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South Texas

2/21/19

Piling Gull

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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Excitement took the winter off. It was another cool wet day AGAIN here in Rockport. The OFM hired this  piling seagull to show you all the fun and frolicking in the area. It never left the piling so we did not need to make a video to see everything.



Yep having tooooo much fun around here is hard work lately.

2/20/19

Dingaling

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The day started cold and wet but by noon it was upper 60‘s and bright sunshine. By evening it was overcast and a bit chilly. During all this weather the OFM Teams managed to have some fun.

A nice chunk of time was spent fishing at the Harbor. The Teams did not catch any fish but they did have lots of visiting with new to the area Winter Texans.

As the shadows grew long in the evening three moochers (birds) came to visit the lone fisherman left at the harbor wall. He was catching small perch and chunking them out onto the pavement for the birds to eat. Those birds were keeping careful eye on things.

One on top of the nearby building  could leap into the air and swoop down to grab a fish. It was very diligent about its job.



Two others roamed around on the ground awaiting their chance to grab a fish. They even tried to get the fisherman’s bait.



It was Dingaling’s job to keep the birds away from the fisherman’s the bait. Who is Dingaling you might ask? Well we are happy to present to you Dingaling.



Dingaling is about 7 pounds of delightful small puppy. She is very friendly and considers it her job to gather all the polite pettings she can while she is at the fishing area. Her owner has a bell attached to the bottom of her halter that dings as she walks or runs. We do not know her official name but she does answer to Dingaling when the OFM calls her. She understands that when you are reeling in or fighting a fish that she stands back until you are ready for her. She waits for you to indicate to come on over for a petting. She is a really neat puppy.

As the evening came to a close the OFM grabbed the camera and went to a short pier to get a picture of sunset. Well sunset was not so spectacular but we did get a late evening picture with the Parks and Wildlife Research boats in their moorings. 

We topped the day off taking pictures, fishing, watching moochers fight each other and getting a nice evening picture of the harbor. That made it a pretty decent day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/18/19

Cleaning Time

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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BUSY was the day. But the outcome was very good in spite of a migraine attack that would have crumbled the head of a granite statue. However it was over and the OFM up and limping in about four hours. 

We were out supplying for the Castle when the migraine hit. But about 1300 the OFM rolled out to get some lunch and finish the supply run. The supply run was highly successful. And WOW of WOW the OFM finished the electrical repair/updates today. So now the Castle is ready to roll again. The weather is too nasty so we will wait it out with full hookups.

The Teams told the OFM that he had failed to record our nest for this visit to The Quiet One. So here we are in our somewhat shaded double size site.



A couple of other chores on the chore list have been crossed off. Income Tax is all that is left. We have to wait for papers from our mailing service to arrive before we can tackle the IRS. Then the OFM will have fun figuring out the new forms. It is always such a joy.

Since things sort of went well (remember the migraine) today, the OFM decided it was time for Chicken Stoup tonight. So into the bucket went some cooked chicken breast, celery, onion, honey baked beans, garlic powder and sesame seeds. 

Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes and it is ready to eat. Yep it was very good. It was a surprise how strong flavored the sesame seeds were. There was enough left for a warm bowl tomorrow with some crispy flour tortillas. 

With a little luck we will get the Castle vacuumed and dusted, the laundry done and put away in between the predicted rain showers. At least the rain does rinse the salt off the rig.

By Wednesday we are planning on having nothing to do for a while except try to have tooooo much fun.

2/17/19

Lots of Questions

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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Time to do some catching up in OFM Land. This is the trip back to Rockport, Tx. It got off to a very late start. Traffic was light in general until we turned south at Hondo Texas.  Then there was three sets of road construction that had us wait about ten minutes each. We are not griping because the road was needing the repairs quite badly.

We followed the road on around to Jourdanton where there is a fantastic truck stop with competitive gas prices and easy maneuvering for a travel trailer. We stopped there for a few minutes of food and rest and hit the road rolling onward.

Soon we merged onto I-37 headed towards Corpus Christi, Texas. The plan was to get to the Texas Travel Stop at about mile marker 82 and shut down for the night. We arrived safe but tired. The spot we got was the same one we have occupied a few other times.


