Started Sweetly

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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A nice cool 59 degree morning welcomed the OFM to wakefulness. We eased into that awake nonsense for a little while. Then it was breakfast and wash the dishes before going for a walk to see what the OFM can handle.

A gentle walk through the campground lead us to the soccer field opening to the pathways. OOOPS the passage is closed by a construction fence for something to support the soccer  activities. An about face took us back about thirty feet to the other trail opening to head out for the fishing bridge area.

The sunshine wiggling down into the trail tunnel made for a nice morning welcome from nature.

The cool morning air, the comfortable humidity and the pleasant quietness of the woods made for a wonderful meander along the trails. We went up and over the fishing bridge with a pause or three to view the views and moseyed on down to the four way split in the trails.

After standing for a few minutes feeling the leg joints to see which way to choose, the OFM chose to head back on around the slough to the original trail and keep the distance down.
But when we got back to the next branching trail that lead behind hole 2 of the golf course, the OFM HAD to meander over that way to check out the golf course. Along the road was more of them fragrant intoxicating flowers. 

These white ones supplied the strongest fragrance.

But this light blue trumpets supplied an almost iridescent glowing blue. The light blue came out almost white in the photo. We plan to attempt to get a better picture tomorrow.

From there we went back through the tunnel of sun splotches to the campground. The Castle was glad to see us back safely. The OFM body was just starting to complain, so we know the little over a mile walk must have been just about right.

It certainly made a good start for a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. 


Some Slow Downs

Adventure Location: I-20 in Alabama
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It was an early start today and it turned out to be a good thing. The traveling was gentle and easy but the slow downs were four in number.

The first was a  18 wheeler that went off the highway into the esplanade a few minutes before we got to the site. We were able to squeeze by the fire truck and police after a gouple of minutes. That was not to bad for us.

Next was a slowdown for some one lane distance. But the crews had it well controlled so we were at 40 for a couple of miles then Sierra leapt back to 60 and we rolled on.

Then when we left I-20 to go to highway 69 in Tuscaloosa, Al, a wreck at the first intersection had shut all lanes every direction down. We slipped into a parking lot and had cooled our heels for about 15 minutes when the first of the cars from the cleared intersection roared into the parking lot.

Sierra slithered us through the intersection and north on 69. But right across the freeway we had another construction wait but only for about three minutes. Then it was three miles of slow rough one lane traffic at about 25 mph.  After that there was not more holdups.

We got into the campground around 2:30 and finally settled on one of the three sites out of the 233 in the campground that was left to choose from. Here it is in all its glory.

After the “adventures” on the interstate today, we are planning on tomorrow being a strong day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Stinks Pretty Here

Adventure Location: Morton, Ms,
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We hit the deck running this morning. Sierra and the Castle were ready to romp and stomp. Everything went well and we were rolling the roads before 8 am. Traffic was nearly non-existent for the whole travel time. The OFM decided that after a bit over 300 miles he was ready for an early shut down. By 3 pm we were set up and ready to ease along.

Roosevelt State Park in Morton, Ms is a great easy and right near I-20 overnight stop. Our site was $17 with full hookups, level concrete slab for parking and showers/restrooms near by. The lake view is pretty good too.

The OFM was ready for some moving around to help his body get lighter sooner. So we grabbed the camera and headed down the campground road. Quickly we found some new things that had been added since last year. A new system of trails that seemed to wind all over the place is in place.

At the Muscadine Trail entrance the OFM dragged us UP the trail from the entrance.

It was up for a bit then started rolling up and down. Off to the sides was natural beauty (and likely poison ivy) in the gulleys. In this next picture of the trail, a massive gully runs steeply down hill to the left and it is choked with trees and vines.

In all the meandering we did the floral fragrances were incredible.  Honeysuckle and other fragrances worked hard at attracting you to the plants to lick the flowers. 

Here is one spot with honeysuckle.

This extremely fragrant white bush was growing next to the lake.

The OFM pooped out quickly so we did not get to see a lot but there was a lot we did not see. Next time we come here maybe we will take a little longer at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Kayak Anchor

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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It was a bright and pretty day and the OFM was in great meandering form. As he waddled along the road looking for adventure, he realized that that building next to the Team had some objects on display he did not recall covering with a blog entry in the past. Obviously that oversight need to be corrected. 

The building is the nautical museum in Rockport and is a great place to visit. We know we covered the exhibits in the past and definitely recommend it for a visit at least once.

What the OFM did not recall was the old anchor on display at the entranceway to the museum. There is not sign to tell you anything about the anchor. Examination will show that the anchor was used and is old.

Then over to the right is another anchor of some historic importance. This one has a sign telling you about its neat development in the world of anchors. The image will need to be clicked to enlarge it for legibility. The Team did not know so much science went into making anchors.

The upper end of the anchor was about shoulder high to the OFM.  It is a massive chunk of metal for sure. DO NOT DROP IT ON YOUR TOE.

Here is the view from the low end.

And here is the rope “tieing on end”.

It would take some mighty muscles to toss that out from your kayak. But we bet the yak would not drift very much either.

This makes it a very successful meander as we searched for tooooo much fun.


The Eye Knows

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The wind finally got more reasonable and the water cleared. After hitting up the Walmart and loading Sierra with some bags of groceries the OFM maneuvered Sierra down by the harbor. With the water looking so good the OFM just had to do a bit of fishing. The food needing refrigeration would just have to wait.

Second cast WHAM good fish on but we never got to see it. It got rid of the hook and escaped. The OFM kept on fishing and in a few minutes WHAM another good fish on. This one stayed attached to the line and was landed. The OFM reached for the camera and found that he did not have it with him. What a foolish mistake!

Anyway the OFM measured the speckled trout at 18.5 inches. Then the fish was sent back to fight another day. It was time to get the groceries to some refrigeration so we left for the Castle. It seemed like none of the groceries were damaged but it was definitely time for some cooling on the food.

Later while looking for pictures needing taking we came across a very sweet fragrance drifting through the parking lot. We followed the fragrance across the parking lot to this bush that  was starting to bloom. WOW that stinks pretty.

We happened to notice the pelican statue on the porch of the Education Building. The eye of the pelican seemed to be following us around the area. We sneaked around and came up on the porch to grab a picture. Click and we had the picture. Yep the pelican was watching us.

The rest of the day was spent visiting folks and the OFM just runnnnnnnning his mouth about travels and RVing. Man that guy can talk forever. Anyway it was a great day starting with a good fish and finishing with good conversations. It was a really good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Fish Bites

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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More wind and nasty wave action hit us today. The breakwater and other parts of the harbor were messed up for fishing, but the OFM fished anyway.

We had to go over to the beach park and shoot pictures from the Rockport Beach to get decent wave action shots. According to Google this next picture was taken from about a 1/4 mile away. It has been computer enhanced and worked on a bit. The spray makes the camera have trouble seeing the items involved in the wave action. Again the little camera amazed the OFM.

The wave hit the end of the breakwater and washed over onto the road that dead ends at the breakwater. We meandered our way over there to try for a closer picture but the angles were wrong and EVERYTHING within about a hundred yards of the breakwater was soaked. The camera is not built to stand up to a saltwater soaking.

Later the OFM decided to try his hand at fishing in the harbor.  He had not bottom fished for years so it was off to Walmart for a couple of bottom fishing things. FishBites fish bait caught his attention. They worked well several years ago and had supposedly been vastly improved. So we purchased a package to try out again.

We are happy to report that they worked pretty well. The strip of bait is dry when you open the package so your hands stay fairly clean.  Cut off a chunk about 2 inches long and put it on the hook. Chunk your rig into the water and wait for the attack.

