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Old 02-12-2024, 07:27 AM   #41
newowneroldmontana
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[QUOTE=DutchmenSport;1288108]No. Those corners have a lot of open space to move. It does rub a rubber seal on the bottom (inside the wall of the trailer), but it has enough spring / sponginess to it, it will slide over it with no problem. /QUOTE]

Okay, good! I think mine's probably worse than yours, but hopefully I can figure it out.
 
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:15 PM   #42
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That was a lot of damage to the slide for only being 4-5 years old. It should have been solid for at least 3 years you would think, so only 1-2 years of leaking.

And as to mpg, I have a 2012 so same engine. I do get around 19-21 mpg on our freeways driving at 62 - 65. Mesa is pretty level and you can see the mpg go down on even slight grades. I have never taken it for a road trip tho! LOL
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Old 02-16-2024, 06:45 AM   #43
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Today is Feb 16. Yesterday was our half-way point! 6 weeks over, 6 weeks to go. The time sure is flying here.

OK, another update. Thank goodness, the weather has finally warmed up. Nights are in the upper 40's and days are hovering near 70. It rains about every 4 or 5 days it seems. About the time things get good and dried out, it rains again. Some of the flowering trees are beginning to bloom now, the moss on the ground has turned from a dull brown to a neon green! It's so bright, it doesn't even look real. Flowers are beginning to pop-up a little too now. We talked to my son back home in Indiana and he said the weather there is just COLD! I'm glad we're here now!

I've been doing tours of the Oakley House on Wednesday's and Friday's, and "they" started me on a new project. It seems they need an inventory of every item (actually in the park), but the focus is currently on the plantation house. Not just a list of what's there, but it's size, dimensions, and anything about the item that can be recorded. So, every spoon, every dish, ever candle stick holder has to be recorded and then photos taken of it. From what I understand, others have made attempts, but before the job was over, either a computer crashed, or the person working on that project moved on to a different job. So, I'm giving it my best shot. It puts me in the house every day, for about 6-7 hours when I'm not doing tours or running the grocery store. Getting up close and THAT personal with all of these historic artifacts is really quite interesting. I never in a million years imagined I'd ever be doing something like this.

So, here's the latest story, and the back drop is the "inventory."

There are 2 rooms in the Oakley house that existed in every plantation house. The dining room and the butler's pantry.

In the dining room, dirty dishes, cast iron pots, Dutch oven pots, and cookware would never, ever be brought into the dining room and the occupants would never be served directly from the dirty pots. No no.

Food was prepared in an outside kitchen over an open hearth fire place. Yes, dirty fire soot covered pots. The pots would have been brought into the butler's pantry and the food then placed on the plate. THEN the enslaved person would bright the dish (plate) with the food on it to the dinner table.

Now you know what the function of the butler's pantry was for.

On display in the Oakley house, on the dining room table is a little white cone shaped "thing" called a "sugar hat". This "sugar hat" is made of cane sugar and egg white. It's placed in a mold and hardened. Once hard, it's removed from the mold and placed on the table. The cone was passed around and a pair of "nippers" (or scissors) was used to cut off a chunk of the sugar and it would be dropped in your beverage or used to sweeten your food. It was, basically, a very large sugar cube.

In the butler's pantry, they have on display the "mold" for the "sugar hat". It's a white porcelain cone shaped item, placed upside down, right in front of the display where it has sat ... well ... forever on display. It's never been moved, except to be dusted!

Now, let's put all this together!

Yesterday, when I went into the building to continue the "inventory", the first thing that grabbed my attention was the fact the sugar hat "mold" was sitting on the dining room table next to the sugar hat - sugar cone! WHAT! Who moved that. It really grabbed my attention.

I am almost 100% positive I was the last person out of the house the evening before, and I definitely was the first one in the building the following morning! How did it move there?

I looked in the butler pantry, and sure enough, it was not there, it WAS on the dining room table! .... Spooky! Yea!

Was this my (second) ghost encounter? I had a weird event earlier....

I took this photo on Feb 9. You can see the sugar hat mold on the pantry, it's pointed out with the red arrow. This is where it has always sat. Never moved, unless the cabinet is dusted down.

I took this photo on Feb 9 because I wanted a photo of all the dishes together.



I took this photo on Feb 13 in the morning when I entered the dining room:



Here's a view of the entire table. The sugar cone is at the far end of the table, it's behind a crystal glass, so is the mold, it's hard to see. But this is the entire table set up for display!

spookey? right?

