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Wild Rose Pass, Texas

10/31/10

Boat For Sale

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

My morning three mile walk started reasonably early. The beach was a wonderful location to get the new header picture. There was even a greeting committee waiting for me to come by for a visit.

After the main walk, some more time was spent sightseeing at the harbor where this fine yacht was moored awaiting an eager buyer to come by. Notice the broken boom lying around on deck. It seems to need a bit of elbow grease to get it in decent shape.

Other than this walk the day was spent just letting my eyes not do much work. Maybe the new glasses will be ready tomorrow. If they are it will help a lot in trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/30/10

The Good Doc

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

My body is rejecting that double bag donation of yesterday. It will not be attempted again. If they are not happy with a unit of whole blood then they will get nothing and a different donor location will be tried. When your body tells you to do not do that again, it is time to listen carefully.

When the energy accumulated to enough to get out and around this morning, it was over to the harbor to see what was dawning.

The day was cool, clear and very bright sun as you can see above. The weekend folks were out in decent numbers to enjoy the day.

A pleasant item to report is the eye doctor that did my exam. He is Mitchel Wess from San Antonio. Excellent “bedside manner” and answered my questions well and clearly. He is recommended if you are here and need help.

And when you need glasses or contacts the man to see is Jack Riggs at Bay Optical in Aransas Pass. Check this earlier blog entry for all the good details.
http://ofmadventures.blogspot.com/2009/12/can-see-again.html is the place to see all about Bay Optical.

A Saturday market day was happening at the big grass area next to the harbor. Since my body is still not up to major excitement, the chosen adventure was to wander the market area. Now this is for the most part a normal small town market days with not much exciting about it. So only one vendor got a picture taken of the items they have for sale.

Some of the stuff is actually pretty nice but aimed at folks with houses of some sort not a 20’ camper. It took about a half hour to slowly check out the booths. Most of the vendors were still setting up and not ready to chat yet.

When that was finished, crossing the street to the north brought me to this fellow who was starting his morning out really actively.

A leisurely walk back to the Truck by way of the beach (that’s for you, sis) and off to the grocery store. It is not known why but it was wrong. The HEB was where the Truck took me. For some reason the layout of HEB stores turns me off instantly upon entering. They are a confusion of gondolas in no decent order that I have ever been able to figure out. The prices here in Rockport at the HEB are more competitive than most HEB stores so that part worked out OK.

So it was back home and put the groceries away. Then the rest of the day was spent just recuperating by being lazy. In reality an occasional day of recuperating can be a good way to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/29/10

Got Needled

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Coastal Bend Blood Center, Corpus Christi, Texas

The tech said that this new to me procedure would cost about thirty minutes and help a lot more folks than the normal unit of blood. So I agreed to do it instead. The final result is supposed to be a unit of plasma and a unit of blood donated. That sounded wonderful for an extra fifteen minutes of sitting in the couch.

Well things did not go just right. Over an hour later my release was obtained. At least the fluids got put into the bags for use. My right arm, in the past, has always given the techs trouble. Today was no different. Next time the left arm will be used.

The needle stopped flowing several times. A few heat packs were applied to my arm and shoulder to keep the blood flow going. The needle had to be manipulated four or five times to get the flow going again.

And afterward the puncture point did not want to stop leaking blood. So the pressure bandage was required to be on for a couple of extra hours. But when it was all finished, my reward was this Tee shirt.

Helping others is one decent way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/28/10

Ninja Malt

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, Texas

Since my eyes do not like to read or work on the computer and stay in focus, my day is filled with adventures. Of several today with the first starting at 0630 and running until 1430 one had to be chosen. The others are in a folder on my computer labeled SPARES.

About 1400, that is computer time for 2 pm, a wild hair hit me between the eyes and the Team headed for Mustang Island. The State Park was the most distance away destination. When we turned in the attendant warned the Truck that the beach sand was soft and to be careful. She warned me the wind was severe. She was very correct on both counts.

