecutor in court leads them to a guilty or innocent verdict. How is pre-announcing your vote…with no access to the actual facts of the case…not prejudicial to due process?

The Senate will set the rules for the trial…and you can bet your last nickel that they at least will ensure that due process is afforded and that both sides get to ask questions. I can guarantee you that the name of the whistleblower will come out…because in America you get to face your accuser.

Also in America…an accusation based on hearsay evidence does not meet the requirements for beyond a reasonable doubt…and hearsay is exactly what this whistleblower has. He or she was not involved in the phone call, did not see the transcript, did not listen to the recording (assuming one was made)…but rather “heard” from other people that the President demanded a quid pro quo from the President of Ukraine.

Having read the actual transcript as released by the White House…and seen the texts back and forth between senior State Department people who actually asked the President…there doesn’t appear to be quid pro quo nearly as obviously as the Democrats claim. The President merely asked the Ukranian President to investigate possible wrongdoing in Ukraine over the 2016 election…and the facts bear out at least the appearance of impropriety by Vice President Biden in his recommendation to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the appointment of the VP’s son to the board of the oil company in Ukraine despite no experience with either the oil industry or on corporate boards at a ridiculous salary ($50K per month).

The Constitution authorizes the President to conduct foreign policy…and requires that he uphold the laws of the US. Now meddling in a US election by a foreign entity clearly is illegal under US law…and hence the President can make a valid legal claim that he is upholding his Constitutional responsibilities by requesting that foreign leaders investigate in their country. The fact that such an investigation in Ukraine might politically benefit the President is not illegal under the Constitution…and the courts have not ruled either way. On the other hand…Federal Election law which is subservient to the Constitution makes it illegal for a candidate to solicit influence by a foreigner in US elections. These two laws seem to be in 100% opposition to me…if a candidate is obeying one he is violating the other…and until the courts vote on which takes precedence it’s not clear that the Democrats have a valid legal case.

So…in the end…this all comes down to politics. The Democrats have been trying to re-run the 2016 election ever since the day after the election and this is just the latest attempt to do so.

I have even seen suggestions by leading Democrats trying to influence the Republicans to allow them to succeed. The Constitution states that it takes a 2/3 majority of those present and voting to actually convict in an impeachment trial…that means 67 votes in the Senate assuming all 100 vote. Since the Republicans have the majority…let’s assume that all 45 Democrats and both Independents are righteously convinced by the evidence and vote guilty…that leaves them 22 votes short of conviction. Republicans are likely to find the evidence unconvincing and vote for acquittal…despite the press already trumpeting that if they do this they will be placing party above country…and simultaneously denying that Democrats voting guilty…and pre-announcing their vote…are not placing party above country as the President is obviously guilty. While it’s possible that a few Republicans might agree that the President is guilty…the likelihood that 22 of the 53 (41%) will do so is remote to nonexistent…and that doesn’t even count that some of the Democrat Senators might vote on the actual evidence and not party demands and therefore vote to acquit. 

The latest suggestion by “leading Democrats” is that Republicans should either boycott the final jury vote or abstain from voting…thereby lowering the number of votes to convict enough so that the 47 Democrat/Independent guilty votes…and we know that they’ll vote in lockstep not because of party but because the President is obviously guilty…are enough to convict.

Fat. Chance.

As I said…this is all political BS.

Didja see Senator Warren has been caught in…believe it or not…and I know this is shocking news…another lie? She’s been claiming on the campaign trail that she was fired from her first teaching job because she was pregnant. That’s what it says in her book and what she keeps saying at her rallies. Too bad she forgot about the video from years ago where she admitted she took time off to be with her child…or the interview where she told a completely different story and said she took time off to get teaching credentials then decided that instead of teaching she wanted to be a politician instead…or the previously published paperwork from her school district that offered her a job for another year of teaching at the same time she claims she was “fired for being pregnant”. I guess she figured that “I was fired for being pregnant” would get her more votes than “I quit teaching to raise my child”. Never mind that there isn’t enough money held by “the rich” to fund all of her massively expensive giveaway programs…or that her plan to impose a wealth tax which will just confiscate a percentage of your wealth every year…not income but accumulated wealth…is obviously unconstitutional…but then as a liberal Democrat she’s never bothered to learn civics, how the government works, or what makes you a Native American…and never learned to answer a simple Yes/No question as she did 8 times during last evening’s debate.

