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Old 01-12-2024, 05:04 PM   #21
newowneroldmontana
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Make sure your doggies know it ain't legal huntin' alligators down in the swamp, Amos Moses.

(I learned this by line dancing at 4-H camp as a kid.)
 
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Old 01-12-2024, 05:34 PM   #22
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Sorry--I shouldn't have called you "Amos Moses." You don't seem mean as a snake. I mean I learned it ain't legal huntin' alligators down in the swamp in Lousiana (LOO--zee--a--nuh), from line dancing at 4-H camp.
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Old 01-13-2024, 02:20 PM   #23
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Saturday, took the day off. Did some site seeing nearby.

Stop #1: Centenary State Historic Site in Jackson, Louisiana. The park I'm at is responsible for this historic site too. There's no entry into the building, but the house has a visitor's center in it (when it's open). No one man's this site most of the time. It was interesting walking the grounds and reading all the information signs.



Next we went to the Clinton Confederate Cemetery in Clinton, Louisiana. This site is also maintained by the park I'm at.







Saw 2 deer this morning, a Momma and her baby. They were leaping through the grounds so fast and graceful! Then saw them again near the entrance of the park when we were leaving. They were too fast for photos.
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Old 01-13-2024, 03:59 PM   #24
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There's been so much development around my property recently that the wildlife has pretty much disappeared now, but I used to see deer all the time around my house.

Probably four years ago I was getting something out of my car when I looked up and saw a Momma and two babies standing in front of the treeline about 100 feet away. I just stood there looking at them thinking, "You are beautiful. You are magnificent."

But then Momma deer gave a little snort and took a little step towards me, and I realized she was not thinking the same about me. No, Momma deer was thinking, "YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME, LADY?!?!"

<Uh, no, ma'am.> I lowered my head and ignored them until they were gone. Lol.
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Old 01-13-2024, 06:04 PM   #25
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We see deer here every day every time we go out of the house. There will be 4, 6, 10 down in our 8 acre hay field. They will be from 50 yards to 200 yards away. If I wonted to shoot one at 200 yards it would be zero problem. They get so tame we can walk within 60 feet of then and they just trot slowly off to a different part of the field and resume eating. I have a picture of a bear so big his belly is almost draining the ground. Biggest I have ever seen. People ask if I’m afraid of him, NO. He isn’t going to bother me. I can’t say the same for my trash can. Everybody here would like to get rid of them, ain’t going to happen you just learn to live with them and keep your trash can inside.
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Old 01-23-2024, 10:29 PM   #26
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A new update: (January 23).

I've been keeping busy with lots of different activities. Of course I've been shadowing the seasoned tour guides, piggy backing with them. That means, I'd do some of the tour and they would do some of the tour. Then the next group, we'd switch thing around. This way, I have the safety net if I miss something where they will catch or nudge me along if I start talking too long.

Today, I took my first real official "test", doing the complete whole house tour with critique. I did it 3 times. If there was a scoring process, the first would have been a "C". The second a "B+". And, the third was an "A".

The reason for the "C", was not because I didn't know the content, it was because I went too long and it should have been shorter. They are all impressed I know the content so well.

Tomorrow (Wednesday), I get my "final" test by the "big man"! And if he puts his stamp of approval on my tour, I'll be all set for 100% solo flying!

They have 2 river boat cruises lines that stop at St. Francisville and the Audubon State Historic Site is one of the destination points. The first is the American Cruise Line and the second is the Viking Cruise Line. They travel the Mississippi River. Those tours start up again beginning in February, so I'll be placed in the rotation then. Right now, it's just a hit and miss.

Meanwhile, my chores around the park have been varied. I've had a great time so far. Perhaps the work might not be attractive to some folks, but, as with everything I do, I'm using it all as a learning experience and using every opportunity to enrich my life. I've also been able to join in when different activities are going on. For example, there was a special program, or a "tour" called, "The Women of Oakley" which gave a lot of detail about the 4 generation of women who owned the plantation.

So, 2 days I got to run a zero turn lawn mower ... um ... not one of those "little ones" you might have in your back yard at home ... I'm talking BIG! 100 acres of ground, that's a LOT of leaves to mulch up. I didn't even come close to all 100 acres, but 2 days worth of running that mower, I made a nice dent! Yes, I had a blast. Me, the ground, and lots and lots of tree roots got to know each other very, very well!

