Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sitting Out the Dog Days of Summer


Miss Carol and I are still here in Emory, Texas (Lake Fork).  We decided not to travel this year because of my two shoulder surgeries (rotator cuffs, torn tendons, and some old arthritis) and the length of time of recovery.  Our last post we mentioned the left shoulder surgery but during my rehab for it, I injured my right shoulder and had to have surgery on it as well around the end of March.  Shoulder injuries of this type can take up to a year to totally recover.

So we’re just sitting it out here in Texas trying to survive these 100 + degree days.  It’s been so hot lately that we haven’t had any desire to get out and go fishing.  Even sitting under a bridge in the shade and crappie fishing is unpleasant.  We make an occasional trip to either Tyler (48 miles) for shopping or medical appointments or Sulpher Springs (23 miles) to nearest Wal-Mart.  On some occasions, we’ll even drive to Greenville since its larger and has about the same shopping opportunities as Tyler.  Why, just this week, we had two “exciting” days. We went to Tyler to get Miss Carol some new eyes (glasses) and went to Sulpher Springs to get me some new ears (hearing aids).  Ha ha!!!  The highlight of our day is to sit around and plan our next trip out on the road which won’t be until next Spring.

When we built our deck, we did so with traveling in mind so we designed it so that when we pull our slides in and lower the trailer back down to hitch-up height, we can easily pull away from the deck without any interference or danger of hitting the deck. Also when we pull back in from our travels, I’ve positioned guide boards mounted to our concrete pad so that I can back in to exactly the same spot and position each time.



I set the boards using Liquid Nails All Construction Glue. Note the “Do Not Move or Remove” sign I painted on the guide boards. I also installed a stop-block at rear of tires.





We built the deck approximately 3 feet away from the side of the trailer. This allows enough clearance for backing into the site and then when the slides are extended, they stop right at the edge of the deck.





We have a portable pair of steps that we carry with us when traveling. The legs fold down and the steps ride in the bed of the truck. I built a portable/removable 3’ by 3’ landing that I put in place once the trailer is in place and slide our portable steps up against it. This gives us an additional entrance into the trailer and onto the deck along with access to our basement storage area.








We went to Lowe’s Home Improvement and bought two sections of light weight fencing and I modified/altered them to be used as gates.  We bought gate latch hardware and fitted it to fit the fence panels and modified the posts to serve as hinges by sliding the posts through a couple of eye bolts so the panels/gates would swivel.  We wanted the gates to serve as a means of keeping our four-legged children confined to the deck.  As it turned out, they added a bit of  touch to the over-all appearance of the deck.




Click on any of the Images to enlarge them.












Fence Post converted to a Gate Hinge








We built a split-level deck for two reasons. We set our lower deck height at 32 inches and it is the largest area at 10’ x 20’ and is our main sitting area.  We set the upper deck 2 1/2 feet higher to provide us a 1. better view of the lake and 2. to create us a 10’ x 10’ enclosed storage area underneath.  This is where we store misc. items and the lawn mower, bicycles, etc.




























  1. That's a pretty spiffy deck. Nice job! Hope your shoulders heal well.

    1. Thanks Judy & Emma. I hope the situation where you're at, improves.

  2. Wow, your deck looks great. I like the fence section you used as a gate, adds a real nice touch.

    I had a rotator cuff injury but it wasn't torn and is healing up nicely with a steroid injection (thank goodness). Sure hurt for a long time though. Hope yours heals quickly and without further surgery.

    1. Donna, Thanks for the compliments. These 2 surgeries was the 4th & 5th on my shoulders. Before the other surgeries I tried the injections and they where so painful, I told this doctor: "NO NEEDLES". LOL. I hope the injections work for you and that is all you'll need.

  3. So impressed with your ingenuity and the results of your skills...very nice! Here's wishing you the best in your procedures; Sandy and I are also in a holding pattern because of impending surgeries. Maybe this stuff will all be behind us by springtime!

    1. Mike & Sandy, Thank you for your nice comments. Sorry to hear that ya'll are in the same situation as us. Hope your surgeries goes well for you and you can get on the road again. It's almost painful sitting here watching the Travel Channel with specials on all the National Parks and not being able to go. Hope our paths cross some time when we're all back on the road.

  4. I love the concept! A viewing deck and basement storage both rolled into one! It’s very clever of you to maximize the use of that space. Best regards! =)


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