Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mika Memories...

She’s gone,
my brown eyed beauty
The blond mistress
who stole my heart
She had me from the first moment
A four legged Chaperone
as I romanced my future wife
Canine kisses and hugs
Her tail a tom tom of emotion
The Bee dance
a Hula of happiness
Wagging her body like a honey-crazed drone
Thumpa thumpa thumpa

Belly Rubs!
Frenzied barking at Trina in her wedding dress
Milk bones
Furry squeaky toys
Sneaking food under the table
Warm Mika hugs
slurpy Mika kisses
Those beautiful brown eyes
Her cosmic smiles
Thumpa thumpa thumpa

Her heart racing
A celebration
Welcome home
my blond girlfriend
Happy warm cuddles
Sitting side-by-side in the yard
Lazing in the sun
Riding in the car
Sharing ice cream sandwiches

Sleeping on an air mattress
to be close to her
Getting up at 3:00 am to check
Thumpa thumpa thumpa
Greeting my nocturnal rounds
More Belly Rubs!
Special treats
Cooking ground beef, chicken and liver.
by the pound
The Liver smells not so good to me
but to her, it was a taste of Nirvana

We stayed up all night…
Photo albums,
A perfect puppy
A loyal friend
A constant companion
It went so fast
My Golden Girl


Copyright 2009

all rights reserved by author
photos copyrighted by Trina Bauer

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Unexpected Ending...

Editors Note: A week after leaving on our Winnebago Adventure, Steve's father unexpectedly died. Obviously, we canceled our trip and rushed home to be with family. It's now two months later and I am just now publishing blogs that were written but never posted. We're still dealing with a number of issues, but I will be writing more in the weeks and months ahead. And thanks to everyone for their condolences and support. Trina and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Day Four: Barreling Down the Mississippi

It sounded like a thousand thunderclaps as we bolted from our bed. We felt the ground heaving as the camper rolled from side to side. An explosion? An earthquake? A flash flood cascading down the Mississippi River?

No. Our campsite is about 60 yards from a very active railroad line. The camp manager forgot to mention that freight trains rumble past about every 10 minutes. And they blow their horns- very loudly. At least the frequency dropped off around 2:30am and we managed to get some sleep.

When we left camp we couldn’t even see the river because it was so foggy. We headed north, the road hugging the shoreline. The sun broke through and it turned into a brilliantly sunny day, with temperatures around 85. I missed my tiny desk back at my old office. Not so much… Fishing and hunting is a big deal in this area. Every restaurant and office features some stuffed dear heads and mounted trophy fish. So we had to stop and have our photo taken, posing with a giant 12-foot long fish. I’m guessing it was a crappy.

We enjoyed the drive- some farms, some panoramic views of the river. It was late afternoon when we crossed into Minnesota. Trina pulled her first shift behind the wheel of the SS Bauer. She’s already a pro at RV Piloting! We drove another 75 miles before pulling into a campground in Sauk Center. It’s on a beautiful lake. (not surprising in the land of 10,000 lakes) But wouldn’t you know it; our campsite is crammed between the maintenance shed and the highway. So we can look forward to a night filled with tractor-trailers rumbling past. At least all the trains have left the station.

Mission Mileage: 1,348

Tomorrow: 7 Lakes down, only 9,993 to go.

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DayThree: The Big Muddy

Day three begins with your intrepid adventurers shrouded in thick fog. But zero visibility won’t sidetrack our daring cross-country sojourn.
We gassed up the SS Bauer, turned west, and hit the gas. Within an hour we crossed the Mighty Mississippi River. And as we celebrated our triumph the sun broke through the misty shroud, as if to say, “fearless road warriors, get a life…”
Now in Iowa, we stopped at the welcome center and asked the woman there to recommend a “scenic drive”. She sent us northward to follow the track of this colossal waterway.
Heading up route 67 we celebrated a new triumph. I gassed up the RV and did NOT lose the gas cap. Once again, we witness amazing sights. Corn. Then soybeans. More corn.
If you like corn and soybeans it’s an amazingly scenic drive. For us, not so much. Around 7:00pm we re-cross the Mississippi, heading into the Wisconsin frontier. We stopped for the night at a campground in Prarie Du Chien. That’s French for “I think a dog did his business here”. Get this, the manager opened the office so that I could watch some of the Ohio State- USC football game. How cool is that? The campground was right on the river. But since it was already getting dark, it didn’t really matter. While I was in the office I saw a bunch of “Tea Party” leaflets on the tables. Apparently, the people here don’t think much of President Obama’s push for health care reform. I especially enjoyed the placard that said, “Are you stupid or just a liberal?” Well, at least they let me watch some football…
I can’t help but notice the billboards along the highway in this area. Quite a few signs carry anti-abortion messages. But then, I saw a bunch of Adult Entertainment ads too. I liked one for Family Massage: Open until 3:00am.
Tomorrow: OMG!! It sounded like a freight train…
Mission Mileage: 1,010

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Land Of The Lost

It's just Day Two of our cross-country trek and already we have a losing record. Today, I lost the gas cap to the SS Bauer. I lost my credit card. I lost my brakes. I lost my sewer service. And I may be losing my sanity.

