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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer 2014 Demopolis trip Sunday

Yesterday's rain shower cooled the air down, and I was able to sleep last night. This morning Abby continued her boating lessons by handling the wheel as we backed out of the slip, then maneuvering us gently up alongside the fuel dock. She really is doing well, and of course we are very proud of her!

On the other side of the fuel dock were two huge tug boats. They had disconnected thier barges and left them moored upriver, then pulled into the dock for fuel. The attendant told me that one was getting 2300 gallons of diesel and the other was getting 1800 gallons. I'm glad I don't have thier fuel bill - our tug only holds 18 gallons (smiley face icon). There were two other tugs waiting in line to get fuel too! I don't know if that is typical for a Sunday morning or not, but it was sure a busy place.

We travelled up the Back Warrior river about 12 miles to the electric plant and turned around. On the trip up we saw mostly fishermen (and ladies), but by the time we were returning, they had been replaced by ski boats and pontoon boats. The wildlife seemed to be hiding or sleeping for the most part today, but the cloud cover and cooler weather made for an enjoyable boat ride anyway.

Glenda says:
The sleeping was much more pleasant last night.  The air was noticeably cooler.  I had the first coffee of my trip this morning.  Tom went to mcdonalds and got us breakfast before we headed off for the day.  Abby backed us out of the slip and docked us at the office to pay for another night.  We were finally on our way up the black warrior around 9:30.  I finally sighted a little raccoon along the river bank but he was too quick to get a photo.  Tom took us into a little inlet and we watched some wood ducks and a loon.   Abby and I climbed up on the bow and from there I could see the gar swimming just below the surface.  We rode all the way up to the power plant and then headed back.  We got back just before the afternoon thunder showers hit.  We went back to Halls catfish and ate way too much again.  We went for an evening walk around the park and sat at the civic center and watched boats come down the river.  I always tell my students that I don't know how to have fun.  But that's wrong!  It just that THIS is my idea of fun!

Abby says;
I slept much better last night since the storm yesterday cooled things off. Today was much cooler than the past days, so I was much happier. I backed us out of the slip this morning and then I pulled us up to the fuel dock so papa could  pay for another night. I drove for 30-45 minutes after that. Then I crawled in the v-berth and slept for a good hour. (It was a VERY nice nap!) after my nap I got up on the bow with GG and we rode through a little inlet. When we came out of the inlet, I ate a tomato. On the way back I just played my iPad. When we got back around 2:00, we went to eat at hall's catfish for dinner/lunch. After that we took a pleasent walk to the park and the civic center and watched some professional wave runners do flips, and we watched a 100 foot boat pass by. I'm glad that I found time somewhere in my busy schedule to go on another boat trip with papa and GG.

Daisy says:
Today I went on a really fun walk! And even though today it wasn't as hot as it has been, Abby is still making sure that I have ice cubes in my water bowl.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer 2014 Demopolis trip

Last night was miserable. The heat was almost unbearable, and I slept very little, waking up every few minutes with sweat rolling down in my eyes!

We had a light breakfast and pulled out of the marina headed North on the Tenn-Tom. Rattlesnake Bend loops off to the West from the main waterway, making a ten mile loop before hooking back into the main river just a mile from where it left it. About 1/3 the way around the bend I caught a glimpse of a small doe deer running along the bank. She was too fast for Abby and Glenda to see her. My other "gift" today was the small kingfisher that sat for several minutes on a tree branch and let me get a decent picture of him. They look like cartoon characters, and although we see them a lot, they usually fly so fast and dart back and forth so quickly, I can never seem to get a good shot of them. 

I had heard about the hay art location, and I knew Abby would get a kick out of seeing it.

Glenda says:
We made it a more leisurely morning this morning.  I was still awake by 6:10 or so but we didn't rush to leave the marinia.  We decide to do "rattlesnake" bend and just look at the sights.  There were more boats on the water today.  I had decided today I wanted to see a snake.  You know there have to be thousands out there somewhere.  So I kept a close look at the banks studying every stick I saw.  Finally on the return trip, while I was out on the cockpit, Tom sighted one swimming briskly across the river.  We also collected a very large specimen of what Tom called a mock orange.  It was just strange to me to to see a tree on the river bank with large green balls hanging from it.  We came on in, showered and had a very nice buffet lunch at the Farm House restaurant.  Then we did some site seeing around Demopolis.  We drove out to see the "hay" art and visited Bluff Hall.   The beautiful antebellum home holds lots of history. p   After an afternoon shower the temps have cooled down a little.  We took a late afternoon cruise around close to the marina and Abby and I practiced pulling the boat up to the dock.  Tom didn't yell at me a single time.  I think with the temps down a little we will all sleep better tonight. 

^ I was still in my pjs but GG insisted I take a picture with the mock orange ~Abby 

Daisy says: today we went for a little drive. Don't I love car rides!! I can sleep cofortably in someone's lap and that's just what I did!! (I mean woof!)

Abby said; today we, well what stood out to me was when we saw the snake swimming in the water. Also today GG spotted an Osage orange tree so we got close and she picked one off. Most of the day though I slept because I have at least 40 mosquito bites and being sweaty and hot hasn't been helping them. So today we got some calamine plus itch cream (yay!) oh!! I forgot to mention the hay "art" that was out in the middle of the field. There's some pictures below:

^ I think I like my bathtub is better ;) ~ Abby 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer 2014 Trip to Demopolis

This morning we left the marina about 6:10 am and headed downstream on the Tombigbee River. At the Demopolis lock, we were taken as soon as we got there, and lowered 40 feet to the Coffeeville Lake Pool level. Our destination for the day was Moscow Landing, a well known fossil site that extends to the riverbank. Abby had wanted to go there ever since Glenda and I told her about it after our trip there in November of 2012.

About an hour south of the lock, Glenda spotted a large doe getting a drink from the river. We slowed the boat and watched her walk calmly up the bank until I yelled (too loudly) for Abby to get a picture. At that point she decided it was time leave, and scampered into the tree-line.

Just before we got to the US 80 bridge, Glenda yelled "eagle" and pointed just as a bald eagle landed in a tree on our left side. We made 3 wide circles in the boat trying to get a good picture, but he was mostly hidden behind the tree leaves. He finally tired of us being too close and he flew downstream past the bridge and out of sight! I did manage to get a slightly blurry shot of him in flight. We also saw a  large hawk and several kites on the trip to the landing.

Once at the landing, we found a soft spot and nosed up to the bank. I tied the anchor rope to a tree on shore and Abby, Glenda and Daisy joined me. We walked for about 45 minutes and found lots of interesting fossilized tree branches as well as fresh tracks from deer, raccoon, and coyote. We had seen fossilized sea shells imbedded in rock at the waterline in a couple of places, but there was no way to secure the boat there, since the bank was solid rock.

After being lifted back up the 40 feet to Lake Demopolis again, we returned to the marina and drove into  town for a BBQ and a trip to Walmart.

Abby says: today papa and GG woke me up a little before 6:00!! That's a little too early for me so I crawled in the V-berth and slept until we got to the demopolis lock and dam. Shortly after we went through the lock, we saw a deer (that I got a really good picture of), a bald eagle, a red-tailed hawk and a kite. Further down the Tombigbee river, we stopped and nosed up to a sand bank. There we picked up and brought with us some fossillized tree branches and quartz. When we got back, we went and ate at smoky joe's for dinner. After dinner we came back and swam in the pool again.

Daisy says: Today  we got out of the boat and went for a walk. It was soooooo hot!!!!! And when we got back I couldn't go inside because my paws were muddy. But my momma sat with me so it wasn't so bad. 

GG says:
We woke early this morning and got off for our adventure.  We were hoping to make it to the fossil site before it got too hot but we didn't make it.  It seems I never  tire of being outside and observing God's creation.  The heat is not really bad as long as we are moving but when we get back to the marina it gets intense.  The air conditioned washroom/shower/ lounge is very nice.  We have also enjoyed the pool area.  But evening get stressful in the heat trying to get everything ready for bed.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer 2014 Trip to Demopolis

Abby is 12 now, and her life is full of Church camp, cheerleading, gymnastics and such, which doesn't leave much time for taking boat trips with the old grandparents. So we were glad when she was able to take a few days and accompany us to Demopolis. Our other trips to this portion of the Tenn-Tom Waterway yielded sightings of tons of wildlife as well as dinosaur-age fossils at Moscow Landing. Abby has really wanted to see the fossil bed, which is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Today we trailered the tug to Kingfisher Marina, and after getting gas and ice and tying up the boat in our assigned slip, we dropped the trailer in the storage lot and drove to town for a catfish lunch.

When we started to leave the restaurant, I turned the key on the truck and heard that sickening "click click click" sound. Almost before I got the hood up there were 4 guys at the front bumper offering help. A loose battery terminal seemed to be the most likely offender, and by the time I got a pair of jumper cables from my toolbox, one of the men was pulling his truck alongside me. 10 seconds later my truck was cranked and the Good Samaritans were leaving. There is nothing like small town southern hospitality!!

We spent a couple of hours cruising the area on the Tenn-Tom and Warrior River, then cooled off in the marina's pool. On the way back from the pool, I stopped and retightened both battery terminals on the truck.

Glenda says:
I'm so glad to get back on the boat!  All day long and no acid reflux.  We ate an early lunch at Halls Catfish (used up all my calories for the entire week).  I had a brief sick feeling when the truck wouldn't crank after lunch but then I had the opportunity to give Abby a life lesson about men.  Before Tom got the hood latch pulled ( I promise it was less than 1 minute) there were men gathered around the truck.  Abby ask "what are they doing?"  I said " oh men live for this".  It improved our day and I think it made theirs that in less than 5 minutes we were on the road. After getting a few supplies at Walmart we went to the marina and got on the water.  We cruised up the Black Warrior and enjoyed the scenery.  Abby and I sat up on the bow when we went up one of those narrow inlets that opens up to a larger body of water.  The sights and the sounds were like Jurassic Park!  I did manage to get some exercise in the really nice pool here.  After a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a short evening walk we showered and settled in for the night.

Abby says: It has already been a fun trip! Before we even got on the boat we were already starting an adventure, because who knew that the truck wasn't going to crank when we were trying to come back from lunch?! It didn't take long though to get it started again. As I watched Papa try and crank the truck, I also watched a man and his two friends whispering and spying on us! Within thirty seconds there were three men and a truck all pitching in to start the jumper cables to get it started again! Right after we were moving I asked Papa,"so everybody just carries jumper cables with them...all the time?" He laughed and said,"yep, and never date anyone who doesn't have them or doesn't know how to use them!" After we got back, we hopped in the boat and enjoyed a pleasent ride through some shallow inlets. GG and I sat on the bow of the boat and watched the huge gar splashing in the water. After a few hours of that, we came back and enjoyed swimming in the marina's swimming pool. The pool was perfect! It was pretty big, but the deepest part was 4 feet. So it was just right. It had some fountains, and a ramp, and I could see under the water pretty good, but the best part was that there was nobody else there! We had the whole pool to ourselves. So today was only the first of 5 super fun days!

Daisy says: it's really hot!!!!! 95 degrees is just about to much for me! But I love spending time with my family and everybody I meet!!