For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Feb 18, 2017

I'm a Tough Old Bird

The weather report said we’d have some bad weather this week. As it turned out, they were wrong (we just had rain this morning). It couldn’t have been better. It’s cool at night and 70s in the day. Just perfect. The four of us have had a great time, together. Terry had to leave Friday morning, and we have missed her but we're already planning another get together. The gals have all been so good to Bogey and he loved them. Bogey has had a blast. He and Mollie get along just fine, but Bogey is much like Jack and Lizzie because he gets along with all dogs. I have enjoyed walking him on the trails as much as he has enjoyed going. He's easy and stays with me on the trail. He's cute he'll run ahead, turn to look and come bounding back, then turn around and run back. Reed Bingham is a beautiful park--not too big with bathrooms that are very clean and great trails for me because they are sandy and flat. It's a pretty park. I mainly took pictures of "you know who". Once Teresa got here we had a campfire. I love sitting around a fire at night--get a few women together and we have a lot of laughs.

Patricia (L) and Teresa

Fun at the campfire L-R Patricia, Terri, and Teresa

Yesterday, we were on another short trail I don’t know how many times, but Bogey is always ready to go so I was looking forward to the longer trail. I tried, but I couldn’t do it because of a freak accident that happened on Thursday. We were walking around the campground and stopped to talk to some people and a big dog on a long lead came running up to greet it’s master and caught my ankles with the long lead he was on and flipped me so fast I didn’t know what happened. My feet went up above my head and I came crashing down onto the left side of my back, shoulder, and neck. Terri, Patricia, and Teresa couldn’t believe my feet went so high in the air. I crashed so hard on the ground I felt like I had shaken brain syndrome. When all was said and done, I had to laugh because the first thing I remember was sweet Terry saying, "Oh, I'm so sorry I couldn't get to you in time." I can tell you I hurt every where there is to hurt. I was particularly concerned about my neck since I've had surgery there before. I only grazed my hip so that's a relief--don't think I did any damage there. I was fortunate that I was on grass, not cement. Enough of that--I'm no worse for the wear. Here are some pictures of the park. Worth a stop for anyone in the area.

Today, for the first time I can move at better than a crawl. I’ve continued to move because I figured that was best. Everyone, including myself, was surprised that I didn’t break anything. I’m a tough old bird, I guess. At least I knew I had a doctor appointment on Monday. Bogey was concerned and sniffing me (I don't remember that and think maybe the girls just said that to make me feel better). I’ve been able to walk slowly on the short trail, and he is so good—stays right with me. This is our last day, here, and we had rain this morning so I don’t think we’ll get to go on the long trail this time. I'm coming back in April to meet Terri and Teresa and several other women from our camping group.

The trailer worked out fine in the rain this morning because the pups were able to go on the bed and I had two small chairs that fit great right in the trailer and the couch so we sat in there and gabbed. Weather is beautiful, again, now. Tonight we’re going to the Catfish House for dinner—it’s right outside the park. I take Bogey with me and he moans when I first leave, but then goes to sleep.

I ordered a raised bed, like Mollie has, so I wouldn’t ruin the very nice bed that Bogey has by putting it on the ground when we are lounging around outside. Instead, I’ll leave it in the back seat of the truck and use the raised bed for around the campsite. He sleeps in bed with me so I have his comfort covered. LOL

Tomorrow we’ll be packing up to leave. Fortunately, tonight I’m feeling better. All is well that ends well.

Feb 15, 2017

So Saddened at the Loss of a Very Good Friend

I've been too upset to write about my son's Father-in-Law's passing. My daughter-in-law, her Mom (who is one of my best friends), and the whole wonderful family have been in my thoughts. Martha was wonderful to me when I lost Rich. She is one of those people who always knew what to say or what not to say. Sometimes, I could just sit with her, say nothing, and not feel uncomfortable. I believe she and James were married 67 years, and what a wonderful love story it was. James fought hard and long, but his body decided he needed some peace. I hope I will be able to help Martha as she helped me when I lost the love of my life. I really don't have the words to write, but I will use my son John's. You know what a fine man James was when you see how my son, his son-in-law felt about him.