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Old 02-16-2024, 07:22 AM   #44
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Here's the story of my first "spook" (paranormal) or unexplained experience at Oakley...

I was walking the gravel path way that leads from the Plantation house, past the outside Plantation kitchen, past the Plantation garden. This path leads to the site of the only known grave site of a former enslaved person who worked as a slave and after the Civil War, worked as a share cropper on the Plantation, and requested to be buried on the Plantation property when he died. His name was William Gardiner, Jr. There are no records where the other hundreds of enslaved were buried or after the Civil War where the share cropper workers were buried. Only this one person is known. So, the area is marked as a historic cemetery in memory of the all the enslaved that worked and lived and died on the plantation. It's kind of a "hallowed" spot now. It in itself is kind of eerie!

Behind and to the side of that is an open field where Civil War reenactments occur.

So, I'm walking up this path with both my doggies. It's about 1:30 in the afternoon. I approach the fenced garden area when I notice a black cloud of smoke that passed right through me. It's a wood fire smoke, a cloud, maybe 15 feet, kind of oblong, like a puffy cloud. It was definitely a wood wood fire smoke and actually, a bit overpowering. It really, really grabbed my attention!

I thought, "now that's weird!" I kept walking to the outside Plantation kitchen to see if someone had a fire going in the hearth for a cooking demonstration ... Nope, no fire, not even ashes in the fire place. I then walked over the black smith shop thinking someone started a fire there and was preparing for a demonstration. Nope, no one there.

I went back to the same spot where I saw and smelled the smoke .... nothing. I walked around ... nothing .... nothing! I asked the other staff about it ... nothing! Weird? yes? A ghost from the cemetery or the battle field? Who knows? Weird?

Here's the trail where I saw and smelled the smoke:



Here's the back side of the Plantation outside kitchen building:



And here's the black smith shot:

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Old 02-16-2024, 07:24 AM   #45
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For more information on the "hauntings" at Oakley, here's one of a few articles I found.

Click here.
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Old 02-16-2024, 07:42 AM   #46
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And oh ... fyi ... I replaced that one broken slide cable yesterday. It was the upper, rear facing, (in) cable for the kitchen slide. I'm glad I carry extra cables with me all the time. I have one more as a spare, but I had my wife order 2 more last night. I hope this is the one-and-only-one for this year! It seems, about 2 break every year. I'm getting pretty good at replacing them now! This was my 7th cable. Every one has been at a different location. .... 4 slides with 8 cables on each slide, .... um .... that's only 24 cables! ... (only? yea, ha!)
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Old 02-16-2024, 09:24 AM   #47
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Hey--been meaning to remind you, myself, and everyone else in the South to make sure you (to make sure I) block off the pin box before Spring gets too far sprung. If I forget and wait too long in the Spring to do it, I get Carolina Wrens nesting in there. You won't want to have to worry about birdies in your pinbox, at the Audubon State Historic Site!
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Old 02-16-2024, 09:27 AM   #48
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p.s. Birdies in the Pinbox would be a good name for a band.
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Old 02-16-2024, 04:50 PM   #49
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Thanks for the update. I always enjoy them.
My brother and I liked to go to South Carolina the last part of February. It was always warm down there. We would go hog hunting on the Cowden Plantation (Google it). Kenny Jarrett of Jarrett Rifles (Google it) would let us camp on his property and loan us his Jeep. It was a nice midwinter break.
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Old 02-25-2024, 05:36 PM   #50
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An interesting story about a plantation near us.
A family near us bought an old farmhouse it dated from the civil war. It’s not that large but a beautiful old home. It had an outbuilding and a grave yard on the property. The couple that bought it was remodeling the house and discovered it was a plantation house and the outbuilding was slave quarters. The new owner had passed the house on the school bus when he was a child and wished the house was his.
The interesting part.
The original owner had enslaved the new owners ancestors and the grave yard was their final resting place and they had no idea. They have finished the restoration of the house and grave yard and have family celebrations in their new home all are invited.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:25 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh View Post
An interesting story about a plantation near us.
A family near us bought an old farmhouse it dated from the civil war. Itís not that large but a beautiful old home. It had an outbuilding and a grave yard on the property. The couple that bought it was remodeling the house and discovered it was a plantation house and the outbuilding was slave quarters. The new owner had passed the house on the school bus when he was a child and wished the house was his.
The interesting part.
The original owner had enslaved the new owners ancestors and the grave yard was their final resting place and they had no idea. They have finished the restoration of the house and grave yard and have family celebrations in their new home all are invited.
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That *is* interesting!
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:56 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newowneroldmontana View Post
That *is* interesting!

