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Rockport Texas


Lost Fishing Equipment

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Latest Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

For a spectacular shot of a hiker taken by his brother on an adjacent peak check out this link.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-mountains/headed-to-the-bend-today!/msg114327/?topicseen#new  . Soon the Teams will be rolling toward that location. Enlarge the photo until you can see him on top of the mountain.

The Messing Around Team hit the road not early this morning for unknown parts of the coastal area with fishing on the mind.  Our first stop was at Light House Lakes Park.  Wandering around on foot was exciting.  The tides were nearing normal again which is nice.  The overnight extremely heavy fog had made the mud/sand mix nasty to walk in/on. A walk under the highway bridge is always fun and today was another good walk.  In this next picture you can see the rod, reel and tackle someone had left sitting around while they did something else.  My worry about a heart attack or other bad thing victim led me to check the area more carefully than normal.  No bodies were lying around and one set of foot prints went into the water. Hmmmm

 As my feet carried me back to the shrimp boat channel and we wound around some tall bushes there appeared out in the water a human who was wade fishing.  He was likely the owner of the gear at the bridge. 

Back at the Truck it was decision time.  The decision was made to head for Packery Channel on Mustang Island.  The Packery Park was as nice as usual.  The channel was getting a dredging it looks like.

The wind was fairly strong and the incoming current was also moving right on along.  Fishing was tried as the Team fished our way all the way onto the jetty.  Along the way there were lots of fun folks to visit.  By the time the Team had made it onto the jetty the overcast had lifted and the sun started to bake me.  Off came the light jacket and it was still warm. At 1900 it was still 71 degrees F.

On the jetty across from the one where the Team was standing was some folks fishing and getting the breaking waves all over them.  These are the small waves.  The larger ones were breaking almost onto the walking surface.  Then the splash would soak the folks on the walking surface.  You can even see the droplets on the camera lens from the wave action on our side.

On the way back on the ferry we were treated to seeing a bicyclist cross on the ferry.  He loaded last and walked his bike forward.  They unloaded him first.

This area might turn out to be a great bike ride.  There are several parks and places to safely ride on both sides of the ferry landings.  Hmmm; maybe soon SightSeer needs to try that.  It might be a great way to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Ugly Stik For Snakes

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The email asked what is used to measure the fish for legality.  The answer is different rulers have been tried and this one is soon, I hope, to be tried.  A couple of years ago one was put on a Berkley Cherrywood rod to try it out.  Within three casts the rod exploded into several pieces.  Now the only rod used is the Shakespeare Ugly Stiks.  They are holding up very well and have decent action.

The story of how Ugly Stiks came to be in my life is worth telling.  A few years ago the Teams were down in Zapata, Texas checking out the area.  We stopped in Falcon Lake Tackle because the owner writes an interesting but not always family oriented blog.  He was a neat fellow in person.  At the time a lot of Falcon Lake had a lot of water up in the trees.  The rattlesnakes had taken to living in the trees and catching fish for a living. The owner of the shop told me that every fisherman needs his good fishing rods and an Ugly Stik rod in the boat.  The Ugly Stik was for beating the snakes out of the trees since nothing can hurt an Ugly Stik.  My immediate thought was that an Ugly Stik might stand up to my stupidities and they have.

So a few days ago while drooling all over everything in a favorite toy store named Tackle Town here in Rockport, it occurred to me to try out this type of ruler again and maybe even get to use it.  The new model even has stickers to mark the slot limits for your fish as you will see.

Here we have the ruler as it comes from the factory
 The ruler was unpacked and made ready.  Then the rod was given a really good cleaning to give the sticky ruler a chance to stick.

This time a different style was chosen that the suggested mounting in the instructions.  As it worked out the butt section of my main rod is ten inches long.  That is the same as the minimum length of crappie.  So the new ruler was trimmed to make use of the end of the butt of the rod as the starting part. The other end of the ruler stopped just before the joint of the two piece rod.  This was going together very well.

 After the sticky ruler was placed on the rod very carefully it was time to check it for stretch.  For some unreasonable reason it was inadvertently placed on the rod correctly to my surprise.  Now all that was left to do was put on the slot limit stickers for the different fish.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife book was opened to the limits page and each type of fish was carefully reviewed before the sticker was irrevocably installed on the rod.

Now all the needed information is mounted right on the rod so the Catching Team can stay legal on fish sizes for the normal fish caught in our efforts.

Keeping the game wardens out of your pocket book really enhances trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Crab Shells

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

ARRRRGHHH There is so many places left to go play that my mind is disintegrating trying to fit them all in with the least amount of back tracking.  This is especially difficult with a place that the Teams need to be on the first of August. 

It is funny to visit folks that do not travel full time.  It is always impossible to get the non-full time folks to understand that there is not a “next” destination. There is no planned location at any certain date, except for this year as mentioned above.  The Teams just roll out and end up being somewhere.  Many of the folks cannot handle the real answer of “I don’t have an exact planned destination next”. Some even get visibly angry with me for “keeping it a secret”. Now I have learned to just pick some reasonably well known location to say is the next destination. This winter it is named Big Bend National Park.

Some folks even think that the Teams HAVE to drive straight there in one long day of travel.  “That is a long way to go in one day”. My response is simply that the Teams will stay in Del Rio for a night.  Of course all my readers know the real story by now.  All this simply means is that sometime this year the Teams might get sort of towards Big Bend sometime maybe unless something else happens or a cricket chirps in the night and changes the Teams route. This is a great lifestyle or maybe even better.

The Truck and the OFM were about to go crazy staying around the Castle so it was off to find adventure we went.  Beachcombing became the order of the day in the high wind at the Gulf.  The jetty at Port A was swarming with folks and waves.  On down the highway we went to the Mustang Island State Park for beach access.  It proved again to be a good choice.

Apparently it must be molting season for crabs.   Dozens of smaller crab shells were accumulated on the beach.  Two nice ladies were collecting specimens of the shells for their collections.  This next picture shows the size of just about all of the crab shells found today.
 Pictures were taken of three more colorful crab shells.

 There were others but this is a good representative sample of what was on the beach.  Naturally there was other stuff from trash to interesting stuff.  It was fun looking at all the myriad of pieces of sand polished wood washing ashore.

Fish Pass has been written into this blog many times.  It was a waterway created to enhance water flow from the back bays to/from the Gulf of Mexico.  Apparently it did not last very long.  There was a large sand dune between the Fish Pass jetties at the dune line today.  It was soft and gave me two shoes full of sand to enjoy as the climb was made. 

This first picture is from the top of the dune looking seaward through the jetties.  Some nice fish are caught from those jetties at times.

Now a 180 degree turn back toward the bay gets this picture.  The highway bridge seen near the center of the picture is where Fish Pass used to cross the road to get the water to the Gulf.

From what has been told to me it did not take long for the passageway to sand in and make the pass worthless for water transfer.  It makes an “interesting” place to walk among the snakes and coyotes though.

Back in Rockport the Teams stopped at the harbor pier to try our luck with a fishing lure.  No fish were caught but several nice folks were visited.  Visiting new folks is generally a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Hard Hooded Truck

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

Noon came and went but shortly after that the Truck was delivered with the new water pump installed and tested to be correctly repaired.  The warranty is 12 months, 12000 miles.  The Truck was so happy to get out of the shop it grabbed the fuel peddle and steering wheel in its grill and took me to Whataburger to celebrate.

My thought was that it was time to go back to the Castle.  Not no but DANG IT NO was the Truck’s response.  His grill grabbed control again and when we stopped it was at the fishing pier.  The Truck said “the day is nice so get busy fool”.  OK orders are orders.

 My rod, which is always ready in the back seat, and the other stuff was assembled on my body and down the pier my feet hurried.  That Truck can sure get a POSITIVE attitude sometimes.

It wasn’t long before the first fish was on the deck.

 It was a nice fat model of speckled trout that had a lot of energy when it took the bait.  It was a good bit heavier than the last few that have been caught here.  As it turns out it measured a bit over 17” long and was quite a bit heavier than the models caught a week ago.  A nice fish all around, but ornery as you will learn in a minute.

The lure was a DOA in gold flake.

 My preference is to not handle the fish by its body so the natural slime is not messed up.  This fish was big enough that when my fish gripper was used to handle the fish, I could not get a good toss with the fish.  The first toss dropped the fish into the rocks.

Ratzzzz now a bit of rock scrambling is needed.  TheOFM does not waste natural resources if it can be avoided.  So down onto the rocks my feet went.  The fish was picked up with the fish gripper again.  Another failed fling and my feet had to take me lower on the rocks.

This time the poor fish was head down in a crack and the gripper could not reach its mouth.  So a grab on the fish with my left hand was tried.  Speckled trout have the slimiest coating in the world.  It is way slipperier than wet greased glass.  My hand just slipped off the tail area and I fell back against the barnacle and oyster covered rocks. A very nice Hispanic teenager saw me fall and hurried over to see if he needed to help me.  WOW that is nice to see there are still some good young folks in the world.

OK now try grabbing the tail with the pliers.  Yea, that worked and the fish was released into the shallow water.  It was stunned from all the handling and time out of the water.  The water was only a foot deep so if it was needed I could step in and do more to help the fish survive.  But it revived and suddenly hit the turbo chargers and cleared the area. It was a good sight to see.

The Team went back to fishing, for a short while.  My right forearm started to burn.  The sleeve of my jacket was pulled up to reveal some what looked like very minor scratches.  Another cast or three later it was obvious from the pain that something must have been on the rocks that is not good for my wound.

The gear was gathered, rinsed off, placed in the Truck and away we went.  The Truck seemed to figure out something was wrong and took the Team straight to the Castle with no argument.  When a good look at the painful area was taken, it still seemed to be a very minor scrape.  However the growing red area and burning pain did not agree on the minor-ness of it.

The first washing with soap and water in the kitchen sink did not seem to do much.  Next washing was with an old tooth brush and soap.  The scrubbing did not feel good but seemed appropriate since something must be in the wounds.  A final vigorous rinsing was done and the area patted dry.  The burning had lessened but was still there and the red area was still vibrant.  Some antibiotic crème was smeared liberally on the wounds.

In a few minutes the redness was going down.  The pain started to lessen and there was hope.  Now it is about two hours later and the area looks like a couple of piddley small so what scratches and the pain is gone.  What was on those rocks is not known.  It could be something left from the Red Tide, some tentacle left over from some jellyfish or who knows what else.  It did manage to catch my attention.

Now that the Truck is back in the Team area it will be a great assist in the goal of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Wild BillyBob Trip

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The Truck was at the dealer repair shop at 0750 this morning and for some unknown reason they did not finish with it today.  It is promised by noon tomorrow.

BillyBob and I went on a wild ride around the town that included Tex-mex food, fishing and visiting.  For a report on the trip in the most amusing style on earth check out his blog for today.

A visit with a very nice neighbor here next door to the campground rounded out the day for me.  At least the dealer is providing transportation to and from the shop.  It saved me from a day in the waiting room trying to figure out how to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


More Credit Card Abuse

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The visit to the Truck hospital turned into a diagnostic event instead of a repair.  After the tech got through with his exam, he could not definitely say what part of the water pump two piece housing or gaskets was the trouble.  Since the Truck has nearly 200,000 miles and seven years on the original water pump, the choice was to spend 6 hours of labor to take it apart and maybe replace a gasket or to spend another chunk of money and replace the old water pump while the engine was opened up.  A new water pump was chosen.

It was a surprise for me to find out the water pump is gear driven from inside the engine block.  The parts have to come from Corpus Christi and will be in tomorrow.  With the new water pump the Truck should be finished with any worry about this part of the engine for another six or seven years.  By then my age will be well over 70 and ready for another vehicle, maybe.

The game plan is to have the Truck at the repair shop of the dealer by 0800 in the morning and sit around the dealer’s waiting room for the repairs to be completed. A waiting room is not the best place for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Impressive Mr. Rex

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

An intense morning had me wishing for some relaxing event.  The event was a nice walk before lunch at the Rockport Beach.  The north half of the beach was walked in the slightly chilling breeze. The entrance was very inviting as the parking lot was crossed.

Very shortly after leaving the parking lot midway along the beach the fragrances hit me hard.  Those are some sweet smelling flowers that are growing on the small dunes that separate the play areas from the beach area.
Not many folks were out at this time.  Plenty of foot prints spoke of the crowd for the earlier hours.  It was warm enough that there were several sets of foot prints of folks who were barefoot.

By now my body was demanding some food, so it was back to the Castle for lunch.  Then some piddling around on the internet and other important goofing off occupied me.  The mail arrived and there was some import paper to fill out and get mailed.  The Team got into the Truck and headed to the Post Office.  After dropping the mail into the mailbox, the Team turned left and went into the Community Park for some more walking.

As my feet propelled me along the path, an older man was noticed ambulating along.  He cut off toward the workout equipment and my feet went on around the loop.  As my feet approached the path from the workout equipment, the old man entered the loop path.  In a little bit he moved to the side and motioned me forward.  Well we all know that TheOFM cannot pass up a chance to visit someone.  He turned out to be Mr. Rex and a wonderful fellow to visit.  Look at him closely before you read on.

 As we talked of many things for the next half hour, it was learned that he is twenty five years older than TheOFM.  That is correct; Mr. Rex is 90 years old.  He is a big fan of just keep on moving.  He and his wife used to be RVers but she prefers to rent cabins now.  Mr. Rex is ready to get another RV of some sort and keep rolling.  He definitely has my sort of attitude on life and Rving.

After this visiting was finished and the rest of the loop of the park was walked, the Truck made me go down to the harbor to try some fishing.  It is nice to report that the speckled trout are back in the area.  The fellow that owns a local restaurant was there.  He caught five trout but only two were keepers.

 My efforts yielded only one slightly undersize trout before my lure was eaten by a barnacle infested rock.  A walk back to the Truck and a replacement lure did not get me anymore fish.  However while fishing a nice fellow came by and we had an excessively long visit.  During the time visiting with Mr. Jim the new header picture was taken.

 As it turned out Mr. Jim is a traveling fellow also.  Mostly he stays in cabins or motels but does have a tent and gear with him to use as the occasion presents itself.  By the time we parted company we knew that he and I will be headed toward Bibe at close to the same time.  That is neat that we might get to visit again out west. 

You never know who you will meet and where your paths may cross again.  All you have to do is be friendly while you are out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Waiting Game

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The day was gentle and close to home.  It would not be wise to be way off somewhere and the Truck’s cooling system give up on the Team.  A little unsuccessful fishing at the harbor was the biggest thing done.  There is always some cleaning available in the Castle.

Before we roll next month, the Castle needs a last minute wash off of the salt mess.  The Truck will get a good cleaning inside and out to remove more salt mess.  The weather is doing well out west and the Teams need to be ready to roll as soon as the new controller is put into service and proven.

Hopefully the repair on Thursday will bring the Truck up to totally in shape for the next year of travels.  It is looking like a great year for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Credit Card Carnage

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

As is a usual habit with me the solar controller was checked when my head hit the pillow.  What in the world???? 15.9 volts showing on the screen cannot be.  It was very dark outside so the switch to see what else was going on was flipped.  Ahh how nice the panels were putting out 101.3 amps in the dark.  Great and the MPPT part of the system had the system up to minus 23 amps.  This controller has been acting up in the past but still seemed to work.

 Now it is definitely broken.  At least the waiting is over.  The controller was turned off and the onboard charger supply was plugged in.

The website of Handy Bob was checked for his considerations on controllers.  It was already known that an MPPT controller did my system no good.  The MPPT concept works but is far from needed for my simple and slightly used system.  So some internet searching went on this morning and found that prices on the same piece of equipment vary wildly to say the least.  One controller and supplier was chosen and an order placed for a new much better rated controller.  The new controller will handle much more panel wattage than the old one in case more power is ever needed.

 When it comes in there will be work needing to be done to get the system back on line.  A goal is a lot more boondocking next year than in the past.  A good solar system is required for that goal to be attained.

After lunch the Team was out messing around and stopped at the pier just in time to record a fellow catching a nice speckled trout.  The fish flipped loose as it was being hauled onto the pier but got stuck in the rocks.  The fisherman clambered down on the rocks and recovered the fish.  This picture lets you see that it was a nice size for taking home for supper.

Now for the rest of the bad news for your enjoyment.  The Truck is leaking coolant from another place.  My favorite mechanics took about a half hour searching for the leak and found it was in an area they did not want to tangle with for repair.  The elaborate water pump area is the zone of the leak.  Now the Team has an appointment next Thursday at the GM dealer in Aransas Pass for repairs.  Likely it will not be a cheap repair.   There are still a few days before the 2-12-12 rolling date. Things have certainly been disruptive today.

For the next couple of days it seems wise to stick closer to home during my efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Neat Clock

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The return flights from going to see the makers of my soon to be grandchild was smooth and pretty much on time.  The parking lot of Corpus Christi International Airport was 83 degrees as the Truck was getting ready to take me back to the Castle.  It was a great trip and the visiting was pretty well toward the goal of great fun. 

My DIL made a clock that is really neat.

 The small circles tell the time.  The left circle shows the hour and the right circle shows the minutes.  She made it about two hours she said.

They also have a super pup named Fezzick.  Fezzick can absorb more petting than any other five dogs in the world put together.  GUARANTEED.
Here he is resting because we got busy and left him alone for a few minutes.

Tonight is my bed again night.  They are excellent hosts, but my bed fits me perfect so I am anxious to use it again.

We found me a campground for when the Team goes back for the show and tell of the new grandkid.  It will be a madhouse with the four or five hundred relatives trying to get a cuddle or two on the new kid in the first few days.

The Truck has a new coolant leak that is going to be checked out tomorrow.  It would be nice to get all the possible trouble fixed before the Traveling Team heads out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Compass Park

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

It was a bright nice day with no agenda.  That made it perfect for meandering.  A small triangle of land across from Little Bay attracted my attention.  It was a city park and it looked very nice and inviting.  My meandering feet just had to take a look and see what it was like.  Extremely nice is what it looked like when it was toured.
There are about five parking spots on the side street for vehicles.  A good walking path invites you to explore and the flowers invite you to relax.  The palm trees show the effects of the open windblown area but also add a lot of interest to the park.  In fact the trees are what caught my attention in the first place.

 There are a few benches made of stone scattered around for your enjoyment of the views of little bay.  The stone that was used blends in well with the natural materials environment of the park.
The focal point of the park is the compass rose.  It is a nicely done effort with a small labyrinth in the middle.

The main points of the compass are marked in pleasant fashion.  Yep the orientation was checked with my compass.  They agreed.

The aroma of the flowers was strong on this day.  The cool breeze from off the water was nice.  The view was very good.  It is hard to believe that sitting next to the busiest highway in town is this very refreshing city park.  It was a great interlude in a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


A Stench

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

Here is BillyBob getting ready for golf as he chuckles to himself about the severe stomping he is going to be giving me.  Ratzzz he did it too.

 My golf game was so bad the course sent a hazmat team out to find out where the horrible stench was coming from.  But it sure beat being in an office somewhere working.

Back nearly home the decision was to check the harbor pier for fish.  When the Truck was parked and arctic hound came wandering over to check me out.

 Jana is a sweetie.  Her movements are very quiet and she does not bark.  Usually she is very responsive to invitations to get her ears scratched.  All in all a wonderfully nice pup.

On the way through the neighborhoods to the Castle a strange sight assaulted me.  The camera was grabbed as the Truck kept moving.  The picture is through the dirty glass.  There was a herd of a dozen or so deer crossing the street between houses.  This is all the picture that was gotten before they disappeared into the trees.

 Now it is time to lay back and rest from a hard day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Driveway Paving

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

Some folks might consider the pictures on this website nice to view.

http://www.lancesnead.com/   They are very enjoyable to me.

My edamame beans were cooking in the microwave. Then there was this fragrance that did not seem correct.  Everything was shut down to find out where the fragrance was being generated.

Those used to be pretty green beans until the directions on the package were followed exactly.  Now they are paving rocks for the driveway.  At least the fish come out correct.

 In the early afternoon it was time for exercise, so out the door my body went.  The Truck took us to the Rockport Beach to get in some walking.  And walk we did. A bit over three and a half miles was the final tally. It was a decent day out with a cool breeze but overcast.  The beach was basically reserved for me as you can see.

Walking on that loose sand will definitely give your legs and joints some serious exercise.

Now for the bad news.  Tomorrow about 1100 another bad butt beating starts on my body.  Old BillyBob done called and said that it was time to meet my fate on the golf course again. By the time we finish he will once again run out of space on the score card for keeping my score.  As long as my score can stay under three digits per nine holes, it will be ok.

Two folks I know from up in Washington State emailed me today to tell me about all the snow they are having up there right now.  During my five years there snow was a problem only once one winter.  Well they are getting plenty to make up for it now.  For May through September the Richland Washington area is about as fantastic a playground as you can ask of the earth.  But the rest of the year it is time to be rolled south.

Yep rolling south for the winter is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.



Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 1, 2012

It was a gentle day of no adventures and a long nap in the afternoon.  Early, sort of, this morning a check of the water conditions at the harbor brought me a surprise.  The Truck was parked at the foot of the pier in a normal spot.  When my nose exited the Truck a wonderful sweet fragrance of flowers assaulted me with vigor.  It turned out to be some growths in the shell at the corner of the bay and the pier.
The fragrance was a welcome change from the stench of the Red Tides and decaying fish of the recent history in the area.  A closer picture of the flowers was attempted.  If my guess is right these are some lantana flowers.  If not please someone let me know the correct name for them.

At the last part of the evening another visit was paid to the pier area for some walking. My head feels like there is some allergen running around in the air causing my sluggishness.  Light exercise seemed to be in order and it did help.  The atmosphere was quickly turning thick and opaque as the sun set on the harbor.

By the time the Truck was boarded for the trip home everything was dripping wet including me. The cool front tonight should clear out some of the fog and make tomorrow a great day for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Spring Break Plans

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 1, 2012

Check your calendars and mark that the Texas spring break for most schools is from March 10 through March 18.  Plan your adventures to be in the right place at the right time. Campgrounds in good locations can be packed to overflow that week.  Last year the Teams were in Bastrop Texas that week because all the places we wanted to be were booked solid full.  This year should be different.  Experience can be a major asset at times when planning where to be at what time.

The groaning of my body made me choose to take it easy today on the exercise.  Things did not feel right for riding or long walks and the wind has been very noticeable as in near 30 mph.  Laundry was done in a slow easy fashion.  Then fish was prepared for lunch and tonight will be shrimp.

The afternoon was whiled away visiting a couple of folks here in the park and more travel research.  There certainly is a lot of country to cover yet just in New Mexico and Texas.  It seems to me my travels started a minimum of ten years too late. But that means there is no running out of places to head to for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


New Team Member

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

The sore body did not want to get out much today.  A few miles of bike riding and a couple of miles of walking summed up all the exercise.  It is a good thing to listen to your body and not push it beyond reasonable limits, especially as you get into the senior years.   Stopping totally is really wrong also.

The hitch itch is very strong these days.  Planning needs to be done in the future to prevent these long stays in one spot.  The Teams are into the fourth month here.  It is a nice place but after three months we should have been rolling.

With that in mind a lot of research into western locations to play has been going on.  My new Team member is a map book of Arizona by Benchmark.  Most of today has been cuddled up with the Delorme New Mexico book and internet sites about boondocking locations in Arizona and New Mexico.  Good grief there is a LOT of information out there in the WWW.

Research about new places to play can be very good for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Mean Teeth

Adventure Location: PINS, Texas
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

By 1100 hours it was known that a bike ride needed to take place.  Where was the question.  So the Truck started out rolling toward the diesel fuel pump to get enough fuel to carry us to anyplace within reason.  The wind was calm at the campground but a touch of chill was in the air.  As we rolled different places were discussed with the Truck. The Truck was insistent on Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) and would not listen to any other suggestions at all.

PINS was not very busy and we parked at the Malaquite Visitors Center parking lot.  It is a huge parking lot so we had lots of room to get ready to ride. Finally we made the mount and off we rolled.  SightSeer (SS), the bike, was anxious to strut its stuff but the OFM was a bit more restrained. A turn to the left and quickly we were at the beach.  A stop at the end of the paving was made to think about this and take a picture of some of the campers on the beach.

 Last time we tried to ride on the beach it was very difficult, but the sand had not been trampled down like it is today.  In the picture above you can see where lots of vehicles have been compacting the sand.  SS decided it could ride on the compacted sand so off we went. But not very far.  Even the compacted sand could not stand up to the 65 psi pressure of SS’s tires.  Check out these ruts made before SS and I parted ways.

SS was walked all the way down to the wet sand. 
Some riding on the wet sand was attempted but there were many soft spots to cause lots of ….pauses in the riding.  What was decided was that a special bike just for beach riding is needed!  Something with super wide  low pressure tires and very low gears that you can afford to replace every three years or so due to rust.

When we stopped to get me some new pants at Academy, a sporting goods store in the south, some bikes were checked out.  There was one there that should do the job with only minor changes for a great big price of $79.99.  The main change would be to replace the torture seat with a quality Brooks saddle.  Then you would have a good beach bike.  Another toy   Hmmmmmm.

After SS was walked across the sand to the pavement, we headed out for some miles of riding.  Naturally some wind was starting to get into action in the afternoon.  As part of the path we rode, we went through the paved campground near Malaquite Beach.  There were fourteen empty spaces waiting for someone to come enjoy the park.  These spaces are right against the large dunes and will handle very large rigs with ease.

Behind me are the sites on the surf side.  There are small dunes between the beach and these sites.  These sites are gravel/sand and catch the brunt of the salt air coming ashore.  There are several tent sites on this side.  In general it is a nice campground with fresh water and a dump station right at the entrance.  You provide your own electricity in this location.  There are nice rest rooms with cold water showers.

Small units and big units are all welcome here for the $8 a night or $4 a night with the old farts pass for those of us over 62.  All sorts of interesting folks camp here.

 The fellow in the small camper was a nice fellow to visit.  He had found a rod and reel washed up on the beach a day or so ago.  But the best part he told me was that when all the folks catch too many fish, they have big fish fry’s for the campers.  He really likes not having to cook.

After only 7 miles my legs were shot.  This makes me think that biking can build hiking legs but hiking does not build biking legs.  Anyway some beach walking was done.  A lot of fish carcasses are still up near the dunes.  Most of them are mullet but this devil was definitely not a mullet.  Check out those teeth that even show up in the shadow. That was not a fish to grab by the lower lip to land it.

It was getting to be late afternoon and time to head home.  The stop at Academy put us on the road after 1700 so we went back to Rockport by the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge.  The traffic flowed very smoothly to my surprise.  The Castle was waiting for us and had the inside warmed up just right.  Bike riding, beach combing and shopping for new pants all joined together to make a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


The Tummy Leads

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012

There was a delay in the starting of the morning because the warm mattress and covers on my bed would not let me get up.  However it was known that there were important chores to accomplish.  With great effort and determination the OFM was able to finally beat back the covers at 0745 and escape to begin the day. That bed can certainly be determined some days.

After breakfast was finished, it was blog reading time.  Then the big task was taken on.  The kitchen was scrubbed down and made to be a sparkling example. Whew that was a lot of work.  The shovel and hoe was stored away next to the power washer so they will be ready the next time the kitchen needs cleaning.

Hungry time had arrived and cooking did not seem worth the bother so it was off to Mustang Island to mess around.  A chile relleno plate in Port Aransas hit the spot very well and now what to do next.  If the Team went back to the Castle it might want to put me back to work.  No Thanks.

Hmmm my legs do need to do some walking.  It is bright sun, cool and a small breeze like a good beach walking day should be.  So that became the plan for the afternoon.  The State Park readily allowed the Team in with the presentation of my annual pass.  The beach was even firm enough that the heavy front end of the Truck did not sink very much at all.

When the walking Team exited the Truck, the breeze quickly made my eyes start to leak.  My homemade side shields were retrieved from my wallet and installed on my glasses.  Man o man did that help lessen the wind effect.  Now the Team could walk in peace.

 There were very few folks on the beach.  In the two miles plus of the walk, only about eight folks total were seen.  This lady was shelling and being very selective on what she put into her bag.  From the looks of the license plate and truck she was in, they are RVers.  RVers know to not add much weight to the rig.

A walk out on the jetty where my near disastrous fall occurred last time I was here had to be made. This time I won against the rocks.  In fact the granite rocks were so over whelmed that one of them volunteered to take a picture of the OFM with the Truck in the background.  Notice that my tummy gets places at least ten minutes before I do.  This picture is named “OFM on the Rocks”.

By no means does this OFM consider himself to be an excellent photographer worthy of giving advice on how to take great pictures.  This next section is just to give an example of some of the things that can be done with a camera without much effort.

As my efforts at finding some good wind sculptures were proving fruitless, it occurred to me to mess around some with the camera.  This first shot is standing up and looking down at this area of wind sculptures.  They range from three inches to about ten inches in height.  That is a washed up old water heater in the background.

The next picture is from essentially the same camera spot, but the camera was held about four inches off the sand.  It certainly makes things look different.  Reminds me of the picture I took at Davis Mountains State Park last year of a snake’s eye view of a foot bridge.
Now let us take that photo and do some cropping of the main attraction. By taking out reference items like the grass in the back ground and the water heater it becomes much more difficult to get a perspective on the height of the wind sculptures.

Changing reference points and cropping can make pictures come out quite a bit different than they first appeared to be.  Click on the pictures to get the full effect.  Messing around with pictures is another good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

Early Sat Morning Edition

An apparently nice fellow named Steve has made a comment on the blog. Here is something of an explanation of my reasons for being so careful in responses.

There are difficulties associated with having a reasonably open blog whereby you can be tracked down by almost anyone. Here are a few examples that I have had to deal with.

A person approaches or emails me like my best friend ever.  A short friendly spiel then the sales DEMAND.  You really need  the dohicky I am selling. It will make your  etc etc.   These jerks get told where to go rather quickly and emphatically.

A person approaches or emails me telling me all about how great my blog is etc etc. And how good I am at fixing things etc etc   Usually in three or four minutes they are lining out three weeks work for me to do for free.  These jerks are informed of the nearest rv repair place I know of.

Several times a month emails come it with solicitations to let them help me make my blog much better and get out to more folks.  I no longer even answer those.  One woman even threatened me that if I did not use her service she better not ever run into me in real life.

About twice a year there are the emails that I am writing my blog wrong and have to change it to the way they want it written.  OR do a bunch of research to give them an answer that they are too lazy to research themselves. These are normally very pushy people.

We will not even consider the offers to help me mend my ways by joining their “group” with my check book of course.

There you have a few of the interesting folks that you can encounter when you start an open blog like mine, but not the whole list at all.  So Steve and others, I hope you can better understand my caution about first encounters without some background to draw on.

Over all it is a rewarding experience meeting lots of different folks.  Most are friendly and reasonable meetings.  Often it turns into a long visit with lots of laughter.  Now these encounters are wonderful and the most frequent and usually happen several times a week and are great for helping in the quest for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.