Rainy Work Day at Myakka State Forest

We have been enjoying some mellower temperatures at Myakka State Forest the last two days. Today has been a rainy one but still nice enough to work from our ‘patio’ which consists of a folding table, folding chairs, and the trailer awning supplying protection from the rain.

Roger and Kate on Patio in Myakka State Forest
Roger Drinking Hard and Working Beer at Myakka State Forest. (Click to view on Imgur)

Raindrop GIF off our awning.
Rainy awning (click through to view on Imgur)

We have stepped up our game with the dogs as well. Besides regularly exercizing them with the Bike Tow Leash we are also working on some different training regimens like Sit and Down. One neat thing we started doing was making snacks with their Red Kongs.
Enzo our youngest dog licking his Red Kong at Myakka State Forest
Enzo and his Kong (Click through to view on Imgur)

The ASPCA website was where I first learned about doing something beyond simply sticking some treats in there. They recommend putting a high value treat in first and then filling a mixture of dry and wet food and sealing it all in with some peanut butter. Needless to say Dazey and Enzo took to them like dogs and Kongs. The problem was they were getting all the food out in just a few minutes. The ASPCA recommends that if that happens then you can freeze them so it takes a little longer Today was the first day we did that and it took them a bit longer to get all the food out. Instead of 10 minutes now it takes 15 minutes…

Oh well they are happy which means we are happy.

Piedmont Farm Refuge Day with the Turkeys – Nov 30th 2014!

This Sunday is the Piedmont Farm Refuge’s Day with the Turkeys and if you are in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina you should attend. From 10am to 4pm come feed special treats to their animals, get your photo taken, cut your own holiday cedar tree, and more!

Then, from 4PM – 7PM: join them for an all vegan holiday potluck. Sounds pretty damn good to me.

Be careful with directions as a search for Piedmont Farm Refuge in Google Maps currently lands you a bit off course. Search for the address instead:
7236 NC Hwy 87 North
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Kate and I spent a few hours with them yesterday and I took photos of all of their animals. It was a great time and the first time I had spent with turkeys in a long time. They are really neat animals and have so much personality.

White broad breasted turkey profile Piedmont Farm Refuge Rolling with Grass
Turkey profile at the Piedmont Farm Refuge.

Feeding turkeys kale Piedmont Farm Refuge Rolling with Grass
Turkeys like Kale.
Turkey under grey sky Piedmont Farm Refuge Rolling with Grass
Home on the range.
The three turkey amigos Piedmont Farm Refuge Rolling with Grass
The three amigos!

Quickie in Roanoke

At the end of the family weekend at Peaks of Otter Kate, Dazey, and I ran down to Roanoke for a day trip.

Blue Ridge Parkway

To get from Peaks of Otter to Roanoke the quickest route is on the Blue Ridge Parkway which you can learn all about here at the wikipedia’s. There are lots of great views on the road and they built a crap ton of pull off spots for you to get out take photos and have lunch. Please don’t stop in the middle of the road to look that views.

Kate and Dazey on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Dazey looks at Kate and Roger being crazy on Blue Ridge Parkway to Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Rolling in Roanoke

We stopped in Roanoke for a beer and walked around downtown. Its a pretty cool town and a place I would be interested in exploring more.

Kate and Dazey in Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Peaks of Otter Fall Weekend

I have always heard that fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a sight to behold, but being from Colorado I always took the attitude that altitude was better. It turns out I was wrong and the Blue Ridge Mountains really are a sight to behold in the fall. Kate’s family has been coming to this area for decades to hike up Peaks of Otter and remember family and friends. This year Kate and I were able to join them and got a few photos.

Peaks of Otter

What a strange name right? Apparently there have never actually been Otters in this area. The names likely come from Scottish settlers in the 1700’s who named the places after their homeland. Here is the wikipedia page talking about the Peaks of Otter. We hiked up the second highest one called Sharp top cause guess why? The rocks on top are sharp and stuff.

View of Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10 2014
Canon 60d 50mm – ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/60th sec
Grass family at visitor center of Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/60th sec
Grass family on top of Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16 – ISO 160, 16mm, f/14, 1/60th sec

Abbott Lake at Peaks of Otter Lodge

At the foot of Sharp Top is the visitor center and next to that is Abbott Lake and the Lodge. At the Lodge on Thursday through Sunday night you might catch some live local bluegrass musicians, highly recommended.

