Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Brief Stopover At Paynes Prairie

Hi Y'all. We had some SERIOUS fun at Reed Bingham State Park in Georgia. Gary attended the car show in nearby Moultrie, and I relaxed at the campsite, watched TV, enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells that only campers know about. I also became good buddies with a couple of very friendly squirrels that most definitely gained some weight while we were there. They ate up two full bags of peanuts. WOWZA!!! The time flew by quickly as it always does when you're having fun, and our four night stay came to an end. No worries though. That was just the beginning of our trip, and we have now made our way back into Florida and down into our favorite inland Florida State Park, Paynes Prairie Preserve. We come here at least once a year. This will be a brief stay of only two nights. It's our "in-between car shows" layover spot. We will head to Daytona next, but more about that in a future posting. As usual, we are in campsite number 18. It's small, but just right for a little guy like me. They've done some work to the campsites since we were here last. Some fill dirt has been added, the old dead tree stump that served no purpose is gone, and they moved the fire pit from the back of the site to where the dead tree trunk used to be. I do believe this site is even nicer now than it's always been, and I didn't think that was possible. It's REALLY dark here at night, and SUPER quiet. Add that to the nice cool temperatures we are having right now, and it's easy to sleep peacefully through the night. And at $18 per night, it's the best deal that Florida State Parks has to offer. We absolutely LOVE this place. Always have. Gary is out antique shopping today, so while he is gone, I thought I'd catch up on my blog and surprise him when he gets back. It's overcast today, and a bit gloomy looking, but I'm all smiles. Nothing can get me down, especially when I'm doing what I love best. I'm hoping some squirrels come to visit. There weren't many peanuts left after those little porkers in Georgia ate so much, but I have a partial bag in reserve, and I asked Gary to buy some more while he's out. Well, it's time for People's Court, so I'm going to get off this computer and check out what Judge Marilyn has in store for her litigants today. Nice chatting with you all. I'll write again from Daytona.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Back To The Land Of Cotton

Welcome to the latest edition of my blog. I'm coming to you today from Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, Georgia, and I am SO happy to be here. It was touch and go for awhile as to whether or not I would be able to come along on this trip with my buddies Gary and Dodge. As you know, I had frame surgery just two days before we were scheduled to leave home, but I healed quickly and was able to make it. I think the soothing bath that Gary gave me just before we left was the most helpful thing in making me feel better. I hadn't had a bath in MANY months, and I was REALLY disgusting. But, now I'm not ashamed of being seen in public. I didn't get polished, but I still look pretty doggone good, if I do say so myself. Gary also repainted my tongue, painted the bare spots on my frame where the surgery occurred, and re-routed some of my wiring. It was a quick fix-up, but I'm pleased with the results. We had a uneventful journey to get here, and that is often the best kind. We slept for a couple of hours at a rest stop out on I-10 in Florida, then cruised on up into Georgia and into the park mid-morning. We're once again in our favorite campsite here, which is campsite number 1. Squirrels love to hang out in the oak tree that shades me, and you KNOW how much I love squirrels. It sure is great to be camping again. There's nothing like the smell of campfires and the softly filtered sun on my skin. We're here for four nights, and then we move on. Internet connectivity has been an issue so far on this trip, but I'll write when I can. We're having fun. I hope you all are too. Have a good one!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lots To Tell, And So Little Time

