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North Alabama Cool Creek


OFM gets Bit

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Reality bites the OFM right on the backside. For the last few months the OFM has been dreaming of going back to the southwest during the winter. He has been bothering folks about details of boondocking locations and many other things. So here we are a couple of weeks from rolling and the Teams have had to have a serious talk with that guy. His left eye has been getting much worse faster than any previous time. He says he can just work around it and lots of other nonsense. Is he hardheaded? Naw, hardheaded would be an improvement.

So a little before 1500 today we pulled the BIG gun and brought grandkids into the fight. How would you like to get out in nowhere and have it be a retina detachment or some bad disease that could have been handled when treated properly. Then we nailed him. A live grandpa tickling a couple of grandkids beats the memory of the grandpa they used to have.  We know it was a low blow but it was necessary we feel.

We have to give him credit for a quick decision once reality bit him on the butt. Bam just like that he was busy getting a campsite back at Rockport where the fabulous eye doctor is that he has been using. Everything not pertaining to his eye health trouble has been put on hold. October 30 we are rolling to get proper eye care and keep his health as good as possible. It has pained him to have to put off the westerly migration.

Then today the scratchy throat and general ill feeling of a virus coming on hit hard. It could be a kindergarten virus from Gavin OR a symptomatic reaction to the flu and pneumonia shots he got yesterday. We are hoping for the trouble to be the normal reaction he has to flu shots. We will know in a few days.

Then to top it off (we hope), the Team credit card chip has failed and a new card is being sent. It will go to the Escapees address. They could not guarantee it would be able to get to Alabama in time for our departure.

With a little luck that will be all the trouble for a good while.  We also apologize to all those we bothered about the SW trip, but we still plan to use the information as soon as the health situation allows us to. At least the flounder run will be in full swing when we get to Rockport. Catching and eating flounder is an excellent way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Super Stoop

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

What does the OFM do when it is cold outside and he is worrying with an important decision to make, he cooks!

Vegetables were prepared and staged for the big event. Then the freshly thawed chicken was cut into smaller pieces. The cooking pot was readied with Italian Salad Dressing for the oil for cooking and freshly ground black pepper was stirred into the dressing. A medium fire was set to warming the pot and lastly the chicken was put in to cook along with some garlic powder.

After cooking for two forevers the stoop was ready for more ingredients. The white onions, beans, two different Knorr rice mixes, celery, chopped carrots and some this and that spices were installed into the soon to be fantastic supper.

 Then it was all simmered as long as the OFM could stand it. OK that is enough. Time to eat. And eat he did and did and did and you know what we mean. After his arms wore out from eating too much there was still enough for four more meals. They were put into the freezer for future enjoyment.

Headed for the Freezer

The OFM likes to choose a deadline for making important decisions so he does not procrastinate (and he is very bad about severe procrastination) too long and fail to take action by the time it is needed. 1500 tomorrow is the deadline and he is still hem/hawing so we will have to wait for tomorrows decision. It is not life threatening or anything like that. However it is getting in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


The Famous Ice Cream Kid

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Grandson Gavin was on a hyper active fit when the OFM (grandpa) got to their home. He has a new run over everything remote control wheeled toy that sort of reminded the OFM of a farm tractor. That thing could hit hyperspace speeds.

 After a few minutes of wild activity grandpa was given Piper to hold. Pretty quick Piper let it be known she wanted in on the floor action and that crazy fast moving machine. Piper is not quite 4 months old but she was raring to get going in the action.

Grandpa held her so she could feel the rug with her feet. Those little legs got busy trying to run after the wheeled toy. The OFM had to hold her back.  In another couple of minutes she had figured how to stand on her own legs. Trying to walk was a not yet event, but she was working hard on it. On top of that she is about 148 pounds of pure muscle. She has really done a huge amount of developing in the last two weeks.

Here we are just as she was getting ready to leap from the OFM lap and into the action.

Here I Come

Later we hit a local burger joint that also has good onion rings. This time a single order of onion rings was about a two quart bowl full. Yep the OFM piggggggged out. The next thing we knew Gavin was asking for an ice cream cone. So we headed over to the ice cream counter and Gavin chose some wild concoction of ice cream with all sorts of toppings. He got it back to the table and went to work. That boy can chow down on an ice cream cone.