We fished for about an hour and caught an 8 inch croaker which went back into the water. Then a heavy duty hardhead catfish sucked up the fishbite and the fight was on. It pulled line off the reel five or six times during the fight. When it was brought alongside the dock to be lifted onto the dock we found it to be a larger than we normally see hard head catfish. It went back in also.

It was longer than the OFM’s shoe and nearly as wide at the front end as the OFM’s shoe and the OFM wears 5E shoes. The light trout rod knew it had been in a battle.

Shortly after that catch the wind picked up some more and the slightly protected spot we were in started to get rough too. So the Teams voted to get out of there before we got soaked. And we did leave.

We think that getting to take some neat pictures and catch a couple of fish was a pretty good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Actual Evidence

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The wind was on its third day of mutilating things around town today. The OFM tried fishing but the wind kept his fishing line so bowed he could not feel a fish if it had bit. Fishing out on the breakwater was a major no-no. The waves were keeping the green slime on the walking surface very slippery. 

Here is a picture of a couple of smaller waves just splashing up and onto the breakwater. Now and then a big wave would just wash right on over the wall. The OFM is experienced enough to stay off that hazard. When you are old, falling HURTS.

We do some walking around the harbor and beach park on occasion. Today we got evidence that the OFM actually does at least go down there to walk. The museum near our parking spot has a web cam. Today Sierra and the OFM were caught on camera just after the OFM exited Sierra. 

We put in about an hour in the wind. Not all was walking around since we know several folks and had to stop and visit each one we saw. We put in about a mile all told.

Then we boarded Sierra and road over into the beach park to just look around. Way at the far end of the main part of the park we found some hanger on flowers under a palm tree. Since they were working so hard at being pretty, we decided they needed to be shown to the world.

This pretty well sums up all the fun for the last couple of days in the excessive wind that April brings. Of course the evidence above shows that even the miserable wind does not keep the OFM Teams from getting out and trying to have tooooo much fun.


Camera Play

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The wind today was horrible so the OFM started messing around with the flower pictures from yesterday. He was wanting to see what our cheap Canon camera could do.

Here is the flower picture in its original status as taken with the camera.

This next picture is a very small cropping of the original picture above. The cropped picture was enlarged 200% with Photoscape. This picture is of one stamen in the flower original above.  It amazed the OFM that a camera that costs less than $100 is able to get this level of resolution.

We are very pleased about many of the abilities of the little pocket camera. It is a major asset in recording our attempts at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Pretty Sky

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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It was a wonderfully pretty day today. A bit of running taking care of a few things proved to be about all there was for excitement. Here was our skies for all day.

Late in the evening, the owners and the OFM were on the front porch discussing saving the world or why bother. During the conversation the blooming flowers they had in the yard came up. It seems the flowers always bloom at Easter. So the OFM had to get pictures of the blooms.

The first bloom is from next to the carport. Two of about ten blooms were still in good shape. This is the best picture of the ones taken.

The other blooms were in front of the owners front door. It had some slightly different style to its colors.

Then when it got later the meeting broke up and the OFM started his wobbly trip back to the Castle. Then he noticed the evening sky and got lucky with this next photograph.

Even though it was not an exceptionally exciting day, it was still a great for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Planning Never Works Out.

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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Still no start on the next painting.

Not a really exciting day but it was gorgeous. Reasonable temps and the prettiest light blue sky you can imagine.

The OFM did some planning and figuring that seems like some reasonable ideas. However we all know how well the Teams plans normally work out.

There was two fishing sessions. The good news is two legal size trout were caught. One in each session. Here is the first one caught.

The second one several hours later looked like it was made in the same mold as the first one. Yes, they both went back into the bay.

Some more visiting and a little shopping and that was that for the day.

But the catching made it a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Too Busy

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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When the OFM headed for bed last night he said he was glad nothing was going to happen today so he could get started on the preliminary sketch for the next painting. He is ready to have some fun smearing colors on some paper.