To the man that convinced me that broccoli and cheese taste good...who showed me there were other ice cream flavors besides vanilla and chocolate chip.  To the man that made me laugh and gave me guidance when I needed it.  To the man that we all looked up to as the cornerstone of the Turner family.  To the greatest father-in-law a son-in law could ever have...we take with us, from being in your presence, the memories that will be a part of us forever.  Thank you, James

I will miss you, too, James. Rest in peace. We will all look after your beloved Martha for you.

Bogey, the Camping Dog!

I’m happy to say that Bogey is a full fledged camping dog. He has taken to it like a duck takes to water. My friends and I have been walking him on the trail and I try to walk hm by myself a couple of times a day. He got a real treat this morning when Terry and Patricia walked him up to the camp store. They said he was a perfect gentleman. They are such great friends. They help me with everything and they have shown such love for Bogey.

Here he is relaxing after a walk on the trail. Right now, he's sitting in the screen room with Patricia, who is reading.

They are camped right across from me:

Terry's Aliner. I'll know I took a picture of Patricia's, but can't find it. Will add it later.

We’ve got a lot of wind here, today, but we (actually Patricia and Terry) anchored the screen room a bit better. It’s still sunny—so I think the rain forecast was wrong.

Teresa comes tomorrow so Bogey will have a dog companion on the trail. Last night (without camera, of course) but my friends had there’s Here are two pictures that Patricia took. We’re going to go back over this evening so I’ll see if I can get some more shots.

I couldn’t sleep for some reason last night and got up aching all over. I think it may have been the barometer moving one way or the other. It still hurts, but I think it’s best to try to keep moving so I took Bogey for a couple of walks. I put a couple of additional hooks up in the trailer so I could hang Bogey’s leash ad harness—now that I’ve made room for him.

I’m not sure why blogo won’t let anyone comment. I changed a couple of settings so hope we're back to normal. I’m using it because I have no wifi, but I have a hot spot on my phone so it’s quick and dirty to post so it doesn't cost me a bundle.

Feb 13, 2017

It’s Been an Interesting Day!

After finishing last minute packing and hitching up, Bogey, happily went in his seat belt and up into the truck. It took him about 10 minutes to settle down, but he finally did. He slept until I was about 30 miles away from the campground, and then he wanted out. I managed to get to the park and decided I would get him out to walk him, give him some water and a snack before registering. I always did that with Lizzie and Jack. BUT when I went to put him back in the truck he did not want to go. Things came crashing out as I struggled to get him in. It was as if there was an earthquake inside the truck. Finally, after much struggling I got him in his seat belt and went in. By this time my back was screaming.
The young woman who helped me at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. I discovered that I couldn’t find my phone where I had my registration number, but she already had my name and and I was all set. Now to find my phone. I had no idea whether it was in the truck or out on the ground where I had walked. She, pleasantly, said, “I’ll help you look.” I had gone to get my computer out of the trailer to do “Find My iPhone” and had asked her if I could use their wifi. She said, “Hey, why don’t I just try to call you?” I found it in the truck.

I thanked her and went on to find my site. Bogey was not happy about being in the truck so he was going crazy. I can’t blame him. This is the longest drive he’s been on. I had planned on stopping at rest stops, but they were closed all along 75. I have never seen so many police out—made me wonder whether it had something to do with trying to stop the drug runners and illegal aliens. I was amazed.

Okay, I got to my site. It’s a back in. One of the park hosts was there. It was going to be an easy back in, but with Bogey barking in my ear, it was very distracting. The man was so nice. He said, jump out and I’ll be happy to back it in for you. I got Bogey out and in the trailer went. Bogey was happy. I tied him on a tie out and put his bed out on a tarp along with a bowl of water and he was quiet and comfortable. Sure…after causing all the chaos.
As long as he can see me, he’s fine. I set up, and decided to get him in the trailer to get a cold drink. Set up was fine. He jumped up on the bed—I had covered it with a queen size coverlet to protect my comforter (which I won’t need). Keys, where are my keys. Oh, no. I could think of a thousand places they could be but I was too tired to bother. Fortunately, I have an extra key with me.

