Saturday, March 19, 2016


Hey everyone.  Rio the Ramblin' Cat here again.  I've been after Mom and Dad to put up a post.  It's been a while ya' know, so I guess I have to just do it myself.  Maybe after he sees me putting this together he'll jump on to update everyone on his promotion but let's get to the important stuff first - my new entertainment set up.

You humans have HD TV and even HG TV but I have the best TV of all.  HC TV.  Mom and Dad set it up for me today.  It took awhile because Mom kept making him move it to a different spot but eventually they settled on this.  It didn't take long for the birds to find it.  Squirrels too, so I'm all set - now with beautiful HC TV.  So, you can HAVE your Netflix binge watching.  I have live streaming.

HC TV channel 1
Does this bird feeder make my butt look big?

Okay Rio......  I've got it from here.  Nothing more dangerous than a cat that can type.  I guess I do need to make an update though.  He was right about that.  A little over a month ago my boss called me and said that he was leaving.  He was offered a position with another company and decided to take the plunge.  Good for him, I told him.  You always have to be looking to better yourself.  As it turned out it was good for me as well.  I was offered his position and in short order went from Field Supervisor of the Utah project to Project Manager of our traveler resources and small projects.  This means I directly supervise our growing traveling force of RV full-timers and manage about 20 projects from Texas to Virginia to Florida.  It's a huge learning curve but 6 weeks into it - with the help of many people at the office - I'm getting a handle on things.  I'm in a position now where I can make a big difference in our travelers' lives and I'm excited to be their advocate. 

Needless to say though, our world has changed.  It's a job that has to be done from the home office here in Atlanta - at least for a few years - so we've settled down for a bit, close to the mother-ship.  The plan is to eventually find a piece of land closer to the North Georgia mountains where I can still reach Atlanta but not have to live in the Metro.  My new job still will involve traveling, mostly airplanes and rental cars, but LuLu will still be hitting the road if needed.  We're really going to miss Utah and our friends that are there now enjoying that slice of heaven but felt this was the best path for my career.  We are both excited about this and are looking forward to a new chapter in our lives.

Now that we're staying in one place for a while, and I'm not walking 8 miles a day surveying gas lines, Margo and I decided to get back into the gym.  As some of you know, before we hit the road we were gym rats so it's nice to get back into it.  Sure, I much prefer to walk a country road than run on a treadmill but the promotion is worth it.  The gym is close by - it's actually just down the street - so we're taking spinning classes again, playing racquetball and making it our new anchor. There's yoga for Margo and a sauna for me.

The blog will obviously continue.  It IS "Tales and Trails" so many more tales to come.  Some trails too since LuLu will still hit the road occasionally.  Also, we have a cat that is a prolific writer so who knows what's coming next.

Till next time,
Kevin -  (unless Rio gets to it before I can).


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cat-ta-nooga, Tennessee

Hi there,

I think it's time I introduce myself.  I'm Rio the Ramblin' Cat.  Part three of this traveling circus we call Airstream Tales and Trails.  Actually, I'm the "Tale" in Tales and Trails since I'm the only one of us with that particular appendage.

Your host for this episode

I didn't start out as a ramblin' cat or as a Rio.  I was just a stray kitten at a small museum in Cedar City , Utah when this nice lady came in to visit and I shamelessly pushed myself upon her.  She coerced convinced my future dad to take me in.  Some of you have probably heard all about this in an earlier post.  I didn't realize at the time that my new home actually moved, and not just moved but traveled across the country.  It does though, and fortunately for them, I was born to ride - hence my moniker. Anyway, you'll be getting to know me better "down the road" as my humans say, since I have innate computer skills and have mastered social media (take that, Grumpy Cat), thus will be posting from time to time.

We've been to a lot of different places so far in my short life but none better than where we are presently. For a cat whose life consists of napping and looking out the window there can't be a better place than Cat-ta-nooga, Tennessee. Talk about a big change from my native Utah.  There are trees everywhere and it rains a lot.  That means there are water droplets running down the glass to entertain me and bird watching but mostly, it's because of the squirrels.  These critters are the most amazing things I've ever seen.  I can spend all day running from window to window chasing them and never get tired of it.  I yearn to chase one outside.  Maybe one day I will since I do go for walks out there in my halter top and leash.  I pity the poor rodent when I finally get hold of him.....  okay, please don't get the first impression that I'm a cold blooded killer.  I abhor violence but I AM a cat and we ARE talking about rodents here....  just sayin'.

