Sunday, March 29, 2009


3/29/09---Happy Birthday to the blog writer (Allen)! I am not going to tell you my age. However it has been 14 years since Carol & I moved from Gillette, WY to Youngsville, LA. As best I can remember I was 52 at that time.

The water continued to rise overnight, even though no additional rain fell. The infamous view of the restaurant shows the water getting closer to the deck. Looking from the landing of the restaurant, the Dream Manor appears to be on nearly the same level. Is someone missing a tire and rim?

We left the boat and drove home to spend the evening with the family. Son-in-law (Tom) treated us to a fine meal. The carrot cake our daughter (Crystal) prepared was very good. The number of candles were minimized to reduce the fire danger. Our younger son (Clint) looks on with some curiosity.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


3/28/09---Rain, rain, rain---all night long. The water continues to rise as shown from the park, looking toward the marina. The park bench looks very lonesome. A couple of pics of Carol in front of the "Wall". There is also a view in the marina with the travel lift in the background.

Friday, March 27, 2009


March 23 – March 27 The Happy Wanderers

On their last Monday in CA, Keith & Maryann met some dear friends at the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA, for lunch. Here are a few shots taken that day, which was cold and windy. The Inn is very old, has a museum and can be toured (hopefully NEXT time). Early the next day they drove to Whiskey Pete’s in NV to take delivery of their newly purchased Class B Motor Home! Keith drove it, and Maryann drove their minivan to Mollie Kluver’s home in Henderson. The van was left in Mollie’s garage, and Keith & Maryann moved into their new Roadtrek 190. What a gorgeous vehicle! Two delightful days were spent with Mollie and her cat, Newman, in her beautiful home in the desert. Mollie served as tour guide on a trip to Hoover Dam, which Keith and Maryann had not seen for many years. Not only was the dam impressive, but so is the huge road that is being built through the area that will cross the river. Mollie said she visits the dam weekly just to view the progress! The “nomads” left Mollie’s on Thursday to start their trip north. The drive through the desert was VERY windy, and they were glad they didn’t have too far to drive to Mesquite, NV. They were thankful to arrive safely in the Wal-Mart parking lot, where they joined other RV-ers and big rigs for the night. Despite the cold temps and strong wind, they were very cozy in their new “home away from home.” And being located next to a 24 hour Supercenter is VERY handy. On Friday, they drove around Mesquite to view the sights. The contrast between irrigated and non-irrigated land is quite striking! Due to winter weather conditions being poor north of here, they plan to stay in this area through the weekend


3/24-27/09---It has been overcast, windy and rainy for about 3 days. I don't know how many inches have fallen, but the water level in Demopolis, AL on the TomBigBee has risen a little over 6 feet! Todays picture of the restaurant looks a lot different than it did a few days ago.

It became partly cloudy on Friday and with the clearing there was an opportunity to take the boat out for about an hour to warm up the engines. A small green frog hitched a ride. Traveling downwstream at 1600 RPM the speed was 11 MPH. Returning upstream at 1600 RPM the speed was just 5 MPH. The current was quite strong!

Upon returning the local ducks came by to see if everything was okay. The water swirls in the marina causing debris to accumulate around the boats. There are a lot of tree branches floating in the vacant slip next to us.

Having warmed up the engines it was time to get to work. I changed the oil and filters in both the Yanmar engines.

Monday, March 23, 2009


3/23/09---Shore power was shut off to repair the damaged cable. During that time I ran our generator for about 3 hours. The local electician and helpers removed some of the walkway boards to expose the damaged cable. The culpret 2"x6" board was removed. It had apparently gotten stuck in the mud, and as the water level dropped it caused the board to push up into the cable. Repairs were completed and the walkway restored.

While the generator was up to operating temperature it was a good time to change the oil. I changed the oil & filter with 250 hours on the engine. Lots more maintenance to accomplish, but at least I have started to make some progress! Brother will be proud of me!


3/16-22/2009---Busy time as Carol & I (Allen) made preparations to spend time on the boat in Demopolis, AL. We drove on Thursday the 19th, arrived at 6 p.m. Friday was spent getting re-aquainted with the Dream Manor. Found everything to be okay. Visited with other boaters at "The Wall". It is an area on the outside of the visitors building were the locals gather to discuss everything imaginable. Boating stories are endless.

The water level is dropping and much of the debris is leaving the marina. The picture of the restaurant in front of the boat has a lot more of the pilings visibile than seen in the photo with all the floating debris that was taken on March 3rd.

Replaced the filter cartridge on the the inlet water filter ahead of the softner.

Saturday was a beautiful day. Lots of sunshine and just a slight breeze. Much to nice to stay parked in the slip. We invited another couple to ride along and help with docking. The starboard engine would not start. Found the fuse to the battery was blown and the battery dead. Replaced the fuse. Switched the batteries together and the engine fired right up. Swithed back to individual batteries. We traveled about 15 miles up the TomBigBee and back just to enjoy time on the waterway. It was great!

We again met with other boaters at the Wall and shared a variety of finger foods that everyone contributed. It was intended as a celebration for those who are leaving the marina shortly to begin their spring and summer travels.

Sunday was somewhat overcast, but it made for a good time to wash some of the brown dust and green tree pollen off the boat.
The evening brought some excitement. About 8 p.m. I noticed one leg of shore power was not working on the boat. Outside I met with another boater who was reporting the electical problem to the marina management. As I stepped on the walkway in front of the next boat to the north, the sparks flew up beneath me. As I hopped quickly away, there was about six inches of flame comimg up through a crack between the walkway boards. It was discovered a 2"x6" board had come up through the dock flotation material and pinned the main cable against a metal frame. The problem was isolated and by hooking our cable into the power box for the next slip to the south, shore power was restored to our boat. Repairs will be made on Monday.

Monday, March 16, 2009


March 11 – 15, 2009
Keith and Maryann left Youngsville, LA, on March 11th for a driving trip to California. Maryann will attend her Juice Plus+ Leadership Conference in Long Beach March 19 – 21. The first 3 days were cold and rainy, so no pictures were taken. The sun started to appear in New Mexico and Arizona, so picture-taking commenced. Here are photos taken in those two states plus some in southern CA. K & M were amazed that so many RVs were clustered together in communities out in the barren-looking desert. Certainly not THEIR idea of retirement, since there wasn’t enough water for a boat! Maryann was thrilled to be back in the land of palm trees. The wind-farms were especially impressive! There was a backup on the freeway, so Maryann directed Keith to take a “short-cut” on Hwy 74 to Palm Desert. The gently curving line in the road atlas in no way resembled the switchbacks that were encountered, as you can see on the GPS screen! What a wild ride! The La Quinta was a welcome sight for a good night’s rest.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


An Important issue that was not reported took place on Feb 27th. Our good friends from the Gibson Plant in Portland, TN traveled to Demopolis, AL for a service call. Tom Austin (General Manager) and two of his employees arrived ready to work. We had been having a problem with fuses blowing between the external charger and the starter batterys. The batterys would then go dead since there are 12 volt lights that pull directly from them. The charger is required to keep the batterys fully charged when operating on shore power. The "Charles Industries" battery charger was spiking, allowing excess voltage to exceed the fuse ratings. Tom and the crew brought with them a new "Pro-Mariner" charger to replace the problem unit. They were very experienced and changed out the unit quickly. The "Dream Manor crew wishes to thank Gibson for taking care of this problem.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


3/2-4/09---The Johnny Cash song "Five Feet High & Rising" sure fits conditions in Demopolis. The debris coming down the TomBigBee waterway and accumulating in the marina, makes movement of boats a high risk. As the local boaters report, prop business is a big part of the Marina's repair work this time of year. Access to the fuel dock is very restricted from all the floating branches and logs. Looking down on the restaurant from atop the Dream Manor is certainly different. Used to have to look up. The park located nearby looks abandoned as water has covered much of the area.
Keith and Maryann decided to return to Youngsville for a while They traveled on the 4th.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


3/1/09---Report from Maryann (she does not sound real happy). Pictures reveal a dreary sky with falling snow. Other boats in the marina appear to be vacant and lonely.

Maryann says:
Good morning, all. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Well, I have good news & bad news. Spring is coming - attached is a photo of some daffodils I took here in Demopolis, AL, 2 weeks ago. This morning we awakened to big, fluffy flakes of SNOW. Yuck! It’s melting as it falls, but STILL. We can hardly wait to get out to southern CA to escape for a week or two.


2/25-27/09---The Wyoming Kid made the 1650 mile trip back to Youngsville, Louisiana. (You did not think I would refer to myself as the "Old Man from WY). Quite a contrast in terrain from the foot hills of the Bighorn Mountains located 100 miles west of Gillette, Wy to the Kansas plains where wind farms near Salina dominate the view on the horizon. The trip was great, but it is always a relief to return home.