Rainy Days and Birthdays Don’t Always Get Us Down

Today was Cheryl’s Birthday. The big 5-O (or 5-OMG as she likes to joke) ;-) She plans on marking this milestone next week on October 26th by running 26.2 miles in the Marine Corps Marathon for Team Running Strong for Indian Youth which is also commemorating Running Strong spokesperson, Billy Mill’s 50th! anniversary of his winning Gold in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. If you haven’t already read why Cheryl’s running again, please check out her Team Running Strong page.

Storm clouds approaching

Storm clouds approaching

But for today, due to some very rainy, windy, stormy weather, we had a much less physical kind of celebration of Cheryl’s birthday by going out to a restaurant and a movie (Gone Girl – which we both really enjoyed and highly recommend!) and letting Cheryl shop till she dropped. Not really, but she did get a chance to browse without any nagging from her dear husband. ;-)


Chuck hamming it up

The day wasn’t a complete wash weather-wise, however. By late afternoon the skies started to clear and a beautiful rainbow appeared. It had to be the brightest and biggest rainbow we’ve seen in a long time.

Cheryl at the end of the rainbow

Cheryl at the end of the rainbow

All of the colors of the rainbow were clearly distinguishable, and a second rainbow also appeared above the first. We had a hard time photographing the entire sight, and weren’t in the best location for photography when it appeared (darn power lines and traffic lights!), but we still jumped out of the truck and took time to enjoy nature’s show.

Cheryl said it was a really great way to top off a birthday, like the best kind of icing on a cake.

We ended the day with some coffee and huge cupcakes at a nice little establishment in Hanover, PA called The Broken Cookie. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we plan to go back into Gettysburg for some more sightseeing.

Thank goodness for the panorama app on Chuck’s smartphone! We managed to get a stitched together view of the entire rainbow after all:

double rainbow

Double Rainbow in Hanover PA

Running to Plymouth Rock

Cheryl Charles Plymouth Half Marathon Finish 2014

Showing off my finisher’s medal at the finish line in front of Plymouth Rock

Today Chuck and I ‘killed two birds with one stone’ so-to-speak by seeing Plymouth, Massachusetts (home of the infamous Plymouth Rock) while participating in the Run to the Rock Half Marathon. It seemed like a perfect fit for several reasons: We were in the vicinity, we wanted to see Plymouth Rock, I needed to do a long run in training for my Marine Corps Marathon for Team Running Strong on October 26th, and my training plan suggested a half-marathon this weekend as a practice run for my upcoming full marathon.

We got up VERY early this morning and made the drive from our campsite at Hanscom AFB in Bedford, Massachusetts in about an hour. The race started at 9am. It was an exceptionally hot and humid day for the area at this time of year (temps in the low 80s, humidity also in the 80s). I wasn’t worried, as living in Florida on and off for the past 20+ years has made me used to such conditions. However, we’ve been on the road for a few months now, and in the northeast for most of those months.

Plymouth Rock Half Marathon 2014 Runner Help

A runner recovering from the heat, humidity, and hills.

I found during the race that I’m not used to heat and humidity anymore, and have become spoiled by all the cool and dry weather we’ve enjoyed this summer, for a change! Still, having past experience with Florida-like running weather did come in handy, as I knew how to deal with it and didn’t really have any problems other than a bit slower mile splits than I have been running recently in training.

Unfortunately, others in the race weren’t as prepared, and I saw at least two runners go down and require medical attention. Chuck said he saw a few at the finish line in need of help as well, one nearly passing out as he crossed the line!


It’s a rock. And it’s small.

All-in-all, this was a good day and a great run, if a bit HILLY! I came in with a respectable time, and got some valuable practice for the real deal coming up soon in October! Chuck and I both got to see a bit of Plymouth and its famous rock.

“The rock” was a bit disappointing – much smaller than we expected and not in the greatest of locations aesthetically speaking – but we definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in the area.