The Ice Cream Kid

Finally the food was all eaten and Piper was starting to demand her food. So we headed back to the home front. The rest of us went around playing things and Piper and Mom went to the feeding station.

Gavin is now in the tooth losing stage of life and getting a kick out of it. Since he started kindergarten he has really changed. He now gets intermixed with a lot of other kids of different ages. It is good to see him starting to mature some. It gives us more ways to work together at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Tree Root Caves

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The Teams have been watching this tree fight with the shoreline erosion for seven years. The erosion will win but it is really having to work at that tree. This is a recent picture taken from out on the lake bottom a few feet from normal shore edge.

There are critters that reside in those “caves” in the shore and tree roots. Notice there is even fungi living in the interior parts of the complex. This is the first time the OFM could get down in the rocks to get the picture. His camera was actually pointing nearly back at the normal shore ledge. It was a fun picture to take.

The exact location of this fungi is not remembered but it was somewhere on the latest couple of walks or bike rides. Some times it seems the OFM takes too many pictures, but he really cannot help himself. The biggest “leaf” of this fungi is about the size of a mans hand. It looked like some granular enhancements had been sprinkled on pancakes didn’t it. For some reason the camera would not take a accurately focused picture but this will get the job done.

And this next picture is the tail end of the number 2  golf course hole water hazard. As you can see it was very still up in the trees. That dirty gray water is actually extremely clear. The gray is actually the color of the bottom mud about 12 inches down. The reflections are really sharp in real life. I be this spot would make a great fall color spot in a few weeks.

Tomorrow is a go visit the grandkids day. The OFM has been exercising his kid tickling finger all week in anticipation of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Dedicated to Darrell

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

This blog entry tonight is dedicated to Darrell and his famous “Thinking Benches”. He writes a neat blog and travels when his situation allows him the time. Check out his bloghttp://gozatravels.blogspot.com/


This thinking bench is on the bank of Flint Creek off Wheeler Lake along one of the many walking trails in Point Mallard Park. It is a pretty good spot most days if it is not raining. The OFM has got one part of the bench shined up pretty well.

The soccer field near the Castle gets a new paint job on Friday mornings in preparation for the weekend games. The fellows spend a lot of time getting them marked just right and pretty.

There is finally some significant fall color coming to the area. We caught this bit of color yesterday over near the soccer field.

Between the trees and the freshly painted soccer field there is a lot of color to enjoy.

Tomorrow is going to be another very busy day. We are starting preparations to move in two weeks. It has been nearly three months here and it has been very enjoyable. But you know that old saying “fish and visitors stink in three months”. So it is time for the Teams to search other locations for trying to have tooooo much fun.


The Ultra Efficient Log Finder

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Our day started out slow but quickly hit overdrive. One real time burner was Christmas shopping. There are not many places for Christmas shopping out in the remote deserts of the USA. So the Teams are trying to get that done before rolling day.

After a minimally successful shopping day, the OFM needed a nice walk to settle his nerves. As we meandered around the park a trail came into view that we had looked at about 6 years ago as it was being plotted through the woods. It is finished now and has been a couple of years at least. So we took it with a freshly charged camera.

It is not a long trail. Less than a mile is our guess but it was a marvelous trail. The OFM found out that when you are looking for the birds in the trees his wonderfully performing shin can find pointy logs next to the trail very well. The while you are watching the many tree rats playing in the leaves, his baseball cap “protected” head can find the broken limbs hanging down next to the trail all too often. It made for an interesting meander.  The good part is the OFM took about 65 pictures on that trail alone today. 

Nope we have not had time to work over that bunch of pictures or the ones taken earlier of a short walk early this morning. Like we said, it has been a busy day.

Then tonight the OFM decided to cook for a change. He had almost forgotten how, but not quite.

It came out just fine. The Cod was not prepared just perfectly but very adequately. Probably getting back in practice will help a lot.

We did have a look how much time we need for our current traveling meanders goals this winter and spring. As of right now we will be rolling 10-30-2017 and will need six weeks of time to do what we know we want to do. That means we only have a spare 6 months of roaming until we need to head back to North Alabama for the birthdays. Whatever will we do for trying to have tooooo much fun?


