I left off back on April 2, 2016.....my last post being photos of the 1700+ mile quick trip from Arizona to Ohio. As I mentioned then, there were family issues and personal issues which needed attention....and yes, it has taken two years to finally get somewhat situated again, eventho' I will need to go back to my home base about every 3 weeks to check on things, at least for the summer. I won't be going into detail, but it has been quite the roller coaster ride. But, the main thing is......I'm roving once again! So....I'm going to try to condense the past two years the best I can, but this post might end up lengthy just so we can catch up to today!
A lot of changes have taken place over the past two years. Sadly, I lost Nikko to kidney disease on April 3, 2017...just over a year ago. He was such a great travel companion. This photo was taken just the day before he went over the rainbow bridge. What a sweet boy......
He was primarily, if not all, Belgian Malinois. I waited a [short] while and contacted a police dog trainer-friend who contacted his trainer friends. Soon, Bo, a 1.5 year old, purebred Belgian Malinois came into my life. He's a very handsome fellow! And super strong!
Our one year anniversary was yesterday! Now, at 2.5 years old, he's still puppy-ish in some ways, but soooooooooooo smart! He started off with police training as a puppy....some aspects of that I wish I could erase, but that's not going to happen. He knows several commands and is a very good traveler, albeit very protective! "Alert" is NOT his middle name....it's his first name! LOL! But, he's a keeper!
Next change.....no more Class C RV! Not knowing for sure if I was going to be on the road again, I sold it for what I paid for it. I bought a cheap car to get around while I was staying in a little efficiency apartment waiting to see what was going to be happening.
About this time last summer, I moved out of the apartment....they were tearing the building down.... and bought a 1989 (yes, old, but in great shape!) Ford E150 Conversion Van....and more or less, moved into it! I took the middle seats and the back fold-down bed seat out, made a platform bed and added storage units for clothes, food, and misc necessities.
My one extravagance, a 65qt YETI cooler, is under the bed along with storage totes.
It holds ice/cold water for about a week. Essential with no refrigerator.
We (Bo and I) camped out for a few months last spring at a secluded homestead while a friend was remodeling the empty house. That was super convenient! Then we stayed off and on at the local state park during the week. (Weekends are way too busy there.) Finally, we headed out to the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana for some boondocking and a change of scenery...literally! Mind you, this was all a year ago....
To get caught up to today, our big plans for last summer of exploring the tri-state area abruptly ended when I got back from Indiana after a short 10 days only to BREAK MY ARM!!! My RIGHT arm, no less.
That was around the 4th of July. Well, needless to say, that had me immobile for the entire summer and into the fall...then it was winter. No traveling was going to happen in the cold and snow! I was, however, finally able to do a lot of artwork over the winter....that kept me going!
OK....now we're FINALLY at May 12, 2018. Bo and I have been camping at Saddle Lake in the Hoosier National Forest (Indiana) for the past few days. We started out here last year, so we've done a 360. It's a great spot...very quiet. This is not RV life, exactly. It is van-dwelling. A lot less amenities, but overall, actually a lot easier than a 27' RV. Parking...no problem! Finding a place to dump your black water tank? Filling up your 30 gal fresh water tank? No tanks in a van! Finding propane? Nope! No propane tank! Also, no bathroom. Luckily most every established campground has vaulted toilets. If not....well....see all those trees??? LOL! Just part of off-grid life, but a very minor inconvenience. I have a portable solar shower which works great.
Saddle Lake is about a .4 mile away from our campsite. It's a small, pretty lake for small, (motorized only) fishing boats. There has only been very, very light traffic down to the lake....probably locals. There are only 3 other campers here, none of which have boats. Luckily, the way the campsites are situated, no one is near us.
Bo LOVES the water!
Nikko hated it!
We will be here until Monday. There are several options for the next stop....need to focus in on which one to choose. Thankfully, there has been great internet access here at Saddle Lake. Can't guarantee that in other locations around the forest. But, that's part of the adventure!
Let me know if you are still with me by posting a short note below. Would love to hear from any and all of you who didn't "unsubscribe" when I took my hiatus two years ago. I need to tweak this blog a bit...but I need to reacquaint myself with how to do that, so if something doesn't look right, I'll try to get it corrected by my next post. I am still an Amazon affiliate, so if you are inclined, please use the link to get to the website for your purchases (if they still work - need to check that.) Your prices remain the same. Thank you!
Glad you're back out there! Keep posting!ReplyDelete
That's a great picture of Bo! Glad he likes the water.ReplyDelete
So glad to hear that you are doing what you want to do!! Sometimes life just gets in the way and you have to take care of business @ your home base. That is one of the reasons that I think that I'm going to hang on to my house. Maybe not this monster house (thinking smaller/renting instead of owning). It's been a joy following your blog and art work :-) journey.ReplyDelete
I find it interesting that you've downsized. I know of other solo woman travelers that have made the same decision. I'm still in the looking/shopping for a Class C for myself. What made you decide to downsize? I'm thinking I would need the space for my crafting/sewing/painting supplies.
I'm so happy for you!!! Enjoy your summer!
Thanks for sharing,
Hi Tiff, can't believe the time has gone by, 2yrs? Wow. Bo looks great, sorry for your loss (Nikko). The van looks cozy and comfy. Mitch less upkeep. Looking forward to your blogs. Safe travels. xoReplyDelete
Yay! Back on the road where I know you want to be! That's happy news! It looks like BO is a great travel companion too!ReplyDelete
So glad to see you're back!!! So sorry to hear about "Niko" but happy you found another companion in Bo, he's quite beautiful btw!! Hoosier National Forest is a beautiful place we've camped there 2 yrs! I'm happy your back doing what you love! Safe and happy travels Tiff!!! Looking forward to many more blogs😊!ReplyDelete
Great to hear! Your return has never been far from my mind :)ReplyDelete
Glad you're back! Very sorry to hear about Niko, but happy to see you have Bo, he's beautiful. I'm especially glad to see you're back as the past few years for me have been similarly heavy on family responsibility and associated hard work that has limited my travels as well. Hope to run into you again at Am Morro or some equally beautiful place. You may also be interested in the ebook and website for Vanabode....or perhaps you've already seen it.ReplyDelete
YAY!! So glad to have you back! I love reading about your adventures and seeing your pictures!! The van looks great... Bo is scary.. but I thought Mom's dog Xena was scary also so I'm not a good one to ask about that kind of thing!! LOL! Looking forward to tagging along with you!ReplyDelete
I'm still following along :)ReplyDelete
Love your van, wishing you all the best in this Spring and Summer.
Good to see you back. I've been cking every once and awhile to see.ReplyDelete
Glad you are back out living your dream.
I didn't give up on you!!