They Wash Windows in Canada

Callie got to witness first hand a window-shield washer in a gas station at Tofino, BC. It was just a tad bit disturbing for her when he wielded his tool for cleaning. She braved it out though and it became a Kodak moment. The Canadians have been so friendly and welcoming to us, even in spite of Trump and his alt-right agenda spewing hatred and racists nationalism. And to think that they still wash window shields! Amazing.

We had a lovely drive from Tofino to Genoa Bay and will be heading to Victoria today and leaving on the BC ferry tomorrow morning for Port Angeles. I will miss Canada, especially when the politics in America are so disturbing and embarrassing to me. I can only hope that the GOP comes to its senses and puts country before political agenda.

Tillamook, OR

Yesterday was a rather long and tiresome day trying to find a campsite. Our luck held out until Friday. Friday's are not a good day for searching for a campsite at the state parks. There are too many people enjoying the awesome Oregon weather and the road weary must either go inland or find a private RV Park.

We finally found one in Tillamook, OR and I won't name the place because of an interesting thing that happened when checking in. Our host burst into tears when she saw Callie happily sitting on the dash and came up to the RV, and while stroking Callie's ear, confided in us that she had just come back from visiting her sick and aging cat at a sanctuary. She couldn't afford the vet bills that had piled up because of a diagnosis of glaucoma and was forced to give her up in order for her cat to receive medical care. It reminds me of the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT or as the Republican Party would like to disparagingly call it- OBAMA CARE! I believe that health care is a right and society would benefit with people staying well and thriving with good health. It should not be a profit motivating system!

Well, Callie helped her feel better because she loves to be petted and we shared stories and photographs and told her that she was doing the right thing. The host has two other cats, one of which greeted Michael and that surprised the host because the cat is usually super shy.

So, here we are in Tillamook and will leave this morning. Callie received one more dose of antibiotic with dignity and has two more days to go. The chicken flavored compound is the way to go. I have also learned to keep her wrapped up really tight, with her head back, and I tickle her chin and open her mouth up for about 10 minutes afterwards so she doesn't froth and drool on everything. It has been traumatic to say the least to be administering antibiotics for 4 months. She is definitely on the mend though! We had a nice long walk and she managed to walk out to a boat launching dock as if she owned the place!

Excited about today and can't wait to get on the road. I am also going to track down some ice cream while I am here!

Black Crowned Sparrow

Callie and I are sitting outside on the picnic table and our neighbor, the little black crowned sparrow is absolutely outraged that Callie is visiting. He is sitting on top of the right side upper branch of a Sitka Spruce tree and is going to be hoarse at the end of the day if he keeps it up! When we walk, a murder of crows follow us and make sure to escort us out of the area. Callie trots along with pride regardless, and tries not to let the insults bother her. Every where we go, people run up to her and pet her and admire her for walking so well on the leash….

2 Mice are Better than 1

Callie has had an ongoing cough since early March. She is currently on her 4th dose of antibiotics and it seems that whenever she is finished, she relapses. When she is on the antibiotic, she feels better right away and the culture and sensitivity test showed she has 3 bacteria in her chest. We are pretty sure she aspirated something and eventually it will wall itself off and she will get well.

This morning Callie was feeling friskier than I have seen her in months. She raced around the house itching for trouble. I wacked  her with a feather wand and when she spotted her two mice that are filled with catnip! She thoroughly enjoyed trying to disembowl them and take their heads off. They didn’t have a chance, and all the catnip was spread out over the floor. It was a good job done and now she can rest for awhile.

Wednesday we are loading up the RV and heading back to Morro Bay. It is just too hot here in Borrego Springs and we need to escape. I feel so sorry for the plants and animals that have to endure such hostile conditions.

After she played with the mice!

The Road Home

It was with a somewhat heavy heart that we had to head back to the inferno, but with Callie’s cough getting worse by the day, we had no choice but to hit the road toward home.

I took her to the vet yesterday, and we should know in the next 72 hours what type of bacterial infection she has. It could be a chronic bronchitis because there was a spot on her left lung. She has lost some weight, but is still eating and drinking with gusto and still climbing her beloved olive trees!

It actually feels good to be back in Borrego Springs, in spite of the 106 degree temperature expected later today. Michael and I went on an early morning, road-bike ride, and had to marvel at how much stronger both of us are after having biked up in the mountains at high altitude and on rocky, sandy, hiking trails. Riding along a flat, well paved surface, and on my Cannondale, felt like riding a thoroughbred horse instead of a Welch Pony!

Callie loved the drive back toward home and rode on the dash most of the way! She is happy to be home though and can once again roam around and snuggle in her Kong bed on top of the hutch in the master bedroom. Living in a 24ft RV for weeks at a time needs some getting use to!

From Dawn to Dusk

The morning started out bright and early with Callie once again expecting me to get up and serve breakfast so that she and Michael could go back to sleep for a couple of hours. It is rather funny and because I am a morning person, it is no big deal. As soon as I fed Callie, Michael was already sleeping and Callie tucked herself into the tent I created for her on the sofa. It is chilly at night but today it reached 85 and it felt warm to me. It is nothing compared to Anza Borrego though, which will hit a high of 121 on Tuesday. Those kinds of temperatures are a killer for birds and mammals and plants. It is so hot that when you take in a deep breath, your lungs feel scorched.

Michael and I went on a fabulous off road bike ride again this morning and because it was so difficult, I am considering packing a first aid kit. I wear a scarf around my neck in case I will ever need a tourniquet, but can see the use of bandages and wraps for all kinds of injuries. You can’t see the deep sand in the shadows when it is mixed with dappled light and the ruts in the trails trap you before stopping you in your tracks. I had air put in my tires this morning and I think the added pressure made for a much more difficult ride. We made it back to the RV in one piece though and felt the zen of having a strenuous workout roll over our shoulders all day today. 

