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Pecos River Mouth, Texas


Worn Out Grandpa

Adventure Location: Harvest, Alabama
Adventure Date: April 21, 2018
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The call came in as the OFM was finishing the laundry. Come on over was the message. So plans were quickly changed and away we went to the grandkids home. Here is Piper flirting with everyone while gumming a stalk of celery.

Gavin was in a good mood today and we all had a great time. Tomorrow the Teams are due over there for more fun. It should be another great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Ugly Surprise

Adventure Location: I-65, Alabama
Adventure Date: April 20, 2018
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We ended up with a 43F start this morning but a nice gentle ride through the countryside. About 1300 we pulled in to the campground and went in to pay and get the campsite assignment. At 1600 it is a very nice cool day.

Then the surprise hit us. The surprise is that the campground is having a $93 a month increase on the standard rate starting May 1. All the other rates are sky rocketing also. This means our 5-6 month stay must be re-evaluated. $549 a month is a bit steep for the OFM Teams. That is still cheaper than an apartment. However Point Mallard Campground is still running 100% full so the price must be ok with a lot of folks.

The OFM needs to work on some trying to have tooooo much fun to override the surprise.


Beautiful Campground

Adventure Location: I-20 , Texas-Alabama
Adventure Date: April 19, 2018
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We were rolling at 0812 this morning and quit rolling about 1800 for a ride of a bit over 400 miles. We shortened tomorrows trip by a bit over a hundred miles since the OFM was feeling like keeping on going.

Our location is a beautiful camping spot with nice trees and facilities for the price of $0 near Eutaw Alabama.

We should make it to our new home for a good bit tomorrow morning. Like all the times in the past we have been there, it should not be any trouble to try to have tooooo much fun.


3/5 There

Adventure Location: Hwy 79, Texas
Adventure Date: April 18, 2018
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Morning started with an 0800 start in strong winds again. The traffic was not much and we made good time all the way to tonight’s destination. That is three days of travel and we will clear Texas tomorrow morning. Two days left to Decatur Alabama.

Martin Creek State Park is our location tonight. The campsites are nice and decently spaced apart.

The parks folks are doing controlled burns around the park. While walking near the fishing pier, a nice smoke event was noticed.

The controlled burns have not bothered the Teams at all. The OFM got in a nice walk along and around the lakefront areas. He gets pretty stiff sitting and driving  for long time periods. Walking certainly helps him feel better. And feeling good helps in the trying to have tooooo much fun.


The Middle Stretch

Adventure Location: Hwy 29, Texas
Adventure Date: April 17, 2018
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Morning started with nice sun and moderate wind. The Teams pulled out of South Llano River State Park about 0815. The goal was Taylor Park near Taylor Texas. The drive is not long at roughly 180 miles but the wind quickly got strong and made it exciting.

 This is the first time in our time together that the wind has bothered the Castle and tow vehicle. They behaved well and no differential sway was noticed. BUT several times when we came out from behind a hill the wind would move us over three or four feet. That was scary.

This means we are 2/5 of our way to North Alabama. Tomorrow is another short day of 215 miles. After that it is a couple of 300 mile days on Interstate highways. 

After that the Teams will have some grandkid help with trying to have tooooo much fun.


Herd of Fools

Adventure Location: Pecos River, Texas
Adventure Date: April 12, 2018
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We get to start the Pecos Adventure Part 3 of this blog entry series. On the trek back up the boat ramp the OFM began to notice a lot of interesting geology, mainly caves. The first on the trek back up we named Bushes Cave. The way the bushes grew it was not really noticeable on the way down. But on the way up a short trail at an angle went into the bushes and brought the trail into view.

The OFM worked diligently to get a picture of the inside of the cave, but was smart enough  to stay out of the cave proper. Yea for telephoto zoom lenses.

After that episode we stayed away from the rest of the many caves we saw along that cliff. But about half way up the OFM noticed a worn trail going up the cliff. Why is there a trail going up there? Here is the picture with the rough route of the trail shown in red.

Once again shrubbery had hidden the object of interest. Check out these braces helping hold those pebbles from bouncing down to the road.

Those pebbles could do some serious damage to people and cars if the came down at the right time.

