Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Michigan's West Coast and the UP

Lake Michigan. Looks like the ocean. Doesn't smell like the ocean though.

 Oregon could certainly use paths like that across the sand dunes.

 Michigan states the obvious?

We saw several small towns like this in the upper midwest:

I guess I can see why they were hoping for the "gold old days" to come back for them. I seriously doubt it's going to happen.

Long bridge ahead.

Below us is a steel grate. You can see down to the water.

Do you know what's in the U.P.? 

Bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.

Planning a return to the UP.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Komments by KADY! Issue #18

Hi Fans, I have so many Parks in so many states to review from the dog point-of view!

I'm sorry that I didn't write all winter at Two Springs but it was so boring for us dogs this year and we didn't even go anywhere. The only fun thing was when baby Nora came to visit us in March and she even got in our pen like she was a real puppy.

It's hard to believe that we've been on the road for only two months. It seems like a lifetime!  We've been so many places.  We've been to Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. And sometimes back and forth!

So let me tell you about all of the places we've been.  We started out in April when we went to Usery Mountain Park in Mesa Arizona where we have been before. It is where Dora got the cholla stuck in her last year but this year she was more careful and so was Mom. We had so many squirrels and birds that you just wouldn't believe it!  I swear they taunted us.

It was warm and sunny and we went for many nice walks. Here's me and Huxley.

One squirrel in this video must have been In Heat!  Me and Dodah used to do that and Huxley was interested but that doesn't happen to us anymore cuz we got fixed.

After a while we had to leave Arizona because there was a dog show in Ohio. So then we started traveling and we first went to an RV park in Grants, New Mexico which is almost not anywhere. It was named the BAR S.

 It is very cheap to stay here so if we ever get poor we can probably live here.

 It was kind of boring though.  Except that in back there was a place to walk dogs where there were bunnies.

After the Bar S we went to Colorado to Trinidad Lake State Park. We should go back and stay there again sometime when we can have more fun. We didn't have much fun this time because something really bad happened. Huxley got sick that night and blood was coming out of his butt and stuff even though he had been fine just a little before. There wasn't any vet open because it was Saturday night before Easter and Trinidad isn't a very big town either. 

Huxley was getting pretty old and couldn't hear good or see good anymore and had bad arthritis in his left shoulder that made it hard for him to walk so he had been on drugs for it since last November.

Poor Huxley was really sick. 

The next day was Easter but we didn't get bunnies or candy or anything. We drove the RV to St Vrain State Park where we had been before and we like it good there.

 Huxley only felt like sleeping in the sun.

But me and Dodah went for walks and found water and grass and goose poop . . .

It smelled so good and it felt so good to roll in.

On Monday Mom and Dad took Huxley somewhere and we watched and waited and when they came back poor old Huxley wasn't with them anymore. I was afraid that was going to happen because it happened to that Greedy Grandma Alice a couple of years ago when she got old and sick.

But me and Dodah are fine with the two of us with no boy dog to have to boss around anymore. We get more walks together now that it is just the two of us. And Mom and Dad rearranged some things and have more storage now that there are only two crates.

We stayed at St Vrain all week and it was so nice and pretty.

But then pretty soon we had to travel again. And we went to Nebraska. We found Lafayette city park in Gothenburg which was famous as a Pony Express stop back in the old days but I don't think much has happened there since then.

There was a pond here too.

There weren't very many people there and it was really good for dog walking. Some local people came and let their dogs off leash in the big grassy area but Mom wouldn't let us take our leashes off. 

Then we went to another state which is Iowa. We stayed at the fairgrounds in Avoca and it is Pottawattamie County Fairgrounds which is a funny name.

There weren't any other people or dogs staying here. The fifth wheel you see was just stored there by itself.

There were lots of squirrels playing that I had to keep an eye on.

 And the neighbor in the house across the street had more birdhouses than I had ever seen before.

