Friday, June 25, 2010

Fun with Janice and Dean

Our friends, Janice and Dean, left Alabama a couple days ago headed for Elkhart. They stopped in Nashville and are there for several days now. Their beautiful Allegro Bus is having an engine problem and they have already changed the fuel filters. The Cummins dealer thinks it may be a manifold leak and that by itself is a three-day repair. So they are sitting and waiting until Monday when they will take their bus the eight miles down the road to the mechanics. Here's hoping all goes well, they find the problem, and get them back on the road in short order.

We left the Tiffin Service Center yesterday morning. We can't thank Tiffin enough for the great service we get every time we visit. We had an appointment this time and they were ready for us at 7 a.m. that day. We went into Bay 13 where Brian and Kevin were all set to start. The main order of business was ripping out the wet bay, which I blogged about before. There were a few other repairs they did while the coach was there, and they did an outstanding job. On the wet bay, they at least got everything back together enough that we didn't have to trek to a motel for even one night. I couldn't thank them enough, as I didn't want to do that, especially with Neal, our handicapped Scottie. After we got done in Bay 13, we went to the paint bay where they repainted two lower bay doors which had gotten scratched and painted the gutter over the driver's window which had some minor repair due to a caulk and water buildup in the gutter. After paint was finished with us, we were sent to the welding bay as three broken chassis welds were found when they were re-doing the wet bay. That did not start out to be a promising venture. The head guy in that bay must have been having a bad day and, as promised, he didn't get to us that day. By the end of the day, Terry moseyed on down to the bay and spoke with another fellow and when he saw what a "quick" job ours was, he said to bring it in first thing Thursday morning and he would do it then. He was done by 7:45 and we were only waiting on paperwork then.

It just happened that the office wasn't real busy that early in the morning, so we gave them an hour and then snuck in to speak with Gail. Our paperwork was ready for the finishing touches and after about 30 minutes we were on our way. By 10:15 we were hitched up and on our way to the Natchez Trace. Terry gets tired of going the same way, I think, but I love the Trace and I was driving. Since we got away from Red Bay early, we could afford ourselves the extra time it takes to get to Nashville. While it does take a little extra time, however, it is so relaxing, few vehicles, no stops and the occasional wild turkey to see. We made it to Nashville before rush hour and to our campsite a short time later. Before I go on, however, I wanted to show you one last picture of the motorhome in for the fire repair at Red Bay. This shows more of the corner and you can see the sweep of the fire.

Since we were just north of Nashville and we knew our friends Janice and Dean were there, we contacted them and asked them to meet us at Cracker Barrel north of town. They had to drive north about 20 miles and we had to drive south about 20 miles, so it was the same distance for us both. We had planned to see them in Elkhart, but they may not get there before we move on. We met at 6 last evening and had a great time visiting with them. It had been over a year since we had seen them and we always enjoy touching base with great friends. We will be watching their blog closely and watching the progress of their bus repairs.

Today we will make it to Indiana and into Warsaw on Saturday. Sunday night my sister, her husband, another couple and Terry and I are going to see the Moody Blues in concert in Ft. Wayne. Mom and Dad are dogsitting for Neal!

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 24, 2010

An RVer's worst nightmare!

If you're an RVer, you probably fear fire the most. The primary reason is because no matter how it starts, the end result is normally the same. . . total and complete destruction in a matter of minutes. . . usually under 15 minutes or so.

The other day I was out walking Neal when an Allegro Bus pulled in. I could tell by looking at the rear passenger side which was visible to me that they had had a fire. The damage started at the bottom and continued up almost to the roof in a line. The most damage was the entire back end of the diesel pusher and drew up to the corner above the washer/dryer vent.

I couldn't help myself. . . I walked over to where they were pulling in and started asking questions right away. I was overwhelmed by the fact that somehow these people not only pulled off surviving an RV fire, it was running fine, and it apparently had been contained rather rapidly.

The woman said they had been driving down a country road in rural Minnesota. When they stopped at a stop sign her husband noticed smoke in the rear camera. About that time a farmer pulled up to them to tell them they were on fire. They jumped out and called 911 first. The toad was on fire! They towed a VW beetle convertible. I don't know if it was vintage or new. She said they believe the fire started in the VW engine, so my guess it was a newer one with a front engine. They attempted to unhook the car, but they were on an incline and the tow bar was cocked a bit and they were unsuccessful. The fire department arrived quickly and the fire had just begun to spread to the motorhome. They said to forget the toad, save the motorhome, which they were able to do. I don't think they know the cause of the fire, but I did ask if they tow the VW with the engine running and she said no. She said watching the fiberglas and foam burn on the back of the motorhome was like watching marshmallows toasting over a fire. It just melted.

I asked if they had onboard extinquishers for the motorhome engine and she said yes, but it only sputtered. My guess is that because it wasn't an engine fire in the motorhome, it wasn't very effective. We have such an extinguisher and it shoots off when the engine compartment temperature raises. So it would have taken longer for that extinguisher to be activated properly.

When it was all said and done, the engine compartment of the motorhome was intact, the engine still good. There was some black plastic tubing covering wire (I don't know the name) that was melted, but wires were okay. Amazingly, the lady said the interior was undamaged, but she was having some trouble with the vent stack for her washer/dryer. Hmmm. I wonder why, since that was deformed by the fire.

They called Tiffin here in Red Bay and gave them the list of all that was damaged. She said they drove down from Minnesota to the Service Center here and all the parts were waiting on them.

I expressed to her my thanks that they were okay and that their coach had survived the fire. It was a scary thing to see.

We carry on board mounted extinguishers, one in the engine, one in the refrigerator compartment, and one in the generator compartment. In addition, we carry four portable units, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, one at the door, and one in the toad. Some people call that overkill, but we call it "insurance." Even at that, they are only to buy us enough time to get out alive. We wouldn't try to fight an RV fire on our own. So to all you RVers out there, if you haven't seen a live-fire demonstration by Mac the Fire Guy, you should. He is at all the major rallies. He will scare you yes, but the purpose is to make you understand how to get out alive. You will not be sorry.

Till next time. . . BE SAFE!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Word play. . .

Terry went to Mickey D's here in Alabama yesterday and ordered a sausage muffin meal. He got a sausage muffin and milk (you know, meeeelk, not meal) Hah. I said he should have ordered the sausage muffin mill, and he would have gotten the meal deal. I told him shame on him because he was bred and born here and he should have been ready for that. Hah! Me? I use "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?" a lot. Everyone here is so gracious with we "Yankees" and allow us some leeway.

We are in Red Bay and the boys have been working non-stop on the coach. They had to rip out the entire wet bay where the holding tanks are housed from one side to the other. The supporting boards which were wrapped in weatherproof coverings. . . (well, in a perfect world they were) apparently weren't and the wood all rotted away. They carried it out in a trash can. The new wet bay floor is in and it is caulked and covered in fiberglas. Two of the three tanks are in, but nothing is hooked up. We are truly roughing it. I told Terry we are just pretending we are in a KOA camping cabin with air conditioning and have to walk to the bath house. Not a bad deal. We did NOT want to go to a motel. Since we have a dog, it would have meant a pet friendly establishment and the pickings are few in this area. If they had not gotten the tanks back in, they would have had to send us packing, however, because local law says we cannot stay in the motorhome if the possibility exists that fluids will drain out. Hmmmm. No water in the tanks, not hooked up to water. . . not sure what danger exists there. At any rate, the boys got enough put back together that we are able to sit in our spot and sleep in our own bed. We are close to the bathhouse, so it's as convenient as it can be. The bathhouse here is open all night and it is as spotless as the lounge and other accommodations here in Red Bay. A real "thumbs up" for Tiffin.