I took some medication, ate some crackers, and laid down and went out cold. I figured wherever the keys are, they will be there, tomorrow. At 1:00 a.m., Bogey decided he wanted to go out. He got off the bed and stood by the door. He’s quiet which is a blessing. I took him out, he did his business. We got back in the trailer…keys! He had been laying on them.

I’m still up because something must have bitten me while I was out and I was itchy all over. I took benedryl, but it hasn’t work, yet, so I decided to try to get my mind off it—thus the blog. So that’s the start of my trip. I’ve done this in Blogo. Have no idea whether this will come out.

Feb 8, 2017

Just a Quickie About Bogey and My Back

I've been taking him in the truck when I have errands, and he's adjusted very well. He whimpered when I left him to go into a store at first, but after a few times he knew I was coming back.

He has room to sit, stand, and lie down so he's taken to the seat belt very well. He's very smart. He actually steps into the harness without any problem at all--I suspect it's because he's walked on a harness. After Michael divorced, it became so difficult because if Laura wasn't in Atlanta he had to either leave Bogey alone, get a dog walker, or leave him with me. I can't emphasis enough what a good job he and Laura have done with this pup. He's no trouble. He doesn't even go in the garbage any more.

He does pull a little when I walk him, but when I stop he comes back to me and continues to walk, nicely, so he's learning very quickly. I know that when Michael and Laura have him, he gets to go on nice long walks, but I can't do that. He enjoyed his short walk, though. Except for the rain this week, if Susan's hours permit, she walks him for exercise as she used to do with Lizzie and Jack.

I went to the doc, yesterday. I was surprised that I got in but Susan happened to be working with the doctor who did my ablation a year ago last June and knows the young woman doctor at the pain clinic (she's actually the one who diagnosed the problem for what it was after the back surgery). He told Susan to tell me to have her call him because he had done things a little differently because my left SI joint is so deformed. They know each other because they used to work at the pain clinic he worked at before it closed. I found out he actually sent her a text and when I spoke to her she said she would also talk to him. I have an appointment for the 20th, the day after I get home. As far as my thoracic pain, she examined me and gave me a strong muscle relaxer--she said I was probably right that the cast and sling may have caused the problem. I told her it felt muscular. She said if the muscle relaxers don't work, there are trigger points where she can inject steroids and lidocaine that will definitely do the trick. So, I'm hoping that this ablation will last as long as the last and the muscle relaxers work for my upper/mid back.

One good and different thing about this pain clinic is because I declined sedation, I don't have to have anyone drive me and stay with me throughout the procedure like the last clinic. I don't like talking about my back, but I think if it helps just one person who reads, it's good to do. Had I known about SI joints before back surgery, I could have avoided a lot of pain and the pain of recovery.

I'll leave with two cute pictures of the Bogster. Jack and Lizzie wouldn't mind, I'm sure. :)

Feb 6, 2017

Guess Who is Going to Camp

Brave, huh?
While Michael is his true love, Bogey has spent a lot of time with me because Michael's job requires travel. As time has passed, Michael is traveling more and more. I suggested that we just switch things up. Bogey can live here and Michael can make travel plans without worry and take him when he has the time. It eliminates all the adjusting of everything. Even when not traveling, a day of work for Michael sometimes includes an unexpected but mandatory dinner which extends the length of time away from home. Michael feels terrible that he's alone so much. Weimaraners are known for having separation anxiety so that adds another layer of guilt. When he was only gone for a day or two or a long day, he had a dog walking company (that came highly recommended) come in to walk him and spend time with him three times a day (not inexpensive); only to find out that they were not reliable. Laura had a camera system set up so that they could check on what went on during the day.

He adds a bit more stress when I camp (and more packing), but I think he will enjoy it. I just have to make sure before now and the 12th that I can leave him for a bit in the truck, and I hope he's good walking on a leash (my back). Michael said he falls asleep when on a long ride and claims he doesn't pull. He's so happy to see me even if I go to the mailbox and back. I'm back to making sweet potato treats. Jack liked him and so did Lizzie the short time she knew him.

