Minus 9 days!

This is the spot where our Casita lives, back left corner, and it’s been vacant for two weeks!  She’s still at the shop waiting for the brake inspection and bearings grease.  Who would have thought that it would be over a two week wait for something as simple as this?
The Casita’s maintenance has not been the main thing stopping our departure.  Our wonderful cat sitting lady has been away  and we have had her two critters for the past 9 days!  CiCi, the shih tzu, and Bertie, a Maine Coon mix, joined our three felines creating a bedlam, stopping all trip preparations!

We are back to three cats and I’m trying to pick up where we left off.  It’s beautiful today, a little cool, a perfect day to wax the truck.  At least it’s on the to-do list!
David has successfully attached two of the three solar panels, thanks to our Casita friends, Todd and Maureen….thanks, guys!   Todd gave us a plastic hinge and suggested we attach them with VHB tape, very high bond, a 3M product.

We did not want to go to the expense of buying another solar panel system.  This one works great….just a pain to store and set up.  The plan is to simplify the set up by eliminating this huge box.

It would be so much easier if we were full-timing!  Although we have been on two trips of a two month duration, this 3 1/2 month sojourn is pushing our limits.   It’s all the responsibilities of the house, dealing with the mail, the yard maintenance and farming out two cats in one direction and the new cat in another place… thank you, sister!
But every little thing that can be remembered will get done.  Our dreams of Alaska will come true.  The trip becomes more real everyday thanks to some great blogging by John,  and the information supplied by our Escape friends, Duke and Beverlee and Marv and Vicki.
The goal is to be on the road next weekend! 
Precious rosebush handed down from mom.


Looking Back, Bucket List trip



Planning to not make this post about the cats, as this blog is about traveling, camping and experiencing life in a small fiberglass trailer….so I’m leading off with one of my favorite pictures from our 2009 Bucket List trip.

The photo is from Leasburg Dam State Park, just north of El Paso, one of our overnight stops heading back east.  This trip got it’s name from a fellow camper after explaining my recent retirement (4/30/09) and our desire to see Yellowstone and the Black Hills.  He said “Oh!  This is your bucket list trip.” So the name stuck!  Now we see this trip as totally insane…..traveling 6200 miles in 29 days! 

But it was my first taste of freedom from the monotonous world of working for a living.  I can close my eyes and remember the exhilaration of driving I-90 through Wyoming and Montana…..a roller coaster of blue skies, dramatic clouds and green hills.

Back then we were new to fiberglass trailers and our little 13 foot 1990 Casita was the center of our world.  We were towing with a 1998 Toyota Sienna, the odometer already escalated.  The Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, a place that I had admired from a co-worker’s photos, was our destination.

We saw the Badlands, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Custer’s State Park and Yellowstone NP before we collapsed with exhaustion on the Snake River in Idaho.  Our trip started on May 4th…..it was only 10 days later!  And it was getting colder every day…because we were traveling north, duh!

After a three day rest, we decided to forget about Oregon and headed south to Utah.  Went from running the ceramic heater to running the air conditioning at the Slick Rock RV Park in Moab.  Visiting the national parks in Utah became our new plan and we managed to see or camp at the Arches NP, Bryce NP and Zion.  Afterward we stopped on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. 

At an Arizona gas station located at least a hundred miles from anywhere, a GA car asked us if we knew Sheryl and Chris, Scamp owners from the Atlanta area?  We affirmed that we did, marveling at the tight knit community of fiberglass trailers!    Did not know then,  this community was to become our family!

Another 10 days later we were back home after a Memorial Day weekend with family in Phoenix, a trip across Texas with a fan install at the Casita factory and a visit to Hot Springs NP in Arkansas.

Did not mean to write about this trip….just want to steer away from the cats and flowers.  Now do I go back and find all the ancient history trip pictures or just give a quick present day update?

Choosing the up date!  Feels like I am swimming in molasses trying to get stuff marked off the to-do list.  The truck has been to the shop and passed inspection for travel.  The Casita is at another shop waiting for a bearings grease and brake inspection.

I have a new shower curtain to hem, the solar panels bonding tape has just arrived and the passports have been retrieved from the safe deposit box.  Still need to decide about the mail and the yard…..wish one person could do both jobs.  Also it’s time to head to Farm Bureau for papers documenting our insurance…necessary to enter Canada.

Tomorrow we start babysitting a friend’s dog and cat for 10 days….not just any friend, but the saint that takes our cats into her home for months at a time.  This is our first time dog sitting, maybe a new vocation if the traveling ever gets old?

Changed my mind again!  Can’t have a post with only one picture!  Dug up the old photos buried on a portable hard drive.


Second night out…already in South Dakota!

DSC_1022The Badlands


Mt Rushmore



Black Hills




The Arches




North Rim Grand Canyon


Cat Wars & Spring Flowers


Life has been far from peaceful for the past three weeks!  Our newest family member, Sylvester, is not being welcomed by everyone.  We humans are in love with him; the two older cats are not happy!

It feels like all  I have done is feed and referee!  Due to being hungry and foraging, the new stray thinks he must eat everything in sight!  The food bowls have been put up….something totally unacceptable to the 9 and 11 year old females who have always had access to their chow.  Feeling sorry for them, I am putting their food down 3 times a day, locking and feeding Sylvester in another room.  He eats his allotted  portion and ten minutes later he acts like he’s starving.


Each night a kitty litter box goes into the bedroom and Sylvester is sequestered away from the demon cat, Princess.  Just can’t tolerate being awakened in the middle of the night to the banshee screams that they are making.  Surely they will eventually adjust. 


Princess has always had problems…definitely not a normal cat.  She growls and hisses….and purrs, simultaneously.  So far we have put a bell on her….so he can hear her coming, ordered a calming cat collar…..(hurry up Amazon!) and last night, in a fit of desperation, made up a spray bottle full of water.  This seems to be working as the morning has been quiet….only one explosion.

Temporary truce....they forgot their feud due to a bird landing on the deck!


I choose to be optimistic…..things will eventually work out.  Just like choosing to be positive about the upcoming Alaska trip.

  Training my thoughts…….    “We can do this!”  “It will be OK.” “We can handle whatever comes our way!”  And I have said over and over….. if it gets to be too much for us, we will just take another direction or come home. 

The yard has been providing lots of pleasure since everything has turned green again.  Many flowers are blooming……don’t know how they keep coming back.  We sure aren’t caring properly for them. 

(Move curser across picture….some are labeled.)








These strawberries come back every year…..even though hubby has occasionally driven over them while backing the egg into her place.

The little Chatta-Egg is resting peacefully.  She’s been home for 12 days and says she’s ready to rest up for the 12,000 mile trip next month.


It’s raining with a flood watch for the next 3 days…..glad we live on the side of a hill.  Weather is so crazy with snow in Arkansas  in MAY, 39 degrees in Memphis this AM.

Hope Mother Nature gets her seasons straightened out soon!