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7/17/18

Tooooo Much Fun

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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Grand daughter Piper decided it was time to show everyone what having tooooo much fun looks like.










7/16/18

Trailmarks

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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Flash, crash and rumble started the day for the OFM. He rolled out of bed to the sounds of the approaching storm.


Before long it started to rain. It was not a massive intense rain but it was plenty to get everything sopping and water running in the ditches. But by noon it was over and the steam started to rise from the ground. We have decided this is a rain forest this year. It has been a huge amount of rain storms hitting the campground this year to go with the over temperature heat. It would be nice if it averaged down a nice amount.

The OFM decided it was a good day for taking Sierra to get new tires. That way we get to hit the road with really good tires on all wheels. Walmart had some decent tires in stock, The Goodyear Trailmark tires were chosen by Sierra.  It took a bit over an hour to get them installed on Sierra.

Next was paying for them and taking them for a ride. Yep, they are a lot better traction than the stock tires that came on Sierra. This should be a good change. We got back to the campground and Trailmark tires and the Castle got to meet each other. After a bit of sniffing they decided it would be an acceptable match for traveling.



The OFM got is some walking and sweating again but that was about all for today since he was a bit blah today. However he did some searching on the computer in his archived photos for some inspiration toward another failure in art attempt. At least it is a good way for him to try to have tooooo much fun.



7/15/18

TEXAS Cooking

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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Twenty more days until we roll again. It will be wonderful. The current jello plan is to get to Rockport and try to set up with the VA in Corpus Christi for medical care if the OFM ever needs any. The stay in Rockport is planned to be until the end of December. The best fishing runs from late September until just before Christmas. That is how the length of stay was chosen. That gives us a few days to chose what to start 2019 like.

This area is deep south and there is plenty of good cooking in the restaurants but it is no TEXAS cooking. The OFM chose today for some of his non-standard chili to be attempted. It is on the stove right now simmering. He is way to lazy to make it from scratch although he does a lot of head scratching trying to figure out what to do next.

Here it is with rice, onions, chopped tomato, canned chili, power pooter pinto beans, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, fresh ground black pepper all cooked slowly in a 3 quart pot.




In the mean time he got in two nice 2 mile walks, a nap of great value and some paper wasting. The entire Teams member are really looking forward to a lot of coastal shore time. The OFM is studying up on jetty fishing.  He has never done much jetty fishing and is planning to change that history. We will find out what really happens in a few more weeks.

Just went and stirred the chili and tasted it.   MMMMMM GOOD.

The paper wasting was fun again. This one is done with cheap Walmart oil pastels but on good Strathmore paper.



Tomorrow is a total mystery as to what that Old Fool Man is going to be doing in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun.




7/14/18

Great Restaurant

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date: July, 2018
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The OFM woke early again. This is getting to be tiresomely old. So it was an early breakfast and then to work. There are three outside compartments in the Castle. The under couch one was first. The stuff was pulled out and the compartment was swept nice and clean. Then all the worthwhile stuff was placed inside in an orderly fashion. All the reject things were moved to the bed of Sierra. The OFM sweat was dripping on the ground by now.

Next was the rear compartment under the bath closet and dinette seat. This is where the hoses, tools, spare Castle parts (water pump) and other heavy things are stored. The same sequence went on for this cabinet. This time very little had to be eliminated. Mostly it was just clean out desert dust. That dadgum desert dust can get inside a ping pong ball.

By the time this was finished the OFM had sweated a soup puddle where he was standing. We learned that phrase from Grandson Gavin. So the OFM drank a gallon or three of water and we headed up to the front compartment under the bed.

For some reason the Castle kept on wiggling. The OFM noticed it and was concerned. The under bed compartment was mostly emptied. The batteries are in there and they were left in place during all this. But we did get a couple of barrels of dirt out of the compartment. This is where the air compressor, trailering mirrors, vacuum cleaner, golf clubs, and other bulky things are stored.

