Friday, March 27, 2020

A more detailed catch up of our trip back to Canada...



Our Location: Buttercup Ridge, Roseneath, Ontario, Canada
 
 
Some coolish days here at the farm, some rain yesterday as well and the forecast looks the same for many days ahead. Cloudy, cool to very cool days, with overnight lows dipping to or just under the freezing mark, winds and the possibility of snow, rain or a mix of the two. Blah type days. Even with the calendar saying it's spring, different parts of Ontario receives different weather and this is typical pre spring weather. It's one of the reasons we try to stay away at this time of the year. 
 
 States crossed on our way home include Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana,
 
Ohio, Michigan and finally crossing into Canada we entered the province of Ontario. Our home province. 

Riley and I have spent the last couple of days just trying to recoup from the long stressful drive home. We normally drive between 200-250 miles per day when we travel and will string together a few travel days in a row before stopping to rest. However this year's journey has been filled some very long days, on the way west and on the way east as well. The threat of cold weather, ice, snow and heavy rains moved us along through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and into California in November on our journey west. Our longest day was just over 500 miles/800 km in one day heading west. Coming home we managed 600 miles/965 km in one day. I do not wish to do this kind of driving again.

 While in Wapakoneta, OHIO on the way home we encountered Dino at the grocery store, stocking up. 

We have posted photos of this tower before but it's always a wonder to see.

We had a layover day in the area of Richmond, Indiana where a broken spring on the Igloo and a check engine light on the Dogsled caused us some stressful hours. Pardo Towing from Richmond, IN actually came to the New Paris, Ohio rest area and changed the spring on the Igloo right in the parking area. Wonderful fella's, very helpful and knowledgeable. Guy Reid Towing, from New Paris, OHIO came to load the Dogsled and take us to Wetzels Chevy Dealership in Richmond, IN where the cause of our trouble was an injector that had been on recall for which I never received a notice. This caused the REGEN to come on and not shut off. At the dealership around noon and out the door at closing time of 5 pm, we were back at the rest area, hooking up peppy Dogsled and newly fixed Igloo for a second night just 3 miles inside the Ohio state line. 


Signs of spring along the way home.

 




To add to the stress of breakdown is the joy of dealing with the auto club. It took over an hour and a half for them to actually locate me before they could send Guy Reid Towing to haul the Dogsled. I called Pardo Towing to tow the Igloo on my own and as it turned out, they didn't tow the Igloo as I mentioned above. I was switched from USA to Ontario, Canada, back to USA to various different areas in the USA, was put on hold until the machine cut off and I had to start over, told I would have to pay for overage charges because apparently the Wetzels Chevy Dealership was over 200 miles away, when in fact it was less than 15 miles. Anyway, you get the idea.


An Oklahoma rest area. 

Grass is greening up in Oklahoma. 

We of course had to stock up on groceries on our way home and managed to find see some interesting things along the way. Including the person dressed in the dinosaur suit in the photos above. Fear breeds panic and I think the many empty shelves are an indication of the fear that is claiming the people of many nations. I think it's a very sad state of affairs when we horde food and essentials with the intent to resell and make money because of this fear and panic.

 The Arch in St.Louis, MO. We once again passed this city known as the Gateway to the West under cloudy skies with a light rain falling on a Sunday morning. 

 The mighty Mississippi River which divides the east and west.

Riley and I debated taking this route once again as we didn't really enjoy it the last time, but thought it best under the circumstance. We won't be taking it again. We dislike it for a number of reasons and in the future will be travelling the extra distance to reach I-75 for our homeward treks. 

 Our last morning in the USA for this end of winter, spring return. 

 
 Small town USA with pretty empty streets and few folks moving around. 

Our trip homeward found us seeing a few dozen Canadian plates each day on the roads heading in the direction of Canada. Some were repeats and we leap frogged over each other but not all were repeats. We certainly weren't alone and noted that the majority of the vehicles were single cars/suv's and not rigs. We found that to be interesting. The comments from the friendly folks in the USA were usually the same about 'how will you cross the border, it's essential travel only?' To this my reply was pretty much always the same,' Canada will always take her own people home.' Of course I explained that comment in this way,' when we go home, in our case we cross over the St. Clair River and the bridge is basically no man's land, once we cross over we are at Canadian Customs, if they send us back we have to pass through US Customs who will NOT let us into your country due to the virus, so if Canada doesn't accept us we would be left on the bridge for how ever long this takes. Since we are Canadian, we have valid passports and identification, we must be accepted. Our travel is essential, we are returning home.' At this point they usually smile and say,'Ah, I never thought of the bridge thing.'

