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Point Mallard Park, Decatur, Alabama

7/31/12

Frisky SightSeer

Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

Laundry was first and them some counter and cabinet cleaning but nothing too serious.  The heat was up to 92 by noon so the Teams just cooled it until late in the afternoon. TheOFM did head over to the golf pitching green for some very needed practice in case BillyBob challenges him to a golf match. That BB is good, don’t let him kid you.
Nothing fun had happened for a blog entry all day. Phooey.  Supper was at a second class BBQ joint in Decatur. The OFM was sorry he stopped in there. Big Bobs BBQ or something like that was the name.  It was a long way from the excellent BBQ at Sparkys in Hatch NM.

When the Truck got us safely back to the Castle, the kids across the street were “working” on a bicycle.  Hmmm there is plenty of time before dark and the temps have dropped into the low 80’s. SightSeer (SS) was retrieved from the back of the Truck and assembled.  Away we go for a little ride.  That little ride turned out to be six miles of wonderful pleasure.
SS was feeling rambunctious from all the time cooped in the back of the Truck.  The first thing SS did was stop at the putting green at the golf course. SS wanted to know all about it.

So after the explanation SS said” Let’s go see some more.” So we headed out on the very nice bike trail alongside the golf course. We made the turn to go behind the golf course and SS stopped and leaned against the fence to ask about the golf course.  More time was spent explaining to SS about how to play golf. SS seemed to be interested.

The trail went on off into the trees for a ways and an opening in the trees gave us this nice view in the evening light. SS certainly likes to stop and look around a lot doesn’t it.

That looks like a good spot to do some fish catching except that the OFM would have to buy a $46 fishing license good until the end of August.
About the time it was time to head back this flash of beauty caught OFM’s eye.  The passion flower bloom was the only two in sight.  However it was quite nice in the shade of the trees.

Now it really was time to head back.  SS is not at this moment equipped for night riding so the Riding Team needs to be off the road by dark. As we came out of the wooded section and back on the crepe myrtle line bike path along the road, SS noticed this sign with lots of flowers.  SS insisted on another picture in the dim light.  It surprised the OFM how bright the camera made the picture seem.  So SS was posed in front of the flowers for a nice picture.
As the OFM moved away and got the camera ready, SS decided to get frisky again and climb up on the sign. The picture was taken and the OFM scolded SS for misbehaving like that. Ridiculous bicycle!

The rest of the trip back to the Castle was very pleasant since a nice breeze had formed. The ride on SS gave the Team a good attempt at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/30/12

Bad Scene

Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

The OFM has been finding it impossible to comment on blogs that have the spam blockers doohickey.  He cannot make out one or the other of the items the prover wants you to copy so he just doesn’t comment.
My eyes were bigger than my body ability but the bucket of golf balls at the driving range were finished anyway.  After the morning and afternoon chores were stopped, the Golf Ball Hitting Team went over to one of the driving ranges for some practice for when BillyBob takes me to the course to whop on me.  The bucket of balls started with 60 in it but every time the OFM turned his back somebody put some more in it.

By his calculation he hit somewhere around two or three hunnert balls. To his surprise some of the balls even stayed on the driving range.  At least none of them went backwards into the parking lot.
After supper a nice walk around in the much less hot evening air was taken.  It was nearly very pleasant. The meander took the OFM over to the area of the “event field” behind the trees that circle the campground.  It is a very nice place. The OFM has been told that they even launch hot air balloons from this area during one of the festivals

Placed here and there around the field are rows or clumps of crepe myrtles.  These plants may have been here a good while from looking at the size of them. The only colors that have been noticed are the white and pink models.


As the Meandering Team was entering the campground this sordid event was noticed. This is not a good scene for a motorhome in a campground.

What was wrong was not obvious but the Teams hope that it turns out to be minor and easy. The Ofm does not want that type of scene in his campsite. It could interfere with trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/29/12

Off Duty Week

Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

After looking at the predicted temperatures to our west, the OFM Teams extended our stay here at Point Mallard until Aug 6.  We are looking at temps in the low to mid nineties around here and a little more west they are looking at triple digit temps.  This OFM Teams prefer to stay out of triple digit temps. On top of that this area is pretty nice to visit. We will not mention the new grandkid just a few miles away.
A strong migraine hit late last night to mess up the plans for today. The Ofm went calling anyway and got in a small chance to touch Gavin but the headache was too much for him.  He spent most of the day horizontal in his bed being very lazy.