By now the Castle was so much lighter it was trying to float off. So the OFM let the ordinary air out of the tires and replaced it with heavy air. Now the Castle rested quietly while the cleaning and repacking was finished. All the leftover stuff was moved to the back of Sierra and the pond of sweat was three inches deep.

With the Castle all finished the Teams took Sierra over to the recycle dumpster and off loaded all the stuff removed from the Castle. On return to the Castle, the OFM decided he deserved a fine lunch. First of course was a shower. Then we headed to the best Mexican Grill we have ever eaten at Casa Santiago next to Walmart. WOW that was great food as usual. It ran us $11 with tip. Of course a nice nap was called for, but we made the OFM wait until he drove us safely home for the nap in the AC.

Now that he is up again and somewhat functioning he decided that not making sweat puddles was the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun for the rest of the day.

7/13/18

He Went Crazy

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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The Teams were certain the OFM had gone completely nuts this morning. He rolled out of bed at 0630 exhibiting too much energy for him. Soon the pancakes and peanut butter were eaten and he went to WORK. He said his goal today was to do a SEVERE cabinets clean out of items not used within the last year. 

Then as another thought, he decided to bring down the supply of clothing to a 12 day supply. The rest was leaving the Castle. His feeble amount of cold weather clothing was exempted.

And ZOOM things were flying into plastic trash bags and boxes. Three bags of soft goods and two copier paper size cardboard boxes of hard goods were loaded into the back of Sierra. When the dump station run was finished, the OFM sat down at the table to regroup and rest a minute. It was 0745 is all. We all knew this was going to be a day of interesting experiences and it was.

Then he uttered some scary words.....”that was a good start”. What could be next? He carefully went through the closets next. Good grief he was really serious. Every pair of pants and every shirt hanging was pulled out and evaluated for retention. Then the clothing in baskets in the bathroom closet were counted and evaluated. The winners were repacked and the rest was bagged in old Walmart bags. The bath closet is pretty good sized double door model. Then every item in the closet was pulled out and evaluated. Some went back in and some went to the disposal bags. It was a surprise how much stuff was a duplicate that we did not know about.

This went on through the kitchen where the skillet with a lid and a pot with lid went into the “Get Out’ bag. He kept on moving like a possessed man with a dastardly purpose on his mind. He made another pass through the bedroom cabinets and closet. then the dining room cabinets got a second going through. All this stuff was carried to the back of Sierra. The four bags of stuff said good by to us at the dumpsters.

And then he rested. It was 1020 is all. That was the end of the clean out effort for today. It was massive and much more needed than my wildest guess.

Here is a look at a cabinet that used to be so crammed with stuff seeing the green readout for the battery voltage was at times very difficult. By the way that plastic cabinet is office supplies and was given to the OFM 50 years ago when he was 12 years old.



This is the wall cabinet that is critical when boondocking since we get the battery readout in here and check it against the note stuck on the plastic cabinet to know what the status is on the battery charge.



The OFM announced that tomorrow we will be trying to have tooooo much fun by cleaning out the three outside compartments. 


7/12/18

That Was Close

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
Click a pic to enlarge it.

The day started gently with no major chores in front of us. We still have 24 days in front of us before rolling. That means the OFM can take it easy getting prepared to roll. He meandered outside into the heat and was piddling around  when something glinted in a spot of sunshine.

What is it that can glint off the top of a tire he wondered. Little did he know the excitement that awaited.

He moseyed over and looked at the tire for the shiny rock. Only there was no rock only metal tire cord fragments. This is not good he thought as he went back inside for a flashlight.

The flashlight illuminated a major GOOD GRIEF. The tire had tread worn down badly in several spots. Then a look to the back side found a split about ten inches long with the tire’s metal belt hanging out. But the tire was still inflated properly.

YIKES!!! The jack was brought out and tire removal commenced. The better view we got the worse it looked. This tire was within a few miles of exploding.