The insurance company has been by and inspected the damage to our tanks and no one seems to be able to find a cause for the problem. We do know that there was some caulking and "foaming" that had to be done. It's possible that road water splashed up and entered through cracks in the fenders, etc., underneath and eventually caused the damage. No one seems to be pointing any fingers yet. That may come later. They all appreciated Terry's emergency fix of using angle iron to add support and elected to leave those pieces in. We are hoping Tiffin steps up to the plate and takes care of part or all of this repair. If they don't, Terry said when he shops for another coach, it will be a Foretravel. Hah! I'm game. . . .

We're meeting all kinds of dogs in the lounge. Anna Nicole was here, but sadly has left with her parents. She is a 2 1/2 year old Bassett Hound rescue who lives up to her name. She is the sweetest dog, has a smile on her face all the time, tail wagging, and acts like she knows everyone! Sunny is a former breeder dog who actually has several offspring who have been in the show ring. Most of the rest are rescues like Neal and they all get along well. All are on leashes and Neal is usually in his stroller, but I did let him out on the floor today. The laminate floor in the lounge is cool and the dogs all seem to like it.

We learned how to play a new game today. . . it's called "Marbles," but it has a board a lot like "Aggravation" and uses cards as well. I'm not much for board games, but I do enjoy watching it played. I did join in when Terry took off to check on the motorhome progress.

We will be here through the weekend, but hopefully will be finished by Wednesday next week. At that time, we head back to Indiana because we have tickets to a Moody Blues concert with Jim and Nita, my sister and her husband.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Heh heh heh . . .

It's actually Evel's son, Robbie! He has a Phaeton just like ours, same year, too, I think.

Haven't seen him yet as his coach hasn't gone in for service. Perhaps when it does, he will hang out in the lounge with the rest of us.

Phaeton Place goes in tomorrow. We touched base with the service manager yesterday and checked out the lounge. So many dogs this time! Whoo hoo! Got my doggie fix, that's for sure. We have a gorgeous Bassett rescue two doors down from us. She sits on the dash of the bus and her name is Anna Nicole. Hah! What a cutie. All the dogs so far have been friendly and they can be in the lounge, so it is a fun place to go!

Anna Nicole's parents let us go through their 2010 Allegro Bus. . . man what a beautiful coach. I'm in love. Terry says we will have to trade. Hah!

We met with Trevor last night. He is making a mat for the front that goes on the carpet and protects it. It will replace the heavy mat I have used for a year to catch dirt, etc. He is also making a dash cover which we have wanted for awhile.

The heat is pretty oppressive here. Not much we can do about it, though. At least we are cool in the coach and in the lounge.

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 14, 2010

Something Evel in Red Bay!!!!

Details later. . .

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Home again, home again. . .

Yes, Phaeton Place is home again. . . home in the land of her birth. We left Piney Grove campground on Bay Springs Lake in Mississippi at 11 this morning and drove 25 miles here to the Tiffin Service Area Campground. To be honest, we watched the race and haven't done much else. Our outside thermometer registered 100 degrees for a couple hours today and the humidity pushed the heat index up to 105*. It is supposed to be like this all week long. Ugh. But we did manage to stay cool and comfortable inside the rig. Not too many people are venturing out because of the heat, but we will catch up on everything tomorrow at the lounge. We are not sure when our appointment is as we have Tuesday on one calendar and Wednesday on another. So we have to call tomorrow to find out.

Last Friday about noon, Jocelyn, Tom and Ronan arrived. They weren't sure they were going to make it, but they did! It was so good to see them and to get my grandson "fix" again. They tent camped in the circle behind us. Last summer their attempt to take Ronan tent camping did not succeed as Ronan wanted no part of it. This year they have been working with him and he is really enjoying it. The only problem they have now is that he doesn't like the "tear down" phase, but I am sure he will do better. They have tried giving him little "jobs" to do, but that hasn't work so far.