Me & Chuck and The Mayflower II

Plymouth Rock is one of those Roadside America things you just have to do, and the area is full of history worth checking out. For instance, Plimouth Plantation, a 17th century living history museum showcasing life for the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians, is just a few miles away from downtown Plymouth. You can also step aboard a replica of the Mayflower II, which is docked in the harbor within sight of Plymouth Rock. The Plymouth Hall Museum is also downtown and directly across the street from Plymouth Rock. For more info on what to see and do in Plymouth, check HERE.

And if you’re in New England in September, give the half marathon (or 5K) a try. Surely it will be cooler next year. ;-)




I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26th for Team Running Strong – the ONLY charity running to raise money for American Indian Youth! We are turning MILES into MIRACLES! Will you help me? You can donate by CLICKING HERE. Thanks!

Our Shadow (September 2, 1995 – May 12, 2014)

Shadow with Mom on Mother's Day 2014

Shadow with Mom on Mother’s Day 2014

Yesterday our little girl, Shadow, woke-up just long enough to tell us she was happy, but tired. It was time for her to go to the Rainbow Bridge, she wanted to find her sister, Chiisai. She closed her eyes and followed by an ocean of tears from us, she was on her way.

This morning, there she was, running and playing tag with her sister, Chiisai. The field they were playing in was a bright green grass. They were so happy to be together again running and rolling in that soft, green grass.

They both stopped for a moment and looked up at us and seemed to say, “No more sad tears for us, only tears of joy. We know how much you both loved us and we’ll be here together waiting for your to play those silly games of fetch, tag, roll-over, and hiding our toys.” Then they raced off happy chasing each other.

Shadow & Chiisai - Our Angels

Shadow (right) & Chiisai (left) – Our Angels

September 2, 1995 – May 12, 2014

June 24, 1994 – February 25, 2005

More about Our Pups, Shadow & Chiisai

A few SmugMug Pictures of Our Girls

Artist Paints Shadow

During a recent get-together of Chuck’s high school classmates, fellow NHS graduate, Art Faschan graciously offered to create a portrait of our girl, Shadow. Art is a premier artist who specializes in graphite painting. If you don’t know what that is, or have never seen a graphite painting, check out Art’s site, www.PortraitsofMemories.com. His work is incredible!

Of course, when someone as talented as Art offers to immortalize your dog for you with a painting, the only answer is yes. You can see the results below:

Painting of Shadow by Art Faschan

Shadow by Art Faschan

Art really captured Shadow’s personality. Chuck says that she just jumps off the canvas. What a beautiful gift! Thank you, Art.

If you’d like a similar portrait of your beloved companion, or other member of your family, please contact Art through his website, www.PortraitsofMemories.com. Art specializes in people, western and animal portraits and  he usually asks $150 for one like this. It certainly is a wonderful way to celebrate your best friend – at least we think so.

Thanks again, Art. We will treasure this very special portrait of our very special pup.

BikeFL2CA Website Goes Live

FL to CA bike ride map


Back in January I made a post about Chuck’s plan to ride his bicycle over 3,100 miles from FL to CA with Bob, a local cycling buddy of his. Because it seems that we can never travel without blogging about it, ;-) there is now a website / blog dedicated to Chuck & Bob’s Excellent Adventure. Check out www.BikeFL2CA.com to follow along. I’m sure Chuck’s descriptions of their travels will make for some interesting reading!

Chuck to Travel (by Bicycle) from FL to CA!

Never Forget Your Dreams. ~ Korczak Ziolkowski

This is one of Chuck’s favorite quotes, and it comes from the sculptor of the great Crazy Horse Mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota (big surprise, huh?). It is a quote Chuck has always taken to heart. Building an Experimental Airplane from blocks of foam and gallons of epoxy, then flying his VariEze would be one example. Becoming a cyclist and setting out to ride your very first ‘Century’ (that’s 100 miles in one day) at the age of 61 would be another. Of course, becoming a full-time RVer also counts.

Now, Chuck has his sights set on riding his bicycle (yes, I said BICYCLE) from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA (about 3,100 miles) along with a fellow cycling club rider, and good friend, Bob. He tells me that ever since my Five Points of Life Ride from Bar Harbor, ME to Key West, FL back in 2000 for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, he has wanted to do a similar ride. With Bob’s planned trip and willingness to include Chuck in the journey, he decided that there was no better time than the present.

This man never ceases to amaze me! I know he’s very excited about his upcoming tour and is training rigorously while learning all about self-supported cycling, tents, cooking gear, and B.O.B.s. If you don’t know what a B.O.B. is, see that thing attached to the back of his bike, below:

Chuck poses with bike. B.O.B., and RV

Chuck and B.O.B.

That’s an awful tiny bicycle ‘RV’!

Chuck, a man who never forgets his dreams…

Shadow Enters Pet Idol Contest

Hey, everyone! As you can tell from all the pictures Mom and Dad take of me and post here on our website and at Chippewa Marine Photography, I’m a photogenic little pup. I love to be the center of attention and have no problem playing dress-up. Now I’ve found an even better way of showing off my talent: Calendar Girl!

I recently found out that the Friends of Citrus County (FL) Animal Services (FOCCAS) are having their annual Pet Idol Contest. Winners will appear in their 2012 calendar, and all proceeds will go towards helping less fortunate pets get a chance to live the good life all us pets deserve.

Check out the contest (see link below) and vote for me if you like my entry (but hurry, polls close September 30th). I’d really appreciate your help in becoming the next Miss September (or any month – I’m not picky) while helping some less-fortunate pets at the same time. It’s all win-win if you ask me.

Thanks and Happy Tails!


Sweet Sixteen

Shadow at 8 weeks old

We just wanted to share Shadow’s 16th Birthday with everyone.

She has given us so much pleasure and so many unforgettable moments in our lives.

It’s hard to believe Shadow came to us sixteen-years ago as the tiny little two-and-a-half pound, eight-week old fuzz-ball you can see here. She’s still a cutie!

Cheryl baked Shadow her favorite cookies (chicken liver) and a little ice cream and cake, but she isn’t spoiled.

You can tell from the photos below that she enjoyed her special birthday treats. We expected a very upset tummy after all that good stuff, but she had no problems at all and spent the rest of the day playing with her stuffed toy duck, going for a few short walks, and taking a nap or two. Wish I was a dog! ;-)

Happy Birthday, Shadow!

9/2/2011 Shadow turns 16!

Whipped Cream & Chicken Liver! My favorite!

Ice cream too? Alright!

Are we done with the pictures? I want to EAT!

Music Video for Dogs

Shadow LIKES this video:

Happy Tails!

Saving & Sharing Your Travel Photos

Save Those Photos!

What do you do with all of your travel photos when you’re on the road? Do you have a way to keep your memories safe in case disaster strikes (a stolen camera, laptop or accident involving your RV) or an easy method for sharing your photos & experiences with far-away family and friends?

These are questions we didn’t ask ourselves until we became full-time RVers and it wasn’t long after we hit the road that we realized we needed a better way of handling all the pictures we were accumulating.

We’ve been using SmugMug photo hosting for a few years now and are really pleased with the site and service. In fact, you can find all of our travel photos (and more!) at our photo site, Chippewa Marine Photography, on SmugMug.

There are other photo hosting sites on the web, many with no fee, but we didn’t find the others to be adequate for our particular needs. We especially appreciate SmugMug’s unlimited number of uploads and the large file sizes accepted! With the amount of photos you can accumulate traveling this beautiful country of ours – and with today’s constantly improving digital cameras and ever increasing picture sizes – these are must-have features for us. The hosting fees are reasonable and a small price to pay for the peace of mind and convenience we need as full-time RVers.

Regardless of who you choose to host your photos with, or how, we encourage you to store and share your photos somewhere other than your RV. You’ll be happy to have your years of memories intact if the unthinkable ever happens and on the bright side – it’s an easy way to share your adventures with others!

If you’re interested in trying out SmugMug for yourself, use this SmugMug $5 off coupon link, the button above, or just enter the SmugMug Coupon Code 4e00bDrkJb8I in the Coupon field at the end of your trial: