Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hold the presses!

After that East Coast run a lot was learned about camping in my camper and how to make things work. I love the camper don't get me wrong, just due to it's compact size I learned that having some storage for supplies and other things would be a nice addition.

So in light of the new enlightened ways of extended periods on the road, I have been in discussions with other seasoned truck campers and the answer appears to be in a small cargo trailer. This will give us room to pack up the needed supplies along with the added flyers and other information about VetDogs and other Veteran issues I am constantly speaking about.

My biggest problem of course is the fact that I am on a fixed income so making a leap of faith to get this trailer is a tad nerve racking. I was speaking to friends and they mentioned going up to www.gofundme.com and starting a gofundme page to help defer the cost.

I did that today. Deep down I feel like I am begging and I should not be doing this because it is not a job just a personal mission to help others however everyone I speak to has encouraged me to give it a try. So please do not feel obligated in any way but if you feel moved to donate a few bucks toward a trailer I am working to raise up to 3k. With taxes and registration that will get it covered.

The link to the go fund me page is


Thank you all and I am sorry I am even putting it out there to be honest.


God Bless

Monday, February 22, 2016

East Coast Traveler a little over 4,000 miles driven by the end!

Mike & I had our first long range adventure!

We took off just in time to miss out on the first major snow fall of the year 2016! We left in a cold rain but that was nothing compared to what would follow the next day. As we followed all our friends (and of course prodded them about their misfortune) and the heavy wet snow fall we ventured into a much warmer clear sunny skyline. Annapolis, MD accepted us with open arms allowing Mike & I to come in and tell all about how America's VetDogs changes lives. We opened some doors to potential sponsorships for the upcoming 5/10k road race which was our goal.

I know the opening picture of the eagles from Conowingo Dam may not match up with our timeline but I did not have an opportunity to shoot any pictures while working with the Chair for the upcoming race. Please do take a moment to go and check out the race and help our friends like Lisa soar to new heights with their personal fundraising (or any of the other runners if you know them). You will of course notice the first picture Lisa uses is a picture of Mike sitting in her car between my legs. She says that she's holding more hostage in hopes of getting donations for the run. So please hurry and make your donation so we can free Mikes pictures for the world to see!

I made a personal stop next down in the Richmond area to visit another Veteran who is awaiting a Service/Guide Dog. While at that stop Mike had the opportunity to hang and play with one of the future puppies in the Puppy programs. You can check out those pictures here

Our next stop on the whirlwind tour was a quick run down to the beach in South Caroline where Mike & I watched the Super Bowl with a dear friend who has transplanted down there. We hung out for a bit but do to my mission and desire to be on the road we moved on mid day Monday.I made a quick stop in GA at Hunter Army Airfield to see the huge changes there. (I went through the Ranger Indoctrination Program there before before going to Ranger School. Wow, what memories.  After a short stop we jumped back into the truck and moved on down the road to Florida. Our first night in Florida was spend in a rest stop instead of trying to find a campground. We love being in a Truck Camper where the side of the road is just as good if not better then any campground out there.

For the most part of our time in Florida we centered out of Ft Lauderdale and jumped around to places like the Everglades for a few days. We went as far as Ft Meyers and checked out some Manatees warming themselves in the heat of the local power plant at Manatee State Park. The Everglades were warm and refreshing our campsite was well off the beaten path (Mitchell's Landing) one of our National Park Service sites where they do take good care of us Disabled Vet's. For those that have yet to grab your NPS Access Pass do it, you get half price for camping and free access into all parks.
I wish I had a chance to shoot more pictures while I was out in the glades but other things came up and I will leave it at that. in the meantime I have posted a few more interesting pictures here.  Feel free to check them out there are some good bird shots and some great gator shots. Mike had no interest at all in any of them all he was doing the whole time was keeping his eyes on me. 

After three nights in the glades we went back to Ft Lauderdale to meet up with the Classic Car Cruise peeps. What can I say about a great group of people, these guys and gals of all ages get together every year and take a cruise to a sunny destination.  While they cruise not only do they have a digital car show but they have a fund raiser and for the past 3 years they have supported America's VetDogs as their Charity of Choice! The first year they took up the banner for AVD Iris and I cruised with them and they raised enough money to name a puppy. Last year we were unable to go along but they actually raised enough to name two puppies that are currently in the Florida Penitentiary

This year the main purpose of our trip was to go see this amazing group off and let them know how much America's VetDogs and us Veterans that receive these dogs appreciate what they are doing. It is one thing to go to an auction or a fundraiser but to live a fundraiser for a week or this years trip is 9 days in the Caribbean. For the first time ever they had their first event onshore so that Mike & I could be there and speak to them. At that event the Corporate CEO and CFO of Cruise Planners, came down to present a check to Vetdogs and also partake in the first of the auction evenings. They raised over 3k that night alone so I am looking forward to hearing all about the amazing trip and how they will change lives with their donations.
Once the commitments were done we scooted over to downtown Ft Lauderdale and took a water taxi around the intercostal. What a great way to see the sights.  We saw ships that cost more then my dreams and houses that I would be afraid to walk through let alone live in. Give me a minute with their owners and I could explain how VetDogs changes lives though and maybe even get some donations to help other veterans out.

Once we finished up with the water taxi we headed north hoping to get to the northern tip of FL. There is a great little State Park there that has some wonderful history. Fort Clinch State Park was a great stop after a night in another rest area, yes I am getting older and just not up to doing those 600+ mile drives in one day.  A day on the water taxi took a bunch of steam out of me too.  I do have some pictures posted here also from the real camera

Our Next stop was a planned visit at the Inlays right outside of Ft Bragg in Fayetteville, NC we spent a couple days there then ventured north to the Aberdeen MD area where we ran into a family that raises puppies for the Foundation and also took our chances trying to sight and capture some of those amazing Bald Eagles. With an early trip out to Conowingo Dam we were able to snap some pictures albeit not great action or quality due to the weather. The shear number of eagles present made the stop worthwhile in my book.

And to finish off the longest journey in the camper we have the longest Blog entry. I hope I have given a slice of the adventure to you and please remember to check out the VetDogs pages either Lisa's race page where you can sponsor her or my travel page where you can make a donation directly to Vetdogs. Now for the shameless plug to insure other Veterans have the same opportunities I have had Here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog.

God Bless and have a wonderful day!