Yes. This is one of those great American stories. Pretty wonderful!
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Old 02-26-2024, 01:37 PM   #53
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mlh, thanks for sharing that story. I'm also learning some very interesting things about this part of the country that are truly amazing, bewildering, and perplexing, all at the same time. The history here is simply mind-boggling.

Almost every day, I'm learning something new. There are new twists and turns to be discovered. Then to top it off, some of the ancestors of the original family that owned this specific plantation will come and they share stories or events and share their connection with the history here.

This last week-end my wife and I, and doggies, visited Port Hudson, where the longest lasting battle of the Civil War occurred and thousands of people died on both sides. It's also the location where the first 2 black regiments served in the US military and were instrumental in the war.

We also visited the Port Hudson National Cemetery and the Louisiana National Cemetery. We've visited several cemetery's now and the impact each cemetery has on my wife and me is just overwhelming. So many people died.

It's a very, very, very sobor reminder that "freedom" really is not "free!" Millions of people have paid the ultimate price so screw ball's can go about complaining about how horrible things are in the USA for them. I shake my head and feel deep gratitude when I look at those graves, one after another, after another, in straight, "dress-right-dress" rows and columns!

We also went to visit Fairview-Riverside State Park and Fontaineblue State Park in Louisiana and checked out their campground for consideration for camp hosting there. Well, first ... they have their hosts lined up. They do long term positions. Some have been there for years.

But the thing that really grabbed my wife and I when we drove up was ..... "UGG!!!!"

After being solitaire at Audubon State Historic Site, and after experiencing the primitive campground solitude at Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina, stepping foot back into a regular campground is like stepping into Las Vegas again! Wow! Campsites, of course, were nice sized for being a state park, but still..... everyone crammed in together .... ugg!

Our little world at Audubon, even with the ghosts, is so delightful. No other campers around, no traffic at all, no disturbances, (except the coyotes, armadillo's, racoons, a bob cat we've never seen, squirls, and snakes). Yes, the snakes have finally come out! There's enough interaction with the tour groups to satisfy my need for human contact and when 5:00 pm rolls around, the gates are locked and we're solitary again! It's imply awesome. Returning back to conventional campgrounds IS going to be hard.

We have 1 more month to go! (All of March). It's hard to believe we are almost 2/3rd of the way done.

Meanwhile, in addition to doing tours, I'm working on an inventory of the plantation artifacts. This stuff is simply amazing!

Some more images:

Sugar Safe.
Sugar "hats" cones were stored in these. They could range in height from 6 inches to 18 or 24 inches. Sugar was kept locked up. There are 2 compartments inside that would fit 2 - 18 inch tall Sugar Hots (cones).




Back Hall, 2nd floor.

Paintings: Left: Eliza Piere-Borrow-Bowman-Lyons.
To the right: Her son from her first marriage (Robert H. Barrow)
Top: Her 2nd husband, The Rev. William Bowman, the pastor at the Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville, one of the founders of the church.

(Eliza would marry a 3rd time to Henry Lyons. Henry Lyons was the 2nd Supreme Court Justice in California.) (look him up on Wikipedia!)

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Old 02-26-2024, 04:57 PM   #54
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Another story of a local black woman Henrietta Lacks. She died in 1952 of clerical cancer in John Hopkins Hospital after an unremarkable life. She has affected the lives of most Americans including mine and yours and many millions around the world. When she died some of her cells were collected that have been alive and dividing and now there are 50 million pounds of them. They have played a part in almost every vaccine starting with polio up to Covid and numerous other diseases. It’s estimated she has saved the lives of a hundred million people. Look her up. It’s a fascinating story. We all owe her a debt of gratitude.
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Old 03-18-2024, 09:17 AM   #55
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Today is March 18. We'll be returning back to Indiana, leaving on Saturday, March 30. I just scheduled an overnight at Hugh White State Park in Grenada, Mississippi for that overnight (about 300 miles drive the first day), and will drive the remaining 500 miles from there to home on Sunday.

We thought about driving straight through to home, but that would probably end up being a 16 hour day (the way I drive --- slow)... and that's just too hard on my old body.

The time at Oakley Plantation has been wonderful. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how enriched my life is now because of my time spent here. I am now, not only doing tours of the plantation house, but also doing demonstrations and talks in the Blacksmith shop and giving historical snap shots of what enslaved plantation life was like here (outside of the "big house.") The two lifestyles were universes apart from each other. When I come back in October, November, December this year, they want me to get involved with the "black power" (guns) demonstrations too.

