Travel

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.

Apr 29, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 18?

We kept busy, today. First, we took a long walk and then we played ball. There was a cow in the field that stopped eating and started watching me. Then, another one stopped what he was doing and started looking at me. I really started to get a little nervous. Nancy and I knew that Rich would be saying something very witty and clever if he were here.  Everyone remembers him for his wit and quiet sense of humor.   Seems strange that I'm running in the same field where he and Lizzie walked together before I was born. 


The wind was relentless, today. Nancy tried to take pictures of it. I don't know how they came out or whether you'll be able to tell. We've gotten used to the rocking.




There's no PetSmart in Amarillo so we couldn't get an extra bag of food, but there is one in Albuquerque. I'm so excited when we go because it's the only store that humans let me in.


Susie is going to one of my favorite places, tomorrow. She's going to Charleston. We always had such good times with Lizzie over there--she loved the water--even more than me, she loved the water. One time when we were camping with Molly and Jazz and their Mom, she was way up high and it looked like she was going to jump into the river. We really got scared because she really couldn't see very well and we thought maybe she thought the water was closer than it was. Fortunately, she listened to Nancy and came down. I swear, she could smell water a mile away.


We went to stock up the fridge and the cupboards, today, so that we can just pull over to have lunch and don't have to go out at night to eat. Nancy gets the lunchables (Pantless turned her on to them) and she gets Lean Cuisines for dinner. She's been spoiling herself while here--been to Wendy's a few times. She said they don't have them out west.


While we were in the parking lot we came across a very clever and imaginative RV. Nancy said it reminded her of the days of the flower children. I think these people probably know how to enjoy life to its fullest, don't you?




We took a ride for about an hour and a half, before it got dark.  This is barren country, but it's interesting country. It's so different than what I'm used to. We drive a long time to get to a store, and on the way we see things like lama ranches.


Oh, wow, all of a sudden the wind just stopped. The trees aren't moving at all.  Whew...maybe it will be an easier trip, tomorrow.


Nancy took two more pictures of the sunset last night. We took a walk and it was like being inside of a kaleidoscope. There's no sunset tonight--just grey dusty skies. Oops, I spoke to soon. It's not as bad, but it started to blow, again.


Goodnight my sweet prince.

Apr 28, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 17?

We rocked and rolled all night long. The wind blew and is still blowing very hard. It didn't bother us. In fact, it was kind of invigorating when we went out first thing this morning. I'm not sure what we're going to do, today. Maybe just stick around the park. Nancy mentioned laundry.  Drat, that means I have to stay in the trailer while she's gone. I'm getting used to it. At first I was nervous when she went to shower every day, but she would always say the same thing she used to say to Lizzie and me when she left. "Be good kids, I'll be back." As long as she says that, I'm okay, and I don't mind staying in the truck, either. When it hits 70 degrees, she puts that nice fan she got on and cracks the windows so it stays very comfortable.




The office has a Kokopelli that she's thinking of getting to hang on the wall in the trailer. Yesterday, she did a dumb thing--went to WalMart, saw a movie she knew she wanted, and just discovered when she went to put it away, this morning, that it wasn't in the bag. She did get her screen cleaner, though, and it made the computer screen so much better.




Well, what I've written so far sure isn't exciting, but we could do with some days without excitement. Susan called this morning. I miss her so much. Nancy keeps saying, "Just hold on, we're going to see her pretty soon. First, though, we're going to camp with Princess, Tucker, Wilson, and Teddy.




Things have gotten exciting here. The wind is now blowing at about 65 miles per hour with gusts up to 80 according to the owner. We actually saw the trailer lift up off the ground on one side! Nancy said, "Don't worry. We can only fall about 3 feet."


Nancy got instructions regarding how to solve her license problem, but it requires two forms, one notorized, an eye examination and a form filled out by an eye doctor--they won't accept the one from March and the doctor's office wasn't too excited about filling it out, anyway. They don't have a notary, which is hard to believe. The trailer is rocking very badly--we're out of here for a while--it will be safer in the truck.




We're back. First we went to Office Depot to get the documents printed. Then, Nancy sat in the car and filled out what she could, and off we went to Walmart for an eye exam. Dead end. Doc won't be in for two days. Bummer--thought maybe she could get it all done, today.




We've heard different reports as to how hard the wind is blowing--all the way up to gusts of 80 miles per hour.  Nancy wanted something from the back of the truck but didn't dare open it--I could just visualize the next crisis being the cover flying over the fields and killing a cow. I just hope I can keep her out of the clinker on this trip.