Recently Mom and Dad went downtown and visited the famous Cat-ta-nooga Big House of Fishes.  I had to stay behind for squirrel duty so couldn't go but I told them to get lots of pictures that would interest me. These are my favorites and as you will see, on this post anyway, all pics are cat-centric. Mom and Dad had a great time visiting coffee shops, shopping for me and seeing the sights so I included a pic of them just to keep the peace.

Leading the way to the "Big House of Fishes"

The "Big House of Fishes"


Bench done right

Dad and Mom at Greyfriar's Coffee and Tea Company

They went to all the shops and even bought me a new friend, "Squiggles".  He's a mouse.  Sorta.

Well said

Reading material

Nappin' with Squiggles

I leave you with this parting "Rio-ism" -

        "Squirrels are nonpartisan"
                              ---- Rio

Till next time.....  keep nappin'.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sights of Savannah

Hey Folks,

Our two weeks in Savannah are coming to an end today.  The survey is finished here and vacation begins.  Margo and I will be Florida bound to visit family and friends then Tennessee bound for more family visits and Christmas.  Our time here was brief but we did get a chance to visit the historic downtown area a few times and see the sights.  There's so much history and quirkiness associated with this city it's impossible to pass it on here in this little blog.  Suffice it to say that when you combine buildings from the 1730s with visits from George Washington, to modern day tales of Johnny Mercer, to the feather drifting to the feet of Forrest Gump you have a place that can hold your attention for quite some time.

Before I begin though I have to pass on some sad news.  I lost my little buddy Pepper last week to old age.  His 15 years with me will always be cherished and remembered as a time that I had a good friend always by my side.  With the passing of Shiloh the big black dog, just 4 months ago, we find ourselves without a dog in our lives for the first time.  It's a void that's definitely palpable.  Rio the cat, although certainly not a replacement, is keeping the smiles on our faces with his antics and we'll carry on with just him.

My little buddy

Okay, let's take a look at Savannah.  As I said, it truly is a mishmash of history and legend.  If you visit, I highly recommend taking a trolley tour as we did.  For a reasonable fee you can ride through the squares and get the lowdown, block by block, from the conductor as you go along.  We recommend Old Town Trolley Tours.  Look for the green and orange trolleys.  You can hop on and hop off as you choose, so it's very flexible.

I'll make the rest of the post a picture story from here on out.  Pay special attention to the last few pics.  It's a homage to my all time favorite movie "Forrest Gump".  Being able sit in the same spot, although not the same bench (that's in a museum), and expertly recreate the movie poster was a thrill.  I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference.

Get your cookie on.

Julia Roberts filmed a scene from "Something to Talk About" here.  Caught her husband cheatin' she did.

Lady Chablis from "The Garden of Good and Evil" is a real person and performs monthly at Club One

Inside the Massie School

Inside the Davenport house.  Amazing architecture.

Rain downspout

Maritime history abounds

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.  The Forrest Gump feather was launched from the spires.

Inside the cathedral. 

One of the many wonders inside the cathedral

Savannah River tug

Talmadge Memorial Bridge

On River Street

Nailed it!

I'll be signing autographs in Ocala, FL and Elizabethton TN, in the next 10 days or so during our travels.

Have a great holiday season and be safe in YOUR travels.  We'll be headed to the company mothership in Atlanta after Christmas, so stay tuned for more adventures.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Hey Folks,

Our blog, though a staple of the Internet for many years now, had simple beginnings as just a way to keep our "millions" of readers informed.  It still maintains that role and this post is just that, an update to family and friends as to our whereabouts and goings on.  

As the title suggests (you literary folks got it right away, I'm sure), we're calling Savannah, Georgia home for the next few weeks.  The Savannah South KOA to be exact.  The boss sent me to this southern bell of a city (with less than 24 hours notice - much to Margo's consternation but she's a trooper), to help catch up the survey which will be ending in a few weeks.  After that, we'll take some vacation time and head to Florida to see family and friends and then Mom's house in Eastern Tennessee for Christmas.  Expect vacation prose and photos from there in the future.

For now I'll leave you with some photos of the KOA as well as a suggestion to get to the bookstore and purchase a copy of John Berendt's excellent novel for yourself or someone you love.  As most of you who have passed through this area are aware, the smell of wood pulp mills for the paper factories demonstrates an essential aspect of the Coastal Georgia economy so make it a hardcover edition, will ya.


