Saturday, May 16, 2015

MEALS

We are not fishing quite as hard while at Lake Ouachita. Rain, winds out of the East, friends visiting, going to town for supplies and so on and so forth, consumes our days. We have a large rain fly over the fire pit and cooking area which gives us a gathering place around the fire with full coffee cups where we plan our day. Checking the forecast has allowed us to adjust our activities so that between weather events we are cleaning fish, repairing the jugs or cutting firewood.

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Meals have been absolutely primo events with all kinds of Dutch oven fine fare. On a personal note, clicking on the photo’s to get a better look can trigger  campfire cookery cravings !

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Dutch oven treats such as yeast rolls and blackberry cobbler as well as things like racks of ribs barbequed over the campfire have been such a real memorable treat.

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With regular fish fry’s scattered through the week, the variation of side dishes has been amazing.

As our campers and fishermen have came and went over the duration of our stay at Big Fir campground, each has brought different skills to the cooking fire and kitchen area.

The clickable video link below gives a quick look around the campfire during a rain shower.

Rain fly campfire big fir 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

WIND

Our boat has sat in our campsite, out of the water, for the best part of a week. Heavy thunderstorms and high winds from the east will capsize our boat where it is tied up at our lakeside campsite. When the National Weather Service sent an alert to our cell phones we knew that it was time to pull the boat out of the water.

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That means it is time to pull the bait traps out of the water, repair jugs and other chores around camp so that we will be ready to fish. He, he, now, after three days of rain and storms, none of which amounted to a hill of beans,  all is ready to fish and I have gone to looking for things to do around the fiver while it is raining, After five days I have read all of the books from kindle that I have on my tablet. The rain finally quit last night and this morning I am starting the reverse process. Traps are baited up and back in the water, and the boat is ready to launch, when the NWS sends out a lake wind advisory  ! There will be gusts up to 30 MPH !

Crud, crap and crim o nettly ! Oh well were’ on the lake, it is a beautiful day and I think I will cut a little firewood because there is nothing quite like the smell of a campfire on the banks of the state’s largest lake !

Saturday, April 18, 2015

STICK

Back in 97’ or 98’ while fishing down on Lake Greeson I found a Hickory stick that I liked. It caught my attention because it had been stripped of it’s bark by a beaver. Now, Hickory is a bark that Beaver’s seldom like, so, it caught my eye. The stick was quite long and still pretty green, but it was fairly straight. Naturally I hauled it home and it stood by the fireplace, with me thinking about it, for a couple of years. I had a hiking stick on my mind.

Hikeing stick

Hickory is well known for it’s strength and being a particularly hard wood when seasoned, and this one was well seasoned. My cool Sister, Candy who is quite the Artist took it home to Centennial Colorado to carve on a bit. And a bit of carving it did take, it is well seasoned Hickory for sure.

Mountainman on stick

The first year she carved a long haired, bearded mountain man on it.

Bear on stick

The second year she sculpted a Black Bear on it.

ghost fish

Followed by a silhouette of a Ghost Fish.

stick name

Then the nick name that Granma’ gave me.

Who would have thought that a old stick floating in a lake could make such a light, strong, beautiful and very useful keepsake ?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SALET

Sharp eyed mountain folks have always kept a look out for Polk salet early in the spring time. Back in the day, here in the mountains after a long winter,  that the main food staple might have been pork that was salted down in a barrel, the early salet sprouts were a real treat. Though now it is more of a tradition, we still look forward to spring time polk salet greens. Betty picked these this morning.

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We are camped on the shore of Lake Ouachita, Arkansas’s largest lake, jug fishing. We especially love the polk salet fried up in scrambled eggs.

A word of caution though, after separating the leaves from the stalk, they must be washed, checked for insects, discarding the damaged leaves. Then they are ready to cover with water and bring to a gentle rolling boil, cook until the water turns green and the leaves are tender then drain, rinse and boil again until completely tender.  Then drain,  rinse and drain completely. Cook in hog jowl or bacon grease until all moisture is gone, then add scrambled eggs to suit. We like onions in with ours.

It sounds like a long complicated and lengthy process but it goes quickly and is well worth the effort.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

DISTILLED

One of our most important chores around our fiver each year is the checking of the  condition of the solar storage battery bank. Lots of things can go wrong over the course of a year what with all of the miles that we tow. However, strangely enough it is the prolonged stays in the docking port with full hookups that wreak the most havoc on the battery bank.

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The coach’s  converter provides a constant charge that tries to cook the battery’s to death. Under those conditions the acid level can drop causing the lead plates to loose efficiency.

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Keeping the acid level up over the lead plates is done using distilled water. The trick is how to put a accurate stream of distilled water into each cell until it is at the correct level. Needing to add the water in a confined space means that the gallon jug can’t be used. It is just too large.

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This Coca Cola bottle’s slim design and small size works out well after a cleaning in distilled water. After each cell in the battery bank is carefully topped off, the next step is to clean and inspect all battery cable connections.

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After four years, this connection seems to be working well but corrosion is obvious, meaning that it could loose connection at any time.  Yep, it’s time to do some routine maintenance and cleaning ! I wonder, does this qualify as Spring Cleaning ?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

OIL

We are Back home in South West Arkansas. After being out on the road for awhile, we are always behind on chores around the fifthwheeler, dually, Jeep, Boat, and all kinds of other stuff. Today I was changing oil in our generators, we have two of them, a Honda 1000 watt and a Yamaha 3000 watt.

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Both are quiet and efficient, but, the thing that amazes me is just how little oil they actually have in them. The actual oil change doesn’t take very long, but, the getting them in and out of the dually, where they are strapped in and locked down to prevent theft, takes awhile.

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This little Honda 1000 has had a rough life. Tens of thousands of miles rattling around in the back of our dually, then, run un mercilessly on extended boondocking stays. Yet, regular oil changes keep them both alive and well. Tomorrow, if the weatherman should be wrong, and we don’t get rained out, I’ll start on the boat.

Now, there again, the boat has been in storage in the boat barn, and, it will take a bit to get it out, washed off  and ready to start the servicing process that includes a gear oil change in the lower unit.

Have you figured it out yet ? Yep, you know it. We’re getting ready to go fishing !

Monday, February 16, 2015

ICE STORM 2015

As Betty and I ran ahead of the ice storm to hole up in our docking port, I thought about how such a serious weather event was handled in different parts of the United States. This week the New England States have been inundated with massive record setting snow fall and ice. As we watch the evening news we are amazed at the sheer mind numbing logistics of keeping travel routes open up there so people can survive.

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Here in the South when we get a quarter of an inch, of freezing precipitation, we are really up against it ! The logistical support and the finances for it just are not there. Things just pretty much tend to shut down. Here in S/W Arkansas we only got 1/4 of an inch of ice. Here is a look at Hohenwald Tennessee, where the Oliver Travel Trailer Plant is.

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This photo from Robert Partee’s back yard show’s that they got much more than we did here where Betty and I are holed up.

That has got to just absolutely overload local government resources and cause all kinds of School, Church and plant closings.  I heard that the Oliver plant may well be down for a few days because rural workers can’t get through on the roads. The County road department is likely struggling with the task of snow removal from the roads.

I guess that what with about half of our Nation under a Winter storm advisory, we didn’t fare too badly here, with only a quarter of a inch of ice.