The miserable time in Texas is here. On the coast for the next three and a half months it will be 95+ in the day cooling to 75 at night unless it gets hot then it will be worse.
Staying off the road was the chore for today. A new trailer came in today. It is a local couple who are starting to build a house. They will be in the park in a 28 foot trailer with two young boys for about six months. The man did not know anything about setting up the trailer, so TheOFM spent about two hours helping him get set up and functional. As least he was very competent at backing the trailer. The entire family is very pleasant. Hopefully their house building will go according to schedule.
The question came in about what type of fluids is my choice for hot weather exercise. Actually it matters not whether the weather is cold or hot, the choice stays the same. If the exercise does not involve much sweating then plain water is the beverage of choice. When extensive sweating is anticipated then a special formula is used. Two liters of water/ one liter of special formula make my best mixture.
The special formula is Country Time Lemonade mix at half strength. Full strength is too sweet and upsets my hot tummy. At half strength and used for every third drink of fluids, my tummy stays in fine shape. Just remember that most bodies can sweat out fluids faster than your stomach can assimilate the fluid back into the body. This means you need to fluids pack starting about two hours ahead of the start of the exercise.
Out in the west Texas desert in cooler weather that amount of fluid packing should be sufficient as long as you are drinking every few minutes during the day. When the desert warms up to the eighties, then you need to fluid pack for the twelve hours before the exercise (hiking, biking etc) starts. Continuous drinking during the day will still leave you somewhat dehydrated at the end of a long day. Big Bend has many dehydrated fools out hiking every year.
Sneaky the Yak needed the roof racks installed so it could be carried in the set up and ready to play mode. The racks were in the under bed storage and for some strange but lucky reason they had been left assembled. After removing them from the Castle and a few minor adjustments, the racks installed just like they belonged there.
Next was to fit Sneaky onto the bars and between the special brackets to keep Sneaky safe. The whole rack assembly is Yakima brand. Yes it was expensive but they have been in use for several different boats for well over fifteen years. The special brackets are called gunnel brackets if I remember correctly. When they are adjusted correctly, boats and other loads stay in place very well. Here are a few views of Sneaky in position for heading down the freeway.
Now doesn’t that look some toys that need to be taken out to try to have tooooo much fun? TheOFM.
A short sweet trip today was for checking out possible launch spots on Corpus Christi Bay. One spot in particular was of interest because of fish catching reports in that area. The location is called Indian Point. There is a pier there and a long walking trail that used to be the highway between Corpus and Portland.
The pier is a nice one and is free now. It used to cost a few dollars but everything is shut down except the pier. There is even good parking at the shore end of the pier.
Leaving from the parking lot is two bird watcher elevated walkways. This one goes along the bay shoreline.
The water was pretty clear in spite of the wind. There was a serious haze in the air making the pictures across the water very hazy.
My foolish head was thinking of taking Sneaky the Yak out for a paddle at Lake Corpus Christi after lunch tomorrow. Luella straightened me out on that. Right after lunch will be when the exodus of the trillions of folks that are down at the water front will be leaving for their inland homes. It would be a much better idea to stay out of the way and let them play bumper cars without my help.
The grocery store will need to be visited but that will happen earlier in the morning. When the bumper car games start it is my intention to be doing laundry. It sounds like doing laundry and staying off the road will be a good way to try to have tooooo much fun. The OFM.
It was mid to high 90s today and my head did not like the heat while outside doing something very important. Finally an old trick of my past popped into my head. First you have to have a hat will very good ventilation like my straw hat.
When the hat is not enough by itself, get a cloth and soak it in water. Wring it out gently and lay it over the top of the hat.
Now it gets much better when you are out in the sun. If that doesn’t do the trick, it is time to shut down and hunt up some shade. This did the trick for me today.
The very important chore was to get Sneaky the Yak put together, inspected and ready for paddling. It was slow going to do that chore. Since my body has had three heat STROKES, it does not take much to shut me down when the temps climb into the nineties. The assembly went well with at least four breaks inside in the A/C with a lot of water consumption. Now Sneaky is ready for sea trials as soon as my body is ready.
The first thing this morning was to stop by the Sinton Farmers Market. As the Truck took me past the only vendor there watched me go on by. Ok maybe nest time was my thought. Next stop was Rockport to meet some folks that recently moved to Rockport from up near Houston.
