Monday, December 29, 2014

Cat Scratch Trouble

Our cat Buttercup enjoys climbing our window blinds, and on 24 December she got a rear claw caught. Dinah found her hanging upside down with one rear paw entangled in the blinds.
In the process of rescuing Buttercup, Dinah got a few puncture wounds from Buttercup's claws. So we spent Christmas Eve in the emergency room where Dinah was treated and released, but told to come back the next day.
By the time we returned to the hospital on Christmas day redness was expanding up her arm and she was admitted to the hospital where she spent four days on an antibiotic drip.
She was released on 29 December and both she and Buttercup are fine.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A New Knee

Dinah continued her quest to become fully bionic by adding a new left knee to her two hips and two lenses.After a couple of days at the Specialty Hospital in El Paso, she moved to the Rehab Hospital in Las Cruces until 2 December when she "graduated" and was released to come home.

Dinah graduates from rehab
She continues with outpatient therapy and has a way to go before she will be able to walk normally.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Panama Canal Cruise

The Norwegian Jewel
Dinah had never seen the Panama Canal while I had been through it twice, courtesy of the US Navy, but that was almost 50 years ago. So on 24 September we headed for Los Angeles and the Norwegian Jewel.
A beach in Mazatlan, Mexico
 Our first stop was in Mazatlan where we hiked around the town and looked at places to stay during a possible future land based vacation. Then on to Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, and Puntarenas, Costa Rica, before arriving at the canal.

A pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Chiapas

A Marimba in Puerto Chiapas
A beach-side market in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
The canal transit was an all day affair; three locks up, cross the Isthmus of Panama, then three locks down. When I had transited with the Navy, the talk was about the brand new Japanese locomotives that had just replaced the original  GE ones. Now, those replacement locomotives have grown old and they have also been replaced by a third generation.  Makes me feel pretty old.
The locks are in sets of two. Here we are locking along side a cargo ship.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An Update on Sassy (the puppy)

Kate, the Rescue Ranger, says:
 Sassy is officially in her new home near Seattle Washington, very near her best buddy, Loci, another puppy rescue that we picked up about 3 weeks after you dropped her off.  They play constantly when together!  Sassy's new mom's son adopted Loci, so they will see each other often.  We loved having Sassy for as long as we did, she was a very easy puppy, and extremely smart!

Sassy and playmate Loci

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lost Puppy is Doing Well

We were delighted to hear from Kate, the "rescue ranger" at Canyon de Chelle who wrote::

Sassafras Hobo (Sassy) is tick free and fattening up splendidly!  She actually has been with us the whole time since you dropped her off, she will be going to Washington to live with my room mates mom and brother as soon as she visits early next month.  She is doing great, has had very few accidents in the house, and she is getting healthier and bigger every day!  She has had all vaccinations that she can have at her age, and is getting over an upper respiratory infection she was battling.  She is a very happy puppy!

 So thanks to Kate, Sassy may live happily ever after.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Lost Puppy

We were camped at Canyon de Chelly National Monument on the Navajo Reservation in NE Arizona, and I was walking the dogs in the campground when they spotted a puppy off the side of the path. She was soaking wet, shivering, and hunkered down in the brush. I carried her back to the motor home where we wrapped her in a towel and fed her, then settled her in a pet crate. When I took her outside, I discovered that she had ticks.  Dinah and I spent some time removing more than two dozen of them before putting her to bed for the night.

The next morning we planned to leave the campground and head to Monument Valley. We checked with the ranger and were told that there was not an animal shelter in Chinle; the town at the park entrance.  She suggested we let her call the local animal control department to come get the puppy. We felt that if animal control got a hold of her she would probably be put down, but we did not want a third dog and couldn't come up with an alternative.

It happened that that day was a Navajo holiday and animal control could not be reached until the next day, so at the ranger's suggestion we left the puppy with the campground maintenance man.

Later, after checking out of the camp ground, we stopped at the visitor center and were telling the puppy story to a couple of other campers when a ranger approached us. She had overheard us and told us she was involved with an animal rescue group. If we left the puppy with her, she would find it a home.  I unhitched the car from the motor home and drove back to the camp ground looking for the maintenance man. When I found him, he told me he had released the puppy into the woods near the campground an hour or more ago. After a few minutes of searching I saw her waddling in my direction wagging her tail.

Back at the visitor center, we put her in the arms of the rescue ranger who assured us she would have no problem finding a home for this cute little pup.  We left our contact information with her and are hoping that we will soon hear that she has found a new home.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The 49th High Point - Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Allen at the summit of Mauna Kea, summit cairn to the left, telescopes to the rear.
    When I first started RVing in 2003 one of my goals was to get to the highest point of each of the 50 states.  I joined the Highpointers Club and started climbing. In August 2010 I completed the lower 48 on Granite Peak, Montana.  That left Alaska and Hawaii.
    At one time I thought I might try the Alaska high point, Denali, but now a few more years have passed, I'm a lot older and no way could I make it. Hawaii, however was a different story; one can drive almost to the top - the biggest problem was getting to the island of Hawaii, and that we did on the cruise ship Star Princess.
    We rented a 4 wheel drive truck in Hilo and were on our way.
Dinah and our rented truck at the start of the Mauna Kea access road. The mountain, hidden in clouds, is in the background.
    Our guidebook had warned us that the access road, beyond the visitor center, was very steep and in poor condition.  The book must be out of date; we found the road to be no problem at all. There were a few miles of dirt road, but it had been recently graded and, other than a little bit of washboard, presented no problems.  Of course, if it had been snowing, raining, or icy, it would have been a different story.
Dinah, near the top, dressed for the cold wind.
    I left Dinah in the parking lot near the top and set out on foot for the summit, a short hike away. After a few minutes, and lots of huffing and puffing (the summit is 13,796 feet above sea level),  I was at the top of Mauna Kea - my last high point!
The summit of Mauna Kea, my 49th - and last - state high point.