Late in the evening the OFM got up and ate a little supper.  Then he went over to the local golf course to see if he could do a little practicing or goofing off in the vertical position.
He could and did practice very gently.  The golf course has some excellent practice facilities.

The pitching and chipping green is really good.  The sand bunker is well designed and gives you a chance to practice all types of bunker shots.  Your chipping and pitching will be tested to the maximum around this practice green.  Regular application of intelligent practice here should help your scores improve. The putting green is just as excellent with all sorts of breaking puts to practice.  However it was only an hour before the wimp OFM had to quit and head for the Castle to rest.
There are three more pictures taken yesterday along the walking trail. The first one is a view of Flint Creek where it joins the Tennessee River.

The next is of some of the pretty white flowers growing alongside the trail.

And last are some reflections on the water of a slough off Flint Creek. That was some very still water there.

The ex-wife and her entourage of miscellaneous folks are in town for their time with grandson Gavin.  The OFM will be staying clear for the week they are here. Then the OFM Grandpa-ing Team will get back to work.  The Teams are sure they can handle it, but that means a whole week of amusing the OFM as the Teams work diligently on trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/28/12

First Trail

Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

It looked innocent enough at the start. A little trail heading out into the woods should be a nice walk. By the time my feet turned around and got me back to the Castle we had walked about four miles.  It was a beautiful trail.

After a nice distance of walking through the woods, this slough appears on your right. Later the OFM would learn that it flows into Flint Creek.

The trail generally follows Flint Creek for a couple of miles and gives you scenery like this to enjoy.

Along the way are a few flowers to help brighten the scenery.

The part of the trail explored today winds around part of the golf course. This was taken from the hike and bike trail.  The golf course is well maintained and very pretty.

The portion of the trail walked today is just a small portion of the overall system of trails.  This means there is a lot of trails to walk or ride while trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/27/12

Three Generations


Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

Three generations of OFM in one picture. Thirty three years between each generation.


This is the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/26/12

Point Mallard

Adventure Location: Decatur, AL.

It is late and the Ofm is tired from the action over at the grandbabying house.
My earlier opinion of this campground has made a major change.  The campground is a bit close but the overall package is turning out to be very nice. Here is a map of the complex.

It shows all the many facilities for use in the area.
The entrance sign is very beautiful when the sun glints off the water fall.

Next is a picture of the OFM Teams camp spot.

Now the usual view from my main window in the Castle.


During the next few days it is the intention to participate in some of these facilities activities and report back on the blog.  Meanwhile the OFM is going to get rested for a full day of grandpa work tomorrow. It should be another great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/25/12

Birthday Present

Adventure Location: Decatur, MS

It has been a late night of grand babying.  After a short visit at the hospital, the OFM headed back to the Castle while the grandkids parents got themselves shed of the hospital and back home.
During that time the OFM found a nice birthday present for Gavin.
Then the Ofm went over to Gavin’s house to play.  And we did a nice bit of playing.
Now it is time for the OFG to get cleaned up and headed to bed. TheOFG will be hard at playing with Gavin tomorrow. We will not have any trouble trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/24/12

Drive Safely Please

Adventure Location: Decatur, MS

After MANY more miles of towing the OFM Grandkid Visiting Team has arrived in Decatur, Al. The Point Mallard campground had plenty of spaces to choose from. We are set up in a standard close to each other site. They are not worth the cost of the electrons to take a picture or the $$ they cost.  However it is the best by far in the general area and will be sufficient for this visit.
The only major event during the trip today was a disaster.  I-20 was shut down for a few minutes on the eastbound side and a lot longer on the west bound side.  As we went past the wreck, there was a man lying on the west bound pavement with another person doing cardio chest compressions and another person doing the breathing part of the help. It was not a wonderful sight.

On a better subject, a phone call to my son yielded the information that mom and baby are doing well. As he put it, a very uneventful day. Tomorrow morning the OFG will get an assist in trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFG.

