The Storm is starting…

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Well, today there is supposed to be a Blizzard here on the East coast. Out on Long Island where we are based they are expecting about a foot and a half of snow! And it is the day AFTER Christmas (would have been great to have this on Christmas eve, but now it will just be a bother as folks are trying to get home and many are supposed to get to work tomorrow!!!)…

Early this morning the yard was full of squirrels and birds foraging for food. The animals could sense that there was a major weather event on the way and were scurrying about trying to eat as much as they could before they would have to take shelter. Skies were already grey and a few stray snowflakes drifted lazily down…

As more snow fell, the squirrels began looking for better shelter than the tree they usually live in. We saw one go up to the roof of the neighbor’s house looking for the way into the attic (which the neighbor had sealed up after the squirrels’ last stay a few years ago). It was the mother squirrel–she must have remembered it from when she was little, as her own mother, our “famed” Snacker Queen, had sheltered in there a few winters ago. Frustrated that the entrance was blocked, she looked to the chimney, which also was screened off, and then she ran on, to try elsewhere (we hope not on our own roof!!!!)…

The snow is falling steadily now, and only one lone squirrel is still stretched out on the squirrola feeder, nibbling away…

Meanwhile, nice and warm inside, we hunker down and wait and watch…

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Video: New York Departure

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Deja Chicago

… plus de 2000 km déjà, et quand je vois où Chicago se trouve sur la carte … je me dis que c’est vraiment immense les USA!

On vient juste d’arriver et la première impression c’est qu’il y a vraiment quelque chose de commun avec le NY  que j’ai connu. Ou plutôt le NY comme je l’imagine avant : le métro aérien par exemple. Et puis on voit d’imposantes usines très près du centre ville … elles n’ont pas l’air d’être en état de marche … et que de feraille rouillée aussi!

posted by Cactus Killer in On the Road and have No Comments

On the road… Day One…

We finally got on the road early in the morning (though not as early as we would have liked) and the driving started out pretty smooth. The first day was a long long drive day. From New York to Ohio…

We were in PA before 9am, but Pennsylvania is a much bigger state than I imagined… and we hit some construction along the way, as well as some torrential downpours that made it almost impossible to see the vehicle in front of me…

But we made it into Ohio close enough to schedule… There was only one problem… by the time we got to Ohio skies were grey and rain was steady and heavy. Our first thought was that we would have to spend Day 1 in a hotel instead of our campsite! And that wouldn’t really be a great way to start the journey….

About 3 exits before the Cuyahoga Valley, as we were discussing our options, the skies began to clear… we would be able to camp afterall…

Made it to our site by about 6:30pm… very happy to be there! And our great reward was that we actually SAW A REAL BEAVER!!!!

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Some images from New York…

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New York Heatwave

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I feel like we are practicing for Death Valley! Yesterday it was 106 degrees here on Long Island!

We were hot! The Jeep was hot! Everyone and everything was hot!

The day started out innocent enough… warm and sunny… a typical July day. In the morning we practiced putting up the tent (it wasn’t yet QUITE that hot)… but by late afternoon the heat was so bad that even I went into the pool (an extremely rare occurrence). Later on we learned that it hasn’t gotten up into the 100 degree range here since 2001 (see NY Times news article with details) and that in general it is quite rare for it to be over 100 here.

For comparison, yesterday it was 116 in Death Valley (so only 10 degrees hotter!!!!!)

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Concentration

C’est la première fois hier que je me suis vue refuser la proposition d’aller à Manhattan ! Et en y repensant, j’ai compris que ça vient de mon besoin de concentration ! Même si tout est là : la tente, les affaires, les ordinateurs … et bien sûr la Jeep, notre Jeep qui sera un partenaire à part entière dans ce voyage … je ressens la nécessité de rester ici, de préparer, d’affiner … bref je suis déjà TENDUE vers la ROUTE. Je ressens cette tension comme si je devais me mettre en mode “survie” … Blue Coyote knows that … on devra être là,  les quatre sens aux aguets et l’intelligence de l’homme de Cromagnon prête à servir à tout moment !

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Fireworks

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Either because it was the Fourth of July, or because our trip is coming very very very very very very very very very very very very very very…. soon, we decided to make some fireworks, firecrackers and a few fountains. Here’s a picture… We did not use all of them because the two mothers began to be frightened : my mom cactus killer and blue coyote’ s mother (what???… you did not know coyotes stay with their mothers very long!?!?!?!?!…..) Anyway we had a lot of fun!

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Under the Hood…

With freedom comes responsibility… And I have the great responsibility of getting us all there and back again safely. Which is exactly what brought me to the Jeep dealership the other day.

We need to make sure our vehicle can withstand the grueling workout it is going to get. Our greatest concern is the extreme conditions of Death Valley in August where it can get as high as 130 degrees farenheit!

Our Jeep becomes more than  just a mode of transport out there. It becomes a critical tool for survival. So having it checked out by our mechanic is important. And it is also important that we be able to do some emergency service in case something breaks down out in the desert.

So that means, we’d better know how to change a flat tire, and it was also suggested by those more experienced with Jeeping in the desert, that we carry some spare hoses, fan belt and so forth… and following up on that, I found myself getting a tutorial in changing radiator hoses and replacing the fan belt!

It was interesting to learn about what is under the hood of my Jeep, even though I hope I will never have to use that knowledge in the field!!!! But somehow it just seemed appropriate to start the story of our road trip with the hood of the Jeep open…

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The team is here!

So we are finally all assembled together here in NY!

It was a bit hectic at the end, as Cactus Killer and Silly Squirrel arrived kind of late… as in well after midnight!!!! But all was good… They were just a little tired (and I was too! … still nothing that a bit of sleep can’t fix)…

We drove out to Nesconset where the Big Weasel was waiting, and we shared a welcome drink before heading off to bed at 3:30am!!!!

posted by Blue Coyote in On the Road and have Comments (2)

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