Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Erika's Colorado Adventure

After settling in behind the booth at the Colorado Renaissance, I found my accommations extremely modern. Especially with some of the other faires, its either a tent or a hotel room. Havin an efficient apartment right behind where I work is the ULTIMATE. My drive from Alabama to Larkspur, Colorado was long but very beautiful! My co-pilot Tasha was enjoying the ride herself. She is such a great travelin companion. Makings of a good rennie dog...lol

Life is definitely interesting on the road. Im used to that everyday hustle of the corporate world. The job that is always in the same place...how boring! My first week in Colorado was one for the books in my travels. Colorado Renaissance started off on a harsh note. It was so cold and wet and instead of bringing a heater on the road I brought a fan instead. Must remember to prepare for anything on the road. Thank god I wasnt in a tent!

Last week, Larry and Kerry took me on a quided tour of absolutely beautiful scenery and a drive up to their property up in Whitehorn. It was a WOW kind of day. With the cold weather we had that weekend, the mountain tops were covered in snow. As soon as I figure out my digital camera I will post some pictures.

Its an absolutely beautiful day here today, so Im taking Kerry's advice and Im taking the day off to go on a walkabout with Tasha. Need to remember to buy batteries for the camera.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Short - REALLY short - updates

I keep telling Erika to enjoy her time in Colorado but yesterday I realized that we are working her a bit too hard. Thanks for being such a trooper Erika, but this week we will insist on you getting out and relaxing some.

Second Saturday at CRF was perfect weather. Sunny, yet with enough afternoon clouds to keep it cool. The new sales help Domonique seems like she will fit in just fine. But after hanging out at the fair longer than I intended to, I'm tired and I am off to bed!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Where did I just say just say blogging is like time/money? If you have money, you usually don't have time, and if you have time, you usually don't have any money. So with blogging, if I have something to write about, I don't have time to write, and if I have time to write, I don't have anything to blog about.

Our trip up here was fairly uneventful. We had one stop south of Fort Worth to replace some coolant hoses, then on our way. It was hot - for Larry mostly, as me and Shadow had A/C in the Ford. We arrived at the ranch where we are staying about 5 pm. After unloading the ponies and parking the trailer, we drove over to the faire site and unloaded the pickup.

Sunday saw about 2 more 'unloadings'. I think when I die I will have my tombstone read

"Finally Unloaded"

The booth is in amazingly good shape. There is very little to do to get ready except rearrange a few shelves to accomidate a slightly different setup in the back room. The sign out front needs a small touch up.

Everyone is there of course. If they aren't there, they are pulling in everytime I turn around. Irish is already there. Cricket is there. And Zak on the other side. Yes, this is a good booth location.

Erika drove long on Monday. She left Fort Smith Arkansas Monday morning and got into Colorado Springs about 11:15 pm. We met her at a local 7-11 and guided her to the booth. I hop in her car as we follow Larry. Tasha her pomeranian isn't very sharing with the front seat. Erika is packed to the gills and her car smells like ours! Waifs of aromas meander by with every turn!

It's only 8 miles to site. "Here ya go, Erika. See you in the morning". We don't stay long.

The next morning we all slept in. How can you not sleep well up here in the cool, dry mountain air?

Tuesday. Erika has gotten all her stuff unloaded and set up in her bedroom and even showered. She is thrilled! And it IS a very comfy bedroom for a booth. I've been in and stayed in a lot of different renn booths over the past 30 years. There are some nice apartments and then there are some no better than a cardboard box and you have to argue with the rats for sleeping space.

At one point I take Erika on a tour of the site. I just keep trudging away, up hill, down hill. At first Erika stops a few times. I'm trying to tell her that she REALLY will consider quiting smoking after this trip to Colorado. I hope so.

Lots to do. Today I will get Erika's internet connection set up so she can start talking about Tennessee and her thoughts on Colorado. That will be good, because I have a lot of catching up to to on my other blog. But now we are done traveling for a bit, I will have more time on the 'puter, assuming I don't fall asleep early like I did last night.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rennie road trips

Gotta say, I think rennies must have the best road trip stories. Even if we haven't gotten on the road yet! Larry and I have been working for several weeks without break in mid-ninety-something degree weather and we are about whupped. This vagabond traveling makes for great campfire stories, but sure is tough when it's happening.

Last summer, if you remember, we bought us a big trailer. This spring we bought us a big truck to pull our big trailer. The Tennessee Renaissance Festival was suppose to finance the putting together and fixing up stuff, but because of the massive flooding and the rain in Tennessee, the faire made the budget a bit tighter. But that really isn't the problem. It's time.

Time is what Larry doesn't have. At his age, it is just difficult to be crawling around under a truck fixing things, picking up and pushing things. It takes longer - so it seems - to do things. When you are 30 or 35 years old, hell, even 45 or 50 years old, a person still has a good measure of strength and endurance. Larry celebrated - if you call it that - his 71st birthday a week ago today.

But I think it isn't even that. This truck IS a good truck, but every day it seems Larry finds another thing that needs fixing before we can put it on the road hauling a 42 foot trailer.

First we had to take off all the lettering, which was my job, and clean it and then paint on "Non-Commercial For Recreational Use Only" to help get past the DOT. Both Texas and Colorado DOT told us that is what we need to have in order to not be pulled over. And the truck is a class 4-6 and under the 26,000 lb weight limit for CDL, so I think we will be cool there, but there is always the occasional trooper that has to check things out. I hope there will never be a blog about that.

Then I put in some carpet and carpet padding (not in that order!). All the while Larry is finishing up a few basics in the trailer - mostly the pony stall. Then he has to drill through 3/4" steel and mount the ball for the gooseneck, and put on a sheet of plywood for a makeshift 'bed' behind the cab. Then he had to fix the brake lights on the truck. Before all that he had to put the seats back in the truck and fix the air lines. I had the fun of getting under the truck to put on the washers and nuts. Got to know my drive line real good there.

Somewhere in there I put on some limo tint on the back window of both the big rig and the pickup. Helps keep the heat down in the cabs as we head west. The big truck doesn't have any A/C, so Larry will have to drive with the windows down, but once we get to Amarillo it will be better. Less humidity but the weather is forcasting 100 degree days up in the Texas panhandle for the next couple of days. As we are also hauling some livestock (our two ponys, which you can read about on my other blog Hoofbeats), we are seriously considering doing some driving at night.

At one point Larry fires up the truck to move it, and the brakes are stuck...that took nearly a day to unfreeze. Today he finally hooks the truck to the trailer for the first time and spent nearly an hour fixing the wiring on the pigtail because the turn signal wires were switched. Oh yea, he had already had to correct them when he fixed the brake lights earlier, because he had the wires backwards. When you turned on the left blinker the front left and the right rear would go off and visa versa. Once he got the truck blinkers all in sync, the trailer lights were switched! Larry was smart enough to put in a terminal fuse block on the trailer wires, so it was easier to work with. For anyone who has tried to wire a trailer pigtail and get all the right wires matched up with the correct wires on your truck, you know what a headache THAT can be. In fact, when we picked up the trailer last August in Hobbs, NM, it took Larry and two others all day long to try and get turn signals and brake lights working correctly......and never did.

So Larry pulls the trailer out and is going to run it down to Dave's Country Store for a test run, see how it feels. Larry doesn't stop at Dave's because Larry doesn't have brakes. Uh oh......

Another job. It is obvious we aren't leaving in the morning. I am beginning to think I have done something bad to someone and it's my karma to keep staying here on the Texas Gulf Coast in June. Hot. Humid. Sticky. Mosquitos. This is one t-shirt a day weather.

Trip number 582 to the NAPA parts store. More calls to the local International Truck place with questions. It is a air brake canister. Good news, it is on sale this month for only $48. Beats the $87 International wanted.

And all this before we even pull out of the driveway. Larry won't get his CB put in either. One of these days I will find that 5 page story that the late Bear wrote about how it took him 2 weeks to get from the Colorado Renaissance Festival to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Ever rennie has a road story.