On the Texas Kayak Fisherman forum they are known as BigHead and Dirty Girl Scout. My handle on TKF is Texnomad. They own Dixie Kayaks and have a history of excellent service. After two years reading about them it seemed like a good idea to meet them eye to eye.
They were both fun to visit. Here is Kim showing her personal kayak and the fancy rigging she uses when out fishing or messing around on the water.
Ryan had gone of to get something when my memory brought my camera out for pictures.
The rest of the vendors had the typical small town show stuff. Here was the first view of the show.
There were lots of vendors selling potted plants but Wal-mart was cheaper.
However this vendor had some unique pots that were new to me.
They were covered in some type of natural fiber and looked very nice.
This was a good bit of activity for one day but it was a great effort at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
It was a big nothing day today. My body was feeling very allergistic even on the Truck ride this morning. A bit of a road trip took me into Corpus to look into some things that proved not worth while.
Lunch was eaten when the Team arrived back at the Castle. Then a back ache caused me to set the microwave timer for fifteen minutes and lay down on the couch about 1 pm to relax the muscles. A loud clap of thunder around 4:30 pm knocked my eyelids back into the open position. WOW that rest must have been needed. The microwave timer must have alarmed and not even disturbed my eyelids.
It was a good evening though. A wonderful visit with Luella lasted until well into the evening. We have a great time with our visits. And a visit with Luella can be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Very little of excitement happens some days. Today was one of them. A little fishing was done down near the bay at the Ransom Road launching ramp. A high level of stress relief made for a good feeling in my head. To top it off there were no fish getting in the way either.
Over near Rockport the search for an old friend was successful. He and I spent a good hour talking and sharing stories. His new campground location will need me to check it out closer for a possible stay in the future.
On the way back to Sinton the chosen route was past the windmill construction reported yesterday. Well today they had the propeller up on the stand closest to the road.
Those suckers are pretty magnificent looking up close. Other vehicles were stopping to look as the Truck passed on by.
Overall it ended up being a laid back day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Early this morning a call was made to Luella at the Welder RV Park in Sinton. She had a space for me over the holiday weekend. Then it was on the road time again. The pace today was a lot less hectic than the pace late yesterday. The Team arrived about 1pm and got set up.
While stopped at a rest stop it was noticed that it was time again to be deploying the windshield sun stoppers. The bright sun can fry you quickly inside the cab.
Later in the evening as some wandering around went on, this interesting sight was encountered.
There are huge fields of windmills going in down here. The construction has been going on for a long time and looks like it will go on for quite a bit longer. A lot of crop fields are getting windmills for decorations.
Hopefully that will help solve some of the power crunch this part of the country is having.
Not having any trouble on the road is one way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Finally a decent place to recuperate for the night. RV Park USA is a very nice low key park in Comfort Texas. The morning started with getting ready to couple up at 8am. Then the storms hit. Finally the wet Team left Fredericksburg about 10 am. The decision was to head toward New Mexico. When we got near Fort Stockton, the desert was not appealing at all and a quick about face headed us back toward San Antonio.
Running late into the day the choice was made to stop in Junction at the state park. The entrance road to the park was under at least four feet of flood waters. What a mess? As the Interstate 10 got under the wheels of the Team more rain hit. Twice we had to wait out heavy rains in rest areas.
Two fuel tank refills later and about 8 pm the Team made it to Comfort where we hope for a good nights rest. It has been a trying day. The weather is supposed to be a lot nicer tomorrow. Maybe then trying to have tooooo much fun can be accomplished. Good night, TheOFM
A note of importance. GrannyJ (http://walkingprescott.blogspot.com/2010/05/walking-no-more.html ) has passed on. She was a great inspiration for me both in my life and in my blogging.
By now you can see the Team is not on the coast, yet. A mechanical difficulty required a stop for parts shopping and a repair on Monday. The situation is under control now and travel will resume on Tuesday, barring another difficulty.
My readers will not be surprised at another change of plans. By now any reader of this blog knows TheOFM is as flaky a traveler as they come. Yesterday when the Team left Ingram for the Corpus area weather events changed the plan. Even if a repair had not been needed, at the Interstate 10 junction it was nasty looking back toward the coastal direction and beautiful toward the west. So we turned west then quickly remembered the LPG leak and whipped around to Fredericksburg, Texas where there is a good RV parts supplier. This morning the leak is corrected and the Team is ready to roll again.