The reunion on Saturday went very well. I think a few more people attended. We are now having it in the community building instead of the park. The reason we made the move to the building is because of the weather. We have had so much hot, humid weather for the reunion the last several years and many of the older folks have wanted to find a place that was more comfortable. In the building is a kitchen, bathrooms and air conditioning (and NO flies), so people come and will mingle for a longer time. Jocelyn has done a lot of research on the family, so she really enjoys meeting relatives. Afterwards they followed Uncle Bob home and visited with him for a couple hours. I'm sure he enjoyed that.

They left the camp at 10 this morning. They had reasonably good weather at night for sleeping. We loaned them a fan and extension cords, so they were able to be more comfortable. Gary and Jo left much earlier because they like to travel early in the cooler weather. They were taking an indirect route back to Zachary, Louisiana, spending at least another night on the road.

It was a great time with family. I have always liked reunions, but we never attended many when I was little. I do think some of my family has them, so will have to check them out.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Here is a picture of our campsite we left yesterday. Actually this is the view out our front window. The lake was really beautiful. There was a flock of turkeys on the road leading out of the park. Actually this was a male chasing about seven females and just after Terry snapped this picture, the tom spread out his plumage. Quite impressive.

We are now at Piney Grove Campground at Bay Springs Lake, Mississippi, and today as we left the park on an errand, we saw this turtle attempting to make his way across the road. He had just begun his venture and the chances of crossing the road unharmed were very slim, so we helped him out. He didn't much like being picked up, however, and promptly "shut the door."

We were waiting today for Terry's cousin Gary and wife Jo who were due to arrive some time today. We didn't know what they would be camping in this weekend as they have a truck and 5th wheel and also an 80's Prevost bus he has been converting. After Gary retired, he became a charter fishing captain and fished around Grand Isle and Port Fuchon, Louisiana. As of last week, no one can fish the waters where he enjoys taking his charters. In order to fish, he would have to go 50 miles out, but boats cannot go through the non-fishing areas with fishing tackle in their boat. And he is not equipped to go 50 miles. We have fished with him twice and we never had more fun fishing in our lives. A year ago, our son Brandon came over from Florida and we all fished. I am so glad we did that because Gary and Jo don't believe there will be any more fishing where they normally go. That is really sad, as oil is starting to show up on Grand Isle and Jo says you can smell it in the air. This is a real tragedy and I hope they can get the flow from that rig stopped and begin working on the cleanup.

Since Gary hasn't been fishing, he has had time to get some work done on his Prevost bus. He bought it a couple years ago and it didn't have anything on the inside. It had been a tour bus and the seats and john had been removed and that was it. He has been working on it and we saw it in April when he had a few basic things done. The end result is beautiful. Gary has done an outstanding job on this bus. It is quite comfortable and the interior is nicely done even down to the window valances and treatments. Quite a remarkable job for his first bus conversion. And they are camping next to us! This is such a special treat. He has already decided that he wants to do another and he wants to do another Prevost, a little newer next time.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Natchez Trace Parkway

We were to leave Nashville this morning and drive about 5 hours, mostly on the Natchez Trace, to Piney Grove Campground on Bay Spring Lake in Mississippi. We are here for 4 nights while we attend Terry's family reunion.

As we were poking around getting ready to leave, the weather forecast changed dramatically and instead of thunderstorms this afternoon, they were arriving at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Bummer. We watched the news and there were multiple accidents all around town due to the rain. In fact every direction and road we could take to get to the Trace had accidents. We weren't planning on leaving until around 9 a.m. so we were hoping things would clear up by then.

And that is pretty much what happened. We did run into some traffic as we got closer to Nashville proper, but we kept moving and we made it to the Trace. The Natchez Trace is one of our favorite roads. The northern part is 40 mph maximum, but in Phaeton Place, that wasn't a problem. As you get further south, the speed limit increases to 50 and the road is not as hilly and curvy there, so we made better time. We saw lots of wild turkey, squirrels, ground hogs, hawks and different colored birds. We didn't see any deer this time, but I'm sure they were around.

