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On Guard

1/16/19

Short Sighted

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/16/2019
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Yep we were out meandering around in a fog. Not the usual mental fog of the OFM, but a real, wet, chilly fog. For some unknown silly reason the OFM decided he needed to update his memory banks about Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass today. So away we went on an adventure in a fog.

The fog was not so bad on the main roads but when we turned toward the bay and harbor the fog thickness increased a lot. It was slow driving after that. Sierra got us safely to the end of the road near the boat ramps and harbor exit. Then we piddled around trying to take pictures in a fog.

We heard a boat out on the water but at first could not tell where the sound was originating. In a few seconds the boat came out of the fog headed out into the bays.



We made a circle in the parking lot with Sierra to get a better angle for another picture. As you can see in this next picture, the boat was already out of sight. Where did it go? We have no idea.



Nearby was the cleaning station with the two pelicans on guard. Pelicans really know how to hunker down in inclement weather. These two seemed to be well practiced at hunkering.



As we swung past the fishing pier we noticed a truck parked at the entrance with Alaska license plates on it. We figure it had to be the two hardy tough folks in this next picture. Sensible folks would not be sitting out there in the chilly wet climate. Notice the two pelican “guards” out there making certain they do not waste any fish by throwing them back in.



On the way back in from the ramp area Sierra tried out a dirt road. Bad choice. All the rain of the last 24 hours had the dirt a bit soft. Sierra is a smart truck. As soon as it got a feel for the surface, Sierra made and abrupt 180 and out we came safely. Thank you, Sierra.

Back on the pavement, we headed for the exit. But along the way the OFM had the Teams stop to let him take another fog picture of a bay shrimper that was wise enough to stay in the harbor and leave the shrimp alone today.



The OFM was lost in a bay fog once years ago and it was not a fun “educational” event. Once was definitely enough.

This was a good day for trying to have tooooo much fun if you didn’t mind not seeing very far around yourself.


1/15/19

Boondocking in Rockport

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/15/2019
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We really did not plan on boondocking while here in Rockport, Texas. However around 1745 this afternoon the 120 volt power gave up the ghost for a large section of the surrounding neighborhood. The Castle just switched to boondocking mode and the Teams carried on like nothing had happened. Some of the camper neighbors were concerned and running around trying to figure out what to do. 

The OFM actually just washed part of the Castle in the rain with his soft brush for fiberglas. Then he went in and checked the internet for the extent of the outage. AEP said that about 3000 places were without power. So what did the OFM do. He climbed into Sierra and had a nice supper of chicken tacos. That ought to make him sleep well tonight.

When we returned the power was back on and the OFM Teams had not missed a beat. That was about the most exciting thing in two days except for the naps.

Tonight we noticed that BillyBob had finally posted again. It has been about a year since the last post. He is 77 now.

That is about all the excitement around here for the last few days. The OFM says he is finally rested from the beach adventure. As soon as the bad weather cold and rain lets up he is ready to get out running around trying to have tooooo much fun again.

1/13/19

Anything and Everything

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/13/2019
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Very recently a lady could not understand the OFM’s answer when she asked “ What are you looking for?” in reference to the Teams beachcombing. Everything and anything. 

Tonight we finish up the beach trip report. Sometimes the OFM hates to write about a successful meander because so much gets left out. For each picture tonight there was at least 9 more that had to be left out.

One more wind sculpture is needed to show another style of them. Sometimes these get very large and dramatic. There has been a few down on Padre Island that were taller than the OFM. This one looks like a scene from a treasure hunt movie but in reality is only about 5 inches high but about 4 feet long. The edges were still forming because we saw changes in the few minutes we watched it while planning the photograph.




Another item that caught our attention was some sand on an old dead tree trunk. WOW that sounds exciting, right! Well we enjoyed it and seeing the scene developing as we took photos. The sand was still depositing on the trunk as we watched.




Many years ago the OFM incorrectly identified this as coral and a wonderful reader gently corrected him. It is a purple barnacle. However they are very brilliant at times and really catch your attention sitting in the sand and being tumble polished in the surf. This is a very dull example but it still caught the eye of the Meanderthall on the beach.