 I-75 North in Detroit, MI heading toward the Ambassador Bridge, which you can see ahead and on the right. Tuesday, March 24, 2020 around 2 pm in the afternoon.



  

Crossing through customs was a breeze, no more difficult than our usual entry into Canada. The questions were different and a single page of self isolation instructions were given but truly it was about 30 seconds longer than our usual question period when crossing back home after winter travels. We were asked only ONE common question, how long away, the other questions were illness related and they wondered if we left the USA at any point. The answer to that question was no, as we hadn't entered Mexico at any time.  Usually we are asked the value of goods, any alcohol, firearms, tobacco, marijuana products but they didn't ask a single one of these questions this time. Instead they asked if we had a fever, cough, runny nose or signs of illness, told us we must self isolate for 14 days and sent us on our way. 

We are home in Ontario, Canada on Tuesday, March 24, between 2-3 pm in the afternoon. 
 
Toronto skyline as we pass through the city on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 around 11 am. Still busy by some standards but empty by Toronto standards. 
 
 We always enjoy seeing this pig, it means we are close to the end of our journey for a while. Buttercup Ridge is less than 30 minutes away from this spot.


Back in Ontario we witnessed no signs of spring, not even a hint as we kept going more east and a bit northerly. Dark skies seems to be the norm in the spring time in this area, with a few glimpses of the sun every once in a while to remind us there are better days ahead, or is it a tease only?
 
We aren't going much farther than this and soon we will see the pig in the above photo.  

 Still signs of winter left here, hanging around and making us all wish for warmer days soon.

We are within 10 minutes of Buttercup Ridge now. 

We are currently on day 4 of our self isolation, almost half way through. We have settled into our current spot and will adjust the Igloo as the ground thaws and mud becomes a way of life here on the farm for a while. Spring will show up in the next few weeks, we have no doubt. In a few days I'll venture a hike down the driveway which is soft, muddy and in terrible shape due to the frost/thaw and and take some photos for your viewing pleasure. 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are all safe, healthy, and warm where ever you may be. 

Until next time...take care, be safe, 

Deb 
 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Buttercup Ridge in Ontario, Canada




Our Location: Buttercup Ridge, Roseneath, Ontario, Canada
 
 
A long time since my last update but I've been busy, stressed and tired at day's end and so I decided I needed to do the things which causes me the least stress and blogging didn't make the necessary cut. 
 
 The sun playing shadow games on the mountains as we are leaving the Huachuca City, AZ area on March 19, 2020.



 Anyone travelling this area knows the Texas Canyon Rest area in AZ.



We left Arizona in the rear view and rolled into New Mexico on March 19, 2020.
 
We left Quail Ridge RV resort in Huachuca City, AZ on Thursday, March 19th travelled to Socorro, New Mexico. Friday, March 20th we travelled to Elk City, Oklahoma and the following day (Saturday, March 21) we continued on to Eureka, Missouri. Leaving Eureka we bumped our way through St. Louis, and across the mighty Mississippi River on Sunday, March 22 in a light rain travelling east to New Paris, Ohio (just 3 miles inside the Ohio from Richmond, Indiana). At this point (Monday, March 23) we had to lay over a day to do some repairs to both Igloo and Dogsled. Thanks to Pardo Towing, Wetzel Chevy Dealership in Richmond and to Guy Reid Towing for their assistance as well. You made a very bad day seem hopeful and in the end not too terribly bad after all. A mention of Greens Alignment Shop that also offered us some wonderful information which lead us to the helpful folks we encountered.  We were once again on our way Tuesday, March 24 and crossed into Ontario at Detroit before 2:30 pm. An overnight stop in Hamilton at Eastgate Square and on to Buttercup Ridge (our current home for 3 or 4 weeks) home of sister-in-law/aunt Janet and her wonderful hubby Dennis. 
 