This tire was inspected when we had the wheel bearing repack in Del Rio Texas in April of this year and showed no signs of trouble. Closer examination indicated that it had taken a bad high speed whack by something that broke the belts in the tire. A couple more places were worn down very badly and soon to be trouble.

Here is the close up of this tire.



The gentle morning had gotten tougher as the sweat poured off the OFM while doing all the jacking and wheel removal. The tire and rim were loaded up and taken to Wal-mart here in Decatur. They had five new tires of our size, so we got a new one installed. It is a Goodyear Marathon like all the other tires that gave no trouble in the 200,000+ miles driven with the Castle in tow.

After we got the new tire installed, the OFM did the flashlight trick on the other tires and they all looked to be in great shape and ready to roll. Now it was once again time to relax.

Sierra is also needing new shoes which we plan to obtain next week. We will be rolling out of Decatur with good shoes on all the vehicles but a lot less dollar bills weighing the Castle down.

Hmmm what can we do tomorrow for trying to have tooooo much fun?


7/11/18

Engineering Magic

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
Click a pic to enlarge it.

Last evening this area had about 2 inches of water puddled in it. During the morning walk we noticed that the water was gone and ant engineering and construction team had built a road across the soft mud to the small grassy hump out in the middle. This road was around 15 feet long and a real marvel to build in less than a day.



Not a lot has been happening here but some new pictures from the rest of the family’s trip to the beach a couple of weeks ago came in. Here is grandson Gavin working hard at trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/9/18

NO HURRICANES ALLOWED

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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An open air (hot) mall in Huntsville Alabama was having a Pokeman event of some sort. Folks from all over would be there Pokemaning around having fun. Naturally the OFM’s DIL had to go participate. Grandson Gavin is mixed up in that stuff also. Then  the OFM got to go along to provide companionship for Piper (grand daughter) and his son.

The game plan was for Piper’s escorts, grandpa and Dad to walk her around the mall in her stroller while the other team did the pokemanning. And that is how it happened for three hours in the nice bright sun of North Alabama. It is a secret but the OFM forgot his hat and that he was not wearing a hat. The heroic red glow from his dome reminded him when we got home and looked in a mirror.

As it turned out Piper was wonderful. She even slept for a good hour or so.

There were lots of pretty flowers blooming. Piper’s Dad used his phone to take a picture of one of them the OFM thought was extra pretty.



The center of the flower was very dramatic so we enlarged it for our readers to appreciate.



The OFM’s worn out shoes was not nice to his feet during all that walking. The best we can tell it worked out to be about the same as four and a half trips around the equator of Earth. New shoes are on the agenda now.

A new future plan has been firm jelloed up. The Teams are rolling out for Rockport, Tx and the redfish runs of September thru November on August 5. At this time we are planning on being there through Christmas 2018. No plans have been made for after that time period. 

We are looking forward to time spent beach and jetty fishing.  Of course a good bit of beach combing is planned on. The most important part is NO HURRICANES ALLOWED.  They can get in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/6/18

Harvest Soon

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
Click a pic to enlarge it.

We hit the morning trail a bit before 0800 and it was not cool at all. The trail this morning was along Port Mallard Drive and the golf course. Then right onto the paved walking path that goes around the golf course. The OFM was hip gimpy this morning so we were making moderate time along the path. 

After a few hundred feet a pleasant older gentleman caught up with us and we visited until he turned left onto the gravel path that borders the shoreline. He was ten years older than the OFM but had no knee or hip troubles. When he turned off we said our Howdys and away he went.



We turned back at this point because we were at the one mile point and the OFM was having moderate pains in his hip now.  So a couple of swallows of water to replace the voluminous sweat and back we headed.

On the way back to the road were lots of bushes and other growth. A close look revealed our next crop of edible fruit in progress. The blackberries of a couple of weeks ago have been all harvested by the two legged and four legged critters of the area. Now we are ready for the next crop harvesting.




These wild grapes back in East Texas make very good wine and jams. We bet these will do the same for the energetic.