OK…enough of that…here’s the image I said you could scroll down to if you didn’t want to read that part.

Dieting

When last we left our heroes…they had made it to Coolville OH, gotten Big Red’s batteries replaced and were embarking on Fun Stuff©.

Then the colds happened. Neil came down with one a couple days before we left Hocking Hills…then he eventually gave it to Connie despite his best efforts to prevent doing so. We ended up canceling the day over on the island, boat trip, and carriage ride and just stayed home. 

Pro tip…don’t use almost 3 month old chicken stock from the fridge…you’ll make yourselves sick. Neil used some to make lemon sauce for pork piccata one night at Coolville. He looked at the date on the box and thought maybe it was too old…but it passed the smell test and it passed the “has it congealed into jelly test” so he used it. Both of them spent the overnight hours with tummy cramps but they had passed by noon or so the next day…they were talking about it and it came to them that it was probably bad. We’ve used it after a month and a half in the fridge after opening and it was fine…but he’s decided that in the future he’ll just toss it after a month and open a new box…it’s only $2.29 a quart or so and we always have a spare box in the pantry. 

We headed out early Monday morning to Lexington VA…right near where I-81 and I-64 intersect…for an overnight stop at Lee Hi Travel Stop…a small overnighter (mostly) campground in back of a truck stop. We had dinner in town at the Palms then headed out again Tuesday morning to Cozy Acres campground in Powhatan VA about 20 miles west of Midlothian where the kids live. By that time…we were mostly over our colds so we went over and visited everybody on Wednesday…turns out that Bryan was also suffering from a cold that he claimed Jenny and Alex gave him…more on that later.

Thursday we headed 420 miles west with Big Red to Knoxville TN to pick up the furniture that Baby Sis had been house sitting for us ever since 2012 when we sold our home in Fairfax VA and set out on our vagabond gypsy lifestyle. We got there, picked up the U-Haul trailer Neil had reserved and headed over to her home on Wenlock Road. Loaded up our furniture with a welcome assist from Alex who lives across the street then went over to our hotel, parked and got registered. Walked to the Tavern nearby and had dinner and brews, then came back to the hotel and crashed.

Friday we got up, had breakfast, and attempted to leave…but Big Red wouldn’t start…the batteries were so dead that the starter solenoid didn’t even click. We got one of the hotel maintenance guys to come around and jump start us…and Neil found that he had inadvertently left the storage compartment lights on when we backed into our site at Cozy Acres in the dark. We headed the 420 miles back to Richmond, met Bryan at our storage unit and offloaded the furniture and headed for the U-Haul place…everybody felt great at this time. By the time we got there, dropped the trailer off and drove to Cozy Acres…Neil was feeling sickish again…aches, pains, cough, sore throat and all.

We had dinner and by bedtime he was feeling worse than he’s felt since Connie gave him norovirus back in 2014…every joint ached and even his skin hurt, plus fever and all the other symptoms. By Saturday mid day…the aches were mostly gone but he’s been on cold pills every 12 hours and 3 Advil every 6 hours ever since…although feeling better each day. We were supposed to move on Sunday over to Pocahontas State Park for 5 nights…but (a) he still didn’t feel great and (b) it was supposed to rain all day Sunday and (c) if we had been smarter we would have done this when we originally made the reservation here at Cozy Acres a couple weeks back…but it turned out that our site at Cozy Acres was not reserved until Thursday night…which was when we would be departing so we just extended here and didn’t move over to Pocahontas in the rain. 