The first thing this morning was a visit from the campground owner to tell us about the big town news. That took a good while. It was interesting news.

Then the owner and another nice fellow took to adding seal coat to one of the campsites. Boy that was a tedious job. But they worked diligently at it and got a good job finished.

Then during the day we had three more long visits by friends. Also we did two fishing trips to the harbor. For our efforts the first trip yielded three 14“ trout that had to be chunked back in due to being 1“ too short to be legal.

Then as the sun was headed below the horizon we got a chance to photograph a new to us model of bird.  This bird was REAL good at spearing the small fish running around the rocks. At on point we counted four fish in five tries. That is really good spearing compared to most of the birds we see.

As you can see it was a very busy day. But overall we were fairly successful at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Ballet Abilities

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The last couple of months here in Rockport have been less than the best ever. Between wet cool fronts, dark gray skies and excessive winds there have been few fun days. This day was a few days ago and turned out fairly nicely.

Down at the Fulton Harbor is a breakwater that has a barred fence to keep folks off it. It is a dangerous spot but the Teams occasionally see a fool out on the sixteen inch wide concrete top. Here is the reason the city wants folks to stay off the breakwater.

Too many folks have gone swimming when they tried to show off their abilities on the slime covered breakwater. Off course they did a good job of showing their intelligence level when they went out there.

Meanwhile, back at the Rockport Beach the new dunes bridge was looking good, but when the OFM tried to walk on it he found the curvature of the surface to be very difficult to negotiate. The walking surface is a hemi-circle. The first part is very vertical and if a bit wet you can expect to show your ballet on ice abilities while trying to walk on the bridge. But it is pretty if not useful.

When we crossed the useful bridge in the picture above, we found the tide was way out. Some sea birds were having a nice gathering to discuss their summer plans.

Then we meandered over to the bird sanctuary section of the beach park. It was here we found this nice picture of the flowers and Little Bay waters. Our surprise was the sea gull in the flowers that we did not see when doing the photography.

After piddling around here for a little bit the OFM piled his enormous hulk back into Sierra and away we went to attempt having tooooo much fun at another location.


Feed Bag Location

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The Original Vallarta Restaurant is where the Teams head for the Chicken Fried Chicken meal on Friday nights. It is a well done meal that is sized just right to fill the OFM but not run out his ears. It is definitely a low rent establishment, but the food is decent and moderately priced.

Here is the front of the building. It is located on Business 35 going through Rockport. The subdued color scheme makes it hard to spot.

When you open the front door you know you have stepped into a place without many frills. However the owner does decorate it for every event during the year. Right now it is decorated for Easter.

The main dining room is to your back left after you enter. The decor remains the same style as you can see in this picture.

The service is good and the cooking is fine. It is definitely not a gourmet place but is good solid food at an appropriate price. For over ten years we have found it to be a decent place for eating. There is a LOT of other folks that seem to think the same way. The parking lot can be very full some nights, so plan on getting there a bit early the next time.

And when you come out of the restaurant, the back road to the harbor gives you another place for trying to have tooooo much fun.


The Critter

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The migraine did not hit until mid morning as we were rolling down  a highway. Sierra realized what was happening and got us turned around to head back to the Castle. It was a difficult trip back that made us grateful to be in a relatively small town.

A couple of hours later the OFM got up and around ready for some very light activities. How about some pictures of the “moss” or whatever it is growing on the trees around the campground. It seemed like a decent idea to the OFM so he grabbed the camera, stumbled down the steps and waddled over to the closest tree. It is right near the back corner of the Castle.

He was still in a daze apparently because when we started to edit the photos to show the “moss” there was a little critter looking right into the camera through the “moss”.

As our great luck would have it, none of the other pictures of the “moss” were decently sharp due to OFM shake. However the one with the little critter was just fine. We hope you enjoy it and the “moss”.

After this activity, we put the OFM back on bed rest for a long nap. We also restricted our activities for the rest of the day to minor efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun.


A Lesson Learned, Maybe

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The strong winds around here are making evidence to show folks that the OFM knows what he is talking about. These folks set up the nice patio set with potted plants and statuary. Then the screen room was set up and tied down with some large nails driven into the sand. Then they headed out of town for a long weekend.

The April wind goddess of the Texas coast came along today to show them the reality of wind fun. Maybe they will learn this cheap lesson. There is not any serious damage to the RV but enough they will have reminders engraved in the fiberglas for the rest of their ownership.

On the home front of the OFM Teams, there has been several rigs leaving in the last two days. What that did is leave us a huge front yard for a few days until the summer folks come in. Check out the space we have now.

The fishing this morning was difficult due to the winds and WAVES.  We finally moved down to Fulton and got to fish down wind. After considerable casting and retrieving, this foolish fish hit the lure. It hit way out at the far point of the OFM’s cast, about four miles out it seemed, and fought a good fight all the way to the bulkhead.

We got the fish unhooked and back in the water in time for the fish to swim happily away. That was the only fish that we saw caught today.

In spite of his terrible abilities at fishing, the OFM still loves fishing as a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Dolphin Frolicking

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The strong winds around here have really kept the adventures down to a minimum. When we would get out the blowing dirt, sand and other stuff made it a bit unpleasant. But later today the winds calmed a bit and the Teams made a short walk at the Beach Park.

The OFM was meandering slowly near the water’s edge and realized that the bulkhead along the Allegro Channel was not doing well. Before Hurricane Harvey it was old and worn. Now it has lots of really bad spots in it. Here is a picture of one location where you can even see the rebar in the concrete is badly rusted.

Replacing that bulkhead will be a very expensive proposition to say the least.

As we meandered on along the breakwater, we noticed it was much worse than before Harvey also. However it still seems to be holding up better than the concrete bulkhead. 

From out on the breakwater it was possible to see that repair from Hurricane Harvey was still going on in the Key Allegro subdivision. At least it seems to be still moving along. Here is an example of a fishing cabin on the water that is getting a lot closer to livable than it was a few months ago.

As usual, it is spring so natural things are doing well. These little flowers were about the size of a quarter and quite pretty dancing in the wind.

When we were out on the breakwater, some dolphin were feasting along the shoreline. They would swim along about 10 feet away rolling up and looking at the Teams and quickly be gone. This went on for at least fifteen minutes. However it was not in the possibilities that we could get a photo. We got lots of photos of fresh wavelets in the surface where they had been. But the dolphin were quicker than an OFM.

After the dolphin show we headed back to Sierra. It certainly felt great to get inside the shelter of Sierra’s cab.

The OFM did some more getting rid of stuff from the cabinets in preparation for rolling in the near future. Then he made a list of some items to decide if we really want to carry that stuff around or not. If he keeps at it we will soon down to only enough stuff to fill a Walmart plastic bag, but that might not be all bad. Actually after watching the three rigs that left here in the last two days it might be a good thing. Those nice folks put stuff away for three days in preparation to rolling. The campground owner says the Teams can set up or get ready to roll faster than any other RVer he can recall coming through here.

Personally we feel that being able to set up or pack up that quickly is a great thing. It gives you a lot more time for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Office Jitters

Adventure Location: Aransas Pass, TX
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We do not know when we were last in a drivers license office the last time, but we do recall never wanting to be in one again. The OFM checked online about renewing his license today and found out he had to go in to an office due to new restrictions he had not fulfilled.

It was struggle to think but the OFM was certain that six years ago we had renewed it online. Then after thinking a bit more we realized that that meant that it was when we came back from working in Washington State and changed back to Texas drivers license was the last time we had been in a DL office. That would have been in late October 2007 soon after we started rolling and a couple of weeks before Old Fat Man Adventures started. The OFM is getting OLD.

