Thursday, May 20, 2010

Earthly Treasures ...

As a full-time Rver, my earthly treasures are not many. I remember when I left college and moved into an apartment. I packed everything I owned into my car. A few years later it took half a semi to move my treasures. Moving from a 4 bedroom house to a 36' motorhome was a daunting challenge to say the least. I know this rig had to be over it's weight limit when I first started. But gradually I learned that I didn't need near as much as I thought I did. I left a trail of unnecessary items at dumpsters for others to take all across the US and Canada. Now, I even have empty and half full bins. What I do have, I use.

A few of my belongings were functional yet, sentimental. When my rig was broken into last month in Oklahoma City they got my 'functional yet sentimental' stuff. People say to be grateful more wasn't taken and your rig wasn't majorly damaged, which I am, but I would still trade everything else for those sentimental items. I think the fewer sentimental items you have maybe the harder it is to lose them .. then again maybe not. Maybe if you had a 100 items and lost 2 it would still suck just the same. I've thought about folks that are homeless and have to carry all their earthy treasures in a bag. About folks that have been hit by tornadoes, fire or by hurricanes and lost everything and I can hardly even imagine what they feel. It seems no matter how much or how little we have or how hard we try not to get attached to 'things', we just do and though they are 'just things' it still sucks to lose them!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bovine Adventures: Into the Pasture of Death

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward into Pasture of Death, City girl and Dog walked onward. Cows to the left of them, Cows to the right, Cows behind them .. mooed and 'thundered'. Dodging the cow pies of death, avoiding the drool from the hell, ... okay so it's 'somewhat' how I remember Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade". As Dog and I attempted yet again to dodge the hooved behemoth's to climb the ridge behind us, I was feeling Tennyson the whole way.

Dog & I have a ritual at this park. We stay here every year and several times a week we climb to the top of the ridge behind the park and enjoy the vast views of two mountain ranges. Great views and good exercise for me and Dog.

This year we arrive to find that our Rancher RV park owner has allowed a herd of cattle to graze in his fields. Fields we have to walk through to get to the ridge! Now City girl that I am, I don't know too much about cattle 'cept they are smelly, drooly, messy and BIG. Frankly, I am a little afraid of them. They know this! I know they know because they have been 'guarding' THE gate I need to get through to get to the ridge ... by standing in the gate opening just daring me and Dog to pass. We did get chased the other day after Dog decided to 'play' (cough .. chase. ) a couple of calves. So today, I am prepared. Shock collar on Dog, I am ready to watch the doggy do back flips instead of being chased. I wannnnt to make it to the ridge.

Only one cow is in the pasture today and of course it is guarding the gate. We approach slowly and I tell Dog to stay close. T-Bone backs off and we skirt the fence away from the herd and up the trail.
When we reach the safety of the Juniper's, I turn around to see that part of the herd has now moved through the gate and back into the pasture. Fear rushes through my mind, "Oh crap, I didn't think about getting back!" Dog and I trudge forward, my mind running a thousand miles an hour when I start to notice it is getting a little hard to breath. Man, I am not used to this altitude, I am not sure I _can_ make it to the top of the ridge! Better sit down under this tree and contemplate my options. Dog is happily pawing at lizards in the scrub brush. A hummingbird keeps zipping around her.. wait that hummer is buzzing her!! I think it thinks her bandana is a flower. Back to the cows, .... man this is a nice view here. The mountains are so pretty, exhale .. take a moment .......... oh yeah .. I am suppose to be 'figuring' here. Focus! The cows that went back into the pasture have moved away from the gate and the ones on the range are still a bit away from the gate so this could be a window of opportunity!

I head back down the trail and Dog dutifully follows. As we emerge from the Junipers to the open range a Big Bertha across the way spies us and starts mooing loudly. I watch her and start to angle towards gate. She starts moving and angles toward the gate as well. I pick up my pace and tell Dog to stay with me. Bertha keeps mooing and breaks into a trot. Alas, she beats me to the gate and goes to take a drink just inside the gate. The herd, alerted from her ruckus I'm sure, starts heading towards the gate as well. We take a step through the gate as she drinks and she quickly raises her head and steps toward us. Snot and drool, running down her snoot and off her lip makes my gag reflex kick in. I hear something behind us & turn around to see two baby T-bones in an all out run towards us. I scan our options. I am guessing going over the barbwire would hurt less than being trampled. Dog takes a few steps out towards the oncoming calves and they pull a 'psych' maneuver before they reach us, but there are a few bigs ones coming right behind them. Bertha is still standing her ground. I believe communication is the best problem solver so I decide to try that with Bertha. "Get going, get going, shoo, shoo", I wave my hands at her and the drool continues to drop from her mouth as she chews and stares. I muster my best cow voice, "MOOOooovvveeee!" (Oh yes I did!) Houston, we have contact! Bertha backs up and moves away. Dog and I move quickly through the pasture and through the lower gate. The herd has firmly entrenched their position at the upper gate now and we won't make it the ridge today. We ARE glad to have made it through the Pasture of Death and lived to tell about it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shhhh... Creak, creak, creak..

Ahhh, the sound of the WD40 and the keyboard keys being pressed again after such a longggggg time! It is hard to sit down and write after not doing so for so long, but I intend to get these keys moving again and keep them moving this time!

So let's catch up. I was last speed touring through Capital Reef, Bryce & Zion. I landed in Las Vegas which I may backtrack and write a bit about. Then was off to the Sedona area which I may revisit as well, then back to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas for the winter. And what a cold, rainy, winter it was. You would think with all the nasty weather that I would have had time to write a bit but I did not.

Mom spent a lot of the winter with me. I also managed to get in a few Facebook training classes for the folks at our park and do a presentation on Yellowstone. I had seen a cool presentation on Ecuador that was done with Apple's Keynote software which inspired me to retool my Yellowstone Presentation. I found Keynote to be far superior than Powerpoint in features and ease of use. I think folks liked the presentation as well. Thanks to my friend Tom Sykes for the inspiration to make the change and helping me get started.

I also caught up with fellow Fulltime RVer and Life on the Open Road Blogger, Diana, for the first time when she came to check out the dancing in the Valley. She told me all about the WINS (Wandering Individuals Network), which I have yet to catch up with .. even though they look like they have a great time... One of these days! I appreciate her taking the time to meet with me since I have been following her blog for quite a while. I love her pics and the fact that she gets off the beaten path a bit more than I do.

I made several new friends over the winter and built on relationships from past winters. Spending 4 months in one place with a lot of the same folks each year really is nice. Having Social Networking sites like Facebook helps to keep connected to those relationships throughout the year and I appreciate that. Despite how much I love South Texas and my friends that winter there, I am looking to explore some new stomping grounds out in AZ or CA next year. A big change after 6 season in the same place but hey that's why I live on wheels, right!?

Okay .. I think these keys are starting to loosen up a bit here but the sun is showing itself on these Colorado mountains for the first time in days. I don't want to strain a finger my first day back.. so I better go catch a sun ray while I can.


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