Today is the last day of our voyage. It’s a good thing too, as I think the animals are getting a little restless (both the 4-legged and the two-legged kinds). We stayed the night at the KOA in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and are currently driving on I-40 west towards Albuquerque. We haven’t gone 100 miles yet and have already stopped three times. The first time was to take care of human needs – bottled water, some fruit. So we stopped at a grocery store in Tucumcari before getting on the freeway.
But we had to stop twice more once we got underway to take care of animal needs. Josie was acting very restless – would lie down for 2-3 minutes, get up and move around, lie down again, get up and circle the floor of the RV, etc. So I told Mark to stop at the upcoming rest stop so I could see if Josie needed to go out. And sure enough, she did. She obviously isn’t feeling real well and would alternate taking care of business with throwing up. It’s no wonder she didn’t want her breakfast again this morning.
After it seemed she was done, and the girls were all back in the RV (they took advantage of the rest stop too), we started on the road again. But we hadn’t gone 10 minutes when Josie started throwing up again, this time all over the floor of the RV. I cleaned that up, and then she started the whole circling thing and looking anxiously at the door. So I told Mark to stop at the next exit so I could take Josie out again. And sure enough, she needed to go. The poor dog must have been holding everything for days! But once she finished and got back in the RV, she seemed to settle right down for a nap, so I think she’s ok now.
I was worried at the beginning of this voyage that the RV would smell by the time we got to Arizona. Actually, smell hasn’t been a problem at all. I’ve cleaned the litter box twice every day, and Emily has been cleaning the guinea pig carrier daily. So no, smell isn’t a problem.
Cat hair is. It’s everywhere, on everything. I wipe off the counter and stovetop, turn around to wipe something else off, and by the time I go back to the counter, it’s covered with cat hair again. It’s a losing battle. It’s in the air, like a light haze in the RV. There’s dog hair too, but it’s heavier and coarser, so it doesn’t float around in the air, but just sticks to everything she lies on, like the couch or the spot between the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat, where she is currently curled up, sleeping.
I know cats shed. With three cats in the family, I deal with cat hair at home all the time. Regular vacuuming usually takes care of things. But at home, the cat hair is spread out over an entire house, not concentrated in a 30 ft long, 8 ft wide confined space like this RV. You take three cats in that space for 3 ½ days, add in some summer heat (which adds to shedding), throw in some stress (which adds to shedding) and pretty soon you have enough loose cat hair floating around and clinging to everything in sight to cover an entire fourth cat if we had one. And no, I’m not suggesting we get a 4th cat.
I guess I’ll be doing some serious vacuuming in this RV tomorrow morning before we return it.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
We finally arrived in Gilbert, Arizona, at our new home, at 10 pm last night. It was a VERY long day – almost 12 hours of driving (and stopping…). We ended up deciding to take the longer but safer route on I-40 to Flagstaff, then I-17 to Phoenix. And I’m glad we did, since it is hard enough to handle the mountains in the RV on interstates. I can’t imagine maneuvering the mountains on the back roads.
We stopped along the way, a lot. Poor Josie continued to be sick, over and over again. I think it was just car sickness, after 3 days of moving like that. But alternating throwing up and diarrhea for hours and hours was not fun, for her or me, and added significantly to our driving time. She seems better today, no more expelling of bodily fluids.
All the other animals seemed to survive the journey just fine. Bit the fish made it fine, the parakeets are fine and happy to be out of that RV shower stall, and the cats are having a great time exploring the new house. Emily’s guinea pigs are fine too, and happy to be out of that little carrier they’ve been cooped up in for 4 days.
After such a long day and being excited to finally get home, we were dismayed to find that the upstairs air conditioner in the house had quit working. The bedrooms all are upstairs (except for Rosie’s), and the temperature upstairs was 93. We put a call into the home warranty service the owner put in place for us, but of course no one answered (despite their promise of 24/7 response) and we had to leave a message. The contract we have says they have to fix problems within 48 hours. Well, 48 hours is a long time to be without an air conditioner in Phoenix in the summer! We all slept downstairs last night (couches, floor, etc.) and will again tonight and until the AC gets fixed. It also makes it hard to get motivated to do any unpacking upstairs, since it’s just too hot up there to be doing anything.
Emily and her friend Krystal were eager to try out the swimming pool, and were in it at 11 pm last night. They were back in this morning, along with Sarah. Sarah kept commenting to me that “I really think I can live in this house for 2 years!” (we have a 2-year lease). She really likes it. Emily seems pretty happy with the house, and especially the pool. Rosie, it's hard to say. She hasn't been in the pool yet. She's mostly been parked on the family room couch, online with her laptop, chatting with friends back in Michigan. Luckily she leaves for Vietnam on July 7, so she'll be distracted away from her sadness over leaving Michigan.
This morning I had to clean out the RV, and sure enough, the cat hair proved challenging. But lots of vacuuming and wiping down of surfaces did the trick, and at 11 am this morning, we returned the land ark to the rental place.
We have officially ended the Voyage of the Land Ark, with all 6 humans and 9 animals safely transported to Gilbert, Arizona to being our new lives in the Southwest.