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Busting Out

3/30/19

View From The Top

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The day started with no major plans, but just like the weather things changed. No wait a minute the OFM caused the weather to change. About the middle of the morning he decided it was warm enough for shorts so he changed his long pants out for shorts. He should have thought about that a bit more.  Sure enough by late evening it was chilly, light rain and windy. Nasty by any other measurement. And all this because the thought the warm weather was here to stay. He is just plumb ignorant we think.

We did get out to do some more fishing but that was all we got done most of the day. No catching, no bites, no nothing. For some unknown reason the OFM decided to try his luck at the Market Street pier where seldom is seen any fish much less a good one.

Well he carefully chose a lure and put it on the line. A few casts later it was “fish on”. Yep small letters and lower case. We bet that trout would have trouble measuring 12“ but it was a great fighter. The other new thing that happened is the trout decided to hold still while on it belly for the picture.  Now you can see what a speckled trout looks like when it is in the water.




It was such an unusual occurrence to catch a fish at this location we thought our readers would like to see what the pier looks like. We were standing on the land at the foot of the pier for the fishing and picture taking.




That is about it other than the bitter cold of 48F that we are supposed to have tonight. That bitter cold certainly can get in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 

3/29/19

Fulton Fishing

Adventure Location: Fulton, TX
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Morning came right on time. Breakfast immediately followed. Then it was get out to go fishing. We did not know it but a fun surprise awaited the teams.

The OFM has been having shoulder and elbow pain in his casting arm when he used the 7
foot fishing rod for very long in a session. This morning the shoulder and elbow of his casting arm was still painful. A reasonable decision was made to purchase a shorter rod like he had last year. That was a no pain bit of fishing.

We stopped at Tackle Town and chose a Shimano Sojurn rod in 6‘-6“ length and a slightly heavier action than his other rod. The price of the rod was, of course, cheap if the OFM was going to buy it. The tag said $32.99 and we paid it.

Once over to the Fulton Harbor area Sierra chose a wonderful parking location. The OFM got busy rigging the new rod and chose a Mirrodine lure for the fishing. We headed to the water and along the bulkhead to the prime fishing area.

The OFM got ready for the first cast. Away went the lure. Splash went the lure and WHAM went the trout. Fish on with the first cast, now that is nice. The fish fought well and measured a little over 17 inches. That is well into the legal keeper range for speckled trout.




Since the OFM wanted to try out another style of lure, the lure being fished was changed to a 3“ Storm Wild Eye Shad in Pearl color.  A few casts later and FISH ON again. It was another 17“ speckled trout.




We cast back into the same area a few times and WHAM another trout about the same size was landed. However a picture was forgotten and this fish went back in undocumented.

The OFM decided to try a nearby area that frequently has decent fish also.  We cast around there for a good fifteen minutes before we had a good hookup again. Sure enough it was another 17“ speckled trout. It fought a big battle. It was tired when it went back in to slowly swim away.

After this the Teams decided to head back to the Castle to let the OFM’s arm rest and see how it was feeling.  The great news is that the OFM’s joints pretty well healed with this shorter rod doing the fishing work. The longer rod does make it a bit easier to lift a fish over the rocks in some locations. However the pain and movement restriction well over rides the rock lift assist. Having painless casting and fishing joints is a major asset.
As we were about to leave the Fulton area, the OFM took this picture of the shore area we had been fishing with such good luck. 

Catching fish often is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



3/28/19

The Watcher of the Dunes

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
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Continuing Monday’s adventure. Sierra finally found a safe parking spot near the porta-can. That is always handy with an old fat man around. We noticed an unusual lack of sea gulls in the area. There were some but not near as many as we usually have to deal with.

This pair was running around in the wash from the surf action. The tidal pool made for some neat reflections as the birds frolicked around.



The beach had huge amounts of vegetation on it. the OFM has spent a lot of time on the Internet trying to find out what the vegetation is. If a reader knows what it is please comment for us. The vegetation shows up in a couple of pictures. It seems like the OFM once knew but now his failing brain has failed again or is that as usual.

As we meandered our way along the beach, a couple of vehicles with Illinois license plates stopped near the water line. UT OH new beach folks. The doors popped open and a few kids came flying out of the vehicles. A couple of them headed for the pretty blue Man O War balloons to play with them. The OFM just had to save them. He told the kids to not touch the blue balloons because they were dangerous. Quickly an adult member of the group came up close. The OFM told the adult about the dangers of the pretty blue balloons and how miserable playing with them could get in short order. They were unaware of the danger and we parted with everyone safe. It was good that they were willing to learn from the old timer.