I think the folks who are full time employees, volunteers, and even the prison work-release crew that comes in daily to help keep the grounds spotless clean, have all become a new family. My wife and I have been talking between us, really don't feel a "pull" to return to Indiana, except for the purpose of doctor visits, pet vet visits, and picking up our next round of 3 month supplies of medications. We've seriously considered just staying in Louisiana. But, reality is, I know we won't. But, it's really sad at the thought of leaving. I would have never dreamed in all my life that such a place would grow on me so much. Well, this place has.

I feel so privileged to have been a part of all of this, if only for a short while. As I'm learning more and more about the times and culture of America from 1800-1900 hundred, the good, the bad, the ugly (and all 3 existed at the same time, for sure).

I have a few days remaining at my current "post". But is quickly winding down.

For what it's worth, on March 10, my wife and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary, and I turn 69 on April 16. The dogs absolutely love this place. It's wonderful to take them on walks around the park and we are the only people here. They go bonkers sniffing the tracks of all the wild animals here. Every walk with them is a new adventure. They love this park too. It's wonderful NOT having to worry about traffic, other dogs, noisy camping neighbors, lights on all night, kids running through your camping space, cars running up and down the road all the time. Peace, solitude, quiet, and tranquility for 3 months has ben beyond priceless.

Again... I encourage everyone to consider doing volunteer service somewhere, in an area you would never normally consider. It's amazing how much your participation enriches your life. But again, you only take away the effort you put into it also. The more you do, the greater the reward. That's something money can never buy!
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Old 03-22-2024, 06:58 AM   #56
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New Update!

Worked out all our "personal" affairs and we'll be returning to Oakley Plantation (Audubon State Historic Site) near St. Francisville for the months of May and June (2024). We'll go back to Indiana for the month of April to take care of business, (Doctor visit, vet visits, truck maintenance, birthdays, wash-clean trailer and truck, get our income tax work done before April 15, stock up on CASH again) and head back "South" for another 2 months.

Then, we'll leave Oakley at the end of June and head straight over to North Carolina for another 2 months as a camp host there (Pilot Mountain State Park). Then back home for the month September (Indiana), again,... to resupply cash, Dr. Visits, truck maintenance, etc ...... and then back to Louisiana (Oakley) for Oct, Nov, Dec.

To continue. ... back to Indiana for January and February (Yuck .... stinking cold weather) and then back to Louisiana again for March, April, May 2025!

Wow! I'm so excited about coming back to Oakley. After months of studying the history of Louisiana and learning so many things about the workings of this plantation, putting myself into handling almost every artifact on the property, .... inventory, cleaning, polishing, taking photos, working the grounds and doing tours, I really don't want to loose all that information in my head. Returning again in a month, keeping all this living history in my head, and being able to continue to stay at this park is a real joy and delight. I feel so privileged to do this!

Well, we are still NOT full timers since we return home two months this year in 2024, but dang .... we sure are close! My son is taking care of the house just fine! When I get home in April, I'll switch over the John Deere mower from winter (snow blower), to "lawn" mower deck mode so he can mow the grounds! And he's doing marvelous taking care of those 3 chickens ... by the way ... they are laying eggs again. He's stock piled about 2 dozen eggs already. They started laying again about a month ago. (you know, range free chickens living in "nature" and not in a hot house factory, stop laying eggs over the winter months).

So, my wife and I are thrilled! We're enjoying the benefits of a free campsite, complete isolation, and a 100 acre park with nature trails. We're located close to Batton Rouge, and New Orleans, only 5 miles from the Mississippi River, experience the River Boat Cruise line visitors coming to the park, doing the tours, walking the grounds and just sharing with people about the history of this place.

This type of "work" is definitely far different than doing "conventional" campground hosting of collecting fire wood money, cleaning fire pits, and checking people in after 5:00 pm. But, I truly enjoy doing that type of volunteer work also.

Happy camping! Yep! My wife and I are extremely delighted we are coming back again so soon. (we leave Oakley on March 30).
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Old 03-22-2024, 09:16 AM   #57
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Sounds like you're living the life Dutch.
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Old 03-22-2024, 09:45 AM   #58
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We have enjoyed your reports from the plantation and hope you will do it again.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:46 AM   #59
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Well, here's a "final" follow up on this thread, and when continuing our journeys I'll start a new thread.

