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Wild Rose Pass, Texas


Suspicious Red Box

Comfort Castle Location: Junction, Texas
South Llano River State Park

The weather has been fantastic here for the last few days. Chilly in the morning and warming to almost hot in the late afternoon has been the trend. One event that feels like a sad event did happen the first morning here.
A certain article of clothing was removed from storage and made ready to use. It was a time of lamenting as the jacket was put over my shoulders to step outside. BUT the sun soon shone through and the jacket was removed and tossed back inside the Castle. YEA!

The cool morning makes it nice for sitting out and sipping some tea or coffee per the mood of the moment. This is a very nice setting don’t you think??

Down on the river/lake was a fellow playing with his yak. He came paddling upstream toward the dam from a yet undetermined launch point. This is real Puddle Boat country.

Eventually he went behind a point of grasses and then a few minutes later emerged at the rapids along the far shore. He was dragging his yak through the rapids. At the upper end of the rapids he climbed aboard his yak and paddled around near the foot of the dam. Occasionally he would cast his bait out toward certain spots in hopes of catching a fish.
There was contact with “authorities” twice today. Both times my intent was to do a good deed. The first one was with a Texas Parks and Wildlife Ranger over something odd seen while on a walk this morning. It turned out to be a special effort that the Rangers were doing to improve the park. It will be very good if they get it all done soon.

The second was more interesting. After supper the Truck insisted on carrying me down to the Lake and doing some fishing. So we got a nice spot along side the lake and my fishing efforts started. As my effort progressed slowly along the bank something odd was floating in a cranny in the bank. To my ignorant eye it looked like an EMT kit floating there. That is very odd was my thought. A few minutes of thinking and it was decided to go look up a police officer to see if the medics were missing some equipment. The bank was too high for me to get down to it by myself safely.

Naturally there are no police around when you want one. Finally on the far side of town was the Junction police car at a restaurant. The Truck whipped in and parked. Into the restaurant I went. Folks inside greeted me warmly and the question of where can I find the officer that goes with the car outside. A nice fellow answered up who turned out to be the police chief.

We visited for a moment as my story was politely considered. Then he turned to another table and asked them if they were missing an EMT kit. The two EMT folks just happened to be there also. Nope nothing was missing they knew of. So the chief and I went back to the lake to check it out. After a bit of examining the floating stuff, my ladder was lowered into the water and leaned against the bank.

Down I went on the ladder and handed the stuff up to the chief. Searching the water did not yield any other items than what was in the open box. After I was retrieved from my precarious perch on the ladder, the ladder was carried back to the Truck and put away.

On close examination the stuff did not seem to be professional level things. The blood pressure cuff and stethoscope were Wal-mart quality. The chief put it all in his vehicle and took my name etc in case they needed to contact me. The chief was very nice. Three young folks stopped to see if they were needed to help as my ladder chore was finishing. The really good part is one young man knew the exact best spot to launch my yak for paddling on the lake. That was a lucky find.

The sun was well into setting before the event was all over. That gave a great chance for a peaceful evening picture to finish the day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Lake Junction

Comfort Castle Location: Junction, Texas
South Llano River State Park

A picture of the campsite was finally taken and here it is.
These sites are spaced well. The angle for backing in is excellent and makes set up a lot easier than many places. The site is level side to side with a slight slope to the front. No blocks under the tires were needed.

The large full featured city park in Junction is well used. One neat feature is they allow RV boondocking in the park for up to three days. Here is the type of view you could have from your boondocking spot.
Over to the east of the park is a set of cliffs that sometimes get spectacular lighting from the setting sun. Tonight was only nice.
Lake Junction is the size body of water that the Puddle Boat was purchased to fit. Throw PB in any place you can get to the water and go exploring. It is even ok to try your luck at fishing. As you head up stream the lake turns into the South Llano River. It might be interesting to head upstream for a good ways. Actually it is a known and frequently done trip to use a livery service in town and get dropped off several miles up stream. Then you can spend the day drifting down stream until you get to Lake Junction.

On thing to keep in mind is that there is a dam that the water eventually flows over and it could give you a very exciting ride. That very straight line across the water in the header picture is the top of the dam. Here is a shot looking down the face of the dam.
Part of the park is a disc golf course. There are 18 “holes” to the course but a couple of the holes are on the other side of the lake. That means you would have to walk across the highway truss bridge to finish your round of “golf”.

Speaking of golf, Junction has a 9 hole course that was fun to play many years ago. Maybe it needs a close examination also.

At one spot in the park are a couple of signs talking about the park.
Now that the weather is cooler it should be nice running around here trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


A Disgusting Event In Del Rio

Comfort Castle Location: Junction, Texas
South Llano River State Park

It is suggested that you put American Campground in Del Rio Texas on your list of do not go there campgrounds until the current male manager is not associated with the place anymore. He does not consider providing the services agreed to and paid for to be necessary and definitely not his responsibility. On top of that if you correct a deficiency yourself with out his permission you are even more wrong. After two days of his “stuff” the Team pulled out about 2 pm this afternoon leaving three weeks of rent on the table. A perfect batting average is continuing. The last three times we stopped there we were glad to leave because of the behavior of the same male manager but never at the cost of money before. This time completes my formal education on that individual. Yep I am a slow learner.

Amistad Outdoors Travel Park is a newer park in Del Rio that seems to be a better deal all around. That is where the Team will try the next time through the area.

We arrived here at South Llano River State Park after the park office closed. Currently the Team is set up in site 9 for the night.

Some good Tex-mex was eaten for supper and the new header picture taken. Tomorrow will definitely be a much better day for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


The Dasterdly Deed

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

Maybe others like defrosting the freezer more than others, but TheOFM likes it least of all folks. Therefore he has figured out a fast easy way to do it.

First determine if it is actually needed. Examine the blockage to see if it interferes with storing things in the freezer. If not then it can wait another year or so. This was getting marginal for my needs after only two years. Oh well, into everyone’s life some ice must fall.

The freezer is turned off. Then the freezer is emptied of everything movable into an ice chest or the refrigerator section. In this case the refrigerator section had too much food in it so the ice chest was used.
Notice the bottles of ice. They are used to keep the freezer filled to capacity. The freezer runs more efficiently that way. Additionally the extra ice helps bridge the time when the outside sun is beating on the side of the Castle where the refrigerator is located.

Next all my fans were put to moving air through the freezer. The large one is moving the surrounding air and the little one is sitting in the freezer blowing right on the ice blob.
An important tool is a sharp knife with a very flexible blade. The blade must be metal to conduct heat quickly. The blade must flex easily so it can be slid between the ice and the freezer lining. The metal blade conducts the heat into the interface and helps speed the release of the ice blob. AT NO TIME IS JABBING ALLOWED. A jab can and will perforate the lining and ruin your $1800 refrigerator. Only firm force to allow the metal blade to melt the interface is allowed.
Yes it needs to be sharp so that it can fit in between the ice and the lining as soon as possible to speed the release of the ice blob. After working the knife back and forth it will start to fit between the ice and lining. Keep up the firm but gentle pressure and moving the knife back and forth along the interface slowly. If done properly small bits of ice will start to break off and then suddenly the whole remaining block lets loose.

Grab it and put it into the sink or tub to finish melting and help cool the interior of the Castle.
Next get the fans out of the way so a good cleaning and disinfecting can be done.
Then immediately turn on the freezer and repack the food and bottles of ice into the freezer. The bottles of ice will keep the recovery time to a minimum.
Now a little straightening of the inside of the Castle and you are finished with this terrible chore.

Total elapsed time from starting to end of clean up was slow since stopping to take photographs was done. This session ran twenty one minutes. And now it is time to get busy trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Flapping Doesn't Work

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

My water fried lunch was finished. The dishes were washed and put away when the drip of sweat came rolling off my bald noggin. Hmmm it must be getting warm in here. Yep the warm meter says 83 degrees. It is time to get the A/C going so it does not have to make up for letting the Castle get to hot. A/C switch is on, close the windows and now try your hand at flying by flapping your hands. WHAT?? Yep you do that flying stunt by leaning out the door of the Castle to unlatch the door so it will close, but instead you take an unintended flying leap out the door for the sticker patch.

No amount of flapping arms or grapping for handles a little too far away can slow your trajectory. Only the ground knows how to slow you down and it has been excellent at slowing down airborne objects for all recorded time. But we know all good things must end and the flight did come to an end. The damage was light and easy to repair. A little washing and drying and my knee is almost as good as it was. Not even any blood beyond a slight pink on a tissue.

This is very remarkable since the landing zone was populated by a picnic table, two fifteen pound dumb bells and Puddle Boat. Then under all that are the one inch long stickers that can be used for nails when building a house. Some times the jelly sandwich lands right side up huh.

The first escapade this morning was a change out the fasteners on the bike holder in the bed of the Truck. All that was available when the concept was first done was self drilling self tapping sheet metal screws to hold the bracket in place. This morning a pair of ¼” carriage bolts replaced the screws. It was a simple change out facilitated by reaching up among many sharp pieces of sheet metal under the Truck and tightening self locking nuts onto the new bolts.

Only about three or four square inches of arm got covered in blood. Us thin skinned old men tear and bleed easily. A little sweat and a couple of scratches and it looked like a major war zone. The nuts were tightened well and the arms washed off. The left over blood on the underside of the Truck will have to wait for a road puddle to get washed.

Maybe a noon siesta can be validated as recovery from all this massive blood loss!

Just to even things out no fish were caught or even tempted in this evening fishing. So that puts a gentle completion to a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Once Is Enough

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

A short tourist type ride was taken out to the north east of town. It was a loop route out into the ranches. The road had never had my presence before so it was good to go see it once and once was enough.
It was just typical brushy terrain like from here to Arizona. What you see from Interstate 10 or Highway 90 is enough of it. Along the way there was one nice meeting on the roadside. They were friendly enough but not really much on conversations.
From there on back into Del Rio it was more and more of the same. The good side is that RR2325 would be great for hardcore bike riders. It is 41 miles long of gentle swooping curves and straight aways. Mr. Lance could really fly on this road. You do not have any services along the route. It is a totally on your own ride.

Late afternoon edition

Part of the get well therapy for migraine recovery is to get out walking when the head feels like it. So some walking near the lake around Blackbrush Point was done. At one spot some $ungla$$e$ were found and the owner got lucky and an old fat man was able to find him to return them. They were a couple of really nice folks to visit. They were down from Odessa for a quickie weekend trip.

On the way back from the lakeshore area is the boat parking lot for the ramp. As usual a fishing tournament was going on. This very pleasant young man was happy to display his one bass for the day’s efforts. The catch was way down from the sudden rise in the lake level by a couple of dozen feet in the last three or so months. We shared a common like for Skeeter brand boats.

Part of my fun when meandering is finding goodies. Some of them are kept and some of them are given away. Today the yield was moderate at best.

Look carefully and you will see a bag of bass worm lures, a small bobber and a leader like we used down in saltwater for natural bait fishing. The bass lures may get used within the next few days. They better work or they will be filling a trash can pretty quick.

Then on the way out and up the hill from the boat ramp is a very nice lake cabin that faces directly into the western sun. OUCH. Notice how they have installed draw type drapes instead of the standard roll up type. They certainly do look nice to me.
My ailment seems to be about 90% recovered finally. It will be nice to get out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


The Boonie Speaks Wisdom

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

Boonie made a wonderful comment on http://wandrinlloyd.blogspot.com/2010/09/i-get-bored.html
about the options of RV travel and the incorrect popular idea that we must travel every day and long distances. Please check it out and enjoy.

Rick over at http://gumotx.blogspot.com/ did a great blog entry on the gardens in San Angelo Texas. They need a visit by an OFM soon. Check that out for an interesting read.

The good news is that by wearing the correct size shoes 99% of my foot pain has gone now. That half size small really caused misery way out of proportion to the size difference. Another lesson learned late in life.

The migraine recovery is running on schedule and my body should be in decent shape by tomorrow evening. This evening the Truck took me to Blackbrush Point to “fish”. In the rest of the world it is called “losing lures”. Several very nice folks stopped to chat as they loaded up to go home from their fishing trip. Those conversations gave me the lowdown on what to use when I am steady enough to take Puddle Boat out for fun.

There are lots of very nice folks around here. In the stores it has been a wonderful experience again. Folks will stop and ask if they can help if you look like you might need some help. It has been a long time since my ears has heard so many Excuse me’s and Thank you’s so often. There seems to be a high level of happy running around in this town. That is very nice.

The weather was bright and windy but hot today. The highest was 91 but the sun was very intense. Maybe tomorrow the camera will take me out for a photography session to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Cut Short

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

10 am:
The new struts on the gravel guard are still being tested heavily by mom nature. Since late yesterday the winds have been howling except when the torrential rains fell. The new struts are really the right thing to do. The gravel guard is solid and doing the job it is supposed to do.

For the second day now the weather is wave after wave of storm rain or excessive wind gusting. At least the bugs do not have a chance against this weather. On top of that the relatively cool breeze is keeping my A/C off and $aving lots of dollars. On the other hand the cloud cover is testing my solar panels. The two 100 watt panels with MPPT boosting are all the way up to one amp total for the moment.

With the weather threats, it does not seem safe to be putting Puddle Boat on the water or Sightseer on the road. So other excitement must be looked into.

Late edition:
The rain has finally cleared the area. The WIND has taken over the task of making us miserable, but the struts are holding very well. My guess is the gusts are hitting over 35 this evening.

OOPS this blog entry is cut short by blindness from two migraine attacks. Somebody go out and try to have tooooo much fun for me. TheOFM.


Stupid Campground Managers/Owners

Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

It has been going on for a couple of years. In every town that it is available; the price of domestic water has been priced. The average cost is one and a half cents per ten gallons. That means that the cost of water to wash the Truck is 1 ½ up to 2 cents. Washing the Castle uses 2 to 2 ½ cents of water. So the stupid stories from the campground owners/managers show their intelligence level, sub roach level.

Today this campground manager told me the price to wash my Truck or RV was $10 because they are on well water. More stupidity but what hacks me the most is they think I am stupid enough to believe it.

Another stupidity is when they restrict how many months you can stay in a park. One in Kerrville TX has a limit of three months because they are in a flood plain. What does that mean?? If my rig was there three months and one day a flood was guaranteed. Good grief. That means there is money to be made during the drought conditions.

Another in Port Aransas told me that he limits stays to six months because RVs deteriorate too much if they sit still too long. Maybe that means the fiberglass lasts longer at higher speeds. Or the rust on the frame slows down when rolling down the highway. And these idiots actually operate businesses. No wonder Wal-Mart has so little competition.

Another on the Texas coast, as he stood there with a hose running wide open on the grass, told me that washing a vehicle runs his water bill up so high he cannot make a profit. And he acted like he actually believed his own story.

Sometimes these stories are so ridiculous that it is hard not to laugh right in their face. Of course in general the sales jerks I encounter as just as bad.

The intermittent rain storms today pretty much preclude any serious outdoor activity. The cool wind is ripping through the Castle $aving me from having to run the A/C.

With the thought of saving money and cool breezes in mind, a chore that was thought of a year ago was accomplished this morning. The laundry was in the machines and the realization was that the needed items for the chore were in a storage bin.

The standard brackets to hold open the gravel guard on the front of the Castle leave a lot to be desired in the winds. The guard flops around making a lot of racket and some have been ripped off. On mine it is only opened enough to open the front window about half way. That is all that is required to get full benefit of the air coming into the Castle. The standard gravel guard struts are very loose in general. My concept was to add a strut in the right place to firm up the open guard.

First the guard was opened to the allow the calculated tilt for the window. Then measurements were taken. Next was the extensive labor involved to cut, file and drill the struts to the needed configuration. After those thirty minutes of hard labor the struts were ready for installation. They both went into service like they had been designed. WOW what a surprise!!!!!!!

Then back inside to open the window until it touches the gravel guard to add to the stability of the assembly. Now it is all ready for leaving open at night or day. This window is next to my bed and it is wonderful to sleep with the cool dry desert breeze flowing across my body at night.