About now we noticed the large bird watching over the beach from some sand dunes back a bit from the water. It was staying very still but every time the OFM looked back, the bird was turned just enough to keep an eye on the Teams.

Watcher of the Dunes


On the walk along the beach we got to visit several other folks. A lady was coming our way and we had seen her a verrry long way down the beach. As she got close we could see she had a plastic bag with things she had gathered in one hand. We had a nice conversation about the lotus seed pods she was collecting. The OFM had notice a lot of them nearer to the dunes than she was walking. So he walked along doing his beach combing and when we spotted a lotus seed pod, he grabbed it and took it to her.



By the time we got to Sierra, She was the proud new owner of several more seed pods. Since then the OFM has seen several of them in the shops in Rockport that have been painted different colors. We guess many folks must like them as decorations.

We took a short break at Sierra and headed out onto the jetty. Headed out is about all we did because the OFM found out his legs did not like the jumbled rocks this day. So we took a few pictures and this one turned out to be a nice one.



It was a bit of a grey day but the Teams had a wonderful time beach combing, taking pictures and visiting other beach folks. It was another excellent day of trying to have tooooo much fun.




3/27/19

Big Changes At The State Park

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX
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Back to Monday’s adventure. We hit the road to go do beach combing at Mustang Island State Park. It is one of our usual places that is usually rewarding.

When we boarded the ferry, we noticed that it appeared that something had smashed the tops of several of the ferry bumper piling. We could not find out what happened so your guess is a good as ours.



The area fog was thick enough that the condos and stuff on the point of land across the channel were not easily visible. The camera did a find job of getting a bit of a shot from the ferry.



After the right turn in Port Aransas we followed the highway for about fifteen minutes marveling at all the new things that had been finished finally. Hurricane Harvey gave Port A a direct devastating hit but they are coming back very nicely.

We got to the state park in fine fashion and had a nice visit with the entry lady. She did not have an estimate of when all the repair and rebuilding would be finished. But work is steadily moving forward from what we can see.

The camping area is coming along very nicely. When it is finished it will be really nice for camping. The camping is on the inland side of the dunes so it should be a decent experience even if you cannot see the Gulf from your camping spot.

The tides had recently been very high so the normal beach had changed. We did our normal slip and slide in the sand to go onto the beach through the loose entry sand. Then the OFM hit the pause button (brakes).

The beach road was different than we had ever seen it here since 2002. Apparently the State Park had taken some heavy equipment in to move a lot of sand to make a road to get to the Fish Pass Jetties. Notice how the road is notched into the sand dunes. Sierra had to have the seaward tires in the wet zone in a couple of places.



When we arrived at the normal parking area there were some pretty yellow flowers to greet us.



We parked and scouted around a bit since a lot of sand had been changed by the wind and water.  It seemed like a good idea to get our bearings so we would know which way to run if the tide got any higher.  Then it was on to the beach combing and people visiting. More on that tomorrow. It was a good day so far for trying to have tooooo much fun.

3/26/19

Time For Shower And Supper

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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OK folks here is the blog reporting trouble. We have just gotten back to the Castle today (19:45) and lots to report and pictures to present from the last two days. We went out this morning with being back right after lunch for reporting as the goal. DID NOT HAPPEN! 

Keep on having so much fun or go back and write a report on a couple of adventures? We kept on playing. Tomorrow is a no adventures day of reporting and RECUPERATION. I hope everyone else is trying to have more fun than we are having. If so, you are worn out and ready for a good nights sleep FROM TRYING TO HAVE TOOOOO MUCH FUN.

3/24/19

Meanderthalling Enacted

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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One of the first things we saw this morning was RED bluebonnets of all things. They are near the harbor pier and in a planter of sorts. They were very pretty even in the scruffy weather we had.



That is the first time the OFM can recollect seeing red bluebonnets before.

A major change in plans has happened. Last night way into the night the OFM was restless about leaving tomorrow. He tossed and turned most of the night but was unable to define the reason for the trouble, except leaving did not seem right. When breakfast was finished, we headed on down to the pier to check out if the fish were still here.

They weren’t but the red bluebonnets shown above got the OFM’s head straightened out. The trouble was we had not had a chance, due to the weather, to do the beach combing we wanted and a couple of other things around the beach areas. It was time to take advantage of our status as meanderthalls and stay as long as we needed or the rent runs out on April 15.

