Just a blog before I go…

Deb and I are pulling things together to leave for Ohio in the morning. That leaves little time to recreate or compose a blog post — which is fine, considering. Still, I wanted to catch up on a couple of random things.

In passing yesterday I mentioned that we’d equipped our Ranger with a “spiffy new rifle case.” That deserves an explanation.

We wanted a way to carry two rifles in or on the buggy, whether for hunting, riding out to the range or other purposes. Exploring our options, we rejected the idea of a horizontal rack on the ceiling of the cab (not enough headroom), a vertical mount on the floor of the cab (not enough elbow room) and various exterior mounts and racks (too susceptible to catching on trees and brush).

Then I ran across a different solution that looked like it’d work — a sturdy soft case that attaches to the roll bar with six quick-release straps. The bag has two full-length compartments, one accessible from each end, plus four exterior pockets for ammo and such.

Cabelas.com had it on sale for $20 off, along with free two-day shipping, which came to one-third the price of anything else we’d considered. And lawd, it’s camo.

The case arrived Saturday and I mounted it yesterday. Quality is good, especially for the price, and once attached it seems solid. I like the fact that I don’t have to remove it completely to lower (or raise) the headache rack — just unfasten four of the straps.

It’s a simple solution. I’ll report back on how it works out.

You may have noticed that almost every photo of Scout or Dipstick shows them leashed, or occasionally on tie-outs. The one exception, I believe, is when we turned them loose in the campground’s dog park one snowy day last winter.

There’s a reason for that.

Both of our pups were raised that way. They’ve been house dogs and leash dogs all their lives. Campground rules require leashes anyway, so on the road it’s no adjustment for them (or us).

And at the age of 12 (our girl Scout) and seven (The ‘Stick), it’s too late to re-train them.

Recently we got a small welded-wire enclosure and set it up in the yard of our campsite. It gives them (and us) a break from tethers. Once we’re settled on The Mountain we’ll build them a much more spacious enclosure.

Maybe they don’t have the run-free life some dogs do, but rest assured that Scout and Dipstick are ridiculously happy and well-cared-for pups. If you’ve met them — and some of you have — you know.

When we wheel out of Harrison early tomorrow, the temperature is forecast to be a bone-chilling 29°F. The next morning’s low will be 25°F, followed by 35°F at daybreak Thursday before more seasonable temps return.

Yes, I talk about a lot about that sort of thing. That’s because weather, particularly temperature swings, affect Life with Ernie.

Before we leave we’ll shut off water at the hydrant and disconnect. We’ll open the interior fixtures, too, in case of a freeze.

We’ll turn off the HVAC completely — no electric heat pumps and no LP furnaces. I don’t want the rooftop units fighting through defrost cycles and I don’t feel comfortable leaving the furnaces running unattended for the first time this season.

Two things we’ll leave on — the 120V side of the water heater and the 12V radiant heater in the wet bay. We won’t turn off the propane supply completely, leaving it available to the fridge as backup if the park loses electric power.

These are things I think about. Rational thought is the antidote to needless concern.

I believe that temps the next few mornings will “bounce” quickly off their overnight lows and won’t pose a problem anyway. I’d just rather be prudent about it.

We ride at dawn.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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