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Packery Channel, Corpus Christi, Texas

1/18/18

Double Yuck

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/18/2018

Well there he goes. The OFM is running low fever, headaches etc of an ordinary sinus virus. With the cold air and rain predicted for the next couple of days the Teams voted he shall take a few days off to beat back the attacker. With that in mind we will return when he recovers and can get out to have adventures again. Someone needs to take over the task of having tooooo much fun for a while. ZZZzzzzzzz

1/17/18

Piles Everywhere

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/14/2018

Two days ago the OFM had on shorts and a tee shirt as we went to the Rockport Beach to find out what all the clanging and banging and roaring diesel engines was about. It was a very nice day and folks were out enjoying the winter weather.



The gulls, terns and pelicans were all having parties all up and down the beach area. We were able to get a neat shot of them swarming the area near the saltwater pool. They were doing a pretty good job of “decorating" the parked vehicles.



After riding around a bit we finally figured out what the noise was about. There was new piles of sand/dirt in strategic location all over the Park. It seems the Navigation District is in the process of putting back the dirt/sand that hurricane Harvey removed. From the looks of the loads of sand it will be even better than ever before.



For equipment operators that like playing in the sand it looks like this will be the place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/16/18

Taco Nap

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/16/2018

Here we are at 1915 in the evening enjoying the 29 degree drizzling rain outside of the Castle. WOW it is great fun. In reality it has been a busy day. Lunch was some great chicken tacos. The OFM came out of the restaurant to be greeted by ice on the side mirrors of Sierra. Yep the OFM agreed it was time to head back to the Castle and hibernate.

A bit of horizontal time was induced by the Mexican food we forced down the OFM’s throat. When he awakened he flew out of bed in a whirlwind of frantic activity that lasted close to 23 seconds. WOW that was “exciting”.

A friend stopped by and had a nice visit with a few subjects discussed and other problems solved. After that it has been just the Teams and the 29 degree drizzle to enjoy.

But then supper time finally got here and the pancakes slathered in peanut butter and syrup were wonderful. Now all that is left to do is survive the night with some hot tea because at noon tomorrow the warming trend is scheduled to start. The ice layer should melt pretty quickly and the good times will be landing soon after.

 We have to figure out a way to stretch the remaining three hours of get ready we have left into two weeks of effort. Then we can roll on off into the sunset looking for more ways of trying to have tooooo much fun.




1/15/18

PINS Grassland Nature Trail

Adventure Location: Padre Island NS, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/xx/2018


 This adventure was a few days ago but there is no exact memory of which day it was.

After you pass through the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) entry point and move on down the road about a quarter mile, the Grasslands Nature Trail is on your right. For some reason the OFM really enjoys this very mild trail and has walked it many times in the past. He did it AGAIN on this day and still enjoyed it.

He takes his time and meanders like a real professional Meanderthal. The sign at the beginning gives you some idea of the things you may see along the trail.




Just the other side of the sign is this group of yucca to cheer you on your way. They are a very good specimen of the plant. If you get close and listen carefully they can tell you many wild happenings in the area.




The trail is very accommodating to most any mode of travel. The paving is well maintained all the way around the area. It winds in and out of the hills of sand and grasses with occasional views of Laguna Madre in the distance. In the winter it can be very cold and in the summer miserably hot. Substantial wind is a constant possibility.




You will see agave of many different sizes. Some are really healthy and others bear the scars of prairie fires in the past.



Since this is a natural area the large ants are a normal part of the landscape. They are easy to avoid but sometimes interesting to watch for a few minutes. If they happen to show interest in your feet, move on quickly.

An since this is real desert there are stickers of all sorts scattered around the trail. If you leave the trail for a photo or closer look please pay attention to the vegetation. It can be painful.

When you get back to your vehicle, the closest restroom is a few miles on into the park at the visitor center. The visitor center has neat things to see inside it too. The high stairs accessed from the visitor center deck is neat to go up for a panoramic view of the area. 

Then when you return to the deck another set of stairs takes you down to the beach to frolic. But first please read the caution signs along the beach stairs. They can help you have a very pleasant adventure on the beach.

The OFM goes here often because he always comes very close to having tooooo much fun.

1/12/18

What Is It?

Adventure Location: Rockport Harbor, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/12/2018



The OFM has walked and ridden his bicycles out on this breakwater at least a hundred times since we started coming here in  late 2007. This is the first time he has noticed the OBJECT. Of course he never walked out on the breakwater when the water was as low as it is now. As he was in a good Meander mode, he was really paying attention to everything he could see.

Suddenly this object was visible under the water surface.



Now what is that he thought (yes he really does think once in a while). His eyes tried really hard to decipher the object. The water was just a bit too rough to make it out. After identifying the location so it could be found again, the Team went away to wait for a calmer day. That day was today and the pictures were take late this afternoon.

The Teams still could not be certain what we were seeing. When the water is back to normal there is about 3.5 feet more water over the object. We doubt it is visible then.

After taking several more pictures of the object we headed back to the Castle. Using our limited photographic skills the pictures were enhanced so the object was somewhat better.

Here is one end of the object.



What could that be?

Here is the other end of the object. They seem to be attached to each other but it is lightly covered with mud in the middle.



Several things come to mind in the fertile field of the OFM’s imagination. Not the least is some sort of sleeping SEA MONSTER.

One thing for certain it was fun to imagine about and photograph. It made for a great afternoon of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/11/18

Bad Winds

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/11/2018

We are having a real nasty wind storm tonight. The garage across the street is in the process of having its sheet metal roof removed by the winds. The remaining hurricane debris is now not in neat piles but scattered all over the place. We are hoping the Castle does not get any damage from the flying debris. The temps are dropping fairly quickly. All in all it is not a great night for trying to have tooooo much fun.

FRIDAY MORNING EDIT: We made it without any damage. Others were not so lucky. Glad that is over.

1/10/18

Crowbar Headache

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX.
Adventure Date: 1/10/2018

The revelation hit the OFM hard right between the eyes with great vigor. He was deep into planning our travel route and times for 2018. The concentration was mighty so the impact was a major surprise. KABLAM and you could hear the rocks in his head rattle around.

But first a bit of history. A few blogs ago the Teams announced that 2018 was to be a year of few if any long term plans and a year of plain old roaming as adventures presented themselves. The OFM is finding that hard to handle. He has mentioned that he is worried that his blogging might suffer with irregularity. The rest of the Team members insisted that that might be a good thing. Hmmmmm he said.

So after the crowbar of the Meanderthal Society was removed from the OFM’s forehead he started to listen. He even agreed he had fallen into the old pattern of the last couple of years already. He said that at least we know he will have to WORK (he really hates that word) at this minimal planning thing. 

Please keep in mind that the Teams will be erratic on posts starting tonight but we will not be giving up the blog effort. Blogging is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. Now the OFM wants to go lie down and nurse his headache.

1/8/18

No More Bear Hugs

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/08/2018

The day had arrived. Today was the day chosen that the Teams begin their get ready to roll work.The LPG Tanks on the Castle were 30# tanks. One tank lasted us about 11 months. The re-certification date arrived April 1, 2017 for them so on March 31 they were topped off so we would have nearly two years until it was required to re-certify or replace them.

However a bit of a trouble had developed. A single full tank weighed 59# on the bathroom scale. The OFM has gotten so decrepit that he had to bear hug a full one if he had to move it. And even then it was awkward enough that twice he had hurt himself handling the tank. So the OFM decided we would replace the 30# tanks with 20# tanks. That means we will have to refill a tank about every 7 months. That is still not a big deal.

The 20# tank weighs about 38# when full. That is light enough that the OFM can handle and lift it with one hand. MUCH BETTER was his comment. The change also lightened our towing weight another 40 #. Nothing wrong with that. 

Here is the before and after. Notice the tank in reference to the rock guard top line to see the difference.


30# Tanks



20# Tanks


The new tanks certainly were a lot easier to wrestle into place and get the clamp and hoses attached. This is going to be a very good deal for the Teams. One of the old tanks had a little propane still in it and the other was full. The OFM was able to trade them for the propane value to a fellow for some fun stuff. We are very confidant that the new stuff and lighter tanks will help greatly in our efforts of trying to have tooooo much fun in the near future.

1/7/18

Hug A Heater

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/07/2018

A Meanderthal never know what they will find as they meander an area. Check out this cave that has been dug into a large sand embankment. 



We wonder what that cave houses. Maybe a special person who wants to live down near the seashore. It was a surprise to the OFM when we ran across it.

Now the full story. The small cave picture was taken while the OFM was messing around on the Rockport Beach the other day. He was trying for a different picture that you can see here.



The big picture did not work out but we noticed the little cave. The first picture is an enlargement of the portion in the blue box. The OFM figured the picture was worthless but as he sat there looking at it for a while he decided to show his readers how just plain cropping of a photo can make a world of difference. We hope you enjoyed the little teaser tonight.

A few days ago it was a foggy morning around here so the OFM went out to find some foggy pictures. They were in great abundance but the available light was a bit dark for photography.

These next two pictures have been cropped but that is all. We like to take the extraneous stuff out of our pictures before we show them to our readers.



This picture was taken from just as you enter the pier. It was a cool morning with little wind. It took holding the camera against a post to get the camera still enough to be not too fuzzy. The OFM can shake a granite boulder when he gets cold.

The tide was way out this day so several of the sandbars out from the beach were exposed. Some of the bird life were standing around being lazy on the sandbars and this bird was actually sleeping. If you enlarge the picture you can see it has it’s head under a wing. Seems like a cold place for a nap to us.


There were plenty of other pictures available but the OFM decided he wanted to hug a heater as a better way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/6/18

Unpacking Day

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/06/2018

It was cool with broken clouds when the Teams stepped out the door of the Castle. We had a volunteer effort in front of us to help a nice couple to unload their truck and trailer of their household goods. They are moving here from NE Texas.

The first pass by their home did not show any activity yet so the Teams went hunting photographs for the blog.  The photo hunting was slim this morning but the treasure hunting was pretty good.

The Castle has been needing some replacement leveling boards for its tires. Today during all the walking and searching two already cut the right length boards were found washed up on a beach to join the Teams. They jumped right up into Sierra’s bed and snuggled down in the storage box. They seemed to like having a home to rest in.

Another trip by the work zone was taken and still no sign of movement yet so the Teams headed out for the Market Street Pier to examine it for photo graphs just waiting to be taken. There were a few but it was still pretty early lighting wise. However we like them.




The sun was barely wiping its eyes clean when the seagull came swooping into the area begging for a picture to send home to its family in the south Carribean. So the OFM grabbed a few shots and this one worked out pretty good.

On down the pier we meandered. The dredging crew was just getting started and this pelican was working hard at waking up to search for breakfast. The chill got to the OFM and had him shaking a bit. You know, just enough to make blurry pictures. So he got over to the rail on the pier and applied his body very diligently to the the rails to steady himself. You realize it is beneficial to be fat at this point so you can wrap the belly fat around the rails to keep yourself really steady.

Any way we god one decent picture of the slowly coming to life pelican.



The pelican stayed right there during all this mess fat wrapping and unwrapping from the had rail. We finally got the pictures and moved on back to Sierra to check out more of the area for the hidden photos that had to be there. However this was all we found today and the moving job was ready to get going.

For the next hour we toted boxes and shop furniture from the truck/trailer to the working area. It was not a bad job but when it was finished the OFM did not volunteer for helping build a fence that is needed. He is lazy you know. Some walking time at the Rockport Beach was done but no more pictures were wandering around.

For supper tonight four of us movers went to a mexican food place and made serious hogs of ourselves and enjoyed the socializing. Now that was a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/4/18

Mystery Critter

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/04/2018


We awoke this morning to a light frost all over everything outside. The temperature was showing 35F so we have no idea how the frost could exist, but it was there. Before long the temp was in the high 40s and by the time the Teams go out to make trouble it was mid-50s and fantastic bright sunshine.

Sierra took the Teams over to the Beach Park to get the OFM to do some walking outdoors instead of inside Walmart. The OFM surprised us by deciding that it was a great idea since he might find a photograph waiting to be taken. The water in the area is about 2 feet low so we got to see lots of gulf bottom from the wooden fishing pier. Seems to be a good bit of storm debris out there getting covered with algae. Certainly some fishing lures will end up attached to the junk.

At least it was a beautiful day. The OFM did find one nice photograph out on the wooden pier.


Those are some pretty neat clouds we think. After about 3/4 of a mile of walking the OFM started to get a hitch in his getalong so we climbed back in Sierra and headed to the Castle for some ibuprofen. In an hour or so the OFM was noticeably better. 
The rest of the day was playing with his new toys (watercolor pencils). He sure has fun with that art stuff. He makes big messes and has fun.  At least he realizes not to call himself an artist.

During the cold spell of the last couple of days we managed a few pictures down near the rock pier. The tide was way out and lots of beach was exposed. When we got the pictures out of the camera there was a surprise waiting for us. Next to a piling that normally has about 3 feet of water around it was a sea monster of some sort crawling on the sand. What is it? We have no idea but the OFM was not about to go back down there to confront the critter for proper identification.



Maybe it is an Arctic critter that came down here on the cold wave. If somebody recognizes it tell us what it is, please. We do not think trying to pet it is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/3/18

Steep Roads

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/03/2018

It was 0715 when the OFM climbed into Sierra. Sierra was started and the television screens in the dash started spitting out data. It was 27 F as we pulled out of the parking spot. That is way cold enough for the Teams.

After a Whataburger breakfast, Sierra took the OFM across the street to Walmart. Into the store he dashed. Then he started walking. It is too cold outside for him to walk so inside Walmart is the next choice. He walked and walked and walked and it was nice in the warmer air inside Walmart. Finally he was ready to go home. Sierra gladly took us home after stopping a couple of places to take pictures.

Later the OFM went to the utility hookup side of the Castle and notice two large icicles hanging from the Castle under the water inlet. After the icicles were knocked off you could see where the old sun hardened hose was leaking around the brass fitting. So it was off to Walmart for a new hose.

The new hose went on without a hitch. Here is a picture of the new hose with the icicles on the ground under the hose.



In the mail came our new Mountain Passes Directory we heard about from The Bayfield Bunch.



This gives the per cent grade and other important things about the higher and steeper passes a road traveler can encounter in the USA . After looking at several of the passes the OFM personally knows about, he decided that the writer really knew his stuff and the book is worth more than the cost. 

Last year Sierra had a really tough time with the steepest part of Guadalupe Pass in West Texas. It turns out that part is an 8% grade.  Now we know to dodge any grade of 8% or more as it is too much for safe trailering for the Teams. The book was a bit under $20 and can be ordered  from http://www.mountaindirectory.com/ . It took less than a week to get here.

It already showed us a pass or three that we now know we have no business trying to cross towing the Castle.  We will have to tour that part of the country without towing the Castle. That will be a lot better than frying a transmission or engine. Trying to back down a mountain pass road with a fried engine is not our idea of a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/2/18

Couch Potatoes

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/02/2018

After an unreal bad night of apparent food induced misery the OFM was not up to much activity today. In fact after finally getting to sleep mid morning he slept most of the day.

However the day was not wasted. We received a few family Christmas pictures from North Alabama. So we will leave it at a picture of Gavin and Piper  in a picture taken in Mid-Alabama at his other grandparents home. 


They certainly look like a good avenue to way tooooo much fun to the Teams.

1/1/18

Nothing To Do

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 01/01/2018

Thank you to everyone for the good wishes left in the comments today. The Teams really appreciate it.
Your regularly scheduled blog starts now.

2018 has started with an incredible BANG. The OFM thought (yes he actually had a thought for a change) that it would be a slow day considering the nasty weather and the special football games on TV. Not to mention all the big meals planned.

WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL.

The OFM still is flabbergasted when someone tells him they are bored with their retirement. There is nothing to do. Yeah right.

The OFM says he needs to double the day as a minimum to let him even attempt to keep up with everything he tries to do. By the time 1930 rolled around and it was time to start this blog entry, the Castle’s table was a huge wreck with art attempts littering the area. The computer was bogged down with photos being considered for blogs, art attempts and emails from folks. Jeesh. OK enough of that.

During a drive around to just get outside for a bit, Sierra took us to the Rockport Beach Park to check out the cold playground. There was very few people out and only two brave or foolish folks out of their vehicle. It was cold 36F with a light drizzle and some wind. When we stopped at the fish cleaning station we got the idea it might be really miserable out there.



No seagulls or pelicans were in the area. If fact we did not see one during our whole outing. We have never seen that before in this park. In our nine years of coming here there has always been at least one bird of some sort on guard.

When Sierra was bringing us back to the Castle after the Whataburger visit tonight, a strange phenomena was happening in the dark night sky. You have probably seen an instance of a cloud cover starting to break up and the sun breaking through in patches and streaks of light.

Well, that was happening tonight with the moonlight. The OFM did his best to get a picture of it but it did not work out very well. However this is what we did manage to get.



The camera was held against the Castle and the shutter very gently pushed. It was so dark out that the OFM could not see the camera controls to operate the camera properly. But as usual he pushed some buttons anyway in hopes of something showing up. It did. Yea!

And there you have some of the high points of this boring day with nothing to do for trying to have tooooo much fun.