There wasn't anything exciting to do in Avoca except for watching squirrels so then we went a little farther in Iowa to a county park which was Yellow Banks and the camping was good there. Look at the big spot we had:

There was a river but we didn't get to go play in it.

After a couple of days we traveled again and went across the Mississippi River, the really big one we saw last year. And then we went to Illinois. And by the way a lot of places we have been are not pronounced at all like they are spelled.

It was a really windy day and so we stayed in a campground we found in Carlock Illinois that was called Kamp Komfort which used to be a KOA but isn't now. The picture on their web page makes it look like they are busier than they were. I don't think that many people want to go to Carlock Illinois except when it is really windy and they want to get off the road in their motorhome.

The owner their liked corgis and said he used to have one of the other kind who was fat and round and red and didn't have a tail.

The next day we drove to Peru Indiana to a park at Mississinewa Lake and it was  in the Miami Recreation Area. It was early in the season and the campground had just opened. Walking was good.

But it was kind of hot for dogs like us who aren't used to humid places.

But then it started getting not hot and cloudy and the camp host came by saying there was a big thunderstorm warning and that if we needed a tornado shelter that we should go in the restroom. It was not usually unlocked before this early in the year but she was unlocking it in case we had to go there. And then the thunder and lightning started and the people who were our neighbors and were tent camping decided to spend the night in their car.

 After a little while the storm passed by though. You could see the edge coming.

Dad gets upset when people say "tornado" to him.

Then it was time to go on to the dog show in Ohio. We were staying at Huron River Valley RV Resort which didn't really open until May 1st but they let us come early.

 It is very pretty on the Huron River.

When we were walking on one of the first days we surprised a mother robin who was sitting on this nest of babies and she flew off.

 Baby robins grow up fast because in just a week they looked like this.

 There were lots of geese there and there were mommies and daddies with their babies with them. They stayed in family groups.

Then one evening there was a big bang like an explosion and Mom and Dad went outside to see what it was.

A fifth wheel up the hill had exploded!  And it made a big fire and it took the fire trucks about 15 or 20 minutes to get there from town. And it burned up the trailer next to it and even melted the add on to the other trailer.

The fire marshal said that it was the propane refrigerator was the source of the fire but I don't know how that works.  I am glad that we have just a electric refrigerator but now I worry about who we might park next to!

Now I have to tell you something about Ohio that week. It rained more than I have ever seen in my life before. Mom brought home this picture from the stockdog trial where she was working. This is the duck arena where she was catching ducks and putting them out and stuff and she says the ducks were swimming instead of walking when the dogs were herding them.

 That was on Saturday.

By the next Thursday it had rained so much that the river was rising and the docks that used to go down to the water were straight across. You can see how close to the water our jeep was.

Our next door neighbors on one side looked at it and decided to move that night and went to the show grounds at the hotel.  We stayed, but barely slept all night worrying about the river. 

Mom went ahead to the dog show on Friday like she did every morning that week and left Dad and Dodah and me to watch the waters. Then Mom saw that our neighbors on the other side who were also there for the dog show were evacuating so she called Dad and he said "yes" so she left the show and went home and we moved the RV to a place not on the river! This was the most weather excitement we had since the tornado warning at the dog show last May!

So we went to the KOA in Sandusky and so did our Cardigan neighbors who were next door again.  We stayed there for the last two nights of the dog show. It was very wet but not scary.

Then finally the dog show was over. We had really missed Mom who had to leave early every morning and be gone all day even into the night sometimes. It was like at our old house in Oregon when she had to go to work, though Dodah says that she barely remembers that.

Well the next thing we had to do was to go back to Indiana to take our house to the shop to have its slide checked out. It has been sliding which is good because the skinny house is a pain in the butt but we wanted them to make some plates longer that were too short whatever that meant.  So we stayed at Thor Motor Coach Factory Service  for free for a few days while they checked everything out and they were very good to us so we can't say anything bad about Thor now. It was fun to drive around seeing all of the RV factories, too.

We had to leave during the day when they were working on the house so we drove around. First me and Dodah waited in the jeep while Mom and Dad went to the RV and MH Hall of Fame that Mom showed you before. But then they took us to a walk at a park to make up for it.

Indiana is very pretty and we like it here but Mom says not to talk about religion or politics with anybody and I don't think she means dog-show politics.

There are lots of Amish people here and they have horses and buggies instead of cars but some of them work in RV factories anyway.

This is an Amish pickup truck and it was at Tractor Supply where we were buying our dog food. And we buy small bags now as there are only two of us dogs and Mom said that we were FAT and put us on a DIET.

And this was the parking lot at the grocery store in Nappanee close to where we were staying in Wakarusa.

Mom and Dad stopped at a cheese factory and bought good cheese that they didn't share with us. Back to that whole "DIET" thing.

 While we were in the Elkhart area Mom and Dad ordered new furniture for the house so then we had two weeks that we needed to go some new places.  

First we went to Ottawa Metro Park which is in Lima Ohio and I don't know if that's Leema like in Peru which was a town in Indiana as well as a South American Country where we haven't been or if it's like a lima bean but I suspect  it's the second choice.

And then Mom and Dad decided to visit Columbus Ohio so we went to Alum Creek State Park for a few days.

We were camping in the woods and it was so nice and green.

But after a few days we went on to Pennsylvania because there were places that Mom and Dad wanted to see.

 Which of course dogs couldn't go to so me and Dodah stayed home.

We stayed in Benner's Meadow Run Campground which is close to some houses that Dad especially wanted to see. But it was a good park for dogs mostly. The only downside was that the owners let their Aussie-mix girl run free and that annoyed me and Dodah until we got used to her.

Dodah says anyplace dogs can swim is good.

And if they have a playground it's even better.

After a couple of days we moved on to another place in Pennsylvania which was a state park. It was Gifford Pinchot State Park.

Pennsylvania State Parks are different. Only some loops allow dogs so you have to be careful when you make your reservation. And dogs can't go all over the campground either.

 We had a nice big campsite and even put out our pen for a bit.

The only thing was that the "weekend people" neighbors must have thought that being in a dog area meant that you could let your lab puppy bark and cry all day. The poor baby wasn't used to being on a hook I guess. But they were only there Saturday and a little bit on Sunday so it wasn't too bad.

We had a cardinal who visited and who played with his reflection in the RV window and in the jeep mirror. We don't have Cardinals where we usually live.

Then it was time to start heading west. We stopped overnight at a KOA near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border and it was the Mercer-Grove City KOA. 

 We saw an Amish buggy that evening. 

 It came back the next morning.

And he parked his horse in back somewher and went to work on the golf cart picking up trash and on the tractor. It was peaceful there and we might have stayed another day but we had to get back to Indiana for new the new furniture.

So then we stayed two nights at Bradd & Hall in Elkhart Indiana.

This was our old worn-out furniture. Even though our house isn't that old they used cheap furniture in it to start with.

Dodah demonstrates how comfy the chairs are.

When they are done they leave old furniture outside free for anyone to take. Our old chairs disappeared right away. Here is our dinette and someone else's couch. We threw our couch away last summer instead of leaving it for free.

While the new furniture was installed Dad and Mom took us for a nice walk at the Boot Lake Nature Preserve.

 So many good smells.

 Big old cottonwood tree.

Now it is Memorial Day Weekend which means it will be my birthday pretty soon. I wonder if there is cake when you are on a DIET?

Mom and Dad didn't want to go through the "Weekend People" again in a State Park so we are staying at the Little River Casino in Manistee Michigan. Even though the park filled up Saturday and Sunday it is pretty quiet as most people go and play in the Casino or have boats they take on the river or on one of the lakes. We have been taking the weekend off to catch up on computer work and posting.

I hear that we are going to even more states on our way back to the west coast. Stay tuned!