FINALLY, it's almost time to start our camping season. As you can probably imagine, I am BEYOND excited. This is what I was put on this Earth to do. There's always a ton of things to be done before we hit the road, and unfortunately, I'm not much help in that department. For Gary, the weeks leading up to our departure time is chaotic to say the least. Basically, it's the storm before the calm. He can finally relax whenever we get to wherever we are going, but there's always a bunch of VERY long days to get through first. This year, a few things cropped up with me that don't normally need attention. My tongue jack broke during our final camping trip last spring, so that needed to be replaced. Gary decided to tackle the job of replacing it himself. With the aid of a reciprocating saw and an angle grinder, he removed the old jack. It was surprisingly painless. I thought for sure it was going to hurt, but I didn't feel a thing. NICE!!! Nothing ever goes perfectly smoothly though. The new jack had some issues right out of the box. The mounting plate was welded on at a crooked angle from the factory. Gary had purchased two of these jacks awhile back, and they both have the same problems. This weird angle made the jack lean to the left when it was put into position on my tongue. It looked ridiculous even to me, and I'm not a perfectionist like Gary is. So, an assortment of washers and a large nut was used to shim the jack into being straight. That left an unsightly gap under it, which required a bunch of caulk to eliminate. Since these pics were taken, the jack has a base coat of red paint on it. It will get a second coat when my entire tongue gets a fresh coat of Rustoleum Safety Red paint. I need some touching up after a couple of years of being on the road. There are lots of nicks and chips. After working on the jack, my bearings got checked and repacked with fresh grease. While everything was apart, Gary decided to adjust my torsion axle to give me a couple of extra inches of ride height. Doing this also positions my tires and wheels a little bit further out of my wheel wells, and that makes removing my tires and wheels easier. That has always been a problem, and it's a job that Gary always dreads. A 1 x 3 stick was cut at 27", which is the diameter of my tires. A 1" hole (my spindle diameter) was cut in the center of the stick. Gary used the stick to aid in the adjustment height of the torsion axle. It saved a lot of time. The old guy still occasionally comes up up with a good idea. Ha-Ha!!! My brakes were adjusted, and my tires and wheels went back on. Mission accomplished. Just when everything was going so well, Gary spotted a crack at the front of my door side frame rail, right in the area where my tongue is attached. UH-OH!!! Upon further inspection, he found out that the left side was cracked in the same place. DOUBLE UH-OH!!! Armed with iPhone pictures of the areas, Gary went by the shop that has always done the welding and fabrication for anything that broke around around here. They no longer do any fabrication work, and although there wasn't much of that needed to repair my frame rails, they refused to do the job. They referred Gary to Barry over at Bear Welding & Fabrication. This morning, I left the Green Acres Garage for the first time in months, and headed over to get fixed up. Barry and his buddy Mike were AWESOME to work with. Mike got me set up on a slab just outside their shop, and Barry fabbed up a couple of pieces of heavy gauge steel plate, and welded them to my cracked frame rails. The whole "operation" was almost as painless as when Gary removed my tongue jack. AMAZING!!! From now on, Barry and Mike will get ALL of our welding and fabrication work. They had me repaired in a matter of minutes, and their price was EXTREMELY reasonable. If it hadn't have been for them, I probably wouldn't be going camping anytime soon. So thanks SO much, Bear Welding. You've made me a VERY HAPPY CAMPER!!! Barring disaster, we'll be on our way to our first stop of the season soon, and I'll be chatting with you from there. Have a GREAT day, everyone. Bye for now!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Room Without A View

It's been more than a month since I last posted, so I thought I'd better check in to let you know I'm still alive. All is well here at the Green Acres Garage. The camping season is right around the corner, and I'm getting more and more excited with every passing day. I'll sure be glad when Dodge and I are hitched up and heading down the highway. It seems like this summer has been longer than any I've ever lived through. While I do basically nothing around here, my buddy Gary does more than enough for both of us. I can't imagine being so old and working so hard. It's pretty amazing. One of his many projects was setting up some new shelves here in the garage. I think I mentioned them awhile back, but I didn't have any pictures to show you. The shelves are in the spot where my little sister Poppy used to be. These shelves were originally built for use in the front room of the house, and were relocated to the garage and modified to fit the space. A deck was added on the top for additional storage. The 2x4 railing around three sides of the deck was my idea. Having stuff up there that could potentially fall on me (or Gary's head) was more than a little scary, so the simple railing was attached. For years, it was nice to look over and see Poppy sitting there. After she was gone, I was able to see the side roll-up garage door for a little while. Well, my view now is totally blocked by boxes filled with junk that Gary somehow "just can't live without", as he says. He has "junkitis" worse than anyone I've ever met. Not sure why, but buying all this stuff seems to make him happy. If this is the worst thing he does, then I guess it's not too bad. At least he's not a trailer abuser or something equally evil. So, the Green Acres Garage continues to get more crowded. But, as long as I can still get in and out of the front roll-up door, that means that I can still go camping, and that's what I LIVE for!