We planned to leave on Friday, but if the wind doesn't improve, it will be a no-go.  Who would have thought when Nancy, Rich, and Lizzie were here over night in 2001 that we'd be here for all this time.




When we got back, we went out to play ball. This morning I chased a rabbit--man, those things can run fast! Then, there was some other little creature that ran in front of me--I was just about to catch him when he disappeared--right in front of my eyes. He went down into the ground! I looked at Nancy to see if she knew what happened and she just shrugged her shoulders and laughed.  Well, I'd rather catch the ball, any way. I was out of practice at first, but I can still catch pretty good. I think I have a little harder time seeing the ball plus the wind takes it in different directions.




I think that's probably this day's news. Nancy wants to do  laundry, but whether or not she'll leave me rockin' and rollin' in the trailer is a big question. I bet she'll take the truck and stay in it with me and read a book.




I just saw where Nevada is having similar type winds. They close the road between Reno and Carson City when the wind gets too high. Strange, as windy as it is, it's warm wind, and there's sand all over everything. I don't know how it's getting in the trailer, but it is.




And, after a day of wind that roared and whistled enough to drive one to madness, it's peaceful and the sun has set on Amarillo, Texas.





Apr 27, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 16

We just decided to stay for another three days, here. There is absolutely no wind this morning and the weather is beautiful.
We walked and took a lot of pictures this morning.  Nancy thinks we're either in the spot or very near the spot she and Lizzie stayed in with Rich.

I already got to play ball, this morning, I can walk all around without my leash.
Some would say this park is ugly, but this morning, we have discovered rabbits as big as dogs, some prairie dogs, some unusual birds that have picked one tree as their favorite spot. In the second picture, there's a nest.  A mother bird is sitting on her eggs, but Nancy couldn't get a good shot of it.

The herd of cows that we saw last night is in a different spot this morning.
Nancy was telling me that when she stayed here in 2000, Rich told her that the cows were having a sales meeting. He was so funny.

We've seen a couple of little planes take off from the strip in back of us, but we've also seen some jets so there must be an Air Force base nearby.
We love watching the trains.  I was also watching some kids on the swings this morning.


This afternoon, we went to pick up some things from the store and we stopped at the Quarter Horse Museum--it's not open, yet, but they had some neat sculptures.

Nancy said she's going to rest and think, here. Then we will go on to Albuquerque to see Roseanne. They kept in touch up until a couple of years ago. Then, you know how it goes, but she was so happy to hear Roseanne's voice and to rekindle the friendship.  

Sometimes Nancy just keeps to herself.  This is sort of one of those times. She said she's going to take pictures of me because Rich walked Lizzie all over the field that I play and run in.
I'll have you know I was called a great dog, again, this morning.  We went up to sign the receipt for tonight and Nancy left me standing at the door outside.  The lady thought it was great that I stayed right where I was told--fact is I DO NOT want to lose Nancy.  Who would ever be so good to me, again? Well, Susan, of course, but she's far away from me right now.  Besides, it's a two way street. I'm good to Nancy. We have long conversations when we're traveling and I keep her company on her walks.

Well, we've had a busy afternoon. We went to the book store so Nancy could get a couple of books she wanted. We were looking for the little thingy that holds the lens cover on, but couldn't find it in any of the stores we went to. Nancy's going to look up a specialty camera shop online. She looked at the GPS and it said the nearest one was over 300 miles away--that's because she didn't know the name and could only put camera.  Best Buy, Office Depot, another office place, Walmart, nor Target had them.

Nancy decided to quit when she kept finding things in the aisles that she thought she could use.

The man from the office just came down here in his golf cart and asked if we were having a nice time and told us just to call him if we need anything. That was nice. He said, "I'm not going to put any people near you so you can have some peace and quiet and enjoy your stay. Nancy had told him that she and Rich had been here before I was born.

Apr 26, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 15?

We parked in Checotah, Oklahoma last night.  We didn't unhook so we could get an early start.  Nancy said the showers were great.


I didn't sleep well, but I made up for it in the truck, today, on the drive.


Parts of I40 in Oklahoma were enough to shake my teeth loose.  Then, the wind got steadily worse blowing very hard.  When we stopped for gas, Nancy couldn't open the driver side door and had to get out on the passenger side.  I got out, but I didn't like the wind.  It was scary.  I wanted to go back in right after I peed...didn't care if I walked.