 New Mexico is a beautiful state without doubt. 

 That is snow on those mountain tops in the distance and clouds behind the mountains. New Mexico has some very high elevations and we were happy to be travelling at lower than those holding the snow. The highest we topped was just over 6500 feet. 

 Sure is pretty to see.
 
Of course at each day's end I called my dad to ensure he didn't worry any more than necessary. Upon crossing we sent numerous texts to family and friends so they would know we arrived back in Ontario. 
 
 More snow on those New Mexico mountain tops.


 Sun and clouds playing shadow games again. 


Off in the distance the sun beams were looking interesting. 
 
  
A few photos to share that Riley snapped on our drive home, forgive the spotty windshield but at least you get the idea of what we were witnessing out our windows. I'll share more in the next post or two.
 
 For anyone that has travelled HWY 60 in New Mexico, this may look familiar.


 This route took us to elevations over 6500 feet. 


Some beautiful views even if we were motoring along. 
 
We hope all of our friends and family are safe, sound and healthy where ever they may be. I'll update with a bit  more detail in the days ahead. Thanks for all the concern, and the thoughtfulness of everyone. 
 
 
New Mexico is definitely enchanted. 
 
We hope to return in the fall of 2020!
 
Until next time... take care, stay safe and healthy. 
 
Deb

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A change in plans....



Our Location: Quail Ridge Rv Park, Huachuca City, Az
 
 I haven't download my phone the last few days so there are no photos. 
 
Riley and I have been discussing our plans and have both decided it is prudent to head home to Ontario instead of meeting our friends and taking our time going home. 
 
We have been debating our route, north or south. North will be cooler or maybe cold, south will be hot and humid. There really isn't any in between route.  I'm leaning toward the northern route but I'll decide when we reach the necessary point. 
 
Our plan is to leave here in the morning and travel daily until we reach Ontario. I'm guessing it will take us about a week to travel the approximately 2000 miles to reach the Detroit/Windsor area. 
 
To all of our friends who are travelling or trying to wait this thing out, we wish you safe travels, or safe sitting, good health, and great weather. To all of those already at home, stay safe, healthy, and take care. 
 
Thanks for stopping by. 
 
Until  next time... take care, be safe. 
 
Deb 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Future plans...




Our Location: Quail Ridge RV Park, Huachuca City,AZ
 
It seems the rain has finally stopped and things are starting to dry out once again. Some very sunshine filled days of late with a cool breeze that reminds us that spring while approaching still hasn't really arrived. 
 
This caught my eye, it is parked among a variety of trailers. Very cute, I think my buddy Ron would like this!!
 
 
Very few photos as I've photographed many things in this park before and to post the same photos would be tiring I'm sure. All of today's photos were taken in the park with my phone.
 
 
 Big Agave plants in this park.
 
 
With all the dire warnings in the media I thought I would just give you all an update on our plans. Our plans are to return home as scheduled around mid April. Except for a few minor differences such as more hand washing, more diligent cleaning of surfaces, we really aren't doing much different. We aren't big on mixing in crowds, we don't go out much to eat, we don't order take out very often and so we've now determined we won't be eating out or taking out at all. Our biggest risk is when we do the necessities, such as fuel, groceries, and propane. We are more diligent about doors, surfaces and such that others may have touched/handled. Washing, sanitizing and just good common sense go a long way to avoiding even a common cold. However we would encounter the same risks no matter where we are located. So we really don't see any benefit to hurrying home to Ontario. We will be meeting our friends Ron & Sharon again this year but truly don't feel we would be at any greater risk than we are currently.

For those that have met Riley, you all know she's pretty tall, she's around the 5'11" mark, that gives you some idea of how tall the agave plant is beside her. This is NOT the biggest one in the park.


This is just our own view, everyone is entitled to an opinion. We must each do what we feel is right for ourselves. Whatever you decided to do, I wish you good health, good luck and safe travels. Wash, disinfect, and cover up when you cough or sneeze, use good common sense and stop buying all the toilet paper. An interesting thing I noticed at Walmart, less toilet paper on the shelves than facial tissue/kleenex. Now that is surprising to me. 