When we got back to the top, the OFM went back to the view point of the mouth of the Pecos River and took a picture of the rock cliff across from the viewpoint to show our readers what we mean by caves all over the place. Here is the picture with the obvious caves labeled.

While he was labeling the caves, the OFM noticed a strange object in one of the caves (Deer Cave). When he enlarged the picture the surprise was waiting for him.

It looks like two  deer were in there watching the Teams meander on the cliff like a herd of fools. We wonder if watching fools taking pictures on a cliff is a way deer try to have tooooo much fun.


Screaming Calf Muscles

Adventure Location: Pecos River, Texas
Adventure Date: April 12, 2018
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We get to start the Pecos Adventure Part 2 of this blog entry series. Our event is a trip down the boat ramp and back to the top. The OFM had two nights of screaming calf muscles from this walk. Here is the view from the bottom of the ramp right at the waters edge looking upstream at the “High Bridge” as it is frequently called.

Folks can put in here and paddle up stream for many miles. Power boats can run around very carefully also. This is also a river with a launch point many miles upstream where folks put in and paddle down to this point over the course of several days of wild adventures.

The view above is from the bottom looking up about a third of the way to the top of the ramp. The road curves to the left and out of sight. It is a muscle cramping trek for a flatlander like the OFM.

Sometimes along the way the flowers are blooming and more frequently not. But today there was this little beauty of a flower.

Very close by was this reminder that things fall down with significant force when you are around cliffs. Apparently this boulder took aim at the gate post and launched itself from the cliff behind the photographer. Or maybe the rock was wanting to go swimming.

Also near is whats left of stairs that went down to the Federal Boat Landing when there was enough water to float a patrol boat. They are VERY steep and the OFM did not even consider going down them again.

We meandered our way back to the top of the ramp and Sierra with many “stops to take pictures of the caves”. But we all know that it was really just an excuse to stop, breathe and rest from all the excess effort to get that big fat body back up the hill. The good part is there is plenty of pictures of caves and other stuff to report about in Part 3.

We did find a nice cactus blossom in some shade back at the top. It even had a bug and some ants helping pollinate the flower.

This proved to be a rather muscles involved type of adventure for trying to have tooooo much fun. Where’s the ibuprofen?


Pecos and Rio Grande Rivers

Adventure Location: Texas
Adventure Date: April 12, 2018
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We took a hot ride down to the Pecos River mouth where it joins the Rio Grande River. The continuing drought shows its effects all to well in this area. This will be at least a three blog report due to all the pictures involved.

This National Park area is down below the Texas Highway Department lookout point up on the top of the canyon/river cliffs. Plenty of parking is available and you could park a few trains in the parking lots. It is a nicely maintained and pleasant area in spite of being remote enough to make “out in the middle of no where” seem like in downtown Del Rio, Texas.

The necessities building is always clean and welcome for an old fat man. The drinking water fountain has good tasting water. 

A word of warning is in order. Except for the floors in the necessities building, there is no flat horizontal surface in the rest of the area. In the picture above the slope of the parking lot in front of the building is real.

We let Sierra do the walking for us to go around and down to the head of the lower area were the boat ramp runs for what seems like a half mile when you are walking back up it. This is looking upstream from the boat trailer parking lot.

That white open structure on the left used to have a nice welcome shading roof on it. Time and weather took it away last year. A few years ago, the OFM met a Mexican couple there who were having a snack. They offered the OFM some samples and it was great food. We visited for over two hours that day.

In a later blog we will cover a few of the interesting things we saw on the walk down to and the trudge back up from the boat ramp.

Near the upper parking lot is a great nature trail that leaves the lot and meanders along the top of the cliff. It finally comes out where the cliff gets next to the road between the parking lots.

As you can see the views of the area get nicely dramatic. Sometimes you might get lucky and get to see a Border Patrol airboat coming in from a patrol of the river. It helps give you perspective of the height of the walls of the canyon. By the way this is an excellent kayaking place if you time it between the strong winds.

If you follow the nature toward the mouth of the Pecos, you will get to a point of rock to look out toward Mexico through the mouth of the Pecos. 

As you can tell there is not much water flowing in the Rio Grande either. Look carefully and you can see that the OFM did NOT go stand on that point of rock referred to above. There are two picnic tables with shade shelters right behind where the OFM stood for that last picture.

The OFM has been here many times. Every time we come here we spot more things new to us making it wonderful as a place for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Carrizozo to Roswell Excitement

Adventure Location: New Mexico
Adventure Date: April , 2018
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The run from Carrizozo to Roswell on highway 380 is a very picture inviting area. The western half is through some very nice mountains on a two lane road. The tourist areas were the Smoky The Bear section and the Billy The Kid area. 

If we had not had the Castle along we could have stopped to see the sights and take pictures. The crowds seemed to be filling all the parking places so we had to keep rolling. We recommend it for a place to play tourist and enjoy the locations. It looked well worth the trouble.

After we came out of the mountains heading toward Roswell it was a major change in terrain in a very short distance. It became wide open plains with expansive views.

After all these miles today it was getting time for a short stop. Suddenly up ahead was a rest stop. We whipped in and the rig stopped funny but the OFM had more important things to tend to.

When we had time to check things out the OFM went over to the sign to see what the excitment could be in these open spaces.

Oh really. He searched the area looking for a missile silo. There was nothing to see.

When we had the chance, Google was consulted and a silo with an open door is visible. It is about ten miles west of Roswell near the rest area.This was a nice interesting road today. When we got ready to leave it got even more exciting.

The brake controller notified the OFM that it was shorted out and braking was not available. With a few hills and mountains to go, that was not good news. The OFM went to crawling around under the Castle to see where a wire was shorting out. After a bit of time scooting around on the warm pavement, he found NOTHING. 

He checked the truck to trailer connection and found nothing wrong there. The controller was still not controlling the brakes. The OFM  try to make it to a repair shop in Roswell. As he turned onto the out ramp, the controller flicked on for a few seconds. The OFM got up onto the highway and no traffic was in sight. He reached down and grabbed the wiring harness and wiggled it. The controller came on then off a couple of times. He pushed the wiring plug toward the controller and it came on.

We drove gently all the way to Brantley Lake SP like that. When we parked at a safe spot in the SP, the OFM got on the truck floor and pulled on the wiring harness and it popped loose of the controller. Then he pushed it into the controller and it “snapped” into place and has worked correctly since then. Our guess is Mr. Clumsy got a shoe hooked on the wire and pulled the plug partly loose. Then all the twisty turning bouncy mountain road worked the plug a bit more loose until it failed at the rest area.

Since then all the rest of the way back to Del Rio it gave no more trouble. After setting up at San Pedro the OFM tugged on the plug and it was still set solid. That is definitely worth checking frequently to be safe.

Having good working braking on the trailer is a major step towards trying to have tooooo much fun.


Tiresome Travels

Adventure Location: New Mexico
Adventure Date: April , 2018
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What a couple of days it has been! The first trouble is the computer will not let us send email. Then Tuesday morning the teams finally got rolling but had to stop at three stores before we got away from Alamogordo. 54 was the highway for our northern route to Valley of Fires BLM campground just west of Carrizozo. We had stayed there in the past and it was very nice. In fact it was full when we pulled in. 

OK chose another choice and away we went east on 380 through some nice mountains. The roads were very bouncy and some steep places. But we made it out the other side to Bottomless Lakes State Park that is another very nice campground.

 As we circled the campground, the host came out to let us know they were packed full. OK we chose to move on down to Brantley Lake State Park. By now it was getting late in the day. When we got to Brantley, which, USED to be a nice park, it was nearly full. We had our choice of the two least desirable spots.

The OFM chose one and backed in. The vegetation was black or missing. In previous years it had been a nice area. The OFM was beat and ate supper and went to bed.
The next morning he checked the weather and it was predicted to be 40-50 mph winds for two days with gusts to 95 in our area. The OFM chose no thank you to that forecast and we rolled.

After heading south for a few minutes, the OFM chose to head on back down into Texas where the weather predictions were much better. So tonight the Teams are having wind gusts in the 20-30 mph range while camped back at San Pedro Campground at Del Rio, Tx.

We plan to rest a bit then start our migration to north Alabama where we plan on having tooooo much fun playing golf and tickling grand kids.