Nancy was telling me that she'd know she was in the west when she saw the big windmills.  She no sooner said it, and there they were.  She tried to take a picture while driving by, but we don't know if it came out.


We saw a lot of black angus cows and wide open spaces.  Big huge ranches and farms.


We got a glimpse of Oklahoma City and drove over the bridge that collapsed a number of years back.


Then, we saw white birds about the size of pigeons with long necks in a few different spots.  They were funny looking.  Oh, and there was this huge cross off to the side of the road.  Nancy said she remembered it from the time she and Rich took I40 out west.


Nancy called the number in Arkansas about the ticket.  The officer said she could pay it over the phone.  The lady she spoke to said, "Call me back in at least two weeks--we have a backload.  It will be $140."  What a rip off.  Nancy said that it was definitely a speed trap and they catch out of town people to make money.


It was a long ride, but we got here to the KOA in Amarillo.  As soon as we pulled up, Nancy said, "Jack, Rich and I were here before you were born."  There's a little airport in the back where we can watch the planes and big fields to play in--Lizzie used to love them.


So before she even hooked up, Nancy took me to the "Dog Playground", but it was for little dogs.  She'll probably take a picture of it, later.  Then, what a treat!  She took me out in the field and played ball with me.  Then, we went back and she hooked everything up.  I was tuckered out from riding and playing.


I think we're going to stay here another day because it's so nice for me.


Well, Blogger is giving me a hard time.  Lizzie used to run out of the room whenever Nancy sneezed.  She knew why, but I didn't, but I figured I'd better run, too.  That's hard in the trailer.  Nancy has either caught a cold or the wind has been blowing something that is making her sneeze like crazy.  I have no place to run, but I tried two different sleeping arrangements.
Neither worked.  I'm back on Nancy's bed.

Apr 25, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 14

We got a late start this morning because of some problems with the trailer.  Judy, Nancy's new friend, helped her. They are going to keep in touch.  Judy invited Nancy to stop at her home in Casper, WY on the way home.
I'm anxious to see her pups, Tillie and Tucker, again.
Then, people wandered over one by one and by the time we said our last goodbyes, it was late.


Here's a picture of the chihuahua that terrified me.  His name is Cocoa.  The lady bought him a harness so he couldn't get away, again.  She was very nice.


Well, the day pretty much went down hill from there.  Nancy had to get up to Ft. Smith to reach the interstate.  We were on a road that would change speed limit every 500-1000 feet.  It would be 30 mph, then 55mph, then, 25mph, then 40 mph, etc.  Nancy was just saying to me that she doesn't get it.  The GPS was staying at one speed.  She was slowing down as quickly as she could as the speed changed, but not quickly enough.  She passed a small white truck on the side of the road, and soon after the truck was flashing its lights to pull over.

She sat for a couple of minutes before the policeman came around the back of the trailer, stopping to look it over as he approached.  He got to her window and said, "Oh, I didn't expect to find you!"  Nancy laughed and said no one usually does.  Then he said, "Did you know that you were going 55 in a 35 zone?"  Nancy said, no, she hadn't realized it--the signs were changing the speed so quickly, and that she'd never been caught in a speed trap before.  The policeman said, "Well, okay, I'm not going to give you a ticket, but may I see your license, please?"  Nancy already had her wallet out and handed it to him.  He went back to his police truck and was gone for quite a while.  When he came back up to the window he said, "M'am, did you know your license expired two years ago?"  Nancy was shocked.  She so seldom gets her license out for anything that she never gave it a thought.  It seemed not too long ago that she had renewed it.  Well, the policeman said, "I really don't want to give you a ticket.  Let me see what I can do."  Nancy asked if there was any way she could renew the license in Arkansas.  The policeman said, "Hold on a second, let me check with a trooper buddy of mine."  He was gone for another while longer, and when he came back, he said, "I'm really sorry.  Because I ran it through the computer, and there's no way to delete it from the system, I have to give you a ticket."  Nancy told him it was okay, he had a job to do, and thanked him for not giving her the ticket in his speed trap.  "You gotta do what you gotta do when you work in a speed trap!" He kind of grinned.  He asked her if we were on our way home and she said, "No, I'm going out to the coast."  He said, "Hmmm...Okay, maybe you can renew it online--you can pay the ticket over the phone.  Just, whatever you do, don't speed anywhere because you'll get another ticket."  Nancy kidded him and said, I thought you were going to be the first to give me a moving violation.  He said he was really sorry he had to give any ticket at all.  He was a nice person, but it was a little upsetting to Nancy.  Then we started thinking about how far we could drive--we planned to get further than here, but she didn't want to get caught still driving at night and not finding a place to stay.

