Ambulance Ride

Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 31, 2024

The OFM got to ride an ambulance to the Emergency room in Decatur to enjoy the afternoon and evening laying in a bed all hooked up to wires and tubes. He is considered OK now by the emergency room doctor and is home as of 2232 tonight.

Rest of the story tomorrow. Sleep time for now. Goodnight. 


Head Pains


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 30, 2024

The OFM man woke up to a strong case of migraine headache. It has been several months since one of those has hit with any force but this one has been been showing off its ass kicking ability all day. It has been a beautiful day for sure as this picture through the Castle door shows.

However we have been lucky to mostly sleep through most of the pain and blindness and this evening feel like we are finally over the worst and will recover soon. For those who would like a comparison think Babe Ruth with a steel bat knocking your head for a home run a few times.

If the normal pattern continues tomorrow the OFM brain will feel bruised as it gets moved around in his head while the OFM is doing things.

See you tomorrow with good news we hope.


Shopping Travel Trailers


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 29, 2024

The main stuff of today was looking at new travel trailers to find out what they are like. We saw lots of all sorts of cheaply built trailers with cheap prices to high priced cheap trailers. The worst part to us was that all of them seemed to be aimed at folks who do not spend much time inside them.

So we did not come up with any for full time living today. But quite a few the Teams would not think about traveling in. Now let us defend them a bit, they were sold to be sold by price not usability. Our guess was that if you did not use them much and they stayed outside then 10 years would be about the end of them. Otherwise 5 to7 years would be a generous limit.

So there you have the results of a day getting educated as a way of trying to have too much fun.


Delicate Knees


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 28, 2024

Another good walk today. In fact the OFM decided to try a faster pace to see how well he survived it. To his surprise we made the over two miles noticeably quicker than normal. However this evening the knees are not happy so we will likely just go back to the marching speed and all the body parts will be in a better mood then.

This picture has a white arrow pointing to the waterline spot two days ago after the flooding rains we had. River authorities got the level back down to just right for the barges to be running in full force today which is wonderful for business in the area. Having supplies in hand is great for business. That was a three foot level drop in about two days. It seems to us that the River Authority does a good job of keeping the barges moving along rather well.

That is all for today. The OFM took it easy on the knees and they seem to have appreciated it but tomorrow we will be a bit busier we think. We are hoping the knees will be all cured and ready to function well tomorrow so we can try again for tooooo much fun.


Getting Ready To Roll


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 27, 2024

We got in some good walking today by breaking it up into two sessions. 3.4 miles was the total to our surprise. However we did not get any pictures today for some unknown reason. Knuckle Head OFM is likely the reason.

Perhaps some of the excuse is that early this morning we were able to sensibly make a decision on if to roll. Yes was the answer. Then the real tough choice was where to head toward. Right now the decision is head south on I-65 to Birmingham and turn right onto I-20 and safely make it back to Texas by the second night. From that point we can choose points of interest and roam freely for 2 to 3 months and still get back to grand-kid land in time for all the birthdays in Alabama in July and August.

After being stuck here for 10 months we need to carefully go through the Castle and Sierra to make sure everything is in its traveling location. I doubt we have been ten months continuously in the same campsite since October 07, 2007 when we rolled out of Richland, Washington to begin our full time traveling.

We are planning to attempt to move less frequently than in the past. We have noticed the hot temps line is already just about up to I-10 in western Texas. Staying on the cooler side of that temperature line is probably a good idea. It might be time pretty soon for some boon-docking in New Mexico before they make their HIGH price increases in July.

Most of all we are excited that the repairs on the Castle, Sierra and the OFM seem to have us ready again for chasing wonderful adventures while roaming this country.


Heavy Rain and Flooding


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 26, 2024

We had heavy rain from about 2000 last night until 1200 today, Ditches were running over full here in the campground. My neighbors pups had trouble finding a place to squat to do their business with nearly all the land covered with water. This is a pic of the golf course next door about 1600 today after lots of the water had drained away.

Supper tonight was green salad with cubed pork chops stir fried in Italian seasoning and olive oil. The BBQ sauce for dressing really makes the meal great. We are glad the OFM likes simple meals.

During our short flood dodging walk the sun was setting very brightly.

In fact so bright it turned this dark green pine tree an orangeish brown.

We are hoping for nice weather tomorrow.

The OFM is trying to put together a road trip for us. So far every thing seems to be coming together. We are planning to roll west on I-20 the week after Easter and find out where we go. It has been 10 months since we could roll and that is way too long.

We have a new coloring in progress but the new techniques are taking the OFM a bit to master them but they sure make a big difference when they are done correctly. We will be awhile on this learning coloring we think.