We departed Oakley Plantation (Audubon State Historic Site in Louisiana) right on time. Everything went smooth as silk. No issues at all. It was sad leaving, but it was a necessary evil. My heart is truly at that place. But .... time and events push us all onward and memories are forever locked in our hearts and minds.

We traveled to Hugh White State Park in Mississippi, which was only a 4 hour drive, but it took us 8. OK, we horsed around a LOT on our way there.

Once at Hugh White State Park we were really, really disappointed. This park itself is nice. But what was disappointing is, the campsites are designed to share one power pole. The poles have 20, 30, and 50 amp plugs. So, if your neighboring camper gets there first and takes the 50 amp plug, well.... you are just screwed! They DON'T say ANYTHING about that on the state park campground reservation site (Reserve America). It just say, 20-30-50 amp available).

And, our site was a good 100 feet from the closest power pole. I quit carrying THAT much cord. We called the park office and they let us switch across the road. We had another shared power box, but there was no one else on the site beside us.

Then, being Saturday, the night before Easter, they had some kind of shing-dig going on just about 300 yards from us in a parking lot/shelter house where, probably .... a couple hundred people were having a party that lasted till after 10:00 pm. I think it might have been a church group that might have had some kind of Easter Egg hunt "thing" / carry-in dinner / and entertainment with people singing and such. (I think). It was hard to tell, but they sure were hooping-it-up.

Well, we left Sunday morning even though we had 2 nights reserved and drove to Henderson Kentucky. I really wanted to stay at the Audubon State Park there, at least for one night! Um.... never again.

The state park is located right in the middle of town and the campground is right along the main highway running through town. Traffic and noise and lights all night long!

Plus the campsites, although are very nice, are very tricky to back into. Maybe a tear-drop trailer or a pop-up would have no issues, but anything over 24 foot is a challenge. I'm 41 foot and ACTUALL got into the site! The guy camped across the road came running over once I actually got backed into the site and congratulated me on getting in. He said, he's seen some pretty impressive campsite "backing", but mine blew the cake off. I guess I really impressed the guy. I was just glad I did not hit anything or run off into the gully ditch on each side of the pad.

We left Monday morning and crossed over into Indiana at Henderson, Kentucky. We hit I-69 and OH MY! What a mistake. That road is horrible! WELCOME BACK TO INDIANA AND THE MOST HORRIBLE INTERSTATE ROADS IN THE NATION! We got off I-69 and ended up take secondary roads all the way home. We ended up driving 150 miles farther than planned so we could miss all of Indianapolis. All that construction going on, on the South side of Indianapolis, I-65 exit, I-69 exit, Indiana 37 exit, that entire section is a horrid nightmare. Yanking a 41 foot trailer through all of that .... no, no, no.

We FINALLY got home... Safe, sound, and no issues with the camper or truck at all. It was a great drive, all the way.

We stepped out of the truck in our drive way, it was just nearing dusk, and OMG! I was immediately ready to turn around a head for Louisiana. COLD, COLD, COLD, and wind blowing horrible.

It started raining. I got our sub-pumps out (in a nick of time), and over night our chicken run habitat collapsed under all the rain. Our poor girls were traumatized in the morning when they came out of their hutch.

So, yesterday, (April 2) I took my truck into my Chevy dealer who is going to give it that 100,000 mile inspection and overhaul! I had him look at my rear tires, I'm needed new rubber also. I'm expecting a $4000 bill after the tires, oil change, transmission flush, rear end flush and all of that stuff they do at 100,000 miles. They are inspecting the truck first and will give me a report on what really needs to be done before doing the work.

Meanwhile, I just returned from Lowe's with $179 worth of 2x4's to rebuild that chicken run .... if it ever stops raining and the wind stops blowing. Poor chicken ...

We're returning back to Oakley Plantation leaving April 27. Meanwhile, got our taxes to get done (H&R block appointment this Friday), my wife has 3 different doctor visits, I have a doctor visit for med-check-up ... (by the way I feel absolutely great!) Vet visit this Friday for the dogs,

Somewhere in there..... wash the camper, build a new shelf for inside the camper, run some caulking along one of the rubber seals on one of the slide outs, re-stock the camper for the next 4 months away from home, switch over the John Deer from winter snow-blower to summer lawn mower, get on oil change on my other truck. (and build a new chicken run!) Sheesh! Get me out of here! I'm ready to go now!

Who says retirement means sitting down and doing NOTHING! Sheesh. I'm busier now than I ever was when I was employeed!

Oh well.... happy camping everyone! See you in Louisiana or North Carolina!
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2019 Montana High Country 375FL
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