Connie was…mostly…feeling pretty good so we were hopeful that she would not catch this from again…those hopes were dashed Tuesday afternoon as she started getting the sore throat  and by the time we had dinner with the kids and got home she was really feeling bad. He got her some of his drugs and took care of her until bedtime…and today she’s feeling a little better. Hopefully she will improve every day as he did and be back to normal in a couple of days.

Tomorrow we’re heading 270 miles south to Fort Mill SC…we’ll have a 4 night stop there to see our friends Bill and Linda and also her sister Cindy and her husband and daughter on Saturday and Friday respectively. Sunday we’ll rest, attend. Mass, and get groceries…then Monday we’ll be off on a 2 day travel…328 miles to Brunswick GA for an overnight at Coastal Georgia Resort where we’ve stayed before then another 200 miles on Tuesday to the Low Key Hideaway site 3 in Cedar Key FL for the final 10 days of travel season…backed up to the water, doing some end of travel season cleaning of the rig (we’ll spread that over 2 or 3 days depending on how we feel), and going to Happy Hour at the Tiki Bar 40 feet away nightly of course.

Friday November 1 we’ll head out again for the last 250 miles to our winter home at Seminole Campground site 101 in North Fort Myers.

On to some Fun Stuff© photos.

Jen and Alex at dinner on Wednesday night last week…Bryan was working the close shift at Burlington so we took them out to a local Italian/pizza place.

IMG 4209

Looking up from the lake behind site 117 to the rig…the bottom of the photo is right at “path around the lake” level and the water is 2 feet or so below the path. This is a cozy little park and will likely be our new destination when we’re in this area to see the kids and Alex. This shot and the following 2 were taken on a nice blue sky day…but I missed getting the flat calm lake reflection shots by about 10 minutes.

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DSC 3590 2

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Neil went back out Tuesday morning early and it was flat calm again so he got some nice shots of the lake.

Pano of the entire lake.

D75 3598 Pano

And a few closer shots of various things.

D75 3598 Pano 2

D75 3598 Pano 3

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D75 3614 Pano

Interesting stuff found on the net…although most of this was found in emails from various friends…but it came in from the net so Ima sticking to my “on the net” statement since none of them claimed to be the originators of the enclosed items and they found them on the net (or got them in email).

ArtistWrongWords

Snowbirds

This is the earliest known selfie…they had to use the technology available to them at the time I guess.

EarliestSelfie

The Origins of Golf…or How Man Learned to Swear.

OrignsOfGolfr

Ever notice how your GPS will give you a different route…and different time to travel…when going from A to B and then returning from B to A? Turns out there is a precedent for this.

WalkTimes

KidsVSMapleLeafs

This is similar to one I’ve posted before.

JesusInGroceryStore

Laundry

PeopleWhoWrongMe

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging, RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Coolville OH Transit and Fun Stuff

Well, after our power issue the other night and subsequent cancellation of Fun Stuff© in order to get the breaker on our site’s pedestal fixed…we were looking forward to a nice easy travel day on Thursday. It started out most excellently until Neil walked across the street to the bath house where Big Red was parked to move him over to our site so that he could load stuff in. He got in, pushed the start button…and the starter solenoid went click but did not engage to crank the engine over. He recognized the symptoms…it happened to BAT (our first truck the F450) in a similar manner. Big Red is a 2016 model that came off the line in Oct 2015 so that puts him…and his batteries…right at 4 years old…so he was pretty sure that at least one of the two batteries was toast…which means the starter won’t crank as they are in parallel.

That led to a wasted 45 minutes or so while we pulled Li’l Red over and jumped it…after which he was very careful not to turn the engine off. He looked up and there was a RAM dealer with a heavy truck facility in Parkersburg WV which was just across the river from our next campground in Coolville OH. Connie thought we would never get in…but he told her they were good old boys from West Virginia and would take care of us. He called them, described the problem and told them we were RVers transiting the area…and that we could be there by about 1430…they close at 1700…and he said “sure, bring ‘im in and we’ll fix ‘im up”.

