Pedernales Falls State Park has been a favorite park for me since 1971. Even though I have walked or biked over almost of it, it still makes me want to roam when I am there.
It used to be a real scramble to get to the swimming area from the day use section of the park. Now it is a very pleasant walk down a prepared trail to a masonry stairs. No more slip sliding on the steep sandy embankment to get down to the river, then real excitement getting back up the sandy slope.
As you descend the steps, the river valley comes into view. At this point about halfway down you can see the wonderful boardwalk crossing the sand dunes. As you get near the river, the sand becomes your walking surface.
The river is right in front of you now and the children are always having a great time in the water trying to get wetter than wet.
On this day, I wandered upstream away from the swimming area towards a pool of water I knew about from previous explorations in ancient times here. There are several beautiful pools along the river, but they are not easy to get to. This pool had a fly fisherman at it trying his luck. While I sat around on the rocks, he and I visited. He is from England and staying in Houston on business. He certainly chose a great way to spend a weekend don’t you think? We chatted about snakes and water temperature and fishing. A snake had come swimming by him and he wondered if it was a dangerous snake or not. I told him not likely since rattlesnakes are the main bad snake in the area. In England, the water temperature usually prevented him from wading while fishing, so he was enjoying this warm water.
The dealer has assured me that they will be able to get the new part on my truck tomorrow without fail. If it really happens, then I should be rolling on Wednesday morning toward more adventures in trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Someplace had to be visited today. Where I did not know, but somewhere. Stonewall seemed like a good destination for lunch, so off I went. When the Stonewall restaurant came into view, it was packed clear out to hwy 290. Oh well Johnson City was just a little more miles down the road. When the Country Cupboard came into view the parking lot had several empty spaces in it. Oh Boy and I whipped right in.
Inside I noticed a very large congregation of college age kids at a long set of tables. My thought while being seated near them was I hope they behave decently. To my surprise, other than being a little loud as folks having tooooo much fun tend to do, they were very well mannered. The language used was not what I was used to college age kids talking like. It was a refreshing experience to see such a large mixture of sexes and skin colors having fun without any vulgarity at all. Maybe there is hope for us after all.
The special of the day was turkey and dressing with green beans and smashed taters. Brown gravy on all of it with a roll and iced tea. To top off the lunch, all the food was very good. I did make a mistake of loitering over my roll while sopping up the gravy. About a minute before I was ready to go the whole group of 30+ students jumped up to go. So I got to stand in line for some time until they got cleared out.
Actually it was fun to watch them glance at the old fat man to see if I was going to be a grouch. Then the usual second quick glance to verify I really am wearing two earrings, then a grin of acceptance of me as a reasonable human. Since I started wearing earrings a few years ago, I have had that happen a lot. The younger clerks at stores really treat me different than when I was just another old fat man.
Since my original non-plan was busted, I decided to go on down to Pedernales State Park near the restaurant. It is a pretty drive from there to the park and I was able to drive slowly without any traffic for miles and enjoy the scenery. Once in the park, the first stop was at a picnic area with restrooms. As luck would have it the area was nearly deserted. I think they were all back at Stonewall having lunch. There was one family at one of the larger table groups having a great time from the sound of the frivolity and giggles emanating through the trees. I love to see families having fun.
My allergies are kicking me hard today and here is the reason why. All the trees in the area have set pollen pods in the last couple of days. This year is a bountiful harvest for certain. Hack hack hack.
As I walked around a bit, I passed several couples who were having a pleasant afternoon out being social. Along one trail was a disturbance as I approached. Suddenly the brush exploded and a deer bounded across the path. After living in Texas for so many years, I know that there are seldom times where a deer is alone. So I stopped and looked carefully into the brush where the first deer had exploded into the air. Sure enough back in the trees being as quiet as a carrot was another deer. She is just about in the center of the picture.
In case you cannot spot her, I have enlarged the spot where she is at so you can see her for certain.
As we stared at each other I walked a little farther on. Then I stopped and looked at her. After a minute she started getting nervous. Then I did my best to imitate a deer alarm HUFF. I swear that she laughed at me. Anyway she stopped showing the signs of nervousness and just grinned. Finally I went on my way.
When I headed back to my home I dipped down to hwy 290 close to Dripping Springs. WOW has this area added a lot of houses in the last six years. I followed a trail back through the countryside and passed by the famous Lukenbach of the Waylin Jennings song. It appears to be pretty much a tourist trap now. The first time I went by it years ago, it was still just a country store. Not now.