The road was very lightly traveled today and it was an enjoyable journey. We stopped for lunch at the pull-out at the Tennessee River, our usual lunch spot when we travel this road. While we were there, three motorcyclists stopped. They were from Wyoming and stopped to take a break. They were interested in Neal, our white Scottish Terrier. We took their pictures for them with the bridge in the background. They had beautiful motorcycles. I think the Natchez Trace seen from a motorcycle would be a great ride. As long as it didn't rain.

We arrived at Piney Grove campground around 3:30 this afternoon. As we were setting up, the sky got dark and we heard a lot of thunder. We have had a couple of spotty showers, but nothing severe and it has cooled down to 81* out there. Tomorrow Terry's cousin Gary and his wife Jo are due to arrive. They reserved the site next to us and we are excited to see them. Gary is the charter fishing captain and his fishing camp is close to Grand Isle, Louisiana. They unfortunately stand to lose big time with the leaking oil rig out in the Gulf. It is so sad that they still do not have the flow stopped from that rig.

Friday our daughter Jocelyn, husband Tom, and grandson Ronan will arrive. They are camping in a tent in the next loop over. Of course I had to go shopping for Ronan so I would have something for him when he gets here. They are going to bring him over here when they arrive so we can watch him while they set up camp. I can't wait.

Our internet access here is spotty, so I'm not sure if this will post or not, but I will try.

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 07, 2010

A BAAAAAAAD day of camping.

I don't know that we've ever had a bad day of camping. You know the old saying. . . A bad day of camping beats a good day at work.

We are at J. Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. Tonight, we were taking an evening walk around the campground loop. As we approached one site we could hear a familiar sound. I thought it sounded like water running and two things came to mind. One, the water spigot could be leaking where the hose was connected, or the camper was filling the water tank and water was coming out the overflow. Terry said no, he thought they were cooking something. . . it kind of sounded like bacon frying in a skillet, but without the aroma. There was no vehicle parked with the trailer so apparently it was empty.

Upon closer inspection, we saw that water was running out the bottom of the closed entry door of the 24' camper! In fact, in was parked on a bit of an inclined, and water was also pouring out the front corner of the trailer FROM THE INSIDE. Bummer.

While Terry ran around back and shut off the water, I peaked in the open windows. There was a light on and I did think someone could be in there, unconscious or whatever. But no one could be seen. We walked up to the camp host and reported it. They thanked us when we told them we had turned off the water. We started back to our campsite and got passed by the camp host in his golf cart. When we passed by the camper, water was still flowing out from under the door.

Oft times, as we are exiting camp, Terry has jumped out of the car to go back and turn the water off. Even though this has never happened to us, we have heard of it before and have no desire to experience this disaster first-hand.

So, all you campers out there. . . it's a good idea to shut off the water to the camper and your water pump when you leave to avoid a costly error.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Lake Wrap-Up

Friday our friends called us and suggested we meet for dinner. They drove their boat up here to Sunset Dock and we went down to the dock and had a great evening meal. The food was pretty good and we were able to enjoy visiting with our friends one more time before they left on Saturday morning. They leave their houseboat tied to a buoy in the cove. I took a better picture of it on the buoy.

Friday was a really hot day and we didn't go out on the boat. I know that is the best time, but Terry doesn't usually get in the water and I don't want him to get overheated, so we stayed at the motorhome. I actually did some laundry and cleaned some since we are going to be leaving here soon.

Saturday we drove to the state dock for fuel, then on to Sulphur Creek and Mike's Landing Restaurant. We again had a good meal and did some shopping in the store. That marina is about 22 miles from Sunset and we go through the largest body of water to get there. It was rougher than we have had back where our camp is located, but nothing we couldn't handle. It was a little smoother on the way back. I have included a couple pictures of the new state dock marina. It is very large and there is a lot of moorage for houseboats and other smaller craft. It is much different than when we first started coming here. Sulphur Creek has expanded as well, adding more docks for boat moorage, but the main part remains the same.