Princess called, she's always such a comfort to Nancy.  I half listened to the conversation, and just before Nancy hung up, she said, "Yeah, I'm tired.  I think I'll do that.  Good night."  Then, Nancy said to me, "You be a good kid, I'll be back.  Princess is right, I should go over to the restaurant and get a good meal and then go to sleep."  She was back within 5 minutes.  She walked in, sat down at a table, and the waiter said, "I'm sorry, Miss, we stopped serving for the night."  So, that was the end to the day.

I think Nancy woke up a little depressed, today.  Maybe it's the time of year--April is a difficult month in our family.

I hope a nice hot shower and a good night's sleep will help. We haven't been sleeping very well because of the weather, so maybe she's just tired.  Good night.

Apr 24, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 13

Well, we made it through the night.  We hit the shelter about 3 a.m. and left at 6 a.m.  Susan called us about 5 a.m.  It was storming in Atlanta, too!  Now that we're safe, we're worried about everyone in Atlanta.  They are going to have a night of wild weather which is when it is the worst because you can't see where it's coming from.  Yazoo City just got hit, badly, but they haven't assessed the damage, yet.


We went for a walk twice between thunder storms this morning.  We can't go on the trail, yet, because it's too muddy, and Nancy does't want to slip and slide!


The lady next door is very friendly.  She travels with two little dogs; Tucker and Tillie.  Then, there's another lady on the other side of her who travels in a Class C with her little dog. (why does everyone have little dogs?)  We've met her, but Nancy didn't know she was traveling solo. We'll see more of her, today, and Nancy is going to tell her about the WAC group.  That means I'll have to make friends with the other pups since maybe they'll belong to the "dog WACS".


Nancy will probably take some pictures, today.  Right now, I want to get outside.  I'm tired of staying in the trailer.  See you later.


When we were walking this morning, we came across a huge puddle.  I stopped and I looked up at Nancy and I knew she was thinking the same thing.  Lizzie would have been in that puddle in a flash digging away--having so much fun, and I would have followed her.  I didn't go in it.  It's not the same without her.  I sure hope there are lots of puddles where she and Rich are walking.


Well, it's afternoon, now, and we took another walk, and then sat outside.  The wind is so strong that it dried everything up in no time.  Nancy read her book, and a nice lady came by and told her to be at the club house at 5 p.m. for a pot luck supper.  She said she only needed to bring a drink, but fortunately, Nancy had been to the grocery store, yesterday, and had an apple pie, some cold slaw and a lemon pepper chicken.  She'll bring those over along with some silverware, etc.


I think she'll probably meet the other lady who is traveling solo.  I think I'm going to have to stay in the trailer.  I don't mind as long as I know Nancy's coming back.  She'll take me for another walk on the trail before she goes, I'm sure, so I'm doing a happy dance.  Nancy put a pot outside when we were going over to the shelter to see how much more it would rain.  It was full when we came out.
She tried to get a picture of how blue the sky is, but her camera couldn't capture it--it was a dark blue!


Now, we just have to worry about our family and friends in Atlanta.  We're hoping the bad weather will be finished before it gets to Georgia.
Oh, good, going for a walk on the trail.  Yipee!!

Apr 23, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 12?

We got up early, today, and we found a trail where I can go off leash--it's great!  At first, we didn't think we were going to like this park, but people are "friendly" (Nancy said that word is for you, Princess) and offered advice as to the tornadoes.  The bathroom is directly across from our trailer and is cement covered in siding--that's why we thought it was wood.


I have a feeling I wrote this last night, but I was so sleepy--I'll change it if I did.


We went down to Hot Springs after our walk, and went to the grocery store and Nancy ate at Waffle House--she was starving.


It cleared up for a while, again, and we took another run on the trail.  It's starting to look bad, again, though.  I guess they expect this to go on through tomorrow so that's why Nancy signed on for another 2 nights.  She has such good friends; they've all been calling and emailing her.  They are a great source of comfort and encouragement to her, as are John, Michael, and Susan who had to stay home because they all have jobs.  I'm the slacker in the family, but I made my money early in life and I like to accompany Nancy as protection.  (Oh, okay, okay, Nancy, so I'm exagerating a little--how would they know?  Can't get away with anything).


The park is immaculate with pretty gardens and a nice view over where the trail is.


Our friend, Miss Pantless, would not like the showers because the changing room is not private--like Hunting Island (odd for someone named pantless--I don't mind if I see people without their pants--they see me without mine all the time.)  It's raining very hard, now.  I'd better get my leash on and be ready to make a run for it.


I was just humiliated by an 8 week old chihuahua--little jerk  He came running after me so fast I didn't know what he was.  Don't laugh.  Elephants are terrified of mice.  This ratty looking thing came out of nowhere and scared the living daylights out of me.  He's lucky--it would have taken just one chomp and he would have been gone.

Apr 22, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 11?

Well, we're pooped tonight.  We drove more back roads than expected over to where we are in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  There is bad weather to the west of us, so we're watching very carefully.  We know we're going to be here until Saturday, but we just heard that there will be severe weather in Arkansas tomorrow. John has been calling and has advised us to go to a motel if it gets rough, tomorrow, because the tornadoes aren't going to hit until tomorrow night--I just heard that on the weather channel, too.  We'll probably go into town and reserve a room in the morning just in case.


I hated to leave the river.  We had such a good time there.  Nancy snapped a quick picture of a girl named Andrea who was smitten with me and very nice to Nancy.  She worked in the office.  The picture is not clear, but I want to post it, anyway.
I hope I get to see her again.


Once Nancy hooked up, I waited in the trailer while she showered, and then we said goodbye to our neighbors and headed out.  Mostly, we went through farming country, today.


There were so many things to take pictures of, but it's too dangerous to pull over.  We did get a couple, though.  One is of fields that had these weird plowing rows--all curving and no apparent pattern.  We had never seen anything like them before.  Then, we started to see huge fields that were flooded with water, but it looked like they were farming something.
We stopped to eat lunch in England, Arkansas.  We ate in the trailer.  Then, we went for a walk and when we got back in the truck we went and got gas.

Nancy set the GPS for no highways, but what we didn't take into consideration was that it would take us straight through Little Rock.  It was interesting, but the most unusual thing that happened is when we were at a light and all of a sudden a lot of people  started running out into the street right in front of cars.  We looked over and saw a policeman in full armor kneeling behind a tree with a rifle.  Then all of a sudden there was a lot of commotion and shouting on the other side of the street. There must have been 30 or 40 policeman all with their guns out and there were dogs that looked just like Nic and a lot of people on the ground in handcuffs--some of them were fighting with the policeman, but the policeman were winning.  Nancy was going to try to get more pictures, but figured it best just to continue and get out of there.  She did get one, but I don't know if you can really get an idea of all the chaos that was going on for a few minutes.  Nancy was so startled she didn't grab the camera until too late.
We think what happened is that the police surprised the people in this building, and they all tried to get away.  We got to see a real live drug bust!!

The last thing I'll say for the night is that the lady next door here travels alone. She is a widow from Casper, Wyoming.  She has a big 5th wheeler.  She says it actually tracks better than a trailer (she had one) behind her truck.  The only thing about it is--where would Nancy put all her "just in case" stuff that's in the back of the truck?

We'll take pictures of the park, tomorrow, and check out Hot Springs.  Good night.

Apr 21, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 10?

We have had a busy morning so far.  We were up early for our walk.  Nancy did some cleaning in preparation for our departure, tomorrow.  We went to the grocery store, the post office, and gassed up the truck.  We made reservations at Cloud 9 Campground in Hot Springs.  Taking the back roads, it's about a 3-1/2 hour drive.  Weather looks okay to go.


It's going to be hot out, today, so we're in the camper with the air on.  Nancy's neck and shoulder hurt from waxing the camper the other day.  It always hurts the 2nd day after overdoing.  Well, it's time for my nap.


This afternoon, Nancy read and I relaxed while watching the river traffic.


In one of the photos, you can see Memphis.  We're filling the tanks, tonight, so it won't take as long to empty them tomorrow and we had three loads of wash to do; well, not legitimate loads--the rags, a sweatshirt and towel, and clothes from the last couple of days.  Nancy figured we'd start out clean for the next leg of our trip.  That leaves a shower for Nancy and hooking up as the only things left to do in the morning.  So, I'll bid you all a good night.