The shell is a pretty shell. We have no idea the name of it since we are not in possession of a Meanderers Bucket at the moment. A Meanderers Bucket is the subject of a forth coming blog entry. The shell was carefully lifted and checked that no critters were at home to damage the OFM hand. Then the photos were taken. Few really nice shells were on the beach this trip. Sometimes the beach is loaded with them.




And last is the brown shell and other things. The brown shell was one of few this day that were not damaged. The “necklaces” of shells laying around it were interesting also. The scene just struck the OFM’s fancy so here it is in the blog.



As you can tell the OFM had a wander-ful day at the beach and made a pretty good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/12/19

Bubbles

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/12/2019
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And finally we are ready to begin the meander. Keep in mind we have had to sort down to these six pictures from what seemed like 467032 pictures just for tonight’s blog entry. The OFM is bad about loading the camera card with all it can carry in its 4GB ability per outing.

The hard part was choosing the line of meander after the fantastic find of that Beach Toadstool. Basically we like to choose a line parallel to the water and walk along that line. Then when we hit the end we shift to another line that looks promising and follow it to the end. Repeat as often as your knees can hold out. With a serious thought of close to three seconds our line was chosen to be near the water. And away we went at a snails pace meandering speed. Sometimes we only make a hundred yards in a morning.

There was only one piece of sizable driftwood on this beach. We think it made a pretty nice picture. To our surprise there were about seven pictures of this tree to choose from on the camera card. The sun sparkle on the water was very nice 



WIND SCULPTURE
Several years ago the OFM came up with the term wind sculpture for all the nice, odd or otherwise interesting things that happen to sand when objects and the wind/nature combine to make interesting shapes or as the OFM likes to call it WIND SCULPTURES.

Here are two of the simpler types we noticed and enjoyed. This one is caused by two sections of vine leaves interacting with the wind. We really liked the way the ripples of sand radiate out and around.



As we meandered near the dunes later, there was a feather half buried in the sand. It created its own style of sculpture. It amazed us how a simple feather could cause such beautiful curves and ripple in the sand. This was a first for the OFM Teams to see. WOW two first in one trip, a feather sculpture and a sand dune toadstool. I wonder how many other folks have seen either one.



Sea foam is on the beaches often. Many times it is pretty nondescript. But today the sun and sand was playing nicely with each other and the reflections were fantastic. On top of that as you walked around the foam the colors changed and the reflections seemed to create new images from the same blob of foam. It was fascinating.



Then this one is more of a sun reflection from the foam and wet sand. It is special in our mind.



Then the sun on the sand was another really delightful of beauty to enjoy.



So far it has been a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/11/19

Onto The Beach

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/11/2019
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 With the OFM’s agreement the Teams for the north beach entrance a few tire rolls away on the other side of the dunes.



The OFM made Sierra be cautious in approaching the entrance since the sand looked trecherous. The only tire tracks in the sand appeared to be the beach patrol truck of the State Park and they were deep. Sierra rolled a few feet onto the soft sand and the OFM looked at the rest of the route to the wet sand. Hmmmm about 75 feet and real loose.  Hmmm. That part close to the barrier on the right seems to be a lot less deep and undisturbed.

OK we backed off a little ways and got up some headway to help get through the sand without adding throttle to the back tires. And ZIP we went on through like it was paved. But we did not stop rolling until we got to our parking spot near the jetty. Once we hit the wet sand it was smooth rolling and the OFM was so elated that we forgot to stop and take a couple of pictures.

However when our meander took us back to this spot he did take a couple of pictures. In the interim time several vehicles came onto the beach for a quick look. Both coming and going they really tore the entry sand into a fluffy mess. These next two pictures were taken on our way out. 

Here is what we had for company at the beach this day. That is Sierra way down the beach on the left waiting for our return.



Here is the recon picture as the OFM checked out our ability to leave later. Our incoming tracks are the ones on the far left in this picture. The rest of the deep ruts are where the fools fluffed the sand up playing while we were meandering.



It certainly looked like it will be  good bit more difficult getting out. It was definitely more exciting as we will relate later.

Back to our adventure. Sierra chose a great parking spot right near the necessity facilities. When The OFM Beachcombing Team started the meander, the first interesting item we saw was a toadstool of all things. A five inch diameter toadstool in a saltwater sand dune was a first for the OFM Teams.



