Ample Ramblings Forum #1

Before the blog has been two iterations of an Ample Ramblings forum that had a few postings. We are saving them here for posterity.


Tell The Ample Traveler(c) where to go

The Ample Traveler(c) wants to know what destinations you would like to learn more about.

So tell us where to go!

On 09/16/04 Carl wrote:

Campgrounds with cheap hookups.

On 09/27/04 Susan_Koppelman wrote:

Come to Tucson!
Susan and Dennis

On 10/01/04 Carl wrote:

Um, OK. ;)

On October 4, we visited Susan and Dennis near Tucson and enjoyed their lovely backyard for two weeks in the shadow of Mount Limmon.


Where was your best vacation?

The Ample Traveler(c) wants to know...

Where was your best vacation?

Share the juicy details. What made it a great place to be? How much planning did it take to make it great? Were there accessibility issues you had to overcome? Are you going to go back?

On 09/16/04 at Carl wrote:

Not sure if this was my all-time Number One, but I went to the Yukon with this certain special young woman ;) in 2003. I think it will be my most memorable vacation in any case.


What is your dream vacation?

Close your eyes. Where are going? How are you getting there? What makes it a great place to be?

Come on, cher, share.

On 09/16/04 Carl wrote:

I blew my chance to be the first man on the moon (although being only three years old at the time somewhat excused my failure), but there are other celestial bodies out there.

I dream big.


Cat on a Hot Tin Motor Home

On 09/16/04 Carl wrote:

It's never too early to start talking about one's housepets.

My adopted "daughter" turned eight years old this month. Her name is Anawim, which means "the forgotten ones." (She was abandoned by her mother and raised by me and my wife.) She traveled with us extensively even before we moved into a motor home full-time, and the move has been only a slight adjustment for her. She is used to the bed being her "home base" and has a history of defending it versus all comers (with legendary trysts with hotel staff resulting), which has allowed her some modicum of continuity in her new environment: she can still retire to the bedroom in the back of the RV and sulk if things aren't working out her way.

She has found some hiding places in the front part of the vehicle as well, which enable her to listen in on our conversations for hours and then make a sudden dash for the back (or to bite us on the ankle in one of her famous and only marginally effective sneak attacks) when she deems it appropriate.

Anawim does not use a litter box. We have walked her on a leash for several years. She has a congenital problem with her hind legs that makes it difficult for her to be as tidy as we would like her to be at key moments. Moving into the motor home did not involve much of a change in her routine in this respect. If anything, the outdoors is closer and easier to get to than it was when we lived in apartments.

On the other hand, her occasional accidents tend to show up in less convenient and more surprising places.

What kinds of pets do travelers take with them when they travel, and what have you heard about the results?

On 09/20/04 nchristensen wrote:

I had a cat that I brought everywhere with me. Invariably, bringing her on planes was a trauma because she would yowl all through the flight. I would get dirty looks and pointed comments. In addition, she would always catch a cold from the flight.


On 09/21/04 Carl wrote:

Different animals handle travel differently, and the same animal will handle it differently from trip to trip. Anawim is pretty sturdy about being relocated for the most part, but she has days where she resists the process all the way. I have the feeling that she tries to be brave but does not always succeed. :)

On 10/04/04 Carl wrote:

Another cute domesticated animal travel story:

We spent last weekend at a campground in New Mexico, and the resident cat was named Grumpy. This name was apparently motivated by the misnomer-as-joke factor, because he was friendly in the extreme. He adopted us the moment we entered the park and almost didn't let us out of his sight for two days. He would follow us around and petition to be petted whenever he saw us. He tried to follow us into our motor home more than once (which we couldn't permit because Anawim obviously has to be a priority). He was very comfortable in the three camp chairs that he believed we had set out just for him (perhaps not that erroneous a belief).

He weighed about fifteen pounds and enjoyed play-fighting with our outstretched arms and hands on several occasions, leaving a number of well-intentioned superficial wounds on us. Grumpy was big enough and agile enough to take care of himself, having killed rattlesnakes singlehandedly (according to reports from the park staff), so the overall effect of his presence was the "gentle giant" impression left (cultivated?) by large but good-natured domestic cats.

It broke our hearts to leave him, but because of his residence there and for other, unrelated reasons, we haven't ruled out the possibility of returning to the campground in question at some point. We hope he will still be there if we do so, because he was a delight.


Where is The Ample Traveler?

Look for quick posts here regarding where we are as we travel around the country.

Sep 22 to 29 The Badlands South Dakota (09/24/04)

The Badlands were difficult to spot when we came into Interior, SD on Wednesday. It was raining, sometimes as much as 1/2 per hour.

We spent Thursday in the RV watching the waters rise.

About 3pm the clouds parted and the winds began to blow. By night fall, the stars were out and we were hearing coyotes howling at the quarter moon.

This morning we traveled to Rapid City to come up to broadcast depth and to check out the sunshine. The drive over on "Scenic 44" was awesome (in the truest meaning of that term).

It is a beautiful day in western South Dakota.

On 09/24/04 Carl wrote:

I'd like to add that we ate at the A & M Cafe in Interior two nights ago. We ordered, upon recommendation, the Indian tacos, and they were abundant and delicious. TAT fans may be hearing more about our Badlands experiences later, hint hint. :)

On 10/04/04 Carl wrote:

We did New Mexico over the weekend and are currently in Arizona. This may surprise some of our readers, but both states seem to get quite hot in the daytime in October and quite chilly at night, especially in what locals call the "desert" regions.

On 10/04/04 Pattie wrote:

To elaborate on Carl's post. It has been an incredible week of traveling. We left the Badlands last Wednesday morning and made it to Truth or Consequences/Elephant Butte New Mexico in three days. We found a wonderful little campground called Cozy Cove along Elephant Butte Lake. It was so beautiful and so friendly we decided to stay and extra day and enjoy a leisurely pace.

We did do a bit of a car tour, but mostly stayed around the campground where we got to know the staff, wrestled with the resident snake-killer attack cat and played board games in the "Clubhouse" while we did our laundry. It was a fun day.

On Sunday, we discovered the joys of driving in the desert. The RV had "vapor lock" problems. Basically, the gas in the tank gets so hot that it boils, creating air bubbles that keep gas from where it should go. This basically causes the RV engine to stall. We had to stop several times to let the gas cool.

We finished our journey to Tucson, AZ where we are visiting with Susan and Dennis who have graciously allowed us to hook-up in their backyard. After being mostly away from civilization for a little over two weeks, we are enjoying Tucson's cafes and free wireless connections.

We are putting together the next issue of The Ample Traveler and continuing to promote the website. This morning we recorded an interview with Veronica Cook-Euell on her radio show Size Matters. We will keep you updated on when the show will be aired.

Tucson is hot and dry. Surprised? Us neither. But it is spectacularly beautiful. We look forward to exploring the surrounding area and letting you know what's accessible.

On 10/08/04 Carl wrote:

To elaborate on Pattie's post: Tucson is EXCEEDINGLY hot and dry. The humidity right now is 7% (according to the hygrometer in my van which does not have air conditioning), and the temperature is 91 F. And it's October.


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