Monday, September 28, 2015

I Feel Like A Re-Virginized RV'er about to Hit the Road

Location: Highway 509 RV Park; Mansfield, LA

Today is day 80 since Brandon's stroke. He is still going to Physical/Occupational Therapy 3 days a week for 2 hours per day. The doctor says he will need at least another couple months of re-hab which indicates that he believes there is potentially more improvement available. He still walks with a limp and probably always will, but the good news is he is walking. That is a big thing for stroke survivors. He can turn a door knob with his right hand and can raise his arm over his head. There are some residual effects with his arm/hand that will also always be there, but again, he is able to move it and grasp things, which is wonderful. We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers which have been personally felt by us. The outpouring of sympathy and understanding from people that never met Brandon helped a lot. Thanks Ya'll. 
Brandon with the Red River behind him. Taken while we were riding around the other day. 

I will be hitting the road for a few weeks on October 4th. My plan is to roughly follow the Red River to its headwaters near the Texas/New Mexico border. The trip should highlight the difference between the "piney hills" of northwest Louisiana, the grasslands of northern Texas and the semi-desert of northwest Texas. My return trip will circle down to the Gulf coast and on to south Louisiana before returning to this area sometime in mid to late November. The route should keep me within 2 days travel time from here, if I'm needed. As usual, I will be moving campgrounds about every 3 to 4 days.

I began planning the trip a couple days ago and the excitement of hitting the road again has been building. I've been running through mental checklists for everything from stowing loose things to hitching/unhitching. I feel like a newbie all over again. I hope I don't drop the trailer on the truck, :). When I was traveling, I could pack up and be rolling in less than an hour, now it will take me several days. I've rearranged a few things and gotten rid of some others that I haven't needed. I have some maintenance to do on Liberty such as replacing the anode rod in the water heater and lubricating everything that needs it. I've thought about washing her so she looks good rolling down the road, but I probably won't, :). The main thing is to have a clean windshield in Freedom so I can take plenty of traveling pics. It will be good to be hitched up and rolling again.  

To Ford F250 owners: The problems with the wiring harness connection in Freedom seems to have been solved. I disconnected it from the parking brake assembly and have it suspended with a couple wire ties. She has been starting regularly for the last few weeks and my confidence in her is high (about 90%).   
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Don't Wait Too Long

Location: Highway 509 RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana

Don't wait too long. 
How many times have we heard that advice, but we just keep on, keeping on. I heeded that advice back on April 11, 2014 when I retired and hit the road to see what I could see. There had been reminders from my friends who died early and without warning or got incapacitated before they were able to do some things they had planned to do. Some had talked and planned for decades and was simply waiting for the day to arrive. Something else arrived instead and their dreams and plans were suddenly changed. That something else was different for each of them, but the common thing was the change in their life. Some had postponed their dreams in search of a little more money in retirement by working "just one more year" or waiting for a loan to be paid off. Whatever the reason, and there were many that made a lot of sense at the time, it delayed their plans. We all make decisions based on the best information and feeling that we have at the time. But we also must live with the consequences of our decisions. 

The sad thing is that we never know if we waited too long, until we have actually waited too long.

It was a year ago this week that I was visiting the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River. That is Lake Itasca in the background with the beginning of the Mississippi River in the lower right. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.