In the mean time everyone be nice and try to have tooooo much fun.


Pretty White Flowers


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 25, 2024

We got in something of a walk in cold damp windy conditions but it was miserable. The rest of the day was spent mainly indoors at home or Burger King or Walmart. The good news is the OFM remembered all the little things he needed from wall mart and we now have a blank sheet of paper as a we need this LIST.

During the walk we got to photograph a very pretty cluster of white flowers on a wild bush in the park.

What did we do with the rest of the day?

We piddled on this and that for a bit then got very productively busy on art stuff. We took a page from a coloring book and got very busy for several hours trying things out to see how it works out for the OFM. Most of the effort involved water color paint mixed with colored pencils to see how it worked out. Here is the that we mutilated and piddled with. There is likely over 20 different things we tried out on the sheet and it was definitely educational. Most of it was education on what does not work out well.

So overall it was a productive and interesting day of taking things we had had on hold for some time and messing around.

The weather prediction for the next couple of days is not wonderful so we may be having some seriously lazy days coming up.

That is all for tonight so kick back and relax.


Viewing A New Style RV


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 24, 2024

A beautiful day started our morning and continued all day until dark. Bright blue skies with clear bright sunshine. In fact the OFM waited until near sundown to try to get some nice pictures.

The soccer fields were in heavy use nearly all day. Then this evening the fields loaded up to the maximum.

Down the trails a little ways was a scene that looked really great to our eyes but the picture did not quite catch the mood we felt. It was still a pleasant shot but the sunshine was just not as bright as it seemed when we were taking the picture.

After the nice walk around the area we headed back to the Castle to see what is next. On the way to the Castle we noticed a new decoration the neighbor down the street had installed at the corner of his site. We liked it a bunch.

During mid day we got to get a nice tour of a class B rv. These are the oversize van models. This one was by Winnebago and the folks were really nice. We got an exceptionally thorough tour with lots of details. The owner gave the OFM all the details so we have an excellent idea of what using one would be like. Thank you folks.

We have no idea of what tomorrow will bring but we hope it will turn out to be too much fun.


Kid Size Soccer Goal


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 23, 2024

Today was a goofy day for sure. The temps were not supposed to be bad but when we set our body to go walking the COLD damp wind cut us to pieces immediately. So we walked a very wind protected several short trails to stay sort of comfortable while bundled. The result was a tad over a mile of miserable walking.

Here is a picture of the soccer goals they use for the younger players on smaller fields to fit their size kids. When the mowing guys are mowing they stop and just grab it with both hands, pick it up and move it as needed. We thought they would be way to heavy for that. So we had a chance to mess with one on the side lines and got a big surprise, Even the OFM was able to pick one up and carry it a little ways with no problem at all if he used two hands. I wonder how they stay in place with the kids banging them during play. We need to look closer when the next games are being played.

Sure enough the OFM messed around until late for supper but we got lucky and found the last of the bag of mixed leafy greens to go with a large portion of cubed chicken already cooked and waiting to be warmed in the microwave. So it was tossed salad with chicken and BBQ sauce for supper with cheap Root Beer to drink. WOW that salad was good.


We are hoping that the weather will be better tomorrow for trying to have tooooooo much fun. Good night.


Cubed Pork Chops


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 22, 2024

Thank you to our readers who commented and gave us their opinions on the Traveling Trailer. We have found them very valuable in our considerations.

The OFM was not at his best today but we did get in two miles of walking, although slower than normal. We never out figure what the trouble was. (old age maybe) But we were definitely not on the leading edge of greatness today.

But on the walk we noticed this tree seemed to be eating its breakfast and enjoying it. We just kept on moving.

While on the subject of eating, here is what the OFM eats for small snacks a couple of times a day. 

We find them tasty and just right for getting us to the next real meal with low calories but nicely filling.

With wet weather all over us the OFM decided it was time to cube our last pork chops purchase. So choppity chop we got busy. These were normal thickness rather than the thin ones we prefer but the price was very right. So we got to work.

Very shortly the chops were fast becoming cubes for OFM cooking,


We cooked some for supper tonight and they turned out very good.

The OFM found them very tasty for supper and is looking forward to the other three meals of cubed chops in the refrigerator in the near future.

Last night we made a small start on another coloring. We have a short list of new techniques we have learned about in the last month that we will be putting a lot of effort into incorporating into my efforts. At least it will be interesting doing new stuff.

That is about all for this rainy cool night in north Alabama on the south bank of the Tennessee River.


