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Sticks and Leaf, Decatur, Al.



Adventure Location:  Rockport Harbor, TX

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The OFM loves to experiment with fishing gear. Lures, reels, rods, fishing line or anything to do with fishing are worthwhile targets in his exploits.  So this morning we were trying out using fluorocarbon line for fishing. The second cast out had a hard headshaking hit.  Then the fish released the lure. The lure had several tooth marks on it. One pair of tooth penetrations left pyramid shaped tooth holes.

The trout have narrow more needle like teeth. Our best guess was another Spanish Mackerel hit, bit and ran.

Although the fluorocarbon line works just fine, it sinks too fast. Quickly it was apparent that the jig lure would go to the bottom too quickly for our fishing in that location. Several hours of try out was given the new line but in the end we re-spooled the yellow braid back on the reel. The fluorocarbon line will be excellent for plastic worm fishing on Falcon Lake and Amistad Lake. It is now in storage for any freshwater fishing that it would be an excellent application of its characteristics.

In spots around the harbor are grass patches. In some of the patches wildflowers have been planted.  Many of the plants are in bloom at this time. Most of the bluebonnets are of the normal bright blue, like the one tattooed on my ankle. However today we spotted a couple of “otherbonnets” growing in the patches. This is the first time in the memory of the OFM that bluebonnets were not blue.

Even though the fish did not co-operate it was a good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Treasure Time

Adventure Location:  Along the Coast, TX

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The wind is tearing things apart down on the waterfront.  It is a cool wet wind that is miserable to be in. The OFM had on a sweater and a wind breaker just to be marginally warm. YUK.

On Mustang Island the wind was ripping the yellow flowers to pieces along the beach.

The Truck took us out onto the beach and back inland. It was just too nasty for beachcombing for the OFM Teams today. Back at the main parking lot we piddled around for a few minutes taking pictures of the new sand dunes, The State has installed sand gathering fences to build up the dunes where a restroom area was before. The rest room area allowed flood tides to wash inland doing lots of destruction. It is good a hurricane totaled the building and now more natural surroundings are coming back.

The Teams had to get in some walking for exercise so we stopped at Light House Lakes Park to meander. We got in about two miles of decent walking in the wind. As a side happening, some treasure was found. Two bottom fishing leader rigs were found. They can supply the leader material for about six leaders like the OFM Teams use for harvesting fish.

The BIG find was a knife sticking in the sand and abandoned. From the looks of the slight corrosion, it was probably lost last weekend. Here is a picture of the loot treasure.

All of these items washed up really clean. Now the knife just needs a good edge put on the blade. Then it will be stored away for who knows what since the OFM has plenty of knives already. But it is a nice find while out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


The Bicycle At Wal-Mart

Adventure Location:  Rockport, TX

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It has only been thirteen days since the Teams rolled into Rockport but the hitchitch is getting stronger by the second. We need some relief but what kind or where is a good question without an answer for now.

A trip to Wal-Mart provided some interesting scenery but not of the human type. As the Truck wheeled into the parking spot to the side of the building, a bicycle leaning against the wall in front of us caught the OFM’s attention. It was packed heavily for camping. The main attraction was the fishing rod mounted to the front of the bike. Now we are getting our priorities in order.

The rider came out and rode away while the Teams were gathering groceries inside. It would have been interesting to visit with the rider.

The wire leader building education is coming along well. Today we purchased some more crimping sleeves and a crimping tool. The main twist for leader making is called a Haywire Twist and it is NOT easy for arthritic hands to make one. Anyway the OFM got several leaders made and a few thrown away as non-functional. He is getting better.

After making a few he went to the harbor pier to try them out and make adjustments. Here is the harbor pier where the tryouts and fish catching happen.

With the better education came less bloodletting in his fingers. The very thin single strand wire is difficult for him to feel in his fingers. It will also penetrate the finger skin with no effort at all. But overall, building leaders for fish catching is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


More Smack

Adventure Location:  Rockport, TX

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The OFM burned a lot of diesel running around to all the tackle stores in the Corpus Christi to Fulton area. He took in lots of data about wire and other styles of leaders for sharp toothed critters of the sea.  Then we came back to the Castle and watched him put together several different types of leaders for his style of fishing.

