Rammed And Rubbed

Adventure Location:  Port Aransas, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/26/17

The OFM was worn down by 2017 and plans to fight back to great form during 2018. We saw some ferry bumpers that looked like the shape he is in. These are thick steel cylinders that are hung around the pilings to protect the pilings from damage when the ferry rams the piling group. A piling group is known as a dolphin.

This one is located right next to the docking equipment and we would expect it to get banged around. That is the rub rail of the adjacent ferry in the background.

This one is out at the channel. The ferry ought to be under full control by the time it gets to this point in the trip. However you can see that it still gets rammed a good bit.

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, 2018 is planned to be a year of less planning and lots less of sitting in one spot for very long, except for July through September which is Grandkids time. We will be in Decatur for that time. Where we plan on a major bit of trying to have tooooo much with the grandkids.
                  HAPPY NEW YEAR


Flying A Suburban

Adventure Location:  PINS, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/26/17

Padre Island National Seashore has lots of nice traveling roads for driving or biking. They are long and carefully restricted to 45 mph or less for the safety of the visitors. Near the entrance of PINS is a kiosk that the check in ranger uses. The speed limit in this area is 5 mph and they mean it.

The speed bumps to remind you to slow down when in this area in close proximity to folks are serious. They are well done with gentle ramps to the top and back down so at 5 mph they are a gentle event. However they are also high enough to make you wish you had slowed down as the ample signs requests you to do.

The OFM Teams were over at the trail that is close to the check-in location gathering information for a future blog entry. Suddenly there was this horrible loud noise like lots of stuff bouncing down the highway and then screaming tires. The OFM moved as fast as he could to get a view of the direction the sound came from.

By the time he got clear of the dune to see what was going on the vehicle driver was getting out of his vehicle. We could see that the rear carrier was empty. In a few moments other folks exited the vehicle and ran back along the road. They hurriedly got very busy picking up things from the road. The driver worked at the rear of the vehicle while the others brought him stuff. In about ten minutes they had it all together and drove SLOWLY off.

When the picture the OFM took was brought up on the computer screen and enlarged for editing we could see all the stuff on the bumper carrier. The stuff that was not on the carrier is circled in orange with the arrow pointing to the general direction where it was littering the highway. Just in front of the pilings tied with rope is the first of the speed bumps. Just left of the front of the vehicle is the kiosk and another serious speed bump.

We are guessing the driver ignored the smaller speed bumps as he approached the kiosk/people area and hit the larger bump still doing a lot more speed than desirable. The trail we were on has the parking lot near this spot so there frequently very small kids running around not paying attention. Slowing down is critical for safety.

From the sound of the vehicle when it came back down, we would think it will be needing some alignment work in the near future. Personally the Teams do not think flying a vehicle is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Gettin Fingers Dirty

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/29/17

It is a cold cloudy day and the OFM was figity. So we suggested he get his cheap Walmart oil pastel set out and grab an old cereal box and smear some colors around. All we could hear was whining until he got going. Remember he is only an artist in his dreams not in reality.

Of course all the “artist” could think of was west Texas and back when he could still hike.  So this is what became of the wasted oil pastels and cereal box.

Stormy Day on a Lonesome Trail

At least it was a fun way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Malaquite Campground

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/27/17

According to the OFM when it is cold, wet and windy outside like today, his mattress gets lonely and needs his warm large body on it a couple of times each day for an hour or so. We are not so sure he is telling the real story. So while he is doing his good deed for the mattress we are arranging the work needing to be done so he has PLENTY to keep him busy when he comes back to life.

Yesterday we went down to Padre Island National Seashore ( PINS ) and gathered a few million photographs. This afternoon we have it lined out for the OFM to cull and edit a few for tonight’s blog entry. We also have a small sledge hammer to talk to him with, if needed.

We arrived at the PINS Malaquite campground after lunch with the idea of shooting a couple of pictures of the campground. Forty pictures later we moved on to another area of the park for a later posting. GEEEEZ that camera trigger finger goes berserk sometimes.