Traveling Trailer


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 21, 2024

Another nothing special day in Decatur Alabama. We made the walk a deliberate effort at getting some nice nature photos. However we were very unsuccessful at recognizing any views to keep for the blog. The air caused too much light foggy appearance making the pictures in the sun light seem fuzzy. All of them went into the waste basket.

However we did get one in the campground that is an excellent illustration of what we are thinking we want for a TRAVELING TRAILER.

We have been considering having the Castle home based in Point Mallard most of the time. But for easier and faster loop traveling have a much smaller trailer for our run around the country trailer. This is an old rig that sleeps two and has a dry shower and toilet, one burner stove, sink and small refrigerator. It would be easy to handle in close quarters like a lot of older gas stations. The OFM could easily travel around for a couple of months and return to Decatur for special grand kid events and roll out again. At least that is his thinking at the moment.

We would appreciate comments on this idea.


Idiot Camera Operator


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 20, 2024

After breakfast the OFM gathered the trash into bags and off we went to the dumpsters. It turned out to be so nice out that we made a nice walk of a mile to get things going this morning. So we headed back out to get some pictures. Wouldn't you know it, the camera operator was an idiot and we did not get any pictures.

So it was lunch time and we headed to Burger King and found our lunch buddy there. We had a good visit and afterward went to the town he lives near and did 1,2 miles of walking with him. It was very nice visiting but no pictures.

Back home the antihistamine hit the OFM really hard and he slept right through the alarm that was set to wake him after thirty minutes of napping

That brought us to supper time and still no special stuff for a blog write up tonight. So everyone just relax knowing nothing earth shattering happened today and we all get to try again tomorrow.


Really Nice Blue Skies


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 19, 2024

It was definitely a cold night last night with 28F at sunrise on our gauge. But a couple of hours later all we needed was a windbreaker for reasonable comfort outside. The OFM was not feeling on top of the world today and we never figured out why but nothing bad happened either.

Lunch was with lunch buddy Jerry at Burger King. He had some good stories to hear today so lunch was fun.

Back at the Castle the OFM spent a good while trying to figure out what we are going to do in the near future. No success on that issue was forth coming so we went out to get in a walk since the weather was nice and sunny. It turned out to be a nice walk with lots of sunlight and clear air for photos. It turned out to be a task walk and the task was to find pretty pictures to take

The OFM did his best effort but all we came home with was four to show. The first one he shot was the one that got him going. The tree is trying to grab that beautiful sky and take some sky home with it to show the family.

Nearby was a large stand of very straight trees all standing at attention watching their reflection.

On down the path a good bit we caught the sun reflecting on the water of Flint Creek showing you the way in from the Tennessee River to explore Wheeler Natural Area. It is a neat area to explore by land and water.

And as we got back in the vicinity of the campground the rear entrance came into view and lo and behold lots of new greenery had exploded since two days ago when we last came through here.

So we got a nice welcome home in the cool evening air. Hopefully we all will get a nice refreshing sleep tonight and be ready for an exciting day to chase in the morning.


River Full Finally


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 18, 2024

A bit of a cold day today and it is supposed to get down to 28 F by 0700 in the morning. Then by noon it is supposed to be warm enough run around in warm weather clothing. Goofy weather for sure.

However we did get in a nice walk this morning of 2.93 miles with the slightly cool weather helping the OFM keep on stepping out.

Here is the same spot in yesterdays picture of a flooded trail. We walked it today!

According to the river water authorities web site, the local water level is back to full at elevation 555.5 Ft. This picture coming up agrees with that. It is a lot nicer to view pretty water than the muddy creek bank in our opinion.


That picture was just down stream from the Hike and Bike Trail start point on Flint Creek.

Late this afternoon the OFM finally remembered to get some black paint to put over the new white caulk we have been using to seal weathering caulk. If you paint it right after the caulk cures, it seems to last for several more years than when left to the weather. The black color matches the rubber seals color around most of the Castles openings. We already have white paint on the white caulk used in some parts of the rig. The Castle is a 2005 model with a huge amount more wear from use than almost all other travel trailers we have ever seen.

That is about it for tonight. It will be a slow morning until the temps get warm enough to get busy outdoors where the fun is at.


Drippity, Drip Drip


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 17, 2024

An important item was tackled this morning and turned out to be a bit of work to say the least. The second leak that showed up a couple of days ago during the rain storms was tackled today. It came in from the end of the skylight and ran along the frame for a ways before coming into the trailer to visit. Here is where the entry was from inside the roof.