That gives us three weeks for meandering here on the coast. Then it gives us another two weeks meandering on our way to Grandkid Land and the OFM’s tickling duties. A really amazing event was how quickly the unease about the trip went flying away. Since that realization hit home, the OFM has been feeling great,if a bit sleepy. Now we have a good goal and the time to make it happen in decent weather (we hope).  Now it is the Teams turn to get busy trying to have tooooo much fun.

3/23/19

Fish Are Back In Town

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The weather was decent. The water action was mild. The OFM Fishing Team went to work mid-morning. Nearly nobody was fishing and definitely no one else caught any fish at all during our three hours of fishing.

But the first fish was only 13 inches and very skinny. It easily went back  into the water to grow up.



After a few more minutes the OFM Teams moved over to a section of the rock pier where we normally catch larger fish. It proved to still be true that the larger fish congregate over by the pier.

The next fish came near the bottom and definitely was larger and longer that the first fish. It was not big by any means but was two inches longer than the minimum legal length of 15 inches. On top of that it was a fat frisky devil.



As time went by and folks stopped to visit we had a great time visiting all the tourists. About an hour after number two came number three and it was a lot more active. It ran back and forth and twice pulled several feet of line against the drag. When it arrived on the pier, it was a lot fatter than number 2 and a half inch longer. Generally speaking it was a nice fish



Number three did a wipeout job on the lure. The internal weight was ripped out, the lure was torn to shreds in several places and the OFM got a little bite while trying to unhook the demon. Check out this shredded lure or whats left of it.



The rest of the day was beautiful to just nice. We definitely had came close to having tooooo much fun.

3/22/19

Great Evening

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The Teams did some serious shopping and spent a total of $0 except for the gas expended. The warm sun was nice to be out in, so we were.

Late in the evening after the OFM inhaled the chicken fried chicken supper we headed on down to the harbor to say good bye to the day’s sun. All sorts of funny clouds were forming and the lighting was getting weird. 

We took a fishing pole out onto the pier so we would have an excuse for being there. And of all things the OFM caught another undersized trout. But this one must have come from the South Texas Nuclear Site since it seemed to glow.



Right after the fish the sky began to show off lots of odd formations of clouds and other interesting effects. We watched and took pictures of the evenings activities. Tonight we harvested one from the batch for display. It is kind of cute if a bit odd also.



As we walked back to Sierra we passed the esplanade planted in bluebonnets. They have done well this year. Here is a picture of some white and blue bluebonnets in the esplanade. They really shine when the sun is beaming down on them.



All in all the evening hours were very pleasant. The Teams were diligent in trying to have tooooo much fun.



3/21/19

Getting Crabby

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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A generally nice day prevailed for most of the day. The Teams got in a couple of hours of fun but non-productive fishing this afternoon. The sun really busted loose and made a nice day of it. The water had calmed a lot and the visibility was much better, as you will see.

The OFM Fishing Team worked all the bulkheads and breakwaters of the harbor extensively. We had a grand total of zero bites or even fish seen being caught by anyone.  But the day was so nice we did not mind.

When the OFM was walking back in from the breakwater, he turned and looked back and decided that view needed to be in the blog report tonight.




If you are careful on the slippery surfaces, the fishing out there can be good at times. At times when waves are breaking onto or over the breakwater we recommend choosing a different location.

Just after the picture above the OFM noticed some odd movement down among the boulders. It was an orange and black critter. They are called Stone Crab.





 We think that that strong pincer could do serious damage to a hand. Check out the size of that claw! The OFM used to handle them when he was floundering in the Galveston area.





One thing we know for sure, they are really good food. So having a few for lunch can certainly brighten up a day. Put that lunch together with roaming the waterfront on a great day and you are certainly getting close to having tooooo much fun.




3/20/19

Evening Grandeur

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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A normal size migraine hit yesterday with effects that lasted until the OFM awoke this morning. The good news is you did not have to put up with any nonsense from him last night.

It was a nothing special day of gray cool and sometimes misty drizzle. THEN sunset happened. There must have been three zillion cameras working out at the harbor alone. People were real pleasant at staying out of each others way for photographs. 

The Teams shot about forty pictures and four of them made it to the blog tonight. These were all taken near the harbor where the OFM actually caught another undersize fish in spite of himself.

