Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Day For Harley

It was another wild and crazy day yesterday, which by the way, today is 11-1-11 and in ten more days, the date will be 11-11-11.  

We overstayed at Faver Dykes State Park, (went for a night, stayed three) so this morning it was important to get an early start. Ha ha ha. Apparently getting up early, doesn't mean I actually get anywhere early. 

By the way, blogger is giving me fits on formatting again!  Please bear with me...I am clueless how to fix this at times, it may or may not show up correctly.
It is so hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful place on earth. 

Indeed I woke up at 3:30am with some health problems. Once they were under control, I was wide awake, so I ate some multigrain oatmeal (with oats, wheat, rye and barley) while watching the beginning of a movie in bed. Then I fell fast asleep again.

Up again at 5am, so I got the RV ready on the inside while it poured down buckets of rain outside. Camping is messy and rain is even messier. I was oh so glad, that I had folded up the outside patio mat, putting it away the night before when it was nice and dry. Finally the rains let up briefly for the dog and I to go on a short walk before the drizzles turned into downpours.

When we got back I put away the muddy water hose, the dirty electric cord and   collected up Harley's outdoor toys, which were of course soiled and wet. I started to drive away, when I heard THUMP BUMP.

Oh yeah.

The filthy leveling boards under the right front tire needed putting away in the rain that was now coming down in earnest again. Thanks goodness for leather work gloves. 

For anyone messing about in RV's or camping or contemplating it, my very first suggestion for a MUST HAVE accessory is a nice pair of good leather work gloves. A gentle reader fan of Dear Miss Mermaid, gave me a lovely pair, right after I bought my motorhome. Those gloves are now molded perfectly to my hands and do loads of donkey work. Mine happen to be cut resistant, an added bonus. I am also able to wash them while wearing them,  after doing such fun things like handling the sewer hose or muddy leveling boards.  Then next time I put them on, they aren't caked with germs and grime. 

Women especially need these gloves, even if you think you're lucky enough to have a  spouse who always does the messy work, you really need a pair. Keep them in a handy, easy to reach place too. Leather gloves give you confidence to get the job done, they protect your hands and nails plus best of all, they give you added strength without wrecking your skin or nails. 

A few campgrounds back, departing campers offered me their leftover firewood. I slapped on my leather gloves, then helped myself to the free firewood. When I am setting up or breaking down camp, I use the gloves for hooking up the electrical cord, the water hose, the sewer hose, handling the leveling boards and so on. When I have to check on the engine, boring stuff like pulling out the oil dipstick to make sure it's OK, having those gloves on sure makes the work go faster. 

I can hook up my water connection without gloves and it leaks. But when I tighten up the water connection with my leather gloves, not a single drop dares to drip. 

Sometimes I know I must look comical. Think nice dress with worn leather work gloves. I often like to dress nicely when I go out for provisions or run errands.  Then I am back at camp, still in my dress, donning leather gloves to hook everything up again. 

Even though the leveling boards were wet and filthy, handling them with my leather gloves made it seem not near as bad. Ditto for the electric cord and water hose, which were covered in muck as well, due to the fine powdery sandy dirt of the hammock and the recent heavy rains. If you are a non RV-er, leveling boards are treated lumber, I think mine are something like 2x12's cut into 24 to 30 inch lengths for placing under tire(s) to level up the wheel estate when we are parked on sloping land. In this case, I had two boards parked under my front passenger tire. 

I decided the interstate would be more trouble that it was worth, in view of the wicked weather, so I settled on a leisurely drive down US 1. It was certainly more scenic, and there weren't any 18 wheelers to push me around with the winds they create as they pass little old me. 

An hour later, we had barely made 30 miles and I was already sick and tired  of driving in the near blinding rain. I pulled over to a shopping center. It had a Big Lots store, so while Harley went back to bed, I found my umbrella to go window shopping, looking at all the stuff for sale. When I came back outside, it was still raining, so I made an early lunch for me and the dog. Then I gave him a two-minute walk to water the nearby bushes, and we were on our way again. He has come to understand these parking lot walks are simply short rest stops for him to piddle and not a regular, let's get our exercise walk. Though sometimes if I am returning a shopping cart to the store, I leash him up, to speed walk with me back to the store, just to let him gallop his little legs some more. 

OK, I'll fess up. 

I discovered Big Lots had a great bargain going on emergency dark chocolate. So I *ahem* bought a pound and a half of the stuff since my last batch was consumed over frivolous excuses such as the tree that stabbed my roof, the time I got stuck at the bottom of  the dead-end road, the almost fire when the brake caliper hung up, the spider bite that made me oh so sick, and on and on the emergency dark chocolate  had simply vanished, one bite at a time.

Since I've come way under budget on this trip from being so frugal, I also splurged on a pair of men's Dearfoams sherpa clogs that were heavily discounted. It's important that I don't ever let my feet get cold. These were fleece lined, designed like clogs with microsuede  outers and thick rubber soles. They are super warm and can be worn outdoors for dog walking. They don't really look like men's shoes on  me,  but women's slippers rarely ever fit me. I have short feet with a high instep. Women's slippers are often just too slender for my foot unless I get them in size 12, wide enough to fit, but makes my size 7 feet flop around like I am practicing to be a clown. Also, women's slippers tend to be flimsy with thin soles, or made to look ridiculous.  These Dearfoams are oh so nicely padded inside, giving me great comfort. 

I say all this, because I've been wearing a pair for the past 18 months or so, that I'm having a love affair with, they feel so wonderful but I've about worn them to pieces, as often I've walked the dog in them on mornings or late evenings when my feet were chilly, even in the summer. 

Sometimes I think I am losing my mind, because I hemmed and hawed for a good 20 or 30 minutes while I wandered around the store, with the rain pounding outside,  drooling over tools, admiring the overpriced dog toys, coveting the bargain chocolate, while debating  whether to splurge $10 to get the shoes or not. Finally I decided it fell more under the necessity list than the wish list.  They only had a few pairs in my size, so they might not be there weeks later when I changed my mind, so what the heck, warm feet and emergency chocolate.  I feel VERY spoiled. 

Besides, I justified the purchase when I realized that barely two weeks ago, my sandals broke, ending up in the garbage. The soles were worn down considerably, the  inner soles were so thin they were holey, then the straps broke, so it was goodbye sandals. I guess you could say I got my money's worth out of them. 
Fits like a glove, super soft insoles, nicely lined inside, thick rubber soles for  dog walking and oh so cozy and warm on my cold feet. 

Back at the motorhome, I debated whether to take a nap, or plow forward. I decided to take US  1 further south towards Melbourne, Florida. The storm raged  onwards.  Around Daytona Beach, we took another break in a parking lot that had some nice landscaping, so Harley was treated to another brief walk. 

Eventually we arrived at Wickham Park in Melbourne. Harley was ecstatic, jumping and leaping around the motorhome, his tail wagging so fast, it was just a blur. Yes, we have camped here before and this is Harley's all time favorite campground thus far. He clearly recognized our return visit. Last winter, we spent a glorious week here, waiting on a friend to come join us on a trip. 

So why is Harley so excited to be here?  Well, this is a county owned public park, that boasts numerous activities for day visitors as well as a lovely campground tucked away from the main areas. 

Wickham Park also flaunts a fenced in off-leash dog park!  While I was trying to pay the camping fee, which is a good half mile or more from the dog park, Harley was whining the whole time, alternately dancing around  the lobby of the ranger's station, seemingly uncontrollable in his glee. Finally I said "Please excuse my puppy, he clearly remembers your dog park and seems to think it might vanish before we get there!"

They had a good laugh over that. I wanted to go set up camp, then walk the mile back to the dog park, but Harley was about to have a meltdown as we cruised past it, so I relented, since there was plenty of parking for us to just pull over. 

For the next two hours, Harley was in pure heaven, as he romped and raced around with the other dogs. He had absolutely nothing to do with me at all. He was busy playing with the pack, seeing who could out piddle each other, who could race the fastest (he always wins) and joining in with the enthusiastic howling and barking when a new arrival came on the scene. 

He had us mere mortal humans laughing because as the dogs raced around the puddly park, Harley would leap over the water, while the other dogs splashed right through it. When it was time to go, his tongue was hanging out,  he was dirty, wet and shivering but clearly delighted at this turn of events.

I cleaned him up before letting him loose in his roving dog house. He was wore out completely, choosing to take a nap while I drove to the campground.

Share |


  1. Your post is right on! I find I make most of my mistakes and oversights in rainy weather departures.

    I have to look into the concept of emergency dark chocolate:) That is my favorite treat.

  2. Hi Miss Mermaid,
    I decided to see who is watching my blog today and found your site. I want to thank you for signing up.
    I will catch up on your blog over the next few days while I am out camping. That is if my broadband works out there.
    I got a kick out of your blog this morning, very entertaning. I love those slippers I have a pair and need 2 more pair.


I read every comment and publish all but spam and hate mail.

If you're an anonymous user, I hope you remember to include your name or nickname in the comment box so I have a clue.

Thank you for commenting. I love hearing from you!