Saturday, March 31, 2012
Despite the alligators, we caught three in three days, it was another great fishing trip on the Trinity. I’m blessed to be a member of a large extended family with many different interests. Thankfully, one of those members enjoys sharing his hobby with me. Within a half hour of arrival we were on the river in the cousins boat. He had some lines out, and we set a few more. Monday morning found us taking lots of fish off the lines.
Tuesday was a repeat of Monday, with another big one in the mix. Mondays largest was 17 lbs. and Tuesdays hit the scale at 22 lbs.
Hard to believe fishing this good so close to Houston. Pipeline crossings everywhere along the river.
Twelve different ones at this one location. Gasoline, oil, CO2, chemicals I cant even spell. There were even abandoned ones back in the woods. Wonder what they carried back in the day?
Overall, it was another great trip to the Texas low country.
Lots of fishing, eating, and just plain old visiting on the river bank. Till next time……..jc
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Received the phone call on Saturday. All the rain in East Texas the earlier part of last week had filled up Lake Livingston. That means the flow of the Trinity River was about to be increased, which results in rising river levels and good fishing opportunities. Nothing to do but load up and head for Texas.
Monday morning found us on the river.
It was a beautiful day. Mist rising from the river. Birds fishing along the bank. The river was about 10 ft. above normal level and running pretty swift.
We worked our way back along some channels to a small lake which was filling with backwater. The cousin had put some lines in here the day before. We were expecting to pick up some fine fish which had followed the rising waters back into the cypress trees.
Had a big one on the first line.
The stages on that trotline are 5 feet apart. if you’ll notice, the first is wrapped around its nose. The second stage is hooked in one of its hind legs. There’s a third hanging near the end of its tail. That makes this gator over 10 feet long. It had apparently decided to help its self to a fish we had on the line. Got tangled up real good.
Now, none of us considered ourselves a member of the Swamp People culture. The gator was still alive, but quite subdued from fighting the line. We eased the boat up near its head, and cut the stage which had gotten wrapped around its nose. It took a few moments before it knew freedom was once again within its reach. Then, with a surge which pulled the trotline almost twenty feet sideways, it tore loose from the hook in its leg. I don’t know who was happier, us or the gator. More on the “normal” fishing later this week……jc
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The location of the Green Eggs Gatherings is Millers Ferry Campground. A COE facility near Camden, AL. Located in Wilcox county, on the Alabama river, it is a fantastic facility in the middle of nowhere. I assume it was a major pork barrel project of 20 or 30 years ago. Not just a campground; the facility includes a separate swimming beach with a pavilion which would seat over 100. Across the highway is another part of the park with ball fields and more picnic facilities. The town of Camden is approximately 8 miles away and is, itself, very small. One grocery store (Piggly Wiggly), and a couple of Dollar stores and chain drugs make up most of the town. There is a fantastic old time hardware store that sells everything. Hardware, clothing, furniture, guns, you name it, they probably have it.
Unemployment in Wilcox county is said to be the highest in Alabama. The major industry is forest products, replacing the cotton and other agricultural products of the past. Fantastic old farm houses along the highways show that it was once a prosperous community. I did find a report where a Chinese company is scheduled to build a copper tubing manufacturing plant in the county soon. I’m sure that’s welcome news.
When we were there last year, one thing that rang a bell was Gee’s Bend. I knew I had heard of that somewhere. It didn’t take long to connect that with Gee’s Bend Quilts. Made famous by a program on NPR or 60 Minutes sometime in the past.
We decided we would go over to Gee’s Bend and see some of the quilts. We took the 15 minute ferry ride over to the community.
Though it was a brand new ferry which ran every two hours over to Gee’s Bend, we didn’t find anything but more signs of poverty. We were told they had a quilt museum, but we never found it. No signs indicating there was one. Just old decrepit houses with junk cars, and skinny cows grazing behind ragged fences.
Friends ask why we would go to such an area? Why not a more tourist friendly place? Every other rally of gathering we’ve attended has been in places like the Texas Hill Country, or the Gulf Coast. Lots to see and do. You spend most of your time trying to see and do it all. In a place like Millers Ferry, you have time to enjoy the moment. Visit with friends, or go around the corner from the campground and have breakfast at the local country store, marina, and gas station.
I definitely wouldn’t call the area a major tourist destination. But it has the river, and if you enjoy paddling, fishing, or water sports, it is a great place for that.
Basically, it’s an area that reinforces the fact of no matter where you hang your sign,
There’s something good nearby, if you take the time to look for it……..jc
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Back in November of 2010, a guy posted a question on the Casita Club Forum. Anyone like to get together for a few days somewhere in the Southeast part of the Country? Maybe over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. He got a couple of affirmative comments and a campground was agreed upon when the number reached six or so. It then took on a life of its own. There were 42 registered trailers in March of 2011. Move forward a year and there were 52 registered rigs for 2012.
Some of us arrived early to get a head start on the visiting and eating. We had small pancake breakfasts,
and a Chili Dump at our campsite. Bring a can or pot of homemade chili and dump it in. Though it sounded awful, it tasted really good. Not a drop left in the pot.
We had birthday parties, and lots of visiting all week.
Chicken and sausage gumbo on Thursday,
catered BBQ on Friday, and the tailgate potluck on Saturday. As the pavilion was kind of small, everyone with a pickup just backed up toward it and the spread was placed on all the tailgates. Worked like a charm.
There was also musical entertainment most every night. Really wish I could play an instrument.
We had a St. Patrick's Day parade with many getting in on the fun.
As you can see, it was a great week with friends, old and new. And did I mention the food?
A friend took some really great pictures that can be seen here...
We are already looking forward to next year. More on the local area in a later post…jc
Sunday, March 18, 2012
We just returned home today from a great week of fun and fellowship with many old and new friends. This was the second year for the GE&H Gathering and it was better than last year. Almost fifty fiberglass trailers; Casita’s, Scamps, Bigfoots, Escapes, a restored Yellowstone from years ago, and even a brand new Element. A fantastic week.
One of the couples there were Jean and Paul McClure. They arrived a few days early from their home in Texas. If there were a patriarch of the FGRV family in the Southwest, Paul would have been that individual. They made every rally and gathering. Always a warm welcome for everyone and a true joy to be around. Actually they were the very first folks we met in the FGRV family. Wanda and I were on our way to our very first rally; the Bluebonnet in Bandera, Texas; back in 2007. We stopped in a rest area between Houston and San Antonio and saw another trailer similar to ours. There were Paul and Jean, having lunch at one of the picnic tables. They insisted we have a sandwich with them. What great folks they were.
We shared lunch again with them on Thursday. Paul became ill Thursday night and they departed for home on Friday morning. They only made it to Baton Rouge before Jean had to take him to the hospital. We arrived home this afternoon to find out he had passed away early this morning. Though our hearts are sad this evening, we know that Paul spent the last few days of his life doing exactly what he loved to do. I remember shaking his hand Friday morning when they were leaving. His last words to me were “see you down the road”. I can only hope that my passing will be the same.
More on the GE&H later this week……..jc