On the way home with these not quite right glasses, another migraine started but let off a good bit. Hopefully it was because of the severe stress from the allergies instead of the glasses being too wrong. Any hoot, tomorrow will be another day to try to have tooooo much fun, TheOFM.
My bicycle received new tires yesterday. For the last couple of years I have been running Airfree tires since the Washington area had lots of “goat heads” stickers Up there I road off pavement a good bit and pneumatic tires would flat every two turns of the wheel nearly. The Airfree tires did the job very well. In fact it often seemed that I was running on sticker bodies instead of tires. However my riding has changed. Surfaced paths or roads are my choice nowadays. The Airfree tires were wide tires for soft surfaces and equivalent to inflation of 40 psig roughly. The new tires are street tread and inflation at 65 psig. On the hills in the park I can climb them 2 gears higher now than with the previous tires. If I were to take these new tires back into the stickers, most of my time would be spent fixing flats. My plans are to do a lot more riding for exercise and health.
The further testing on my eyes turned out well. The part that was bothering the doctor was not the kind of glaucoma that he was afraid of, but was a normal but not often seen style of my eye interior. So now I am good to go out to play again. That is if the truck gets the repair done on next Tuesday as promised.
After the good news at the eye doctor, I went to Kerrville to a craft store Mac had told me about to try to get a couple of a certain shade soft pastels. They did not have exactly what I wanted, but a reasonable substitute for a dummy like me was available. It came home with me in the light rain.
After a few minutes at home the rain quit. The nice golf course across the creek from me had not had me re-landscaping (trying to play) it yet. This afternoon I played nine holes and the EPA came out to see where the bad stench was coming from. I was awful but really enjoyed getting to play the first time since early last November.
There was a GTO automobile convention in the back area of the park today. All colors of pretty cars were there. Maybe 100 cars of all colors parked in nice neat lines for viewing. They reminded me of Easter Eggs being lined up while you are coloring them. Of course as the show broke up each driver had to show off a little as they left the area. The tire companies loved them.
All in all it turned out to be a nice day with some fun here and there. Tomorrow should be another good day to try to have tooooo much fun.TheOFM
Today started with heavy overcast and that was the best of the day weatherwise. After getting my body moving around, the library seemed like a good place to spend some time. Off and on today was a very light drizzle that made things slippery. Going to play on the rocks at Enchanted Rock was not a choice I preferred.
Mac was on duty at the Fort, so I went to visit him and ended up staying about 3 hours. We can spread some hot air like real professionals. The visitors to the fort were few and far between. If you happen to go to the fort be sure and notice the cannon down in the guard house. It is very neat. During the conversations we decided that I could come visit him and his family at El Gallo restaurant about 12 miles west of town. They were a very nice bunch and I had a wonderful time visiting with the folks.
On the way home I took a side road that turned out to be quite a short cut. Along the way were lots of nice homesteads. It is very easy to understand why some folks really like living in this area.
Tomorrow is supposed to be the last of the eye testing that is draining my savings. After the tests I should be free to go out and try to have toooo much fun. TheOFM.
When I started reading my email this morning, it was obvious that my new glasses were not right. After a few minutes, the light show of a migraine starting entered into my view. So I shut down the email. After the light show cleared, I headed for the store where I got them called Eye Country here in Fredericksburg. The fitting tech and I spent a good while changing the tilt and twist of the glasses. They are better now, but I am not ready to say they are right yet.
Since the eye place is right across the street from Ft. Martin Scott and Mac's vehicle was at the
Ft. I went over to say HI. He was glad to see me as usual. Another fellow worker, Jim, came in in a bit with a tale of woe. It seems that after dark he went out to get something from his car and stumbled on a low masonry wall and fell across it. In the process he knocked the hide off both legs from his knees to his instep. His legs were bandaged like the MUMMY from the old horror stories. I asked him if he said Shucks when it happened. His reply was something like Not Exactly.
Mac twisted my arm to go get us another piece of pie again today. Since my arm is still sore from the last twisting, I could not resist very well. It was excellent again. WOW that Mac knows how to pick a good pie slice. We visited for several hours until quitting time. Mac gets to meet all sorts of neat folks while working at the Ft. There was a couple from England on a fast tour of Texas that were real fun to talk to. Several other states were represented today by visitors. Before you knew it, it was time to take down the flags and lock up. A person who was willing to work weekends might be able to get a job hosting at the Ft. The pay is a little better than minimum wage. The "work" is a lot of fun.
There was not too much fun had today, but it was fun trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
A trip to the grocery store then onward to Enchanted Rock to climb to the top. The road out from town to ER is a very pleasant short drive of 17 miles through rolling hills, creeks and trees. The entrance to the park comes suddenly just over a hill where the road curves to the right. There is no way to miss noticing the proper turn off.
Loop down through the ranger station and choose a parking lot and parking spot. Be warned, hit the restroom before you start up. From the earlier blog entries, you may remember that there are numerous trails scattered amongst the hills here. The parking is strung out along the creek for a long ways, so choosing a spot near where you will come OUT is usually a good idea. Today was the Summit Trail day for me. It begins at this gazebo and drops about 30 feet to cross the creek and starts up. TAKE WATER WITH YOU.
In the gazebo is a plaque commemorating one of Jack Hays’ Indian battles. If you search and read more about him, you will find that you wanted him on your side. One tough fellow he was. He left his mark many places in Texas.
On the trail you first do a little scrambling through the small boulders for a couple of hundred yards, but always upward. The park has really improved this approach to the main rock in the last few years. It is actually easy now compared to back in 2001 the last time I walked this trail. This sign fools folks into thinking they are most of the way up. HE. HE. HE. WRONG. You still have several rest stops to go.
From this point on there is a safety issue I need to speak about. If you fall down, go into a spread eagle position because if you start rolling it is very hard to stop. The granite is about like 80 grit sandpaper so slipping is not very likely, but stumbling is very likely. If you fall, plan on loosing some skin and it will hurt. All in all it is a very safe walk if you pay attention.
On the “top” you will find several acres of up and down and grassy spots and occasional trees. There are many places for wonderful picnics with fantastic views. No facilities any where. A spot I hoped to find, was the USGS marker at the top. To my surprise after all these years, I walked right to it. Except it was gone. Apparently vandals had tore it out.
After wandering around for a good while, I meandered over to the side where the rock climbers do their climbing. I do not know exactly where they stage at and was unable to figure it out. There are some ledges up there that looked promising, but not for an old fat man by himself. A cardinal rule in rock climbing is that you can climb up places you cannot climb down. After examining the routes to the ledges, I chose that even though I feel I could make the climb easily enough and back down, it was not wise. One little error with me all alone and nobody knowing where to look for me, could turn into a lethal nightmare. So I backed off to view another day. Coward or smart I will let you choose.
As I started back down, a circular route to tour more of the top and south side was chosen. When the path took me around enough to see the parking areas I took this picture with full zoom on my camera. My guess is that I was about halfway back down.
A shade tree called to me to rest, so I took the opportunity to let my legs relax and do a leg massage. There is very little flat area on “the top” and my calves were screaming. I visited with a fellow for a minute who was a little over six feet tall. When he and his family moved to go sit in the shadow of these small pebbles for lunch, I took this shot of him approaching the lunch room.
On arrival back at the parking lot and RESTROOM, there were some lost tourists from Great Britain looking at the area map. They were looking for the Loop Trail, but had started from the wrong parking lot. After helping them get oriented, they headed off to the other parking lot and the correct start point. I cautioned them about taking water, but it was four adults and 2 liter of water and they thought they had enough. At the trail level it was 83 degrees and very bright sunshine. Hopefully they made it OK. They were definitely not expecting the adventure they were setting out on.
On return home, there was a phone call my new glasses were ready. YEA and off I went to get them. I am wearing them as I type this, but the jury is still out on if they are right. Earlier I laid on the bed to stretch my aching back, but woke an hour later. I guess I was tired. Apparently I had a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
The eye doctor appointment went right on schedule. They probed, prodded and blinded me with bright lights. I was a wupped puppy when they finished two hours later today. Saturday is the day to finish some more tests. Apparently my age is catching up with me. Cataracts are starting, tear ducts are not tearing correctly and new glasses lenses are needed. More testing about glaucoma is happening Saturday. It was after 3pm before I could see decently again.
The GM dealer took my truck right on back when I got there right after lunch. After a couple of hours on the phone with the main GM Tech service, the local service tech thinks they have the trouble figured out. The part has to come from San Antonio and should be here next Monday if we are lucky. My new glasses should be here next Monday also.
Between the truck and the eyes and the vision recovery, the whole day has been used up, as well as a big chunk of checking account. This is not the way to go about having toooo much fun. TheOFM
8:45 pm on edit. As I returned from my walk a nice lady called out o me to see the space station. In my usual HUH mode, I was not understanding. She showed me the two very bright dots in the sky moving along very well. It was the space station and the shuttle extremely visible in the dark sky. It has been a long time since I have seen the shuttle and never the space station before. Looks like today had a fun ending after all. TheOFM
HEAD. Upon awakening this morning to head to the GM dealer early, I found I was half blind with a migraine in progress. So back to bed and slept until a little after 9am. It is wonderful that I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so I can get on with getting new glasses to stop these migraines. All my glasses have to get is off a little and the migraines kick in with a vengeance. The rest of today had to be lived with delicacy. For those who have never had this type of headache, it is from a blood vessel enlarging in your brain and bruising the brain. When I move my head slowly from side to side I can actually feel the bruised brain flop around and feel the pain when it contacts the skull. Some folks claim mine has a lot of room to flop around in my fat head. In 48 hours I will likely be feeling pretty good again.
My art studies have taken me through all types of materials water color, oil, oil pastels, colored pencil and now soft pastels. This will be the last type to try out. So far my abilities have proven to be a little better than nothing at all, but just barely. However, I have at least tried this and had a huge amount of fun learning about what I cannot do. My set of professional grade soft pastels came in today and they feel wonderful. For those that have not tried it, the books all talk about how much better professional grade materials are and I guarantee you they are right. It is immediately obvious when you start to use a pro grade material. My paintings still look like garbage can material, but at least I know it is not the materials.
A bicycle ride had been in my plans for today, but the headache made me somewhat unsteady. My left arm has already had surgery to reattach two arm muscles to the arm bone a couple of years ago. This bike was not about to get a chance at me today. When I get all my balance back, then I will tackle the bike again. Tonight a walk had to be sufficient. A little bit slow, but about 3 miles again. It is starting to feel OK to move around again.
Hopefully by the end of the month I will be ready to tackle Big Bend again and get out there trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
The weather turned gray and the rain threatened. The small trailer was closing in for the kill. But I reigned supreme and took off on a ride around. For some reason the truck headed for the Lakehouse for more catfish for me.
On the way down, a mobile home subdivision attracted my attention. A nice lady that works in the park here, lives in the subdivision. It is a very nice place with great views of the valleys around this area. It would be easy for someone to like living there just outside of town, but not far from the medical and shopping facilities of Kerrville. If I ever have to stop the rv lifestyle, this could be a good place to stop.
As I was gathering information at a campground outside of Kerrville, a lady behind the counter struck up some conversation. She is Cap of Billandcap blog. We had a nice visit and when I checked their site, they have been to many of the same places I have been to lately. That was the third blogger of the rv world I have met now.
Back in Kerrville, there is a Texas Parks and Wildlife boat ramp that needed checking out. It is on the Guadalupe River where the river is dammed up to make a lake. As I viewed it for kayaking adventures, the body of a deceased beaver came floating by. Beaver are not common down here. I have only seen one other in my life down in this area. Back in the PNW they were plentiful. The lake looks like it will provide some nice kayaking for me in the future.
As my path wandered back to the truck, some commotion in the sky attracted my attention. A squirrel was trying to get from the highway power pole to the pole near the water by way of the power lines. The problem for the squirrel is the wind was playing heck with him keeping his balance on the slack wire. After several serious acrobatics the squirrel finally got close to where two wires get close together. At that point he did the splits and stayed more stable for the rest of his adventure. When he got close to the target pole he gave a mighty leap and hung tightly to the top of the pole resting. The poor things chest was heaving as bad as the old fat man climbing a steep hill.
It has been about 20 years since I went to the Kerrville golf course, so I went to see it on the way home. The head pro was on duty and a very nice fellow he was. We watched the last few minutes of the Texas/Miami basketball game with another fellow. This course looks nice and is reasonably priced. A round there may be in my future.
After fixing supper, a walk was in order. My path went around the perimeter of the park and slightly into the golf course then back through the nature trail, up the hill and back through the rv park. From the map it looks like a little under three miles.
Tomorrow is the last of the local spring break and most of the tents and kids are already gone from the park. Perhaps something really exciting will happen as I try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
A wonderful burst of laughter erupted from me, when I heard an elderly lady refer to herself as a member of the VERTICAL CLUB. How appropriate for all of us!
During a trip to the post office and library, it was obvious that spring is here. Many small flowers were peeping out into the nice sunshine today. Light green leaves are showing on the trees. And the town is FULL of tourists keeping the economy going very well.
For my amusement, I took a trip down a happy time road from my history. One of the early trips with my son was to LBJ State Park to see what there was to see. The visitor center is very well done and worth stopping in for more than the restrooms.
The swings we had fun on are still there. The pen where we watched buffalo being herded had some longhorns in them. It is a shame they were at the far end out of range of my camera. A picture of my son on the swings is still in my photo album. It must have been about 23 years ago. That was a very happy time in my life.
On down Park Road 1 is an old cabin and another that was moved in from another location to make a very nice history area. The Parks system did a very nice job of setting up the display in my opinion. Here is a nice overall view of the buildings.
On thing I noticed right away is that the cracks between the logs were packed with local rock before the mud or mortar was added to seal the building. The rocks would be a great idea it seems to me. Why I have not seen that in other places I do not know.
The park has several very nice picnic areas along the road and beside the Pedernales River. The roadside parks have been my dining room several times in the past.
This morning my truck service engine light came on again, so it will be back to the dealer for more????????? Tuesday is the start of the eye exam. For all the trouble I have had since I have been in Fredericksburg, it has still been a delightful stay. Kevin, who runs the RV park, has been wonderful to me with all my extensions. When all this mess is over, I AM READY TO ROLL in my search for tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
This morning started late and slowed down from there. After a ride down to the library to find it closed today, I headed out to see a little country. The road that attracted me went through a lot of soon to be beautiful countryside. A little greening up and some tree leaves and it will be spectacular.
The lunch date was at the Fort with Mac. The rice was by Barney and the gumbo by Mac. We both had a nice lunch on his EXCELLENT gumbo. After visiting for a while after lunch, we were entertained by a visit from one of the old school teachers from here. He knows the history of the town bakards and forrerds and was great fun to listen as he spoke of old times things. Many folks were coming in and it is great fun to listen to all the tales that they have to tell. The tourists coming by increased to the point that I said goodbye and went home.
What do you do when you arrive home with a large container of brown rice?? You make chicken and rice stew of course. Into it you put bell peppers, black beans, black eyed peas, canned tomatoes, onions and whatever spices you like. Simmer for an hour and you get
You can just about catch a whiff of the aroma from the picture.
With my eye problem giving me fits, I cannot sit and read more than about a half page before the headache gets noticeable. The Tuesday doc appointment seems like a year away. That leaves me no choice but to walk around and find some nice pictures to take for my readers.
This first one is of a home and guest house next to the park. The sun and clouds outlined the windmill in a rather attractive manner, so I captured it.
At the entrance to the home was some blooming bushes that have no leaves yet. The way it draped over the fencing and had the sunlight hitting it made for an attractive scene don’t you think?
And to finish out a rather laid back day, we had a fairly nice sunset.
Now I have to decide what adventure to have tomorrow. The library will be one of the early stops and something in town among the crowds will be where I attempt to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
A big surprise this morning awaited me when I opened the door to look out. A layer of frost was on a lot of things. 40 last night was predicted and 33 was what we got. There was a light layer of frost on the dead leaves on the ground.
On the truck windshield was a thicker layer of frost. It did not scrape off as easily as regular frost, but it was not early as difficult as the ICE layers that happened in Washington.
Another couple of blogs have dropped the adsense ads from their publications because of one reason or another. On my blog the ads are often of something I wish I could click on, but that is against the Google rules so I never do that. The ads are sensitive to what I have written in the blog text. Sometimes they advertise places that I would like to know more about or things I would like to examine more closely. Clicking on them is safe from spam I am assured by Google. Some folks say that you should not click on one unless you are going to buy the item. That is like saying you should not go into a store unless you are going to buy it. Visiting the site is like shopping by going into a store to see what is available. You voluntarily subject yourself to the stores advertising to consider if they are providing something you want to buy. Clicking on an ad is doing the same thing. You are checking out the product to see if it is something of interest to you. To all who shop from my blog, Thank You. That is why the businesses advertise, so they can get a chance to present their wares for your purchase. And yes I get enough out of it to buy a tank of diesel every 3 or 4 months.
Since this is a recovery from migraine day, I did laundry then went to see Mac at the fort. We talked between visitors for most of the afternoon. One group of visitors participate in re-enactments in different parts of the country. A fellow in that group has a cannon at home that is smaller than the one at the Fort. The discussions between him and Mac were interesting to listen to. Another couple was over here visiting from England. There was a lot of interesting conversation between them and Mac on a lot of things, much more than I can remember. I am glad I was there to hear all this new information.
The big excitement was Mac’s friend Charlotte has a pie shop in town. With a whole lot of prodding and pushing, Mac was able to coerce me into going and getting us a couple of pieces of coconut meringue pie. I resisted with all my might, but he overpowered me, the brute.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
Do not go to the Fredericksburg Pie Shop unless you have more willpower than a statue. The exquisite fragrances just outside the door will add 20 pounds immediately to your waist line. It doesn’t hurt that the front of the shop is cute as all get out. See for yourself.
When you step inside you are literally ASSAULTED with IRRESISTABLE aromas of delicious pies. And to add misery, Charlotte is a fantastically nice lady to visit with. She was very busy when I stopped in and she and the young man in the back were working up some more wonderful diet busting delights. She was very gracious to stop for a moment and pose with her assistant in the background.
Notice the empty pie plates in the back ground on the counter waiting for the new temptations. This is a dangerous place for me. The aroma had me shaking with so much anticipation I could not hold the camera steady. That is our two pieces safely in the containers on the bottom right. I almost did not make it back with them, but I was afraid of what the brute Mac would do if I ate them both. It would be very easy to over indulge here in my quest to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
A beautiful day has surrounded us in sunshine and cool breezes with only a gust or two now and then to liven the day. The morning episode of the truck repair came out very well. The tech finally found a blown fuse that feeds a reporting point for the main computer. A new fuse and everything works well now. Brian, Becky and Blake of Crenwelge GM shop can be pround of the service they provided.
To test the truck before I plan on relying on it, a trip through Kerrville and looping through the countryside was accomplished. Since I was passing through Kerrville anyway, The Lakehouse received a visit for lunch. Those folks do catfish right. WOW I was almost glad I had to check out the truck.
The trip back home wound through a back roads highway with literally dozens of bicyclists out riding long rides on this wonderful day. For a change all the riders rode in the proper manner and I was able to pass them all safely with no danger at all. It did not surprise me because I have been around REAL bikers (no motors) most of my life, most of the peddlers were older than middle age and moving very fast.
Along this route were many low water stream crossings, but only two had a trickle of water even after the hard rain of recent. If more rain does not come soon I am afraid that the area will lose a lot of vegetation like trees and shrubs that are necessary for the wildlife to survive. Here is a picture of one of the steams with a little water. From the look of the older dirt erosion, the stream probably should have about 10 inches or more water than it has now.
Obviously it is spring break for the public schools. The vehicles have been coming and going all day with folks bring kids down to the playgrounds for fun and frolicking. This picture taken this evening has only a few folks left.
As I wandered around the park and got near the golf course, a golf ball was laying there calling for me to save it from the horrible golfer that hit it out of bounds. So into my pocket it went and home it came for a bath and rest in the dish drainer while it dries.
The park swimming pool is looking very pretty today. Maybe they will soon open it for folks to splash around and have fun. It will likely be at least two more weeks before the pool water warms up enough to enjoy with out turning blue.
My migraine residuals are still giving me some trouble so I plan on a lazy day of healing tomorrow and to get the laundry done early. Mac is on duty tomorrow at Fort Martin Scott, so I will likely go visit with him. We have a lot of fun solving all our troubles and keeping each other straight. He certainly has added a bunch of good to my efforts to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
My truck is still giving the tech a fit at the dealer with its service engine light. He has all sorts of GM certifications, but has been at it a while. Maybe it will get fixed properly. One can always wish for that to happen.
Earlier today we had a fairly severe storm come through. Hail from the clouds beat a nasty rhythm on my roof and plastic vent covers. Immediately followed by heavy rains that caused significant run-off as you can see from these pictures. Fifteen minutes before the pictures it was dry outside. Look how deep it is in the culvert. The funny lines on the pictures is the screen in the trailer window.
My trailer has a MAXXAIR cover over the raise up vent cover that is supposed to let me have it open in the rain. Click on this and look at this picture closely and you will see the water from the rain that blew into the cover then into the vent cover then through the fan and opening.
I have an appointment next week for a new eye exam to see if my vision is causing my rash of migraines lately. That is a pattern that sometimes occurred in the past. Kevin at Lady Bird Park, Kevin, was very helpful and I have extended my stay here to the end of March. I hope that will be long enough. My travel itch is very severe.
A nice fellow named Bob from the Carolinas and I have had a lot of email as he chose an inflatable kayak and a properly fitted PFD. He is about to embark on a new phase of life that I am certain he will enjoy very much. He is not an Rver (yet), but does use a folding trailer named a Chalet for camping. He is a few months from retiring and is planning his escape.
Most of the day I have been just piddling around letting my head recover from the headache. The black water tank got dumped after two weeks and it went perfectly again. Proper preparation makes perfect performance. Essential for black water handling.
For funsies, different types of art efforts have occupied some of my time for the last several years. It all has been fun and the education was interesting. As of now I know several mediums of art that I am very incompetent at and have the paintings and drawings to prove it. Yesterday I purchased a cheap soft pastel set from Wal-Mart and have had a ball with them. Today I ordered a better set from Blick Art Supplies and will have fun with it I am certain.
The dealers service writer called about 5:45 and they did not find anything wrong with the truck but a blown fuse for the glow plugs that I never use. So he wants to keep it tonight and make certain it starts without a problem tomorrow and the engine light stays off. They may have done everything right and the electronics still be a pain. It ran just fine, but I was worried about it breaking down in the middle of the remote places I go.
Any hoo tomorrow at 8:30 am they are supposed to pick me up to get my truck back. We will see how much this non-information cost me.
Please everyone get out and have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Due to personal illness from another migraine headache that hit last night, I was unable to get moving around well until after 3 pm today. So today we have the afternoon version of the ofm adventures.
After dragging myself to the grocery store and putting things away, I went for a slow easy walk around the park. There was still a large number of tents set up in the tent area. This picture shows about half of them. Most were still the scout troop(s) from Friday.
After passing them I moseyed down to the nature trail I mostly covered before and went on the last portion that was not reported on yet. Along the trail beside the creek the view of the folks having a big party was good. They were scattered all around the playgrounds playing basketball, soccer, chase, feed the ducks, and baseball. Only a few were left to “guard” the food. It is wonderful to see large family groups gather to have a good time.
On along the trail is the sitting garden that was set up. It is rather nice and when the flowers bloom in a few weeks it will be fantastic. The windmill was even squeaking like the ones in a lot of movies.
Onward past the garden I followed the trail along the creek then up a hill and OOPS it led right into the golf course in a bad spot. I stood back while some golfers went by, then slunk along the tree line until I found a way back to the upper trail.
I was weak when I started and when I got back I was beat. However I decided what I needed most was a big supper. So I fixed boiled whole okra, steamed mixed vegetables and two turkey patties with herbs in the skillet with BBQ sauce. A Wal-Mart root beer for my beverage and I was doing great. Then of course there is always the cleanup. Back when I was earning an income it was nice to eat out anytime I wanted. Now I have to be careful about too much eating out because of $$ and CALORIES.
Yesterday I received some real good news. My cholesterol which for years has been in the 230+ range in spite of diet, exercise and other things. The last doctor decided I might as well try soy products. It so happened that I really like soy milk and edemame beans. Well the report back from the blood center where I donated blood a month ago shows my reading down to 194 now. It has been lots of years since I had a reading below 200. Maybe that means that I should celebrate by going out and trying to have way tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
The next bonehead thing for me to do happened today. One of the fun things to do is ride around on small country roads to see the “old” things out in the country. A really important thing to so is have a good map and pay attention to where you are. If you have a good map and do not pay attention you can easily add 40+ miles to your trip. When I got to the end of the road I thought I was on, it was way out of my way. The trip was worthwhile as you will see in a minute. When I got to Comfort Texas where I was not supposed to be, the diesel fuel right off I-10 was $4.07 a gallon. The poor budget is getting stomped severely, again.
Now for the good news, lots of pictures and a really neat place with a wonderful nature viewing trail. This is an old train tunnel. There are many train tunnels I visited in the PNW, but this is special because it is now an active bat cave like Carlsbad Caverns. The bats have not yet arrived from Mexico on their migration according to a sign the Texas Parks and Wildlife had posted at the parking area. This is one of a few special spots for wildlife in Texas called Wildlife Management Units. or Areas. Wildlife management is one area Texas is way ahead of any other state I know of.
The parking lot is sitting on top of the tunnel and they have bleachers in several spots to watch the bats come out in the evening when the season I right. Additionally when the bats are not here there are two nature trails for walking. The Upper and the Lower which has the Loop trail included in it. When you get a little way down the hill on the upper trail you come to a spot to see the tunnel all the way to the other side.
After ooh and aah at the sight of the tunnel and the small waterfall, the upper trail continues along the old rail bed. Not too far down the upper trail , the lower trail splits off and crosses a nice bridge over a ravine.
Immediately after the bridge, the loop trail part of the lower trail starts. Counterclockwise was the direction I took and believe that either direction is equal difficulty. In reality there is only one spot of about 15 feet where you will need to be cautious of your footing. Most of it is very easy walking, rugged enough to stay interesting but not dangerous at all. Wheel chair access in not available on the trails. Even someone on crutches could do the upper trail. The worst spot on all the trails is this one on the loop trail.
All told it is less than a mile total to cover all the trails. It does have some up and down so folks not used to walking should take some water so they can enjoy the experience. A little below the entrance to the trails is a kiosk built by a boy scout troop the explain about the WMA.
As usual click on the picture to see a bigger version
On my return to the parking lot, a fleet of bike riders from some scout troops was coming in to their support wagon. The were very happy to have food and drinks waiting. After my long way home, I pulled into the park to see them setting up tents to stay the night right up the hill from me.
If the weather holds nice, tomorrow I will be up on the roof painting the plastic vents to keep the ultraviolet light from deteriorating them too fast. I think I am the only person I have ever met that does that to protect the trailer. The sunlight really makes them brittle in a hurry. I think inside of four years you can see the real difference.
After that chore, I’m fixin to get busy and have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
When a person pulls their head out of their back pocket, it is really easy to fix a leak. Just put the gaskets in the right order and assemble. Leak over. You would think a mechanical genius like me could do it right by at least the second try. But no. Two days had to be wasted messing with it. This included a trip to Kerrville for unneeded items. That is OK. Next week I will pull another bonehead stunt of some kind most likely.
By the time I got things done right it was 6:30 pm so I went to eat at a new restaurant to me. However the truck knew what was best and made a wrong turn and stopped in the parking lot of a proven good restaurant of mild appearance. Here is their dynamic front entrance in a strip center near the edge of town right across from the Wal-Mart. It is a couple miles out from the tourist part of town so the prices are a lot better and parking is very easy.
By the time I got back home, you could tell it was the weekend by all the folks with kids in the park camping out. This park has a really nice grassy area for tenting. Not really wilderness at all, but very nice with a large shade tree at each campsite. The fantastic sound of happy children running wild is great music to my ears. It is almost 10 pm now and the campground is nearly dead quiet except for the yappy dog a few trailers down.
To get some of the kinks out of my back from all the leak repair contortions, a walk was in order this evening. After the 95 deg day today, this cooler evening air feels very nice. The creek provided a very pleasant place to walk and allow relaxation to ease gently into your body and mind.
There were several groups of ducks just ducking around doing whatever it is ducks do. This threesome were in a big hurry to go somewhere. Look at the wake they are making. They are definitely not in the retirement mode.
As I left that area and wandered up by the ball fields, I noticed that the rain of a couple of days ago and the hot temperature today had made some of the trees get ready to explode. The ends of this tree are very imminent to welcoming spring don’t you think.
Old friend Mac at Fort Martin Scott and I had a wonderful conversation today. This was my last chance to catch him until I return to Fredericksville some day. He has been a wonderful fellow with lots of great stories to tell of his life experiences. I have tried very hard to get him to get a blog going because he has so many things to tell about.
WOW It is already 10 pm and I still have things to do before I get to bed. This DST change has not been calibrated into my life yet. Everyone go out and have fun tomorrow. I will be leading the pack here in Fredericksburg on trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.