Adventure

Total Chaos

I don’t even know where to start! So much has happened over the last month.

I have photos of the drive from Louisiana to Washington… (sneak peak)…which which Don and I haven’t even LOOKED at yet. LOL Seriously. Life is such total chaos right now.

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moving

He drove the U-Haul and towed our van (Rosie) and I followed behind in our little truck (parked behind the van). We have since traded the truck for a larger, used truck and a Subaru. So many freaking changes, lol!

We’ve been out riding our dirt bikes a few times with friends.

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He’s got a new bike that doesn’t match mine anymore. 😦 It’s got more power and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

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The weather has been amazing since we’ve been back. We’ve been trying to take full advantage before it changes.

We’ve been out sailing with new co-workers.

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I haven’t been writing.
I haven’t been reading.
We haven’t been watching much TV or movies – although we did watch the entire Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. OMGosh. Now we have to wait SO LONG for the next season, I’m sure. LOL

So, just letting you all know we’re still here. I’m still hoping to be making more frequent appearances and getting back to our normal routine. It just seems like getting back to ‘normal’ sure takes a L O N G time. I hope you all hang in there with me. 🙂 I hope to make sense of it all soon and be back more regularly.

Cheers!

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
~ Alan Watts

Missions Accomplished

Well, we did it. We flew the boys up to Washington State and they are in good hands with family until we finish wrapping up our move from Louisiana.

It was a long day of travel for all of us but we made it with no unfortunate incidents.

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I was terribly worried about the process of going through security at the airport. I was prepared for them to ask us to remove the boys from their carriers but I was so nervous about how it would actually go. Leading up to the trip, I talked our travel plans over extensively with our vet and she gave us Acepromazine to help calm the boys during the long day. We gave the boys their first dose at the house before starting the 3 hour trip to the airport. By the time we reached the security checkpoint, they were groggy and docile and, thankfully, the Houston airport has private screening rooms which are completed enclosed, not just curtained areas. Both boys (one at a time) stayed quietly in my arms while their carriers were scanned through the x-ray machines. And for me, knowing that we were in an enclosed area where I wouldn’t lose them if they fought me was a huge relief. 

Once we got through that hurdle we had hours to wait for our plane. Shortly before boarding we gave the boys another dose of Ace. (The vet recommended every 4-6 hours.) We got on and settled fairly easily. We had upgraded our seats to Economy Plus that morning for a little extra room for us all and boy am I glad we did. We flew back sans kitties to Louisiana this week in Economy and the difference in space was significant. I think we would have had a massively difficult time maneuvering the carriers under the seats in Economy. Economy Plus was definitely the way to go, and might be our choice for all future traveling.

We were delayed almost an hour before take-off for a ‘maintenance issue’ and then the flight was 5 hours long, so about an hour before landing the boys started to wake up. They were starting to meow and scratch at their carriers in protest. I took each in turns to the bathroom and gave them one more dose of Ace which carried them through the rest of the flight, waiting for baggage, and then the drive to Don’s parents’ house.

Finally after about 12 full hours, we were DONE. No potty accidents. No lost kitties. What a relief.

Mission 1: Accomplished.

We were with the boys for a full week in their temporary home. They were a little uncertain at first but settled in fairly quickly.

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Olli kept his distance for the first day. His ‘stranger-danger’ sense was on high alert but eventually he came out to investigate the surroundings.

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He even remembered those strangers whom he had seen at his house a year or two before.

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Milo, ever adventurous, wanted to explore the outside.

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We allowed a few supervised visits. And even one unsupervised until he escaped the backyard and was found looking guilty on the FRONT porch.

Olli is not the adventuring type but he came out to sniff the surroundings. Just a little.

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Milo found a perfect lounging area, just his size.

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Of course, Olli stole it.

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Wait a minute, something isn’t right in this picture! 😛

With so many snuggle spots and a house twice the size of our apartment, the boys probably hardly notice that we are gone!

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But I MISS MY KITTIES!!! Thanks to the benefits of technology, I get photos every day or so by text. Thanks Jean! 😉

Mission 2 was also accomplished – we found a house! Cross your fingers folks. We close June 2nd if all goes well. It all feels very unreal and exciting at the same time.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.
~ Proverb

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New Adventures Ahead

It’s that time again – transfer season. Our time with Station Lake Charles is nearing its end and we will soon be moving and starting fresh somewhere new. If only we knew where! We’ve been waiting for the official news for over a month. The suspense is dreadful. Are we going to go back to the NW? To the East Coast? Will we stay in the Gulf Coast Region? Maybe today will be the day. (This has been our mantra, every day for the last couple of weeks.)

We’ve had some good times in Lake Charles but we are ready to make the transition to the next adventure. Four years in one place has been hard for our rambling spirits that look forward to the variety and opportunity that comes with moving every few years. This was the longest stretch we had in one place and our feet are itchy to get moving again.

We are on pins and needles to hear where the next landing point will be so that we can start making plans. We’ve discussed so many possibilities over the last month that our heads are spinning with ideas from living in military housing (which would be a first for us), to renting a small apartment for one year to save money and to give us time to search the area to buy a house for the first time, to building our own house even. (Don likes to dream BIG.)

