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Daily Prompt: Far from Home

Arizona
Arizona

Arizona is far from home for us.  We live in the Northeast and this is the Southwest.

For me,  a Trucker I always traveled far from home but for the most part I traveled within the United States with a dash into Canada now and then.

This trip was special as the man  I loved was not given much hope of a long life so we packed up the old Chevy van with camping  supplies and Gold Prospecting equipment we already had and the pup of course and headed west.  He had never been past the military base in Texas and that was so long ago for boot camp.  He flew in and out of there.  So this would be a journey for him but for me it would be like old times, well without the shifting.

We stayed out on BLM  land for 6 or 7 weeks till we had to come back for another visit with his doctor.  He did not want to go back home least of all for more tests.  I missed home and my kitty too much to hide my head in the sand of the desert.  We loaded up the old van and said our goodbyes to all we had met and I snapped a few more photos.

We came home to good news much to their amazement.  We could once again take out the map from my old trucking days and plan a trip far from home.

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We Headed Home

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This story is more about our journey home.

First a  little about our trip first.

We had travelled by conversion van, a 1993 with a big Patriots mural on the side.

Me and him and JT.

We were loaded up with winter and summer clothes.

Prospecting equipment to hunt for Gold.

Dog food and human food.

Tent, Sleeping bags and even a dog bed.

 

We stayed in the tent till the Christmas day 80 mph winds broke a tent stake.

So we made do inside the van, for a few more days.

New Years Eve came and went with a big party with everyone else who was prospecting.

We set about getting our site we had used,  out on BLM land,  back to the way we found it and

said our goodbye’s.

 

 

JT  had been away from the beach for so long that I planned our long ride home, to NH,  hitting as

many beaches from the east side of Texas all along the Gulf Coast.  She was so excited when she saw her first body of water.

This dog is so smart.  Here it is winter and her head is outside the window,  smelling the sea.  You should have seen her face when I pulled

off into a State Park she was allowed in and I grabbed her Frisbee!  She bounded out of that side door and headed for the shore.

Just like when you would tell your children you were taking them to the beach.  Now this scene got better with each stop along the way.

She was beside herself with joy of seeing water again and not just in her bowl.

 

 

We watched the miles add up on the odometer,  with each one added we were getting closer to home.

We were tired. Coyotes kept us up most of the nights in the desert .  I suppose it could have been worse with a bear or mountain lion.

We made it up to New Jersey on the turnpike and knew we were six hours or less away from the door depending on what we hit as we

arrived in New York City area.  Rush hour was what we would be looking at so I prepared  for bumper to bumper,

nasty NYC traffic.

 

Now the real reason for this post.

Have you heard of Captain Sully?

The pilot who landed his plane full of crew and passengers in the Hudson River.

I had no idea it was happening as I got to the end of the turnpike to pay my toll and wondered where all the traffic was.

It was actually not sitting well inside of me.  I lived on these roads.   I knew something horrible had happened,  the highway was EMPTY

just the three of us in a Chevy van with our football  team logo on the side and no one to honk at us.

 

I asked my boyfriend to pop out the tape and get me a local channel.

We were now up on top of the George Washington Bridge,  with the water down below us,  as we heard on the radio about a plane landing on the

river!

Are you kidding me,  the reports were saying everyone was OK and they were calling this crew heroes.  Boats from close by  were picking people up

out of the river and rushing them to safety .

 

 

We drove through the rest of New York,  never touching the brakes and headed into Connecticut then Massachusetts and into New Hampshire,  the

ride really flew by, funny how when you hear awesome news  it takes you out of everything you may have been worrying about  and puts you on cloud

nine.

 

 

That day I knew the world had witnessed a miracle.

It was a new year and he had landed his plane on the HUDSON  RIVER,  who does that?

Well it all came flooding back to me today as I watched him honored again,   this time on The  Katie C. Show.

He may never see himself as a hero but to me that is what he will always be.

Thanks  Captain  Sully

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JT’s Adventures ……part one

JT Close-up

Well by now most of you know our JT (Jess-Tex) at least in photos.  She is our Border Collie and no we do not have a farm.

I have shared my life with fourteen dogs five of which were part of a litter that went on to new homes where they were adored family members.

This dog above was born at a friend’s home,  the male  her father was from Texas and they drove from Vermont to pick him up.  JT’s mother was a dog that was dropped off at their place in Vermont.  Gorgeous lighter Gray with white.  She was scared who knows the kind of life had she lead.

JT was like the runt with a not so perfect face marking and it was just her sister and her no one had chosen to be theirs.

Now I wanted no more dogs but here were the two prettiest faces begging to be loved.  I said I wanted both,  actually could not believe that came out of my mouth.  The daughter said she was taking the tri color one.  I was taking JT as long as they were both fixed,  I didn’t care.

The day we found her in the horse stall with her sister,  we had been camping with a three-year old great-niece  so we went home to NH but when I got to my house I called them and said I would be back up for the pup I had fallen in love with. Her husband was going to be in NH on a welding job so he brought the pup with him so we did not have to go all the way back to northern Vermont.

We bought a leash and collar as well as  bowl and water,  as it would be a long ride for a puppy and headed north.

We took the pickup truck with a bench seat so she could lay between us.   Funny as I look back six and a half years later  at that ride home.  She would lay her head on my leg then wander over to the passenger side for his leg.  She was trying to settle in on that big seat but wanted to be close to both of us,  her HERD.

We stopped often to walk her, and to let her have some water and then she was scooped up again and placed in the middle between us.    It is where she has always ridden till he bought this new truck with the big back seat.  All hersto be sure.

She had been born on Mother’s Day and  in October she took her first really long ride down to Georgia.  We went gold prospecting with a club he belonged to and she set about making many new friends that weekend.  It was really rainy and nasty,  creeks were swollen I was so glad this camping trip was in a cabin with a hot tub.

This pup has led a very interesting life to be sure.  She could have a blog of her own.

We no sooner got back from our trip to Georgia when we set in motion an epic cross-country trip  that would include sleeping out in the wild, in a tent for the month of December.  Not too worry we would be in Arizona and it is still warm right?

We bought an old RV and he made it road worthy and we were looking forward to an amazing journey together.    Then the gas prices soared so we scrapped the idea of taking the old beast back west where it had actually been made.  I looked for a van cheaper on gas and room for all we would need to bring with us.  I found a pretty cool looking Chevy van, a conversion van the kind with a bench seat that lays down and can be used as a bed.  We bought it from a group of men who used it  to go back and forth to New England Patriot football games.  Yes tailgaters.  It has a HUGE Patriots Loge on one whole window.  I never thought about the fact we were going to be in the Super Bowl and the game would be in Arizona!

What a trip that was from the start.  JT could feel the excitement.  I rented a place for our cat to go where,  she was to be treated like a Queen, for the money she better have been the center of attention.  He made a rack for the hitch, the fact he was a welder for 30 years came in handy.  On this rack we took the tool box off the pick-up and placed our clothes and tenting supplies as well has some dry goods like JT’s Food and dog bones.  We would be on BLM land and there would be no stores, no street lights, no phones.  JT would be the only one out of the three of us to do nothing but play as any pup will do.  They said rattle snakes would have taken cover as well as the other critters who live under ground,   I was hoping so.

So we loaded up and headed south, I had to say good-by and Merry Christmas to Mom on our way.  We opened our gifts and had a beautiful meal then loaded back into the van and headed out of New England.  Leaving what we thought  of winter behind us as well.

As we headed south through Massachusetts we heard a lot of horn blowing and people giving me the THUMBS UP  signs that was different for me having been in a big rig all those years and it was never a THUMB I got!  People were excited,  they saw the sign and our team was in the hunt for a ticket to the BIG GAME!  When we hit NJ the looks changed, funny how that works.

I stopped on the NJ Turnpike to top off of the gas tank when a big dark-colored Suburban pulls on the other side of the pump.  It had those really dark windows,  looking kind of sinister.  This is a place they pump for you, so as I am sitting and waiting I hear a horn beep then I see the black glass start to open  and there were four huge black men smiling at me I was kind of confused then one pointed to the SIGN on our window and said GO PATS!!!  They could have been players looking at the size of them!  It was like that the whole trip out. Just random strangers stopping us to congratulate our team on the playoffs  and wishing us well on our journey.  They all petted JT.  I swear more love was given to her that first year of her life.  No wonder she chooses humans over animals to play with.  She never new life as a dog.

 

more later on JT’s Adventures with us and her adoring fans

 

 

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Wish We Had Headed West

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Well after shoveling and snow blowing all day I am missing the west. The Southwest actually.  The desert of AZ.Today where we live in NH, we got our first snowstorm,  for a total of just over a foot of snow.  So I am really missing the sunny, dry conditions of the desert southwest.

 

I know I would miss my birds,  what would they do without me?  One year when I took off for the west I cut open a 50 lb. bag of sunflower seeds and spread them out under my truck,  someone or something had some good meals for the few weeks we were gone.  Summer trips we take there are plenty of bugs to eat but in the dead of winter and them being used to having their meals here,  it was the least I could do for them , what was $25.