We drove back by Lillydale which is another COE park on the lake. We have never camped there because of the distance to get there, but it looks nice. They have a nice beach. We headed back to Sunset and by the time we got here, the clouds were looking pretty ominus, but nothing happened. It is nice having a covered slip because we don't have to mess with taking the boat in and out on a daily basis.

Today we left earlier this morning for the boat. We took her out for one final spin and pulled her out. The parking lot was almost empty but it looked like rain was moving in, so we worked efficiently getting her wiped down and the batteries pulled, etc. Terry winterizes the boats when we leave here. That way, if we don't get back here, everything is set for the winter. If we do come back, there is little to do to un-winterize them anyway, so it is the best thing to do. Once we got everything cleaned, we covered the boat and took her up and put her back in storage. Just as we got in the car to head back down to the camp, it started to sprinkle.

It didn't rain much, but by the time Terry got the grill fired up for lunch, it really started to pour. Down here, however, it can rain a lot and look like it will rain all day, only to clear up and turn nice and sunny. Today was no exception and it is now once again beautiful out there.

Tomorrow we pull out and head to J. Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. It will be interesting to see how Nashville looks. We are there for two days and then headed to the family reunion in Mississippi.

Till next time. . .


Friday, June 04, 2010

All is well . . .

Well, apparently the rogue limb we pulled from the water behind the outdrive had indeed been caught underneath and causing the handling problems we experienced after hitting it and breaking it off.

We left in the early afternoon intent on checking out the handling of the boat. If things were bad, we were going to pull out the boat and make arrangements for repairs. As it was, as soon as Terry hit the throttle it was obvious to him that the problem was gone. Yippee!!!!!

So we headed the 15 miles toward Eagle Cove to find our houseboating friends. They were not on their buoy in the Cove, so we went in search of the houseboat. We knew they wouldn't go far and they had told us some of their favorite hangouts, so we checked those first. They were actually in the first area we checked. Wow, talk about the difference a coat of paint makes! They painted the exterior of the houseboat since we saw them the other day. It is so bright and looks so nice. They even painted the roof and the front and rear decks. It really looks nice. We stayed and visited and we girls got in the water to cool off. The sun was really hot and I used a lot of sunscreen because I didn't want to get burned.

We started back to Sunset about 5 p.m. It was a great afternoon with great friends!

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Hmmmmm, what did we hit?

Went out for an afternoon run in the boat and ended up back in Eagle Creek, lounging in the water on the raft. The sun was super hot and I had slathered on sunscreen, but I could still feel the heat from the sun.

When it was time to leave, we pulled up the anchor and headed back down the creek at a comfortable cruise. I say creek, but we anchor in 30 feet of water and close to the convergence of Eagle Creek and the Obey River, there is 90 feet of water and it is quite wide. We could see the juncture of the two rivers at which we turn right to head back to Sunset Dock. We have been alert to any floating debris, as the lake was flooded and you did see a lot of debris prior to the holiday weekend. I think with all the boats over the weekend, much of the floating debris has been pushed to the shore by the waves.

As we drove along, we were careful to swing wide of a limb we have seen in the creek. It is stationary, which means it is attached, possibly an old tree, etc. About that time we heard a "whump" and I immediately looked back to see what we had hit. Nothing was visible and nothing came up, so it had to be submerged. The boat immediately started a vibration Terry said as he could feel it in the wheel and the floor. I didn't notice it. We slowed down briefly, but sped back up. It you knock a hole in your boat, keeping speed up normally keeps water from rushing in. I couldn't see anything amiss with the outdrive and upon inspection in the back hatch, we weren't taking on water. The engine still sounded great. We were less than a mile from the dock, so we came on in and parked in our slip. Terry had some difficulty controlling the direction of the boat which is indicative of a prop problem. We pulled the prop up, thinking we probably took a huge chunk out of it, but we couldn't see anything. We do carry an extra prop with us and changing it is easy, but we have to take it out. So we headed back to camp and picked up the trailer.

