I used to worry about it, but I've learned to let it go. Tiki is not food driven at all. Some days his morning food will sit there until 3pm, then he'll sneak into the kitchen and wolf it down. And then he eats his full supper at 6pm~!
I figure Tiki will eat when he's hungry. We don't feed him any people food and only a couple of tidbit-y snacks during the day. That way he doesn't make a habit of holding out for the good stuff. :) He's gonna get the same stuff regardless.
My first thought was all the wonderful, helpful souls we have met in our travels. We have never had a truly bad experience (other than a couple of morons who made fun of my mentally handicapped son...grrr.) But we have had innumerable people offer to help us back up, hitch up, start a campfire, raise a tent, and even share their gumbo!
My second thought is how big America really is. I had never been farther than the Mississippi River, but in 2007 we took the kids on a 6,000 mile cross-country trip. There are many memories of that trip, but one that stands out took place in the privacy of my mind. We were crossing eastern Washington through fields and fields of potatoes, carrots, onions, and soybeans. For the first time I had an understanding of what America's breadbasket really means. As we crossed South Dakota into Iowa I had a similar revelation--here are the farmers and their families who work so hard to put food on MY table.
That's a along, gushy way of saying I fell in love with the USA in a way I had never experienced before.
When I was about 13my dad converted a school bus to a 7 bed RV, complete with two dinettes, two additional seats, a food prep area and room for our Saint Bernard. :B No A/C and no bathroom.
We were driving from Mississippi to Virginia when something happened to the bus(I have no idea what it was, but something relatively serious.) This was in 1969, when interstates weren't as common. We had gotten off at the AL/GA state line and were driving through all the little towns in west GA until we found a gas station with room to park the bus in LaGrange. It was about 5pm and 90+ degrees. My dad went in and talked with the gas station manager. It was almost time to roll up the sidewalk. He agreed to let us park it overnight. He even let the water hose out and the bathrooms unlocked (LaGrange was a very, very small town back then.) We kids changed into our bathing suits and played with the water hose until mom had some dinner ready.
After a good nights rest, Dad was able to get the bus going again and we were on our way.
I've never forgotten the kindness of that gas station manager. And now I live in Georgia, about 1-1/2 hours from LaGrange. The interstate bypasses downtown now, but there are several really great campgrounds at nearby West Point Lake.
I've never had the chance to do road-schooling, but I did homeschool my kids for 12 years so I am familiar with the concept of spending lots of hours with my kids. For the most part, we all loved homeschooling but there were times when I thought I would go a little crazy if I had to look at their little faces or hear their stupid long drawn-out stories for one minute more. And I wasnt' living full-time in an RV either.
Have you thought about doing a trial run? About 6 years ago we took our two youngest, then 12 & 14, on a cross-country trip. It didn't start out that way. We found ourselves with 2 months off and a brand new camper, so we decided to go see the grandparents. From there we decided to go see New Orleans. From there we decided to cross over to Texas. At each juncture we had a family meeting--do we keep going or go home? Is there something particular we want to see or do? Everyone had an equal voice.
When we got to San Antonio we were almost exactly halfway between home and the Pacific coast. We took about 3-4 days to just rest and decide what to do next. The overwhelming vote was to keep going. Each person listed 2 things that they really wanted to get out of the trip and off we went.
Now, I have to tell you, it was the trip of a lifetime. But I think 2 months was just about right. A camper gets smaller and smaller the longer to go. We all get along great, but seriously, we got to know parts of each other that well, I just didn't want to know that well...By the time we got done 60 days had passed and we were glad to be home, out of the camper and off to do some normal things. That lasted for about 4 days, LOL, then we wished we were back on the road.
DS-then 12, is severely mentally handicapped and autistic. He does not talk or do any self care and he wears diapers. Thankfully, he is a wonderful traveler and all he wants is to be with his family. He's the only kid in his class who has watched the bats leave Carlsbad Cavern, seen a bison herd, eaten lunch by the Grand Canyon, visited Disneyland, and ridden a ferry across the Puget Sound. He can't tell you anything about it, but I know it enriched his life.
DD-then 14, was the real trouper through it all. She agreed to leave all the friends behind to follow our dream for the summer. She never complained once. In the end, she has decided she wants to retrace that trip when she gets out of college in a couple years. :W That's when you know you did things right!
We live in the metro-Atlanta area and we used to never winterize. Most winters are fairly mild by Northern standards. But two years ago it got cold, really cold--below freezing for 3 weeks. Ugh. We lost 2 pipes to breakage. Ever since then we don't take chances.
We usually try to camp at least one weekend a month, but this year we have some stuff going on which will prevent us from camping until late February, so DH just went ahead and winterized the TT. That's one less thing for us to worry about.
My parents used to take their 2 week vacation primitive camping on Kerr Reservoir near Danville, VA. We had a huge canvas tent for the 7 of us, plus our Saint Bernard. Mom cooked on a Coleman stove. We kids were about 2,5,6,8,& 10. I can remember Mom washing out diapers in the water (I know, right? Yuck!) and hanging them up on a clothes line. There was no running water or electricity, just an outhouse up the road. We kids spent all day, every day in the water until we were sunburned and prune-y.
I don't know how they did it. There is NO WAY I would spend 2 weeks primitive camping with 5 little kids (one in diapers!), no A/C, no showers, sleeping on the ground, no kitchen and no easy bathroom access.
We have a saying in our family: It's not a vacation until someone goes to the ER. :S I don't know if I can even remember them all.
*There was the first camping trip. Around 5am, my 3 year old woke up crying. He is mentally handicapped and autistic, so I figured he was just out of his routine and couldn't soothe himself. I took him outside the tent to calm down(and not wake the other kids). DH decided to build a fire for me. A big fire. A great big fire. The wind was blowing about 20mph and that fire was blowing sideways. Now, to his credit, DH didn't know squat about camping or camp fires. While he was thrashing around trying to dampen the fire, he tripped over the fire grate and flayed his leg open. Off to the ER for stitches and a tetanus shot.
*There was the time DH set up a hammock on a hillside. He was swinging in the hammock and one end cut loose, throwing him head first into an oak tree. He fractured his skull and had a wicked concussion. Off to the ER.
*Then there was the time DH got altitude sickness at the Grand Canyon. Off to the ER...again...
Various others of us have suffered corneal abrasions, pneumonia, burst eardrum, dehydration, broken arm, head injuries, lacerations, falls out of trees and off a 15ft cliff. Oh, and there was the rollover with 5 of us in the car...off to the ER...
Are we having fun yet? :R
We've been going to Trackrock for at least 15 years, first as tenters and eventually with out TT and full hookups. This past summer I organized a family reunion up there and my siblings drove 9-10 hours all the way from lower Alabama, Mississippi, and the Outer Banks. One even flew in from Seattle, just to go to Trackrock!
They have a section in the back that is more suited to tents and pop-ups, with W/E. I've seen some other rigs in there, but it's tight. Most of the other sites are FHU. Some sites are a little uneven--it's on a mountain, after all, but nothing that's ever been too bad. I love site 70 the best. But we've been in 19, 10, 2, and 52 (and probably some I can't remember.)And like a PP said, they have a large area on the top of the mountain that is flat and works well for bigger rigs. Trackrock is a very popular place in the summer and fall. In fact, if you want to camp in October, you better have your reservations made by June.
I can't imagine why a campground would need to specify a certain brand of plastic baggie. I use plastic grocery bags, mainly because I'm too cheap to buy special dog baggies. I can't stand to pick up poop with my baggied hand, so I toss a couple paper towels in each bag, crunch the whole thing up and stuff a bag in each pocket. When the dog poops I can easily pick it up with a paper towel, toss it in the bag and tie it off. Of course, it helps that Tiki is a Bichon and his poop looks exactly like a mini tootsie roll.:B Our last dog was a great big Standard Poodle and his poops were enormous...and gooey...bleah!
I'm a nurse and I have to admit, the first time I saw my sister giving her insulin right through her shirt I about fainted. But then I got over it. Things that we would do in a hospital setting are often far different that what a layperson might do in a home setting. I say if your numbers are stable and your fingers and injection sites aren't getting infected, have at it. Don't mess with something that's working for you.
I was raised on tent camping. Two weeks of primitive camping was typical for my parents. DH came from family that does not take vacations--ever. What he didn't know about camping could have made a book! It was a learning curve for him, but eventually he came to love tent camping, too.
His folks thought we had truly lost our minds when we bought our first TT. They simply have not been able to wrap their minds around it. When we go to visit(with our TT) his sister feels badly that we have to stay in a camper. She cooks mounds of food and brings it to us so we won't "go hungry." In her opinion, staying in a camper is right up there with living under a bridge.
My family, however, thinks having a camper is the best thing since baked beans! I have 4 siblings, 2 of which also have campers, as does my 79yo mother. When we get together we gather the wagons at a park which has cabins, for the ones who don't camp (they like being in a campground. They just don't have any interest in owning a camper.)
My kids are still young, in their 20s. They haven't come over to the dark-side yet. DD20 won't even think of sleeping in our camper--she brings her own tent and supplies. But, then, it took us until the age of 47 to make the leap so they still have time....
We like smaller campers. Our first was a 19ft Puma TT and I really loved that little camper. We traded up to a 30ft Springdale and loved that, but once the kids stopped camping it really would be too big for us. We now have a 25ft Dutchmen and it is just about the right size for the kind of camping we do. If we were full-timers or serious part-timers it wouldn't be adequate. But we are weekend campers who take 2-3 one week vacations every year, so the smaller camper works for us.
I have to say, it's a lot easier to put a small camper into a small site! When the day comes that I'm RVing alone, I will probably trade down to an even smaller one.
Thanks for the ongoing suggestions & info. We have made our decision to land & start our trip in Texas. We need to keep to a certain pace in order to achieve our goals so should be able to work out roughly where we will be on those weekends. Of course everything is subject to change, due to health, weather, fun, location etc. That is probably a very realistic suggestion Tatest, keeping a distance from all the 'must see or be at places' , we can lie low in a not so crowded park for a popular weekend. We are not really ones for crowds anyway.
Y'all should be fine as long as you recognize that distances are deceiving. Texas is a huge state and the rest of the western states are pretty big too. On a map, it can look fairly innocuous, but on the ground it can mean 100s of miles from one side of the state to the other. Just don't let your gas gauge dip below 1/4 tank--gas stations can be far apart out west.
It's been three years since we rescued Teddy from a family that treated him terribly. He was crated for 10 to 12 hours and only fed and watered on occasion. When we got him he was untrimmed, unwashed, and matted so bad that he had to be shaved completely.
Over time we've mostly overcome a lot of his issues such as fear of most everything and everyone. It took us two weeks to teach him to use the "doggie door" because he was afraid of the flap. Our vet said his habit of "circling" would be with him for a long, long time, maybe forever.
Today Teddy is what we call a perfect little pooch. He sticks to me like glue and has the run of the house, loves to travel in the cars and RV and enjoys his daily walks.
In the past, we've spent big money to buy pedigreed puppies and have had some great companions but after this experience with Teddy we would only look to a rescue organization to adopt. There are many very good animals waiting to join caring families to get the attention they deserve.
Awwww, this gives me a lot of hope for my Tiki-Bird. We've had him about 8 months and he was very much afraid when we got him. Lord, he was afraid of the dark, stop signs, pinecones, ribbons, and plastic bags, and numerous other odd things. God only knows what abuse he endured on the streets. He was almost dead when we got him from the pound.
But he has responded very well. He is still very afraid of men, especially if they're wearing a lot of black. And sometimes he will overreact if someone picks up something in their hand--a cup, a newspaper, a garden tool, a purse. When he really gets upset *he actually screams, he's so scared!* we have to just put him in his nice, safe crate with a blanket over it so he can settle down. It's the only thing that helps him calm himself.
Tiki was very afraid of being in the yard for a long time. He would run outside on leash, do his business and he was ready to get back inside. God, what has this little dog been through? Recently we finished fencing in the yard. He has tentatively explored his yard for the past 2 weeks. At first I had to literally walk around with him, the leash in my hand but not connected to him. This week he has been venturing to the fenceline by himself--but he keeps checking to make sure I'm standing nearby in his line of sight. He runs off the explore the yard, but pretty shortly he's back at my feet looking for some reassuring petting.
God bless the rescue animals and all their new parents. I think rescue dogs are truly grateful to their rescuers. I know mine shows me every day.
Sounds like you had a great time listening to nature! Now you can start thinking about next year's camping season.
Yup, that's what winter is for! We take our last trip this weekend. Kinda hard for us--we usually get in at least one trip per month. But I'll be having lots of company for Thanksgiving (gotta get prepared for that, saving up my time off for that week) and I'm having some surgery in December which will set me back for at least a month. Hoping we can get back out there by the end of February.
That's a good question Opie. Of course each child (as any person) is different. Some need their friends, some do much better on their own. As I said this child is quite gregarious and my wife and I are somewhat introverted, and that is not quite the best recipe for success - this young, that long.
We have decided against taking him. There will be ample opportunity for other trips, bonding, etc. We have recently taken him on for day care until next fall he goes to Kindergarten. Right now he does half a day pre-school 4 days a week, but we have all been having lots of fun. It's nice though to say "Bye - see you tomorrow!" and that is really the key.
Thanks all so much for your thoughts!
I think you are very wise.