Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Naughty Navigator

We are pooped out tired from our trip through the rains, storms, drizzle and monsoon of yesterday. Our campsite looked like a river when we arrived.

Poor Harley had to go out in the rain to do his business afterwards. He doesn't like to get his paws wet but he can't walk on those floppy ears either.

Earth's Biggest Selection!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Adventure

Colleton State Park, South Carolina, Camping in South Carolina, Tioga Montara, Class C,
 Today we made a record breaking 150 miles in just under 5 hours, 3 stops, 2 I'm-lost-detours and 1 breakdown. It poured rain the entire time from a light drizzle to a monsoon.

I'm exhausted from the excitement and Harley just started our nap without me. I notice he has commandeered the feather pillow we sometimes fight over.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Wheel Freedom With Four Paws

Today we were creeping uphill and flying downhill. Gotta love that wind blown fur-do!

My Harley dog is a funny sort. He looks goofy and he acts silly. He is also very determined when he wants something. When I first brought home the bicycle and basket in my friend's car in January 2013, he was a bit confused about this latest contraption.

I set his basket on the ground for him to sniff over. Then I put him in it. He didn't like the rough bottom, so I padded it with a little blanket (a new fluffy car wash towel). He sat in it for a moment, then climbed out a bit bewildered.

Next I put the basket on the handlebars and rode around the camp site where he could see me. He was straining and jumping at the end of his tether, watching me go round and round.

I came back and parked the bicycle next to the picnic table. I think I was getting water or something when I heard this strange commotion followed by a thud. I turned around to see that my little monkey had climbed up on the picnic table, then took a flying leap to land in the basket on the handlebars, trailing his tether. He looked rather smitten with himself.

Through some miracle, the bicycle didn't fall over from his antics. When I stopped laughing, I got back on the bicycle and took him for a ride.

The rest is history. He loves his new ride!

I haven't ridden all summer. Last spring when I arrived at workamping, the first time we rode around the neighborhood, I couldn't make it up a steep hill and got off the bike to push it up the hill with Harley still in the basket. I was very weak and out of breath, so I wasn't moving very fast. (Later I realized the front tire was nearly flat.) Suddenly we were attacked by a large dog with no collar and I was flailing around trying to protect myself and Harley while screaming for help. Ever tried screaming when you're out of breath?

The dog continued to circle around us snarling and snapping his jaw repeatedly like he was about to make lunch out of my thighs.

The cantankerous (possibly drunk) dog owner eventually showed up to yell at me for being on a bicycle in "his" neighborhood. He said "No one rides a bike, you don't belong here!" He had a hard time gaining control of his collar-less dog.

I found the whole scene a bit creepy and scary.

A few days later we rode the bicycle, trying to gain some confidence back. Someone in a pickup truck ran us off the road and into a gnarly overgrown ditch. Same man or sheer coincidence that he looked the same as the loose dog owner? That frightened me badly and little Harley was not amused.

The place where I workamped didn't have a campground, just boat ramps and a picnic area. It was at the bottom of a hill. People coming into the park were often speeding at 40-50 miles an hour in spite of the 15 mile per hour posted speed limit.

I decided between the big loose dogs and the wild drivers that perhaps the neighborhood wasn't safe for me and my bicycle. A few times I rode it around the dirt driveway and down to the parking lot, but it seemed fast moving trucks towing boats were narrowly missing my elbow or totally oblivious to my presence.

I decided to wait on the bike riding until I was through with that neighborhood.

Once we left workamping in early September, our first stop at Devil's Fork State Park had very steep hills and I was feeling too weak to ride. It rained most days. At Camp Croft, conditions seemed ideal except it rained every day, so no bike riding there either. At Lake Greenwood, the first week I couldn't get the bike off the back of the RV and it was raining most days anyhow. Then we had to move to a different site, where it was much easier to unload the bicycle and it stopped raining.

Whee! Now I get to torture myself on the bike again!

 The view from my handlebars. The creature feature now has a little padded pillow in the bottom of his basket. I recycled it from an old chair. 

The view from the water. That's my little old motorhome in the center. (Bet you didn't think I could ride on water too but I call that Mermaid Magic!)

 Harley doesn't want to get out of his basket. Note the sad face now that the bicycle ride is over.

Bicycle evolution...

Harley fills up the entire front basket, so here is my bicycle with garbage dangling off the handlebars and a cheap file basket strapped to the rear to hold water and stuff. 

Eventually I replaced the file basket with an old milk crate.

All things take time...

Finally I saved up enough money to buy panniers for the rear of the bike. However the panniers didn't fit quite right. I was so sad, they were beautiful yet I couldn't use them. Before I could return them for refund, a handy friend came to visit. He took my hack saw and file to make some notches in the skinny rear rack so the baskets would slide on and off and fit nicely.

Now my garbage, Harley's toys, his leash, my camera, our water and other personal junk can travel in retro style.
We don't set any speed records with this load, but Harley and I love our new found freedom to go exploring around the parks. We can park and hike. The baskets help us deliver the garbage to the dumpster, as well as hold our water, Harley's toys, my camera, the bike cable lock and whatever else we feel like taking along for the ride.

Life is goof!

Earth's Biggest Selection!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life of Harley

I live off a minuscule budget. I don't mind, but it takes a lot of planning and patience. Providing for one silly dog is a piece of work too especially when he requires sweaters and jackets.

Pet stores and mail order outfits typically want $20-$35 for a little doggy sweater or jacket. Good grief. I love my baby but he needs cheaper tastes to stay warm.

Now and then we cruise Big Lots for bargains. They have lots of pricey stuff, but other things show up in odd lots such as last year's designs or models and the price is substantially lower. In this case they had a tiny selection of sweaters in his doggy size for $6-$8. Still kind of pricey, but baby has to stay warm. I try to pick out the least goofy ones. Harley is quite the monkey "as is" he doesn't need silly outerwear too.

Let's see, women's clothing promises to make you look thinner, men's clothing to make one look taller and doggy clothing, well perhaps this makes him look longer.

Harley buys his dog food from Amazon at about half the cost of the grocery stores. He loves that UPS truck driver!
Earth's Biggest Selection

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn Arrived With Arctic Winds

Harley was thrilled to put on his new sweater. We found it at Big Lots at a bargain price. (We also found $20 outdoor lights reduced to $2.) It was 89F degrees the day I bought the sweater and lights. He was so excited he wanted to put it on right then and there. But mean old human wouldn't allow such foolishness. Poor doggy had to wait for the temps to fall below 70F.

Recently I had to sort out his clothing. Some was wore out ragged, some was in great shape but too small and the remainder is fit for another season of hard puppy wear and play.

Harley shakes and shivers around 72F degrees, but I typically wait until it's below 70F to put his sweaters on. At the sight of his little basket of outerwear coming out of the cabinet, he dances and jumps for joy. Silly dog! He LOVES getting dressed. Then he struts around like he is King of the Campground. As it gets cooler he adds a jacket to the sweater. If it's really cold he wears a Tshirt under the sweater. Good grief. A dog that dresses in layers. What next?

Recently at Camp Croft he gave away some of his sweaters and jackets that he had outgrown. I saved the ones still in good shape even though he couldn't wear them anymore, I wasn't sure where to donate them. Recently he met a cute little girlfriend who was only 4 pounds. She fit into his old small stuff perfectly. It was a cool day when she tried them on and she was smitten to model them, much to the delight of her owner. Harley was romping around with her, a bit bemused that she was wearing his stuff.

Sadly I didn't have my camera with me at the time, to catch her picture. But below is silly Harley in his new sweater. He looks so pleased with himself. I tried to neaten up his fur for the picture, but nothing much improves his looks. He is just a goofy dog!

The cold winds just rolled off the lake today. I had trouble warming up my human body. We had to do a lot of resting anyhow. Part of getting well I guess. While napping I urge my body to heal, heal, heal.

We did manage a few short brisk walks. Tomorrow, we will pile on more clothes and jackets to do some longer walks.

Walking is good for healing too.

My internet and phone are both super cantankerous, so I am way behind on voice mail and email, but will work on that soon. It seems I have to wait until late at night to post this. Sometimes the internet crashes 10 times while I type. Grrrrr...