We also surveyed the beach to see where to begin. The day was so incredibly nice it was hard to choose which direction to take first. The Jetty was getting a little wave action so we chose the area along the dunes as the first direction.



We headed south near the dunes and were reacquainted with a phenomena we discovered years ago and had forgotten all about. The beach is a great place for WIND SCULPTURES.

And we are now 3 pages into this blog entry and plenty of adventures to go.  We will continue tomorrow with the dune meandering part of the adventure of trying to have tooooo much fun at the beach.

1/10/19

Soft Beach Sand

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
Adventure Date: 1/10/2019
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 He woke earlier than normal and actually got out of bed before the sun came up. The OFM very seldom does something silly like that. Before you know it breakfast was fixed and consumed. WOW what got into him besides potatoes and eggs.

It turned out a couple of chores were needing to be done and he awoke thinking about them. So we soon were out the door and rolling. We had forgotten that The OFM had watched the weather and carefully planned an adventure out at the Gulf beach. We meandered around getting some things done like mailing a picture postcard to grandson Gavin. When the time was right (the temperature had risen a nice amount) Sierra was pointed at the Port Aransas ferry and away we went to the BEACH.

We were able to drive right onto the ferry but had to wait a few minutes for it to fill up. While we were sitting there the OFM notice a different looking landing dolphin,



Something must have really whopped it a good one.  Looks like some major repair work is needing to be done. Maybe even the ferry got bad smashed. Who knows?



Well as we pulled out another landing dolphin was wrapped with yellow tape and had a bad lean to it. OK something serious must have happened. Anyway we crossed the channel just fine and as we pulled into the dock the OFM noticed the ferry to our starboard had a lot of paint scrapped off its port side.



We got off the ferry and headed to Whataburger in Port Aransas for lunch and then to the beach.The place was nearly empty so we were able to get in and gone in record time. A left turn down the island and there we went. About halfway to the entrance there was some road work to slow us down. The folks did a great job of the traffic controls and we were delayed only a few minuted. The road definitely needed repairs in that section.

Finally we arrived at the entrance to Mustang Island State Park which is in a nearly total reconstruct from Hurricane Harvey. Talking with the entrance lady we found out that the park camping is planned to be open again in the new nice facilities in about two months. Man o man that will be a busy place this summer.

The nice lady at the entrance booth told us that the road to the Fish Pass Jetties was extra soft today and the Teams needed to exercise extra care. The OFM is an old time beach driver and Sierra is a great soft surface vehicle since it uses fairly low pressure tires. Sierra usually just floats across the sand.

Sierra was taken to the main beach parking lot to check out the soft sand a bit before we head off on the beach entry road. 



The OFM spent a few minutes checking the sand near the parking lot and decided we would carefully try our luck with running the beach. Wishing Sierra good luck we headed for the north beach entrance and the VERY soft sand.

We are stopping here at three pages since we have a huge amount of story left to tell about a fantastic day meandering around on the beach trying very hard to have tooooo much fun.

1/9/19

Morning Sun

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/09/2019
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 The morning pancake breakfast was going along smoothly. The OFM was sitting at the table with the window blinds pulled up enjoying the sun waking up the neighborhood. It was so nice he even took a picture of it while he was eating.




Where as yesterday was a bikini day, this morning was cool enough that coats and other warm clothing was required. This workman, for example, was in a tee shirt and shorts while working on the gazebo yesterday. Definitely not this morning.




Naturally with the north wind bringing in the cool air, it blew a lot of the water from the bay back into the Gulf of Mexico. That made for some really shallow spots where we normally do some fish catching. All that sand you see is normally under water.




Late in the afternoon Sierra claimed the temperature had warmed up a good bit.




And it apparently did. The red/white Top Dog Jr lure we found yesterday proved its worth with a large speckled trout this afternoon. It was a surprise to catch a trout on a topwater lure when it was not warm out but we landed the fish and measured it at a bit over 17“ and let it go back to make babies this spring. Naturally the camera was back there in Sierra.

We did get a small part of the Castle exterior  washed when the temps were moderately warm. There is still a lot of trailer to bathe yet. Washing RVs while the air is chilly is not a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/8/19

Nothing Happened

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/08/2019
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Morning arrived way too soon but the OFM made the effort and breakfast was served. Then it was off to the grocery for a few things. Stopping at the fishing hole on the way back to the Castle did not get us any fish caught. But we were making progress on a day toward our ultimate goal.

A trip over to Aransas Pass for lunch  netted us a Whataburger fish sandwich which was very good. then back around the corner to Walmart and a gas injection for Sierra. Sometimes trucks like to have lunch also.



We noted while in Aransas Pass that the day was nice and warm. The sun was bright and the skies mostly a nice blue. The long sleeve tee shirt the OFM had on was a bit much. Later back at the Castle he swapped to a short sleeve shirt but it was still warm for what the day was giving us.



We headed to the Rockport Beach Park and the wooden fishing pier. As we started out on the pier, the OFM glanced at the water and saw a good looking fishing lure tangled in the grasses and algae at the foot of the pier. He stopped and went to work on snagging the lure. After several tries we had a successful adventure. Some clean up was done for this next picture.



It is a Top Dog Jr. top water fishing lure. The rusted hooks were changed and the lure cleaned up. It is now in a tackle box ready for action tomorrow.

When the Teams got finished catching nothing at the pier we headed to the bird sanctuary area. The day was great and some folks were out enjoying the sun and sand. As you can see there were a few bikinis scattered around to enhance the view.



As you can see, really nothing special happened but we had a great time trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/6/19

Sinton Park

Adventure Location: Sinton, TX
Adventure Date: 1/06/2019
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The Teams were itching to get our somewhere and move around. Fishing does not get us much exercise of an aerobic nature. One Team member suggested the Sinton Tx city park again. Good Idea we all chimed in. And off we went.

We got Sierra parked near the necessity building. A golf club was grabbed along with one golf ball. The idea was to hit the golf ball and chase it around the park. That way we could get some upper torso exercise also. It worked out really well. Here is a picture of a representative park of the huge park. We were the only folks in this part of the park today. Notice where the trail starts in the picture.




As we made our way around this portion of the park thwacking along the golf ball, we came upon this tree trunk left from Hurricane Harvey over a year ago. Notice the grass still growing in some dirt pulled up with the tree trunk. We wonder how long it will survive growing like that,




When the OFM tired of thwacking a golf ball around we returned to Sierra to store the golf equipment.  The OFM Trail Walking Shoes told us they wanted to go on the old trail we used to walk a lot when we camped in this park years ago.


 Great. So off we went. When we crossed the fence into the “wilder” part of the park, the Shoes got real happy. We set up to a good pace and maintained it until past the pond entry and around to the end of the paved trail. The grass after that point was over waist high and the OFM was a wimp so we turned around. Here is the picture just after we turned around.




Then it was a retrace of our route back to Sierra. The best we could figure on Google Maps is that we made about two miles of great walking today. It was extremely pleasant in the 70+ temperature.





The park visit was a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/5/19

Caught FIsh

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/05/2019
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A bit of cool to start the morning and the OFM hit Whataburger for breakfast and then Walmart for some important fishing gear. By the time the day was over the OFM had replaced his $50 rod that Sierra used a door to eat with two $20 rods. Then some time was spent getting them tuned for the OFM preferences. Finally it was time to get busy fishing.

We hit the Rockport Harbor  and in short order the OFM had put two speckled trout on the deck. However as usual they were 1/4“ short of legal. Three hours later no one had caught any more fish. So the OFM Fishing Team went back to the Castle.

At the Castle the OFM did a lot of planning attempts and other things related to traveling. Nothing special was accomplished.

In late afternoon we headed back to the harbor to see if some pretty pictures were available. Here is what we got.

This is the end of the main rock pier at the harbor. The OFM has the most success here on the last 1/3 of the pier towards the end.


At the harbor breakwater this evening was this industrious fisherman working hard but not catching anything. He seemed to be doing everything right but sometimes there just isn’t any fish. Usually that is an excellent sheepshead location.



Midway along the harbor breakwater is an old wooden breakwater and some rubble. Frequently it is good fishing in this area but you have to pay the price in terminal tackle to learn where the trash is located.



As the sun was setting the Teams headed back to the Castle to let the OFM rest tonight from the hard day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/3/19

Its WOWday

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/03/2019
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WOW a lot was done today. Even with a medium migraine attack right after lunch the OFM was a busy fat boy all day. The first item was a decision that we can roll from Rockport toward the end of this month without worry about minor medical issues that are dogging the Teams Grand Glorious Leader, The OFM.

Two paintings are under way with the new attitude that a new painting can be started even if there are others  waiting to be finished. What happens is a painting progresses to a point where the OFM cannot figure out how to do something and make it look right. In the past the OFM Art Team just sat on it until the OFM found out the answer. 

 Now we are taking the approach that the OFM can start as many paintings as we have paper and the paintings will progress as he learns whatever is needed to be learned. Hopefully that will be a good way to progress.

In the meantime gas for Sierra has dropped to this nice on the wallet price. Sierra guzzled as much as it could this afternoon.




As The OFM was resting this afternoon trying to recover from the migraine skirmish he could hear the thawed chicken breasts in the refrigerator screaming to be cooked. So a survey patrol was sent out into the cabinets to see what they could find for making some food for tonight.

The patrol came back with good news. It would take little effort to gather some wonderful ingredients for more wonderful stoup. And the cooking adventure began. 

The parts are
three chicken breasts diced
one stalk of celery sliced very thinly
1 cup of toadstool parts
1 cup brown rice
two heaping teaspoons of Wylers chicken powder
fresh ground black pepper
a pile of garlic powder
a liberal dose of parsley flakes





Cook the chicken in the 3 liter pot with a large dollop of butter type stuff by boiling in a scant amount of water. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the toadstools and celery in enough water to cook the rice. When the rice is ready to simmer, add the toadstools and celery for the last three minutes. Let it all simmer gently for a couple of more minutes and it is ready to serve.




It looks bland but the flavor is really good to the Teams. The yield was a bowl full for tonight and three more meals to be stored in the freezer. Yummity Yum Yum.




And there you have a small part of a very good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/2/19

1/3 Clean

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/02/2019
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We opened a package that came a couple of days ago. Inside were the new window operators. The Castle has three jalousie type of windows. One has the original operator and is working fine but the wear is starting to show. Another is definitely on the last throes of failing. And the third has been failed for several months but we seldom need to use it so it has not been a trouble.



The package brought us one new operator for each window. Now all the OFM has to do is install the new ones. Since he wears tri-focal glasses, seeing the operator screws while installing the operator is a real PAIN IN THE NECK. 

Speaking of PAIN. The OFM got busy cleaning the tub and surround today. The water mineral residue is pretty bad so it was time. Well, any way he started and got about a third of the way through before a knee and lower back suggested that that was enough contortionist activity for one day. And the tri-focal glasses are not a first choice for this close quarters work either. So we have a 2/3 dirty tub area and a chore for tomorrow.

Somehow we think the OFM is not going to consider that tub cleaning as a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/1/19

2019 Starts Very Well

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Adventure Date: 1/01/2019
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The new year started with a loud bang. Actually a whole lot of loud bangs. Between the fireworks and the gun fire the Teams did not get to sleep until around 1 am this morning. 

By 1030 this morning we had the laundry done and put away. It certainly is nice having the laundry room about fifty feet away, instead of loading it in a vehicle and taking it 8 miles away to a public laundry.

When it was warmer and nicer yesterday, the OFM went fishing and caught three speckled trout as reported yesterday. The best part of that trip was seeing the old public aquarium foundation being put to good use. These two kids were having a blast skating in this not traffic location. The young lady stopped for a couple of minutes to talk fishing with the OFM. She was very pleasant.



The OFM had some new toys come in vis Fedex yesterday. They got delayed by the shipping companies but he was really glad to get the toys in anyway. It is a 72 pencil set of Prismacolor pencils. The plan is to have tooooo much fun with them.



The OFM got busy today and organized the colored pencils and then created a color chart so that he could tell the real hue of each pencil. The color that it appears on the lead and coating never seems to quite match what shows up when it is applied to paper. So he always has to make a chart like this one.



Now all he needs to do is do some art work attempts.

However the first thing on the list for tomorrow is heading to the grocery store to stock up on stoup fixings and other food items. He seems to be having fun fixing all sorts of things lately. Between the art, cooking and fishing he ought to have a busy day of trying to have tooooo much fun.