Beautiful Bike's Future

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Between the rain, general humidity and heat, the OFM has been hugging the air conditioner ducts. However this afternoon he decided to get BB out from the rain protection and do a bit of riding. It turned out to be wonderful. Once we got near the lake there was a nice cooling breeze. Sweat still slid off his FAAT body but it was a nice breeze.

By the time we got back after an hour of riding, BB had to lean against a tree for a while to rest. Carrying that FAAAT guy is hard work. The OFM got BB stored back under the rain protection and headed inside for the A/C himself.

We re-investigated the proper exercising heart rate for an OFM of his age. The final number turned out to be anything in the 80-110 range during exercise. The OFM was very comfortable at 98-105 during today’s ride. It surprised him he was doing that well, but it is a good sign.

We are really looking forward to introducing Beautiful Bike to some western desert road and trail riding. No, mountain bike trails are not on horizon for the OFM anymore. We are talking developed social trails. You will see when we get there and take pictures.

When the Teams were at Oliver Lee State Park in New Mexico last spring, we did not have a bike at that time.  There were MANY miles of great gentle ridable hard dirt roads in the area. The OFM really missed SightSeer at that time but he knew he did not have any business on a performance bike so he just moped around with his lower lip stuck out.

Now we have a bike he can handle safely so it will be a whole new world when we roll west this time. BB is going to have a wonderful time learning all about thorns, rocks and loose gravel.

During all the weather induced down time lately, the OFM has broke out the art paper and started ruining it. Here is the start of the latest bit of chicken scratching in the dirt. 

It certainly has a long way to go but he is enjoying his attempt at putting on paper the picture his deviant mind can imagine. We think it is a good, safe way for an OLD FAT man to pass the time while trying to have tooooo much fun.


Golf Course Patrol

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The Teams talked the OFM into taking a nice long walk this morning with the camera in hopes of some nice pictures. ( a long 2x4 with sharp spikes in it was involved in the talking). He hopped right up when he came to and grabbed the camera as he headed for the door.

It is not cool here. It was warm this morning and got up to around 86 with dead calm winds as you will see. The OFM did sweat out a few pounds of sweat and several gallons of water during this walk. We even stayed in the shade of trees 90% of the time.

The path we took was along the road that loops around the golf course. That was chosen by having the most shade. Here is one picture of the typical part of the road/path. It is closed to all motor vehicles but the golf course maintenance vehicles. 

For most of the way Flint creek is on the left and the golf course is on the right. All in all it is a good place to walk and ride a bike. The flowers along the road are pretty well going to seed now. Here is some that are developing their seeds and still being attractive.

Several places creeks from the main creek meander over onto the golf course. At one of the entries, the meandering creek makes for a large water hazard along Hole 6. Yes the OFM has contributed his share of balls to the Water Gods.

Way back in another small creek on hole 4 is some more flowers making last ditch efforts to be beautiful.  When the sun catches thes just right they are gorgeous. 

Our walk today measures a hint over two miles of distance and 19.947 gallons of sweat. But it was good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Weather Report

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Please keep in mind the OFM is trying emulate a TV reporter trying to sound important in this report on Nate passing through the area.
This is David of See B S.  As we waited in apprehension for the onslaught from Hurricane Nate we could only speculate on the amount of devastation we would be seeing from nature. The wind and rain kept increasing as we watched the trees writhing in the horrific winds. Trees lost limbs all around us, slamming into trailers and vehicles at random places.

The excessive rain was causing the streets to run in torrents threatening to wash away any drivers and vehicles foolish enough to attempt to do battle with the speeding water on the roads.

And all around us the flooding was threatening to wash away trailers with the people in them.  The utilities were imminent to being flooded and wiped out for weeks. You would be taking your life in your own hands to attempt to wade to safety at this late date. We can only hope and wish you the best of luck.

The local drainage is badly overwhelmed. There is no relief in sight and the authorities are already overloaded. As you can see here

we have to be very careful to not get too near the raging water lest we be swept away to our unknown fate. I hope the President will quickly send aid to help us with this catastrophe. This is David Dingbat signing off. 

Now let us do it the OFM way.

Howdy folks. This is the OFM from North Alabama reporting on the last of storm Nate. The eye has just passed us to the east and things are looking good. It has been a good morning to stay in the Castle and clean house.