7/23/12

GC Ward

Adventure Location: Comfort Castle

Look out world here comes



Gavin Carter Ward

19 inches

7 ½ pounds
 Everyone is doing well.

He arrived on scene this afternoon to much applause and happiness. The OFM is now also the OFG(randpa). It looks like I will have my hands full teaching the whippersnapper about trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFG.


Adventure Location: Morton, MS
Roosevelt State Park, Ms

This is the camp for tonight.  It is very close to I-20 on my way to see Gavin.  Tomorrow will be a long drive day again. But the reward will be well worth it.
The campsites are all concrete paved to my surprise and very level right to left. The site I was assigned is lake view.

For some exercise my body took a short hilly hot sweaty walk around the near area. Back in a far corner was a small pond that had a scenic appeal to me.

And at another point there was a good view of the main lake.  The main lake looks like another good one for yakking.

Places like this will be good for getting Gavin out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/22/12

Martin Creek Lake

Adventure Location: Martin Creek Lake, TX

We made it safely to Martin Creek Lake State Park in the early afternoon. It appears that we are one of two occupied campsites in the whole park. The OFM Teams are in site 72 and it is a nice site level side to side.

The campsites are rather short. The rear of the Castle is sticking over the car stop. The Castle was backed up until the tire hit the car stop then pulled forward a few inches.  The Truck as you can see in this campsite picture is barely out of the road.

This is a new state park to the Teams. It turns out to be very nice.  The lake is a cooling lake for a power plant on the other side of the lake from the park. Power plant lakes are usually good fishing lakes.  This one also looks like a good place to use a yak.
In front of one of the restrooms is a nice unusual bench made form a log.

A very long walk was taken to gather in what the park has to offer.  The Teams could easily enjoy three days here.  The lake is down about six feet it appears but there is still plenty of water for the swimmers to enjoy at the beach.

The fishing pier is short but likely good for families to catch small fish by the dozens.  The pier apparently had a pile of visitors over the weekend. In the back ground you can see the power plant.

Included in the fun is an island that is accessed by a foot bridge.  The island allows for primitive tent camping.  Several folks were over on the island wade fishing.

The Visiting Team had a great time talking to the remaining visitors. The heat here is strong but the pine trees help with a lot of shade.  Shade on a hot day is a definite assist in trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/21/12

Paddle or Peddle

Adventure Location: Lake Somerville, TX

It really feels good to step out of the Castle in the morning to a dry environment. It is warm but dry and that makes it nicer to walk down to the dumpster with last night’s trash. It fact it was so nice my feet refused to turn around and head back to the Castle immediately. We meandered onward along the road.  Then the rest of my body decided that we would walk on along the main road to the boat ramp.  The shade from the trees was helping a lot.  The temperature was about 80 at the start but the shade and gentle breeze made the walking pleasant.  Sometimes there was even a nice view for our pleasure.

Eventually the road turned toward the ramp and the shade quit being available.  It only took a few yards of walking in the bright sun to turn the team around and head back for the shade of the trees. It was noticed that the shade that had covered the road was now only covering one side of the road. It is a good thing to turn back now. By the time we made it back to the Castle the temperature was up to 88.  It was a good walk of a mile and a half in very pleasant conditions.
After some water and respite the silly idea of riding SightSeer (SS) came to mind. In my past life this park and the subdivision next to it were ridden often on bicycles. Ok maybe we can get in a nice ride before it gets too hot. SS was readied and away we went.

The loop down by the day use area snagged this picture before all the Saturday folks showed up for hot times at the lake and HOT it is.

The Gulf Coast is famous for wade fishing in the salt water.  This picture shows you that it is not necessary to go to the coast to participate in wade fishing. Many of the lakes in Texas are excellent for wade fishing.

I bet they are cooler than the folks still on the shore under one of the live oak trees.
Onward we rolled throw campground loops and up and down the hills. Did you know that hills change shape when you are riding a bicycle? It is true. Going downhill they are short and gentle. Coming back up them they get longer and steeper. Guaranteed fact.

Over near the boat ramp SS had to stop and sniff the canoes.  Hmm it looks like one of these canoes could hold both the OFM and SS. Choices are nice especially if the choice is to paddle or peddle.

