Indian Summer on the prairie

Almost all campgrounds have what’s called “quiet hours.” Beginning at 10pm and ending at 7am is pretty typical — it’s not a curfew or anything, just a time to respect other guests by keeping noise and artificial light to a minimum.

Today’s forecast high is 95°F, climbing into the 80s quickly. Some of my pre-launch routine (like checking cold pressures in all ten tires) has to be done early, when it’s cool, and all of it would be easier before the heat arrives.

I waited ’til after the park’s quiet hours had expired and attacked my chores — tires, batteries, fluids and lubing a handful of components. I also stowed everything I could, leaving only our camp chairs out. We’ll disconnect water and sewer after the sun goes down.

I finished before 9am. It was a good start to this day, paving the way for a smoother tomorrow.

Dipstick isn’t doing well. He hasn’t had a real meal in a week. The consultation with our Ohio vet this morning produced new instructions — upped dosages, force-feeding Gatorade — but there’s no sign that we’re winning the battle.

The whole situation illustrates what we mean when we say, “This isn’t a vacation — it’s life.”

If we can nurse the sick ‘Stick to our destination tomorrow afternoon, there’s a veterinary clinic less than a half-mile from the campground. They should be able to do blood work to give us a better idea of what’s going on and administer IV fluids to help prop him up.

Deb made dinner last night, a simple-but-hearty dish of red beans and rice with andouille sausage. Afterward, as is our custom here, we sat and watched the sun set, the fading light painting the sky with brilliant streaks of red and violet.

“I’m going to miss this place,” Deb said softly.

That makes two of us. Four, if Dipstick and Scout voted.

We agreed that it’s safe and comfortable here, quiet, peaceful, the perfect place to land for a while. The people are great, like-minded folks all. Although we can’t say that we’ll ever be back, life is full of surprises — right?

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath