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Bright Morning, Rockport, Texas


No More Biting

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It is amazing how much safer it is for using scissors for cutting tag ends of fishing line than teeth.  The OFM thinks he will buy a pair of nail clipper type of fishing line cutters and carry them in his fishing vest. It should make his life a lot safer than it is now.

While near the harbor today we took a few pictures of some of the damage still around and some other mementos of Harvey. The first photograph is of the foundation where the very nice Rockport Aquarium was located. Apparently it was a total loss.

When we got back here on November 1 this slab had already been cleaned off. The building used to house some really neat things from the early 1900s as well some nice fish in aquariums. We are very sorry to see it gone.

About 200 yards away is the Art Garden that has sculptures. The Art Garden was right outside the Art Center. It is a nice place to sit and enjoy the views of the harbor area. The patio at one end of the Garden is being used to hold damage residuals from the Art Center. It is not a pretty sight.

We did not see any of the statues with serious damage. The statue of the whooping cranes looks like it came through in fine shape. People are not allowed into the interior of the Garden yet but from around the edges of the Garden it appears to be only needing some soap and water to be in good shape again. Here is the whooping crane statue.

Some good news is that the shrimp harvest is still going good and eating and bait shrimp are in good supply. For the folks fishing the area waters, the fish supply seems to be decent. However it is flounder season and flounder do not seem to be in good supply for now.

Here is a shrimp boat all ready to head out tomorrow morning for some more harvesting. The OFM Teams consider eating well prepared shrimp an excellent way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Body Piercing Instructions

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The fish were biting like all get out this morning. They were all measuring a very fat 17 inches long of speckled trout. The OFM caught way to many to bother counting. They all went back in to grow and make more trout for us to catch next year. The only reason the OFM quit catching is our stock of the lure ran out. The last one was on fish four or five when the sharp toothed trout shredded the lure to small bits.

 In case you did not know it, all the trout in a school will be about the same size. If a fish joins the group and is much smaller than the larger fish, it will be eaten by the larger fish. So when the OFM catches a trout he knows what the rest of the available local fish will be in that size. Sometimes he leaves the area and hits up a different local spot in hopes of larger fish.

Speaking of big mullet head fools check out this true story. Yesterday during the non-productive fishing the OFM was changing lures after about every 10-15 casts. He is using a 3 inch long plastic jig with very sharp hooks.  When he went to change the lure he cuts the line. The new lure is tied on the line and the long tag end needs to be trimmed. For about two centuries now the OFM has bitten the end off the monofilament fishing line.

On this morning he was hurrying a bit too much. The rod had a bit of tension on the line. His hands were wet with the salt water. As he lowered his mouth to bite off the tag end, the lure slipped from his hand and lo and behold the biggest fool on the water was lip hooked.

A bit of panic was the first emotion. Then he was able to determine that the barb had not gone into his lip.  Then when the blood dripped onto his white tee shirt covering his excessively ample tummy, a bit more panic flowed through his foolish brain. He could see a trip to the local ER and a bit of knife work as the doctor filleted his lip like a fresh trout. 

However sanity prevailed and he pulled gently on the lure and felt with his fingers to find out that the barb was free and clear of the skin. By now the combination of saltwater and fish slime was starting to create a burning sensation like a California forest fire. He pulled gently on the hook, and to our surprise, in the correct direction and the hook slid right out leaving a hole about three feet across that promptly filled with fish slime and salt water to enhance the sublime feelings of improper entry into his body.

He worked his way down the rocks to the fresh seawater and rinsed his wounds a few times with wonderful results. That was a close call. It must be time to stop biting tags ends off monofilament when it is close to a hook. Now he has a bruise about the size of a dime on his lip and a very small cut that is healing fast.

What the Teams has learned is that getting lip piercings with fish slime coated hooks lubricated with saltwater is NOT a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Damage Report

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

There is definitely some serious damage here in Rockport from hurricane Harvey. The tourist area took a pretty bad hit. Port Aransas is right on the beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico and got smashed noticeably worse than Rockport. Rockport is about 6 miles inland across a shallow bay which likely moderated things a bit. Don’t get us wrong, there is still plenty of damage to share if you want some.

For example here is the art center located in the Rockport Harbor parking area.

It is pretty much shot. We think it will be a major event to repair or rebuild.

The famed Rockport Beach got battered pretty badly. A few of the buildings are just plain not here any more. The wonderful pavilions that served thousands of folks a year for events are in serious disarray. It will take a lot of work to get them back into shape for folks to enjoy.

The Rockport Beach itself survived fairly well, but the shade shelters on the beach and picnic tables and shelters in the picnic areas next to the beach will take a while to make it all well usable again. Here is the north end of the beach.

There is plenty of personal buildings with lots of damage to be repaired. We do not take pictures of personal damaged buildings for the blog.

Meanwhile the seagulls had a big meeting to elect officials and set up a plan for how they will handle all the roosting locations that are missing now.

It is now time for some good news. There are parts of the public areas that weathered the storm well and are ready for visitors. In fact the entry fee for the Beach Park has been waived for a while so you can enjoy the parts that are usable.

As an important bit of information, the fishing has been very good most days. A couple of days ago the OFM caught two redfish and one speckled trout in a thirty minute jaunt to the water for piddling around. That is a pretty good catch for just trying to have tooooo much fun.



Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The OFM had been working up a great blog entry about the Rockport area and Hurricane Harvey. BUT it got delayed when this picture of Grand daughter Piper came in from North Alabama.

That kid is well on her way to trying to have tooooo much fun.


Tree Man

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

There comes a time in most little boys lives when they just have to learn to climb trees. Grandson Gavin recently got to that age. In his backyard is a nice kid size magnolia tree. So up the tree he went. Parental supervision was very close by for this first time event.

It is not a really tall tree but it has lots of branches to fit hands and feet. There is a boy in the tree in this next picture.

Even knowing where Gavin is the OFM still has trouble finding him in the tree so the photo was cropped and enhanced a little to make the boy more visible.

Your first time climbing a tree is a great memory of a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Beach Play

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

We made it down to Packery Channel a couple of days ago. It was a nice day and the first time we had been on the island since Hurricane Harvey smashed it much harder than Rockport. The parking area at Packery was in good shape and Sierra liked the nice paved parking.

The OFM Meandering Team got all ready and headed out toward the beach and Gulf of Mexico by following Packery Channel down stream through the dunes and on to the beach. The dunes have been in the OFM Adventures many times and, as usual, are fairly picturesque.  At least the Teams really like them. Much of the island beaches are still closed to folks while dangerous trash and garbage is cleaned up. Here is the main dune just past the parking lot. It is a bit of a climb if you want to scramble yourself up to the top.

From the end of the paved parking lot to the beach is about a quarter mile. When you break out of the dunes here is your view looking north on the beach.

The dunes continue on for many miles as does the beach. Beach combing is one of the many fun things there is to do on the Texas beaches. Lots of interesting things get washed up here from all over the Caribbean  and even from way up north in the Mississippi River drainage. Sometimes things like this huge log show up. We spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out the ????? of the log.  The root ball was almost higher than the nearby vehicle.

The day was bright and warm so the surfing types were out playing in the waves. Our waves down here are not the really large types. A six foot tall wave is pretty much it.

Still we get a lot of them so there is usually some folks riding the waves.  Some Sundays with a little alcohol involvement it can get a bit too interesting.

Any way you look at it there seems to always be someway along the Texas coast for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Mud Stuff?

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The OFM has been stressing out on some minor issues of life. Some conclusions  came about and sure enough he was worried to death over near nothing. He can be a worrier DELUXE to say the least.

As he passed the fishing pier near the harbor he wisely and accidentally decided to fish a bit to attempt to calm down.  About five casts into the session and WHAM a nice fish was on. The fight raged for a couple of minutes and the 23.25 inch long speckled trout was landed and measured.

Then the hook was removed and she was sent back into the water to build more large specks for catching next year. That was a wonderfully fun break from worrying. Nope the OFM did not have the camera along so you will just have to believe his measurement memory.

In our small pile of photos is this picture taken at Packery Channel of a rock with who know what embedded in it. Our guess is that it is a sedimentary rock that got a bunch of stuff embedded into it when it was mud.  It down an awkward slope so the OFM did not attempt to get down close enough to touch it.  Maybe next time he will be more agile and get in some touching.

An now the OFM is worn and frazzled and thinks going to bed early might be the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Date Chosen

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It is settled now that we will start the new year out right with rolling wheels. Knowing a destination where they are headed is not required for rolling. We do know it will be westerly but that is about it. A few old haunts are likely. The goal is to follow the 70 degree temperatures latitude westerly and northerly until we don’t do that. We do plan to leave some foot prints in Bibe again this year.

Meanwhile the OFM got his lazy body up and moving early this morning. We hit the harbor and unlimbered the fishing rod and got in about ten casts when this picture had the audacity to interrupt an active fishing session.

We got right back to the serious business of catching fish where there are no fish. As we moved along the breakwater we were having fantastic luck with not having any fish interrupt our walk. About thirty casts later this scene got in the way.

We did not let the sun rising get in the way again. An hour plus of casting got us a total of zero fish caught. Hmm maybe next time we should at least add a lure to the hook! It could make fishing a lot more fun.

However there are those that say that seeing sunrises like this one today comes close to having tooooo much fun.


Little Bay Area Review

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas

A look around the After Harvey scene near Little Bay in Rockport. There is serious frequent damage to things but lots of the town is back up and running sufficient for visitors to still have a great time.

A big ITEM that is missing is the super crab. It is totally gone but the poles it was mounted on are waiting. Somebody mounted a large painting of the crab on the poles as a placeholder. It is our guess that a new plastic crab will magically appear one day.

While we were meandering around that end of Little Bay this next picture happened to show up. It was a nice calm hot day and the egret seemed to be guarding his hunting territory because no other birds were coming into the area.

We walked back across the Beach road to the south end of the beach to evaluate the idea of walking the loose sand to the other end. Laziness won that argument. So we spent a few minutes meandering around admiring how most of the beach sand made it through Harvey still in this location.

The normal quantity of shells is pretty decent but for now there is only a few here and there. We thought this was a pretty shell. Some beach combers can probably tell you what kind of shell it is.

WE, of course, are just wandering around getting the lay of the land again.  A couple of attempts of fishing have yielded no fish, but we will persevere. After all fishing is one way we know of for trying to have way tooooo much fun.


Morning Fun

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas

The morning was a misty semi-foggy early morning that prevented crisp focus of the pictures. As we got to the waterfront the sun was trying to break loose in all its glory. We got this nice picture.

The sun eventually was able to bully its way clear of all the water vapor fuzzing things.

The OFM did a bunch of meandering around the harbor area checking out the hurricane damage. There was a lot of damage for sure. Back at the end of the breakwater we could see across the narrow chanel to where the old historic docks used to be. It looked like a bird convention was in progress over there.

The we meandered back to the rock pier near the Rockport Beach.  The handrail had received a lot of damage so the OFM was extra careful when walking along the pier. About halfway out is a small beach that is frequented by shore birds.  This particular shorebird was doing well grabbing minnows for breakfast. If you look carefully you can see the minnow inthe bird’s beak.

We have spotted more places of hurricane interest to be presenting in the coming two months. It seems we have plenty to keep us busy trying to have tooooo much fun.


Dog Leaf

Adventure Location:  Mississippi

Two days ago the OFM made it out to see a few interesting sights.  The location is Roosevelt State Park in Morton Ms.  The fall colors were starting and the evening lighting was pretty nice. With the “natural” help we got two pretty nice tree pictures. Which one do you like best?

Later as walking the OFM noticed a leaf down in a dark gully. So he took a picture of it. What is so special about this one is that it looks like a barking dog to him.  He used the computer to lighten the scene a good bit so the leaf could be seen. We think it is pretty cute ourselves.

I hope everyone has some good times trying to have tooooo much fun.


Rockport Tx Return

Adventure Location:  Texas

We made it from North Alabama to Rockport Texas in three days. Now we need a day or two to recuperate.

For those who find they cannot comment, it is because we had to set the comment setting several years ago to what is shown here.

Since then we have had very little trouble from disagreeable folks. Feel free to email directly if you choose.

Now we are going to get some rest before tomorrow so we can try to have tooooo much fun.


Floating Away

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
As always click the pic to enlarge.

As we walked the trail sun glinted a bright silvery sliver of light right into the OFM’s eyes. Now what is that? Of course we had to slip over there and examine the culprit.

At first we could not figure out what it was hanging in the brush over there. As we got closer it was even more questionable. It was fine silvery strands of something reflecting the sun like a mirror. Then as we got very close it was obviously a seed pod like we had never seen before or at least in this state of producing seeds. It was beautiful.

The OFM got brave and lightly held the pod and turned it to see what turned out to be the seeds with plumage.  Really pretty plumage in fact. He slowly turned the pod until we could see the seeds. The seeds were not very pretty.

The OFM gently pulled a couple of seeds loose to hold in his hand. The silver strands were so light he could not feel them on his skin. They seemed to want to jump out of his hand and go flying in the breeze. 

Very carefully the OFM released a few seeds into the breeze and watched them dance their way down the trail and into the shrubbery.  Then the OFM got the wild idea to photograph them in flight. It is a good thing there were lots of seeds to release into the breeze because the photographing of seeds flying was not easily accomplished.

Below is the best picture we were able to get. Obviously the camera auto focus got the back ground instead of the seed floating away.

We think it is still a pretty neat picture anyway. Those seeds are now doing the same thing the Teams are doing. We are all floating away with the wind in search of having tooooo much fun.


Sponge and Biscuit

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

Tonight the Teams have to thank Granny J (http://walkingprescott.blogspot.com/) again for helping us in the early years. OFM Adventures will soon be starting its eleventh year. Granny J took the time to teach the Teams to look and SEE EVERYTHING. Or at least attempt to. Following Granny J’s teaching means a slow walk for sure. It also means a great and fun walk. From seeing a daytime meteor streak across the sky to noticing an ant running from a stream of water coming from a hose laying on the concrete. It all counts.

The Teams were in a down mood so the OFM took us for a walk in the sun and shade by the lake. The day was nice and pictures were every where. As we walked along a path we stride on often, the OFM slowed us down. Let us GrannyJ this stretch of the trail. The Teams thought that was a great idea. So the camera was put at the ready and we were looking at the grand view because it was grand. Suddenly the OFM stopped us. Look small also Team.

Lo and behold we were about to pass up a neat sight. At the base of a tree next to the path was a small group of fungi that were interesting. And they had a surprise we did not see until editing the photographs! It was a mood improving moment.

This is the fungi that caught the OFM’s attention first. It is very big. Notice it grew around a loose leaf at the upper left. Then on the center right it has grown around a stick. The OFM toe is in the picture so you can see the size of this monster. It was about nine inches in diameter. The height must have been at least six inches. The honey combing of the head was really dramatic. We named it the “Sponge Mushroom”.

As the teams started to back away, the OFM exclaimed “Oh My, check these out”. There were two more interesting fungi around back so to speak. We carefully stepped around the tree and brush to find these two different shaped fungi. We finally got a decent picture to bring back to the Castle. These were about eight inches tall and four inches in diameter. They got named the “Biscuit Fungi”. Nope we did not try eating them. But we did encounter a few briar prickles getting back to the trail.

That was a great find by looking small as we walked. But the OFM got another surprise as he processed the first photo with the computer. Hiding over to the lower right of the first picture was another fungi. During the process of cropping the original frame, this small fungi jumped right out at him looking like a small owl standing on a stick. It is somewhat out of focus since the focus was on the first fungi. We wish we had noticed the “owl” while we were there to get a better picture.

Granny J’ing is just another good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Hippo Trail

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The OFM was waddling his way up the bank of Flint Creek. He leaves a wide path when he waddles up a creek bank. No body would mistake it for an alligator trail, but maybe for a hippo trail. Anyway he made it over the edge of the bank to the level ground. And there it was! A bit of a tree or something with sort of oak tree leaves but really different than any we can recall seeing before.

The leaves were about eight inches across.The OFM hand did not come close to covering the leaf. If some reader can identify it please do.

There are some fruiting trees in the forest around here. The fruit is round, about an inch in diameter and green at first.  Then turn a light purple/pink color.  The flesh looks edible but even the OFM was not stupid enough to try eating one without identification. Here is a picture of a limb with several fruits ripening.

Once again identification would be appreciated.

Over by the swamp is a tree that has fall leaves that are a strong red. The berries are a very dark blue/black with very shiny skin. They are the most vibrant color we have seen this year on the vegetation of the area. 

We, again, have no idea what the brand of tree this is. If you think we are meandering around in a stupor of knuckleheadedness trying to have tooooo much fun, you would be right.


Fresh Air for the Tires

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

We got the OFM off his sitting equipment and put him to getting ready to travel. Naturally he had lots of excuses but we persevered and a few chores got done. The most important chore was putting fresh air in the tires on the rig. All of them needed topping off with this blizzard weather cooling the tires and condensing the old air. The fresh air brought the tires up to travel pressure. All the tires were about four pounds low. We really do not want another blowout like a couple of years ago. Now Sierra and the Castle have tires that are both ready for the road.

After that effort we got more stuff moved out of our possession. The Traveling Team is getting close to about as light as we can get the Castle. By our information of the Castle’s factory empty weight of 4900 pounds and some measuring with the bathroom scale of our clothing etc plus the 160 pounds of water we plan on carrying, the Castle will weigh about 5500 pounds in rolling trim. That is about a light as we can get the rig and still be comfortable to live in it. That rolling weight leaves us with 2000 pounds of spare carrying capacity if we happen to need it.

During a walk the OFM was day dreaming as he meandered along when suddenly he realized he was next to a rock cliff. He jumped back and looked up at the blue sky and clouds and decided it reminded him of places he had been in the western states and how nice it had been there.

Now he is trying to figure out when we can make it back to some of those places to play some more.

Now and then we spot something new to the Teams. As we walked the path the luminescent orange/yellow dots caught our attention. They were coming from something laying in the path. In fact a lot of somethings. The OFM limbered the camera in preparation to doing some quick picture taking. It turned out he could take his time.

The somethings stayed quiet and posed for several pictures. It is the first time in our lives that the Teams, as best as they can recall, have ever seen this sight. The acorn caps just glowed. The acorns nearby did not show any evidence of the spectacular show the caps were putting on.

Finding something new that you have never seen before is a major event when you are out trying to have tooooo much fun.



Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The flashing blue and red lights we could see through the windshield at the entrance to the campground did not look like good news to the OFM as we were returning from supper tonight. The very nice police officer told us there has been a major car wreck. They had set up a single lane passage for us to get back home. We passed at least two fire trucks and one ambulance and several police vehicles.  The OFM did not even look to see what happened, he was too busy keeping from hitting one or three of the busybody gawkers in the way of the emergency folks. We just cleared the area and headed to the Castle. Tomorrow  the event will be told over and over we are sure.

Meanwhile for those who as still unsure what a tree rat is the OFM managed to get a picture of one.

Those pests can and will claw/gnaw through an RV roof, under flooring or wall just to see what is on the other side. Nope they are not cute little critters to the OFM Teams.

Another unexpected picture that worked out is this one taken through about a foot of lake water a couple of days ago. Since this picture was taken the lake has dropped another two feet or so. 

Those “sea shells” are about an inch long. We have lots of them in the sand along the shorelines of Flint Creek. The OFM has been having fun walking along the banks of the creek lately since the lake is down over six feet. Many interesting sights are being uncovered with this lowering of Wheeler Lake. 

One of the more questionable discoveries is several picnic tables scattered around the lake that are normally under water. Why are they there? These are the heavy tables with curvy tubular metal legs. Several seem to be positioned in an organized fashion. 

It seems like there is always something new showing up to help us in our quest of trying to have tooooo much fun.


OFM Teams Thinking

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

It has been an interesting day of negativity all around the Teams. The OFM took a consideration of it all tonight and decided he is still right in the way he looks at lots of life events. Fill in the blank as you choose. Here is three examples from the OFM Teams.

He is always happy when his ________ joints hurt because it means he is still alive to feel the pain when he picks up his grandkid for a big hug.

The nuisance of cleaning the bathroom means you are lucky enough to be able to clean the bathroom and have one to clean. 

The weather is nasty, the pier is getting sprayed with waves, the fish are not biting and the OFM is leaning on the rail with a fishing rod in his hand. Someone walks by and comments about not being much fun.  The OFM always says “Oh I am having great fun.  This is a fishing rod in my hand instead of a sledge hammer.”

Looking for a positive side of life is a wonderful way of trying have tooooo much fun.


Not What He Thought It Was

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

You can combine loop trails in this park for about ten miles of walking without retracing a foot path. The min picturesque trail is the 2.5 mile one way trail along the edge of Flint Creek.  It is well wooded and many pictures on this blog have come from walking that trail. It has just a little bit of up and down but only just enough to make it interesting. Here is the western entrance.

It is well used and well maintained. In general it has very few rough spots and those are not really of difficulty.

As the OFM Teams were leaving the above trail, two nice fellows came up from the creek edge headed back to their vehicle at the parking lot. We spoke for a minute and they had three crappie for several hours of fishing.

One of them mentioned that the fishing is getting tougher now that the lake authority is lowering the lake level for the winter.

This next picture was taken with maximum zoom since the OFM did not feel like braving the underbrush to get closer. The yellow flower turned out to be a leaf. Then to the left of the leaf is a spider web the OFM did not see until we processed the picture. We thought it was a nice picture over all.

Meandering taking pictures for exercise is a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Great News

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The sky was clear and blue on this day. The trees seemed extra tall. The tree rats still had good aim with their droppings and the OFM head. Hats are important when walking through tree rat infested trees. It is also important to be careful when looking up to photograph tall trees that you do not step on or in something you might prefer to stay out of like poison ivy or other things.

At one location we found a lot of “vines” with “air roots” hanging down. Some of the roots were almost twice as long as the OFM is tall. He took several pictures but none of them turned out really well. This was the least not good one of the bunch. Those thin roots with the bright background were hard shooting.

According to an eye doctor, the symptoms the OFM is experiencing is something that is well known to happen in about 20% of older humans. It has no record of causing more trouble and is not “curable”.  That  was very good news since the OFM was terrified it was the pre courser to some dreaded event like retina detachment or worse. The OFM can be a bit of a worrier and this news certainly relieved his head.

Sometimes it is good to find your self a bit of sunshine and just relax.

Lazing on a log looks like it might be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Huge Snake

Adventure Location:  North Alabama

The evening was getting on toward dark but the path was well maintained so the OFM photography Team was meandering along like good Meanderthalls should. The OFM was watching the upper trees for a chance to grab a pic of a squirrel or two.

 The light was somewhat dim as he moved slowly along the trees and brush lining the trail. He glanced down at his feet for some reason. Did you know he is able to clear 85 feet of ground laterally  and obtain an altitude of 25.753 feet above ground from a simple standing broad jump. We were impressed!

When he returned to earth still clutching the camera, we were clapping for his performance. He was shaken it seemed so we asked what is the problem?

He said “That huge snake that I nearly stepped on!” According to the rest of the breathless story it was 3 inches in diameter and over ten feet long. Yep. Sure. Show us.

So we walked back down to the location where he saw the King Cong snake. As we carefully approached the location, we could see a long large diameter something stretched from the shrubbery into the trail.

The OFM got his nerve back and cleverly got the camera ready for a long distant shot. Click and it was recorded for all the world to see the snake.

We do have to admit in the dim light that does resemble a snake head enough startle a fraidy cat OFM.  And the long tree limb is mottled enough to resemble something you might not want to play with. And with the dim light you might at first not notice it is already broken in two places.

But watching the OFM doing acrobatics is a very good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.