We did hit the office on a very slow day. The OFM accidentally had the paper work they needed to move us into the current century for a change. So some questions answered and fingerprinting came first. Yep his fingers still have ridges on them. Then it was new picture time. The poor camera cracked a lens and smoked a bit but the picture was done.

Then it was eye testing. The OFM told them glasses were needed so we did not even test with out glasses because the OFM could not even find the testing machine without his glasses. We passed easily with the cheaters on his nose. Then it was almost over.  $26 dollars please the nice clerk requested. The credit card did the magic and it was over with. Now we have a printed piece of paper to be our drivers license until the real thing comes in the mail someday. We are now licensed until August 2025 drive the highways of the USA.

A couple of quick Thank You’s and we were out the door a just under thirty minutes. It was a miracle.

Outside it was hot and blowing waves over the pier at the harbor. So we went home to plan our get away in a week or so for Alabama and maybe a few adventures before we leave. You know it is not allowed to run around without at least trying to have tooooo much fun.


Ate the Whole Thing

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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Summer got here today in a hot hurry. Sweating was the most popular activity in folks outside for most of the day. The windshield of Sierra needed the folding shade deployed from the very first thing this morning.

We started the day with a long session of fishing along the harbor breakwater. One small fish interrupted the uneventful effort.

Miscellaneous chores occupied a bit of the lunch time and early afternoon. Then it was time to go sweat some more at the fishing pier. Eventually  we found the sweet spot and about a dozen fish were caught. All but one were released back into the water.

There was a heron trying to get the fish the OFM caught before he could throw them back into the water. As the catching progressed the heron got more bold. After the OFM had decked about 8 fish, the heron moved in very close.

As luck would have it a pretty good sized fish was decked and popped loose from the line flopping on the pier. The heron jumped right in and stabbed the fish in the head with its beak like herons do. 
Well no reason to fight it now,that stab would kill the fish. So the OFM backed off and tried to photograph the adventure.

The heron stabbed the fish two more times. Then it was time to get the fish turned head first for swallowing.

Then the fish was worked on until it was head first and headed for a throat trip. That fish looked tooooo big to us but the heron knew better.

Sure enough the heron had to gulp, choke and make a couple of other funny noises as the fish slid on down.

Sure enough the heron was not in much condition to move a lot at first while the fish continued its trip inside the bird. The heron just stood around for several minutes as it stretched to accommodate such a large fish.

Finally after the OFM caught a few more trout, the heron let out a funny little sound and flew away with some wobble to the flying pattern.

It was an incredible event to see at 6-7 feet. This ranks pretty high up the trying to have tooooo much fun list.


Lonesome Gate

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX
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The OFM woke right on time in the dark. Sunday morning early is the best time to hit the campground laundry. He set to work quickly. The wash and dry went without hitch. The entire laundry effort including putting it all away and making the bed was finished at 0847.

The OFM sat down at the computer to check the weather for our fun efforts today. A big notice was on the screen. ALL FUN EFFORTS ARE CANCELLED UNTIL 1300 TODAY. Yep a major thunderstorm, rain storm, driving wind storm and on and on was scheduled for 0915.

Sure enough it hit at 0917. It had the whole earth rocking and rolling it seemed. The rain was severe at times. The wind seemed to gust up above 40 mph frequently. The sky show was really spectacular. The “best” part is we got to “enjoy” the show until about noon. Then it was just the residual rain for a good while. WOW.

So how did the Teams pass the time. They made the OFM do a preliminary planning colored pencil painting of a scene that has been being considered for several months. After almost three hours and 13 erasers here is the results of the effort.

By 1300 the weather was magnificent and the Teams went fishing. 

Very few fish were caught and none by the OFM Teams. But when you gather the evidence, painting fun, fishing fun, being outside in wonderful weather and visiting nice folks can pretty well be considered trying to have tooooo much fun.