We did get a moment of excitement when the small old rotten limb nearby fell and broke the clothes line. It scattered campfire kindling size twigs on the ground and Sierra but no damage was done.

Out on the street it was damp with a trickle of water meandering down the ruts worn in the pavement. It is a good place to clean the mud off your shoes before coming back into the air conditioning of the Castle.

The low spots around the area barely have enough water to make any mud. In fact, as he is grilling steaks, one neighbor is blowing the leaves and other small twigs into a pile for tonight's campfire at his site.

After a month or more since the last rain, the little creek nearby finally has enough water so the lawn guy will not have to mow it  for a week or so. This should give us a few days of good weather that will be great for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Skull Splitters

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The first day of another decade of OFM Adventures started with a very pleasant morning walk with only a little danger involved. We are waiting for Nate to visit late tonight or tomorrow and wanted some nice cool air and bright sunshine for a walk before the rain starts. 

As the OFM waddled his way from the campground along the entry road and along the golf course, he was really enjoying the scenery. He did notice the sound from the impact of a skull splitter near us. They have sharp points and hit rather firmly. Bones do not get broken normally, but skin tears and minor bleeding is common. All of us old folks wear good hats to protect from the skull splitters as they come from way up in the tree and hurry down to “make an impression” upon us. Those that are on blood thinners really have to be careful.

After the walk the OFM got busy starting to shape up the Castle in preparation for travel at the end of the month.  We got rid of lots of junk again. This time it has been mostly things that the OFM cannot any longer use well or safely. If you can’t or don’t use it, get rid of it.  The three dumpsters are splitting at the seams now.

Towards the end of the day a piece of equipment was being retrieve from under the bed when the OFM should not have tried to lift that in that manner. A muscle on each side of his back screamed DON’T DO IT.  So the next thing was a handful of ibuprofen and an hour of horizontal. Tonight he seems to be doing well but we are not allowing exertion beyond multiple lifts of heavy forks full of food.

We have figured out a better way of getting the equipment out from under the bed for the next effort. Then it also goes into the dumpsters.

We got confirmation tonight that our site reservation cancellation in Rockport was received and accepted.  It is a liberating feeling to not have firm commitments to meet. We have decided to try our luck with just roaming for a while like we did in the earlier days. 

While he was sitting at the table earlier today he noticed the New Mexico Annual Pass sticker on the Castle’s window.

For those not familiar with the pass, it cost non-residents $225. That allows the pass holder to dry camp in the NM State Parks for a year for no more cost. Since ours is good until April 1 of 2018, we have 5 months of no more cost camping available. The parks we have stayed at before in NM have been very nice. Most of them have a dump station and fresh water available to us dry campers. On top of that NM has an unreal amount of free BLM and NF lands available for free also.

Who knows what we will do for sure? WE do! We will be out taking pictures and trying to have tooooo much fun.


Number Eleven Starts at Midnight

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

It looks like we are in for another pile of rain. The third big storm since August is taking dead aim at us here at Wheeler Lake. The projected path of Nate is right through this area. Of course we are far enough inland that Nate, like Irma and Harvey, will mainly be just serious rain. That means we will have time to clean house and smear stuff on paper in an attempt at art.

The OFM bought a leaf blower to help clean the roof and solar panels of all the leaves and small limbs that had collected. The OFM also got remembered that he is a bit wobbly to be running around on the roof without taking extra care. This is the first time he has used a blower in his life. In the past the Castle roof was always cleaned with a broom. The blower is a lot easier and faster. The solar panels still have to be washed before we roll.

And speaking of rolling, tonight is the end of ten years of rolling around the country. Tomorrow will be the beginning of the next decade of RV life. Old Fat Man Adventures still has five weeks before it is ten years old. It is a grand way of living. It also gives us many opportunities for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Syrup Dams

Adventure Location:  Castle Kitchen, Alabama

A reader wanted to hear about the pancakes so here it is.

Preprepared and frozen pancakes are removed from the freezer and placed on a plate. On our microwave they get a 30 second warm up to melt any ice.