We removed all the trim etc. and cleaned the fuzz and dirt etc on the inside. The leak turned out to be in the near vicinity of an older leak that had been repaired a couple of years ago. After all the examinations were done we decided we could spray the rubber coating on the outside and get a better seal. So out came the six foot step ladder and up the OFM went to clean the application area. We used an aerosol can of rubber mix to spray a heavy coating on the area. This fix it stuff has done wonders on several other leaks we have seen it used upon. Then we cleaned up and put the equipment away. Back inside we got busy using our wimpy healing shoulders to reinstall the twelve overhead screws back in place to hole the inside trim in place. And finally it was back together again. The OFM then vacuumed the whole 147 sf of the Castle before we put the cleaning tools away. Hopefully that will be the last leak for a good while. For those who think RV life is all lazy lay around you are wrong. Especially these little repairs are a constant item to take care of.

Commercial RV repair folks charge about $100 an hour labor charge for these kinds of repairs if done in their shop. We do not know what the onsite service calls are but it probably is at least a little more per hour.

After this effort the OFM took a dose of ibuprofen and had a long nap to let the pain in his shoulders ease off. The was a wise choice we are certain.

Then we took it easy and worked on and finished our first full painting from scratch in over a year. It is based on a hot air launch we saw in Oregon over ten years ago.

It was fun to try to do a painting again instead of just coloring other folks drawings.

Well it was a full day for sure and we plan to rest our upper body tomorrow but still get in some decent walking in, Have a great nights sleep everyone.


Tail Wagging


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 16, 2024

No walk of much distance today. The rains had parts of all the trails flooded at places and we did not want to go wading.

So we just worked on some art sketch/drawings just to be learning something. It is interesting what all a person can learn from you tube and other sites. The main thing we were trying to learn about is under painting with water colors to make the colored pencil work on top of it look a lot better. It seems like that will take a lot of practice but might be worthwhile.

Supper tonight was pretty good. The OFM had chosen a bag of mixed salad greenery from Walmart a few days ago. Tonight we had at it. Salad mix into a bowl. Drizzle Lawlers sweet red BBQ sauce on the greenery. Then add half inch cubed chicken meat that had been specifically cooked by boiling in scant but flavored water to OFM specifications. WOW it was knock out great. The teams need to do that way more often. By the way cubed pork chops work very well also. Makes you wish you had a tail to wag.


See Again


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 15, 2024

That huge amount of rain yesterday left us with hundreds of volunteer lakes around the area. We even had a small one at the picnic table onsite.

On the walk to the dumpster this morning early we found new flowers in progress along the paved pathway.

The first one was a tree trying to get some blooms going. We have no idea as to the identification of any of these blooms.

Then the next bloom event was on a shrub of some sort just itching to get blooming.

As we went by the practice pitching green of the golf course we grabbed this picture of a place the OFM wasted a lot of his life. He never did learn how to play golf decently. But he loved the game.

We decided to walk on until we got in a decent walk. That got us down the road to the Point Mallard Sign and flower box the city keeps up.

They rotate flowers during the year so the entrance road usually has nice flowers to welcome folks to the park.

Then a bit before lunch we got an email that our new glasses were ready to pickup. So we hopped to it and picked up our new glasses. The rest of the day has been an experience of getting used to seeing again and things being where they look like they are, such as curbs!

We have the old glasses in Sierra as backup glasses for bad situations. Our plan is to try the new glasses out at night tomorrow night to see what difference they might make. So far all the differences have been positive.

It has ben a fairly rewarding day for a change. Tomorrow should be a day of decisions on many things going forward. In the mean time let us all try to have tooooo much fun.


New Greenery

Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 14, 2024

WOW it is two weeks into March already. The OFM is getting old faster it seems.

This morning the OFM chose to take the paved trail right from the start at the Castle. This is the path that we take to the dumpsters and turn back. But this morning we took it outward for a mile and returned on the same pathway so the whole two miles was on the asphalt surface with NO uneven surfaces to worry with. The walk was nice and for the rest of the day we have not had any joint twinges or outright pains.

But the big change in the last two days is the amount of green and flowers that have shown up for our pleasure of seeing them.

Leaving the campground we crossed this little creek that two days ago had no visible greenery but today lots of nice new leaves and other new growth welcomed us with open branches.

And then only fifty feet farther along the OFM looked up to enjoy the bright morning sky and right up there 75 feet into the sky hanging on for dear life was a whole tree top of new green growth telling us spring has sprung. All this is happening very quickly this year. Could our two day ice storn a few weeks ago have instigated this burst of greenery.

But we were not finished with surprises yet. About a quarter mile on down the path was a new patch of flowers and grass showing off for the walkers to ooo and wow at.

