We Be Camping

It's time to relax. It always feels as if things speed up in the last days before we take off on a trip. Upon arrival, there is an hours-long period of unwinding before we can truly feel as if we've arrived. It was a beautiful warm day when we set up yesterday. This is our view of the lake:

We're so happy to have our boat back. We were prepared to drive down to Portland (about two hours away) to get it while we're here, but we won't have to. The John Deere tractor man came and helped Mike launch it into the lake, and it now sits at a slip awaiting a day's fun.

While he was doing that, I was getting things set up for the kitties. They traveled like champs this time around. No one was panicked when we arrived, and no one tried to storm the door. All they need is their catio and their food dishes...oh yes, and their potty box...and they are happy campers.

They took turns on the catio. We have to use that rubber spatula to hold the screen open. The window clicks open and stays up, but the screen doesn't. Obviously, the designer of this window doesn't know what its actual purpose is.

Also, on every trip, I've enticed them to use the cubbies over the bed, and this was the first time they've actually done it. Sadie was first.

Later, Smitty gave it a go.

Later yet, both of them took naps. They had a hard night ahead of them, keeping everyone awake.

On the decorating front, I think this space at the end of the cabinet near the door is sadly in need of a little quilt, don't you? I know just the thing, and when I get home, it'll be the first thing that happens after things are unpacked.

Before leaving, I finished the first of three of the I Believe in Snowmen blocks. There are 16 blocks total, but I'm working them in groups of three right now.

Also, I baked a loaf of zucchini bread. 'Tis the season, after all. Our own zucchini is barely getting started, but I had two from our CSA share.

We brought that along, and I prepared some other foods ahead. It took most of the day, but I had all the food packed on Saturday, and then it was quick work to pack up our clothes and take off on Sunday morning.

Now here's something. The down side of traveling in the truck camper (aside from having to wash dishes) is that we haven't been able to figure out a way to transport the kitties safely unless they're confined to kennels. The slides in the truck camper close up tight, like pieces of a puzzle, but there's room for kitties to move around between the slides. There's also a place where they can access their litter box. When we travel in the fifth wheel, we put them in the bedroom and close the door, but they have access to their litter box and water dish in the bathroom.

When we first tried taking them in the truck camper, we realized there was no way to confine them to the bedroom (no interior door), and when we closed up the slides, Smitty jumped over the kitchen counter, out the door, and escaped to the outside. Fortunately, we were sitting in our own driveway, and so no harm done. But it was then and there we decided kennels were going to be the only option. But I HATE that. And they hate it, and it really isn't ideal.

Well, yesterday, I figured it out, and it was one of those smacks-head-to-forehead moments, where I wondered why I didn't think of it sooner. So, a picture being worth a thousand words, this is what I think is going to happen. Here's the situation with the exterior door. The yellow arrow pointing to the left shows where there is a window in the door that opens. The arrow pointing down shows where the three switches are that operate the slides.

In the old fifth wheel, we used to close up the slides, and then pass the kitties through that little window and into the living space where they were free to roam while we were traveling. They always headed straight to the bedroom and rode on the bed. So while I was closing up the slides yesterday, I realized that I can open that window and stand outside to operate the slides, keeping the door closed and avoiding escapes. Then, we can pass the kitties through the door like we used to, and they can be free to move about the cabin while we travel down the road. I imagine this isn't making a whole lot of sense, but you'll have to trust me. We're going to give it a try on our way home this trip. If someone rushes the door upon arrival, we'll be in our own driveway, and it won't be a disaster in the making. And I'm going on about this at some length because we're planning a longer trip in a few months, and I've been agonizing about keeping the kitties in kennels for extended periods of time. Fingers crossed this plan will work, and everyone can travel a lot more comfortably.

So we've been visiting Lake Mayfield almost every summer since the kids were babies. Originally, we were die-hard tent campers, and we bought our first RV when the kids were teenagers. On a visit a couple of years ago, I blogged a whole tour of the lake, so I won't do that again. If you'd like to read about days gone by and see the area, you can find that tour right here.

The kitties have been great travelers this trip, but they decided it was time to get up at 4:30 a.m. We thought we might be able to go back to sleep, but rain on the roof kept us awake, and, well, the kitties were having none of it. As I'm writing this, I've been drinking coffee and nibbling on a slice of zucchini bread. When camping, however, we live by this rule:

So for this morning, breakfast needs making, but then...one never knows. It's still raining this morning, but we're expecting it to clear up around noon. There won't be any boating until then, but sleeping...now that sounds like a good theme for a choose your own adventure novel.

Before I go, I want to thank the many of you who have left such sweet comments on my Blogiversary Giveaway post. There's still time to enter, so if you missed that post, head on over here and see what's up.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Katie said...

What lucky kitties that get to travel with you. I always feel terrible leaving my babies at home, but we don't have a camper and there are five of them, so it's probably best. And I believe retirement as a whole can be summed up with your little quote! Have a wonderful time on the boat!

kc said...

Sounds like you've got a good plan there. I'm with you, kennels are stressful, to be avoided when possible. Zucchini bread looks yummy! Enjoy your vacay!

piecefulwendy said...

Hope the kitty solution works out. Your view from the campsite is lovely! We had a huge storm go through last night, which wasn't expected (forecast said slight chance of showers). The two of us, driving separately, drove home through a tornado warning (which I wasn't aware of, since I didn't have the radio on). It was a long day yesterday, with car issues, car dealership talks, and torrential downpours. Today I'm staying home, sewing, and thinking of you boating and relaxing on the lake!

Kate said...

Sounds like you've at least have an option to try for to keep the kitties happy.

quiltzyx said...

Sounds like a good plan for installing the kitties into the camper. I'm looking forward to seeing the ending as I catch up on my reading. :)

What a lovely view from your spot too, wow! Glad you got the boat back in time too.