Because the Truck is not really set up with the proper tires for running the beach, it was parked in the paved parking lot. Stiff wall higher pressure trailering tires are not good beach tires. You need soft wall “balloon” tires on the beach. The front heavy diesel is not a great choice either.

In the parking lot the extremely fine sand was blowing up a storm. It actually looked like a fine dense mist as it fluttered across the parking lot. The Truck was left shut up very tightly. The portacan facilities had about a quarter inch of fine sand on everything inside them. It is good to shut you vehicle up when you leave it for several reasons, one of which you will see at the end of this blog.

Walking on the beach was a challenge. My guess is the wind was steady thirty plus gusting to well over forty miles per hour. Seashells were blowing along the beach with the sea grasses and other debris. Some of it hurt when it hits you. At least the mosquitoes did not have a chance. Wind sculpture pictures were hard to come by. You could actually stand and watch one being formed but before a picture could be taken POOF it was blown away. It was odd to be watching a sand mound about the size of a gallon jug suddenly explode into a cloud and disappear down the beach.

One small sculpture held together long enough for a quick picture. The dark stuff holding the sand together is left over seaweed from the summer. This one actually lasted about two minutes before it evaporated. It was about three inches tall.

All over near the water was a new phenomenon to me. The wet sand was even being sculpted and moved along. These little points are in the order of a half inch tall and formed up and blew away in the time of about five minutes.

This is one of the picnic shade shelters near the parking lot. It clears the sand by less than three feet now. It was the site of a lunch for me last summer but now it is not usable.

Skip forward a couple of hours now. More happened at the beach but my eyes are starting to get really bad. Come on new glasses!!!!!

On the way back to the Castle, a chocolate malt molested me in Port Aransas. So the local paper was read while the wonderful delicious decadent chocolate malt was thoroughly enjoyed. When I was back in the Truck this bird was noticed in the open window of the vehicle next to the Truck.
It was rummaging around in the vehicle and now and then hopped on the window with something it found to eat. I bet it left some deposits inside the vehicle for the owner to appreciate. That bird was definitely trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/27/10

New Doctor

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

A trip to an eye doc yielded a wonderful optometrist here in Rockport. A new glasses prescription was given and off to the glasses maker. New glasses are due early next week. With any luck at all, that will fix the migraine problem for a few months. Reading or working on the computer for more than three or four minutes at a time is all my eyes will handle.

So relax and enjoy the innovation of one of the local special folks that hang out around the harbor.


They seem to always be trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/26/10

Migraine Troubles

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

For your pleasure here are pictures of the sunrise this morning. They were taken about fifteen minutes apart.




Two migraine attacks today, one mid morning and another about seven pm that is still in progress has shortened tonight’s blog.

Please do not expect the blog to continue daily. These migraines are basically taking me out of publishing. I will return when things improve. The repeating blindness gets in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/25/10

Getting Well

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Lying around and healing was the big adventure for today. It is just as well as anything exciting since the wind was blowing the decals off the castle for most of the day. The TV antenna had to be lowered since the wind was trying to rip it off the roof.

After supper a ride down around the harbor was taken in the Truck. The Blue Wave Beach did not even have many folks out on it. The wind made eating potato chips outdoors impossible. Here is the web cam that is located down in the center of the harbor/ beach area.
http://weather.weatherbug.com/TX/Rockport-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?camera_id=RCKTM

The last I checked it the view was of the Blue Wave Beach. Sometimes it shows the harbor. The “protected” harbor was getting some white caps inside on the waves. Those nice boats and even the not so nice boats were giving their mooring lines a good workout.

