Friday, February 10, 2017

Yesterday at Miller Park

Six of us met at Miller Park yesterday to check on the progress of our two new terrains. Each terrain is large enough to easily accommodate four games, and we're happy to be able to report that they are basically finished-- maybe just a little groundskeeping and cleanup work remain.

We were able to actually play a couple games on one of the terrains yesterday while the construction crew put the finishing touches on the other. Bob, Fred, Rom, and Cherri joined Shirley and me in praising the new area. Come out Sunday and see for yourself.

Play will begin around 1:00 PM at Miller Park, 2500 Queen St, Winston-Salem, NC. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New members

Tommy Zimmerly

Charles Leonard

Pamela Leonard

Mark Zimmerman

Leslie Zimmerman

John Wilson
Some of you may not have met the new members Carolina Petanque has added for 2017. Please join me in welcoming everyone to the club. (We're still working on Mary Jo Wilson!)

What a difference a day makes!

We were very happy to find a much-improved terrain at Miller Park in Winston-Salem on Tuesday afternoon. The crew: Dean, Adam, and the guys, had been hard at work with the heavy equipment and had practically transformed our sandy-beach-type terrain into something more akin to our expectations. As they mixed, raked, watered, and compacted one area, we played and experimented on another area. The surface now barely dents when a boule is thrown fifteen feet into the air and lands. We think our continued mantra, "It can't be too firm for us," has been accepted and they've done a great job complying. As we kept explaining, we can always slow it down with a little top dressing of one sort or another, but we can never firm up a court that is five inches, or so, deep in loose material.

We may be around the Carolinas for another few days, as it turns out, due to changing circumstances.

Continuing construction efforts

After Shirley called and talked with Parks and Rec and with some of the group in charge of the actual construction of the new facilities at Miller Park, we decided to postpone our Florida trip for a day or two. We had planned to leave for Amelia Island-Lakeland-Sanford areas on Tuesday, but Shirley managed to get us a face-to-face with the construction crew at 4:00 PM Monday afternoon.

We spent a couple of hours going over our thoughts and explaining what we were looking for regarding a suitable surface for petanque. They seemed very receptive and eager to please, so we don't anticipate any ongoing problems. We made it clear that we could not play on a surface that was soft enough to allow a high lob with a boule to burrow into the terrain and not roll. As you can see from the couple of pictures Shirley snapped, we demonstrated the problem with a soft terrain and had no trouble getting the contractors to see our problem.

They're experimenting to find just the right mix of binding rock dust and screenings to solve our problem.

More to come.

Construction at Miller Park!

When we arrived at Miller Park in Winston-Salem on Sunday, we were really surprised to find that construction on our new terrains had not only started, but that one terrain was nearly finished! We walked around checking things out and were very happy to find that they appear to have included underground drainage pipes with runoffs at a couple of different corners. The wooden 6x6 surrounds appear to have been well laid out and solidly joined. The surface appears to have been layered with coarse to fine gravel for drainage and stability.

We were concerned that the top layer was very, very soft and thick fine gravel screenings. The terrain will have to have additional attention before we are able to play on it. The washed gravel appeared to be too thick and unlikely to bind into a firm enough surface for petanque, no matter how much they may attempt to compact it.

Shirley committed to contacting the Parks and Rec people on Monday to explore a resolution and find out what the ongoing plans are.

Meanwhile, we played on he existing terrain on Sunday. It is in good shape for play since there have been no significant rains of late that would compromise the playing surface due to the fact that we have still not resolved our issue with poor drainage, One end of the terrain has standing water after a rain and stays muddy for days at a time.

The weather, the terrain, and the group all combined to make Sunday play a lot of fun, We were especially glad to have Charles Leonard rejoin the group after a prolonged absence.

2/1/2017 Griffith Park

Regular Wednesday morning play.  Most Wednesdays we're able to get six to ten players for weekday play. John, Mary Jo, Cherri, Kerry, James, Fred, Bob, Shirley and myself played on this particular Wednesday.