When we got back to the boat and Terry once again went to inspect the back of the boat, a rotten limb about 2 inches in diameter and 16 inches long was floating up against the back of the boat. Hmmmm. He pulled it out of the water and it appears that while old and rotted, the one end showed a newer break. We're thinking perhaps we hit that and broke it off and it may have lodged in the outdrive, loosening up and working itself free once we pulled the prop up in the slip. We did, however, pull the boat out of the water and into the parking lot where we gave it a really good going over. The shaft does not appear to be bent, the prop looks great with just a bit of paint chipped off and there were no cracks or holes in the hull. Our boat is a Wellcraft and they certainly know how to build boats. Several years ago when the engine went sour, we inquired about whether or not we should put a new engine in the boat or just spring for a new boat. The consensus among several mechanics was. . . new engine. The Wellcraft is built better than most, more fiberglas than the usual hull, and would continue to give us years of service over a more cheaply built newer boat.

Today we will be testing it. Hopefully the errant limb we found was the culprit and all will be well. But if we experience handling problems, we will pull it out and make arrangements for repairs, which I'm sure will be covered by insurance. If that happens, we will probably get the jetski out and speed around in it for a couple days.

We are leaving here Monday. It has been a great time so far. . .rain forecast every day, none fell. . . or very little. It's been in the 80's--great boating weather!

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Remaking the Movie. . .

If they aren't doing a remake of the movie, "The Birds," they are certainly losing a great opportunity. This morning I looked out and saw this:
They were scavaging through this campsite in front of us picking at anything they thought might be food--brightly colored objects being their favorite. They had several children's toys, plastic inflated tubes and a float, which they punctured. Two were fighting over one of those foam "noodles" for in the water. That was pretty comical to see it flayling in the air. Terry couldn't figure out why they didn't come out and shoo them away. They haven't been aggressive, just persistent. A few came over to our campsite. We don't leave anything out, but they were looking anyway. I put out the door awning and that scared them away. Later, as more came over, I put out the big awning and they were gone. Our awnings are electric and the motors made a little noise AND I was able to do it from inside.

Terry decided to help them on their way, so he went out and walked down the lane. He said the people in the tent camper could surely hear them because they made kind of a cooing sound like a dove. As he walked down, they eventually scattered, but I see now four are back and sitting on the guy's truck. I'm sure they help the local ecology by ridding the banks of the lake of dead, rotting fish, etc. Yep, even vultures have their place.

We took off early yesterday afternoon and went in search of our friends, Carol and Tom. They are people we met 20+ years ago when we first started boating on the lake. They are from Indiana, about 25 miles from where we used to live. They have a houseboat down here and we found them easily, since they also have their boat we remembered from years ago. We haven't seen them since before we went full time, and that has been five years! We sat on the deck of their boat and visited for a couple hours. They actually have their boat for sale. They are looking at getting a bigger one because they now have grandchildren and want a boat that will handle more people. So they are doing some painting, cleaning, and fixing up. We are staying away from there today because they promised us paint brushes if we came by. Hah! But we will go back later in the week and we will have some fun out on the lake.

I just couldn't resist snapping another couple of pictures on our way back to Sunset Dock. The lake pictures all look the same, I know, but it is just so beautiful. I think the pictures will mean the most to our kids who read our blog as they remember the great times of their youth camping and boating on the lake. We chose family activities together rather than kids going one way and grownups the other. We are going to have to plan a houseboating holiday if we can get everyone's schedules synchronized. Yesterday the lake was so calm without the boat traffic of the holiday weekend. This is when we serious boaters get out!

Till net time. . .