With that in hand…we finished hitching up and departed Hocking Hills State Park about 1130. The first dozen miles of the trip were a bit dicey as we had to head up the 3 number state road to Logan…curvy and up/down as well as narrow…but it was better than the trip on the same road getting to the park from the other side. After that…we hopped on US-33 and then US-50 and had smooth sailing all the way to Carthage Gap RV Resort in Coolville OH.

After navigating the one lane only between two ponds with 10 feet drop-offs to the water on both sides…we quickly got checked in and then Teresa the owner guided us to site F4…a nice 80 or 90 foot long pull through gravel site with full hookups…slightly downhill from back to front but easily leveled. We put on power, unhitched, deployed slides and turned on the A/C units as it was getting on towards 90 degrees…then headed out to the RAM dealer.

Service there was excellent…the tech came back about 15 minutes later and confirmed that one of our batteries was bad. We told him to replace both as they were the same age and we didn’t want to get stranded again later. He came back a few minutes later and said they had no batteries in stock…but that they could run up the street and get two from Advance Auto Parts which had the same specs as the OEM batteries…and that they routinely got batteries from them when needed. We agreed and an hour or so later were heading home…we got the original sales certificate for the batteries from Advance so if we need warranty service later on it’s easy-peasy.

By the time we got home we were beat…but Neil finished leveling and hooking up utilities then we baked a pot pie for dinner. Watched some TV until bedtime…we missed last Friday’s shows we normally watch as we had no satellite visibility but DirecTV streaming got them for us easily. Right before bedtime we turned the A/C off and opened up as weather for our remaining 3 days would be wonderful…cool and definitely open-window-worthy.

We were up early Friday morning for our first Fun Stuff…a drive over to the McDonough Wildlife Refuge for a hike on the Main Loop trail…a 2.25 mile loop with about 400 feet of elevation change. According to the signs…there would be numerous chances to see wildlife from foxes to coyotes to deer to birds at the wetlands. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A and got a couple of chicken and egg burritos for breakfast…the size of that particular tasty breakfast treat has increased considerably since we had them our only other time a couple of years back.

We donned our hiking shoes and set off with our hiking poles…and as advertised within 100 yards of entering the trail we spotted our first wildlife sighting…Neil spotted this li’l guy alongside the trail.

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Unfortunately…that was also the last wildlife sighting on our hike…but we enjoyed it anyway. The weather was cool so we didn’t get overheated and the uphills were a bit challenging but fortunately they weren’t too long individually so we had plenty of time to recover.

This is the “wetlands”…more of a pond really and no wildlife at all…probably because of the concentration of algae floating on the surface. There was a small open spot in the middle…and the dead calm wind would have resulted in a great reflection shot except for the algae…but I did what I could and included a shot cropped differently so you can see what reflections there were.

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Cattails.

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Along the hike…turns out that we’ve been classifying trails slightly inaccurately ever since we took our first trip to Maine some years back. Lemme ‘splain for ya.

On that first trip…we discovered that all trails in Maine are rocky and covered with roots…so we deemed trails like that as R&R trails…for rocks and roots of course.

Today however…as we headed up the first incline on our hike…Connie said that was a R&R&R trail for rocks, roots, and ruts…which Neil immediately classified as a Triple R Trail. Unfortunately…that got him started down a mental rathole and he wondered if we had possibly misnamed the R&R trail years back due to insufficient information. By the time we got to our second rest stop on a conveniently located bench at the top of a hill…he had figgered it out and after discussing it with her we now have the new and improved trail classification system.

So…rocks, roots, and ruts…notice those are in alphabetical order. The new classification system is R&R Type 1 (or 2 or 3)…with the r words selected as 1 & 2, 2 & 3, or 1 & 3…obviously for rocks and roots, roots and ruts, and rocks and ruts respectively. We’re sure that this new system will better enable us to describe our trail experiences for ya.

After the hike…we stopped by Home Depot for a list of hardware stuff we needed, Kroger for a few vittles, and a different Kroger that had a liquor store for some rum before heading home.