There are several miles of trails through the trees and underbrush in the park. At one time or another, my feet have left footprints on all of them and some places without trails also.  The silly SS decided to go look at riding on one of the trails. It was not my choice of fun since there are lots of spider webs, bugs, mosquitos and poison ivy in there.  SS insisted on taking a look. Here is that silly bicycle checking out the trail.  But the OFM was not about to ride that trail on a hot sticky day.  Maybe in winter it will be better.

When we returned to the Castle it was about 1130 and 92 degrees and 5.4 miles later.  The OFM was finished for the day.  The heat is just too much for his worn out head. Having a good walk and then a wonderful bike ride made for a good start at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/20/12

Lot Of Fish

Adventure Location: Lake Somerville, TX

After finally awakening about 0845 this morning, my body was rested for a change.  My feet even wanted to go for a walk. That is a big change from the painful feet of the last few days. After breakfast the Walking Team headed out in the nice dry warm shade from all the trees. It was great.

We did see a couple of interesting things.  The ugly bug contest was won by this son of a gun that was wandering around on the hood and fender of the Truck. The Truck was quivering and screaming GET THAT THING OFF ME.

It was not a candidate to make a pet of it.
On down the road a piece was this web from some industrious spider.  The sunshine glinted off it when the angle was just right. It was pretty.

Late in the afternoon the Fishing Team went down to the jetty pier to try our luck.  As usual nobody was catching anything. The Ofm Fishing Team went to work and soon had fish coming in.
This white bass put up a heck of a fight against the 200 pound OFM.

Then a bit later this monster sun perch hit my lure and nearly dragged me off the pier. It was a nip and tuck battle there for two or three seconds. But the OFM’s superior skill at rod handling prevailed.  Another fisherman on the pier kept this fish for his supper. He must have a small appetite.

All told in two hours the OFM Fishing Team put
1 crappie

1 sun perch
1 large mouth bass

8 white bass
on the pier.  The sun perch was the largest fish.  Every lure that was tried caught fish. But the 99 degree air temperature was getting to the OFM so the Team called it a day and went back to the Castle.

A great morning walk and a nice afternoon catching fish while visiting with other folks makes for a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


7/19/12

Lake Somerville

Adventure Location: Lake Somerville, TX

It was a gentle start to this morning.  The rolling distance was supposed to be about 185 miles so there was no need to get in a hurry. TheOFM managed to get his body moving well enough that we left the Rockport campground at 0845. What was not planned was a long detour and a couple of delays. The miles today were 245 and we got into tonight’s destination a little after 1500. Everything in this part of Texas is very green.  There has been plenty of rain apparently.
Here is where the Teams are for the next three nights.

It is the OFM’s old stomping grounds.  However a lot has changed since his times here in his long distant past. The park is a rather extensive park with lots of trails and a pretty fair amount of roads.  Both road biking and mountain biking can be done in this park. There is a twenty plus mile one way mountain bike trail going around the end of the lake to the other unit of the state park. The OFM has ridden it once. That was enough.

We took the site recommended by the check-in ranger. The site turned out to be very good and private. Here is the view from the other side of the road.

Then a picture of the view from the Castle window shows you all the fresh greenery.

The Wi-Fi at the visitor center is what is available to use.  The pictures are degraded to make downloading faster and easier.
Of course Lake Somerville is known for its good fishing. Not many really large fish come from this lake but hordes of nice size fish are caught each year. It is more of a meat fish lake than a trophy lake. The fishing jetty near the boat ramp is usually good for a few fish every day.

The jetty was my first stop on touring the park. While talking to a nice fellow on the pier he caught three fish.  The OFM finally realized that his gear for freshwater fishing was in a state of non-existence. So he made a run to the Wal-Mart in Caldwell to restock a little fishing gear.
It was getting late when he got back to the park so he hit the pier in a hurry with the lure left on the line from his last fishing trip in Rockport.  Well to keep the story short, the largemouth bass measured 16 inches long.  It is now back swimming in the lake getting bigger for a return fight with the OFM. BillyBob does not need to worry, 14 pound bass do not live in this lake.

In the morning will be rearrange the tackle time. Most of the saltwater tackle will be put into storage for a return to the coast at some time in the future. Getting the fishing gear ready for an all-out assault on the fish population is another great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.