So now we start at the first part of the Malaquite Campground area. The dump station is right before you go through the dunes to get to the camping area. It is well laid out with generous turning radius corners. Two rigs at a time can fit into the facility to take care of business. 

The next thing you see as you continue is the sign telling you that you are in the right place. The campground is a long paved road to your left and right. Campsites are on both sides of the road. We have found that the maneuvering room is very adequate for the Castle and Sierra. There is turning loops at each end so you do not get dead ended in a nasty situation.
This is what a dune side campsite looks like. In this picture the beach is to the right.

The campsites are fairly large. On this day only one site was occupied on the dune side. We liked the dune side best when we have stayed here because the site is totally paved so no sand or stickers to contend with.

The beach side was mostly occupied. This next picture of one end of the beach side was taken from the grass line of the beach back toward the camping. This side has grass, sand and stickers to entertain you.

The beach front fishing is a year round item in this area. Usually there is some type of fish biting. Shark fishing is popular along the PINS beaches.

The restrooms have showers and toilets but keep in mind there is NO hot water supplied but they are cleaned daily. Here is the shower/restroom building and it is centrally located in the Malaquite camping area.

And here is look inside the rest room at the facilities available.

There is a nice couple of paths down to the beach from the campground. The visitor center is about a quarter mile from the campground so it is walk or bike distance by road or beach. Bike riding has lots of road to ride on and miles and miles of beach riding. Grocery stores etc are about 15 miles back toward Corpus Christi. All in all it is a rather nice place to spend a few days trying to have tooooo much fun..


PINS Camping

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/25/17

The migraine has followed the normal 48 hour recuperation pattern and the OFM is doing well. Today was a nice lazy day so the OFM dug into his dwindling supply of pictures to get something to write about tonight.

Padre Island National Seashore ( PINS) has three kinds of camping available. The first we showed a couple of days ago is camping on the beaches. The OFM Teams do not do that type of camping.

The next camping is at Bird Island Basin (BIB). PINS is a long island with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and a bay named Laguna Madre on the other side. BIB is on the bay side. The first part you come to is the RV camping area. It is a long strip of sand right next to the water. RVs are parked in close together slots perpendicular to the waters edge. From the end of the slot to the water is about five feet most of the time. There is no water or electric or sewer at the campground. There is a nice outhouse in the area. There is water and a dump station over near the visitors center about four miles away. Check the website for cost and rules.

When you drive past the RV camping there is some day use parking and then a small parking loop that holds about twelve vehicles. This is the parking spot for the tent camping area. You have to carry your gear a few hundred feet to get onto the beach style area for tent camping.

There is an out house at the parking lot but no water, electric, or showers at the tenting area.
tenting area.

This is how close you can camp to the water. The view is looking south the length of Laguna Madre. Yes the tides here can move the water line a few feet from high to low.

From the tenting area you can look back toward the island and see some of the many dunes on the island. Many of them are really neat up close.

In another blog entry we will cover the paved RV campground. But a caution for all folks not familiar with this part of the coast. You will encounter mosquitoes, flies and lots of salt coating on your equipment. You will also have a wonderful opportunity to see the only place like this left on the earth. PINS is the least developed barrier island in the world. Yes it is a place really worth visiting at least once. The Teams do not recommend June, July, August or September due to the heat and humidity. However if you enjoy any kind of beach activity this is definitely one of the better places for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Not With It

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/24/17

The really bad migraine hit yesterday afternoon and the headache is still very evident. That did not stop the OFM Teams from getting around to Meander the neighborhood slowly.

The Rockport Art Center garden was the location of a few pictures and a little walking. The hurricane damages is slowly being cleaned up here but it has a good way to go yet. This palm tree had gotten leaned way over. Apparently the powers that be decided it needed to be cut off and hauled away.

We think it would have looked pretty neat arching over the sidewalk. Maybe the stump agrees because it seems to be crying over the event.

As we meandered along the path we could see the damage was minimal at most locations. At another seemingly undamaged palm the center looked funny to us.

