Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good to be home

It really is good to be home but now my feet are getting itchy again and I want to travel - with the price of gas that is not very feasible so will add a bit to this blog and a photo of one of the horses who travelled back to California - she is so large that Makeetah stood up on her hind legs and licked the top of Allie's leg - nowhere near her shoulder!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A few highlights...

After looking everywhere - while we drove, for wildlife - and seeing none, a young and very thin coyote ran in front of my truck. Me, being the ever conscious and careful driver, slammed on the brakes of this heavily laden truck. I am just lucky it did not even fishtail!! The coyote ran looking across his shoulder at me - as if to say - nope, not ready to die just yet. I know there are folks who do not like coyotes, but I happen to like them, and this one reminded me of a little jackal from South Africa. I am glad he crossed the freeway safely (and that I did not kill myself slamming on the brakes).

At one stop in Arizona the red rock was carved by the eons into beautiful waves and jutting pointed edges. Atop the flattish parts were life sized animals, anchored with cables, to the rocks - it was quite impressive and I shall insert some photos here at some point. The animals made it all so appropriate for some reason.

I looked through all the damp states for a cardinal. Not one was to be seen by me. I am sure they knew I was coming and they all hid. There are just a few wild creatures I really want to see in the wild: a mountain lion; a bear; a wolf and a cardinal. My list used to have a moose but then in Idaho I saw a moose cow from about three miles away so I guess that one no longer counts as needing to be seen.

The motels we stayed in were expensive (I guess the days of a Motel Six actually charging six dollars per night is something that is now read only in the history books). However, some of the motels wanted ethernet cables to use their internet, or they wanted $2.99 to log on for 24 hours. Thus, we did not keep up with the blog.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A long story shortened

We did leave NC on Wednesday at about noon-ish. The truck handled like a pig - for want of a better description - and I happen to like pigs. I drove the huge - heavily laden Penske truck with Makeetah riding shotgun, and Caren drove the Tahoe with three of the dogs for company. I could no more pass a slower vehicle than I could fly and it was very frustrating to have a vehicle with absolutely no oomph - it was not till the next day when I asked Tabitha about it that we found out it had a governor on it - if only I had know how to disconnect it, but alas, I am mechanically challenged.

Our first night out, we landed up in Forrest City, Arkansas, and crawled into bed around midnight after feeding and walking the dogs. Up early - well Caren was - I slept till she lit the bomb that wakes me up - I am a very heavy sleeper and I am not a morning person unless a horse is waiting saddled at the door for me.

Thursday was almost uneventful until a semi blew a tyre right in front of me - I thought Makeetah was going to go through the roof - bits of tyre and metal showered the front of the Penske. I have been told that the force of those tyres blowing can decapitate a motorbike rider!!

We quickly remembered our out-of-California- driving manners. Approach an on-ramp and you merge over before you reach the ramp - it was quite a shock arriving back in CA and nearly killing ourselves trying to do the same courtesy driving - does not work here!!

Onward west we drove and our second night was spent in Amarillo, Texas. I had so hoped to be able to connect with Roy Hughes and Bonney Williams, but we just could not get there. We were filling the Penske three times a day at about $150 each tank. The Tahoe took somewhat less as the tank was not as large. The driving was hard as we really wanted to get back to CA.

At one point at a gas stop the one Dobe slipped his collar - my worst nightmare!! We were fortunate in that, after circling around us - he did not know us from Adam - he came back to be with his sister and the other dogs. It was at this stop that Makeetah must have picked up something to eat and was sick for the next two days - throwing up in the truck, at the hotel, on the seat - poor dog was miserable - so was I, cleaning it all up!

It was hot, hot and still hot. The truck was too noisy to have the radio on and the Ipod full of my favourite music was useless due to the same engine/diesel noise. Luckily I was driving alone as I sang to Makeetah a lot. We all kept in touch by phone so we at least did not go too crazy with no one to talk to.

Tabitha had left with the horses and the second truck a few hours after we had been on the road. She drove much slower so ended up being about four days behind us.

More later....