Just Us Guys

Teresa’s been away for just over a week now and we three guys have got on just fine. We miss her, of course, but there’s something about guy time, something … primal maybe.

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She’s kind of like a mother, you know, caring for us, worrying about us—especially me in my senior years with my various health issues and anxieties. I appreciate it, of course I do, and I’m probably still running around because of it, but sometimes it’s nice to just chill.

For example, Teresa will buy an assortment of canned foods to add to my morning kibble to make it more palatable. Tasty, very nice, yes, but Nollind’s system of tossing in a glob of bacon fat works well too. I clean the bowl every day.

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Teresa is inclined to keep me on a leash during walks to keep me from overdoing it, even though I’m not inclined to run after coyotes much anymore. With Nollind, if I’m sore at the end of the day, he tosses me a bit of medication.

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Nollind goes to town more often than Teresa so trips to the dog park are more frequent, even though all that roughhousing can be a bit taxing on my old body.

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And then there’s that bacon fat on my breakfast.

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The biggest concern when Teresa’s away is … well … Nollind. A few years back when she was up visiting her mom in the fall, he jumped off a boat and badly sprained his ankle, bad enough for an ambulance ride and a cast. Last year, when Teresa was up north visiting her mom in October, he fell off a ladder and broke his arm, badly enough to require a plate and screws and months of rehab.

So, since she’s up visiting her mom again, she asked us to keep an eye on him while she’s away, keep him safe. It’s exhausting.

So far, so good, though, and I saw on his calendar that she’s coming home on Monday. If we can just keep him away from ladders and other dangerous places until then. He was sailing on Wednesday and that went okay. Thank God for light winds!

Well, gotta go. Nollind’s headed outside on a mission of some sort. I’m back on duty.

Home on the Range

We’re home! Got here last Sunday after what seemed like weeks on the road. I’m usually a pretty keen traveller but even I didn’t want to get back in the truck the last couple of mornings. It wasn’t really weeks long, just five days with one day of rest in the middle at Salt Lake City. We just didn’t have any of our signature long stops toward the end of the trip and I think we were all getting tired of moving camp.

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Jordan River Parkway near the Salt Lake City KOA.

Logan told you we were going to spend two days in Salt Lake City but it ended up being just one…and a half. With our campsite at the KOA backing onto the Jordan River pathway which led to an off-leash park, I would have been happy to stay for a week. However, on Fur-iday afternoon we set out for Idaho Falls, just a few hours up the road. It was an easy drive but a tough night. We parked at a Walmart and it was the noisiest place we’ve ever camped, and we’ve camped at Walmarts and truck stops before. Even with the little orange things stuffed in her ears, I don’t think T got much sleep that night.

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Jordan River Parkway off-leash and a flying dog!

Early Saturday, groggy from lack of sleep, we were on the road again, through the Rockies, to Great Falls for a shopping stop. There’s a store called North 40 where T likes to shop for the horses on her way home. This year it was temporary posts for the electric fence and dewormer. I think they may have preferred a bag of those apple wafers, but she knows them better than I do.

Less than an hour north of Great Falls we stopped for the night at the Teton River rest area. Terrific spot, lots of space for walking, not too close to the highway. We were the first ones there in the early evening but, by sunset, we had a bunch of RVing neighbours, mostly Albertans headed home from their snowbirding winter.

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Teton River rest area for the night.

I think I was still half asleep when Nollind boosted me into the truck the next morning, the sun barely a glow off to the east. Lucky for me, I can go right back to sleep on my bed in the truck. Logan had been given his pill about an hour before so he was also ready for a nap. It is such a treat to have him sleeping next to me rather than pacing around, sitting on me, and covering me in drool. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the guy when he’s like that, but after six years of being his travelling companion, I`m ready for something different.04-Chico-range-truck-sleeping-1

I wouldn’t mind trying one of Logan`s little travel-better pills, just to see what it feels like. T and Nollind think I’d turn into a puddle, but I`ve got a pretty sturdy constitution. I bet I could pill old Logan right under the table!

It always feels good to come home after months away, especially when the snow is gone and the day is warm. We rolled in around two o’clock and Logan and I immediately went to work chasing the gophers who’ve set up house in our yard. I seem to have picked up a few extra pounds over the winter so I didn’t get any the first day, but by Tuesday I was back on my game and grabbed a big one in the barnyard.04-Chico-range-gopher-1

What do I like best about home? Might be time for another Chico’s Top 10, but I’ll save that for next time and leave you with this song by Alberta’s own Ian Tyson. We travel to a lot of awesome places, but there’s nothing quite like an Alberta sky.

Wounded in Action

Injured on day one of the tour this year. Not a particularly strong start. And not like I was doing something filled with danger or daring. Nope. Just trotting down the steps of the trailer on a cold morning, caught a toenail and tore it nearly off. Did you know that there’s a very sensitive bit of tissue underneath the shell of a dog’s claw? I found out the hard way. They sometimes feel a little tender after a trip to the groomer, but nothing like this. Probably a bit similar to a human having a fingernail torn off. Isn’t that a form of torture?

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That bright pink one is the one without protection

So anyway, with my nail covering sticking up in the air and blood dripping all over, T and Nollind carted me off to the Marias Veterinary Clinic in Shelby, Montana. The vet looked like he had a lot of years of experience, he and his assistant were both wearing Wranglers, the smell of cows was in the air, and I knew I was in good hands. The only problem was, every time he even lightly touched my toe I just couldn’t help but pull it away. So he stuck a needle in it, which also hurt like the dickens, but not for very long. Then I couldn’t feel much of anything in that toe. While T held me and Nollind talked to me, the vet removed the whole nail without me even knowing, disinfected and cauterized it, and I was on my way.

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My bandaged foot

The bandage stayed on for the rest of the day, and I wore one of Logan’s boots when we were outside the truck. After that, it felt pretty good, at least until yesterday when I stepped on it funny and opened it up again. More blood. The vet said I’d have a thin nail covering after about a week. Well, I guess I tore that one and now have to grow another. It’ll be a month before it’s full strength and I heard talk of getting me a boot to wear on that foot especially here in rocky Quartzsite. I guess I could put up with one boot. Put four on me and I can’t move.

It took us three days of travel to get to the southern part of Utah where we stayed in a cute little RV park in a cute little town called Kanarraville. Normally we don’t stay in RV parks much but the solar system in the trailer was acting up so we needed to plug in every night to make sure we’d have heat until morning.

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On the road …

Sunday morning heading out of Kanarraville and dropping down into Hurricane, it felt like we’d arrived. The desert! T took us for a walk around the town while Nollind washed the many miles of road grit off the rig, and then we were on our way to Las Vegas.

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The rig gets a bath in Hurricane

We’ve been to Vegas three times before and always stayed at the Las Vegas RV Resort but this trip they were full, probably because of the big rodeo in town, so we camped over at Arizona Charlie’s. Truth be told, I liked it better. Their dog rules are a little less strict and there’s a wide, grassy boulevard for the morning walk and sniff between the park and the street. And T, a connoisseur of pools and hot tubs, liked the pool area better. I think we’ll be going back.

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Morning walk along Arizona Charlie’s Boulevard

The RV park wasn’t the only change from the norm. We usually visit the big Dog Fanciers park every morning we’re in Vegas, but last trip we picked up some kind of gut bug in that park so T and Nollind opted to take us elsewhere. Too bad, it’s a fun place, but the gut bug wasn’t. Since I couldn’t do a lot of running around anyway, with my toenail still so fresh, they found shorter walks to take us on, one in a nice, new park in Henderson and the other at the Clark County Wetlands Park. Worked for me. I’m pretty happy no matter where they take me walking. There are interesting things to see and smell (and often eat) everywhere we go.

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Heritage Park trails in Henderson, NV

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Fireside at Dome Rock

Yesterday morning we left Las Vegas and drove here to Quartzsite to get the solar system checked at Solar Bill where it was installed a few years ago. Turns out it was one of those mysterious electronic malfunctions and everything is fine. The plus side … it brought us here to Quartzsite where we’re camped at Dome Rock. It’s warm, there’s off-leash time in camp, T & Nollind are around a lot more, and my chair is sitting out in front of the rig. Sounds like good times to me.