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Wild Rose Pass, Texas

2/28/17

Cheapskate

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

Well we made it to the end of February and spent $56 for camping fees for the month. Sure beats the $300+ we spent in January in Rockport. Sometimes it seems that saving money is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



 

2/27/17

A Gentle Walk

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

We needed a gentle walk so Sierra took us to the Bank Fishing area of Diablo East for some comfortable walking amongst the picnic areas that folks enjoy often. When the OFM passed through the gate to the area he finally paid attention that it had a date on it indicating its installation.



Most of the picnic tables have nice views of the lake. All are set up so you can park very close to the table and shade shelter. That shade shelter earns its keep in hot weather. Here is the nice view from one of the shelters we visited.



The blackbrush plants are beginning to leaf out and bloom. The leaves are a very pretty dark red at first. They also catch the sunlight and nearly glow. Check out these.



The blossoms are a beautiful bright yellow in a bottle brush shape. They also seem to glow when the sun hits them. And the fragrance is really wonderful but be careful about sticking your nose to close. You might see the trouble in this next picture.



During part of the walk the OFM took us down a very steep rocky bank to a place he has fished in the past. It is a pretty place down in a steep walled small canyon. Once again we have diamond sparkling water. It is very peaceful down here.



This made for a long enough walk the OFM had to rest when we got back to the Castle. He certainly is getting decrepit in his OLD age. But he still tries to get out and have tooooo much fun.



 

2/25/17

Onward Into The Free

Adventure Location: Spur 406, Lake Amistad, Texas

OK it is time to get on over to the free camping area. First find the entry marker to see which dirt road goes to the right area.



Then we head down the dirt road. But a normal good idea is to walk the dirt road and check if you and your rig can navigate the first few hundred feet of road to get onto the rocky section. After you get to the rocky section there is little risk of getting stuck. Here is the entry into the dirt road section.



And here is some of the reason for walking this section before heading down it.



Suddenly you will break out onto the hard surface and travel will be easier but still slow. Places to set up will abound on both sides of the “road” going back into the area.



As you meander on back into the area a small canyon opens on your left. There are lots of places to camp very close to the edge of the canyon so you can have water views like these.

 


This canyon leads on around to a bigger canyon of Lake Amistad. At full lake level this whole dispersed camping area has a few feet of water over it. The “road” does not make a loop but is a a dead end path. While we were here there were many fish jumping and cavorting in the water. Perhaps they would like to try there luck at fighting a lure.

Please remember that this is a remote area that can leave you with a long walk, or if raining a long slog through the mud at the beginning to get help if an emergency happens. At the same time it looks like a neat place to run around trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/24/17

Free Camping @ Lake Amistad

Adventure Location: Spur 406, Lake Amistad, Texas

The OFM is enjoying this expensive $2 a night camping at Lake Amistad, but wanted to get even cheaper. There is a location in the National Recreation Area (NRA) that is even cheaper. If you head westerly on hwy 90 from Del Rio for a few miles you will come to the Spur 406 camping area for the usual price.



The designated campsites are pretty much like the other four locations around the lake. There is about five or six sites out here. This place is the most remote camping area on the lake. BUT it has a special feature not found in the rest of the NRA.



As you follow the entry road into the area you get to where the old road runs way on down there and into the lake. This is the old hwy 90 road. It serves as a launch point for all sorts of water craft.



The special feature we spoke of begins right where the road starts down toward the lakeshore. Immediately to your left is the only Dispersed Camping Area on the lake accessible from on land. There are some others for water borne travelers only. Here is the view from on the road toward the VERY remote FREE camping area.



You can see Sierra parked at the entry road to the area. This is rough country. It is the bottom of the lake when the lake is full. That means all the “dirt” in this area is actually lake bottom silt. In other words, if it gets wet “you ain’t going nowhere”. The general area is a rock ridge that runs out a good ways and provides the general surface for driving upon. Did we mention it is REMOTE?
 
No cell towers were visible from in the camping area. It is also pretty rugged. In the next blog entry we will take you on a bit of a tour of the camping area. It did look like a good place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/22/17

Orange Bug

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The Teams have always found the West Texas desert a fascinating desert. We recently saw a sign by the National Park Service that may explain part of the reason. The variety of plant life here is very large.



The amount of thorns will also catch your attention if you get near it. Here is an example of your choice of misery in just one little stack of stickers. Any one of them will do plenty of damage it you are not careful. Probably the reason we see so few snakes is that the thorn growth keeps them away.



The OFM is always reaching over to check out the thorns and normally can escape severe damage. One day he will mess up and it is going to be messy. This mess of thorns turned out to be very touchy about being handled. The OFM got several small pricks while getting this picture.