Even in heavy rains this assembly will allow for the window to stay open. You can see the other strut in this view. Right above my bed is the powered vent to exhaust air out and pull air in the window if the night proves to be too still. A great night’s sleep is a wonderful way to start tomorrow’s day of trying too have tooooo much fun. The OFM.



Comfort Castle Location: Del Rio, Texas

Well that did not work out as announced yesterday. When the Team hit the road early this morning, we knew not very good forecasts were in effect in the San Antonio area. As we neared Fort Stockton the weather was looking worse and worse.

Well you know the Teams policy is sunshine all the time. It was broken clouds to the south so when fuel was purchased in Fort Stockton a decision had to be made. Sunshine instead of plans won out. So on down the road toward Sanderson we went. It was a nice trip except for all the very heavy mist.

Then we turned south east toward Del Rio and that made the Puddle Boat very happy. You could hear it giggling from on the roof. Lake Amistad is at Del Rio and how Puddle Boat knew that is beyond my knowledge.

Along the way we passed this biker having a tough time getting up the hills. He had several empty water bottles on the back of his bike. These hills out here are long and steep. That makes for tough going for the touring bikers. The Truck even drops into Drive (fourth) frequently on hwy 90. That seldom happens any where else.

When we arrived in Del Rio we chose the regular campground, American. It is not really very special except for being VERY close to the lake for boating and fishing. The Team is signed up for a month at $225, including wifi, cable + electric. There is a good laundry onsite. Also emanating from here is a few hundred miles of bike able roads. For the mountain bikers is an unknown huge amount of trails. That silly Puddle Boat is still giggling, I guess because it knows that it would take a lifetime to paddle all the nooks and crannies of the lake. Actually I do not blame it, this lake is really fantastic.
http://www.nps.gov/webcams-amis/camera0.jpg will give you the webcam of the lake about a half mile from the Castle. The camera is at Diablo East ramp. We are just across the hwy from Blackbrush point. Now all my lures need to be swapped over to Lake Amistad freshwater from the current saltwater selection. That and several maintenance things will be accomplished in the next couple of weeks.

One interesting thing has happened since the last time here. A few folks have taken out yearly leases and put in shade shelters to house their RV when they come in for the weekend or vacation.
The campground is nearly booked for the winter season. The manager said that last year it was very cold and they actually got below freezing three or four mornings for a couple of hours. By ten am the folks were out playing on the lake in the sun.

Right now at 6 pm the windows are open and the nice breeze is flowing through the Castle. The temperature is about 75 and the air very refreshing. It is shaping up to be a wonderful evening after a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


An Early Start

Comfort Castle Location: Toyahvale, Texas, Balmorhea State Park

It was an early start at dawn and a long drive today. All of me is tired especially since the excitement of rolling again kept me up well after midnight. Adventure was not part of today. The 375 miles of highway under the tires was the goal.

We have a great pull thru site so uncoupling was not needed. The only part of setting up was hooking up the electric.

The mountains to the south are having thunderstorms and rain. It does not look pleasant back that way.

Late September and October are prime bike riding and golfing months in the Texas Hill Country. That is where the Team is headed for now. Exactly where is unknown. Most likely in the Fredericksburg, Comfort or Kerrville area is where we will land. It would not be smart to place any bets on the actual landing spot. We should roll into the area tomorrow after another 300+ mile drive.

Then let the fun begin as the Team works very diligently at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


San Mateo Mountains

Comfort Castle Location: South Monticello Unit, Elephant Butte State Park, New Mexico

Location of the Adventure: Somewhere in the San Mateo Mountain Range in the Cibolo National Forest in the Apache Kid Wilderness on official Forest Roads.

No kidding. The road you are about to see did not show on Google Earth when it was checked out upon the Teams return. Give or take 15 miles we were not lost. There was only one road and we had plenty of fuel, water and food. It was supposed to be an easy trip. HA.

A fellow with a SAR front plate on his Ford Taurus passed me heading down the mountain. I imagine it needed a new wheel alignment when he got home. Road FR225 is rough and tough but 2 wheel drive is all that is needed. Seat belts are required to keep your head out of the roof and the rest of you in place. The original plan from looking at a map was a two hour round trip. It was two and a half hours just to go the 24 miles to Springtime campground. Now on with the pictures.

The turn off from highway 1 a few miles north of Elephant Butte does not look anything special. That is Interstate 24 the vehicle is on.

And when you start down FR139 it seems to be an ordinary NM gravel road. It seemed like it was stretching on forever. See that mountain with the rain cloud on top of it. The best I could figure out was we went some where up on the side of it.

A little ways down FR139 was this sign announcing the distance to Springtime Campground as 24 miles. At my normal loose gravel travel speed, it seemed that we would be there in about an hour. HA. It was over 2.5 hours of driving. You will see why shortly.
After several miles of beautiful valleys and ridges we came to the intersection with FR225, a sadistic little road. The sign is actually optimistic. Only a complete idiot would try to take a trailer on this road a second time. Believe the sign and leave your trailers and low clearance vehicles at home.
Right at this intersection on the left is the remains of a settlement of some sort, but it is posted and on private property. These next three pictures are samples of the scenery during the next twenty miles. The road wound around so much my sense of direction was totally gone.

This is from as close to the edge of a sheer canyon wall as was safe for me to be.

When you get through this pass and around the corner you find the surprise in the next picture.

This sign to the Luna site was a surprise right after another hairpin turn which required more white knuckle pressure.
This was a welcome respite form the driving.

Here you see one of the three tables at designated campsites. These are very nice looking tent campers’ spots or maybe a shell camper like the Truck has. Please do not let all the bear and mountain lion signs scare you away. There is even a two hole out house down the side of the hill a little ways. It even had toilet paper provided!!

From the Luna site a lot more very dramatic driving was needed. The mountain was notched to handle one pickup truck barely. On coming traffic would have been interesting to handle. Many times the edge of the cliff was about a foot from my tire while the brush was scraping the other side of the Truck. At the same time the scenery was fantastic making it difficult to keep your eye on the road. Like was said a sadistic road. You could fill up a lot of camera cards on this road.

FINALLY we reached the Springtime Campground. It is a tiny little thing stuck way back in the woods. A few trails start from there.
According to my trail guide books of this mountain range, these are probably the least hiked trails in the USA. Good grief that road we drove would be bad enough for me if I was hiking.
From the campground on back out to the hwy 1 intersection was a lot more dusty gravel road. Since this is NF land, dispersed camping is allowed. Every where you look is places that would make great woodsy camp sites. Farther down below the tree line was great looking prairie sites. You can easily bring a trailer in from this direction.

About halfway down the mountain was this beautiful sight.
The total trip through the mountains and back to the highway was only about 46 miles but took me nearly four hours of exciting driving. My arms were actually tired from all the steering that was required. The pine forests, canyons, cliffs above me, prairies and general views were well worth the tire tread left on the “road”.

Now this has been one serious way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Half Size Wrong

Comfort Castle Location: South Monticello Unit, Elephant Butte State Park, New Mexico

At four pm it was 94 in the shade and in the breeze under the shade shelter.

The humidity must be near minus fifty percent. When you step outside it is instant chap your lips dry. Not much outside went on today.

Elephant Butte State Park at the main section is having power boat races this weekend. My Team is staying away from the crowds. John of Travlin with John is camped right across from the main entrance. Hopefully the crowds and noise is not too bad.

A faint hint of brain function this morning caused me to wonder about my shoes. About ten years ago my feet began to get longer and a lot wider. What started as an 8.5 D shoe requirement is now a 10 EEEE requirement. My old walking shoes that will not wear out are 9.5 EEEE and for a few months have not fit properly. Back in July a pair of 10 EEEE shoes was purchased but the old ones were kept in service. For my standard mile and a half walk this morning my old shoes were put on and off we went….. for a short distance. They hurt so it was back into the Castle to see what was wrong. HMMM the socks were ok, the lacing was ok, no rocks or junk in the shoe and the insoles were in great shape.

AH HA the hint of brain function hit me between the eyes. Why not try out the new larger shoes that are hidden somewhere in the Castle? Good idea!!! After a few minutes they were found. The lacing was changed to what was needed for my feet and off we went for a try out. WOW why did I wait so long? The walk around the campground was a lot nicer with the correct size shoes on my feet.