The OFM slithered out like a sore back lazy snake. After a few minutes of slithering he was able to get fully upright and walk like a fat human. He grabbed the camera to see what needed to have its picture taken. Yea look at that rose. You know he has to take a picture of a flower if one is around. Check out this rose center. We think they are simplicity roses.



As he meandered like a goooood meanderthall he noticed that a picture available was screaming SOUTH TEXAS. So he grabbed the picture.



Now we ask you does anything scream SOUTH TEXAS more than a picture of a Yucca in bloom with oil wells in the background?

Any way after a bit of meandering the OFM was feeling rested and perky. (Can a heavily overweight Old Fat Man actually feel perky?) So he chose to try our luck at making it the two hours to the Rockport Walmart to try our luck at our first Walmart dry camping. As you already know we made it after dark and had a wonderful night.

Forward to tonight. Check out this eerie night picture of a nearby tree and the lighting. All it needs is a witch on a broom flying by.

Say that brings up another question for tonight. Would riding a flying broom at night be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun? 

2/16/19

Busy Month Planned

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Things are moving well on the modifications of the Castle. We signed up for a month at this campground which will end March 15. The weather should be much warmer by then and traveling and camping nicer.

The new lamps have all been mounted and are working out wonderful. LED lamps are expensive for sure. The OFM says his eyes can see better with the bright white light we have now. That is good but the rest of the Teams wish the bright light could make him a “bright” person. No such luck, we are stuck with what we have. Oh well.

We have plans to be busy for the next month trying to get everything the Teams can figure out that needs to be done, done. The location change for the Castle’s battery will have to wait a day or so until the saturated wet ground has dried enough. The OFM has to go under the Castle to get to the access panel for the re-routing of the battery wires back out to the trailer tongue.

Putting the batteries inside several years ago turned out to have one big hangup. It was virtually impossible to get to them with jumper cables to start the tow vehicle if it needed a jump. At the same time it was the same trouble to attempt to put significant power into the battery from the tow vehicle. When this change back to trailer tongue mounted battery is complete that big nuisance will be fixed. And yes we have needed both of those abilities in the past.

The other big chore is to make a serious attempt at getting the income tax filed. Some years that chore seems a lot worse than others. But the good part about income tax is that if you did not make any money you do not owe any tax. Property tax is tax owed no matter if you earned any money or not.

This stuff, some water oriented fun and being in Decatur Al on April 29 is all the plans we have for now. So lets all get out there and try to have tooooo much fun.

2/15/19

The End and The Beginning

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

OK here we are safely back in Rockport Tx where there is help and supplies to complete the improvements to the Castle. We pulled out of San Pedro Thursday around 1100 and rolled carefully. 

The Teams telephone also had failed so we were rolling without being able to call for help in worse case situations. But it all rolled well and we made a first time happening for the Teams. We spent the night at the Rockport Walmart. It was a very pleasant night of decent sleeping and the first time we ever over nighted at Walmart..

Friday morning the OFM awoke and fixed breakfast of eggs and ham. After washing the dishes it was into the store for a bit of food shopping. Then we rode around the harbor and went to The Quiet One RV Park to settle in for a month. We are guessing we can get everything done within the month. That includes repairs, remodels and decisions about the next travels.

This afternoon we visited old friends to let them know we are back in town. We were warmly greeted and welcomed. Tomorrow is the day we finally get to get busy with all the required efforts.

Tonight is when the OFM is going to be trying to have tooooo much fun sleeping long and hard.


2/13/19

Success

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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We think the electrical problem has been solved. After we got a full battery early this morning from the solar panels, the OFM set up the old inverter with an ammeter for testing. We found that with the inverter “turned off” it was still drawing 2.8 amps. What for or why we did not care. It was wrong and now has a new home.



This evening late we have a nice voltage reading again. Instead of 12.08 we have this beautiful set of numbers.



So now we are back to living but with some new modifications to the Castle planned over the next few days.  Tomorrow will be a shopping day with modifications made if we can find the right items.

In the meantime the wind has been mean today. It was 37F this morning and 68F by noon. But the wind has made life outdoors a bit unpleasant. Today we also had to go dump black and gray and take on 40 gallons of fresh water. It is an easy job but the OFM just hates to break camp without going somewhere else. But he did.

When we got set up the OFM decided to park Sierra to block the mean wind from the water heater flame.  For some silly reason he wants hot water for a shower tonight. The water heater is visible behind the spare tire. The heater is to the far side not actually behind the spare tire. 



Supposedly we are through with the nights of cold weather now for the rest of our stay. That would be nice.

We are hoping we are back to a regular blogging schedule again.  Surely there is nothing else that could go wrong to stop us from trying to have tooooo much ufn.

2/12/19

Progress we hope.

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX

It seems to be that we are making progress. The battery charged up well this morning from just about dead to full by1030 at 13.32 volts. Then some testing of the 12/120 inverter did not seem right so it was taken out of service.

Another way of recharging the computer and hotspot is being tried out at this time.

The Del Rio RV parts supply place has taken a huge leap in improvement. The parts supply is greatly better than even last year. They had a battery box we have been wanting at a competitive price.

Then the OFM got to looking at LED lighting for the dining/everything table. The 120 volt light bar and the incandescent double lamp light fixture could easily be replaced with one simple double fixture and cut back tremendously on the clutter as well as the electricity consumed. One came home with us.

This is being typed by the light from 1/2 of the new light. It has a dim/bright  switch. It is really wonderful. We think that tomorrow we may have a short list of a couple more LED lamps to replace those incandescent lights that get used a lot. It certainly gives the Castle a lot cleaner look inside.

The repairs are not complete but we hope the testing through tonight will prove the damage has been taken care of and we are on the road to getting all squared away again.

It has not been much fun so we are really excited about getting back to trying to have tooooo much fun soon.

2/11/19

Temporary Non_Blog Event

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX


This is the last blog post until I get this electrical trouble solved and corrected. When things are right, I will be back. See you soon I hope.

2/10/19

Beautiful Blue

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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What a day it has been! First as breakfast was prepared the propane tank ran empty. The OFM chunked on some warm and ran outside to switch it over. Why doesn’t he leave it on automatic switchover? Because it works so good that when he notices it is on the second tank and empty is when there is not propane left for the burners. Switching the regulator over lets him know that a tank needs refilling. So we never run out of propane this way.

Then we finally diagnosed a trouble with the solar battery bank. It is called total failure. The two batteries would show 13.04 volts. Then turn on an led light and in an hour it would be down to 12.2 volts or less. When it was all said and done a new battery from Walmart was installed and the two year and a half AGM batteries were eliminated from the Teams.

But the good news is that we stumbled upon a mountain laurel bush that was blooming early this year.



They certainly make beautiful blossoms that seem to glow in the sunlight.



Now the OFM is heading to take a couple of bottles of ibuprofen after all the squatting, lifting and general discomforting positions he had to assume while taking the old batteries from under his bed.  Putting the new battery in was less stress since it was about 15 pounds lighter.

So tomorrow  he will be likely looking for easier tasks for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/9/19

Fantastic Photo

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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The Teams are the only rig in the whole campground tonight. There has been lots of RV traffic on Highway 90 but since about 0930 we have been the sole occupants. So tonight we will cover some details and have a fantastic final picture.

Coming in to the campground is about a mile of fairly smooth gravel road. It is not rough but definitely not smooth either. This picture is taken at the end of the entry road just before it enters the campground. Most of the road is just exactly like this shows.




While standing in the same spot the OFM turned around to show the split and how to take either direction to enter the campground. The roads loop around and meet up so any part of the campground is easily accessible by any size RV that wants to come into the camping portion of the facility.




A famous tree in the camping area is the Billy Bob Tree so named  for the famous traveler and blogger Billy Bob. BB is off the road now and living in Georgia but his blog is still available to view for all the old adventures.




The Teams went over to the “corner campsite” to take a few pictures. This is the only campsite with two sides of waterfront when the lake is full. The lake is way from full now and has been for the years of drought  the area is suffering. That little bit of water way out there is a small canyon off the main body of the lake. The red line shows where the water is at full.




Very nearby is the place the OFM stands to take the sunset pictures.  It looks quite a bit different during the hazy nasty cold day light doesn’t it.




And now for the fantastic picture that is better than any sunset and the instigators of a whole lot of trying to have tooooo much fun.
Grand Kids Gavin and Piper Ward.

2/7/19

277 South

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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San Pedro Campground was a lonesome place for most of the day today. About noon the OFM  went out and took a couple of pictures of the campground. Here is looking right.



Here is looking left.



Now that is an empty feeling. About an hour before dark five more rigs arrived for the night.  The rig that had been here since the Teams arrived pulled out about dark. So tomorrow the OFM could be without any neighbors again and that is wonderful.

After lunch the OFM grabbed his spotty pictures camera and headed to 277 South public area to mess around. Here we go down the hill to the entrance where he learned a lesson about truck doors.



We started to meander along the brush to our left. A few feet along and the brush next to us exploded. The OFM Teams nearly fainted. Critters were going every direction it seemed. Then we saw what it was. Three goats had been in the brush about ten feet away and panicked. As they went hurtling up the adjacent slope the OFM went looking for his heart that had leapt from his body in the excitement. Eventually the heart was found and reinserted so we could go on meandering. NO we did not get a picture of the blur of goats going up the hillside.

We meandered down to the lake and messed around looking at the water and remembering kayak trips out from that launch. We generally went along the cliffs way on up to a smaller canyon that went a long way. The scenery was always fantastic.

We made it across the road to take a picture of the cliffs we paddled near back then. The water was about 25 feet higher back then. This lake view always reminds the OFM of good times past.



Oh yeah the lesson. When you park your vehicle on the steep hill with the driver door on the uphill side, ALWAYS get all the way into the vehicle before starting to shut the door.

So the sun went down again and gave us this scene at the campground as it said “goodnight”.




It was another good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/6/19

MsB

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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It was our special lucky day. As the OFM was wandering around with the camera in his hand a dark car was driving by. The car stopped and the window rolled down to reveal that real nice lady called MsB on the Internet. She had driven all the way from far south Del Rio out to the campground to visit with the Teams. We talked and talked and talked. It was a great visit. Her blog is Terlingua Dreams. Check it out.

The early thick fog each morning has a grey lining. It coats the spider webs with dew drops. That way you can dodge them as the OFM wanders around in in a slumberly stupor in the morning. There are a lot of them as you can see in this picture.



Another thing we have noticed is that the blackbrush plants are getting ready for the spring explosion of achoo blossoms. In this next picture, each of those buds will be a two inch long yellow quarter inch in diameter achoo generator flower.



With a nice visit from MsB you can bet we have a very good time of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/5/19

Fire Pit

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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A nice quiet area here is the group campground through the brush a bit. We take the winding road from our camping area to it when the OFM wants some peace and quiet. The area has the usual large covered area with grills and seating for about fifty. Nearby is two vault toilets. About an acre is kept mowed.

What we paid attention to was the fire pit area. The flag pole was new to us even if it had been there for years so we headed over to check it out.



We were surprised to see the well built pit was lined with firebrick and about five feet across. That is a nice thing for sure. No exploding rocks that way. A good size pile of kindling was close by. 




The concrete benches were reasonably close by to the pit. Over all it is about the best fire pit arrangement we have ever seen. Even the vegetation is cut back far enough to prevent unwanted fires happening.

After giving the fire pit our stamp of approval we headed over to see how the vegetation is doing in its job of getting ready for spring. 
The mesquite is starting to grow new leaves and buds are in good supply. This picture includes a spider web strand to let us know the spiders are ready to dance.



Back over in some old grass is a few  old trimmings rotting back to soil. They are getting some help from a fungi we have not noticed before. These are basically pure white. They were hard at work reducing wood tissue dirt.



And just to keep the Teams happy some pretty yellow flowers were blooming nearby to reinforce that spring is nearly here.



We are ready for spring for certain. The group area is a good nearby place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/4/19

The Big War

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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The OFM’s body and yesterday’s late lunch had a war today to go with his medium migraine attack. Needless to say we stayed close to the Castle until the OFM won the war. During the nearby meandering we noticed a gate we had never paid attention to before.

 It is the gate to the tent area. However the tent area is no longer fenced off and has not been since at least 2008. The gate has a large clump of cactus growing around the gate post. Those cacti have some seriously long stick you thorns on them. Check out this one on the OFM hand.



And here is the pile of natural decorations at the gate post. It is a nice appearing presentation isn’t it.



We finally noticed that the sign on the gate is apparently the date of installation 10-82. Good grief the OFM was already 36 years ancient when the gate was installed. That sort of thing happens when you are an Old Fart Man.




It was definitely not a day of trying to have tooooo much fun, just survive was the goal.

2/3/19

Popcorn

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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Why is it for over fifty years when the OFM hears SUPERBOWL he thinks of a popcorn eating contest?

It has been an extremely busy day again. Lots of pictures were taken. Lots of folks helped with BBNP information as well as Seminole Canyon SP. Two sets of folks got goodbyes and headed out. The OFM got in over a mile of walking in three parts. 

Then late this afternoon a park ranger came rolling through, pulled up next the OFM as he was walking back from taking sunset pictures. It was Alex, who is a wonderful young man, and we talked for nearly an hour. The good news is that the park got some more help in to square the park away better. 

We talked about the border crossing troubles and the OFM feels that the trouble is minor around here and being handled well. That was a great bit of information.

Anyway the OFM has about a hundred photos to do his magic on before they appear in a blog entry. As usual this area is very productive of blog fodder and exercise.

As a way of rest, the OFM sat at a table and took about 25 sunset pictures as the sun set. Then he culled down to one and did a bit of cropping to it. Then he did a bit of color balancing on it so it looks like what we saw tonight. Here it is in all its glory.



Yep we came awfully close to having tooooo much fun today.

2/2/19

Sunset Contest

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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It was another busy day but at least the OFM got in some serious walking. More new folks came in and the OFM met more interesting folks. That seems to be a habit with him. During the many short walks the camera was getting a work out. Good grief WHAT A WORKOUT.

A lot of jaw working and lip flapping went on several times today. When it was time to go in tonight it was late and the OFM is pooped. So tonight we have a sunset contest. Let us know which of these sunsets you prefer. They were taken this evening about three minutes apart.

 Here is sunset a



and here is sunset b


We hope you have as much fun choosing as we did trying to have tooooo much fun taking them.

2/1/19

Too Busy

Adventure Location: Del Rio, TX
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The arrival yesterday was quite a fast paced event as it turned out. After we arrived this was the first picture taken of the evening.



We only had 29 out of 34 sites to choose from. This one was our choice and so far it has been an excellent place out of the normal campground traffic.

The back yard and patio are in good shape. The view out back goes about five miles just like this.



We had just gotten started good when the neighbors stopped by on their dog walk. They were nice folks and the puppy was so sweet it was unreal. He is a 120 pound pit bull and pretty as can be. He loves to lean on you and get his ears scratched. He was fun. The folks asked if the OFM knew anything about Big Bend NP. From there it lead into a hour class on playing at BBNP.

Then we noticed some old friends from Canada were in the campground. We have to go say hi before it got too dark. By the time we said good byes our friends had introduced us to another Canadian couple who needed a lot of information about BBNP. We set up an appointment for them for this morning. Then we headed into Del Rio and it turned out Whataburger so we could hurry back and finish setting up.

Bedtime quickly arrived and the OFM slept heavily and his sprained right ankle did not wake him once.

Friday morning came way too soon at 0715 and the OFM was up and going. The BBNP session went on for an hour and a half and the folks went off to meet with some friends in town. They are leaving for Seminole Canyon State Park Saturday morning. Lots of great scenery to see and things to do. Then they head for BBNP.

For lunch the Teams hit the local oriental buffet and waddled out right into some more new folks to visit. The new folks visiting went on until sunset when the OFM got this picture of our front yard at sunset. We hope that some of our readers like it.



And we hope the OFM gets another great night of sleep again after the big day of trying to have tooooo much fun.