This lady bug was the only one we saw on this day but it was definitely munching away on lunch. The Teams took the hint and headed back to Sierra for our lunch.



It got up to 92 today on the Team Thermometer. That temp made it a bit hot inside the Castle so we did some outside sitting this evening. When who should happen along but good ole JT. We have run into to him at four different places in the last couple of years. He is always fun to visit. They had come in today from Bibe and more specifically the Stillwell Ranch campground. JT reported that the inside the park campgrounds were running full every day. This is the first year the crowds have been that heavy in the OFM’s memory. Too many folks in Bibe can make it difficult to stay inside the park. That leaves you with Stillwell Ranch on the north east side and the Study Butte/Terlingua area on the west side of the park. Driving into Bibe every day is a bit of a bother but still a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/21/17

Lichen Delight

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The OFM is still dragging from the migraine but he soldiered on to get out a small bit of a blog entry today. A couple of days ago the Teams took a camera walk out at Diablo East and scored a few nice pictures.

The first flower is one the OFM is supposed to know the name of but he doesn’t. How about we just call it pretty #1,



Scattered all along the rocky point we were exploring were patches of lichen. They were colorful in spite of the very over cast day of the adventure. We think some of the lighter colored stuff is bird poop but the OFM would not taste it to see for sure. Wimp!

 


And down deep in some of the rocks were these very small purple flowers that were beautiful in real life. They actually seemed to glow upward from down in the rocks. We bet that a bright sunny day would make them spectacular.

 


That’s about it for tonight. We are hoping that tomorrow brings a good recovery and much better adventures at trying to have tooooo much fun.



 

2/20/17

Yum Yum!

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The day was going well. The cool breeze was just right. Here comes lunch time and we took lunch to the Governors Landing Picnic area for our great pleasure. Check out the view and sandwich.





Then the intense migraine hit and it has been stay close to the bed or on it since. But it was close to tooooo much fun when eating that little bit of lunch.

2/19/17

Important Thoughts

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

A wonderful morning seemed to be awaiting the Teams. After a leisurely breakfast the OFM decided he wanted to take a walk and see how the flowers were doing. So we got it together and away we went into the grass and trees area nearby. Fragrances were floating around so we knew there had to be some flowers somewhere.

It did not take long and here was a nice yellow flower. Actually there were thousands of nice yellow flowers. The OFM took several pictures and this one was chosen to tell the visual tale.



Of course the OFM had to spot something different. It was a dried old fungus hidden in the depths of the rotting limbs of a tree. We don’t say it is pretty but it was a surprise to find it hanging in there even when it looks like it died months ago.



The super nice fragrance of a Huisache tree came floating our way. A quick glance up and around found the source of the sweet smell and pretty yellow-orange flowers. The OFM moved in for the picture. He stepped carefully into the knee high grass. Each slow step brought him closer to the tree. Finally picture distance was right.



Up came the camera. A little fidgeting and CLICK went the camera. The covey of quail exploded from around the OFM’s feet as only quail can do. There must have been twenty in the covey.

As the OFM’s trajectory curved back toward the earth, he had time to think “I wish I had brought a parachute with me”. Then as he gazed down at his probable landing spot his next thought was “ I bet this is gonna hurt real bad”. What a way of trying to have tooooo much fun!

2/17/17

MsB!

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The OFM was passed out on his bed when the gentle soft feminine voice wafted through the window. It took him a minute to wake up enough to figure out what was happening. A very pretty and  nice lady was gently calling him to see if he was home. When the OFM finally got his head on a bit, he looked out the window and there was MsB. from TERLINGUA DREAMS. It would be hard to find a more welcome awakening than have her visit the Castle. It has been about three or four years ago since the last visit. She lives in old Del Rio.
We had a wonderful visit for a good while. Some talk of old friends and other talk of new things. If you get a moment head on over to Terlingua Dreams for some nice blog reading and what MsB does for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/15/17

Excitment?

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The morning skies came with a hint of better weather to come.



The day progressed to beautiful before noon. The nice warm sun along with the totally empty except for the OFM campground was wonderful. The first new customers came in around 1600 for a grand total new folks of three rigs. Here is the campground at lunchtime.



While on a walk today some cute tubular flowers were spotted. They are pretty common around here but we like them anyway. Here is the OFM hand butting in on the picture.



Then we have a picture of the inside of the flower.

 

And there you have it the report on the whole exciting day here at Lake Amistad. Its real name is Amistad Reservoir since it is primarily an irrigation water storage hole.

2/14/17

Foo-foo

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

It has certainly been a wonderfully peaceful few days here at Lake Amistad. We are now on day twelve of our holding tanks. How much longer can we go is the question. We have never stretched the tanks past ten days before. Always in the past we had somewhere else to head toward by day ten so we are in new teritory.

Yesterday was the cold front and rain day. That left little lakes in the gravel road coming into the park.

Which brings up the major excitement for the stay. Today as the Teams were heading out to get a propane tank refilled, the little foo-foo WHITE poodle that had been running loose and being a nuisance decided to chase Sierra. To the OFM’s surprise, Sierra knew exactly how to handle that pup with irresponsible owners.

Sierra stayed at the very slow speed allowed in the campground while Foo-foo ran around in front of and behind and alongside of Sierra with its owners standing back at their hollering like fools. We headed on out the mile long one lane gravel road toward town. There were lots of puddles on the sides of the road. A couple of times as Foo-foo ran up next to the drivers window, the OFM let it have a squirt of water from his drinking bottle. Foo-foo shook that off but dodged the next squirt. Then Sierra took control.

Here comes Foo-foo for another run alongside Sierra. Sierra eased over to the left and left Foo-foo only room to run through the mud puddles. Nice tan and black mud puddles were everywhere. Foo-foo seemed to enjoy it while still barking its silly head nuts.

We got to the right hand curve in the road and there it was. The three inch deep mud hole that went from one side of the road to the other. It was well churned up with thin mud like paint. Sierra headed right for the part next to the nastiest section. Foo-foo ran alongside and splooch right into the decorative mud in the puddle. Foo-foo was no longer white. After about a hundred we exited the puddle and Foo-foo broke off the chase. Foo-foo’s shaking scattered mud for ten feet in every direction.

Then Foo-foo looked around and got an "OH NO Where am I" look on its face. By now we were at least a half mile from the irresponsible owners who were last seen walking down the muddy gravel road hollering at Foo-foo to stop. Sierra just went on down the road. We are betting the owners were really happy with the very muddy wet dog when they got back together. We will never know the outcome.

Mostly not anything exciting happening. However we have notice that The Boondork seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. We are hoping everything is well and he just got himself to Bibe and found out that there really is very little internet down there.

WE just signed up for a few more days here at Del Rio to wait out the next Holiday weekend before we roll again in search of tooooo much fun.

2/12/17

$2 Campsite

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

OK The question was “What does a 2$ a night campsite in the desert outside of Del Rio Texas look like?



Now everyone knows the answer. Several campsites are empty and waiting for adventurers to come out and try to have tooooo much fun.

2/10/17

Cliffs and Cave

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The OFM got a really silly email today. “Sitting out in the desert near Del Rio has got to be boring.” Yep not a thing to do unless you count catching fish, walking the hundred miles of trails around the lake, riding bicycles on some of the same roads a fellow named Lance used to train on, taking photographs for putting in the blog, planning new paintings, trying excellent restaurants and that is just in the 20 mile radius of the Castle’s current camping location. Just wait until we get somewhere with something to do.

Here is a couple of pictures from one of the cliff areas around the lake. These were taken in the Diablo East Day Use and Bank Fishing Area. You can walk right along the edge of the cliffs and look nearly straight down to the water. In this first picture look carefully at the water line and notice the small cave down there.

 

 
The water is pretty clear in this area normally because it is very deep and does not have any bottom silt to get stirred up and make the water murky.

This next picture is on along the cliff edge trail to a point you can overlook the designated scuba diving and swimming area. Notice the nice access stairs from the upper edge of the cliffs to assist the swimmers in getting safely down to the water. We have seen this area with 40 feet less water in it but there was no bottom in sight then either.



The batts are performing very well and are declared ready for travel. The trouble is that there is a rain front and cold due in here on late Sunday night Monday morning. The Teams are planning on sitting tight until the weather get right again like today. That reminds me that last February here in Del Rio is when tornados tore up this area pretty good. We would like to ask the tornados to go somewhere else this year. They could cause trouble with the plans for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/9/17

Easy Day Required

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The OFM really early and quickly knew it was to be a day of rest and recuperation from the battery install. Every place on his ample body either ached or groaned. Fairly early he took the OFM Walking team for a gentle walk along one of the gravel roads in the area. It was a very pleasant day for the gentle stroll.



Mostly we just enjoyed the deer, jack rabbits, fox and birds. Along side the road was a few of these weeds that are actually pretty when you get close to them. The stickers are very mild.



When we reached an area of mown grass and brush, the quantity of spider webs glistening in the bright sun was awesome. Here is just one of the many we photographed. The different shapes made it interesting to see many different webs in such a small area.



Late this evening the sun had a rather strong light shining on everything. This particular bush is about fifteen feet from the Castle’s door. It was interesting to see the mostly gray/green bush become a burst of fire. We did not get it at the peak of the red since the OFM had to hurry over and get the camera. His idea of hurry makes a dead turtle look supersonic. But it was a neat happening anyway.



We have made reservations back in Gavinland for the summer so we can be there for the birth of the second grandkid (Gavin II maybe). That will make this summer really exciting again. We were wondering if having two grandkids is more than twice as fun as just one grandkid for trying to have tooooo much fun..

2/8/17

140 Pounds Of Power

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

The new batteries, all 140 pounds of them, arrived right on time today. They look really pretty waiting on the picnic table for an OLD FAT MAN to install them under the bed.



The bed was partially disassembled and parts and tools scattered all over the Castle. The old batts were removed after carefully marking all the wiring to make certain it all goes back to the correct place. Then the OFM deftly (yea right) grabbed each 70 pound battery and put it into the proper place under the bed. In reality he nearly busted a gut getting them up and over the bed foundation to the underside of the bed area. But he prevailed in spite of the 90 degree heat. When it was all done everything fired right up like he knew what he was doing. Then it was rest time for a while.



All the tools etc were cleaned up and stored in their homes for peaceful rest after the hard days work. The OFM grabbed a handful of ibuprofen and washed it down with a gallon of water. Maybe he will not be to decrepit getting out of bed tomorrow.

After a few days of testing for reliability we will be ready to continue our quest of running the roads trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/6/17

Near Death Experience

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

New batteries are on order. A boon docking RVer with failing batteries finds electricity to be a premium commodity. The blog will be off line until the new batteries are installed and charged. Then we will be able to get busy again trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/4/17

Mystery Ring

Adventure Location: Rough Canyon, Lake Amistad, Texas

The Teams headed over to Rough Canyon Campground to see if any great pictures were hiding from us over there. Nope, there was nothing exciting there today.

Well maybe there was a couple of interesting things. How would you like to spend a few days exploring a big scenic lake in one of these little boats camping your way around the lake? It might be fun.



While scrambling around looking for great pictures the Teams ran across this mystery ring.



This area is the top of the cliffs above a submerged and abandoned dam. At first the OFM thought it was a manhole to a sewer. However closer examination showed it did not go down into the rock surface but seemed to be sitting upon the rock understructure. Maybe it is some sort of base for something to do with the dam.

The top of the ring has small square protrusion on it as if it is teeth to fit something set on top of the ring.



We looked around the area without being able to spot anything similar. If any reader happens to know what it is please let us know.

We did not find great pictures but we did find an interesting object. That alone makes it a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/3/17

Nice Walk

Adventure Location: Lake Amistad, Texas

How about a nice walking area for tonight? Yep a great idea. This Federal Recreation Area is full of volunteer paths running around in the desert. But the OFM chose an easy one for his adventure. The old highway 90 through this area went under the lake back in 1969 or thereabouts. The south portion is now labeled Spur 454. At this time it is blocked from vehicle traffic at the start of the Federal Property. That turns it into a great walking path with an excellent surface and no traffic.

The OFM went around the gate. There is a passage place provided for pedestrians and bicycles. Then he headed for where the road goes under the lake for a short distance. It is a very pleasant walk with desert on both sides. Desert critters use this area a lot since there is a few million gallons of water available to drink. Look for the tracks and you will find many of them.

Naturally the OFM did not remember to get the camera into action until the OFM Walking Team was on the way back. Here is the view looking back to the starting spot.



Then he turned around three times and chose this view to take the next picture. It is of the route on to the lake water covering the road.



Then he decided everyone wanted to know where the Castle is located. Well the Castle is waaaaay over there up on the hill in this picture. We get a pretty good view from the Castle of the dry lake bed.



One of the interesting things that the OFM does for fun is look for volunteer trails through the desert. Sometimes they go somewhere interesting, but the only way to find out is follow them. We did not have sufficient water with us to check out this trail but it was a serious temptation.



From the occasional fantastic fragrances that waft around us now and then, it is obvious that the Texas Sage is getting ready to bust out in blooms and lots of smell good. This next picture is of some mesquite buds getting ready to bust forth any day now.




Desert walking and nosing around can be a lot of fun and a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/2/17

Tired Seagull Painting

Adventure Location: Site 40, Del Rio, Texas







The Tired Seagull painting is finished. It is a good thing the OFM is not relying on his art skills to eat regular.