LuLu among the pines

Tepee on a tent site
Swans wintering over at the KOA lake
Santa's camping here before the "big trip"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Continue on Route" the GPS said.  Sitting in our RV site at the Provo/Springville, Utah KOA I punched in Augusta, Georgia.  Our survey of the Salt Lake Valley had wrapped up for the year and we had been informed by the boss to hit the road.  He needed me down in the Peach State until about the middle of December so it was time to head east again.  After a little extra time calculating, a mini map of 2/3 of the United States popped up on the screen.  Mr. Garmin suggested I-70 through Denver but we decided to make the little machine recalculate.  We wanted to take a few extra days and see some things we hadn't seen before as well as take a route we hadn't taken.

We planned to exit the Interstate, take a right at Albuquerque and make a beeline to Roswell, NM to get to the bottom of the alien invasion controversy.  From there we'd take I-20 east through the girth of Texas.  Scoot north of the Hill Country.  Cruise through the bayous of Louisiana.  Begin the home stretch in Birmingham and sail through Atlanta on the weekend, arriving in Augusta before the next Monday.

It was a pretty uneventful trip. Again, a 2000 mile trek without breaking anything, but we did get surprised by a few things along the way.  All for the good.  Let's start with the hot air balloons.

Our second night on the road saw us at an obscure little state park just east of Gallup, New Mexico.  For a mere $20.00 we had a nice quiet full hook up site in a very sparsely populated campground.  Early the next morning though we heard a lot of activity outside.  A dozen or more SUV's with utility trailers were invading the place.  Come to find out we had accidentally happened onto the annual Red Rock Balloon Rally.  Soon the whooshing sound of 15 propane burners filled the air, then the balloons themselves sequentially filled the sky just feet from our campsite.  For close to 2 hours in the still New Mexico morning air we had a front row seat.  This was really one of those special occasions where we were in the right place at the right time.  One balloon landed just a few feet behind LuLu, all the while the pilot reassuring me from the gondola he wouldn't land on top of her.

Next stop, Roswell, NM.  This place has been on my bucket list for quite some time.  We pulled into the Trailer Village campground in Roswell and on checking in were directed to a site next to 3 other Airstreams, all from Florida. They were returning home from a 2 month long caravan throughout the West.  There's nothing like the instant camaraderie from fellow "'streamer's" inviting us to join them for an evening nightcap.  The next morning we hit the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell. I have to tell you folks, they DO exist.  The museum operates on the assumption that it really did happen.  They take their research seriously and even though there was a faint smell of "tourist trap" the exhibits were very well put together and quite informative.  After you're through here visit their site if you want the whole story. 

LuLu happy with her bunkmates

They DO exist

See!  I told ya

Eastbound again, we found ourselves in the endless expanses of West Texas.  They're right when they say everything is bigger in Texas.  It just goes on and on but eventually we stopped for the night in Sweetwater.  We camped at a brand new RV park with our good friends, and co-worker, Pat and Nancy, who were there visiting relatives.  The next morning we shared a nice breakfast and some local lore.  They showed us the house they had built in the 70s when they lived here then wished us safe passage as we pulled out the next morning.

We tackled Dallas/Fort Worth in late morning on day 4, which wasn't as bad as it could have been, then rode on until we found a nice state park just before dark. State parks are always the best way to go when you have the chance.  They simply don't compare to commercial RV parks.  The Tyler State Park was no exception, just outside of Tyler.  It's a gem - if you like to camp in the woods for $20.00 and see a million stars at night.

Tyler TX State Park - beautiful site

In the remaining days we crossed into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia without fanfare.  Yes, most of the trip was just piling on the miles but the weather was great the whole way.  Atlanta was a concern.  We had no choice but to take it head on.  Approaching from the west we had a decision to make - go around on the beltway to the south or to the north.  The south is shorter and was our plan but just before the exit a trucker on the CB mentioned a backup on the south end and to take the north route.  We took his advice and never dropped below 60 mph the whole way around.  Piece of cake.

Sunday saw us safe and sound in Augusta - thankful for a safe journey.  As I said, the plan is to be here until December 15th or so.  Work has precluded us from visiting Augusta proper, and right now, rain is preventing us from even getting outside, but we'll get downtown and check out the Savannah River and everything else Augusta has to offer.

Till next time.