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North Alabama Cool Creek


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.


  1. When I read your title, I was SURE that I was going to be reading about a migraine! Got a happy surprise. I have never been hit in the head by a pine cone, but know from experience that a large acorn dropping from high up in an oak tree will get your attention.

    I hope you have a good time seeking places to have fun. I am selfish, though. I hope you are able to have wifi in most places. Sure don't look forward to long blackouts from you.

  2. In the two years that I've been full timing I can only remember making a reservation two or three times and they were always for a special place at a special time, like for instance a state Park near a big city on a holiday. But other than that my camping spots have always been based on serendipity.

    I've never been hit in the head by a falling pine cone but having spent time in Miami Florida I can personally attest to what a coconut can do to the hood of a car and can only imagine the devastation it would wreak upon your head. As a rule of thumb you never take a nap under a coconut tree.


    1. I recently found out that the three state parks around Rockport/Corpus Christi are all out of business for normal campers. You have experienced how excited I would be to camp near the beach.

  3. Good luck at avoiding those skull splitters. And New Mexico sounds like a good place to have too much fun.

  4. I see a lot of rain headed your way, good thing you got out for a walk. I have been hit by a big pinecone and it hurt and cut me, Gravity is not my friend. Take care.

  5. This summer it was apples in Michigan that I had to watch out for. They make quite a splat when they hit, fortunately they all missed my rather flimsy straw hat!

  6. A visit to New Mexico sounds like a good choice for you and the Castle.