Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!!

Hello family and friends!!! It has been a few weeks since I last updated the blog. We did some really cool things over the past few weeks. Starting with Brad’s Birthday. Brad wanted to visit Wolf Haven International. This is a wolf sanctuary. The work they do here is awesome. They have many wolves here that are not part of public viewing. The hope is to release them back into the wild with their pack. This is especially true of the protected and almost extinct Red Wolf. They have a large and growing pack at the sanctuary. The hope is to be able to release them back into the wild. But this will not be able to happen until people have been educated more on wolves. Things like wolves are nothing like you see on TV or in the movies. Wolves actually fear humans and will avoid us at all cost, except for protecting their pups. Wolves do like livestock and farm animals so many farmers have to be educated in methods and ways to protect their life stock without killing the wolf. Wolves provide a much-needed role of thinning the herds of deer, antelope, elk, etc. This was a great experience for us.

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Great Dane Skull on right, Wolf skull on left

Mahana celebrated her 1st Birthday October 18. She is a hot mess, but we love her!!!

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Then came the whirlwind trip to South Dakota. We established residency there. South Dakota is a full-time traveler friendly state. Many truck drivers, traveling nurses, construction workers and full time RVers use South Dakota as a home base. No state income tax, vehicle plates are inexpensive, drivers license are inexpensive and sales taxes are very low. Perfect for the Gypsies like us! So Dianne and I loaded up the 3 hounds in the Trailblazer and off we went. We traveled 2296.6 miles in 4 days. Drove about 700 miles on Saturday then got up and drove to Mt. Rushmore on Sunday.

If you have never seen Mt. Rushmore in person, you have to add this to your bucket list. I have seen pictures all my life of Mt. Rushmore. But to actually see it in person is absolutely humbling. For a person to even think up this concept is hard to fathom. But we are a better Nation for it.

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The Man Responsible For Mt. Rushmore. Thank You Sir!

Just before we turned in we saw a mountain goat with its baby.

Sunday Night we stayed in Rapid City. We got up Monday morning with the intent of driving to Sturgis, SD to get our drivers license and then head to Missoula, Montana for the night. We got to Sturgis to find that the website was wrong. The driver’s license office is only open on Thursday in Sturgis. Not good. The only drivers license office open on Monday in South Dakota is in Sioux Falls. Unfortunately, we would have arrived there as they were closing. So we decided to stay another night in Rapid City and get our drivers license there on Tuesday.

We had a day to kill so, on the suggestion of a friend Amy Lemley, we went to the Crazy Horse monument. Another impressive sight just a few miles from Mt. Rushmore. This is a tribal/board/private owned venture. It is still under construction. Work is done as funds are raised. It is a wonderful tribute to a great Chief.

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They also have a culture hall/museum there of Native American Culture. Beautiful exhibits and items.

Got up Tuesday morning – bright and early – so we could be at the driver’s license office when they opened at 7 AM. In and out of there in 20 minutes and on the road. We were thinking that we were going to drive to Spokane, spend the night there, then get up early Wednesday morning and drive home in time for Dianne to make her shift at noon. Well, got to Spokane and thanks to XS Energy drinks and XS Energize I decided to drive the rest of the way home. 1146.3 miles later we were home. Been a long time since I drove 15 hours straight. We all were ready for bed.

Here are some random pics from the trip:

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Are We There Yet????

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Wide Open Spaces In Montana

And then there was the Basset Rescue of Puget Sound Howl-O-Ween Pawtry!! This is a rescue that is near and dear to our hearts. We have been active with them over the 2 years we have been here. We have helped with events and been given the privilege to foster a couple of hounds during medical procedures. I cannot say enough about this group and what they do for hounds here in the Puget Sound and beyond. If you want to help BROPS with their work go to their web page and click on “Donate Now”. We had a super time. They even had a cake for us thanking us for our help. This is one of the reasons leaving here is bittersweet.

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Super Hero Dogs

Reggae Dog

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Shrek Theme with the hounds playing Donkey and the Dragon

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And then there was the Spider Hounds with their pet Bumble Pig Bee. Yes that is a pig in the bee costume!!!!

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And finally our clan: Monty Gene as “The Gangster” with his sisters as Flappers

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Well that about sums up things here! Until next time, one more shot of Mt. Rushmore….

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Travel Nursing

My Visit To Amish Country Ohio Part 2

Sunday morning was laid back and consisted of family time. Most of the family needed to recover from the wedding reception the night before. My sister Betsy fixed finger foods and her mother-in-law brought some killer Apple Crisp. We spent the afternoon catching up and laughing about those childhood memories. Sunday Evening it was off to my other sister Tami for more family time with her crew. Enjoyed some left over BBQ and fixins’ from the wedding reception.

Monday morning I spent an hour visiting with my “other” mom Joan Light. We had a great time catching up. She showed me around her new condo. It was great seeing her and catching up on her family. After her visit it was back to Tami’s house and off to lunch at Ashland/Wooster A&W Drive In for homemade root-beer and coney’s for lunch! This is a ‘must have’ anytime I go home in season, they close between late fall and spring.

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A couple of coneys later and we were half to the hospital for dads hip replacement surgery. And boy did we have fun in pre-op. Mom, dad, my sisters and myself were laughing our tails off at the silliest of things. We brought dad to tears at least three times laughing so hard. Even the pre-op nurses were enjoying the humor. It was great for the five of us to just let loose and forget life for awhile. Dads surgery went well and he was in a humorous mood when he got to his room.

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Dad Pre-Surgey!! I will probably get killed by my old man for posting this pic in my blog!!!! 🙂

Monday evening was spent at Tami’s house. The newlyweds came by to visit as did Blake, Dru and the baby. I was starting to feel that old pain in the heart that comes with leaving my family. I never thought I would miss my hometown of Ashland when I left for the Army in 1987, but man this trip left me longing for home and I had not even left yet.

Tuesday morning was busy. Mom came by to chauffeur me around and take me to the airport. Went up and spent time with dad. He had already been up and walking on the new hip and was walking farther than expected. Of course those that know my dad know he will push himself. He does not like being down for long. Left the hospital and made a quick stop to pick up some homemade chocolate peanut butter balls , or Buckeyes as well call them. Then off to the airport to catch my flight home.

Overall my trip home was pretty freaking awesome. I hated to leave, but knowing we are headed back East this December makes it a little better to deal with.

Things I did learn this trip about flying, 1) airplane seats are not made for big dudes. 2) Airplane seat belts are not made for guys with big guts….period. 3) Speaking of big guts, seat back trays don’t work real well if you have one. Especially if the guy in front of you leans his seat back. Otherwise I enjoyed my flights immensely.

I am off on another journey with the wife and family in Washington, until next time….