Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

In keeping with the tradition we started last year, we went camping for Christmas at Tomoka State Park. Unlike last year when Cupid broke her leg, this year was fairly uneventful. We brought my sister's power kite and her new kite buggy with the intention of taking them out on the beach. But we never made it out there. Instead we spent the majority of the trip at our campsite playing with my new ipod touch. The campground was very nice and we will definately be going back there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anastasia (2)

This was our 2nd year attending the trailer gathering at Anastasia. Last year we were very new to camping and a little rattled and nervous but this year we had a blast. We headed out Fri. afternoon and got to the park just before dark. Hector and Mike set up the tent while my sister and I set up the trailer and the EZ up. After we ate dinner, we played cards for a while and then went to bed. In the morning, my sister and I took all 5 dogs for a very long walk while Mike and Hector slept in (just like we planned). When we got back, the dogs were exhausted and the guys were ready to get up for breakfast. Then we headed over to the farmer's market that is right beside the campground. By the afternoon, the wind had picked up enough to go fly my sister's power kite on the beach. It couldn't have been more perfect. The wind was whipping and the beach was pretty much empty. We stayed out there for several hours taking turns flying the kite. We were so excited about flying the kite that we didn't bring any food or water with us to the beach so we had to leave and get back to our campsite. We ate and played cards for a little while. Then it was time to go to the pot luck dinner for the trailer forum people. We saw a lot of people that we knew and also met some people that were new to the forum. After we finished with dinner, we went to the outdoor theater next to the campground and watched a free movie. It was pretty late when the movie was over so we called it a night. In the morning, my sister and I walked all the dogs again. Then we had breakfast then packed up and headed home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rainbow River

We arrived at the campground in Dunnellon late Fri. afternoon. We took the dogs for a short walk, ate dinner, watched a movie and then went to bed. In the morning, we took the dogs for another walk which Cupid and Stevie weren't able to complete on their own due to the heat. First Cupid and then Stevie a few minutes later, both decided to just stop walking and lay down on the ground. I had to carry both of them back to the trailer. Then we headed off to rent the tubes and take the trip down the river. This float was only an hour and a half long which was a little short but we had a great time taking pictures and making a really goofy video. We got done with the float right in the middle of the heat of the day so the only thing we could do was stay inside the trailer and play cards. One of my sister's high school friends who lives in the area stopped by with his girlfriend to see use. After they left, we went over and had smores with the people in the site next to us. The was a great trip. The campground was really clean and well kept and we met a lot of nice people.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silver River

My sister just bought a kayak but I don't have one. My dad and his wife each own one and they also own an extra one. So we invited them to meet us at Silver River State Park in Ocala. We left for the park Friday after work. We got to the park just before dark and set up. The park was beautiful...almost as nice as Anastasia. The sites were crushed gravel, well spaced and private and the bathroom looked brand new. We were too tired to take the dogs for a walk so we let them all out of their crates at the same time to decompress in the trailer. Due to the limited amount of space, we usually only let them out one at a time but they were very well behaved and it seemed to do the trick in calming them down so we could go to sleep. In the morning, we took them for a long walk then put them in the trailer and headed off to the river. For whatever reason, no one in this area seemed to have any information about the river. No one had a map of the river and no one could tell us a good place to get on and off of the river. We ended up taking a 16 mile, 7 hour long trip...not what we had in mind. The river was very pretty and we got to catch a glimpse of the monkeys that live along the riverbank. We got back to our campsite, ate dinner and went to bed. In the morning, we took the dogs for a short walk then packed up and headed home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ichetucknee Springs

Summer time in Florida is pretty miserable so we were going to wait for cooler weather before taking any more trips. But my sister had a great idea to go tubing down the Ichetuchnee River. We have been there before so we knew you need to go when it's really hot because the water is ice cold. Mike and Johnson joined us again. This was our first time staying in a private campground. The grounds were very nice and well kept. However, the bathroom facilities were totally inadequate for the amount of people staying there. We got to the campground around 9 on Thursday night and got up the next morning and headed for the river. There was a place to rent the tubes right inside the campground. We took the longest tube trip they had which was about 4 hours. We got back to the campground around 3 and made some ice cream. When we got up the next morning, it was extremly hot and sticky with lots of bugs buzzing around. So we quickly ate breakfast and packed up and headed home. My sister had gotten a waterproof film camera for the trip. We took lots of picture while we were on the river. Unfortunately, when she tried to get the film developed, the idiot at the drug store opened the camera and exposed the entire roll of film.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Highlands Hammock...........SUCKS!