But let us get to the good stuff. We were fishing in the gray yuk evening when suddenly EVERYTHING changed color. We looked around to see what was going on. Nearly clear sky and a WOW sunset was going on.

Keep in mind this whole sequence happened in about 45 minutes and folks were rushing into the area taking thousands of pictures.

First the OFM shot several  pictures that had sailboat masts in them with the spectacular sky exploding all over everywhere. Here is our winner. 



Then the lighting shifted downward and we caught this scene with nets and working boats in the picture. Again several pictures were taken as we dodged in between lots of folks.



The lighting changed dramatically and we switched 180 degrees to viewing the bay and pier. The moon started its dramatic performance and we watched the whole thing. It was awesome.



And then just as it was getting good and dark Sierra took us to a new view point at the Rockport Beach. Once more many pictures were taken and this one won the prestige of being shown by The OFM Teams.



As you can see we had a wonderful final hour to the day. And yes we came very close to having tooooo much fun.

3/18/19

Small Progress But Progress

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

One step closer to rolling today. We had the Castle SCRUBBED clean outside for the first time in months. The fiberglas shine went away after about ten years of western mountains, desert and Texas coastal salt erosion but at 13 years old the Castle is still hanging in there. The campground owner did the job and did an excellent job. He was probably tired of the worn dirty old Castle cluttering up the campground.

We have seven more nights until we roll westerly. Some time in the second week of April we plan to be in central New Mexico. Hopefully we will meet a couple of bloggers in that area. Then, of course, Decatur Alabama on April 29.

The OFM has had a physically down day today so we have not had much adventures. That means we will be early to bed and late to rise. That alone sounds like a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

3/17/19

Friends

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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This was a very not normal day for the Teams. We spent MANY hours today visiting individually with friends here in town. It was nice to see they were all doing well.

In the midst of the visiting a stop by the harbor allowed the OFM to catch his first fish in many days. It was a legal size trout and in very good shape and fatness. 



We did have to fight off a heron to get the fish back into the water.

Now it is past 2200 and the OFM is tired from all the trying to have tooooo much fun. Goodnight.

3/16/19

Jello Plans

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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It is finally decided on some travel times. Lots of things have happened, broke, been fixed, sickness and healing and on and on but determination is winning. The new camera needs to do some romping and stomping and the OFM needs a change in scenery (fog, wet and gray) to some SCENERY (dry, flowers and sunshine).

After a lot of deliberation a rolling date has been chosen. We took into consideration the massive restocking the Castle needs. We have been making a point of using up things in the Castle to move older stuff on out. Now it is time for the new things to move in.

Due to the knuckleheadness of the OFM, it has been proven to be wise to “clear the decks of consumables” at least twice a year so our traveling supply will be reasonably fresh. We are sorry to report that our stock of bandaids is still very fresh.

Now on to the travel plans. The main plan is to be in Decatur Alabama on April 29 to report in for grandkid tickling duty for the summer. This gives us a few days to spare when we roll out on March 25. We have a grand plan for a route from Rockport Texas to Decatur, Alabama. It includes a few other possible intermediate locations like 
Datil Well Campground, Datil NM

South Monticello Campground, Elephant Butte NM
Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell, NM
San Mateo Mountains, NM
Abilene SP, TX
and maybe some roadside park near Marfa TX that has odd lights at night

Who knows what the actual travels will look like but you can be certain we will be WORKING HARD at trying to have tooooo much fun.


3/15/19

Supper Time

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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We will do the blog backwards tonight. First tonight is from the last thing done tonight. Supper. We walked into the restaurant knowing what the special was. A quick stop to verify it was the special tonight and the waiter took our order before the Teams even sat down.

Here is the special menu for Friday night.




We chose the Chicken Fried Chicken plate and water. It takes a few minutes to prepare because the chicken has to be coated then cooked. The potato has to be hand smashed to a lumpy texture of perfection. Then it arrives to an anxious to get busy eating OFM.




Lots of carbs and really good as far as we are concerned. YUM YUM YUM.

We have two more proofing pictures from yesterday. This was a 1 inch flower taken from waist high and hand held camera. We think it came out pretty well.




This next one was taken from about a hundred feet while standing on a slightly wiggly stub dock in the harbor. The bird was spearing small fish for its supper last evening. We found the image sharp enough for the conditions.




The nice meal tonight was a celebration of finding another camera that does the job as we want it done. ALL CONDITIONS BUT STILL GET THE PICTURE.