Michael thinks it would be a good idea to switch, but doesn't want to tie me down--no need if he camps well. It will take stress off his table and mine, knowing that Bogey is not alone for too long. One problem was whether or not I could handle Bogey in the truck--whether he'd take to the seat belt system. That and because he's not used to being on a lead so I was worried that he would break his neck running after a squirrel even if I could get him to a campground. We put our heads together, and Michael is going to get another collar for the electric fence so I can put Bogey on a long lead so he can roam around the campsite and I can set the electric fence up just inside of the circumference of the lead. That way he won't break his neck if he does chase a squirrel. When we are here at the house I have a big yard so when he's here I exercise him with a "Chuck-It so I don't feel badly that I can't walk him far. Michael will walk him by the river on the weekends or whenever he can. I suspect I'll be able to drop the lead on a trail and have him stay with me, but only time will really determine that. He gets along very well with other dogs and people.

So yesterday, I put Jack's seat belt system on him (had to adjust it a bit) and put his bed in the back of the truck, hooked him up and went for a ride. He did great. I learned after one try a couple of years ago that I need to unhook him while I'm still in the truck and lead him in and out by climbing over the console, onto the front seat, and down to floor before jumping out. (It's actually a safer for him because it's a high jump from the truck.) Otherwise he jumps out the door when I open it and he's too heavy for me to hold and try to unhook with tension on the straps. He's a very athletic pup even at seven years.

I'm going camping for a week in south Georgia beginning on the 12th so I'll report back as to how he does. I'll surprise my friends with Bogey!

Jan 12, 2017

I Want to Go

Last year was supposed to be my last hurrah trip to the west coast. The plan was to leave in May and spend a month in Idaho, a month in Oregon, and four months deciding what else I wanted to do. When Murphy came along and spoiled everything, I managed to get to Colorado--in the heat. I just read a post that is still a draft. I never posted it because I was down in mood and life in general. I think it was just everything combined that made me feel as though it was an incomplete trip and one I shouldn't have made even though I saw some beautiful things.

This year I'm going to try the same game plan and hope that Murphy stays away. I would like to leave in May and return in October as I did when Jack and I went. I've had a little return of SI joint pain the past couple of weeks which is discouraging, but I nursed it and I'm moving better. I think I'll wind up getting some more shots or maybe even another ablation before May, but I'll do anything I have to. After breaking my arm and wrist, I couldn't continue my exercise in the pool, and when I finally got back in after four months I tried to pick up where I had left off which was not smart because it put my upper back in agony. I remembered the surgeon telling me that about 75% of people develop upper back pain after lower back surgery, but I was elated that I was in the 25% Then, I went to Colorado so I'm even more out of shape although I didn't gain any weight back, but my upper back is giving me fits. I've had a bad couple of days, but today seemed to be a breaking point. The pain is under control in both places.

I purchased a couple of thermal shirts because the pool water seemed colder than usual the last time I went. My friend (and physical therapist) gave me some good advice. She said try 15 minutes and increase by 5 minutes per week. It will take me a long time to work back up to two hours, but tomorrow is the day. It's going to be 70 degrees according to the weather man.

Susan is going to get a Rhodesian Ridgeback when I get back in the fall when I return, and I will adopt an older small dog. I dog sat for a Chihuahua for a couple of days and he loved sitting on my lap and chilling. His name is Moose! Bogey will still visit when Michael travels, so they will all be socialized together.

Cutie Pie

Laura took this picture of Bogey and his new toy

Goof Ball things he's a lap dog and that I won't notice him when he climbs up on me in the recliner.
Because of Susan's odd hours at the hospital, the plan is for her to drop her dog off when she goes to work and pick him/her up on her way home. She has wanted a dog ever since Jack, but didn't feel it was fair to get a dog and leave it alone for long periods of time. I don't know what I would have done without her helping me with Jack, so it's my turn to return her goodness. She is so happy that she is beside herself. She even has a name picked out and is reading all about the breed. At the same time I can continue to see my boy, Bogey, and give a little older dog a good life.