When my feet got me back to the Castle a clean out of old size shoes was made. Three pair of “Oh they will get by for a little while longer” shoes are now in the dumpster. That gives me some more empty storage area in the Castle. There was already more spare storage space than used storage space. Now it is late in the evening and my feet still feel decent. Maybe this lesson will stay active in my brain for the future twenty years or so.

In spite of the heat, Sightseer needed to be set up for better carrying in the back of the Truck. The previous bike, Sturdy Steed, had different proportions than Sightseer so the mounting points for safe transport did not fit just right. Leaving Sightseer all together and lying in the back of the Truck turned out to be a very wrong way of transport. There was too much stuff back there banging into the bicycle drive train and wheels. So today, in the heat like the fool I am, the fork mount was relocated and attached to the bed of the Truck in a carefully measured spot.

Now it is likely that Sightseer is the last bike of my life so keeping it in good riding shape is important to me.

With a good walk this morning, the shoe mess figured out and remounting of the fork bracket all coming out good, it must have been a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Never Never Land

Comfort Castle Location: South Monticello Unit, Elephant Butte State Park, New Mexico

When the Team came here one of the goals was to use the Puddle Boat to explore the flooded canyons and gullies. The problem is that the lake is so far down that the canyons and gullies are dry and have to be explored on foot. The Puddle Boat is for shorter distances. For the shape the lake is in at this time you would need a full fledged touring yak in the 18-20 foot length to go the distances to items of interest. Another problem is getting PB down the cliffs to the shore line that is way down from normal.

Since the next point of the shore can been seen across a valley from the campground, my interest was instigated to go look around over there. Some map research and Google Earth research was done. Now a general idea of the roads was in my mind. So the Truck led the way. OOPS The first expected road did not exist.

Now we are down to the OFM seat of the pants navigation. That means we could end up anywhere. It is good the fuel tank is full!!! A gravel and dirt “road” seemed to cross the valley. Then on the other side another “road” led off in the general direction of my wishes. That “road” finally intersected with two more dirt trails at a Y. There right hand trail was chosen and off we went into never never land. The trail was fairly rough in many places but the soil was firm so we went on toward the lake.

Eventually after a long time of slow crawling along the trail, it came to a drop off of about ten to twelve feet of steep loose rock. There were tracks of other vehicles, but since the Team is alone in this effort, we chose to turn back at this point.

However we had come a long ways out into the area of interest. In this first picture the view is back across the valley toward the campground about a mile away. The campground is in the center top of the mesa in the picture. Clicky to enlarge it.

We might as well have been on Jupiter for all we could expect for help if there was trouble. From that same spot a picture was taken looking north away from the campground toward more of what once was lake. There certainly are a lot of shallow mud flats out there.
As we meandered our way out of this area, it was noted that there is thousands of acres of land available for primitive camping just waiting for real campers instead of RVers.

Good fortune did smile on me when a wild guess was taken and a different trail was taken across the desert/ lake bottom. Of all silly things there was a road sign where the Truck came out of the lake bottom. It pointed the way to a real road from this area back to the highway. This ought to be easy now was my erroneous thought. This is what the real road was like almost all the way to the highway except when it was rutted and washed out or rocky and hilly. My impression from the maps is that it would be a blacktop road. WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL.
We found more gullies and more gullies and the road climbed in and out of them for several miles. When the Truck finally topped out on the mesa, this next picture was taken to show you how those gullies disappear. In the picture there is a large deep one just about two hundred meters straight out in front of the camera. It starts just the other side of the green bush in upper center of the picture.
Every new area that gets explored gives me new information about the outdoors, like these disappearing gullies in this area.

It was actually nice to get out of that area. There were too many places the Truck could have gotten stuck or a person could get badly hurt walking around. That area needs to be explored with two competent vehicles with tow straps on hand. At least four folks in the group would be recommended also. This is definitely not an area for wheel chairs, crutches etc.

This evening the walk around the campground resulted in a couple of nice pictures. Of course we always need a picture of some pretty yellow flowers. This was taken after the sun went behind the western mountains.

Then on return to the Castle there was a welcoming committee cavorting around near the picnic table.

And last was a nice sunset to finish of the great and SAFE day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.