Despite our eagerness to make a change, we will be saying goodbye to many good friends and to many experiences and opportunities that this area has offered. For me, I will always remember Lake Charles as the place where I learned how to ride a motorcycle! I’ve been intimidated by motorcycles my whole life. I loved being a passenger with others: my dad, boyfriends growing up, and with Don over the years. But I never imagined I’d have the courage to ride alone. Our frequent trail riding trips have been a blast and I hope that wherever we move we will still have nearby options for riding off-road. Living ten minutes from a local gun range has also afforded us ample opportunity to go out for a day of target shooting, skeet shooting, or pistol practice. Hardly a week goes by without a trip to the range. It is something I know we will miss. I dearly hope we live near a range again or live near forest land or wilderness that is open to outdoor shooting. Don has been privileged to join some great hunting trips and we’ve enjoyed trips together to New Orleans and southwestern Texas. We’ve even done some fun things with the local community like the Beast Feast and the Color Run. Lots of great memories.

As for the people…so many of you have opened your homes and hearts to us, given us opportunities, and shared your Cajun culture with us during our time here. You’ve stamped our lives with the blessing of your friendship and we will carry the memories and experiences with us always. (Sorry to sound so sappy; we aren’t leaving yet!) I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and that we have enjoyed our time with you in this corner of the world. We’ll make a few more memories before we go. 😉

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
~ Leo Buscaglia

Happy Trails

We went trail riding at Camp Claiborne again this last weekend.

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We got a little muddy.

The weather was outstanding! It was warm but not hot. (No mosquitoes yet because it’s still too early in the year. Bonus!)

This trip we put the GoPro on my helmet and, in my opinion, the video is much more entertaining! I caught Don jumping a couple of times and executing a great little turn around trick that I’m definitely not ready to try yet.

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A still shot from the video.

You can see the jump in action here. He jumps a second time too; it’s a little hard to see because he’s farther ahead that time.

 

Here’s his turnaround trick…

Probably looks like nothing to an experienced rider. If I tried that at this point, I’d end up on my face for sure.

The day couldn’t have been better. Well, it would have been nice if I hadn’t gone down on my bike, but at least it wasn’t a major mishap. 🙂 The trails were muddy that day. We were constantly navigating around puddles and shifting between wet and dry ground. During one seemingly dry stretch, my front tire washed-out in a slippery spot and I just went down. One second I was on the bike, the next I was on the ground, a little banged up and startled, but otherwise injury-free.


(That darn bike is heavy!)

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Don, “You ok?” Me, “Yep.”

Don also took us off-trail, as usual, because sometimes there’s just something you have to check out off-trail. LOL We found a spot with a mighty big hill that, of course, doesn’t look that big at all in the video, but I’m telling you, it was BIG! And I didn’t weenie out about going up and over, and back again.

I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.
~ Leonard Nimoy

Exploring the Camp Claiborne Multi-Use Trail

During our long holiday break we enjoyed a couple of days trailing riding at new spot we found – Camp Claiborne, in Forest Hill, Louisiana. It’s closer than any of the other trails we’ve been to before (who knew?!) and the trails seem to be well maintained. At least, most of what we explored was well maintained. There are three loops of trail marked for multi-use.

  • North Loop – 32 miles
  • Boy Scout Single Track Loop – 30 miles
  • Woodworth Loop – 20 miles

We got a late start the first day we went up.

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We didn’t make it on the trail until around 3:30 pm which is partly why the above shot is so grey but it was also just a very cloudy day. Since sunset would be coming around 5 pm, we decided to try the Woodworth Loop, hoping we could cover 20 miles before dark. No such luck. Thank goodness our bikes are on and off-road legal. We covered 10 miles, came to a road crossing and checked the time. It was already 5 pm and clearly getting dark fast. We took the road back to the trail head in minutes and headed home for the day.

The next day we went we made an effort to be early so we could have plenty of time to cover the entire trail of Woodworth. There is an area, called the Clay Pit, near the trailhead that we explored first, with berms, whoops, and climbing hills.

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These are definitely more Don’s speed than mine.

Now, don’t laugh too hard at my expense in this clip; I’m still a newbie and this since this area was right at the beginning of the ride, I was going a bit slow and taking things tentatively. Don seemed to think this area was a good warm up area. I told him it’s not MY kind of warm up. It takes me 20-30 minutes to warm up to that level! LOL

Once I get my groove on though, I’m not so bad. 🙂

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It took us a little over 3 hours to cover all 20 miles of the Woodworth trail. For the first 10 miles, the trail is wide, smooth, well maintained, and consists of lots of tight corners and berms. It narrows down for the second half. There are a lot more trees, roots, debris on the trail (which could have been from heavy winds the day before), and ruts. Generally, the second half of the trail was more technical than the first half. Both fun for different reasons.

All in all, it was a good day. The sky was clear, the sun was out, and even though it was chilly enough to need to bundle up in 3 layers, including my old snowboarding jacket, it was a beautiful day and a great ride.

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Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
~ John Ruskin 

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