Rhodesian Ridgeback--beautiful aren't they?
I decided to write my plans down because I feel like it gives me something to look forward to. When I return from the west, if the kids aren't going to use the trailer, I'll sell it lock, stock, and barrel with everything in it. Whoever buys it won't have to buy a thing--not even dishes or silverware. I'll be ready to hang out at the house.

I meant to post, but didn't get around to it, that Marian and Tom Kruger stopped by with their two adorable Yorkies, Chance and Maddie, on their way home from Knoxville (they live in Florida). I met them in Albuquerque when I went out to Colorado. What a great couple they are. Funny how you meet someone and feel like you've known them for years. I hope to see them, again. Unfortunately, the visit was short and with all our gabbing I forgot to take a picture. I did show them the video I had of them pulling out of Enchanted Trails in New Mexico and the two pups.

I had no pictures to show, really, except for a picture of Bogey, the Kruegers, and a picture of a Ridgeback. They are beautiful dogs. It was actually me who asked Susan if she'd be interested in the breed--I just wanted Lizzie and Jack to have their own special places in our memories. That sounds good, but I'm not quite sure why, really. At any rate, Susan was delighted. One good thing and the only thing I don't miss about L&J is the shedding. Ridgebacks seem much the same temperment, etc. as a Lab but shed a little less. The little dog I choose will be one that won't shed (I hope) and Bogey doesn't shed. It's great not to have to vacuum every hour on the hour, especially with a bad back.

Nov 14, 2016

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Teresa's son and Grandson (Sean and Sawyer) arrived late Friday night. The little guy slept in Teresa's Aframe BUT Sean slept here BY CHOICE! Oh to be young again!

Here they are chowing down. Sean cooked dinner and breakfast for his Mom. I wish his wife, Kate, and their other two little ones had come--they are as adorable as Sawyer is. They are a good looking family, aren't they?

 I found myself getting a little teary saying goodbye to Molly--took me by surprise. I loved putting my face in her fur and nuzzling her--not just because it reminded me of Lizzie and Jack, but because I love her. I've known her since she was a pup. Teresa is an excellent dog Mom. It's as though they read each other's minds. Molly is losing her hearing, so her eyes are always on Teresa.

As I was typing this blog I got an email from T. I didn't realize she was taking pictures. This is Sawyer and me walking down to my trailer. We were discussing why it's impolite to walk through other camper's sites. He was funny. He went in the trailer and looked at the bathroom door and asked me, "What's that." I told him to open the door. He did and said, "Hmmm. Small." Very cute and polite. Little boy. He knows all about planes and ships. I asked him how he knew so much and he said, "Books."

This is another sneaky shot by Teresa. That's Patricia with the hat. Boy, do I need a haircut! Not today. Bogey and I are lounging around except for about every hour when he wants to go out to play ball.

The next two pictures are pictures from my hike along the river. Pretty, isn't it?

This picture is attributed to Teresa. I watched all week to get a shot of the buzzards. I only saw them high overhead. Teresa has a keen eye and is a good photographer--that's how she got a picture of this guy.

Patricia took this one as we all took a walk, together. Seems funny. When I used to walk with a group of women there was almost always more pups than people.

Take down couldn't have gone smoother, yesterday. Everything from A-Z was easy. The only small problem I had was that I couldn't get my patio mat back into the bag. My old one I could fold up to a very small package. This one is a different texture. I tried it every which way, but it was no go. So, instead of putting it back in the storage area, I had to put it in the trailer. The 3-1/2 hour trip home went smoothly and passed by quickly. Although my radio doesn't work, I took the Bose speaker that my son, John, gave me and I blue toothed it to my iPhone so I had all my favorite music playing the whole time.

Till next time.

Nov 11, 2016

It's Been Fun

It's been fun seeing my old camping buddies (Teresa, Patricia, and Jennifer) and meeting yet another for the first time (Beth). Sorry that Terri and Dixie couldn't make it. Patricia, Teresa, Molly and I just got back from a really nice trail--about 2 miles, I think.

Reed Bingham is a favorite roosting place of buzzards. A bunch of them were circling right above my head the other day--I was wondering if they were trying to tell me something or whether they were just hopeful seeing my white hair!

