The Rogue Roamers 2006 (Bill and Pixie Johnson) travel blog

View of the front of Dad's house where we're parked in the...

Different view from the front.

Different view from the front.

Front door looking out.

Looking down the street from the house.

Dad cutting some of the grass in back.

Dad working on cutting the grass in the "South Fourty". Ha! Can...

Here he's a little closer.

The deer started to come down from the woods behind the house...

A little closer......!


Doe feeding.

"High-tailing" it!

"KC" kitty stalking some birds by the corn.

Nice wide view of the house from the back. Can you see...

See Pixie and I? I'm in the shadows on the right. Pixie's...

Dad's on the phone with my brother Mike while Helen shows Pixie...

The queen holding court. Ha!

Pixie says she's trading in my truck for this '33 but I...

(Note from Bill:Pita was still falling behind on her narratives. It seems she's been trying to catch up on her beauty sleep instead. So, I asked that she put the recent entries into one longer log. That way we can get you all caught up to date.)

Pita's Diary - East St. Louis to Kentucky

What a strange day this was. It started off with the usual flurry of hushed activity as they try to fool me into thinking it's just another day. I just let them think they're fooling me because it usually means they feed me earlier or give me some clam juice. I know I shouldn't take advantage of their good intentions but.......they're so EASY! Ha!

Anyway, the first problem was the "New Mexico Syndrome", where they put you in a spot that is supposed to be a pull through but really isn't. So, Mom and Dad had to get creative again in order to get out safely. I guess they were lucky the guys across from us pulled out 5 minutes before because dad pulled right through their spot. That darned computer voice on the GPS (Mavis) was a real pain again today. I thought Dad was going to throw her out the window. "Off Route, On Route, Off Route, On Route, on and on and on...." And Dad says she's absolutely LOUSY at giving help when there is a fork in the road. You only find out AFTER if you made the right choice. They guessed pretty well though and got us on the right road(s).

Dad fooled me and stopped for a potty break a lot sooner than normal. I guess after getting lost in downtown St. Louis yesterday, he didn't want to go back out and fill up the gas tank last night. So, we started out with a half tank, which meant he had to stop sooner. No matter though. I'm getting pretty good at doing my "E-D-P" (that's Eat, Drink, Potty) when we make stops. Mom gets out of the truck and opens the travel trailer up. Dad picks me up and carries me to the trailer where mom takes off my leash and let's me "do my thing". It's a pretty good life really. I could actually walk to the trailer but Dad is paranoid that I'm going to take off. Like, where am I going to go?!?! It's not like I know any of the neighborhood kitties around these places. But hey, if he wants to carry me, I'll let him.

Anyway, the scenery today was beautiful; lots and lots of green stuff; trees, corn, grass and other growing things. After the initial construction leaving St. Louis, the roads were some of the best we've had. They were really smooth and there wasn't much traffic. Mom said that another thing that made it nice was that even the truckers were going the posted speed limit, or close to it. She said that was really strange, compared to what they are used to. I saw quite a few of those cars with the red and blue lights on the top and Dad said that was probably a good part of the reason everyone was so nice today. I guess we should have taken pictures and treasured it though because, Dad has a new nomination for some of the worse highways in America; Louisville.

Once we got close to Louisville, the highways really got bad. It was strange because they looked like they were in good condition and smooth but nothing could be further from the truth. Bumps, washboards and roller coasters were the operative terms. Dad was madder than heck. He was saying lots of those words us kitties are not allowed to speak. Mom was just hanging on, hoping it would end soon. We finally got to the campground; a KOA park. What a joke! We were given a "scenic" spot, right next to the park's Dump Station and within 30 feet of an overfilled dumpster! And for that, Mom said we paid top dollar! Good thing it's only for one night. I have a feeling Mom and Dad will be really glad to get to Grandpa John's house. Then, we'll be half way home!!

Pita's Diary - Kentucky through to West Virginia - Day 1 through Day 3

I didn't know you could go through whole states in just a few hours. We left Louisville, Kentucky; unfortunately we had to backtrack on that horrible road for about 8 miles. After that we were headed East once again.

As you got closer to Kentucky you began to see some cattle and horses. We went all the way through Illinois without seeing a horse or a cow! Of course, Kentucky is famous for their horses. Dad said they ought to spend a lot less on racing horses and a lot more on repairing their freeways!

We passed Scott Air Force Base (I think Grandpa John was stationed there once a long time ago.) Finally we reached West Virginia. West Virginia is even prettier than Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky. We had low mountains with lots of trees. We rarely saw a house. I kept thinking how amazing it must have been for people in wagon trains who crossed the country. I bet their cats got really tired of the bumps just like me.

We made it to Grandpa John's and Helen's in Buckhannon, West Virginia for "Patio Time". Patio time happens at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Good food and beverages are served. Grandpa John has a really, really big backyard. I'd probably get to go out to play if it wasn't for their three cats - well, actually, one of their three cats. Miss Kitty and KC wouldn't hurt me, but Cat is "Cat the Protector". He even chases the deer if he feels like it! Grandpa John says he has run off big dogs before too!

There are several deer that come right into the yard. Of course, the corn feed Grandpa John puts out might have something to do with their friendliness. Mom said she saw girl deer (does) and boy deer (bucks) that came within about 20 feet of the patio.

Our trailer is sitting on the driveway. I have a great view of the front yard - trees, flowers and lots of green grass. There aren't fences here like you see in California and sometimes in Oregon. These people's yards all kind of run together. Looks like a park! I like that.

Mom and Dad have been busy visiting. Dad tried to get Helen's computer hooked up for wi-fi , but it didn't work. Dad is going to transfer all this stuff for the website onto a disk and then load it onto Helen's computer to upload. Don't you think I am getting pretty computer savvy?

Uncle Mike is going to be here from Virginia on Friday and Helen's brother is coming with a 1933 coupe (they're all into old cars). Mom says she's going to get her picture taken in that '33 coupe. She says she KNOWS she'll look good in it! Grandpa John fixes up old cars and takes them to car shows. I guess there is going to be a car show this Saturday. I am not invited. I don't care though, it so quiet and peaceful here. I can see Blue Jays, Cardinals and lots of Robins out in the yard. Except for the afternoon thunder storms about all you hear is birds chirping and an occasional lawn mower going.

Mom says the house is really nice. She said if Dad had a big kitchen sink like they have he could be cleaning all kinds of fish in it.

The town of Buckhannon only has about 7000 people. They have a Wal-Mart and a hospital, though, so they are definitely on the map! Mom said there is a lady downtown who is painting a mural on the side of the building depicting the Indian Chief for whom the town is named. I think that is pretty cool.

The weather has been in the high 70's and low 80's, but humid. Dad says humidity is when there is lots of water in the air. I don't know what humidity is, but it makes it feel a lot hotter than it really is. Poor Mom went out to clean the outside of the trailer this morning. When she came in her face was all purple! I guess there were more than a few bugs got plastered on the front of the trailer when we were going down the road! Now it's looking all clean again. Dad said she did a really good job too!

Dad and Grandpa John are making enchiladas, rice and beans for dinner. I already got my 4:00 o'clock, so I'm not worried. Maybe KC (Kitty Cat), Grandpa's youngest cat, will come out to visit me before it's time for them to go to bed in the garage. Just as long as Mom and Dad get home before the thunder and lightening starts. It does that almost every night! Last night Mom and I both jumped out of our skins. Then it rained real hard for just a little while.

I sure miss all my friends in Grants Pass, but we'll be home in less than a month. I'll write more later. You'all take care now; ya hear! (BTW, that's my new Southern Drawl!)

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