We were going to…originally…sit outside in the breeze…but took a nap inside instead before doing a few chores and then having some leftover skirt steak with onions and peppers in corn tortillas for dinner…they were quite yummy.

Saturday we were going to go over to this island in the river near Parkersburg including a boat ride, carriage ride, and museum tour…but Connie wasn’t feeling very well so we just stayed home instead.

Sunday it’s going to rain on and of all day…so we have no plans other than Mass in the morning, then we’ll head out for a 2 day travel period on Monday…overnighting at Lexington VA and then arriving in Powatan VA just west of the human kids on Tuesday. Wednesday we’ll see them and install the tow ball assembly that Neil bought for Big Red. Thursday we’ll drive Big Red to Knoxville, pick up a U-haul trailer and pick up some furniture that Baby Sis was house sitting for us as her estate is putting the house on the market with proceeds to go into her younger daughter’s trust. We’ll get a hotel in Knoxville and come back to Midlothian Friday…meeting Bryan to put the furniture into our storage unit. Saturday we’ll drive up to Fairfax for the annual Cassaday Financial Symposium…at least that’s the current plan…then Sunday we’ll move over to Pocahontas State Park for a few days before heading south. On the way south…with our new and revised plan…we’ll really only have 2 stops. We’ll stop in NC to see our friends Bill and Linda as well as Connie’s older sister…then a 2 day transit to Cedar Key for a 10 day stop at the Low Key Hideaway…then a final 1 day transit to North Fort Myers where the travel season will come to an end.

I don’t know if we’ll have anything else that really classifies as Fun Stuff© before our arrival back at our winter home…if I do I’ll post…and if I don’t then I’ll think of something else to write about.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

RanAroundTheBlock

ChipMonk

CellPhones

LifeAfterDeath

NotABear

DeadVsStupid

DoYouNeedAParachute

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Hocking Hills Ohio

My last post included our first Fun Stuff© day at Hocking Hills State Park…which turns out to be pretty much fun-less as we saw the waterless falls and came home…that was on Friday.

Our plans were to do nothing over the weekend…as a state park not too far of a drive from Cincinnati and Columbus we figured it would fill up to capacity. So our plan was to sit under the awning on the veranda and watch the world go by. We were on the shade side of the rig for a change and the weather while in the 80s was pretty dry and there was a little breeze so it was quite comfortable sitting out there with an adult beverage and waving/chatting with folks as they walked by. Neil grilled carne asada carnitas pork one night and a skirt steak the other night…both were pretty outstanding. We went up to Logan OH about 12 miles northeast for Mass but other than that the weekend was a do-nothing weekend.

Monday we had a day trip down to Chillicothe OH to see the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park…which is essentially some Indian burial mounds. Neil was not really thinking that these would be worthwhile…but as it turned out he was incorrect and they were much more interesting than he thought.

So…Hopewell Indian culture…what is it? Well…it’s not actually about the Hopewell Indians as we don’t know what they called themselves as they had no written language. The people inhabited this area of Ohio from 2000 BC to 1500 BC, but rather than living in villages they predominantly lived in small scale (2-3 huts) groups that were probably familial in nature. Despite this dispersed culture…they were responsible for creating the largest earthworks in North America…some of them requiring as many as 1.5 million baskets of earth to be moved…and the works were not just piled up dirt but had multiple layers of gravel, sand, straw, and dirt with a 20 inch layer of gravel on top of both the mounds and the surrounding walls. The name Hopewell comes from Captain Mordecai Hopewell who owned the farm where the first site was excavated in the 1890s.

The mounds are primarily…but not exclusively…burial sites containing cremated remains and artifacts at the center of the mound…most are round ranging up to 60 feet in diameter and a dozen or more feet high with a few elliptical mounds the same night but about 140 feet long and 30 feet wide. There are 5 major sites…most of which contain a square, large circle, and smaller circle. The sizes of the walls are consistent throughout the sites despite them being up to 60 miles apart and all are oriented the same geographically in line with constellations or solstices depending on which archeologist you choose to believe. The burial mounds are always in the large circle if a site contains all 3 shapes (4 of 5 are this way) and they are in the square at the main site which only has the square and the small circle. The square dimensions fit precisely inside the large circle where they are present…and the arrangement of the 3 structures is pretty consistent. The bottom line is that for whatever reason they were built…they were pretty much built the same way.