The heat was making a major up tick in the humidity misery so we did not dawdle for long any place on the return mile. By the time the OFM got to the Castle he was drenched like he had gone crick swimming. A quick “cold” water shower certainly was welcome. Today it took us 45 minutes for the two miles with the hip pains. Our pain free walking usually runs a little over three miles an hour, but not when gimpy is the mode.

Morning walks can be a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun early in the day.

7/5/18

Shadows and Solar

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
Click a pic to enlarge it.

It is time for a solar and shade report. Supposedly even a little bit of shade on a solar panel nearly kills the output. So the OFM Teams decided to put that concept to the test. Why? you may ask. Because we have been boondocking for 3 to 5 months each year for the last three years and keeping batts charged is important to that lifestyle.

We have been camped in this dense trees campsite for a couple of months now. It never gets really bright. The Castle has been running with the convertor hooked to the 120 volt system so the panels have not had to work much if any to keep the batteries charged.

On the Castle, unhooking or hooking up the convertor to the 120 volt is as simple as unplugging the convertor from the dedicated circuit at the wall plug.

Converter Plugged In


Since rolling time is about four weeks away, we decided to test the boondocking systems to be sure they were ready for rolling again. The Castle was put into full boondocking mode about two weeks ago including unplugging the converter. With all the shade we expected to get very little charging from the highly filtered sun since we are deep into some tall trees. See the pic.

Deep in the Shade, nice for the A/C.



It has been a real eye opener for the OFM. Our two 95 AH AGM batts would drop a bit at night and early morning as was expected. We expected to get a little bit of charging  but eventually run down to the point that we needed to reconnect the 120 volt to the converter to bring the batts back up to full.

Every evening about 2200 we would check the voltage reading and every evening it was about 12.7 volts for the batts. Every day by noon they were reading 13.02 volts, otherwise known as fully charged again.

So after two weeks of electrically boondocking here in the trees, our solar panels are getting the recharge done very easily in spite of all the shadows on the panels. We do not know why or how but we are very glad that the solar electrical charging system is doing an excellent job.

Having plenty of power while boondocking is really important while trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/4/18

Peaceful and Calm

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date:July, 2018
Click a pic to enlarge it.

The park has been very mild today for the most part. Folks have been very reasonable without any obnoxious behavior near the Teams. The fireworks show this evening should be a loud one. Then the folks using the shuttle will be exiting right through the campground. Well before midnight it shuld all be calmed down.

We caught a couple of nice pictures. This is an egret (we think) that was peacefully attempting to capture supper. The OFM took the picture with max telephoto and cropped it down. That kept us from bothering the hungry bird.




We have been telling you of the lack of wind in this area. Here is a picture of what we mean. As we looped on a trail near some 3 to 4 foot high grass this stem appeared right in front of us. The OFM messed around for a couple of minutes taking a few pictures of it. It was dead calm and sweaty hot but the grass never moved. In fact it was a lot steadier than the OFM.




At least today we did have a lot of folks out trying to have tooooo much fun politely.

7/3/18

Just Too Hot

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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The park has been in a hurry up cleanup for the big festivity on July 4. Lots of American flags flying all over the place. Every campsite is full or running over with folks. The weather is HOT. Nature has the crape myrtles showing that the southern summer is here in full force. The crapes are blooming like crazy. Here is one of the red models. 


We also have white and purple to keep things interesting. The crapes also tell the Teams it is too hot and humid for doing very much outside for trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/2/18

Shred Master

Adventure Location: Madison, Alabama
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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Yesterday was deliver birthday presents day. Piper, the grand daughter, was ready to open a few presents even though it was not her birthday for two more days. She did a pretty good job of ripping the paper to shreds. Then the toys got a serious work out.



She is taking a few steps these days but the big surprise was the dancing when she hears music. Then she stands, holds onto a table, chair or whatever is available and dances like a wild woman. It is really cute. It is pretty obvious that she already knows how to try to have tooooo much fun.