State of the Canyon

Adventure Location: New Mexico
Adventure Date: April , 2018
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This canyon view was getting in the way of the OFM’s thinking. He seemed to think it was his duty as the Blogger to head into the canyon and report on the latest State of the Canyon. It had been a year since our last trek into the Canyon. 

We reminded him that his knees were not in the best of shape for canyon meandering. He promised to be extra carefull, so off into the canyon we went. To our extreme amazement he was extra careful!

The trail first runs into the canyon as a notch in the canyon wall. One wrong step when trying lean over the edge to get “THE PICTURE” could lead to a trip to visit a coroner. But the canyon is very inviting.

Before long you start to see a small flow of water along the bottom of the wash. Soon you get to enjoy this view of a pond among the rocks and trees.

Depending on amount of water flow there can be several very nice ponds along the wash. 

As you get near the end of the upper trail, there are nice flowers growing from the wall you are walking adjacent to. On this day the main flower was this one.

They are definitely very pretty and bright.

Soon after the flower wall you will arrive at a table. We recommend that you take a few moments to sit quietly and adsorb some of the beautiful sounds of nature all around you.

At this point the OFM wisely stopped to access the knee abilities. The trail enters the wash (bottom of the canyon) at this point. The trail goes upstream and downstream. Last year the OFM was able to head upstream for a ways and it was great fun. Then when returning we went downstream for about a  half mile. The scrambling required at that time was just about the most he could do.

This time Mr. Being Careful OFM took his time to try going down to the wash from the table. First he tried the upstream trail and decided it was out of his current ability. OK now to try to get down to the downstream section. He decided that the only way he could get down to it was to fall off the rock onto the wash rocks. So that was also a NO_NO.
Here is a view of the wash entry point where the OFM was careful today. 

We were very proud that the OFM showed some sense today but it was a major surprise. From our last trip down the wash we are sure a knee or two would have given out. Then we would been in a bad fix being down in the wash without a rope to pull us out. Our guess we would have been stuck in there until a mountain lion got bad indigestion from eating the OFM.

So we turned back on the upper trail and enjoyed the views from the opposite direction. It is always amazing how different the same scenery looks when coming from a different direction. Looking both directions is good for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Wore Out

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee State Park, New Mexico
Adventure Date: April , 2018
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The OFM was doing a wonderful job of meandering around one of the displays in the park when he happened to look up to see this view of the canyon in the park. WOW he thought. The Teams need to tour that canyon again.

As he continued to meander the Frenchys cabin area another sharp rock put a dent in his foot. Yep the eight year (at least) daily wear shoes need to be replaced. Several months he made an excellent purchase of another pair on the Internet. It is time to upgrade.

Back at the Castle he set the two pair side by side and labeled them to make sure our readers could tell which is the old pair. The Teams think it is obvious but he is not so smart in his old age now.

The old shoe lace pattern for each shoe was used on the new shoes. Those patterns for lacing were developed over a few painful months years ago to fit the goofy shape of the OFM’s weird (to match the rest of him) feet. After the re lacing was finished and tried on for fit, he was ready for more walking.
So we took off to give them a good breaking in. Since they are Merrell brand, they really do not need “breaking in” but the shoe lacing does require some proper tensioning.

Naturally the OFM could not pass up the opportunity to photograph some pretty cactus flowers.

Soon we will see what the OFM knees can handle on the canyon trail.  Last April the OFM legs failed miserably to be able to handle the big trail that goes all the way to the top of the mountain. This year those knees will be tested on the trail going into the canyon. 

This beautiful sunset is the finishing touch to this day of getting ready for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Oliver Lee SP

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee State Park, New Mexico
Adventure Date: April 5, 2018
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We got rolling mid morning today and made a very easy cruise over to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park near Alamogordo, NM. The roads were very good and the mountain pass was enough to notice but Sierra handled it just fine. As we approached Las Cruces the rest area with the famous roadrunner statue came into view. Lots of bloggers spend the night there and report in detail on the roadrunner statue. We just naturally had to stop and look. It was a nice leg stretch and the roadrunner was worth it.

From there it was an easy drive into and through Las Cruces onto highway 70. The pass was nice scenery and then it was the long road across the White Sands Missile Range and past White Sands National Park. A right turn in Alamogordo onto highway 54 and twelve miles later we entered the State Park to search for a campsite. As fortune would have it, the site we had last year was available. Grab, park and it was ours again. We like camping with the back bumper of the Castle looking over the small cliff. Here is our easterly view around noon today.

Then around sunset, which was very bland tonight, this westerly view of the hills across the valley was our entertainment.

Our hot spot is not finding usable Internet, so this is being published whenever we get a chance between episodes of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Thunder Egg Trail

Adventure Location: Rockhound State Park, New Mexico
Adventure Date: April 3, 2018
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Rockhound SP has some good trails in it. The main loop is a 1.1 mile trip up onto the side of the mountain and back down to the campground. It is a wide well developed trail that is comfortable to walk but still has some strong up and down hill sections.

The OFM and his decrepit body took about an hour to do the trail on this beautiful morning. His bad leg joints let him know about it before the walk was finished but they shut up after a couple of bottles of Ibuprofen and a nights rest. So lets get started on the trail.  

Sierra got settled in right at the start of the THUNDER EGG TRAIL. The OFM Trail Walking Team got itself in order and we started the trail. The start point is just to the right of the necessity building in this picture.

Immediately you start heading uphill and it does not stop for about a quarter mile. As the OFM took one of ten million “breathers” during that uphill section, the camera captured this picture of the left hand mountain.

To the right was a view showing some of the Florida mountains to the south of the park.

After the OFM gritted his way up for two hours (20 minutes in reality) to the high point of the trail, we were able to get this nice picture of the camping area and the desert plains out to the southwest of Deming NM.

The trail started across the face of the mountains and the slope was nearly level and then starting back down. The cool air did feel very nice and the OFM leg calves were very happy to finish the uphell or is that uphill section of the trail. Some nice trail flowers showed up begging for their picture to be taken. Naturally the Photo Teams obliged and here are the beautiful flowers next to the trail.

Spring has not quite sprung here in Deming but it is very close. It does not look like there has been enough rain for a fancy bloom this year.

About three quarters of the way around the trail is a gully coming off the mountain. The trail crosses it on a wooden bridge and a few steps later is a much welcomed shaded bench. The bench is facing the campground or up the gully in the mountain. We have enjoyed sitting here many times in the last thirty years.

From the bench it is a nice gentle downhill walk to the campground. A short distance after getting back to the campground you arrive at the main necessity building and it is welcome for sure.

If you manage to get a campsite for a few days, the Teams know you will have a great time trying to have tooooo much fun.


13 Months

Adventure Location: Rockhound State Park, New Mexico
Adventure Date: April 2, 2018
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The OFM was raring to go too soon this morning. He got the Teams rolling to be at the Rockhound State Park Visitor’s Center at his assumed opening time of 0800. We got there at 0830 to see the sign that says they open at 0900.

He decided we needed to check the campground to see any changes since a few years ago. There were some and all of them were definite improvements. They had added a few more primitive sites and some more day use parking spots. All were needed changes for sure.

We noticed that there were a few sites open for new campers today. The campground is still one of the nicer ones we have ever stayed in. The sunset views are fantastic.

But WHY the hurry and excitement is the question! Our annual NM Camping Pass had run out last Saturday at midnight. To miss the Sunday crowds we waited until today to renew the pass. 

What is so special about the NM parks annual camping pass? 

That little yellow piece of paper allows 13 months of day use and camping in New Mexico State Parks at no more cost. It is for camping without electricity and/or sewer but use of all the other facilities in the park. That means the dump stations, water supply, rest rooms, showers and all other facilities are available for our use. 

As a non-resident that little paper tag cost the OFM Teams $225.  We feel it is a bargain if it is in an area you will use the facilities. We also know the OFM Teams cannot possibly use up all the fun available in New Mexico just waiting for us to attempt to have tooooo much fun.


Just Meandering

Adventure Location: Road to Deming, New Mexico
Adventure Date: April 1, 2018
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It was not a quiet night but a decent bit of sleep was had in spite of the road traffic. We guess all the traffic went west before the morning day light. From the time we left Fabens until we cleared Anthony on the other side of El Paso, we did not count even fifty vehicles on I-10. It seemed like the morning had been canceled.

We did not have a spot planned to spend Sunday night so we just rolled around the area looking at places we had never been before. To the Teams it looked like Las Cruces had some Historic areas that might be fun to check out.

As it worked out we went on north and checked out Leasburg State Park.  It is not a bad park but it definitely did not have any attraction to the teams for camping there.

From there we went on north to Hatch where we found out that New Mexico is a proud of their regular gas as Big Bend NP is. $2.89 to $2.99 a gallon.

By now it was time to be chosing a place to settle for a night or four as it turned out. So we chose Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico. It is an Escapees park so we get a discount. Deming is also home to Rockhound SP. When we checked it had no spots open inside the park. The overflow area was empty Mr. Boondork.

When we checked in there was about half the large park empty. About 1630 the big rigs came rolling in and the campground is nearly full tonight. We are glad we got here earlier. Most all the campsites look like ours. Nothing special as you can see.

The OFM is hoping to play golf at the golf course. He has played there several times in the past with BillyBob.

At any rate it is usually a nice location with very easy access to I-10. The nice forested mountains are in close proximity also and the OFM may introduce Sierra to them. Yep there is enough stuff around for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Home On The Road

Adventure Location: Road to Fabens, Texas
Adventure Date: March 31, 2018
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The OFM woke up to happy squealing little girls as only little girls can squeal. They were flying kites right out side of the bedroom window. But the OFM quickly realized he as partially blind with a migraine attack.

 What a way to start a rolling day! Getting ready went on along and the Teams got through with the dump station at 1000 on the dot. Now we knew the roads we were going to take but not where we would stop for the night.

It was 395 miles later and we got here. The roads were not busy for the most part.

But since we are such high class travelers tonight we are sleeping in a parking lot next to Interstate 10. It is the Fabens Tx Rest Stop.

Some quiet sleep time would even be better than trying to have tooooo much fun for now.



Adventure Location: Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: March 30, 2018
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When the OFM wakes in the morning we will have been boondocked here for 34 days straight. That is no big record but it certainly has passed quickly, comfortably and pleasantly. There is something right about this area of the desert. You can be sure we intend to be back again.

Our plan is to head off into New Mexico for about three weeks and then head to North Alabama for the summer.  This is a special summer for the OFM Teams and the Alabama bunch. We are going to have some conversations about the future travels and events. Boring it will not be, you can be certain of that.

In the meantime the OFM has cleaned up all the left over pictures from our stay here and culled them down to just three. THREE! Yep he did an amazing job. These three kind of typify the area.

First is the yucca and lake picture taken in the evening. Amistad/Del Rio has some of the nicest yucca blooms and water scenes we have seen in our travels. This is very typical of the spring scene around the lake.

This is a good representation of the general foliage as you move a bit away from the lake front. Lots and lots of thorns and blooms. In fact the OFM got a mesquite thorn in his upper lip this morning while picking up trash a critter had scattered over the area. They HURT.

The cacti have a mind of their own about when it is time to bloom. The yellow ones have been blooming for a while. These just popped out in the last three days. In a few days there will likely be lots more cactus blooms in the area. That also means the honey bees will be out in full force.

So in the morning we will be heading out for new places for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Lots Of Campground Traffic

Adventure Location: Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: March 29, 2018
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There has been a lot of traffic coming through the campground today. Most of it is folks looking for lake access. We have lake access just fine only the water is a mile and a half tromp through the desert brush. If the lake is full about a third of the campsites are waterfront. But the lake is over twenty feet low now.

We guess they traffic is folks scouting for the Easter weekend follies. The other four campgrounds on the lake have some water access at the campground. We bet those will be a madhouse at best.

Speaking of Easter weekend, the Teams are planning on rolling on Saturday with hopes of being in New Mexico Sunday evening after the crowds have moved on. The general goal is Mr. Boondork land for a nice visit with him again. He has a wonderful unique sense of humor.

The OFM has been wasting paper again. This time he started with colored pencils again and within a few minutes he knew once again that they were definitely wrong for anyone with arthritic fingers. They now have a new home. This bit of wasted paper was finished with watercolor pencils that seem to work well if you use them correctly. The OFM is still learning as you can see from all the errors of commission.

Here is the picture of the moment.

When all else fails just waste some paper and make it a successful day of trying to have tooooo much fun.