Fred decided to head back home this morning so Michael, Callie and I have the rest of the vacation to ourselves. I will be able to celebrate Father’s Day and not worry about Fred anymore. He blew a tire heading home and is waiting for a tow service as I write. The same right back tire that we had a flat fire with! RV’s sit a lot and the tires are the first to show wear and tear. He has a long way to go yet to get home, I wish him the best.

Callie got a morning walk and was able to hang out on the picnic table most of the day while Michael worked on the bikes. She is getting more than her fair share of excitement and the strain is starting to show. When I find her up in the loft in between the rungs of the step up ladder to the loft bed, I know I have sufficiently worn her out from dawn to dusk. Wearing out a cat is always a good thing!

Off Road Biking & One Tuckered Out Cat

It is beautiful here in Mammoth. The sky is cloudless and the sunshine just bright and warm enough to add color and light. Michael and I went off road biking after introducing Fred to some road biking around Shady Rest Campground beforehand. Fred bought a new bicycle yesterday and it is a beauty. We did some test riding and then left him back at the Campground to rest. The altitude takes some getting use to and we have been doing some hill work.

I would have to say that off road biking is about as good as it gets. It reminds me of horseback riding with just a hint of danger if you get caught in deep sand, or you run over a rock. I haven’t been thrown yet, but know it is inevitable. One minute you are speeding along, and the next minute you are stopped mid-track. We were able to bike on some well maintained logging trails that were shaded by massive pine trees and carpeted with pine needles. We did a loop around the Campground and it took us maybe 45 minutes. At one point we biked along an airplane and helicopter strip that must be used for emergency plane landings or for the forest fire service. 

Callie had a long walk this morning and I would have to say that it was her best walk yet! She turns when I whistle and when I tug gently on the leash. She also walks at a pretty good clip. She has gotten the hang of it and enjoys seeing the sights. She doesn’t seem to smell everything like a dog does, but rather stops and stares and then stops to stare some more. Her eyesight is more dominant and she uses her eyes more than her nose. Our walks are lasting at least 30 minutes now and when she is tired she lies down and lets me know she has had enough. I couldn’t ask for a better RV pet companion. She is so tuckered out that I think I will pass on the bike ride with her in the basket today. We can do another walk later in the day.

I thought Morro Bay was the best place to bike after Anza Borrego in the winter…. But I have to say that Mammoth in the summer is about as good as it gets. It is a very bike friendly town. I am so appreciative that we have stayed put and can hang out until Monday morning. We are just now beginning to explore the bike and hiking trails and I much prefer it to road biking. I don’t like biking around cars. Two more full days of biking and enjoying ourselves at New Shady Rest Campground and then on to Convict Lake. I got a call back from the host and he said we will be able to have our pick of campsites after Father’s Day weekend…..

I Kill You!

Callie has this very unique response when I play rough and tumble with her. She literally kicks herself in the head when she becomes over excited and wants to do major damage, but she can’t find it in herself to hurt me. I snap her tail and twirl her around in a circle and then chase her within an inch of her life, and the best she can counter it with; is a swift kick to her own head. She has plenty of attitude, but is too respectful of me to hurt me. 

When I first adopted her, she made the mistake of acting out a bit, and I let her know that it wasn’t acceptable. Apparently, Calicos are known for having “attitude” and I am glad I nipped her “attitude” in the bud. She has such a big personality and I am grateful it leans to the sweet side. The first time she growled and hunched over and gave me a look to kill, I chased her around the room until she surrendered. It is one thing to play rough, but another to act aggressively and with anger. I think she intimidated her first family and they were afraid of her. When I took her to the vet in Morro Bay for her cough, he let me know that her behavior was unusual. The vet in Julian also got a kick out of her. She huddles into a ball and is very compliant with all of her examinations. When I play rough and tumble with her, I too am respectful of her, and try to bring out the excitement of a near death experience, without damaging her ego! 

So last night we played rough and tumble because she had energy to burn, and because she is hopefully feeling better. I had to stop her short of hitting herself senseless though… Now what good would that do?:)

The photographs I took are action shots in poor  lighting… she was just too adorable though and I have to post them in spite of their poor quality.

Sleeping the Day Away

I have been busy for the past couple weeks being manic about the wildflowers in Anza Borrego and I thought I would update my readers about Miss Callie. As long as we get home at a decent hour, Callie is fine with sleeping the day away on her roof top Kong Bed. When the activity load exceeds her desire to participate, she runs under my bed to alert me that she would rather not be bothered. It is a treat for her to know that we are hiking under the scorching sun and that she has a day off to take a nap. If we are gone too long and for too many days in a row, she will sit by the door and ask to participate. So today was a day to nap. Callie has once again flattened the roof of her Kong bed to create a hammock type sofa bed and is really enjoying the naughtiness of it all. I have watched her in action when she no longer desires the comforts of a homey condo and would rather sleep on the roof. Callie has to jump up and pound the roof with her front paws much like a fox in snow leaping on top of a mouse hidden under a drift. It takes several attempts before she gets the roof to flatten just so. Then she crawls up on top of the bed and makes herself cozy. She goes back and forth from the round bed to the flattened roof and has a view of the desert from where she sleeps. Coyotes have been howling at the full moon during the night and we saw a silver desert fox this evening while sipping wine and beer in the backyard. Michael, Fred and I are very tired from hiking the Slot and will try to get up early to hike Borrego Palm Canyon one more time before the flower display fades into the heat of the sun. Callie does her best to cooperate by taking lengthy naps and sleeping the day away…..