This evening we hit the harbor pier again. The smacks were not in the area in large numbers and the wind made it quite chilly out on the pier. Only one smack hit the deck.

This one went home with a fisherman to be the prime item on tonight’s dinner table.

Now we are taking all the research and experimenting into consideration for our next wild trip out there trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


A Successful Leader

Adventure Location:  Rockport, TX

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About 1600 the smacks (Spanish Mackerel) move into the area of the Rockport Harbor pier.  Today we were waiting for them. They are a strong fighter and hit like a runaway freight train. They require wire leaders to handle the teeth (weapons) that they have in their mouth. This one even chewed part of the chrome off the new silver spoon.

The OFM spent some time today trying his hand at making wire leaders for catching the smacks. It is not an easy task for him as it turns out. Making a “haywire twist” is black magic that requires you to pay a toll in hours of practice. But in the end it is worthwhile to learn to do it right. The new leader held up for this nice smack of 22”.

Landing this devil was a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Club Report

Adventure Location:  Lozano Golf Course, Corpus Christi, TX

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The new to me golf clubs proved to be what was needed. The slightly softer senior shafts had a great feeling. When the OFM raired back and hit as hard as he could, the shafts still worked just fine. So it looks like it was a good decision to drop down a flex on the clubs.

The other good item for tonight is that a fish was caught at the harbor pier. They have been few and far between lately. Even though the OFM did not do the catching it was nice to know some game fish were in the area now.

The OFM even had a fish bite his silver spoon off the fishing line this evening. The FOOL should have had a wire leader on the rig. It would have saved his $4 spoon.

Now it is time for the Teams to get some rest from all the attempts at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


A Seedy Area

Adventure Location:  Mustang Island, TX

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The OFM knee seems to be almost healed so he is planning on testing it tomorrow, gently.  But for tonight we get to see the rest of the fishing line adventure. 

In reality it was one of the least exciting, except for some fishing line, beachcombing trips we have made.  Interesting it was but not exciting except for the you know what mistake.

Good amounts of seaweed had washed up on the shore and we hoped to find lots of things to report.  There was lots of trash but none of it inspired any great writing attempts. But there was seaweed stuff to report.

These items were frequent but not abundant. Our guess is that it is a seed pod of some sort. It was about the size of a very large strawberry.

 It rolled around on the sand with ease and seemed fairly solid in texture. After the you know what adventure, the OFM was not about to pick it up with his bare fingers.

Scattered all over the beach in great quantity were these pods. There were so many that when a vehicle came down the beach, it popped hundreds of them. It was sort of like driving on bubble wrap.

They seemed to be part of the seaweed debris. Maybe some reader knows what they are and will let us know if they have demons inside.

Occasionally but not often was this tuber type of item. The inner portion was off white and coarse textured.  This was picked up with the needle nose pliers and proved to have a firm texture like a soft old carrot. It is another mystery item for the Teams.

Scattered around in great quantity were these “popcorn” seeds. They were nearly paving parts of the sand there were so many. Close examination was made and they still looked like the unpopped kernels from a popcorn popping event.

The shell viewing was very skimpy but most good shelling is down south at PINS anyway. Some surfers were out enjoying the active ocean and lots of others were just wandering around enjoying the day.

In spite of the you know what event; the Teams still did a great job of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Just Don't Do It

Adventure Location:  Mustang Island, TX

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It seemed like the thing to do since the OFM’s knee was feeling very good but not healed. Beachcombing is a gentle pleasure….most of the time. Tonight is about the rest of the time.

The tide had been so high that the damp sand went all the way to the sand dunes this morning. Driving on the beach was exciting since the deep gullies dug by the receding water did not show up very well. All the sand was the same color and the Truck hit the first one moving a bit too fast. The drop into the gullies was only about six to nine inches but very abrupt.  The Truck slowed down for all the rest of the surprise cliffs.

 We arrived at the chosen parking area with no major mishaps. However the noted water line was well above the parking area elevation so we needed to keep an eye out for the tide starting in. There is only one way out and a low spot between us and the exit. Care needed to be taken for sure.

For the first time the OFM remembered to bring his bucket and a few tools of the beachcombing trade.  We had needle nose pliers, a towel, the camera and the bucket with us. As we meandered along the beach not too much exciting was going on.

After a good distance the OFM noticed a blue fishing line tangled in the seaweed. As you know he is good about picking up wasted fishing line that can cause harm to the critters in nature.

Here is a larger view of the line.

Notice it does not look really smooth line most fishing line.  Here is another close up of the fishing line. Notice that it seems to have wrinkles in it. Remember that the rest of your life.

The OFM reaches down with his hand and picks up the fishing line. It feels funny but familiar. Hmmmm.  Then he notices that it is sticky like some glue on it.  This is really odd he thinks.  Then he notices what is at the end of the fishing line.

YIKES now he recalls what his brain was telling him. PUT IT DOWN FOOL! Well the fishing line would not let go at first. Then the OFM grabbed a stick to push it off his fingers. The next step was to grab a handful of sand and scrub the tingling parts of his hand to grind off the remains of the tentacle. The OFM could now remember back to his days of shrimping and getting Man o War tentacles in the shrimp trawl and all over his fore arms. It is not something to do for fun.

The good news is that the tingling was minor and did not last but a half hour or so.  Hopefully the FOOL will remember this in the future when he picks up old “fishing line”.

This did not spoil the day at all but you can bet on a couple of things. TheOFM will not pick up any more blue fishing line with his bare skin before very careful examination of the fishing line. The other thing is to add some plastic gloves to the beachcombing kit. Those two things will help a lot in our effort at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.



Home Is A Bag

Adventure Location:  Rockport/Aransas Pass, TX

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Somewhere somehow the OFM managed to cause a bad “strain” in his left knee on Monday. Therefore he has been gimping around looking for sympathy. That ain’t gonna happen around here.

So he has been cleaning out or reorganizing things again.

For the last year or so the OFM has noticed that his golf clubs feel way too stiff for his current old dilapidated body.  Monday while BB was stomping the OFM into the mud, it was noticed that there was no longer any flexing of the shafts when the OFM strained with all his might to hit the club hard. That means only one thing; it was time for clubs for wimpy old fat men.

Research found some used clubs at The Wimpy Golf Clubs Shop. He placed his order and they are due in today.  The prices at TWGCS are about 40% of the price of new clubs. In the meantime one of the chores was to get the home for the “new” clubs cleaned up and ready for when they arrive. It is important to show new clubs that they are loved so they will perform properly when you go to play golf with them. Here is their home patiently waiting.

These new clubs will have …..hack hack choke choke ….. SENIOR shafts in them. The last clubs were mostly over ten years old and worn. Most likely this is the last set of clubs that the OFM will need for the rest of his life.

That means he needs to work really hard at wearing them out while trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Tourist Area

Adventure Location:  Rockport/Aransas Pass, TX
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One more day of spring break in a tourist area is something to be thankful about. It is not winter down here at all. The winds were in excess of 25 mph today so all the Teams could do was wander around. We went to check on a preferred kayak launch spot next to the Aransas Pass swimming pool complex. That sucker is going full blast with folks having fun in the water.

As you can see winter is in the distant past, about two weeks ago that is. It gets warm quickly down here at the saltwater.

Next we tried to get over to another preferred launch spot down toward the Port Aransas ferry. The line stopped us at least two miles back from the ferry and well short of our goal.

By 1300 tomorrow the traffic situation will be calmed down as all the spring break visitors head on back to home or colleges. Since this is a great area, if you stay in this area you have to expect others to visit as often as they get a chance. With March 16 being bikini weather a lot of folks would like to be here in the warm.

Down at the Rockport Harbor was another crowd of folks. Adjacent at the Rockport Beach was a huge crowd of folks swimming and playing in the water. The wind had the water gods angry as you can see.

However the folks out playing on the beach did not seem to mind the wind as they enjoyed their beach activities.

With a little luck tomorrow, the Teams will get out and find something to do in the interest of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Big Bend NP Trees

Adventure Location:  Bibe, Texas

Dizzy Dick made a comment about missing trees in Bibe. Now we will grant that there are lots of square miles out here that do not have trees of any serious size. Some folks do not consider mesquite to be a tree, but the Teams like mesquite trees for the shade. They grow to 30 feet high and have open foliage that lets breeze flow through while providing good shade.

Bibe is home to lots of trees and tonight you will get a few pictures of some of the trees scattered around Bibe. Thank you DD for causing us to realize that this topic needs to be covered. We have heard all too often that all there is in Bibe is prickly pear cactus, sand and rocks. It is true that there are a lot of those items, but the place is so BIG and has such large changes in altitude that the diversity of plant life and animal life is wonderful.

In a forty mile drive you can go from Santa Elena Canyon at less than 2000 feet elevation to up in the Chisos Basin where the peaks of the mountains are over 7000 feet.  The style of vegetation at each end of that scenario is considerably different but still very nice to view.

So here we go with a few pictures and comments for each picture.

This is the Rio Grande Village campground site where the OFM tore off two antennas with the limbs from the mesquite trees last year. They are very thick and by the time we left the leaves had started stopping the solar panels from getting enough light for total recharging.

Another picture shows the more open area of the RGV campground and the large trees providing shade in this part of the campground.

Down the road from the RGV campground is the remains of the Daniel Ranch and its trees. These were planted and provide a large open picnic area. The views of the mountains over the very tall trees can be dramatic in the evening lighting.

Up in the Chisos Mountains is a forest of trees. This is a picture the OFM found on the internet of one of the campsites in the Chisos. Due to the elevation the Teams do not have much experience in the Chisos beyond the developed sections.

And at the far end of the park near Santa Elena Canyon is Cottonwood Campground with all its huge trees. Yep that is the Truck in the picture to give you a perspective on the size of these trees. Notice there is even grass in the campground instead of dirt and rocks.

As you can now see there are plenty of shady tree areas to relax in when you want too. Of course by May it will be a 100 in the shade. Choose your time period wisely when you head into Bibe for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


How To Sleep Well In A Tent

Adventure Location:  Cottonwood Campground, Bibe, Texas

No pictures were taken so as to protect the folks involved in this incident.


1.   When you choose the spot for your tent under the cottonwood trees, be sure to choose the spot next to the wide worn javelina trail through the campsite.

2.   When you are fixing breakfast in the morning, be sure and fling any food particles onto the ground near the back of your tent. Javelinas love food particles and will tear into anything they think or hope will have food.

3.   When you are finished eating your breakfast, be sure and brush your teeth on the other side of your tent and spit the sweet smelling toothpaste on the ground right next to that side of your tent. Javelinas love anything sweet tasting or smelling.

4.   When you get ready to wash the cooking pans, take the greasy pan about ten feet from your tent and sling in around the area to get good coverage to lead the javelinas over to your tent and your other attractants you have applied to the ground.

5.   When you finish with the wash water, take it over by the large trees you tent is set up under and water the trees with the food particles. You do not want any area around your tent left without an attractant for the javelins.

6.   Be sure to leave your dirty dishcloth hanging on a tent pole when you leave to see the sights of the area.  The fragrances from that dishrag will waft downwind like a dinner bell for the javelinas.


This was observed in three nearby campsites on Saturday morning as the spring break folks came into the campground. On Saturday night only one blood curdling scream was heard to go with the javelina herd grunting and squealing about 2300 near one of the tents.


No damage to a tent was seen when we checked around on Sunday morning.

Waking up in the middle of the night to a stinky javelina pack rooting around the perimeter of your tent is NOT a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Change Of Plans

Adventure Location:  Tuff Canyon, Bibe, Texas

This adventure started one direction and went another. The original goal was a detailed look into Tuff Canyon. But when a new alternative was sighted, the Meandering Team headed off into a new meander.

The roadside parking for Tuff Canyon is well marked on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Pull in, park and get ready for fun. A sign at the first point of the trails gives you a good idea of what is available. Check out the over looks to get a good feel of the canyon before you go down below.

We meandered over to the edge of one of the canyon offshoots to take this picture. The OFM has been in this canyon several times in his history. Each time it has been a very worthwhile experience. The canyon is not really exciting from on top but gets very interesting when you are below on the canyon floor. The best scenery is from the canyon floor.

The trail down to the canyon floor has been really improved. It used to be a slip and slide loose rock trail. Now it is a nice walkable trail with just enough excitement to keep it interesting.

When you reach the bottom of the canyon you can go right into the canyon or left down the creek bed. The Teams have never gone down the creek bed so that is yet another area to explore in the future. This place is a never ending story. The entrance is not far from where you get to the canyon floor and creek bed. In this picture it looks rather congested but in reality there is a nice wide path to follow into the canyon.

The Team started into the canyon and took this next picture of the erosion on the canyon walls and the pockets worn in the walls.

For some unknown reason the OFM happened to look back and see this view of Cerro Castellan from the canyon mouth.  It is a dramatic view.

It was a fortunate accident of fate that as the OFM moved around to take the picture above, he noticed a cave up on the side of the hill just outside of Tuff Canyon.

So we changed plans and headed up the hillside to check out the cave.  It was slow going since no folks had been going up there recently to make a path. Between the loose sand and jumbled rocks it took us a bit of time to safely navigate our way up to the cave.  The scramble up was nonetheless a fun time.

Lots of honey bees were working the flowering shrubs over pretty heavily. Flowers were all over the place.  The fragrances were flowing like a wild river across the land. It was fantastic.

Arriving at the cave was a slow process. The OFM was being very careful to search for critter tracks to avoid any unpleasant encounters of the mountain lion type.  To our surprise the sand floor of the area was totally unmarked by any type of tracks including rodents and insects. We took our picture to prove we were there.

From there we went back down through the river of fragrances to the canyon floor. At the canyon floor the OFM’s legs gave out an ultimatum. WE ARE GOING BACK TO THE TRUCK NOW. It seems that they were not yet recovered from the Dorgan double track “short cut” related in the last blog entry. So we started back up the trail to the Truck.  After two rest stops on the way up we made it to the Truck. Even the OFM was glad to get back.

Sometimes the OFM head is way more enthusiastic than his body can handle when he gets to trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Dorgan-Sublett 3

Adventure Location:  Dorgan-Sublett Trail, Bibe, Texas

WOW another mystery solved at the Sublett house and it is time to meander across the ridge to the ruins of the Dorgan house. The Dorgan house ruins were also covered in a blog entry a year or so ago. Use the search feature for Dorgan to find that entry. The OFM apologizes for not being able search these previous entries and note them in this blog entry. However we do not have any internet access here in Cottonwood Campground to use to look them up.

As you meander across the ridge to the Dorgan ruins, the old road up onto the ridge comes up on your left. Those were some tough roads back then. From this point of interest the double track trail winds around a couple of curves to the Dorgan ruins. They are well marked and worth your bother to examine them carefully as the Teams did last trip up here.

But this time we noticed something not noted before. As the OFM stood at the Dorgan house front door and looked at the beautiful scenery toward the mountains, a couple of items closer to him came to the forefront of his attention.

There is a double track going off to the left and apparently a road cut in the edge of the ridge! Why did we miss this before? Our guess is that there is so much to see that our senses got overwhelmed. That is an example of why every trail needs at least three trips. The road cut got our first examination. Sure enough it is a road cut to head down to the plains. This means the ridge had two directions to come up on it.

In this next picture from the top of the cut you can see that the old road winds down to intersect the current park road. Of course it is reasonable to expect the park road to follow the old road from times past.

Next our attention was drawn to the double track heading out on the ridge.  We checked our water supply, always have water with you when you check a trail in Bibe, and it was sufficient for a short trek out into the unknown. This would turn out to be very important in a bit.

The double track went out for a nice ways and made a loop at the first promontory of the ridge. It was a nice view point and the OFM failed to take a picture to show the view. That knucklehead was too busy looking at everything else around us. We started following the loop and notice a double track taking off from the loop. Hmmmm. Check the water again. The limited remaining water would set our distance for the rest of the adventure.

It had not been noticed before how the ridges tie together and wind around for miles but they are a horribly complex set and go for miles.

 We followed the double track for a long way as it wound around and finally it split again. The water supply was checked again and we took the left hand of the fork. It looked like it might head back to the Truck. This branch wound around and came upon a large several acre mini-mesa. On this “mesa” the double track lost definition but there was evidence of humans spending time up here on different occasions.

We continued on to the side towards the Truck. When we got there it was a very steep slope of loose rock.  It was way too dangerous for a hiker to traverse with any hope of safety. Looking around there is a couple of fingers from the slope to check for a way down.  This is supposed to be a short cut remember.  Well we finally chose one finger to head down. It would have been a lot better with a walking stick but we made it anyway. Here is the short cut instead of heading back to the left out of the picture and back to the ruins in the background.

We did make it back safely with about two swallows of water left in the bottle. It is a good thing it is cool right now. That would have been a miserable walk in hot weather.

The good part is we were introduced to a major amount of paths that are not on maps of the park.  The next trip, number three, we will have the correct supplies to more extensively run around the area.

WOW o WOW Bibe is a great place to go for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.



Dorgan-Sublett 2

Adventure Location:  Dorgan-Sublett Trail, Bibe, Texas

And the meandering goes onward. We follow the trail to the main house. It crosses what was likely at one time crop fields heading for a long ridge. After a nice walk through the brush we come to a house that has been being repaired from the looks of it.

The OFM has spotted a concrete structure from the paved road that should be behind and down from the above house. The house is a two room structure that may have been living quarters at one time. We follow the horse path around the house and down the hill. As it works out, frequently the free ranging horses have made a path to locations the Teams want to go. It saves a lot of brush busting.

Suddenly there it is in front of us, the concrete wall visible from the park road through the brush.

 At first glance it looks like a wall for a foundation. However closer examination reveals it to be a retaining wall.  But why is there an adobe curb about three feet out from the wall?

We scratch around for a while but there does not seem to be any other clues as to what this is all about. So we follow the horse trail back up the hill to the small house. As we start around the house to head on up the trail to the main house, the mystery is partially solved.

AH HA there is part of the answer. It was a retaining wall.  The gap from the adobe curb was to make room for a drainage area. Now all we need to know is what it was installed to accomplish. We do not have that answer, yet.

We meander on up to the top of the ridge and the Sublett house remains. We notice that the Sublett house is directly above the mystery retaining wall way down below. Some folks have placed some of the treasure they found on a plank. It is better to leave things where they lay but this idea will also work for now.

We meander around the top of the knob looking carefully at the remains of the home that used to be here.  There is a fence post lying over there on the ground. That is odd since there is no evidence of fencing anywhere around here. No bits of wire, posts or even fencing staples like in other historic sites in the park.

OK something odd needs a closer look. When we get close it is obvious that it used to be a structural part of something. Check out the nails protruding from the wood. Those are relatively modern nails made by mass production machinery. Hmmm.

As we leave the Sublett ruins to head over to the Dorgan ruins and what turns into a significant adventure, we pass the information sign for the Sublett house.

Look carefully at the picture of the house. Notice the round posts used for framing the porches on the front and back of the house. The post we saw looks very much like a couple of them in the porch framing. Wonderful another mystery solved.

Chasing the mysteries certainly is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.