This one is taller than the one above but in the bushes it's hard to get to close to.


Until next time...take care, be safe, stay healthy, 

I took this photo while waiting for a nice gentleman to come fill my propane tanks. As you can see from the water puddles it's rained a fair bit here. I love the mountains in the background, it was the whole reason for the photo.


Deb

Thursday, March 12, 2020

A quick update...



Our Location: Quail Ridge Rv Park, Huachuca City, Az
 
 
A quick update with no photos. I've been a bit of a sluggard and haven't taken a single photo for a number of days now. 
 
Monday around lunch time Riley and I settled into Quail Ridge Rv Park, our first hook ups since we left Lincoln Parish Park in Louisiana in November. A couple of things have kept us thinking about our route home and since we couldn't really decide we figured we'd stay a bit longer in this area and take the time to figure it out. 
 
Also the weather hasn't been exactly nice, with rain and clouds pretty much every day or night starting Monday night, not a lot of rain of course, just enough to make things muddy, damp and messy. So we opted to settle in here for a week and enjoy ourselves a little bit. 
 
I've talked to dad a few times, like the Bayfield Bunch, they are getting good weather although they did manage a couple of inches of fresh snow in the past day or so.  Riley and I have managed to do a number of errands, with a couple more in the works before we head out on Monday morning. 
 
Since we don't plan on anything exciting, I wouldn't expect many or maybe even any posts before we pull out. 
 
An email from the BLM/Empire Ranch reached me a few days ago, once again the apologizes were coming fast and furious and loud and clear. It seems they will be checking further into the problem and ensuring in the future all requirements are met by anyone applying and receiving a permit.  
 
I've been reading posts every morning but I usually do it on my iPad and I can't comment using that device, so I haven't been saying much to anyone. We all know some days we have nothing to say in a post or a comment. I've been finding myself in that situation for a while now.
 
Thanks for stopping by.
 
Until next time... take care, be safe, 
 
Deb

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rainy day...




Our Location: Empire Ranch, Vail, AZ
 
A very quiet few days, some wind, some errands and today we are having rain. We've been enjoying the quiet, except the wind is never quiet however perhaps it's the angle at which we are parked but we've had very little trouble with the slide toppers. As we are in among some rolling hills the wind sounds very interesting through the grass and the trees here. A lonesome sound, I think would describe it well. It is neither friend nor foe, it is neither welcoming nor off putting, it simply is. 
 

 


 


 




 

Sunset last night, Saturday, March 7. Sorry, they aren't a bit more clear but it gives you the idea. Fish & Game folks were tented beside us for a few days, trapping and tagging prairie dogs, and this morning the only car (front wheel drive of course) was stuck in the mud, due to the rain we are getting. It took some doing but eventually they have all left now. 

Tomorrow is moving day and it's only a short move, so we are in no hurry to pack up which is good thing as with the rain, the entire area is just slick mud. Rain is to end early afternoon today and hopefully it clears up later before the sun goes down. Tomorrow will be a sunny day. 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you all are doing well. 

Until next time... take care, be safe, 

Deb

Thursday, March 5, 2020

A very personal post....




Our Location: Empire Ranch, Vail, Arizona

This post is a very personal post for me. As a widow I've had to learn to do a great many things on my own, and have no partner to rely on for those things that couples take for granted. Things other women and men don't actually think about. Most men are much more mechanically inclined than women, they have been around motors, electrical, building stuff for most of their lives, older men will not often talk to a single woman, but will talk to men while taking a whizz at a urinal. Women are often taken advantage of when dealing with any kind of mechanical problem, or trades people, some see it as a license to steal by changing parts that don't need to changed or just saying they changed them, charging more than they normally would and simply being thieves and pricks.  As the mother of a daughter that while doing very well is still very much in need of positive experiences in her life to keep her building the confidence and self esteem she’s gained in the last few years of our travels I find today be a difficult day.

Some dark skies out there in the distance. 

Bullies. We’ve all met some, known some and experienced some. I’m always amazed at how they feel so superior and yet are really very small people, not necessarily in stature and physical presences but in ‘class’ and ‘moral’ being. Friendly folks are out there too of course and they make a lasting impression as well but in a very different way.


 Snow on that mountain peak is a bit more than it was a few days ago.
 A closer view.
 
A very nice young ranger came by today and was very apologetic of the treatment we’ve received while in our designated parking area. He offered to help us find a new spot and to even lead us to a new spot (since we were already hooked up). He explained to all present that we had every right to be in the spot, to stay the limit of 14 days and that no one could make us move, not even him. He also explained to everyone present that he wasn’t here to move us. He was very shocked when he learned not a single person, or ranger had knocked on our door to explain the international hunt soon taking place. Except for an old man that told us we had leave a week ago, not soul has spoken with us regarding the upcoming hunt. Not the hunt of last Saturday, this is a different hunt. Last Saturday was a practice run. When the ranger asked me “No one came by to talk to you?” I explained about the old man of a week ago and told him, no one else, not a single soul had stopped to chat. I could see him eyeing up the bird hunter that had called him and the Ranger didn’t appear to be even a little impressed. He was also shocked that the ranger who had come by yesterday didn’t stop to talk to us. It was the purpose of his visit, to move the folks out of the designated camping area because a permit has been issued some time ago for use of that site by the up coming event. At this point I left them all with a few words that I doubt will make any impression on them except maybe the ranger. I told them if they had come and knocked on the door and nicely explained the situation of international hunt, permits in hand, and asked us to consider moving for many reasons that we would have happily moved. Organizers or rangers would have been a far more legitimate representative than some old man what jumps out of his car and the first words out of his mouth is that we HAVE TO MOVE or some old fella in a truck that hollers out the window each time he drives past. After all you get more bees with honey than you do with sh*t. At this point I just walked away.  Truly if Riley wasn't travelling with me I would have stayed in the spot based on principle and because I dislike being bullied. I believe the movie would be called Grumpy Old Men meets Canadian Bitch.  The Ranger was not impressed with the entire handling of this issue, he apologized again as I was walking away. 


Our new view out the door.

Our new view out the window.

While we are still on the ranch we are closer to Sierra Vista and the spot we are in while not our first choice is a good one. A bit rough in places to get to but nothing too bad. 





 Tom, Deb and & Riley. 

Deb, Tom, my selfies all had a shadow of my arm right across my face. Hahaha

Yesterday we had our last visit with Tom & Deb for a while and we look forward to seeing them in the future when our paths cross again. It was a wonderful visit, sitting outside in the sun and enjoying the company. We wish these special folks well on their future travels and adventures and we’ll see you on down the road.


The photo is not crooked, it's the hills that slant.  

A call to my dad this morning to tell him of our once again spotty cell service and not to worry if he can't reach us but so far it seems to be doing well. Hopefully it continues. We have 3 bars, drops to 1, climbs to 4, drops to 1. Haha…you know how it goes. 


 Still windy but not flapping the toppers for some reason. Maybe the angle we're at, I'm not sure.
 
So as I said this post is a personal post, I’m NOT looking for sympathy, OR agreement or any such thing. I'm sure there are many different reactions out there and we each have an opinion and we are all entitled to our opinions. I welcome your comments on each and every blog post but on this post I will not be answering any comments. My temper is short and my tongue is sharp and it's just better for me to be silent no matter how kind your words may be. This is a post  for my own future reference. It is to remind me of how far we have both come and how much we both enjoy the wide open spaces that we seek and yet the joy we have sharing those same spaces with the folks that touch us in such a positive way, folks we call friends. You see it is not that we don’t like neighbours, because we do enjoy folks around us, but NOT the type that makes my daughter feel too nervous to be comfortable in our home or our yard, or too intimidated to even remain in our home while I’m away. Those neighbours we can do without and those neighbours we don’t want. The bullies, I feel sorry for them because they too narrow minded, self centered, egotistical and arrogant  to know they are truly missing out on a great deal of life’s wonder and I guess if scaring the hell out of someone that is easily intimidated makes them big people they must be giants in their own minds. In my world they are simply sad, pathetic people living sad, pathetic lives. I’m happy we moved. 

Until next time.. take care, be safe,

Deb