On closer inspection it seemed to have something odd clustered around the center. It was not identifiable by any of the Team Members.

We meandered on along the nice paved path to the end of the path where there was a bush trying to bloom to show it was not defeated by a little breeze like a 140 mph hurricane. One tough bush we decided.

We meandered down by the water and it is very low from the north winds. The bottom was clearly visible but the OFM was clearly not with it since he did not take a picture. It proved to be a nice walk and a welcome visit to the garden. As usual the area around the harbor is a nice place for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Fishing Tip

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/22/17

First you lay your nice fishing rod up against the rear fender of Sierra. Next you open the door and get some rigging out. Then you step away from the door for some sunlight to see better with your old eyes. Then you jump when the wind slams the door shut. Next you turn around to see your newly door customized two piece fishing rod.

Next you carefully pick up the rod and try to control the broken graphite shards flapping around. Then you carefully stab a shard into your left hand pointer finger to make a point.

Next you pull out your multi tool and open the very sharp blade to try to get the shard of graphite out of your throbbing finger. The edge of your knife makes a razor seem dull, so you are being very careful by bracing your finger on the truck fender. It is not a big shard but your sharp knife could easily make it a big cut.

Eventually you get the shard dug out of your finger and wash the cut with some drinking water that is chlorinated. Yes it hurts a lot.......x@%#&((^$%xx. Then you dry it off with your well used fishing towel.  Sit back on the truck bumper for a few minutes to recover your senses before you head to the water to fish.

And that is how you start off a great fishing trip where you never even get one nibble. Don’t you just love fishing.

A couple of days ago the Teams took a picture of the crowd of beach campers on the Padre Island NP beach.

You do have to be careful about how soft the beach sand is according to some of our readers. It does not seem too crowded to us. For some folks camping on a salt water beach is a lot of fun.

The latest change in the saga of OFM Adventures happened today. The OFM turned notice canceling his reservations in Rockport, Texas for year 2018 in order to have a base camp established. As of today we are back into rolling mode as the mood and weather allows. 

We checked our records and found we were stagnant in two different campgrounds for ten months total of 2017. We are not content with that style of RVing. As of today we have reservations here in Rockport until Feb. 1. Our plan is to roll somewhere no later that Feb.1. Weather (cold) is holding us until late January. That also gives the OFM time to check out some new to us locations for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Beach Improvements

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/20/17

Sierra had an appointment with the vehicle doctor today to take care of a recall on its “electric power steering”. We got there right on time this morning. The dealer was busy but prompt and we were reprogrammed and gone 43 minutes later.

So here we are on the road way before we thought we would be.  Now what---of course we meander! Our first stop was Cove Harbor. It caught a major hit from Hurricane Harvey. We stopped by to see how the boat clean up is going. It is going but that is one unreal pile of boats yet to be cleared.

However one guard in the boat launch area was very alert and ready for action.

The cleaning table guard was wide awake and carefully eyeballing everything that that came near. Don’t mess with this guard, you would regret it.

The meandering for a while was not productive of blog topics, but when we got to the Rockport Beach that changed. It was a bright sunny bikini type day. Quite a few folks were out beaching around and enjoying the sunshine and salt air.

Others were out playing in the water having a grand old time this Christmas week. Still others were out paddling paddle boards and kayaks from the beach front. These two folks were steady at it the whole time the Teams were meandering around inside the park.

The beach crew was very busy setting tall new poles for something. They were steadily moving dirt and and pouring concrete.

We asked at the entrance when the park is scheduled to open to full service again vs this restricted free entry we have right now. The answer: Hopefully some time in January.

The beach park is definitely a good location for trying to have tooooo much fun.


OFM In A Fog

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/19/17

We have been having really interesting fog events the last two days and the idiot OFM had been forgetting his camera. So finally today we got a nice picture of the fog closing in on a private fishing pier in Fulton.