The peanut butter is readied and spread on the pancakes in a highly scientific and calculated manner. It is very important to get it on the pancake correctly to properly utilize the syrup for soaking into the pancakes.
To spread the peanut butter use a table fork with the tines curved the wrong way. The peanut butter is carved from the jar with the bottom of the fork. Then the peanut butter is spread with the fork tines curving away from the direction of fork movement.

The swirls of the peanut putter must be put down in curves that form dams to hold the syrup in small puddles. The pancakes normally have a small slope to them that assists in the syrup puddling. Now that the peanut butter is applied to the pancakes it is time for another thirty seconds of the microwave.

The peanut butter has to be warm for this next feat of dexterity. The syrup is drizzled carefully so as to not WASTE even one drop of syrup. If you have done it right there will be small lakes of syrup soaking into the pancake.


Then it is eating time. If you do it exactly correctly there will not be enough drops of syrup on the plate to bother with licking the plate clean. Of course, there is not a picture of the clean plate because nobody wants to see a picture of an empty  plate. A plate of fresh pancakes slathered in peanut butter and syrup is a great way to start a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

Can you believe the OFMan actually made a whole blog on putting peanut butter on pancakes? With photos! Good Grief...............


Nothing Happened Today

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The day was so exciting the OFM had to decide between the last two reflection photos or a series of pictures showing how he puts the peanut butter on his pancakes to maximize the syrup retention. Now that was a hard decision for him.

There is a foot trail along both sides of the creek coming off Flint Creek near the Castle. This next reflection was taken looking toward one of the several soccer fields. Look carefully and you can see bits and pieces of the trail on the far shore.

There are several places like this one in the next picture. It is right side up as you see it. It also has part of the hike/bike trail showing on the far shore. We were standing near the water on our side of the creek when this picture was taken. A moment a biker came easing by and stopped to enjoy the scene. We had a nice but short visit and she headed on her way. That sort of thing happens a lot on this trail.

Both of these pictures came from a few days ago. The wind has been making ripples for the last three days so we have not had reflections. Maybe BBike and the OFM Photography Team needs to take a few rides around now that the leaves are starting to change and fall.  By the end of October it will be getting brisk in the mornings. Yep that sounds like it might be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Billy Bob has posted a “I’m alive” post on his blog.

The new camera battery charger has performed very well and the old camera is functioning again. The cooler air this morning lead to a couple of miles of walking and a few pictures taken. This picture is of the area of Flint Creek just as a finger of water heads in to the campground.

This is another slough nearby that made a great reflection as you can see. Yes up is toward the top of the picture.  It was very still at the time of the picture.

The OFM got going and spent about an hour and a half walking and looking for pictures hiding in the area. We did not bother measuring the distance but we did head on back to the Castle when the knees said to. We hope that every one likes the pictures. More should be on the way soon.

This evening the OFM did a nice amount of golf practice in a gentle manner. Notice how he has been getting BIG into this gentle stuff lately. He has lately been giving so thought to hitting up the souther Arizona for a couple of weeks. If you have something he might should know please leave a comment or three. He has driven through the area a couple of times in his past lives but never been there boondocking. 

He has a little maintenance work to do for his DIL on some of her knives and scissors but that is a gentle task that he likes doing. Other than that we have no big plans beyond leaving at the end of the month for the Rockport flounder run in November.
Everyone please try to have tooooo much fun like we do.


Busy Times

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The Team camera’s battery charger cratered about a week ago. The next day a new one was ordered but had a couple of day back order required. In the mean time the camera ran one battery to 0% charge. The second battery hit 10% a couple of days ago. So we were without picture taking ability for a while.

The new charger arrived yesterday while the Teams were out with the grand kids and parents  looking for another good time. When the OFM got back to the campground, he had a notice the charger was in. So this morning the OFM sauntered on down to the office to pick up the charger. While he was there he got reminded that his rent was due YESTERDAY.  So he whipped out his well worn credit card and paid for another 30 days of Decatur thrills.

After all that excitement and the the nice cool air inviting us to take a camera walk, the OFM decided to see what we could see. Many pictures were  taken and are still in Camera. Then the OFM went to play golf and poop himself out. So the pictures are on the agenda for tomorrow, as well as more golf, riding Beautiful Bike, and whatever other nonsense the OFM can figure out to do.

This nice cooler air is great for causing the Teams to head out trying to have tooooo much fun.