And last but far from least, some where around 1730 we happened to feel a bit warm sitting in the Castle next to the open window. We glanced up at the temperature gauge on the dining area wall and it was reading 83F! It is warming up very quickly it seems. Let us hope tomorrow gives us some good ideas about having tooooo much fun.



Breaking In Newish Boots


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 13, 2024

Today was a hodgepodge of events that flopped around like a freshly run over rattle snake. The walk this morning was with our new (three years ago) shoes. We like to get them ahead of time so we do not have to worry when the current pair gives up on us. The OFM wears a size 10 EEEE boot and they are not normally kept in store stock.

Any way we wore them out onto the trail and right away we needed to adjust the shoe strings for better fit. So at the first bench we went to work reworking the shoe strings tightness.

Then not real far on down the trail we had to sit down on the next bench and do some really serious “adjusting” to everything about the boot. After breaking a strong sweat adjusting the boot we got them in good shape to fit the OFM strange shaped feet. For the rest of the over two miles we got along pretty well.

Now we need to get in several miles on all sorts of terrain to get feet and boots happy with each other.

Along the trail we had our first for the year tree trunk of turtles sunning themselves today. Plus we even got a nice picture of them.

Spring must quickly be getting here.

At several locations along the trail was downed and rotting wood that had fungus growing on it. Today we noticed that a lot of the fungus had green mold growing on it. No wonder the OFM has the sniffles this time of the year.

Now for the important new information. A you readers know this has been a long session time of repair troubles for the OFM, Sierra and the Castle. If the new glasses that are on order and due in late next week actually come in and are the correct prescription etc then we feel it will be safe for us to do some rolling late this spring.

With that in mind we went over some our records and found that being north of I\10 in Texas by the end of March is a good idea when boondock traveling. Tomorrow we plan to recheck our data from this blog and the National Weather Service to make sure we do not put our selves in weather that is too hot to have fun in. We already know we want to be back in grandkid land by about June 1. That means we have about two months to work with. Then we would be able to go back to our old yearly schedule that used to work so well for several years.

Every one have fun and we hope your good dreams come true.


Walking Path Change


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 12, 2024

A nice easy day it turned out to be. The ankle sprain is healed it seems but we did find out something new about the walking effort.

Today we walked a little on the gravel path we have been using for years. The city has pretty well stopped maintaining it to the great level of up until three years ago. Today for some reason the OFM tried using the paved surface pathway inside the park and found his joints and muscles seemed to walk better on the firm surface. The two pathways run mostly parallel inside the park.

We had a very nice couple of miles this afternoon walking the paved path after a wobbly short walk on a part of the gravel pathway this morning.

The soccer field had lots of practice sessions going on this afternoon in the nice sunshine. But along toward evening things clouded up. Here is the best of several sunset pictures taken this evening.

It was a nice pleasant day of living with no bad stuff mixed in for a change. Every one have a good time trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Glory Canyon


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 11, 2024

A fairly nice morning gave us hope of an exciting adventurous day that was soon hindered by a bum ankle. At least we were still mobile if hindered. So a shopping trip to Walmart in the morning did come out well with a new shirt WITH A POCKET purchased. That rack of shirts was not there yesterday when we were searching the men's shirts area. But we fooled them and came back this morning.

We were looking at hand vacuum cleaners and found out we needed to research a bit more before purchasing one.

Back at the Castle we took it easy on the foot by working on the small coloring and finished it. Yep it was very valuable to the teams with the glaring changes/improvements it needs in the full size version.

And that was all the Old Fat Man Adventures for the day. The ankle seems to be recovering quickly so tomorrow might be more active. At least we hope so. Every one try to have tooooo much fun, it is Spring Break you know.


Cold Wind, Bright Sun


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: March 10, 2024

The morning looked fabulous from inside the Castle with bright sun and 53F air temps. But when we cleared the tree line on the morning walk the cold breeze from due north froze us to our tootsies.

The soccer folks had to play anyway and were very busy getting warmed up.

We shiverrrrrred our way past the soccer fields and hit the trail down by the creek that was somewhat protected from the breeze named FRIGID

BREEZE. We followed the path on down to where a fellow fishing was having a good time, we hope.

We chose trail branches we hoped would not be in the wind and were somewhat successful. When we checked our mileage we got a big surprise in that we put in two miles despite taking a couple of short cuts to stay out of the COLD WIND. But that was the end of running around in the cold wind for the rest of the day.

Since it was daylight saving time we reset the clock in Sierra and as usual it was an ordeal but we got it done. After that we did piddle around in the Castle staying warm. It is supposed to be 33F tonight here. And that is all of this exciting day in Alabama. We hope you had a great day wherever you are.