Let's see... beside cleaning out the plantation cabins and the plantation kitchen, I've blown lots of leaves off the sidewalks, put out flag displays, cleaned up storage areas, helped locate water leaks (we did have below freezing weather for a couple nights and this place is not equipped for this type of cold... some pipes froze and broke... my camper was fine!)

In addition, I've stacked fire wood, and picked up trash off the ground. I even took the liberty to purchase a huge bag of cat food for the park's pet cat. Our doggies have gone ape-crazy because of the Armadillos that roam this place. And I have seen foot prints of the bob-cat that lives here too. My wife, doggies, and me, we have walked lots and lots and lots of miles on the trails and in the woods around this place.

I'm currently in the process of cleaning up the black smithing tools. The old iron tools that would have been used by the black smith, lots of rust and parts that don't move very well due to rust and exposure. I know these are just old pieces of iron, but they are tools that were used in the trade, and I'm learning about this too.

Meanwhile, my wife, our 2 doggies, and I have continued to travel around the local area, do some site-seeing, and get to know the area a lot better.

St. Francisville is an interesting community because of it's historic setting and the historic district, including the Grace Episcopalian Church and grave yard. Also, it's proximity to the Mississippi River and also the landing for the River Boat cruises. It's also got 2 home to type grocery stores, a hardware store, a few fast food restaurants, and 2 other plantations open for the public to visit.

Jackson is a quaint little town with the former college and graveyards.

Zachary has the Wall Mart, but that Wall Mart is a real mess. Even the folks in the park say they don't go to that Wall Mart because things are so disorganized there and it's literally gone to pot.

That leave New Roads. Cross the Mississippi River on Highway 10. You'll cross over on the John James Audubon Bridge. It's a gigantic suspension bridge. Simple, but still, very impressive, and big! New Roads has another Wall Mart. It's a little farther drive than the one in Zachary and definitely closer than the stores in St. Francisville, but the place is organized like you'd expect for a Wall Mart, and their prices are much less than the stores in St. Francisville. If you don't mind driving a bit farther, this is the town to go to for grocery shopping.

The weather is finally warming up. After a few nights of 15 and 17 degrees, the nights are back in the middle to high 40 and daytime is approaching 70 (F) now. The weather forecast calls for heavy rains over the next couple days.

And oh! There is a lemon tree on the property and the freeze got the lemons. But my wife and I picked them up off the ground anyway and we've been have fresh lemon-aid every day, made with real lemons, from a real lemon tree, that we really picked up ourselves!

So, how am I doing! I'm doing GREAT! It's hard to believe today is the 23rd of the month already!
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Old 01-23-2024, 11:49 PM   #27
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Thank you for the update--I find the details about the present as interesting as the details about the past. Hope you ace your final!
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Old 01-24-2024, 01:01 PM   #28
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Didn't do my "final" today. It's been pouring rain and "they" didn't want to open the plantation house up today. So far, there have been no visitors. Meanwhile, everyone is engaged in projects right now themselves taking advantage of no visitors or guests on the property. It's amazing how rain keeps people away!

Meanwhile, I've been working on those black smithing tools, wire grinding them down and spray painting as I go. Lots of really, really old style black smithing tongs for reaching into the hot coals. "He" has me slotted to help replace some of the lumber on the black smith shop also. It's rotted out. They got the lumber in a couple days ago, but now the weather is against us.

The camper is doing fine. I did find I have some separation along the edge of one of the slides. Looks water intruded and caused the wood on the bottom of the slide to swell, popping out some of the screws, enabling even more water in. I don't think the wood is rotted out enough for replacement, I just need to find a good size of L shaped metal, about 2 inches or more wide to cover the new gap along that bottom edge. But, not until that wood dries up. Then I pack it full of wood sealers and putty and then attach, with a lot of calk and seal up that gap. It's not a hard job to do. About 2 years ago I had to do the same thing to the opposite slide. It's held up pretty good.

Meanwhile, dodging rain drops today, and truly enjoying this 65 degree weather! It is currently 45 degrees back home in Indiana. I'll keep the 65 for now, even with the rain!
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Old 01-24-2024, 02:22 PM   #29
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Yes, it's pouring rain here in Alabama too, and 64 degrees. Nice and warm!

But the rain is keeping me from fixing my plumbing leak, caused by the extended deep-freeze. (I thought I'd made it through the cold snap okay--had frozen up but thawed out with no damage, I thought, until a day after everything thawed, a shut-off valve to the toilet sprung a leak in the basement. I asked for help on this forum and got it, but haven't had the chance to look for parts or try to fix it yet.)

I'll be interested in your repair of the water intrusion point on your slide--I have a similar problem that needs attention.

I think it'll be raining for a while here in the South, so your "final" might not be for a while. Keep practicing so you don't get rusty like those blacksmithing tools must be!
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Old 01-24-2024, 04:53 PM   #30
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Thanks for the update.
I look forward to them.
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Old 02-01-2024, 12:34 PM   #31
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Update: February 1.

One month is gone already. We're starting Month 2 now. Everything is going great. (I think so anyway).

I've been doing house tours (I guess that means I'm certified now), and find I am enjoying doing this much more than I thought I would. Of course, I've got public speaking in my background from one of my former lives. Once I got past the feeling I really did not know the subject matter, and I realized I actually did, well ... kind of like my posts here .... I get long winded! But so far, everyone on my tours has enjoyed themselves. So, I guess I'm doing fine there.

The management and the other park employees been great to work with. I think I've impressed their socks clear off by over delivering on absolutely everything they've asked me to do (which had nothing to do with the tours).

I've had wood working projects, house cleaning projects, mowing and chopping up the leaves, trail maintenance, washed picnic tables, sprayed down the shelter house floor, picked up trash, cleaned out fire pits (in the picnic area), helped restore the black smith tool and the black smith shop, and helped with a crew cleaning and polishing the antiques and the antique furniture and furnishings in the plantation house. In addition, I've been cleaning up the property around the area where the camper sits. They've let an accumulation of "stuff" pile up from the park, so I'm finding more permanent homes for all this "stuff" sitting outside in the weather.

On a side not, I'm walking between 7 and 8 miles every day, keeping track on my Samsung watch phone. I did a check on my phone and as it turns out, over the last 12 months, I've walked over 3 million 500 thousand "steps". That translates to walking over 2100 miles (walked) in the last 12 months.

Yep, yep, yep ... I might be 68 years old and retired, but this camp hosting stuff is definately keeping me healthy! I feel great, have lots of energy, and love loving every moment of it. Time will move only too quickly and we'll be heading back to Indina, only all too soon.
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Old 02-01-2024, 01:03 PM   #32
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Wow - just Wow! Congrats on everything you have done. Also, 2100 miles in a year! I may get 21 miles and the muscle atrophy proves it! LOL
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Old 02-01-2024, 01:03 PM   #33
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Awesome!
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Old 02-01-2024, 03:40 PM   #34
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Dutchmen - that sounds great! We have relatives in Lafayette and it is always a blast to visit them. Louisiana is a favorite!
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Old 02-02-2024, 09:56 AM   #35
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Thanks for the update.
68 you are a young man.
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Old 02-04-2024, 10:29 AM   #36
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How about another update:

This was February 2. A group of "home school children" were out for some historical 1810 demonstrations about, Pirates and sailing ship navigation (called "Privateers"), medical treatment and surgery procedures, how numbers of troupes were organized and movements were done in platoons or regiments, how to load and fire a black powder musket, and a black powder pistol. It was an interesting morning.

I did two house tours that same day.







Now, on Saturday, Feb 3, my wife and 2 doggies drove 14 hours from St. Franicsville, LA back to Anderson, Indiana. We left at 7:30 am (LA time) and arrived home at 11:30 pm (LA time). We had a death in the family and returned back for the funeral (Monday, Feb 5), and will return back for another 14-16 hour drive on Tuesday. I'm scheduled for house tours Wed, Thur, and Friday this week. Of course, we left the camper there while we returned home for this fast turn around trip.

Here's something that completely amazed me... and that was the fuel mileage in my 2014 Chevy Silverado, dually, long bed, crew cab, 3500 diesel pick-up truck. I averaged 18.9 miles a gallon (diesel) returning home, and my speed limit was consistently 5 mph over the posted speed limit. I don't thing I ever got that good of fuel mileage on that truck. Of course, towing that Montana HC fifth wheel, if I get 10 mph, it's a good day! I just found this amazing fuel mileage.

