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Lake Amistad Sunset, Texas

2/22/18

Tip Toe Dancing

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/22/2018


Finally after way too many delays we have a rolling date that looks real. Between many unwanted delays like a bad cold virus infection and numerous other nonsense it appears the Teams will get to be rolling on Monday Feb. 26 a bit over one month later than the original plan. WOW it has been a crummy “adventurous" month.

The preparation list is down to four items that are basically last minute items. You can sure spread out in four months.

Put the bike in Sierra’s bed and tie it down.

Install the trailering mirrors.

Check the air pressure on the Castle’s shoes.

Stock some boondocking supplies from the grocery store.

Then Sunday hitch the Castle to Sierra and get a great nights sleep. At least that is the plan if the OFM doesn’t hurt himself with all the tip toe dancing on the picnic table in the excitement of finally heading west for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/20/18

A Lumpy Tire

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/20/2018

Tomorrow will hopefully be the finish of some very busy days. We did not feel any of the activity was worthy of a blog entry so no entry was made. But here is the summary of the activities. 

A list was made of the items we needed to get back in traveling shape. The we whipped the OFM until he went to work on doing the items. During all the activity the OFM also managed to sneak in a mild migraine attack. He will do anything to  get horizontal time when there is work to be done.

Things like replace the burned out tail light bulb in Sierra, wash clothing and tie the ladder onto the Castle. The big one turned out to be the pre-travel inspection of the tires on the Castle. One of them had a shallow but long lump in the tread and weird tread wear.

Careful examination of all the other tires did not find any more troubles. However the lump tire had to be changed out for the spare. The OFM got the gear out for the event. The spare with the new tire was removed from the rear of the Castle. Those tires are HEAVY to the OFM. Anyway he made it and got the tire around to the lumpy tire area.

Then it was time to crawl under the Castle to set the jack and get the bad tire into the air for removal. Well of course the lug nuts were on so tight the OFM had to lay his fat belly on the wrench handle to break them loose. Once that un resistable force was  put into play, the nuts came right on off.

The lumpy tire was checked again to be sure it was lumpy. It is. The other item we noticed is the tire was aged out. It was approaching six years old and ST tires should not be in service over five years before replacing. The spare tire was gotten onto the mounting bolts with much special effort and the nuts tightened.

Then it was time to crawl back under the Castle and remove the jack. It would have been easy except for the long stalk of dried grass burrs that grabbed his tee shirt and dug into his massive stomach. The jack was finally removed and stored away. 

Next it was time to put the lumpy tire on the spare tire mount. Of course that meant the OFM had to hug the road grime covered tire tightly to his formerly white T shirt to wrestle the tire into position. The tire was bolted to the bracket without any more trouble. Boy the OFM was glad that was over.

He sat on the bench to rest a bit. The the wretched thought came to him, he needed to crawl around under the Castle and check the manufacturing dates on all the rest of the tires. RATZZZZZZ that did not sound wonderful at all. 

This time he made sure the sticker burrs were all out of the way. The summation of the effort is that the Castle has two tires that will need to be replaced in 2019. We highly prefer to not have tires explode while traveling down the highway at 60 mph. That is a horrible way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/17/18

Eyeball Deep

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/15/2018

The OFM is eyeball deep in the nasty stuff called Income Tax Preparation. So the rest of the Teams took it on ourselves to post a short blog entry.

Why is that channel called the Shrimp Boat Channel? Well the answer is because it is the dredged channel that the ocean going shrimp boats use to get to Conn Brown harbor for mooring. 

A bay shrimp boat is a lot smaller boat than the ocean going model. It is probably 1/4 the size of the ocean going shrimp boats. We got a nice picture of an ocean going shrimp boat headed out to sea. 



They are a substantial sized boat.

By the way working on a shrimp boat is very tough work. It is not a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/15/18

Sunshine Finally

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/15/2018

The day woke up with sun, wind and decent temperatures. The OFM went berserk meandering around. Thank goodness he remembered to carry the camera and take pictures. We have more pictures and stories than we will get told tonight.

The meandering took the Teams down to the water at Light House Lakes Park on highway 361. Sierra chose a good place to park and the OFM grabbed his gear and started another meander, not the first one of the day for sure. The temperature gage on Sierra said it was 77 and very bright sunshine. The water in the Shrimp Boat Channel was beautiful. The OFM wandered along the water for a long time. 


Our Starting Location


We started at the last shelter/table to the east. It proved to be a good location today. The Teams were afraid the camera card would fill up at the rate the OFM was clicking the shutter. He was having fun with sun on his shoulders.

Looking right you could see quite a ways toward the Gulf of Mexico. There is water access on the right side in that view for a really long ways. Folks do a lot of shore fishing in this area.



When you turn right at the first cross channel, this beach takes you to a good fishing area that will be covered in a later blog.




All that junk you are seeing is part of the original timber road to Port Aransas. Also paralleling the road is a right of way with several old pipelines in it. On this day we also discovered some new to us other road timbers on around the corner. It was a nice adventure.



This sting ray carcass was lying out in the open. The ray was over 2 feet wide. That sucker could have driven its spike clear into your leg bone. So when you are wading in the water to catch fish, you need to keep in mind there are critters in here that can do you serious harm. The sting rays are one of them. The free roaming sharks are another one of them. 

 So if  you are careful this is a great location for trying to have tooooo much fun.


2/14/18

Little Flowers

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/14/2018

Dreary fog, then sunshine, then dreary fog. What a roller coaster day! The OFM spent some time today planning some more paper wasting. Then he remembered he needed to get the Income Tax done and mailed before we roll WEST. So some of the day was spent downloading the tax forms and instructions to a special computer folder to make them easy to find.

There was not much excitement today except for the attempts to get a decent picture of the two dime sized clover flowers blooming in the 9 inch tall clover covering the campsites. The OFM took several different pictures with different focus length setting to try to get the best one he could. We think it came out pretty good.




And that was about it for the trying to have tooooo much fun effort.

2/12/18

Gigglers

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/12/2018

Today was less dreary but a good bit colder. The day warmed up slightly but the Teams did go out for a bit of a drive around. However when the OFM stepped out of Sierra near the water, he shivered and jumped right back into a warm Sierra.

A bit of good news is some new grandkid pictures became available. Here is grandson Gavin and granddaughter Piper having a giggle fest. It certainly looks like they were having fun.



During the time inside today the OFM finally gave up on his art effort and declared the paper officially totally wasted.  Anyway here is the evidence that is left from the art fun of the last two days.



The area is supposed to start warming up tomorrow but the westerly direction is a bit chilly yet so we will be waiting a nice interval yet before rolling. In the meantime the OFM will continue to meander the town looking for a place for having too much fun.

2/11/18

Dreary

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/11/2018

Today has been a very dreary day. Wet, cold, wet wind and 40 deg. F. It is not a great day for sunshine. We did get out and grab a couple of pictures of Little Bay with the mist rising from the waters of the bay that are warmer than the air temperatures. 




Pretty much a lazy day. A little research on the Internet for the upcoming rolling was done with no conclusions made.

The closest thing we had to excitement is the OFM started on another paper wasting picture. We shall see what it looks like when he quits scratching around on the paper.

In the meantime somebody get out and try to have tooooo much fun PLEASE!

2/9/18

Murph Park Adventure

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/05/2018

Murph Park is a very small public park at the backside of the local airport. Parking is available for about a dozen vehicles in normal parking spots. About a dozen more vehicles can be accommodated along side the loop road in the park. A couple of shaded picnic tables are around the area. However it is the access to Copano Bay for fishing, kayaking and other water related activities that makes it popular.

The OFM had not had the Teams there in several weeks and it was nasty weather that time. On this day the bright sun invited us to come on out. So we did. The little patch of grass welcomed us to the “beach” area. The beach area is a shell bank so barefoot walking is not pleasant.

The fisher folks usually wade straight out to the small dropoff about a hundred yards from the beach. Sometimes the fishing is pretty good here.



A look to the right shows more of the shoreline that is available. Look closely and you can see some other bank fisher folks trying their luck. On this particular day the tide is way out more than normal.



A look to the left shows more shore line but this is restricted to no people intruding on the bank past that point sticking out about fifty feet away. It is part of the airport and is the approach to the runway. The planes are very low when they cross this spot.



So what is special about that point of land? Well maybe this picture up in the grassy area of the park will be of help.



It seems that some folks have had alligator encounters in this area. That point of land is where the small creek comes into the bay from the airport. That small creek is supposedly where the alligator lives. We have never see it or even signs of it in the area in ten years of coming here. Even when we kayaked in the area we never saw any indications of an alligator on the bank and they do leave strong evidence when they go in and out of the water.

So when you are feeling your oats, it is possible to go into the creek and thrash about looking for alligator wrestling as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/7/18

We Forgot

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/07/2018

According to his records the OFM got over his bad cold eight days ago. Then why is he still hacking and coughing fairly frequently? That was his concern as he sat next to the dining room window this afternoon. Yep is was certainly wet inside and outside.-------- inside. Why is it wet inside????



All the water on that window is inside the Castle. He suddenly realized he had been noticing more and more water inside the Castle on the aluminum window frames. Why this year????? Just think of all the mold and mildew that is lingering inside!
KABLAMMMMMM The thought hit him upside the head like a sledge hammer. Where is the dehumidifier we normally, since 2007, have had running? OHH YEH we got rid of it after last winter. The winter of 2007/2008 taught us that at dehumidifier is needed when this close to the coast.

Since the solution had been identified, it was action time. The Rockport Walmart was out of smaller de-humidifiers so off to Aransas Pass Walmart we headed. They had the next to smallest model in stock. The OFM grabbed one and away we went. Back at the Castle the dehumidifier was quickly unpacked and put to work.


It has been a bit over two hours now and the Teams can really feel the difference. Why did we forget? We can only guess it is old age senility. Having drier air to breath will definitely enhance our ability for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/5/18

Up Again

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/05/2018

The OFM got some new fishing line put on his reel so naturally he had to go try it out. The weather was overcast, nearly cold, a bit wet with a bit of breeze. Yep you are correct it was not fun weather so we planned on it being a short try out.

BUT, there seems to always be a but in our life. A strange sight awaited us when we got to the harbor to park. So the OFM put on his fishing shirt and windbreaker, grabbed the camera and bravely faced the elements to wander on down the harbor one lane road to check out the odd sight.

If you recall we recently documented the sinking of a rotted old boat in the harbor. It was still on the bottom when we last noticed it a couple of days ago. Well it is not on the bottom now. It is floating with the help of three pumps moving water out of the interior of the boat.



After the cold walk back to Sierra, the fishing rod and new line came out to play. The new line is a braid by Suffix in yellow. It seems to work better than the old Windtamer we have been using for a few years. It is definitely slicker and harder for the old OFM fingers to hold while tying a knot. It will be given a serious testing as soon as it warms up a bit around here. 
The OFM much prefers warmer weather for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/3/18

When and Where

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/03/2018

The Federal money runs out on Feb. 8 and the federal lands to the west could shut down again. Not knowing what will happen is a major trouble for the OFM Teams. The OFM gets a couple of questions nearly every day. “When are you leaving and where are you going?” are the two normal ones. The answer is we do not know yet because of the potential for most of the good places in west Texas and southern New Mexico to get shut down when congress messes around again. 

We are not saying either side is right or wrong. This is not about the politics of the sides. This is about trying to get ready to roll and having some place neat to roll to. We know we are wanting to hit up Big Bend NP, Amistad NRA and Guadalupe Mountains NP this spring. We also know we have reservations for Decatur Alabama on April 27 for a long stay and play with the grandkids and their parents. When those parks closed in 2013 for 16 days, the state parks in Texas and NM and most of the commercial parks all got more camping business than they could accommodate. We got caught in that mess in 2013 and are trying carefully to not get caught in it again.

In the mean time we have one more item (money) coming (supposedly) in the mail that we would really like to get into our possession before we roll. The Castle and Sierra are as ready as we can get them until a rolling date is available.

It looks like our best activity is to keep on fishing for the BIG ONE as a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/2/18

Puppy Dog

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 02/02/2018

A cold and dreary day it was. The cold wet wind ripped through coats and clothing like you were naked. But we headed to  the fishing pier anyway to try out a new idea for fishing. Total failure.  That makes about three million things that do not work but we have fun trying new to us ideas.

As we walked out onto the pier this next scene presented itself. We titled it Come On Sunshine. The break in the clouds was just a teaser though. It stayed cloudy all day.

Come On Sunshine


Over by a near building is a planting of bushes that normally provide a nice scene. However Hurricane Harvey tore the planting all to pieces. Before the plants could get going good the cold winter weather set in to slow growth even more. Here is one of the plants. See if you see the puppy dog in the maze of roots.



We have to admit we did not see the puppy dog until during editing of the original photograph. Here is an enlargement of the root that looks like a puppy dog to the Teams. In lower left.



At least the picture taking made for a nice effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.