Ready, Set, Go

(Sunny is up and ready to continue his story of his travels)

The house was emptied: everything sold or in the RV or put in storage…Tumbleweed’s older friend, Jo had just sold her family farm and moved into Senior housing. She was ready for a change and an opportunity to visit a childhood friend in Florida. We picked her up at her Senior housing: packed, smiling and ready to take a long ride in our home. So the door closes and she takes her Seat on the passenger She soon got used to all of us 4-leggeds. She talked to us, petted us, rested with us all around her and even let Butter and Bandit share her bed (as long as they slept at the bottom.

We pointed south down Route 81, into Pennsylvania and experienced sleeping next to Truckers (many of them had dogs with them, Jelly and Peanut met them when out walking. I loved watching for that Flying J sign where RV’s had special parking and weren’t in the lot with the truckers.

We kept on going through southern NY, into and through PA and into Maryland. We had so much fun seeing the countryside through our windows and seeing early Fall when we had just left late Fall.

Our Home on wheels was cozy but full….now we were 7 cats, 2 dogs and TWO Humans

jims-bus-003    jims-bus-001


Moving Out

Sunny is back to continue his tales:

We headed back to my first real home in Fulton, NY. I had forgotten how big the house was and it felt good running up and down stairs and out onto the closed in porches. Tumble weed said: “Enjoy the space while you can. The motor home will soon be our full time home. I need to get the RV in for service to replace the front AC fan motor and have the board replaced in the generator.”

While the servicing was being done, she started packing up everything in the house. A man friend helped set up the items to be sold at a “moving sale” and some things would be put into storage. It was great fun checking out all the bags and boxes that appeared and then disappeared. One day we were all shut up stairs while people walked through to buy our stuff.moving-out-2


When the RV was ready, Tumbleweed parked it in the driveway so we could finish packing in what we needed for a long trip that would not end. Friends like Dr. Mary Bochino, DVM stopped in to say good-by. They thought they were funny when they wrapped “CAUTION” tape around the RV as a warning to others on the road with us.

Jelly got really excited and anxious to get going. As soon as he saw a suitcase, he sat down beside  it letting everyone know that HE was ready to go. He barked, “Hurry Up”. He always like riding in any vehicle and didn’t even mind riding to the Vet. That ride (to the Vet) always made me sick.moving out 3.jpg


Towards the end of October, we had a good run through the house to say good-by to the house that had sheltered us through quite a few winters. Then we 4-leggeds moved into the Motorhome in the driveway while Tumbleweed and friends gave the house one last “clean-up” to make sure that everything had been cleaned out. We would now become full-timers on the road with no house to come back to.

moving out 1.jpg

Test Drive

This is Tumbleweed Speaking.

Sunny found this part of the test drive boring. He looked after the others and slept a lot as I learned more about caring for our new motor home. So, I’m giving him a rest. After all, he is 18 yrs old, and he complains very loudly if pushed too hard. I don’t know if you have any idea how loud a cat can yowl when he is upset or angry!

Learning about the motor home on this test excursion into Ohio and Indiana from Fulton, New York:

My first challenge was to climb on top of the RV to patch a leak. Sitting in the hot sun the sealing must have totally dried up and cracked around the “fantastic fan” in the kitchen ceiling. When it rained hard after a long dry spell I watched a water stain starting to crawl across the ceiling from the corner of the fan. While still raining. I climbed up and put a large piece of oil cloth across the area which temporarily protected against further leaks. After the rain stopped. I removed the cloth to let it dry out. I found some supplies at a local hardware store (no camping world available in the area), and went back up to reseal the area around the fan. Next rain: no more leaks! Note: Since I was doing this in shorts, I attracted the attention of several males in the park. They seemed to prefer watching rather than helping.


I had trouble getting used to the generator.I only used it when we were stopped and I wanted to put the air-conditioner on for the pets. It didn’t work consistently for me. I had a list of RV service shops that belonged to a group called “:Route 66” (membership provided by the dealership when purchasing the RV). Found one in Streetsboro and they gave me priority to bring the RV in without waiting. I thought they would have a simple answer that would help me find what I was doing wrong. They discovered that it was not me but the generator (they couldn’t start it either!) which had deeper problems which couldn’t be fixed easily. They suggested that it would be better to get it fixed where I had the warranty.

So, I pointed North and then East toward home.  Going along northern Ohio, we stopped near Toledo. I parked the motor home with the pets and ferried across to Put in Bay in Lake Erie to visit my niece. She and I walked to the local Butterfly House. (Nice break for me.) Then back in the motor home I stopped in Vermillion, Ohio to visit my uncle, the bee keeper.


We stayed overnight at a park that had huge stones at all of the corners of the roads through the park. I was still getting used to the size of the vehicle and the need for wider turns. As I turned right I heard a scrape. My misjudgment caused a break in the bracket supporting the tail pipe. When I got out and checked the damage, I saw that the tail pipe still held in place, at least temporarily. I pulled out my travel guide to locate a recommended RV repair shop. The nearest was in Erie, PA. Once there, I discovered that they did not repair engine related problems in Motor Homes. The young man (son of owner) took time to look up several shops that could do the work….Two of them were in Northeast, PA. That was in the direction we were going. They were great, sympathetic and helpful. A good find. I used them several times in later travels.

From Northeast, PA we soon found ourselves on the NY State turnpike with a straight drive through to our destination. We used rest stops along the way to walk the dogs, eat and catnap.

Results of our test drive: I realized that I could manage the motor home alone on the road. I found that Enterprise was everywhere with a car to rent so I had no need to tow one behind. I had problems but was able to find help and a resolution. I had parked in pull-ins. back-ins and drive throughs. I maneuvered lining up by the gas tanks to fill up. My pets all traveled well, even the ones that would throw up when transported in a carrier to the veterinarian had no problems in the RV. ALL of our guardian angels worked overtime and really earned their wings and polished their halos. I gained confidence: We can do this!




On to Indiana

(Sunny continues his travel story)

We (the four legged travelers) soon learned that when Tumbleweed started putting everything away, checking all the cupboards to see that they were  tight and/or locked, we had to watch out. The motorhome soon became smaller. We had a slider which moved the wall out three feet when we were parked for a few days. She told us to get our toys out of the way and move to the back of the RV. truffles   Truffles was the first one who found the gap between the ceiling and the top of the slider. She was pulled out before she got too far. She could be crushed when the slider moved back out. Tumbleweed started stuffing old blankets in the opening to keep cats out. What a spoil sport!

After pulling in all of our hook-ups, we headed West to Indiana. Tumbleweed wanted to see the area where the Limberlost had been. Her favorite author, Gene Stratton-Porter had lived  there and written about it in many of her stories. The forest, the swamp and the oil from under the area were all gone. However, there was an effort in place to recover the wetlands.  There was a museum dedicated to the history of The Limberlost and to Gene Stratton-Porter.

While Tumbleweed wandered through the museum and grounds, we were being experimented with. Our “bus” was in the parking lot and not plugged in. It was hot and muggy so Tumbleweed turned the generator on to run the air-conditioner. It was temperamental (or she just didn’t know what she was doing). Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn.t

We soon moved on to an Amish Farm that had been converted into an RV Park. We were lucky to get a site that had all of the hook-ups (electric, water and sewer) Now the air-conditioner was working well and we could cool down and rest.


The park had a nice little pond with a walking trail around it. There were also lots of Canadian Geese that liked the pond. We cats had promised a long time ago that for a home we would be inside cats (forever). The dogs did not have to make that promise. They got to walk around the pond with Tumbleweed a couple times each day. Both Peanut and Jelly liked the morning walks the best.

This was Jelly’s first encounter with geese. I think he liked them because he laid down and rolled in their poop. What a mess! Tumbleweed made him stay outside in a pen until she could get warm water and soap to bathe him. It helped him look better AND smell better.

WHAT A STUPID DOG!  Why do cats have to put up with dogs?

The Singing Dog

(Sunny continues his travel stories)

One morning Tumbleweed decided to have toast. Apparently the smoke alarm didn’t like toast so it began a high-pitched shrill sound. It hurt my ears and I suggested to Tumbleweed to turn on the fantastic fan to get rid of the smoke and clear the air.

However, Jelly reacted the way he always did when he heard a siren. He sat up in “wolf mode” and began to howl. Since he was musically inclined, he matched the pitch of the smoke alarm. Tumbleweed finally got the alarm to stop. Only then did Jelly quit howling and settled down.jelly   The alarm got exercised because Tumbleweed was always burning something when she cooked. It would then sound like Jelly was howling for his dinner, too. After enough incidents, Tumbleweed found all the means of clearing the smoke: open the windows, turn on the fantastic fan in the kitchen ceiling, or the exhaust fan over the stove.

We soon moved our motor home to the other side of Ohio near Dayton so Tumbleweed could visit with the rest of her family. This park was called Enon Beach and was not as nicely clipped as Sun Valley. There was a railroad track near the park on an overhead pass. The train crackled across the tracks in the middle of the night and the engineer would blow the whistle as he neared the park. Of course, Jelly would go into wolf mode and howl in pitch  with the train whistle.

No matter how often he was told that there is a rule in all RV parks requiring quiet from about 10 PM until 9 AM, Jelly never got it. He would just say: “It’s not my fault. I didn’t start the noise!”

What else can you expect from a dog?


The Bus is Full

Our test drive in the summer of 2005 was a trip to Ohio where Tumbleweed’s family grew up. Sun Valley Camp Ground was about 3 miles from her sister’s home.The park was combined with a mobile home park and surrounded by farmland.


The cats in the back room were making a big fuss. Tumbleweed sent me back there to straighten things out. Well, the problem was that a large yellow cat had decided that things looked better where we were than on his farm. He was trying to climb aboard. I first settled down the cats inside who were arguing the issue. Then I hissed at the cat outside and suggested nicely that he should go home.

Tumbleweed had continued working on her computer which was set up on the dash of the RV. Butter and Bandit started fussing behind the curtain that was closed over the front window whenever we were parked. They kept pushing against the computer as they tussled behind the curtain.. When she finally stopped typing and pulled back the curtain, there was that big yellow cat sitting on the outside mirror and looking right in at her.

She told him, “We are all filled up! We don’t have any more room. You better go on home.” I think she figured that seven cats and two dogs were a full bus load! I felt sorry for the poor guy as he walked away toward the nearest farm. We didn’t see him again.