OMG, this place was so stank! Up until now, all of the state parks we have stayed in have been so nice. But not this place. The campsites in this park are terrible. The sites are all jumbled up and crammed together...going every which way. You can't tell where one site ends and the next one beings. There is no vegetation in between any of the sites. So no privacy at all. The bathroom was old and run down and the showers were a joke. But somehow we still managed to have a pretty good time.
Mike and his dog Johnson joined us for this trip. We left on Saturday and got to Sebring early afternoon. Luckily, Mike was the one driving so getting into that disaster of a campsite was not a problem. After assessing our surrounding (screaming kids everywhere, large Spanish church group next to us singing and holding services) we decided that maybe some alcoholic beverages might be in order. This is something that I have not done in at least 10 years but the situation seemed to call for it. The alcohol made our card game very entertaining and made us forget about how awful the park was. In the morning, we took our typical long walk with the dogs. We wanted to take the tram tour through the park but because it was a holiday weekend, the tram was sold out. So we took a little afternoon nap and then spent the rest of the evening playing cards. In the morning, we took another short walk, had lunch, then packed up and headed home.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trailer Travel Stats

Since our first trip in October 2008, stats are as follows:

Miles Traveled: 3,080
Nights Slept In: 17
Trips Taken: 6
States Traveled To: Alabama, Georgia

Pretty good for a trailer that I wasn't sure would ever leave the garage!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Georgia Mountain Wash Out

The main purpose of this trip for me was to see my high school friend Andy (aka Scott Dorsey). So from that perspective, the trip was a success. I did get to spend time with him and we had lots of laughs and fun together. He even got in the Powder Puff spirit and bought a pink shirt for the trip. However, the weather for this trip was awful! It rained every day and every night that we were there.
My sister and I headed out after work on Wednesday. We drove about 2 1/2 hours and stayed the night at Stephen Foster SP in North Florida. The next morning, we got on the road around 8 and arrived at Vogel SP around 4. We picked a campsite, got set up and had dinner. Andy got to the park around 7pm. We got his tent set up then took the dogs for a walk then spent the rest of the evening playing a game that he brought with him. The next morning, we set out to explore the park. Not long into our walk, it started raining. We stopped at the visitor's center and sat around waiting for it to stop raining. It cleared up long enough for us to make it to the waterfall inside the park. After having lunch at our campsite we went to a gem stone store not far from the park. The lady working in the store suggested that we go to Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega and take the mine tour. That place was great! It's an underground tour of a gold mine from the 1800's. Before the tour, they show you how to pan for gold. Since it was still looking like it was going to rain, we didn't do anymore site seeing that day. The next day, we took our morning walk and then we went to the Alpine Village of Helen. We walked around looking at all the shops then had lunch outside at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful river. Once again, the rain started and we had to call it a day. On our last day there, we woke up to yet another rainy morning. We spent the morning searching for something that could be done inside but found nothing. We decided to bring the umbrellas and make an attempt to see some of the area waterfalls...ones that were located not far from the roads. After a very dicey, muddy drive down a dirt road, we made it to see Helton Creek Falls. It was well worth the scary drive to see it. It was a 2 tier fall with the lower fall being completely accessible. We were able to walk out and stand directly at the bottom of the fall and feel the force of the water coming down. Next, we saw Anna Ruby Falls which was about 5 times the size of Helton and absolutely spectacular. We were supposed to spend another night at Vogel and head out in the morning but all of us were ready to leave the nasty weather and get home. So we had a quick dinner at the campsite and left the park around 4pm. Andy drove straight through and got to Virginia some time in the wee hours of Monday morning. My sister and I drove about 3 hours and stayed the night at a KOA then completed the rest of the drive in the morning.
The weather was terrible but the company was oh so entertaining. Thanks Andy, for being such a good sport...the pink shirt meant a lot to me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Powder Puff Crosses State Line