A few minutes later the pier was not visible.  Then shortly later the whole cloud just vanished in a few seconds. The sun came out and it was 74 and bright hot sun. Tee shirts and shorts were the dress of preference most of the day.

A big chunk of the day was spent wondering the best way and time to run around touring some scenic locations. What scenic locations? These were a couple of the locations in consideration.

This is the road to Guadalupe Mountains NP. There are about 4000 scenic pictures along those roads.

Then inside the park are walking trails all over the place and some of them are pretty nice little walks like this one above.

Part of the time the OFM piddled with some colored pencils on the back of a sheet of paper that had been a scratch sheet. He managed to put together this hint of a drawing set down at the beach.

When it was finally time for supper he decided to try his hand a cooking for a change. The stir fry sausage came out really well. It was good enough he licked the plate TWICE.

And tonight the Internet in the campground is working so there is a new blog post about his efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun in the sun.


Dog In The Beach

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/17/17

The OFM had shopping chores to do this morning but somehow he managed to spend some time down near the beach taking some pictures. He still has a natural laziness meanderingness that controls him.

One interesting item is this post that was installed a few years ago. It has aged badly on the seaward side. As you can see the constant battle with the salt water is a losing cause. But to our surprise, even though the post is at the water and open to the bay, Hurricane Harvey did NO damage to it.

The tides are running a couple of feet low. That gives a view of some rocks that we normally dodge with our lures while fishing. As the OFM looked across the seldom viewable sand, he noticed this particular rock. WOW, that rock looks like a puppy dog coming out of the sand.  Sure enough the rest of the Teams could see the suggested image also. We hope our readers can also see the image of the dog looking to the left in the rock.

In spite of the miserable cold a neighbor went out wade fishing today and brought home three nice speckled trout that he planned on having for supper. We guess that wading in the water in cold weather is another great way of trying to have tooooo much fun?


A Smashing Time

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/156/2017

After that picture of the good looking woman in yesterday’s blog, today’s content will be quite a smash we are certain.

The Teams were out meandering with the OFM Camera just collecting future blog material for our fun. Just before lunch time we decided to check on a friends new shade shelter on her new home. We pulled into the drive way and she and a few others the Teams know were busy working. The Teams helped by staying out of the way.

A couple of doors down from here is a lot that had a badly damaged mobile home on it. Hurricane Harvey had done a bad number on it. The authorities had gotten the old home pulled out and put next to the road. Then a new home was put into place and hooked up. Now there was time to wait on the big clean up. That was several weeks ago around the first of November.

There has been so much clean up to do in the area that priorities were assigned and the trash pile awaits it turn. The OFM has been very pleased at the continuous good performance of the clean -up effort.

Today was that old mutilated mobile home’s turn to be cleaned up. It was about a 16x60 that had huge holes punched through it by falling trees. In just a few minutes the crane had the walls down and all the topworks above the frame piled up and veing loaded into the debris truck.

The OFM went back to Sierra and grabbed the camera just in time to get this shot of the debris being loaded. That operator was good at it and moved a lot of trash in a hurry.

The OFM turned away to talk to his friend. With in seconds a loud crash bag happened in the street. Everyone looked back to see the equipment operator grab the frame of the former mobile home and fold it up like an old cereal box. Then he folded it a few times more until it was a wad of junk steel. He used the equipment to carry the former large massive frame over to the pile that was waiting for the debris truck to return.

Then the equipment operator went to work smoothing out the ditch and road shoulder to be smooth and ready for grass to be allowed to grow. The OFM casually meandered over to the squashed frame for this good bye picture.  

It may have been just our imagination but it seemed that the operator had a big grin on his face while smashing this stuff into little pieces. We were wondering if he was trying to have tooooo much fun.


Too Much Fun

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Adventure Date: 12/15/2017

It seems to the OFM Teams that Ms Piper really understands that having tooooo much fun idea.


Big Orange Blob

Adventure Location:  Sinton, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/13-14/2017

The OFM was not feeling his best and could not figure out why.  A trip to the wonderfully healing Welder Park in Sinton, Texas was taken to get in some kicking back and peacefulness. It is about a thirty minute trip from the Castle and the trip is through the cropland and windmills. It is a drier climate and usually softer air than the wet coastal salt laden environment.

Sierra got us there and parked amongst the trees that are all over this park. There is a couple of miles of nice walking paths and another large chunk of land for just plain old meandering. It turned out to be a good day for meandering for the body and the mind.

Notice the huge are behind Sierra for meandering. There is an area at least as large and tree smothered behind the photographer. The Teams have camped in the campground here a few times in the past and it was very nice back then.

A big orange ball was in the crotch of a live oak tree we noticed. It was bigger than a basket ball. A close up with the camera did not reveal enough detail to be sure exactly what it was. We are guessing some sort of fungi.

As we wandered around the park, we noticed lots of piles of wires and electrical boxes scattered in a rough pattern.

It seemed to be some sort of underground surveying equipment.  This is a significant oil producing area around here. If you recognize the equipment and what it is used for please let us know what it is for.

It ended up being a great relaxing time for the Teams. But the OFM was not finished yet.

When we were leaving Alabama we gave Beautiful Bike back to The OFM’s DIL.  It was just to nice a bike to take it down here to the coast and let the salt air ruin it.  Since then the OFM has been trying to decide whether to get another kayak or another bike.

Today he decided he would rather have a bike to use everywhere and not have to worry about damage by the elements. So we thought it out and decided we wanted a lesser costly bike to join the Teams. The OFM feels the Teams will get a lot more use and fun from a bike than a kayak now days.

Some research was put into the consideration and then a trip today to look at good but not expensive bikes. Academy Sports was chosen as the first stop. The OFM perused the large quantity of bikes available. None of them was just right. But just right would cost several dollars more. So a couple of hard choices were made and this black bike came home with us.

We will be accessorizing it to fit our desires over the next few weeks. It was $140 drive out and fits the OFM body very well. We did not want the suspension part of the bike but that was a concession we felt the OFM could live with. It does not have the super low gearing we wanted but maybe the OFM does not need to be going into places needing super low gearing any more. It will be a great adventure addition to the OFM current abilities. And most likely will be a considerable factor in many trying to have tooooo much fun adventures.


Like a Wart Hog

Adventure Location:  Rockport Beach, Texas
Adventure Date: 12/2017

It was a beautiful morning a few days ago and the OFM Photography Team was out chasing pictures early.  We were finding lots of pictures to take and even a few that have resided in the blog already. Naturally the OFM was meandering in places most folks don’t go, like on his knees or fat belly on the wet beach sand. That fool will do nearly anything to get “the picture”.

Well what in the world has his attention so intently. Sea grasses washed up on the Rockport Beach did. Now and then we would see some dohicky or bauble of interest for a second but mostly it was thin hunting for pictures on the beach that morning.

As we reached the far end of the mile long beach, the sea grasses had been washed ashore and arranged for us to admire. This was the first sight that caught his attention. He was still on his feet but squatted down to maximum pain level to take this nice overall picture of the scene. Notice how close the water is to the grasses.

One squat like that served notice that the OFM would not be doing another one like it for a long time. So after that, any low pictures were taken with straight knees but not necessarily vertical legs.

This next picture was about ten feet away and reminded us of some grass covered rolling hills in Oregon near the John Day River. That is some fantastic country to see up there in Oregon.

 Anyway he clambered down safely to the horizontal on the damp sand. Carefully the salty sand was kept out of the camera and a few pictures taken. Apparently he was a wiggle wort that morning and only this shot was not too fuzzy.

From down on the sand he noticed a slightly different view of the grasses. So he wallowed his fat tummy around like a happy wart hog and lined up for another shot.

Click/splash happened about the same moment as a small wave washed up onto his feet and legs. He jumped and squealed like a stuck wart hog. The Teams found it a lot more amusing than he did. Here is the picture. You nice folks tell us if it was worth the “excitement” to get the shot or not.

The mile or so back to Sierra was not as pleasant as the mile to the “incident” location. When we returned to the Castle the OFM was ready for dry warm socks. Sometimes you just have to climb right down into it to get the picture. The Teams feel that that is when you are enjoying the most about trying to have tooooo much fun.


Piper Party Plans

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Adventure Date: 12/11/2017

Is that Arthur baking a cake for me! Oh Wow we are going to have a party and try to have tooooo much fun!


Cake Coming

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Adventure Date: 12/10/2017

How about a picture of Grandson Gavin helping bake a cake for a celebration.

It sure looks like he was trying to have tooooo much fun.


Palm Tree Snow

Adventure Location:  Rockport,Texas
Adventure Date: 12/08/2017

There is something basically very WRONG with snow on a palm tree on the Texas coast.

That picture was taken after most of the snow in the area had melted away. It is just WRONG.

Here is our site after about 1000 this morning. Most of the flat areas around here had about a 1 1/2 inch thickness of snow. It was a wet snow and did not brush away easily. The OFM wanted it off of the Castle so he went around brushing it off with the brush for washing the Castle. It worked pretty well on the sides.

Here is a good enlargement to show why the solar panels were not generating electricity. 

When he saw this the OFM decided to head up the rear ladder and clean as much of the snow off the roof as he easily could. The rest of the Teams members were hoping that the softened ground would help cushion the impact when that idiot fell from the icy/wet roof. But we had a major surprise when the OFM was careful enough to get 90% of the snow knocked to the ground and himself back on the ground with no bodily injury at all.

When we got the gear put away and back into the Castle, the solar controllers were both giving us wonderful little green blinks as they worked at refilling the low batteries. With 3 1/2 days of heavy clouds/rain the batteries were getting down to only about 20% charge remaining and they were thirsty.

That left a lot of the day for the OFM to continue his big decision he has been working on. After a little over ten years of fairly active on the road RVing he is trying to choose what he wants to do. He has been virtually every where he wanted to see at least twice.

 A couple of his friends that were on the road for a decade or so has been e-mailing him with answers to his questions. This has been going on for a couple of months. Today the OFM made a first tiny step choice and requested a site here in Rockport for the year of 2018. This will be our “homebase”. For 2018 we plan to have trips out and about when the fishing and beach combing is not at its best. Those trips may be with the Castle or just motel camping. We will be checking what fits with the OFM’s current attitude.

 We know from the last years experiences that by just driving Sierra we can go better than twice as far in a day as we can towing the Castle. Sierra gets 9.9 mpg towing and 20+ mpg without the Castle. There is a lot of territory the OFM is not interested in looking at again so we may even fly over to some place and rent a car there to look around or do some activity. The OFM traveled like this during his five years working in Washington State. It was a pretty good way of seeing places of interest. We do not know for sure what the Teams will do but you can be sure OFM Adventures will continue and the Teams will be doing their best at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Patooie SNOW

Adventure Location:  Rockport,Texas
Adventure Date: 12/07/2017

The good news is that the Man O War sting has finished with the OFM and he is doing well from that event. The bad news is that winter arrived about 1600 that day and has been an unwelcome visitor. The weather radar stays the same all day and night except the storm does roam around.

The ducks are wearing arctic parkas and insulated rubber boots. The people are wanting to move farther south. It's the normal winter weather here. Drizzle cold rain, 20 mph wind to move the drizzle sideways, no sign of the sun and folks moving quickly when they HAVE to go outside.

 Maybe we are lucky that ice is a never to be seen item on the roads. The OFM is wearing more clothes than he did when he left Washington in October of 2007. Yep, the six weeks of winter down here is not very nice. Wet cold is bad enough but this soggy drippy sloppy soaked air cold is very miserable. When your Frogg Togg rain suit soaks through you know it is not nice.

Meanwhile the OFM has a scratchy throat, draining sinus, headachy and a generally viral feeling to help his attitude. We think he left his”trying to have tooooo much fun” somewhere in the sun a few days ago.