"Ya not getting this off of me until spring!"

Earth's Biggest Selection

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Moving Around

We had to relocate in the same park. My former lot was reserved for someone else, but luckily this lakefront spot came open. It's only 16 feet wide, but we fit in it fine.

One way to save on gas with a motorhome is to move less and stay longer. In this case I moved about a mile or so and will stay another week. That's pretty efficient gas cost management!

South Carolina state parks apparently don't believe in leveling sites before paving them with harsh black asphalt. My site required two thick boards under each of the front tires and still I am not quite level. Yet look at the picture, it would have been so easy for them to level the site first. Grrr...

If you hear a splash, then you know I tripped and fell in the lake. I stumbled over Harley dog's tether and we both almost float tested.

Yesterday I dragged out all the tools, a few manuals, two books and set about trying to fix things that I know nothing about.

A for effort!

Tioga Montara Class C 28 feet Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina

In the evening, I was treated to this fantastic view from the rocking chair. This is on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina. I feel like I am living afloat again, what with water all around me.
Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina

Autumn is officially here. The temperatures dropped substantially. Doggy and I are bundled up for the c-c-c-cold.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Sunday, September 21, 2014

View From The Rocking Chair

Lake Greenwood State Park is popular for campers and boaters. The weekend brought in a huge crowd. I was super lucky to get such a fabulous spot for a few days. Here I've put out all the shade in anticipation of company.

Friends from my old hometown drove down for the day. They brought food for the grill and I made some side dishes. It was such a lovely day for the lake, we waded into it. Shame we had nothing to float around on, it would have been fun. Harley doesn't much care for swimming unless it's 100F degrees, so I waded around carrying him in my arms.

I had some floating pool noodles I bought at Dollar Tree for $1, but recently I had cut them up as chafing gear for my rear RV ladder. I noticed it was getting scratched up from the gear I hang off it when I travel.

Just another one of my quirky projects, but for $2 is saves wear and tear when I go bouncing down the highway.

Today I had to move to another spot because my site had previous reservations. I went from campground #1 to campground #2, which is a newer section on Lake Greenwood.

While the new site is really tiny, it's practically on the water, even closer to the lake's edge than the last site. I forgot to take pics of the rig parked on it, but here's the fantastic view near sunset from the rocking chair.

I was dead tired when I moved the rig to the new spot. The neighbors were watching me park, level and plug in the electricity. The water could wait since I had some in the tanks. I covered the picnic table with a table cloth then fortified it with bungee cords because the winds were strong. I pulled out the rocking chair, sat down and savored the view with a sleepy doggy in my lap.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Friday, September 19, 2014

Splish Splash

I just hate it when the whatchamacallit falls off the thingamajig and I need a whatsit to fix the doohickey with a  gizmo or maybe a widget will do if only I had realized that the doodad was kaput I wouldn't have to fix the whole schmeer thingamabob with gypsy jury-rigging and hillbilly engineering.

Enough about my repair woes and on to beautiful nature.

Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina
Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina with Tioga Montara Class C Motorhome RV
Backing up this old motorhome without a rear camera is hilarious indeed. In this case, I managed to stop just short of landing in the lake. *SPLASH*

The view from my bedroom is awesome. I raise the shades at daybreak, fetch coffee then crawl back in bed to enjoy the fabulous view of floating on the water. Harley dog rolls over to expose his tiny belly, beckoning for a rub while I pray the brakes are still holding up.
Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina
These ducks paddle around our site. When Harley's Frisbee landed in the lake, he barked the ducks away for fear they would commandeer his precious toy. I've had to wade out more than once to collect his wet toys. *Sigh*. The crazy things we do for our fur babies.
Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina
The day is done, but not forgotten.

Life is awesome.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Travels With Harley

These are scenes from Croft State Park.
Harley takes a break. He has a boo-boo on his back paw, but he won't let me fuss with it.
Tioga Montara Motorhome RV Fleetwood Class C
This is the second site we moved to at Croft State Park in South Carolina (south of Spartanburg). Harley picked it out because to the left (not shown) is a nice soft play area for Frisbee, golf and tennis. Those are his three favorite games. We were one of the very few motorhomes that wasn't hauling horses. Most folks were camping in horse trailers. The front of the horse trailer has a camper area, the rear end is for hauling the horses, a rather unique situation. You can rent a campsite and rent a stall for your horse(s). The horses are not allowed in the campground area, but they are housed nearby.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
Harley goes for a stroll down this idyllic park road.

Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
The park is dotted with rustic fencing. Harley did his pee-mail here.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
Hang a right at the fork and more pee-mail for Harley.

Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
Plenty of trails to choose from, some allow horses, others allow bicycles, all allow dogs and humans.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
Harley loves hiking and sniffing the foliage, sometimes he eats a little wild salad.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
And yet another opportunity for Harley to check pee-mail from other canines and leave some of his own.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
We stumbled upon a big new sink hole. It's about fifteen feet deep. We didn't want to get too close in case more ground gave way and we couldn't get back out again. Cell phone service was super flaky. Technology is failing daily it seems. Whether it's my old equipment or the rest of the world, I have no idea, but we managed not to fall into the abyss. Thank goodness for small favors.

Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
I have lots of pictures of the fencing because we were always stopping for pee-mail.
Croft State Park Campground Spartanburg South Carolina
The park comes with benches that comfortably seat people over 7 feet tall. Alternatively, you can tie your horse up here.

Harley keeps changing fur coloring like a chameleon. He has his trademark one-ear up as he contemplates nature. When he went for his vaccinations recently, he weighed in at his highest weight ever, a whopping 6.8 pounds. That is over 3 kilos. He will be 5 years old at Christmas.

Amazing how time flies. Seems like only yesterday he came into my world at 5 months old. He was severely malnourished with very little fur and came burdened with numerous phobias. He had the energy of a sleepy turtle. The first vet we visited was sure he wouldn't last long and gave him a doom and gloom prognosis of a very short life. Funny, my docs said the same about me too a few months before I met Harley. We've both been avoiding those doctors ever since.

Well *ahem* here we are forging ahead, one day at a time, ignoring their predictions. It seems angels everywhere are looking out for us, especially you, my gentle reader.

We owe you many thanks from the bottom of our heart and soul to the tip of our head and tail.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lake Greenwood

Any day I wake up alive, it's going to be a fantastic start. I have so much to be thankful for.

Sunset was awesome too. Then the winds went from zero to fifty miles an hour. I thought I had been blown into a hurricane. A massive tree branch came crashing down between my lot and the next one. It sounded like a tree exploding!

This park is popular and busy, but I snagged a spot on the lake shore, something I never dreamed was possible, given the fact I've been so disorganized and tired this trip. It seemed every park we wanted to get into had openings, as long as we didn't want to stay during a weekend, well I have to live somewhere on the weekends too.

Many folks keep suggesting I go park at Walmart and camp out. I am sure they mean well, but I pretty much boycott their store (too expensive) and frankly, I can't see the thrill of living in a parking lot, if I can possibly squeeze into a basic campground somewhere. I would be too embarrassed to live at Walmart if I wasn't spending money with them. I know many RV-ers camp at Walmart parking lots, but most of them have massive battery banks and big power inverters, so having electricity is easier for them.

In many cases I can find a campground cheaper than running my generator for electricity. My RV is small with only a tiny "house" battery which means it drains pretty quickly. Now I am having a 12 volt problem I can't figure out. Grrrr... More on that later.

I spent about 15 years of my life living without utilities and it was fun then, but now I prefer these small comforts whenever possible. I used to live in various anchorages (not marinas) on my sailboat in the Caribbean with just an old solar panel to catch some rays to recharge my 12 volt deep cycle batteries. I designed a rain catcher to fill my water tanks. I used a ship to shore radio to run my business. That was my only "utility" expense as I had to pay for phone calls coming in and out. I was miserly with both electricity and water, so I could live with the elements, off the grid. Those were some fun days that I treasure, so glad I did that before my body fell apart.

Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina
Sunset before the storm.

We are camping at Lake Greenwood State Park in South Carolina. It's so beautiful and lovely.

We carved out a new path yesterday, but the overgrowth became so bad, I had to pick up Harley dog and carry him through knee deep water about 100 yards, to complete our route. It was comical all around.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moving, Breaking, Parking

Broke down in front of ranger's office. Oopsy! Wore out tired. I have internet and phone again...maybe. Doggy begging for a tour of the campground we just settled into. Found a fantastic site on the lake. View is awesome. More later.

Round and round we go, we're headed for the coast, if we can find it, so far
we keep finding lakes. A mermaid has to have water.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cherokee Foothills

It will be a miracle if I ever get to post this. The internet crashes every few minutes.

A circuitous circus route.

south carolina cherokee foothills scenic highway

My route took me rolling across the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 in South Carolina. This route is a true delight that tugs at my heart strings with its awe inspiring beauty. Anytime I can find an excuse to drive all or part of this road, I do. Incredibly it was nearly empty, as if it had been reserved for my sole pleasure. It was delightful for my soul too!

In the photo below, Table Rock is sticking up in the background with a state park located there by the same name. Mountains, waterfalls, rivers and lakes are home to this area.
table rock state park south carolina campground

At Glassy Mountain I stopped to photograph this Baptist Church built of stone. The custodian came rushing out to see if I had broken down. We chatted for a few minutes, he was a young fellow with flaming red hair. He was finishing up his work so he could make it to his other job on time, driving a special needs school bus in another county.

In the photo below is Glassy Mountain, as seen from the parking lot of the Baptist Church. That roof to the right is not a home, but the Glassy Mountain Chapel, a nondenominational house of worship. When water runs down the rock, the glistening in the sun makes it look glassy.

Finally we made it to our next campground after a stop for a ratchet wrench to repair the cantankerous side mirrors. My ratchet vanished a few months ago along with some other tools. I try to take very good care of my tools and keep them locked up most of the time. Perhaps somebody thought they needed them more than I did.

Now I find out the mirror bolt is metric, so I need to go buy a metric socket that is slightly smaller than 11/16th of an inch. Good grief. I have no idea why they outfitted my motorhome with these worrisome mirrors. They are manual mirrors. I have to park, then hang half my body out the window to adjust the driver's side. The passenger side mirror is an exercise in frustration. I have to get out of the wheel estate, then run back and forth from my driver's seat to the other side of the motorhome and back again, until I get the mirror angled right.

For some reason, both mirrors have become real floppy. Whenever I open and close my driver's door, the mirror re-adjusts itself. Sometimes going down the highway, the mirror suddenly shifts to a bad angle. This is a huge problem on multi-lane roads. I found the secret hidden compartment on the top and bottom of the mirror that hides a metric nut and bolt that I hope to tighten up one of these days. It's designed in such a way to make it nearly impossible to service. I thought I had tightened up the nut correctly in the parking lot where I bought the ratchet. But I found out later, the bolt was just spinning around while I thought I was tightening the nut.

This nut is clueless and useless some days.

At the new campground, one I've never visited before, we had a super easy pull-through spot that was level and nice except the new gravel they outfitted it with recently was huge, loose and rough, bigger than golf balls. I kept tripping over the big lumps. The wooded area on the other side of the motorhome dropped off severely with overgrowth that dwarfed the dog, so it wasn't really accessible. We went for a long walk around the park then collapsed in bed. I was exhausted and covered in sweat. It poured down rain all night long.

The next morning I discovered two open campsites, Harley chose the one with a big soft play area, so we moved. No sooner had we begun to set up in the new site when it poured down rain again.

It's all my fault. I washed my Croc shoes so they looked new again. That was the signal for the heavens to open up and drain that big bathtub in the sky. Now my cleaned shoes are covered in muck.

Between showers, we walked to the dump with our garbage. I snapped these brilliant flowers along the way. Harley gets super excited when I tie a knot in the grocery bag garbage. He jumps for joy at the door, knowing that we must be getting ready to go for another walk. Yippee doodle do-do!

Harley found some "salad" to eat. He likes to munch on certain plants. He doesn't throw up, just chows down like it's nature's salad bar.

Earth's Biggest Selection