Wow, 4 locations in 5 days. This was an action packed trip. We left on Friday morning headed to my Uncle's house in Elberta Alabama which is close to Pensacola. In order to break up the drive, we stopped at Falling Waters SP and took a short hike with the dogs. The waterfall was worth seeing, however, it was a far cry from the pictures in the brochure. We got to my Uncle's house in time for a tour of his workshop and a late dinner. In the morning, we took the dogs for a walk around the property where we encountered a rather large turtle. Xena and Jasmine went completely nuts over it. Xena was barking and snapping at the back end and unfortunately for Jasmine, she got the front end. She stuck her nose up inside his shell and he bit her. She wasn't hurt but she was so angry and frustrated that she started digging a hole in front of him. It was hysterical! We also got a brief look at the neighbors goats but that was just too much for Stevie. He got really upset and we had to get away from them before he had a total melt down. Next, we headed off to a nearby flea market with lots of yard sale stops on the way. We would have loved to spend the rest of the day hitting more yard sales but after eating lunch, it was time to get to our next destination, Chatom AL. We arrived at my Grandpa's house in time for another late dinner and some visiting with an Aunt and Uncle that came over to see us. In the morning, we gave my Grandpa and his wife the tour of the trailer. Then we sat down and gave them the long version of how we built the trailer. My Grandpa really seemed to enjoy the story. After that, we got the dogs and he walked with us around his little pine tree forest across the road. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking and listening to him tell stories. The next morning, we got back on the road for our last stop, Florida Caverns SP. We made it to the park just in time for the last cave tour of the day. After the tour, we ate dinner, watched a dvd and went to bed. In the morning, we took all the dogs (including Cupid, in the stroller) and set out to explore the trails in the park. We walked all morning until it got close to check out time and then headed back to the trailer for lunch. Then it was time to face the long drive back home.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Damage Repair

Last weekend, I started sanding the paint off of the bottom edge of the trailer so that I could reapply epoxy to the end grain of the plywood. But it was bothering me that I couldn't figure out how the water got in so I asked for advise on the trailer forum. Someone had a very good theory on what might have happened. The trailer walls are attached directly to the metal frame with screws. Even though both sides of the walls are sealed with epoxy, I broke that seal when I shot the screws through the walls. The theory is that the water came in through the screw holes. When I attached the walls, I should have put silicone or something similar in the holes before putting the screws in. Obviously, it's too late for that now. I have been advised to remove the screws, seal the holes and then replace the screws. While I do totally respect the opinion of the person that gave me this advise, I think that this is a very radical procedure considering there was only a very minor amount of damage. I intend to get under the trailer and use silicone to seal around the screws where they are sticking out from the frame. I will also seal all of the joints where the wood touches the metal. If that doesn't work, then I will proceed with the advise I was given.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Manatee Springs

We arrived at Manatee Springs on Friday around 2:30. We set up the trailer and headed out for our usual dog walk around the campground. When we got back, there were a few people from the trailer forum waiting to get the tour of the Powder Puff. After showing them the trailer, we went over to their campsites to see their trailers. I specifically attended this gathering so that I could see the debut of Steve's Gypsy Caravan. I was not disappointed. His trailer is beautiful, inside and out. After we saw his trailer, we went back to our site and walked the dogs again. Once it got dark, we headed back over to Steve's site and sat around the fire talking until it was time to go to bed. When I stepped out of the trailer in the morning, I saw 3 deer in our campsite just a few feet away from me. I called to my sister to get the camera. She cracked the door open and started taking pictures. We were so mesmerized by the deer that we were not paying attention to Xena who was loose inside the trailer. She peeked her head out and caught site of the deer and shot out of the trailer like a rocket. She was at least a football field away in a matter of seconds. Luckily, she had on her very bright pink harness that I was able to see through the woods and follow behind her. Once she lost site of the deer, she came running right back to me. After she was safe in her crate back in the trailer, we took Jasmine and Cupid with us to get some fresh, hot donuts that a lady from the forum was making. We put Cupid back in the trailer and headed out for a 5 mile hike with Jasmine, Xena and Stevie. Stevie made it 4 miles and then stopped in the middle of the trail and sat down and refused to get up. I had to carry him the last mile. It was mid afternoon when we got back from our hike. After we took turns taking showers, it started pouring rain. It rained for about 2 hours and stopped just in time for us to make it to the pot luck dinner. When dinner was over, we went back over to Steve's campsite where we enjoyed some live music courtesy of some talented people from the forum. Sunday morning, we took a short walk with all of the dogs and then headed home. This was our best trip yet. It was so much fun. We met some great people and we are hoping to camp with them again.

First Damage Report
It seems that the trailer didn't do so well with the rain this time. Along the bottom edge of both sides of the trailer there is evidence of water damage. I read many times that water is most likely to get penetrate the wood in the end grain. I felt like I did a good job sealing it but apparently not good enough. I'm not sure what else to do other than sand it down and seal it again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cupid's New Handi-Ride

Since Cupid we probably still have her splint on when we go on our next trip, I got this stroller for her. I will most likely continue to use it even after her leg heals to prevent any future accidents.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alternate Tow Vehicle

We have always used my sister's Jeep to pull the Powder Puff because the Nissan I had did not have enough towing capacity to tow it. But my new truck (2007 Chevy Colorado) has a 4000 lb towing capacity.