Now we need to download the full manual and choose which features we want to learn to use. Then it is full speed ahead toward trying to have tooooo much fun.

3/14/19

New Canon Camera

Adventure Location: Fulton, TX
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A new camera replaced the last one today. It is a Canon ELPH180 PowerShot. Most of the afternoon was spent shooting pictures to give the camera a chance to earn a spot on the Teams. It passed with ease just like all the previous PowerShot cameras we have worn out. We will be presenting a few of the pictures that convinced to Teams to unanimously vote to accept the new camera into the OFM Team tonight and tomorrow night.

Distances are numbers we got from Google Earth and are reasonably decent guesses. No, even the OFM was not dumb enough to try to pull a tape measure on all these pictures taken.

This shot is of some foot high waves from about 75 yards away. For all the pictures the camera was hand held. We were well pleased with the clarity of such a shot.

Foot High Splash

Next we tried for the spray thrust up from the bulkhead we were standing near for the first shots. This spray was actually taken with the first attempt. The OFM got lucky because he was way to slow on the next three attempts.

Bulkhead Spray


Back over in another area some small 1/4“ flowers were just starting to bloom. The OFM stood near and hand held about six shots. Four of them were good enough to work with and this one won the face off to be in tonight’s blog. Here is the cute small yellow flowers. The rock was about the size of a tennis ball.

Cute Flowers


At the Fulton docks were lots of boats today since it was later in the day when we got there. This  group of shrimp boats were all cleaned up and resupplied for a fresh early start in the morning.

Fulton Tx Shrimp Boats

The OFM was really happy to have a good camera in hand again. It certainly helps the Teams efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun.

3/13/19

Frustration UPDATED

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The endeavor to learn how to operate the new camera is not going well. Tonight is the results of a couple of days of attempted learning. Three pictures out of dozens is all we have to present.

First is some bluebonnets near the Rockport Harbor. The OFM must have taken thirty shots to get this one and it required manipulation. 




Another location was tried when the sun was bright and again multiple shots were taken with most of them somewhere between total failure and abject disaster. These flowers were near the shrimp boat channel.




Back at the Rockport Beach facility today considerable effort went into taking more close up flower and other things pictures. So far the camera does well for snapshots of folks at usual distances.  But you get just a little too close and the focal point seems uncontrollable.

This picture was not great but we like the ant fooling around inside the flower.




We hope to get in some time on the internet to find out what it is about this camera that the OFM does not seem to be able to figure out. Taking nice pictures is a good way of having fun. Taking bad pictures is a horrible way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

UPDATE:
Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Click the pic to enlarge.

This picture was supposed to have the new growth in focus but many pictures later it was only this good.



This camera has not met the minimum requirement for a Team member.



3/10/19

Heart String Tugging

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
Click the pic to enlarge.

The day was very laggard and so what until late tonight when the Alabama pictures came it. Now the OFM has some serious Alabama tugging going on his heart. Plans need to be reconsidered we think. 

Grandson Gavin got busy showing the Teams what having tooooo much fun looks like.



Sure enough Grand daughter Piper is following in the family foot steps. She is not yet 2 years old and already pounding the computer keys.



The OFM really needs to be in Alabama getting lessons on trying to have tooooo much fun we think.

3/9/19

Busy Police

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The crowds arrived with a vengeance.  For the most part the folks have been decent. Oysterfest and Spring Break started this weekend. The police were busy today blocking off parts of the town for festivities. Then they had to change the blocked sections for a different festivity. They were a busy bunch for sure.

The OFM Teams for the most part just stayed out of the way and let the folks have their fun. The fishing pier at the harbor was well populated.



Then we went by a part of the Rockport Beach to check the number of folks. There was a lot more later in the day but this was plenty to start things out.



As always there is lots of feather leg feeders out and about. Sometimes, ok most of the time, a big pile of feather legs like this leaves behind a major amount of “white residue” that takes a few rains to clean off the concrete.



As to if the water is warm enough for swimming. Yep there was quite a few folks out playing in the water. This is a telephoto of a couple of folks out in the water messing around.



Of course lots of fishing boats had launched. The cleaning table in the afternoon had lots of business and the pelicans were doing their usual obnoxious pelicaning around. They really are very ugly birds personality wise.



The OFM felt previliged to feel good enough to be out and around taking pictures of the adventures of the tourists from all over North America. The picture taking this afternoon was a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun.