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North Alabama Cool Creek


Bad and Badder

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The OFM has been slopping watercolor around again. Then he pushed some oil pastel around again. These are the same scene with major errors of performance in each one. Both are terrible but both were lots of fun to paint. Both were done on cheap Walmart art paper. Both were done with cheap Walmart paints from Daler Rowney. These are nearly the worst art paint that can be purchased but both are likely much better paints than the OFM is as an artist. But the price is right for a fool fooling around.
Here is the watercolor effort.

And here is the oil pastel effort.

The Teams will pit the OFM up against any other painter when it comes to trying to have tooooo much fun.


Memories of Unfinished Adventures

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The OFM has been getting itchy feet and the Castle is getting itchy tires. It must be getting time to do some adventuring. Frequently today the OFM has been reminiscing about western adventures in his past. He and The Truck definitely have been some places. 

One scene that keeps coming back to him was from out on the Bullfrog-Notum road in Utah. We were miles and miles from anywhere. There was free camping all over the place just waiting for us. The desert was receptive to wheeled travel. We pulled off the “road” (a two tire track through the desert terrain) and paused. The OFM got out and meandered up a hill nearby. He got to the top and waited to hear a non-natural sound. He was there for many minutes looking across the country side at this.

There never was a non-natural sound. We planned to return “someday” and it has not happened---(yet). What a place it was for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Flags and Clouds

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The OFM was rolling out of bed about 0630 with great plans for the day. Suddenly the sound of little hooves sounded on the roof. Whoa it was really the sound of big raindrops pummeling the skylight. There went those plans. It poured or rained or drizzled until about noon. The landlord says his rain gage registered four inches of precipitation.

Down by the harbor is a big field used for special events. Apparently something is happening soon because large tents and lots of flags are flying. Workers are scrambling around putting things in order. The Teams know where they WILL NOT be when the activities start up.

Just across the street the Cranky Crab From the Deep leaped onto some pilings near the water when some children got close. It was a close call but Mom got the children away just in time. That was not a happy crab.

Back at the community park with the walking trails we noticed the OFM life clock bush. It had a seed pod showing how the OFM was a couple of years ago. He was vibrant and exciting (Ed. that is only in his mind).

A few feet away there is a worn out old seed pod. It looks a whole lot like the OFM feels most of the days now. But as you can tell both of them are still holding on to whatever they can.

A small migraine this morning did set the Teams back a bit but you can be sure tomorrow we will be busy trying to have tooooo much fun.


3 Trout

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Remember the multi paths we took for walking. On one of the paths is an artistic tree. One of the limbs was cut off a long time ago. The stump area has weathered quite a bit but we never did pay much attention to it. Granny J would have a fit about the Teams not paying enough attention since she was the universe’s master at attention to details. We miss her. Here is the tree and the path.

It is a nice tree and furnishes very good shade to the walkers along the path. We guess that most all the walkers do not realize the work of art they are passing as they mosey along the path. The limb stump has weathered to give us a “growing” of a duck. Do you see the duck?

We are very ashamed it took so long for a Team member to notice the duck. Of course if you move very much to the left or right the duck disappears. We consider it a wonderful find.
Before heading down to the local Tex-Mex for lunch we stopped at the breakwater near the Aquarium to fish a little.The result was three nice speckled trout in twenty minutes. Those fat little girls went right back in to grow up some more. That was fun!
After lunch the crash adjuster called and we had a productive conversation. The result was that he gave the OFM a list of photographs to take of Sierra and email him. They are in Ohio and will be doing the repair estimate from up there and handle billing etc so the OFM should not have  to put out any money. The adjuster could not definitively say the Teams insurance rate would not go up but he also said that this in not an accident that is usually held against the policy holder.
We are hoping the OFM can settle down to a good nights sleep tonight so tomorrow we can get busy trying to have tooooo much fun again.


Exercise By Meandering

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Very active describes today. The morning got off to a slow start so we did not get to the walking paths until nearly 0915. The heat was strong already and the OFM was trying to figure out where to walk with the least misery. As we pulled into the community park he noticed that none of the normal loops were without some major stretches of sun drenched hot asphalt trail. Then his “brilliant” brain came up with the idea of not walking a “trail loop” but rather just going back and forth on a stretch of shaded trail loop. Now that seemed like a good idea to the rest of the Teams.
From the parking area we set off on the main loop headed through the trees.

The layout of the loops were familiar to us but which parts had shade at this time of the morning was not. So it was a by the seat of our pants walk. It actually worked out very well. We even got to meet two new pups and their parents.
When we got over near the ponds the path split and we stopped for a minute to consider which way to go. You can see in this next picture all the folks out in the long stretch of bright blistering sun.

 We chose to go to the left from the picture taking spot. It was shaded for a nice distance and the OFM took a right turn to what he remembered as a shaded trail section.
OOPS things had changed and a lot of tree trimming had been done and we hit bright sun very soon. So we stopped, turned around and headed down another part of a loop which turned out to be a great decision cause that is where we met the two neat pooches. From there we were able to loop around in the shade and catch another short side trip. On this side trip we found a neat tree event to report in a later blog.
Then it was turn around time and head back to the recently customized Sierra. It was getting hot even in the shade. We do not walk for distance since the OFM has days he can walk briskly and days he only hobbles along. We aim for an hour of whatever kind of walking he can do that day.
We feel that an earlier start will give even more trails to walk since the sun will be lower. We got enough pictures of neat things that the OFM is raring to go back again right now.
Not that they are any good, the OFM even painted two pictures he has been laying out for a few days.  Then a short rain hit the area and dropped the temps down to the very low 80's with a gentle breeze. Man o man it has been an interesting day. The OFM has chores tonight to edit some of the many pictures taken so he can use them in a later blog. It is great when the trying to have tooooo much fun goes on into the night.  


Not Much Happening

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The OFM and Sierra were coming home from Walmart. It had been the second day in a row of not much happening. About 1630 we were cruising along at less than a mild stroll in the Walmart parking lot when a very nice young man decided that his big Dodge truck with a strong brush guard and winch needed to customize Sierra.

We had a very pleasant visit about it all and then we went on our separate ways to talk to our insurance companies. 
The OFM Teams adjuster is due to contact us on Tuesday to discuss options.
And so ended another fine day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Summer Fun?

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Summertime misery is here with a vengeance.  About 1100 the OFM was getting a bit to hot and we packed it in to head back to the Castle. Sierra told us it was 98 out there ten feet from the cool gulf water. We can expect this very hot weather until late September. The Teams are ready to head to Gavinland as soon as a spot opens up for us in Point Mallard, Alabama. It was 79 there for the high today.
The Castle’s AC ran for over four hours straight this afternoon without a rest. Right now we are sitting on about $3 a day for running the AC. The OFM went out to water the grass a bit. The grass was wilted very badly. He even sprayed water on the roof of the Castle and the AC coils. Nope the AC did not cycle. Good grief it is not nice in Rockport, Tx this time of the year.

The tree shade on the Castle stops about 1200 and the sun’s rays really cook us through the windows on the door side. We have 3/4“ foam insulation in the windows but on the sunshine side it still gets hot around the windows. 
The foam is great convection insulation but what we need at this campsite is the radiant energy reflector added to the convection insulation. Lowes had some Reflectix in stock this evening so we brought some home with us. The Reflectix will be against the window pane then a small air gap and then the 3/4“ foam insulation.

Hopefully installing the Reflectix radiant barrier will get done tomorrow, but we also have laundry and a few other chores to help us stay busy.

Staying cool is the main object tomorrow.Trying to have tooooo much fun will not happen if it is too hot for the wimp OFM.


The Ultimate Fish Lure

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The speckled trout were just waiting for the OFM this morning at his 0830 appointment. The second cast had a fish and go into great aerial feats of acrobatics ..... and shake loose. However in the next thirty minutes the OFM landed six specks from 16“ to just over 18“. Numerous others were hooked, fought and came loose during the close quarters fighting near the bulkhead.
The lure that did all the good is this H and H lure.

We used a 1/4 oz jig head and the lure lasted through all the fish today and several from the last couple of weeks. The lure is usually productive when you find the fish.
The main other thing we have been doing is reading about watercolor techniques. The Aransas County Library here in Rockport has a pretty good collection of art books. The OFM is determined to get good enough that when he paints a rock you can tell at least that it is not an airplane. We know that for him that is a very lofty goal but he does need the challenge.
The art effort is actually very worth while since it keeps him out of trouble for the most part. The we use the cattle prod to keep him focused on trying to have tooooo much fun.


Really Busy Today

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It has been a day of new things with a couple of things very important. 

Number one on the list is the new grand daughter is now going to be born on July 3. The latest exam caused the doctor to decide that the baby was ready to be born. It certainly makes for extra excitement in the day and changes of plans.

Number two  on the list is my old friend (93) Ivan and the OFM had a great visit today. Ivan had a stroke a couple of weeks ago and is back in his assisted living home. He is doing really well and we had a great time for a couple of hours today. He is one really GRAND fellow to visit. The two hours went by in a flash. The Teams are really excited about some ideas that Ivan presented for us to consider about our future travel plans.

Number three is first thing this morning the OFM caught two fat speckled trout that were 18“ each. It has been a good while since he has caught any fish much less two nice ones. They were released after measuring.

Number four is the OFM swapped Internet Explorer out for Google Chrome and his computer is running a good bit smoother now. The swap went fairly easy for a computer illiterate like the OFM. We are enjoying the better performance for sure.

There were several other minor excitements that made for a really full day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Well Blow Me Down

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Let us talk wind. This year has been the Year of the Wind it seems. Kayakers have had little chance since early April, when we returned to the area, to ply the waters around here in comfort. The wind is blasting everything way too often. Fishing from the shore requires careful choice of location. Otherwise your cast can end up behind you.

A walk at the beach park a couple of days ago yielded some wind pictures. It was also very hot which is typical for Texas this time of the year.

AS the OFM was trying to walk on one of the beach park paths the wind was causing him to wobble around while walking. Surely it was not his bad knees or hip causing him to appear like a drunk wobbling along. We have proof in pictures.


Notice the absence of palm limb stubs on the left side of this palm tree. Also notice the stubs remaining are very well eroded by the strong winds. They are practically just threads of palms blowing in the breeze. Then a bit above that the threads are just plain old blown away. Yep the winds are a factor most of the time the last couple of months.

Next we get to add the hot unadulterated sunlight that tans even the concrete. Every little piece of shade is used. By 0900 the sun is scorching every living thing even the OFM. He tries to get back inside by 1000 to save his body.


This bird was hiding on the lee side of the palm tree. We do not know if it was first there to use the shade or to get out of the wind that was trying to knock the bird over. Sometimes the shore birds have fits with he wind knocking them around as they stalk some food.

The OFM enjoyed his walk because his body allowed the nearly half mile of slow walking without much pain. that made the walk along the shoreline of Little Bay a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Well here we go with another failure. The OFM was trying out his oil pastels to paint a scene with some marsh grass in a corner of it. He worked it and worked it and worked it and still came out yuck.


Thus we have another paint failure from an artist perspective. But from a fun basis it was a fantastic success. Yep we had a lot of fun messing around with this one and it is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Two Fish Day

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The day was varied but interesting. This morning the OFM Fishing Team managed to land an 18“ speckled trout about 0900. It put us a very good fight. When it was put back in the water it flashed off in a hurry.


In the late evening the OFM caught another fish just like that one but he did not have the camera to take another picture.

Nearby was some pretty flowers that the OFM took pictures of. It took a few tries to get a picture that was not too blurry or faded out. It turned out to be some very pretty pictures.


Late afternoon there was a rain squall came through. The OFM figured it was a good time to take a nap. So he laid down on his back and put his hands behind his head. AHHH This feels goood was the thought just before the big drip from above hit the inside of his arm and ran down his side. Oh no he exclaimed. The Roof is leaking.

Yep the roof was leaking. When the rain quit the OFM went out and found a1.25 inch gap in some caulking. Then in another place found more gaps. The ladder was put to work and caulking was done to the cracks. It looks like a tree limb may have impacted the Castle and down some damage to the roof. We have our local reliable RV repair man coming to check the whole roof for more damage. He had several calls about leaks today so it will be a day or two before he gets to come over. After the OFM panic and repairs that will be soon enough. The OFM is not feeling steady enough to be running around on the roof at this time. Falling off the roof is another way of not having tooooo much fun.



Quick Art Center Visit

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Today was tooooo busy alllll day Again. The OFM is very tired from carry lots of rocks in his pockets today. All his pockets had to be kept full of heavy rocks to keep all the mosquitoes from carrying him home for their meals. We saw several cows being whisked out of the fields headed for the marsh areas. We heard that it takes at least a 12 pound sledge hammer to kill just one of the biting savages.

So we stayed close to Sierra since the OFM did not want to walk very far while carrying rocks and breathing mosquitos. Sierra parked at the Rockport Art Center and the Teams looked around it for a few minutes. A few minutes of blood is all the OFM thought he could spare. Here is the inviting front porch. The rocking chairs are empty because the mosquitoes carried off the most recent occupants.

Near the entrance is a ligustrum bush that was blooming. They have nice flowers that are also fragrant. We stopped for a few seconds to take this picture. It was difficult to hold still with the huge mosquitoes jerking on the OFM’s arms and legs.

As the OFM headed away from the porch we came close to this palm tree trunk that has a great pattern. For some reason the OFM thought it was cute, so enjoy his idea of cute.

And as we turned to amble back to Sierra the OFM spotted this bloody looking plant. If anyone knows its name, please tell us.

We made it back to Sierra and got inside the cab safely with about 79% of our original blood with us. WE can feel safe to say that playing in the mosquitoes is not the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Lots of Storms

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Today was tooooo busy alllll day. The OFM was on the run from dawn until now at 2200 at night. Lots of things happened or were put into motion and he is TIRED.

The number one thing is the Teams will be leaving Rockport in late July for Gavinland. Gavin has a sister due in late July and the Teams want to get her introduced properly to the Teams lifestyle.

Today was also a day of dodging a new thunderstorm about every two hours. That does get tiresome by late afternoon. Here is a picture of the supper storm. You can see a bit of the Whataburger building in the corner of the picture. The OFM ran in the store, got his food, inhaled it and was back in Sierra before the first raindrop hit the Teams.


After that it was quickly back to the Castle and batten the hatches. Computer work has taken up the last of the evening. We worked on a special project for a friend that was a lot of fun. The project is secret for now but may be announced when it is completed. This way no surprises get spoiled. We are hoping that tomorrow will be a good bit less hectic while we are trying to have tooooo much fun.


Weather Break?

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

After a way too hot and verrrrry humid day today we are trying to set records for stormy weather. Here is the “small break in the weather” the weather forecasters talked about.


Right before that picture was taken at the harbor, the OFM had caught a speckled trout and tossed it back into its home waters.

Between the late evening storms and the hot and humid earlier part of the day it has been very interesting for trying to have tooooo much fun.