Rockport has been in a lot of my blogs and will be in a lot more of them. After traveling most of the western USA and checking out lots of locations that are very nice, Rockport Texas has been chosen to be my “home base”. Most likely this area will be the Team’s normal winter months spot in spite of the corrosion. The average low temperatures in the winter run in the mid to low forties. My old joints really like that idea of cold. When the old joints are creaking and groaning from the cold, it can be difficult to try to get out and have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/23/10

Special Assistant

Comfort Castle Location: SeaWind RV Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Riviera, Texas

A nice walk around the area provided some insight to what is available to enjoy here near the park. Between the Campground and the bay is a nice county park with several types of facilities.
The entrance to the complex is marked with this very nice “monument” so you easily know where to turn.

The first turn is to the left and goes to the county boat ramp. There are ramps for four boats at a time and lots of parking. The next turn is also to the left and goes down into the day use area and the fishing pier. The pier is apparently a fishing pier because no catching has been seen in the three days here.

The day use area has restrooms and playground equipment. Around the day use area is an exercise trail that is a half mile loop. Many stations are set up to help you keep your fitness. Among the neat things in the day use area are the contorted trees. Standing straight and tall is not part of this hurricane and strong wind area. Check out this set of trees near the restroom.

The road leads on into the campground past many shrubs with beautiful red or multicolored flowers like these.

When you finally get to the office you are greeted by this special assistant hanging from a tree near the door.

Inside the office you will usually find Barbara or Glenda to assist you in getting a great campsite and joining in all the fun that goes on around the campground.

Late in the afternoon another migraine shut me down but before that a great effort was made at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/22/10

The Myth Is Busted????

Comfort Castle Location: SeaWind RV Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Riviera, Texas

What happened today? Who knows? Not me. Suddenly it was after six and my stomach was taking control of my life. FEED ME FOOL. Where did the day disappear? Where are the pictures planned to be in tonight’s blog that have not even been taken yet? They are still out there waiting for fool with the camera to get moving on them.

Getting started on cleaning the outside of the Castle was the productive activity for the day. First one of the water hoses had to be repaired. Next was getting the equipment out to clean the rig. After rinsing the Castle it was obvious that some much more serious cleaning was needed on the outside.

A “myth” in the RV world is that Bounce dryer sheets will get the bugs off the fiberglass no matter how long they have been cooking in the desert sun. Yeah Right has always been my thought. My normal scrubbing techniques have not been very successful. A few months ago a small box of Bounce was purchased and has been carefully aged in a cabinet. With my usual lack of success with my techniques it was decided to try the Bounce to bust that myth all to pieces. WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL. (This is getting to be a way of life with me.) THE MYTH IS FACT. In less than five minutes more old bugs were cleaned off the front of the Castle than a half hour of scrubbing had done.

WOW. This is definitely the much better way to scrub bugs off the exterior. By now it was getting later and the belly event in the first paragraph took over my life.

In the morning, a run to Wal-Mart to get some cleaning and other supplies will need to be done. Then, maybe, some more pictures around the campground will get taken. There are a lot of neat things yet to show and talk about in the area. However getting the Castle cleaned up is first priority.

This campground is a very good facility but it is a long drive from nearly everything you might need. Wal-mart is a 44 mile ($8) round trip so planning your trips is important to save money. If it were closer to places to use my toys, it would be a first choice for wintering.

A couple from Kansas is next door to me and nice to visit. This is their eleventh year to come here for the winter. To my surprise they told me that only one year did they actually have enough mosquitoes to bother them. The campground is next door to a major marsh area so there ought to be mosquitoes in great quantity.

Tomorrow is ladder and Bounce day. The sun is supposed to be shining and the temperature warm with strong winds to keep me dry and cooled as the effort is made to try and have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/21/10

The Choice Is Made

Comfort Castle Location: SeaWind RV Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Riviera, Texas

Today was spent on the road looking at locations for staying warm this winter. Lots of campgrounds have available spaces to my surprise. Normally in the past most were filled up with reservations by now. Not this year as the reservations has slowed a good bit from previous years. A reservation has been made and the Team will be moving to it next week.

My backside is tired of all the driving of the last few days. That backside is telling me to get out and do some exercises or it will get broader. Perhaps that is some good advice. Now all that is needed is for my mail that is on order to come in. After that the Team is free to move at any time towards the pursuit of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/20/10

Lots Of Flowers

Comfort Castle Location: SeaWind RV Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Riviera, Texas

After a miserable night of listening to large trucks blow their air brake air, it was finally morning. My body rolled out of bed a 6 am but the sun did not get up until nearly 8 am. Finally the decision was to head deeper into south Texas for a definitive look see at the area again. This time it would be in depth for decisions about the future.

Onward we rolled toward Corpus Christi until highway 77 came into sight. Then a turn toward the Rio Grande Valley or RGV that is very popular with a lot of Winter Texans. Personally it never seemed that attractive to me except for the lack of cold weather. But it is time to check it out carefully.

As the Team rolled south a decision was made to stay at SeaWind because of the reviews about it on rvparkreviews.com. It is a very nice park right on the water as you can see from this overhead picture.

Barbara, the manager, was wonderful to talk with and she chose a spot for me at my request. It seems to be the best in the park.

That building in the back ground is the restrooms and laundry. Right across the street is the game room and recreation hall. The sites are spaced a little better than most parks. The down side is the water is safe but high in sodium. It is a little too salty for me, so tomorrow some bottled water will be purchased.

The round pond you see is effluent treatment pond. The large body of water to the right in the overhead shot is named Baffin Bay. It is tidal salt water from Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico. Here is one of the pond.

Growing all around the park is flowering shrubs of several species. For your viewing pleasure here are some of the flowers.




The folks who make the rules in this park have made a great decision and allow you to wash your equipment. It is $3 for an RV or a vehicle and you wash it on site! Yea. Now there is no excuse for not getting the Castle and Truck cleaned up. OH BOY work to do.

Tomorrow will likely be a travel, without the Castle, on down to the RGV and look around. Then stick around this park and work for Fri, Sat and Sun. Maybe on Mon or Tue the Puddle Boat can be floated on Baffin Bay. It is only a couple of hundred yards to the water.

It will be an early night to bed to try to recover from last nights lack of sleep. Then my refreshed body will be ready for a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/19/10

Cute Lady

Comfort Castle Location: West side of I-37, Texas
Adventure Location: Texas

As the Team was about to leave the Davis Mountains State Park this lovely lady came by to tell us goodbye. Cute little thang ain’t she.


Twelve hours of driving later we are attempting our first time ever for a free campsite. It is along side I-37 in south Texas.


Now it is time for rest from all the driving in searching for a new location for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/18/10

Cracks

Comfort Castle Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas

Another easy day was required. Perhaps the weakness in my body is the result of a week at elevations over 5000 feet. Back in Washington my hiking buddies knew not to let me go much above 5000 feet and at 6000 feet I was good for about two hours before it was nearly crawling time.

As a coincidence back in May of 1979 this very park was the location of the first time my body showed that it does not like much in the way of altitudes. At that time my fitness was pretty good. Five or six times a week I ran five to seven miles after work. My run that special day in May only made it about ¾ mile before my lungs and legs just flat quit. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from that bout with the thinner air.

So tonight we get the results of two easy days. A gentle walk up skyline drive which goes up from 5100 feet at the campground to the 5600 feet elevation turned into an interesting meandering. Every morning the rangers drive the skyline road to move fresh fallen rocks to the side of the roadway. Now to digress for a story. About six years ago while on a trip near Stanley Idaho in a Camry a rock a little larger than a soft ball came flying off the cliff next to the road and attacked the Camry at the lower rearward edge of the right front fender. That is a whack that will be remembered the rest of my life.

Back to skyline drive and the rocks in the road. It was noticed during the walk that a lot of rocks seemed to be getting ready to attack a vehicle or two. My walk only covered 10% of the skyline drive, but many photographs were taken of rocks getting ready to fly. Tonight there are three examples.

The first picture is of a rock that has already lost one piece.

Here is my size 10 EEEE shoe on the little chunk that is lying next to the roadway.

This is a section where a tree above has roots breaking away chunks of the cliff face. Notice the tree root system is visible along the exposed parts of the cliff. Also notice that the tree is getting close to learning to fly. This might be an exciting event to watch when it happens.

This picture is of a rock that let go not too long ago and was just pushed over to the side of the road. Look right above the lower rock and you can see where it used to live for a few hundred years.
Notice the repaired asphalt road where the rock made a hole in the road.

Back in Washington it was not frequent but definitely not uncommon for a few folks to get killed each year by boulders falling from the cliffs above the roadway and smashing their vehicle.

A comfortable walk to one of the overlooks of Fort Davis NHS gave me a chance to take this picture from the State Park overlook where the Team goes to get aircard signal to publish this blog. The in park wifi does not like the pictures that go with my blog. The rock structure in the picture is where the parking lot is located. Notice the trail below and left of the rock structure. That is part of an excellent hiking trail of several miles. Ad far as I am concerned it is an excellent example of how a dedicated hiking trail should be done.


Just to the right in the lower right of the above picture is where the old park road came through a notch that was opened through the ridge.

It has always been a favorite view for me. It certainly gives me great feelings that this is a perfect place to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/17/10

Definitions

Comfort Castle Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas

Meander: to proceed by or take a winding or indirect course

Walk: a period of walking for exercise or pleasure

Hike: a long walk or march

Now which definition is a good one for my style. Hike is out. So it must be meandering walks that are taken for pleasure in my world. Even when on a bicycle it is a meandering ride.

Since Gumo told me to take it easy and get a day of rest all that was done was a nice two mile round trip walk to a particular over look of Fort Davis. Then after lunch or more correctly late in the day, a nice easy bicycle ride around the state park for five miles was enjoyed. That makes it an easy lazy day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

10/16/10

Da Moter Is Kaput

Davis Mountains State Park, Texas

A morning meandering walk yielded some nice times. First thing was a telescope guy a couple of sites back into the canyon. His plates are from Canada so it is likely he is a winter Texan. This is a pretty good location for viewing even though there is better at the McDonald Observatory on out highway 118.
Back in the amphitheater is some concrete topped benches. That technique has been seen a lot of places lately. Maybe it helps.


The rest of the walk was nice and helped loosen the sore muscles left over from yesterday’s hike.

When lunch time came around there was a special treat. Local lettuce was found at the grocery store yesterday. It fit very well on my ham sandwich. And WOW was it flavorful. What a change from the green cardboard the normal stores call lettuce.

Sightseer finally got out of the back of the Truck for me to ride around this mountain park. A major bike ride loop starts in Fort Davis which is about four miles down the mountain from here. The loop is highway 118 to highway166 and back to Fort Davis. If you happen to look it up on the internet it is about 65 miles with some of the most miserably steep climbs in the USA. It goes past McDonald Observatory.

Ok so the ride starts out in my middle chain ring that is my normal gear. Starting just in the campground loop the Castle is set up in; it was IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS that the middle ring would not do the job. So the chain was manually moved to the small chain ring. AH much better.
While riding the main roads in the campground, the gear of choice was frequently the next to lowest or lowest gear. Good grief. Wimp. To loop the campground is about five miles with no flat ground. Some good news is the LHT is very stable at 28 mph coasting downhill. The other good news is the brakes work very well.

Even though inside the park was a struggle, Sightseer was taken just outside the park to the first real hill of the big loop ride. Some guys call it Little Hill. At the top of Little Hill is the entrance to the park. Now this is not even a pimple compared to the next hill. Anyway Sightseer coasted to the bottom of Little Hill; about a distance of a quarter mile; to the entrance to the primitive area of the park. There Sightseer was posed for some blog pictures and me to rest a few minutes.
Then it was time to go back up Little Hill. Half way up in small chain ring and largest cog doing 2 mph was more than an OFM could put out. So it was off the bike and walk slowly to the top. Da moter is kaput. My total mileage today was only 5.69 and my quivering legs barely carried me into the Castle.

This was my first time to ride a bike in this kind of hills. Hiking does not even get me in a hint of close to the shape a person needs to be in for riding the hills. WOW. My respect for the roadies has leaped up tremendously today. The 17 miles last spring at Aransas NWR did not begin to equal the five miles today.

The LHT rode perfectly, behaved perfectly and feels like it flows with me like no other bike I have ridden. This has been a real eye opener for me. My thought was that the hiking was keeping my legs, heart and lungs in good shape. WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL.

I owe Tamia (see links for her great blog) for steering me to look at the LHT. Thank you Tamia.

Having a fantastic bicycle to ride makes for a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun, TheOFM.

10/15/10

Once Is Enough

Comfort Castle Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas

Cold Morning Edition 10-15-2010

For those who might stop here at this very nice park when traveling, the wifi has two hot spots. One is at Indian Lodge and the other is at the Interpretive Center. Most of the time the wifi is adequate and usually stable. This week the signal has been less than the best but the blog entries have been getting posted. Last night took nearly an hour to get posted.

This is still a wonderful location for visits of a few days. Hiking is great. Biking is wonderful. The restaurant Cueva de Leon in town has good food. If it is your first visit, the Fort Davis National Historical Site and the old buildings in town are worth the time for a nice visit. A good grocery store, hardware store and tourist stores all take care of my needs well.

Night Edition

If you can name a body part, it is hurting on TheOFM. The trail taken today was like doing a hula hoop on a trampoline mounted on a merry go round. The trail route was not too bad nor was the length too long. The surface of the entire trail was small to medium loose rocks on the good part. The rest was loose small boulders or rocks about the size of baseballs. Every step of the way was a great opportunity to twist an ankle or two or three. Knees were in danger and falling would have been a skin loser for certain. This train is not recommended because of the surface creating too much danger of injury. It does have some nice scenes as you will see. There are other trails in the park with much better surfaces and just as nice. It is the highlighted trail in this picture.


My start time was 12:30 pm with my hydration pack full of 2 liters of water and the weather beautiful at 70 degrees F. From the bottom of the first hill it did not look like it would be any trouble at all.

The trail starts nicely enough, but look at all the loose rock in the pathway.
Along the trail the entire way was prickly pear cactus or cholla ready to stab you if you wobble.

It was a rough tough scramble up the first hill. Many stops to let my breath come back at this 5000+ foot altitude. My heart was getting more work out than it should so the pace was brought down to a slow meander for the rest of the trail. The top of the first hill had a nice bunch of sitting rocks and some shade. It was wonderful for a rest and rehydration.

At the time of this next picture it was not in my knowledge bank that there were three more hills to climb before the final descent to Indian Lodge.
This next view is of the top of the second hill from the saddle below. My mind certainly questioned the wisdom of continuing at this moment. Anything for my readers so onward the Team went.

Arriving at the top of the second hill, the mandatory rock was added to the pile in good hiker fashion. My extremely valuable walking stick posed for the picture.

Now onward to hill three.

This is typical of the notched into the hill trail for a lot of the length of this trail.


A few flowers were on display here and there along the trail. It helped brighten the day.


Way off below was a deep space antenna it seemed. What it is for is not known to me!

Here we have the top of hill three. Yes it got a new rock placed on it as a good hiker must do.


By now my body was ready to be off the trail. Fortunately the steepness of the trail diminished noticeably even though the footing did not improve. The fourth hill was not topped. The trail went almost to the top and then circled around next to the perimeter fence for the park. This is the picture from the high point of the trail around hill four. It was down hill from this spot.


This next picture is of the canyon behind the Indian Lodge. The trail circled all the way around the canyon before coming down behind the lodge.

The end of the trail was well received by my tired body.

The walk back was a couple of more miles but the surface was a nice road. This was an interesting trail and I am glad I meandered it, but it is definitely a one time event in the effort of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.