Now which way will we go????????????????????
It has rained off and on all day so no big adventures happened. Early to bed and early to rise tomorrow for an early start at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
Hitting the highway at 8:45 am was later than was intended. Thirty one days were paid for up front. Nine days was all the Team could handle and stay sane. No refunds of course. By 10:03 am we were set up in Lady Bird Park. It feels very good to be away from the last place. It was an education in a different style.
As luck would have it, there was a big ROD show here at the Fbrg Park when the Team rolled in. Lots of fancy rods were everywhere. My guess I that there had to be over two hundred total. So tonight is car picture night. Here is a partial panorama of the south section of the show. As always click it to enlarge.
In this next shot, look to the left at the “school bus”. Yep that was a one of a kind hot rod for certain.
These vehicles were in the unloading area waiting to be put into their spot for display.
Here we have picture from near the center of the east side. There was not room to back up for more coverage.
This vehicle was at the show and the owners are camped across from me. This was them returning from going to supper.
My walk continued all the way up the hill to the golf course area. Looking back at the spillway you cross to get to the golf course was this scene.
Next on the agenda was grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. Then the big excitement of eating pecans picked up off the ground. That put a nice finale to a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Tomorrow will be rolling day. This campground is not comfortable to me so the Team will roll. Much agony went into which way to roll. Central Texas is already hot and getting hotter. Google earth gave me views of New Mexico for the portion the Team has not covered and it does not look it will be very exciting. Parts of NM are very interesting or exciting, but maybe the Team has covered all that already.
Which brings us to the change announced a few blogs ago. This is an adventures blog not a travel blog. Therefore my heart is pulling me back to the less hot part of Texas for awhile. We are headed back to the coast again. Where exactly is not known. This next picture is a clue as to why.
In one of the Texas Kayak Fisherman forum entries today was talk of alligators in salt water and the surf. Yes you have to watch out for alligators in the surf and on the beach. This picture was recently taken on the Texas coast.
That gator certainly looks like it is trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
Twas a morning of messing around checking places for travel on the internet. Getting that old reel working well instigated a whim to visit an old site that used to get visits from me. Those saltwater offshore kayak fisherman are nuts. Take a look at this picture.
Then go to this address to read the whole story. Definitely not my type of fun. http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=143263
The rest of my life can stride right on past that type of fun as far as I am concerned.
Later the Truck took me around town to look at a few things. It was not expected to see an old truck like this one just waiting for a visit.
The old truck had been a working truck not a showroom truck. Some of the dents were still in the metal of the bed. Other spots on the exterior showed the character marks of earning its living over the years. It was neat to see up close.
Then some time was spent supervising a neighbor assembling his new BBQ grill. He is only a helicopter mechanic so you cannot expect him to put together something as complex as a table top propane grill without supervision. When the assembly was finished, the BBQ was torched off to run on high and cook off all the residual oils or other residue that could harm him.
After all that hard work we visited for a bit and watched the sunset show.
And that is how this hard day of trying to have tooooo much fun came to an end. TheOFM.
The morning greeted me with more gray and calm weather. It was not looking good out there for biking or yakking. Riding a bike in the rain or yakking in lightning storms is flat wrong. Alternate plan 109M was put into action. A couple of weeks ago while wandering the desert and old and damaged fishing rod with a beat up reel was found. The rod was broken and mistreated. It took a grinder to remove the rod from the reel.
The reel is another story altogether. It is a Penn 109M which is a very good reel. This one looked like it had been stored outside in the pig pen and old axle grease used to try to lubricate the bearings from the outside. The Penn 9 series has been around just about forever and they keep running long after the Energizer bunny quits. In my past have been a few Penn 9 series reels. Most were given away when “better” reels were purchased. STUPID MISTAKE.
Anyway, this found reel still turned the spool although grudgingly. Every thing seemed to function to some extent. This morning my choice was to open the reel and check it out. That should keep me busy until near lunch. It is now 2:15 pm and the clean and lubricate is finally over. Here is a picture of the start of the effort about 9am this morning.
As any one who has ever opened a 9 series Penn knows, there are around fifty parts to one of them. By the time this reel was torn down, all fifty parts had been disassembled and were scattered all over the dining area and the kitchen. All the parts were coated with dried grease and oil entraining who knows what type of dirt. It was a mess.
Much time was spent with a scouring pad and soap and water wearing my fingers to the bone. It was quickly apparent that someone had taken the reel apart and reassembled it incorrectly. 9 series reels are touchy about being put together properly. At least there was not evident damage to the reel. Finally noon arrived and my stomach REQUIRED a lunch break.
After lunch it was time to reassemble the reel. After some messing around, it became evident that whoever opened it before really screwed it up; the internet was called to the rescue. There is where the information that the 109M had been discontinued only a couple of years ago. Also available was a jpeg of the original cleaning and maintenance instructions. That was great. Now the reel can be reassembled correctly. To me these 9 series Penn reels were always a pretty reel as well as more durable than an anvil.
About 2:30 pm the reassembly was started. Everything was properly lubed and adjusted per the instructions. The 9 series reels require some finger dexterity that is difficult for me, so a couple of tries were required before it went together properly. Little springs are not my friend!
About 3 pm it was try out time finally. The reel runs perfectly.
It is amazing that it is so good. Yes the style is outdated. This model still did not have a free spool for casting. The handles turn when you cast your line out. It is more of a pier or deep water fishing reel, but I bet that if it is taken care of well, it could go through a couple of more generations of folks easily.
Is it possible that doing something just because you want to could be a way of trying to have tooooo much fun? TheOFM
Most of the morning weather was occupied with a light drizzle. The temp was cool enough to go back in a put on long pants. WOW down on the coast the weather site said they were hot and humid. It is nice to be in the cool dry air up here in Ingram.
The silliness of the second day here seems to have worked itself out and the atmosphere is much better now. Hopefully it will continue to stay pleasant around here for the next three weeks of my stay. If not the tires can still roll very easy.
The Castle got very small with the gray clouds and light rain so something had to be done. A search on the Google earth site showed a public access to a small lake just west of Old Ingram. So the search hit the road. The location is a very small public boat ramp with parking for about a dozen vehicles. The small lake is two fingered with each finger about a mile long. The other finger without the ramp is about a half mile wide at the widest point. It does look inviting.
Here we have the view up stream from the ramp “pier”. The pier is a piece of wire mesh sticking out into the “lake” about eight feet. Still it is very adequate for the needs.
The view down stream is just as nice but shows the waterway opening up as it joins the other finger of the lake. Over all it should make for some nice yakking and maybe even fishing.
It was still misting when it was time to leave. Getting soaked was not in the plans. As we left the general area, this café in Old Ingram was advertising a “HOT DAM RUEBEN” sandwich. Rubens are a favorite of mine. The River Café makes an excellent Ruben and it comes with a small bowl of German style potatoes. The potatoes were also excellent. It is not cheap but is competitively priced. Drink, meal and tip were $10. On top of that the folks that own the place do the cooking and serving etc. They were fun to visit, too.
The Castle is running the solar panels for the 12 volt needs. The Castle is parked where it gets shade in the morning until about eleven am. Then there is sun on the panels until around four pm. Then shade from another pecan tree creeps across the Castle until it is covered in shade by night time. So far the panels have been keeping up just fine. Here we have the 5:30 shade on the Castle.
A little rain does not stop the Team from getting out and trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
Another roam of the country around here was fun today. The most distant location the Team made it to was Pedernales Falls State Park. There were old memories of family times lingering in the woods and on the trails but they were good memories. Mostly it was just to see the falls with some water running over them again. Last summer they were barely dampening the rocks. These are actually just a slide but are still fun to mess around upon.
The trail to the overlook is only about one eighth of a mile in cooler weather like today. In the hot weather of summer the trail seems like five miles downhill and six miles back up the trail on the white rock path.
At my favorite overlook here is your view from way above the river.
There are three trails down to the river and 99.99% of the folks take the steep hard two trails to get to the bottom.
Notice the very turbulent water at the left of the picture. That is dangerous. The folks are down at the final pond before the river continues its course through the rest of the park.
The trail down that is my preference winds through the woods and is much longer but easier walking than the other two trails through the rocks on the cliff. Here is a portion of my preferred trail.
The area is in the last days of the wildflower out burst, but there was one hardy flower just posing for a picture.
There was even a stop at Fredericksburg for a little golf chipping practice.
Taking pictures of the Texas Hill Country and flowers is a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
A nice long day trip checking out things in detail was rewarding. Eventually the Truck got me to Llano, Texas and the city RV Park and golf course. Both are very nice and clean. The golf course runs along the river for some really nice pleasant views.
The lake is one of two that were found near the town. My guess is that they are both water supply lakes. This one above goes upstream a few miles. It should be some interesting yakking.
Speaking of playing in the water, this lady was doing some serious relaxing in the inner tube as she floated around on the lake. It certainly looked very inviting to me. The day was warm and the lake was cool but not cold.
As this is being composed (8 pm) we are having a really bad thunderstorm outside. The pecan trees are getting a severe twisting and turning and hard hitting big drops of rain pounding the Castle. Since the Team is in a narrow valley with the tall pecan trees close around, not much of the bad wind is making it down to the Castle.
Now let us get back to Llano. In town at the turn to the RV Park was this picturesque old building.
Some parts of that town looked like they could use my feet and camera to do some investigating. HMMMMM maybe that can be the next location for the Team to enjoy.
The campsites were all very clean and conveniently arranged. However most of the campsites were in the full sun. The golf course adjoins the camp ground. A police substation is also adjacent to the golf course and campground. A long narrow rolling terrain city park/playground sits between the campground and the lake. It appears to be a good place to get in some decent walking.
From all appearances the golf course is a simple easily maintained style without a lot of fancy embellishments, but it is definitely taking advantage of the rolling river front terrain. Maybe a week there would be a good way to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
It was a slightly warm day, but the Castle did well without the A/C. It got up to 80 inside but the fan was plenty to keep me cool. That is about $2 saved by not using the A/C. In the next few days the A/C will likely be needed after lunch.
Not a lot went on today except for checking out and verifying other campgrounds. Along the way a couple of pictures of the Texas Hill Country were taken. Here is one of an outcropping and some flowers. To me it is a beautiful picture.
Along at another area was this view of a creek. The bad part is that most of the creeks are on private land and do not have public access.
This evening, during some exploring, a little fishing was done. It was highly successful. One perch about four inches long got sort of hooked and flipped out onto the bank. It flopped loose and back into the water in an instant. A few minutes later another large fat perch, a punkinseed I think, grabbed a small jig and fought like a champion. Eventually it was landed and unhooked. Barb less hooks are wonderful for unhooking fish. That fish was grabbed with the pliers and chunked back into the river. Nope no pictures of the fish were taken. However this scene on the river looking toward the dam was my background for the fishing.
It has been my pleasure to get to meet donkeys for the first time in my life. They are really neat and have great personalities.
The white one is over thirty years old. The two brown ones are mother and daughter and under ten years old.
Tomorrow, unless another campground owner surprise crops up, will be either kayaks or golf. We will find out tomorrow which one it is that is used for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.
A walk on one of the interior trails of the Buck WMA at South Llano River State Park has taken over twenty years to get accomplished. The chosen trail was Fawn Trail. It turned out to be a standard Hill Country trail. It was nice but nothing unique above many others. It was definitely an easy trail. Here is the main trails sign for the WMA.
A short walk up to the water supply tank gave a chance at an overall terrain picture.
Then it was back down to the start of the Fawn Trail. Two liters of water were hung from my belt to keep me hydrated on the warm day. As it turned out only a half liter was used. The trail to the left goes up to an over look that is pretty nice and is paved to within a few hundred feet of the over look. The trail to the right is the start of Fawn Trail.
The trail winds along an old ranch road to the deer harvesting blinds that are used when the deer herd gets larger than the land can handle. The deer are harvested for food then. It is not unlike raising cattle on a ranch in reality.
Along the way the trail was a double track that had some overgrowth to give ticks access to your legs. None came home on me but others at the park had found some on their bodies. The walking was very easy and gentle in the rises and dips.
After a long time on the trail it was all looking the same. Turning around and going back to the Castle seemed like a great idea. A little friend must have thought so too. It stayed alongside me for several hundred feet. Maybe other walkers had been feeding it.
The finish to the trail was welcome since my feet were being a pain. The sweating was just enough to give a decent body cleansing and make the shower feel fantastic. All in all an excellent day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM