Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On the Tombigbee at Demopolis Lake

We are at the
Foscue Creek Park campground, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, in Demopolis, Alabama (map). We have a nice site right on the Tombigbee, just upriver from the lock and dam. A sharp-looking ketch had just up-locked and motored past us as we parked, and a dozen or so tows have pushed through since our arrival yesterday afternoon.

We only ended up spending an hour or two at the Montgomery hot site yesterday morning. All of the laptops had hibernated, probably the result of a power outage on the premises sometime in the last few weeks. Once we got them all booted, everything was back to normal, except for one laptop where the screen backlight had failed completely. We've seen this happen quite a bit on the ThinkPads.

I spent a little time getting the IP fax machine back on line, then we handed the bad laptop and the keys over to the local chapter. Headquarters will send them a replacement for the bad machine, and they can return it in the same case. The chapter folks set the alarm and locked the place up; we spent a few more minutes in the parking lot wrapping up a windshield repair.

Oh, did I forget to mention that? On Monday, maybe half an hour outside of Montgomery, we took another rock strike to the windshield. This one was rather minor, a small volcano with no legs, so we kept going and fixed it at the Lowes when we arrived. We've gotten quite good at these repairs -- practice makes perfect -- and you can't even see this one. I also filled in some pits that we developed due to another rock strike back in Florida. Those pits were not large enough to warrant using up a whole repair kit on their own.

The glass repair resin is UV cure, and the sun was low enough when we finished the job that I wanted to give the stuff another morning in the sun before scraping off the excess. So we parked facing the sun when we arrived at the hot site, and I got the razor blade out and finished up when we were done there.

We have a club in Montgomery, and thought about trying to have dinner there, but they do not serve dinner on Sundays or Mondays, and Tuesday is spaghetti night, which does not call us. We've been to the Montgomery club before, and it's one of our favorites, but it was not worth staying another night in town. We'll hit the club in Jackson, Mississippi, instead, where I will celebrate another trip around the sun tomorrow night.

From Montgomery we took the historic route to Selma on US-80, opting to pass through downtown rather than around Selma on the truck bypass. I think the history of the place and all the museums has provided downtown Selma with a bit of a tourist revival -- most of the storefronts were going concerns. From Selma US-80 brought us here, to Demopolis.

We registered for two nights here at the campground, hoping to relax a bit now that it's warm, and maybe get some projects checked off. After we got set up, though, the Internet informed us that today's weather would be miserable. We pulled the scooters out and headed to town for dinner last night, figuring it would be too crummy to do so today.

Demopolis is one of the few marina stops on the Tombigbee for pleasure boats, and I had read about the marina and its restaurant on the Great Loop mailing list several times, so we decided to try it for dinner. I sent a note to the list, in case any loopers might be in town, but got no response. The restaurant, the New Orleans Bar and Grill, was quite palatable, although too smoky inside for our taste. In nicer weather the outside deck looked appealing. Most of the slips in the yacht basin (and "yacht" is, perhaps, stretching things a bit) were occupied by houseboats, though I saw at least one trawler.

It's been cold enough here today that we are happy to have the 50-amp power. We also have a sewer connection which is too far to reach, and a water spigot, as well as a nice patio area. The Corps tends to trick their campgrounds out really well. Full hookup sites are $20 per night, and they also have five water/electric only sites for $18. Those sites were farther from the river, though, and, even though we don't need and can't use the sewer, we wanted to watch the boats go by.

I never got to the plumbing repair or the replacement of the scooter fender that I had planned for today -- just too cold and wet outside. But I did manage to fix a broken latch on the fridge, and a bad light switch in the kitchen. In a few minutes, I will replace the bad screen housing on my laptop. Louise, meanwhile, has been taking advantage of the inexpensive laundry facilities here to catch up on our backlog.

Tomorrow we will head back out of Demopolis, continuing west on US-80. We'll fuel up to the tippy-top in Pearl, with the cheapest diesel in the US at $1.93 per gallon, then head in to Jackson, where we are hoping to stay at the fairgrounds adjacent to downtown.


  1. Sounds productive. Please tell me what product you use for windshield repairs. I need to fill a couple of spots myself and I'd like to use something that actually works.

  2. "another trip around the sun". Took me a few seconds but I think I got it. Happy birthday.


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