The main site…Hopewell Mound City…which we visited, has the largest number (40) of burial mounds and the largest mound all located within the square. The square and circle walls are about 10 feet wide and 6 feet or so tall. At Mound City…all of the mounds have been archeologically excavated and then reconstructed…although whether they were reconstructed to the original layered construction was not mentioned in either the excellent movie at this site or any of the information signs posted throughout.

The Indians obviously had a wide ranging trade system in place…as the mounds contain artifacts made out of obsidian from Colorado, copper from the Great Lakes region, shark teeth and shells from the Gulf of Mexico, silver from the Ontario region, and mica from the local area. The copper was found as small nuggets which were then pounded flat, then multiple flat pieces pounded to form a single sheet, then formed into various artifacts.

Pano taken from the back door of the visitor center looking out towards the square. These structures are huge…the squares are all about 20 acres, the large circles 27 acres, and the smaller circles about 60% of the size of the large circles. 

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The wall of the square…this is the same area at the end of the sidewalk in the center of the above pano.

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Looking out at the mounds.

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This tree obviously didn’t survive the recent lightning strike.

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Mound 7…this is the largest single mound…I left the people in for scale.

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Elliptical mound…which to our eyes was much larger in volume than mound 7 albeit slightly shorter and narrower but 5 or 6 times in length.

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More mounds in the far corner of the square.

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Some interior shots of the museum…copper hands.

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This is a bear according to the label…but it don’t look much like me so Ima not convinced. Looks more like a hippo or pig to me.

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Bone tools on the left and obsidian ear stretchers on the right. The latter are about 1 inch in diameter and fit into and stretch a hole pierced through the lower earlobe…they look quite uncomfortable to install.

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Deer antlers made of copper.

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Carved stone.

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All in all…it was actually pretty interesting and way better than Neil thought it would be.

We headed home and then went out for dinner at this fancy-schmancy restaurant nearby…the Inn at Cedar Falls. Somewhat pricey as our bill before tip was $95 but that included 6 glasses of wine and 2 entrees…we sampled Merlot and Pinot Noir during Happy Hour at the bar and then had Sauvignon Blanc to go with our Bourbon-Maple Salmon (Connie) and Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta (Neil). Both dishes were excellent as was the wine…it’s probably the best $100 meal we’ve had in quite a long time. The only drawback was that they screwed up the check and filled out a “charge it to my room” ticket instead of charging it to the card Neil gave the waitress…who was actually the manager as it turned out the next day when we went the 2 miles back there to fix their screwup.

We had another Fun Stuff© day scheduled for Wednesday…but it was unavoidably cancelled due to power issues in the rig. Along about 0130 this morning…our Progressive electrical management system tripped us off the shore power cable and after 30 minutes of troubleshooting we had no joy so we just opened the windows, turned off the A/C units, and pretended we were boon docking on the battery overnight. We had scheduled an early departure for a couple of hikes back down in Chillicothe…but after troubleshooting the problem for a couple of hours and finding out it was the 50 amp circuit breaker in our power pedestal…then waiting until the park maintenance guy came by and replaced it…well by that time it was almost 1000 so we just cancelled the trip…it would have been too hot to hike much by the time we got down there at lunchtime which was the reason for our originally planned early departure. So…we’ll just hang out again today.

Tomorrow we’re off 65 miles east to Coolville, OH which is just across the river from Parkersburg WV…where we’ll have Fun Stuff© Friday and Saturday, sit at home on the rainy day on Sunday, then head out for a 2 day travel to grand baby Alex on Monday via Lexington VA.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

MelonCollie

InBread

CatAndComma

CuriosityCat

CatTreadmills

WetMoppedFloor

ThinMints

MomFoundPipeInCar

Cyas.

 

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