"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Still Traveling, at least a little

 It has been four years since I tried to post a Blog.  I have been lazy.  Editing through a batch of pictures and selecting some representative shots hasn’t changed but adding commentary is harder on Facebook. FB particularly doesn’t lend itself to the wandering narrative dialogue that the dogs like to share. They have important insights.  At least they seem convinced that they do and who am I to argue with good friends.

So I packed up the RoadTrek and headed to Wisconsin to visit my cousin.  Audrey stayed behind to monitor the Pottery Man and his Wanda cat.  That was Blondie's job in the past.  Audrey says that food is provided regularly and she has no problem sharing the laps with a cat but does requests small day ride alongs reserved for after we return.  Jane went to stay with my friend Denise and a small pack of Cavaliers.  Jane seemed to adjust nicely to having inquisitive small dogs smell her butt.  She said it made her feel like a giant, but then again, regular food was provided and Denise shared her bed with Jane and a couple of the other girls, so it might be more of a puzzle how long it took Jane to decide to get back into the car with me and come home.

Things I have discovered traveling in the Roadtrek now that my body seems to complain a bit more.  I know longer have the energy to walk multiple dogs around campgrounds, Rest Stops or Cracker Barrels.  And to be honest, a nineteen foot RV doesn't leave many options for dog crates.   Lark wins the travel lottery because she has reached a time in her life and training (and because she is a Golden), she accepts whatever the day's drive, the campgrounds or the rainy days throw at her.   She is not a fan of the traveling down the road so much as she is a fan of the adventures of arriving, walking and visiting. And making sure I have company while I read my book or check the computer.  Lark and I have both traveled with Jane and we know that she is not as accepting of the plans of Gray Haired Ladies and more mature dogs..... she always wants more walkies.....

So the drive that I used to make to Wisconsin all in one day now took two and a half days.   None of this getting up at the crack of dawn when it is unnecessary.  And finding a campsite while it is still light out and supporting a relaxing walks is preferred by both Lark and I.   Lark was very proud of herself for  discovering what she was sure was the entrance to a Fairy Castle as we walked around the small county reserve in IL.  


Lark also liked that I added a couple additional inches to the bed across the back of the RoadTrek.  She alternates between the floor and the bed depending upon how often she has to move in the night.  In the RoadTrek she finds herself being asked to move frequently if she chooses the floor.  

Yes the preserve was really this nice. The amazing part was that it was in the middle of the suburbs in town but has enough acreage and trees to fool your senses.  The abundant birdsong helped.   All this with electric for $30 a night.  We all know COE parks are the best and cheapest but they aren't always close to the roads you are traveling.  City parks and small county parks/preserves are worth a look.     

The night we stayed I heard loud "Turkey" calls after dark and thought that maybe the folks just down the road were having extra fun. It did seem to on for a few minutes.   The next morning as I sat looking over my email I glanced out the window to watch a couple of large turkeys  walk across the road that Lark is posing in front of.  I will believe my ears next time, but they were so loud the night before it seemed fake.

Another days driving brought us to another county park this time near Madison and within 15-20 minutes of my cousin's.    We found woods and grassy areas and a long board walk through a marshy area.  

The next three days saw me driving over to my cousins and visiting them and their children and a few restaurants my have been visited.  I had reminded them in advance that they didn't need treat me as a tourist but my visit was to see them, so that is what we did.  My cousin Barbara has taken all her family pictures and those of her mother's and has them beautifully displayed in scrapbooks.   My brother and I do have many of the pictures of our father, his sister and of our Grandparents but Barbara had more.  It is like researching on Ancestor.com without actually going there.

This is just a tree I liked in the park. It was so full and round.  

And the grove of birches across the way.

Paul and Barb Reilly 

Barb and I

It was rainy the day I pulled out of the park.   I had noticed this colorful rig in the day lot the afternoon before. It appeared as if there a gathering of a group of women that had come together in the park and someone may have driven in with their rig......The rig does have a certain "sisterhood" vib about it.

Over all, the park was modest and simple and though it was well maintained (the hosts were parked close to my site)..... It made me feel fortunate to be traveling in the rig I had.  My RoadTrek is a 2001 and as such falls in the Vintage category.   She still has most of her paint and no duct tape.  Driving around the one camping loop each day I passed several rigs that appeared to be the full time homes of folks straight out of Nomad Land...    Even a well aged VW bus. I had to remind myself that the pancy parks that would keep out these painted and rustoleum ladies would also probably keep out my 23 year old rig....

And speaking of vintage rigs.... Before I left Madison, I had contacted another RoadTrek woman I had met at a get together in North Carolina a year or so ago. I knew she lived somewhere in Wisconsin but didn't know if she was home or out wandering.   She was home and the street outside her house was flat enough for parking.   And it was all of a 40 minute drive.   

Rhonda's home if filled with beautiful things she has made with her knitting or loom. or collected through her career and travels....and her wonderful dogs.  My couch at home has similar indents in the pillows from the English Cockers.   Though I will admit to catching a much younger Lark trying one of the lofty perches out.... once.  She never developed the habit.

Lark does appreciate other dogs welcoming her into their homes......she read the room well and quickly found her spot next to me on the love seat.  Brody, the Westie, is the youngster in Rhonda's  house and spent some initial time deciding jusr how much he should investigate this big gold dog.  Rhonda's two older Cavalier's didn't bother after the first greet and sniff.  They had met Lark in North Carolina. Dogs remember these things....

Later the next day as I pulled into an RV friendly Cracker Barrel in IL, we met the nice older woman and her dog that was traveling through on her way to visit family.... The class A and Sprinter van was parked on the other side of the lot.   

Lark came back still liking her Class B, even if she does have to move everytime I get up to move to a different part of the rig......

So the rig needs some work done, I need to get back to the Y and trying to stay mobile enough to take trips. So we will have to see what adventures the summer holds.   

And that will give me time to remember how to edit things like the old picture of the Thor Vegas........

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