Jan. 3 2009, we awoke to 37 degree temps and clear skies. A hard freeze had been forecast for overnight and I learned later that some areas around us had ice. However, we didn’t get a freeze on our site. I think it’s because of the forest canopy or maybe our proximity to the river.
It was Rico’s 5th Birthday, so we took Rico and Maggie for a walk down his favorite dirt forest road, Road 1. When we first came to Big Shoals, we took Rico and Maggie with us on hikes along the trails. However, that usually resulted in the dogs overheating and huffing and puffing so loud as to scare anything within 50 yards of us away. We discovered we didn’t enjoy hiking with the dogs on leash. I also was worried they might come across a rattlesnake and not react appropriately. However of greater concern was the fact that we found a couple of small ticks on them after the hikes on the narrow trails. Subsequently, we resolved to only take them on dirt roads or fire roads to limit contact with brush and vegetation and thus ticks.
After our walk, we didn’t do anything exciting as it remained cold only warming to the mid 40’s. I stayed home with the dogs and Joyce took her car to Lake City to do some shopping (her favorite hobby). Before committing to our full time RV lifestyle, we had made a decision to keep her car. Although it’s now 8 years old (2002) it only has 60K miles. We decided we would try our lifestyle with both vehicles as it gives us more versatility. Moreover, I haven’t convinced myself to let her drive “my truck”. In all seriousness, the truck is very large and a diesel. I don’t like to use it for short trips and it’s not always easy to find a place to park it. Also it’s not very economical at about 14-15 mpg whereas the car gets 23-26 mpg. We’ve thought about selling or trading the car for a jeep or SUV, but will wait to see how the whole two vehicle situation plays out down the road when we get more travel miles under our belts.