We began the day at the Bauer Clan’s ancestral home- a secluded cottage in rural Indiana. After a shower and a quick bite we headed for the next town and picked up some supplies at Wal*Mart. (Motto: we run all the competition out of town and sell you crapola from China.) Then we stopped for gas. That’s when I realized that I left the gas cap on the pump back at the Exit 3 Fuel Stop in Pennsylvania. So, we head back to Wal*Mart to buy a new cap. Sigh…

Back on the road, we head west on route 20, passing various corn and soybean fields. It turns out this is a familiar theme across the Midwest- corn and soybeans everywhere. I’m guessing there isn’t much to do in the Hosier state. Apparently, the locals pass the time by conjuring up interesting names for their towns. We pass through Mongo, Plato and Legrange. And don’t get me started on Shipshewanna and Mishawaka.

Some hours later, we pull in at South Bend for a peek at the Notre Dame campus. That’s when we lost the brakes. We ended up at a garage one block from the ND campus. The mechanic tells us he has to rebuild the front brakes- new rotors, new calipers, new pads, the works. So Trina and I took Mika and headed off to see the legendary home of Knute Rockney and the Gipper. It’s actually a very pleasant place with lots of history. We visited the Cathedral, the Grotto, and the football stadium- getting a good look at Touchdown Jesus.

Three hours later the garage invites us back to examine the bill. I won’t say it was sticker shock. And I won’t even tell you how much it cost. Let’s just say it rhymes with a mousand dollars. Undaunted, I pull out my wallet, and yes, the Visa card is gone. We spend 20 minutes searching my pockets, the RV and even the dog. No dice. I have to call up their emergency line and tell the Visa people that I’m an idiot. The best we can figure is that I somehow dropped the plastic while installing the new gas cap…

Back on the road, we motor into Illinois, Land of Lincoln. We stop at a KOA campground in LaSalle. When I tried to hook up to their sewer, I discovered the sewer hose had somehow fallen out of the storage tube on the back of the RV. So I bought a new one. Then I hooked up the water line and the hose ruptured. So I bought a new one. But when I turned on the water, it started shooting out of the faucet in the kitchen. So, we had to use the shower and sinks in the public washroom. Before turning out the lights Trina says “I love you” pausing to add, “you’ve got some bad mojo. Stay away from me!”

So, I slept with the dog.

Mission Mileage to date: 703

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

On The Road…

Day one breaks damp and dismal. The plan? Get on the road for the adventure of a lifetime!
We spent the previous four weeks preparing for our daring cross-country expedition. At 6:24am it appears sub-critical weather imperatives may force us to scrub the mission… but we soldier on.
Trina goes to work. Really. Trina goes to work leaving Steve to finish packing the SS Bauer- our specially-equipped RV. It’s a 22-foot long Road Running Rocket with a fuel burning monster under the hood. We expect takeoff by 9:00am. But at 9:05 the pre-flight check is still underway. The crew is desperately searching for mission-sensitive materials. But with time running short, no one could find that missing case of Budweiser.
Suddenly, Trina appears and fearlessly orders launch without the required liquid lifeline.
Captain’s log, star(t) date 9/10/09ish
10:17am: The SS Bauer sets forth on her amazing trek quickly approaching lightness speed.
10:18: first red light.
10:23: first bathroom break.
10:50: pit stop at the vets to pick-up meds for Mika the wonder dog.
11:25: stop for antihistamines to treat first mission casualty. Trina stung by yellow jacket. (don’t ask)
11:27: Less than 90 minutes after takeoff we rocket past known science into unknown frontiers- We are now an amazing 11-miles from home base.
1:55: This is where our MiniWinnie shows its stuff. That fuel-burning marvel of modern science first makes it’s refueling stop. Captain (expletive deleted…)
1:58 Captain finally stops expleting over half tank top-off costing $65.77. Curse those alien beings at Exit 3 Fuel Stop.
2;32 Passing apex of no-return. Entering distant galaxy known as the Ohio Turnpike.
7:01 Now off all known charts. Stop to visit Steve’s Uncle Bob. Bob lives in the boyhood home of Paul Siple- noted Arctic explorer. If you spent a couple winters in Northwest Ohio, the Arctic would probably look pretty good.
7:30 Nutritional supplies running short, we attempt emergency landing in Indiana. Forced to stop at Steve’s family’s lake cottage. Situation appears hopeless. But wait… the store is still open. We buy steaks, salad and Bud. First mate Trina informs captain there is no room in cooling capsule for Bud. Captain threatens to mutiny his own ship. Bud now safe. Mika has Porterhouse bone. But danger lurks. The SS Bauer is perilously close to the “E” galaxy.
Tomorrow, the adventures of Indiana Groans…
Mission milage to date: 447

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