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Rockport, Texas

9/30/12

Jena The Ferocious


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
BULLETIN:  The Old Fool has passed away. He was a very interesting blogger. http://www.oldfool.org/2012/09/old-fool-journal-shikt-halole-n.html Read the comments to get the latest news. He will be missed.

The Fishing Team headed for Light House Lakes this morning only to get a major surprise.  The park was full of kayaks, trailer loads of kayaks.

So we kept on moving toward the Gulf.  Crossing the ferry went very well. No line and a few moments pause was all there was to the crossing. Then it was onward to the Aransas Pass Jetty. When the Truck found a spot in the crowded conditions, the wind was so strong it was impossible to leave the Truck door open.  So the Truck turned around and them the Jetty Fishing Team could prepare for action.

We found a spot that looked decent and stepped up to cast.  The wind brought the lure back to the rocks.  This will be difficult it seems.

Two fish were caught while we were there.  The fellow immediately to the OFM’s right caught a nice size black drum.

Then the fellow a bit closer to shore caught a nice size speckled trout. He did not have a measuring stick with him to make sure it was a legal size to keep.  The OFM offered up his rod with the scale attached.  The fish was a nice fat 16.5 inches long. Plenty long to be legal to keep.
The wind was just too much so the Teams decided to leave. On the way back to the ferry we tried some back roads and found this lovely shrub in spectacular bloom.

Later at the Rockport Harbor we visited with Earl and his ferocious wolf Jena.  Here is Jena in her lair.

She moves very quietly everywhere she goes.  The OFM was sitting on the nearby wall discussing very important things with Earl when a cold nose on his exposed back startled him.  It was Jena wanting a scratching.

She scares a lot of folks just laying out on the concrete or grass for some reason.  However she is a very considerate and nice puppy.  Even dogs that come bark at her get ignored. Getting a nice visit from Jena is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/29/12

Confusion


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

That darn OFM is a busy son of a gun. He is getting his stuff in order for more of something. Maybe we will find out later what is going on in his head other than the rattling of his pea brain.

First thing he did was head to the grocery store to refill the Castle.  Of course when he got there a cute young nurse was giving flu shots, so he had to piddle around and flirt with her for a while. Of course someone 55 years old is young to the OFM.  Medi-care pays for the shot so of course he has to get one. However it does seem to help and living alone you need all that kind of help you can get.

Finally we got around to buying food.  Even with a list he had trouble finding everything he wanted to take home. $40 later the Team made it back to the Castle just before another rain storm.

Before you knew it he was on the computer getting the new tags for the Rolling Team ordered and paid for. Texas sure makes it easy to divest yourself of money. WOW.

The OFM decided to try some Campbell’s Gumbo for lunch today.  Well it is fairly decent stuff but a long way from decent GUMBO.

But you know how to make that stuff sizzle.  Pop in a teaspoon of Hatch Big Jim diced chiles and the soup grows FANGS.  Now we have some decent eating. Yeah.

Ok this is for all you folks that think 66 is too old to be traipsing around the country in an RV or tent.  The OFM has some friends he met down in Bibe.  They have a house over near Houston, Texas. They very recently returned from a short RV trip in their travel trailer pulled by a diesel truck like the Truck only newer. They spent three months going across Texas, New Mexico and up into the mountains in Colorado. Walking around all over the place seeing the sights and generally trying to have tooooo much fun. Oh By the way they are in their 80’s. They go places so high the OFM would pass out just standing up.  My heroes.

There is an old saying about how to live life as in dance like no one is watching. When the OFM tries to dance he tangles his legs and bonks his head. So he has adopted a saying to fit his lifestyle. Paint pictures like nobody will see them.  That leaves him free to paint silly nonsense and enjoy it.

The OFM was reading an art article today while staying inside avoiding the rain. There was no use in going fishing, the fish stay inside when it is raining so they will not get wet. The article was about “loosening your art style”. Dizzy Dick has mentioned loosening the style of the paintings.  The object of this lesson was to paint a piece of work that did not represent anything.  If it started to look like something on purpose, you had to immediately cause it to not look like something.  That was harder that it seemed.  Here is the result that was named CONFUSION.

As it turned out that, painting was a fun way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

9/28/12

Lemonade And Cookies


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The Blood Letting Team got right on the job this morning.  The Blood Center had no one waiting when the OFM got there, but they were very short handed today. The Blood Center director did the pre-loss paper work on the OFM.  Then it was wait a few minutes as the techs were taking care of another chore somewhere in the building.

When they got to the OFM, things went very smoothly.  Eventually a total of three techs participated in the OFM’s blood loss.  As usual everyone was exceptionally friendly and professional.  The circus tent size T-shirt that is required to get around the OFM was presented. That is a four piece panaroma below.

Then it was time for lemonade and a cookie before the Teams hit the road. Since we were in Corpus Christi we did stop at the Academy to browse some. Less than four dollars left the OFM’s pocket.  Back on the road the OFM was thinking about food.  As it that is anything different than usual. It dawned on him that the Teams would be going past a very good buffet in Aransas Pass and the techs had told him to have a “HEARTY LUNCH”.  Naturally the Truck voted for that idea.

When lunch was finished the Teams meandered past the Rockport harbor to see how the tent mess was doing. There is an event next weekend called the “Sea Fair” to help the tourists leave money in the area.  It will be a big show from the looks of things.

The kiters were having a ball out from the beach.  They zoom this way, then zoom that way and sometimes have spectacular explosive discombobulating events that are exciting to see.

By now the OFM was feeling the loss of blood so the Teams headed for the Castle and the rest of the day goofing off.  Tomorrow he should be ready for some more trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/27/12

Beer Boat


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Just because your body feels horrible from the massive mean migraine attack at noon yesterday does not mean you have to stay in for the day.  There is usually a small adventure available if you get off your do nuttin and go meander.

It might be as small as another (of many) fuzzy parking lot post. This is the last one for a while, the OFM promises.  The whole line of posts at Lighthouse Lakes Park is fuzzy.  Many are only moderate like this one.  A few look like they have had their feathers ruffled really badly.

The Sicko Team headed for the same bridge where the Lizard Fish was caught a couple of days ago.  The outside temp was 92 and the sun very strong.  The OFM’s head did not like the strong sun so we hid under the bridge. It kinda feels natural living under a bridge for us homeless full time RV types.

Anyway we found the breeze very soothing, the rippling sound from the water very pleasant, and the fish totally missing. It did feel wonderful to be in a very low intensity location.  Even all the vehicles passing ten feet over our head was not disturbing at all.

The tranquility lasted over an hour before some folks came over to the bridge to get out of the sun also.  It was four very friendly and pleasant fellows who had been fishing down at the jetty at Port Aransas.  The sun got to them so they migrated to this shade.

We visited for a couple of minutes while swapping fishing information. Then they set out to catch some small bait fish with cast nets.  In the process they also caught a few crabs for redfish bait.

Neither of the netters really knew how to handle a net but they were enjoying the effort and having enough success to take care of their needs.

After a bit the OFM Team headed back to the Truck.  One thing about any shore front is that you never know what in the world you will see next.

WHERE IS THAT BEER BOAT????

As the Truck cooled off a little the Team watched to see what the fellow was doing. We never figured it out. It was to take the OFM home.

Let’s see hmmmm.  We met four nice folks to visit.  We saw some more unique fuzzy posts. Over an hour was spent in supreme wonderful relaxation. We even got to see an unusual human behaving in an amusing way.  Looks like to us like we did a good job of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/26/12

Fuzzy Wood


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Most of the OFM’s life was spent in and around Galveston Texas and the Galveston Bay Complex.  Here in Rockport there are a lot of differences from the “old area”.  One of the differences is the fuzzy wood that happens in this area.  It is not known why the wood in and around the water get fuzzy, but it does.  These pictures tonight are of the wood pier at the Rockport Beach. 

In December of 2007 the wood on this pier was smooth and “normal” looking.  Over the years it has gotten fuzzy.  It is not only the pier but pilings and buildings also get fuzzy. Why is the question being researched.

There three pictures are of the same rail section of the pier. Each one is a closer picture of a section of the pier.



The fuzzy wood in the area is all sorts of styles. Several different styles of fuzziness are evident in just the Rockport Beach area. It does take a simple person to consider looking at fuzzy wood to be a way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/25/12

No Fish List


Adventure Location: Padre Island and Mustang Island, Texas

A stop at Mustang Island State Park proved interesting. After checking in at the Visitor Center the Truck took the Teams down the beach to the Fish Pass Jetties.  We were out to verify the fish ability of several locations. As the Teams were sinking into a spot at the jetty, two fellows were coming back from fishing with their catch, a big bull redfish.

The Fishing Team went over the jetties carefully and decided that the OFM has no business trying to fish from on the slippery rocks with his bad knee.  A big surprise was that the OFM agreed. So we moved on to another location.

On the way the Truck decided it needed a new sticker on the windshield. The Truck has never had one of these before and is very proud of it.

Now the Truck can legally park on the “open” beaches around Corpus. The authorities provide porta cans, beach cleaning and sand watering to make the sand drivable. These beaches are normally decent to run around on so the money is well spent.

There were a lot of surfers out enjoying the waves today.  Plenty of jellyfish were in the water, but the surfers did not seem to mind. The OFM certainly did not want to play in the water with the jellyfish. Getting stung by one of them years ago is not forgotten.

The Teams explored the North Packery Channel Jetty.  It was as was remembered and is very difficult to use for fishing. The rock rip rap extends way too far out into the water for comfortable fish landing. So the NPCJ was also taken off the possibles list. Now it was time to check out the South Packery Channel Jetty.  Here it is from the NPCJ.

To get there we had to drive halfway to Mexico and back around through a bunch of housing and finally onto the beach and a mile down to the parking area.  It is a serious trip.

This jetty proved to be even worse than the north jetty.  It apparently is a bit lower and on occasion a wave would wash across the walking surface. The OFM managed to dodge them all to get this next picture.
The same trouble with the rip rap going out so far into the water was at this side also. We walked inland a good ways and it did not get much better. So now this jetty was added to the don’t bother fishing locations list.

On the way back, the Teams stopped and visited with an old friend for almost two hours.  That was an excellent way of finishing a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

9/24/12

Too Late To Cook


Adventure Location: Hwy 361, Texas

2000 hours came before the OFM Teams made it back to the Castle tonight.  The day has been fairly busy. The Truck has a new fuel filter and serpentine belt.  An oil and lube should happen tomorrow. Then the Teams will be ready to meander without worry.  As if we worry much anyway.

The OFM was thinking about the spot where the Lizard Fish was caught and how it looks like a good place for eating type fish to travel to and from the marsh areas. On top of that the bridge should provide some much needed shade.  It has been hitting the low 90’s the last two days.

The Truck got into the parking lot safely and the OFM’s feet took over from there.  The Fishing Team gathered itself together and strode confidently toward the designated hot spot. It is about three hundred meters to the shade of the bridge from the parking lot.

As the Team strode along the high elevation part of the area (3 feet) another person was noticed taking the low road.  In fact it was so low he was walking in the water.  We both got to the shade about the same time. He turned out to be another old fellow and was very friendly. He also had no fear of sea critters harming him as he waded while fishing. At one point all that was visible was his head. The OFM is too much of a wimp for that style of wading.

The OFM Fishing Team stayed on the mud bank and thrashed the water heavily for a long time.  Every type of lure in the box was given a serious tryout. Nothing worked at all. The other fellow had the same luck. He told me he usually catches a fish or two there in the evening. 

TheOFM found a broken lawn chair to hold the camera so he could be in a picture for a change.

When the sun was low enough and the mosquitos started to swarm, the OFMFT headed back for the Truck. However the OFM had to stop and take this nice picture of the marsh and water. For some reason that fool thinks this is pretty.

We were running late enough that the OFM decided that a chicken sandwich from Whataburger would be in order.  He did not feel like cooking this late into starvation.

When you need to go the hamburger place to eat supper because you are running so late from fishing, it means you have done a good job of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/23/12

Ugly Fish


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The fishing pier at the local marina was glad to see the OFM Fishing Team.  The weather was nice and the temperature just right.  The only thing missing was fish.  It is an important part of catching fish to go to where the fish are located. So the OFMFT headed to where the fish are usually ready for catching.

A left turn in City of Aransas Pass heading toward Port Aransas got us into the fish catching territory. BUT the B&R Flats parking areas were mostly flooded with bay water.  A few “dry” spots did exist but were already occupied.  This happens often during the year.

This is a well-known fish catching area. On weekends it gets very crowded. Today it was not so crowded due to the ground being covered with a few inches of saltwater.

We chose to go across highway 361 to the Light House Lakes Park.  Then we took the right turn to go to the east end of the park and park. From there we walked across the dirt/sand/mud to a channel to do some fishing. The area is usually productive when fished from a yak but even wade fisher folk have some good catches here.

Something was eating the tails off my lures. Finally it was hooked and landed.  There was not much fight to the fish. When the OFM could see the fish, it was UGLY.  These are called Lizard Fish.  The teeth in that mouth are second to none in the fish world.

By now it was time to go find lunch, so the Teams headed back to Rockport and Whataburger. The Teams thought the adventures were over for the day. WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL.

The OFM got a wild hair late in the evening to get the Yak out for a first trial. So the Truck was loaded and away we went. The closest place is the launch at Little Bay near the marina.  It was also a good place since the wind was blowing from the water to the shore at that launch point. We got all set up to get out and see how we get along with the new boat.

The launch went easy and the OFM’s feet did not even have to get wet. The new Yak is well behaved and moderate in all areas. The foot well stays wet and the seat area holds about a ¼” of water. About a mile of paddling was done in all directions. Some acrobatics were tried and the Yak behaved very well.  It is a pretty good boat for about half the price of most name brand yaks this size.

We did not take a camera or any other non-essential items out with us this time.  The OFM needed to practice being in a boat again and was afraid we might go swimming unannounced. We did not even come close.

After the loop around the area, the Yak was loaded in the Truck and a wet OFM drove the Teams back home.  It was a Grande Finale to another day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

9/22/12

Wayward Flag


Adventure Location: Fulton, Texas

The OFM Teams just HAD to check out more of the area to see what had happened during our sojourn for the last two months. The town of Rockport is still growing and getting more populated.  The Rockport Beach is still very nice.  We headed out to the north end of the peninsula to see how the new causeway is coming along. This takes us through Fulton.

The causeway has had a new roadway change so the Photography Team could not stop along the shoulder to get a new picture. We did pull into the free boat ramp parking area and wander around some. This next shot was taken from the entrance to the Copano Bay Fishing Pier.  The existing causeway is partially blocking our view.  The work barge and new columns are visible under the old causeway. This is a several year project.

Then we meandered over to the boat ramp to check out the fish cleaning.  Two nice fellows were filleting speckled trout they had harvested from the bay.  The trout were not large but were still in the legal slot size.  The fillets looked good.

This next picture is taken from near the fish cleaning table back toward the main land area.  The boat on the right had just launched and the boat on the left was coming in. The waters in the background are one of the good yakking areas for speckled trout catching.

From there the Teams made a loop back along the shore line to the airport park that we like to visit. As usual it was a nice quiet place. These folks even found their own deserted island to enjoy. This is another good yak launch site.

It was getting late and TheOFM needed to get busy getting the yak and Truck ready for use.  The Truck had about eighty three cubic yards of New Mexico gravel road red dust in the back.  It cleaned out well.  The gear from the back of the Truck was laid out on the picnic table for wash down. After it dried well, the gear was put into the cab of the Truck.

Next the Yak was removed from under the Castle.  Getting it slid into the back of the Truck turned out to be very easy.  Tying it in was also an easy task. Of course there had to be a trouble to pop up.  The red flag that was to be used on the end of the Yak was missing in action. It had been on the floor of the Truck for several months but was not there or anywhere in the Truck. Oh Ratzzzz.

After several minutes of frazzled desperate looking for the flag, the OFM gave up and went into the Castle to get a drink of water. As he bent over to put a piece of paper in the trash can, there the flag was lying behind the trash can on the floor. His guess was that he put the flag on the couch and during the travels it slid off the couch and behind the trash can.

Finally the flag was installed on the Yak. Now the gear is ready to be given a maiden voyage.

With a little luck the OFM Yakking Team will be back in action sometime tomorrow. That could make it a really fine day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

 

9/21/12

Mystery Ships


Adventure Location: Port Aransas, Texas

There is always something interesting coming through the ship channel jetties at Port Aransas.  During the Teams trip to get familiar with the area again we saw several new buildings in progress and some interesting sights.

The day, weather and the water were beautiful.  The surf was very laid back. The beach goers were also laid back enjoying the sun moderate temperatures and gentle breeze.  It was a real “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day.

We wandered around checking out things for several minutes and happened to be near the jetty area when the Texas Department of Safety came running in the channel with one of their high profile boats the news has been talking about for a few months.  They are nice boats. Click to enlarge to read the name on the boat.

A stop at the Station Street pier to see what is happening turned out to be very interesting.  The current was way too strong for fishing.  The OFM’s lure had trouble going below the surface.  The current had the spoon skimming on the surface like a speed boat. One of the folks on the pier exclaimed “Look at that”.  We did and immediately took this picture.

It looked navy but did not have the usual USA markings.  One of the pier folks mentioned it had an Arabic sounding name on the stern.  By then it was too far away to see for the OFM. The folks and the OFM talked about it some more and then another ship came into view near the end of the jetties.

We waited in anticipation for the next one to get close. The two tugs were having fits controlling the ship with the strong current and moderate breeze causing the ship to vacillate across the water. When they got the ship close enough this picture was taken.

This time we all waited for the ship to get past and checked out its name.  It was named Al Bashra and did not have a country showing on the stern or any country flags flying. Nobody had any clue of what was going on.  It was an interesting sight for the OFM and the other folks on the pier.

That was the only two ships to come in like that.  It did a good job of making it a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/20/12

Home Until Christmas


Adventure Location: Del Rio to Rockport, Texas

It was a before sunrise start due to the OFM not sleeping well. We got to see the sun peeking over the horizon as we passed Brackettville.  For the day it was 345 miles. The plan had not been to roll so far in one day but the OFM just kept on driving.

The roads were free flowing all the way. The stop to pass through immigration was the only slowdown the whole way.  It is nice when the traveling goes smoothly.  The Teams rolled into Rockport for the rest of the year.  The sunshine greeted us and the redfish groaned in dismay.

Our campsite is a very good location with shade about half the day.  We also catch the SE breeze that usually flows across the Rockport peninsula. But the mosquitos also welcomed the Teams back to town.

The town has added at least one new attraction since we left last July for a very important event.  This new attraction is about ten feet off the ground and twelve feet across. It gets lots of use for pictures.

After the short night and the LONG drive, the OFM went to bed all tuckered out to dream about morning bringing a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/19/12

Chasing Spotted Tails


Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The cantaloupes were desert grown near Deming, NM. They are wonderful tasting. Of course they needed to be filleted to make them ready for eating. So a knife was put to work.

Four plastic containers were needed to hold most of the two melons.  Some of the pieces happened to jump into the OFM’s mouth.

It was a short trip from Seminole Canyon to San Padre Campground on the lower end of Lake Amistad. We had the entire campground to ourselves. The heat was a bit high so we stopped for only one night. Our goal is to be chasing spotted tail fish by Friday.

The site is right across the street from the BillyBob Tree.

We took the day to check out the campsites and ramps for a return trip in cooler weather.  On the way up to Rough Canyon we crossed a finger of Amistad and could see the remnants of the highway 277 bridge out of the water. Normally over thirty feet of water covers the bridge.

Rough Canyon is a great choice for fishing.  The Devils River comes down from way up in Texas right past Rough Canyon Marina and Campgrounds. There is a NP campground there for $2 a night. Yaks can be launched anywhere along the shore line. One boat ramp is open for use.

The picture was taken from about half way down the ramp from the parking lot.  It is a very steep walk up to get your vehicle from the dock.

The other ramp is nearby but is closed to trailer launched boats. Yaks can be launched there. The NP campground is immediately to the right from where this picture was taken.
As the Teams returned from the exploring to the campground, they surprised several deer. The deer scampered quickly into the brush. The turkeys that we scared up just ran down the road in front of us for quite a ways.  That was fun to watch.  Finally they turned off into the brush also.

Coming back to wildlife in good health put a nice finish to a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

9/18/12

Rim Trail Teaser


Adventure Location: Rim Trail Portion, Texas

The OFM Walking Team voted to do a shortened walk in deference to the Teams ankle weakness. It was a very good idea as it turned out. The part of the trail hi-lighted in blue was the trek for the day. Notice it is a very small part of the whole available trail system.

This is the starting gate for the trail system. It does not come anywhere close to the spectacular views ahead. The trail views get better and better as you go more towards Mexico. At the end the views are a major WOW.

After a half mile or so of walking you get to the Rim Trail cutoff.  This is where the Team made a left turn to the good stuff. About in the middle of the picture you can see the trail going over the berm.

We walked and stumbled along the trail for a bit then the views started. HINT: Stop walking to look. Do not keep trying to walk while looking over the edge. You could cause yourself to wish you could fly.

Because the OFM does not like to type all night, he chose to only put in three views of the canyons tonight. The fool took over eighty pictures he had to cull. These first two pictures are the middle part of Seminole Canyon.


After a good bit of walking and some really nice surprises we made it to the Presa canyon Overlook.  This was our cut off point of the Rim Trail and the ankle was making us glad to head back. Presa Canyon was first seen by the OFM about thirty years ago. It is still impressive to view.

It is hard to believe the views get better farther along the trail, but they do. The OFM has walked all the trails in this park and a lot of non-trail areas as well.

Frequently along the trail are fossils of sea shells in the rocks. They are very neat to carefully view. Also along the trail, but less often, are full seashells.  Check out the variety in this rock.

Since this was our cut back to the Castle spot we headed UP the trail to the main trail. It did not seem like it but the rim trail had been going downhill since the beginning. Now it was time to climb back out of the upper canyon area and it is a climb.

You can tell when you FINALLY reach the top of the canyon by the Presa Trail sign and benches waiting for you. The benches were a welcome sight.

Then we started back to the Castle on the Rio Grande Trail.  The Castle is in the red circle.

Needless to say the Team was glad to return to the Castle.  A little cooler day would have been nicer. Do not do this in the summer, it is miserable.

Even with a weak ankle this is a nice walk for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.