There is a huge field of grass next to the lake and visitor’s center so we had Photos with Grass on the grass! Its an agronomists delight!

Bill Kate and Dazey getting crazy at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 500, f/8.0, 1/125th sec

Dazey Kate and Fall at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/800th sec
Dazey and Kate playing at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 320, f/8.0, 1/125th sec
Roger Kate and Dazey at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/400th sec
The whole famn damily on Abbott Lake footbridge at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 160, f/5.0, 1/100th sec

Campground Info and Map

There are 52 RV spots in this campground. They are not the most level and there is no hookups. They do have dump stations and potable water available but not at any of the individual sites. It was pretty chilly when we were there so make sure your propane is filled up too.
The drive into the camp is narrow and winding. If you take the 43 from west of Bedford it gets pretty hairy in places with less than no shoulder on some turns. I would advise not taking that route if possible.
Contact Information:
PEAKS OF OTTER CAMPGROUND
10454 Peaks Road
Bedford, VA 24523
Phone Number: (540)586-7321
Website for Peaks of Otter Campground

Sunrise RV Campsite in the trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

View down rv campground parkway at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8
Nighttime RV campsite at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

And here they are your moments of Zen…

Sunrise through the trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Sun through trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Upsie Dazey!

When we lost Zeke on October 1st Kate and I separately started looking at different dog rescue websites in Ohio and the surrounding areas including North Carolina. We knew that the best way to remember Zeke would be to rescue another dog that was in the same situation as him. What better way to honor his life than by giving someone else the same love and attention?

One problem we immediately encountered was that most rescue organizations will not even consider an out of state adoption let alone one from a fulltime RV couple with a constantly changing address. Kate was undaunted though and after a week or so of searching found Claire at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina. The Fort has been around since 2012 focused on rescuing Pit Bull breeds and were open to adopting to people in our situation. Kate emailed them about our situation and Zeke’s recent passing and they replied immediately and enthusiastically that it would not be a problem for us to adopt one of their rescue dogs.

The main reason Kate reached out to The Fort was because of Claire. Besides being really cute Claire was also good with other dogs, children, and pretty much super relaxed. Since we are travelling the country in a trailer we need someone who can handle all types of situations with ease and it looked like she would fit that bill without a problem.

Jake Kate Dazey Karen and Abby First Meeting at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina
Jake Kate Dazey Karen and Abby First Meeting at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina

So on Monday October 13th 2014 on our way to Raleigh North Carolina we stopped by The Fort and met Claire, her foster family, and Jake (the owner of The Fort). We spend a couple of hours learning about her past. Apparently during one of The Fort’s adoption events a volunteer found her and her puppies in a garbage dumpster. They rescued her and treated her for a number of infections and parasites and fostered her to Karen and Abbey who cared for her while they searched for a forever home. Thats when we showed up.

Photo of Kate and Dazey talking
Dazey and Kate having their first conversation at The Fort Rescue

When we first met Claire she immediately wanted to get into our truck which we took as a good sign. She is about 40 pounds but has the strength of a dog twice her size. She doesn’t bark and only cries lightly when she needs to go potty. She is a cuddler and love bug and loves getting pets and snacks. When we drove away she immediately stood up on the center console and let us know she was keeping an eye on the road with us.

Photo of Kate and Dazey first ride in the truck.
Kate and Dazey first ride in the truck.

We knew from the start that she was going to get a new name to keep Kate’s tradition of naming her dogs with a ‘Z’ in their name. After throwing a few different ideas around we decided on Dazey since she is beautiful like a flower and she accepted it right away. So now Claire is Dazey and we are “Driving Miss Dazey” and we get to say “Upsie Dazey” when she gets into the truck. Its a good time for all.

Photo of Dazey and Maizey playing on the floor.
Dazey and Maizey playing on the floor.

As you can see we haven’t had any problems getting some good photos and are pretty sure this will be a regular tradition moving forward.

If you are thinking of getting a dog or cat please find a rescue like Dazey or Zeke. They need your love.

PS – If you cannot adopt consider donating to a rescue organization or volunteering.