The thing I DID NOT like about returning home was, when we left Louisiana, the day before, it was 70 degrees. It was about 55 when we left in the morning. When we arrived in our drive way, and I opened the truck door, it was 31 degrees and that biting cold Indiana wind tore right through us. Sheesh. I remembered real, real fast why we wanted to be out of Indiana, Jan, Feb, and March!

But! on the good side, once home, my 3 girls were real, real happy to see me again!

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Old 02-04-2024, 10:50 AM   #37
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Thank you for the update! Five things:

1) Sorry for your loss.
2) I would sure like to visit St. Francisville, LA sometime. Sounds so interesting!
3) Good thing you got your oil changed already.
4) Regarding the cold--yikes, I know! I grew up in Missouri, spent five years in Massachusetts. Now in Alabama, I *never* get homesick in the winter!
5) Regarding your girls being happy to see you--I bet! They must have a whole list of things they want you to get down from the kitchen cabinets for them before you go back, that they're not tall enough to reach themselves.
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Old 02-11-2024, 07:41 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newowneroldmontana View Post
...

I'll be interested in your repair of the water intrusion point on your slide--I have a similar problem that needs attention.

...
We made it back to Louisiana. Amazing, the diesel dually averaged 20.2 mpg. It's never done that good. The return drive was 14 hours this time. We didn't stop as much or as long returning for fuel and breaks.

I jumped right in with more tours and then had Saturday and Sunday off. (Feb 10, 11)

I've been prepping those slides for my repair.

The first order of business was to remove the original metal rail at the bottom of the slide corner. I actually ended up fixing both front slides.

Next, I had to get the inside of the walls dried out. Everything was really wet, and the wood has swollen pretty bad. I taped the open gap with a fly, lots of tape, and left it hang so any water would run off the end of the tape and not weep back into the wall again. I was able to use a hair blow dryer and spent over an hour on each slide out blow drying all the wet out of the wood.

In preparation, I'd purchased an L shaped aluminum frame support and cut 2 pieces to length, one for each slide. I marked the location for the screw holes and used a punch to punch out the holes. Drilling was too awkward with my drill press at home. Punching with a owl worked just fine.

After things dried out, I used a ratchet strap and threw it completely around the slide out. Secured a couple blocks of wood.

I then used an entire tube of Gorilla calking glue and pumped it up into the wall, and put a coat over the exposed swollen wood. I'm fortunate the plywood did not crumble. It is plywood, no particle board and it looks like it was originally 3/4 inch plywood. The slide has a top layer of plywood also, where the furniture inside actually sits on. They are separated by the aluminum frame.

I pumped the Gorilla calking glue into everything I could, including the back of the L aluminum piece. I then wedged the aluminum over the end, and with help from my wife, wedged 2 blocks against the aluminum so the ratchet strap would force pressure inward and upward, forcing the L piece in tight.

Once in place, I inserted the screws. The screws were screwed into the aluminum frame, not just the swollen plywood. The original screws were through the wood, not attached to the aluminum. (really, really shoddy and poor design and craftsman ship).

Once the screws were in place, I was able to remove the blocks and the strap and then sealed the edges with more Gorilla calking.

Later, I'll spray paint everything black again and hopefully, it will be unnoticeable.

Here's the photos, they may help clarify what I did.

Passenger side of trailer, slide out.... front forward:



You can see how swollen the wood got. The manufacturer used only a 1 inch flat metal trim on this. Now wonder it separated, water got in, and it swelled and fattened up like this:



Blocks and L-trim. The L-trim is 2 inches wide on both sides of the "L". This allowed room for the swelling, which will never go down now, and gave me the space to hit the aluminum frame.




Here's the drivers side slide (front, forward).






Front, drivers side with the blocks and ratchet strap removed:




Passenger side, front:



.... now .... I have a broken cable in the kitchen slide to fix. I have 2 spares and all the tools. But this is the first time replacing for this slide. It just never ends... does it?
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:09 AM   #39
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Wow--thank you so much for this. I now have a much better idea of how to fix mine. Do you think the extra mass from the swollen wood will make it difficult to bring in the slide?
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newowneroldmontana View Post
... Do you think the extra mass from the swollen wood will make it difficult to bring in the slide?
No. Those corners have a lot of open space to move. It does rub a rubber seal on the bottom (inside the wall of the trailer), but it has enough spring / sponginess to it, it will slide over it with no problem.

Good luck!
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