Ever since the screen room went up I've been thinking that it didn't look right and it certainly wasn't as big as I thought it was going to be. The gals noticed it, too, when they arrived. I was down at Teresa's site and I noticed that hers had the poles on the outside. Yep, you guessed it, I had it upside down. Now, at least I know how to do it and it really is as roomy as it was advertised. I wish (thought) I had taken a "before" picture, but I didn't--unless one of the other gals has one.

I found a "before" picture! Pretty sad looking screen room in comparison, huh? Between the screen room, fans, and Thermacells we have kept the gnats at bay.

It was fun getting to know Beth. She left today to babysit for her granddaughter. Jennifer woke up in pain, today, and I hope I'm wrong but it sounds like SI joint pain to me. The good thing is that at least they know to check the joints, now, before doing back surgery. I'm just hoping that after a day of Advil and ice, she'll be able to drive home.

I made a crock pot dinner when everyone arrived on Wednesday. It was good if I say so myself, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. If not, they were very polite and didn't say otherwise. I have two good size sinks so it makes cleanup easier than it used to be, but I think I'd rather have one big sink. 

Teresa and Molly arrived first (late morning). I love Molly. She was the youngest of all the dogs when we first started camping. She's 13, now, and such a wonderful soul, and Teresa is a wonderful friend.


We wrap Molly up by the fire in the evenings. I had a blanket for Jack that is very special to me, and I wouldn't let anyone but Molly use it. I brought it to the cabin near Lake Eufaula when T and I met for a weekend a while back. Molly has a raised bed and doesn't like the cold so I love to see her wrapped up in it.

Last night we went to the Catfish house for dinner. It's a restaurant that is practically in the campground. The food was good--had sweet potatoes chips (fries) which I loved. My stuffed flounder was good, but a little cold. We had the sweetest waitress. Her name was Kaitie (spelled correctly). She took a picture of us. From left to right (Teresa, Patricia, Beth, Jennifer, and me). Kills me when people are photogenic. My eyes look like I'm straight out of one of those zombie movies! LOL - I rarely take a good picture.

We have enjoyed a fire each evening, catching up on who's been doing what and remembering good times from the past. I, sometimes, find it so hard to believe that Rich never knew these women.

Patricia took this picture. It got down into the 40s, but we've all been around campfires in much colder weather. The campground filled up, today, because of the holiday. Still, it's very quiet.

This is the extent of my wildlife sightings this trip.

You can see this tree has had a lot of visits from woodpeckers. They do controlled burns to prevent fires, here. North Georgia is having a time with fires, the smoke extending all the way down to near where I live. I think the worst of them is where my sons each owned cabins a few years ago.

Teresa said this is a duck box. I've never seen one before. This is the river where the kayak tour was supposed to take place last weekend. Some of the water was covered with leaves and debris, but some was like the second--black water. The reflection of the trees showed up well.

Along the walk, which is partially boardwalk, there were places where people can sit and rest and just enjoy the wildlife. We only saw turtles, today. I hope to walk it, again, tomorrow.

Many of the women in the Yahoo group (that I belong to) camp in Aframes because it was started by women who only camped in Aframes. I started out in one, but I just couldn't get organized, especially with two big dogs. I believe I was the first to buy another kind of trailer, then quite a few others followed suit--some with Class C's and I think some with Class A's. This is Patricia's Aliner. They are all unique and many decorated and made into very comfortable and homey spaces with all the comforts of home. I thought I took a picture of Beth's (her site was further away), but I can't find it. She had two cute little pups. One was Kramer and the other Maddie. (Not sure about spelling)


 This picture was taken on our hike.

This is the other "wild life" that we saw along the way. You can see how different the water is than in the pictures, above.

Teresa's son and grandson are arriving tonight. The little guy is 7 and all excited about camping in "Omi's" camper. Sean, believe it or not, is going to sleep outside in a hammock. Oh, to be young, again!

This week has passed very quickly--hate to see it end. We all get along so well and have so much fun. I am ready for bed so not doing such a great job writing, but I want to have this memory to look back on.