Cacti, Birders and Bus Repairs

Hand’s up, I admit it, I’ve been procrastinating these past two weeks. Well, at least as far as writing goes. I’ve been as busy as a bee when it comes to my transcription and sewing work.

I’ve managed to complete my first ever, one hour long transcription file (that equates to 7.5 hours of typing and a payment of $33. For the non-mathematicians among us, that’s $4.40 per hour and a really sore back and butt. Yup, I’m living the American dream baby…) AND I’ve made my very first flatty dog, sewn by hand.

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My flatty dog, still flat. Requires more stitches and stuffing!

But yes, of writing there has been none. I guess I’ve just been in slack brain mode, sorry.

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

Texas. The Lone Star State.

The place where wearing cowboy hats, eating BBQ and carrying a gun are virtually mandatory. As is flying the state flag directly under the American flag on every flag pole. Home to a blazing sun, oil fields, rattlesnakes, The Alamo and a potential border wall.

I’m not quite sure how I’m going to fit in here.

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In case you can’t tell, this is my gun-slinger pose.

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Repairs, woodland walks and the world’s best rolls

And in the blink of an eye, before you know it, two things have occurred – first, we’ve made it to Louisiana and second, on this day last year I arrived here in America to start this hobo RV road trip adventure around the USA.

Boy, time does sure fly.

Because I don’t want to start reminiscing about home right now, I may as well just crack on and update you on our goings on.

When last I left you, it was as I was happily waving goodbye to St Pete (and Florida in general) and looking ahead to entering Georgia and stopping in for some repairs to Belle. I do feel that I should pause for a moment and do justice to the Sunshine State and tell you that if you choose to visit, I would advise sticking with the picturesque northern part of the state. While the south seems to have been mostly overrun with large cities, strip malls and just far too many people and cars for my liking, the northern part is still plentiful enough with horse farms, massive old oak trees and verdant fields. It really is rather stunning.

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As South as South Can Be

It turns out we finally finished our ‘winter break’ in the most glamorous of style, by camping for a week in our friend Ryan’s driveway. There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a total hobo than living in your bus in someone else’s driveway I can tell you.

But after the Bluebird Rally, Loops decided the very last of the maintenance needed to be completed, and Ryan kindly offered us the concrete space we needed to change out the coolant hoses, do a final engine compartment sealing (to try and keep the engine smell that developed last year from permeating into the bus), and to get the towing braking system for The Beast properly fitted.

With our overall travel plan resting on the decision not to leave the state until the end of February, plus still needing to visit our friends Bunny and Phil down in Miami, Loops and I decided that we would start our 2017 travels of by heading are far south as you can go in the continental US, we are off to see Key West!

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Finding our feet

Before we head off into the greater wilds of the UP, Loops and I have some decisions to make.

Visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has come about in a slightly haphazard fashion, with our very original plans (from back when we started out from Florida) taking us east from the Michigan mainland over into, and through, Canada to reach Maine before travelling south again. We have now decided to alter these ideas and head in a western arc; taking us through the UP before dropping down for a pass through Wisconsin, sling-shotting east past the base of Lake Michigan through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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Ranger Danger

So our adventure for the day didn’t simply end with me dripping wet in a lake with no stones to show for it, no, our escapade was actually just beginning.
We arrived back at the bus at 8pm, Loops secured the bikes while I tried my very best not to drip all over the carpet as I scurried for the shower. As I finish and am getting ready to think about cooking dinner – sausage and mash, scrummy – there comes a knock at the door. What then ensues riles me a little and I’ll tell you why…

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