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Pelican Delight

10/31/19

Cold Clear Morning

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 31, 2019

The morning was cold as in miserable cold at 43F. But the bad weather had moved on. The day became brighter and more beautiful as it progressed.

The bright sunshine made a great view of the fishing pier first thing this morning. How is this for a nice wakeup call?



Sure enough the OFM had to go out on the pier to check for fish. Sure enough the fish were there and hungry. This was the first fish at a barely legal 15 inches.



The next fish was another speckled trout that was very fat and 17 inches long. This one was very active as a fighter.



The flowers in the area are still blooming. This cold will slow them a little but they usually bloom to some extent all winter long. Keep in mind that today was 2 degrees F colder than the average low for the winter at 45 F. 

As the OFM was finishing a nice walk on his twisted left knee we came by some oleanders with blooms. The wind was whipping them around so it was tough to get a shot in focus. This one was close. 



Tonight the OFM is worn to a frazzle again. We are going to have to make him slow down a bit but he sure hates to waste clear blue skies and nice conditions on resting but he is an old fart and needs to do it. His attitude is resting is a waste of good trying to have tooooo much fun time.

10/30/19

Dark Gray Day Fun

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 30, 2019

The morning was cool but it was a gray damp day to make up for it.  The migraine residual was doing nothing to help the situation either. We made it out to the fishing pier to see what was what. It was not a day for fishing for sure.

As Good As it Got


Who ever that was at the end of the pier was a lot tougher than any of the Teams members. The OFM made it down to Tackle Town to pick up some new 14# Trilene for one spinning rod. It was an experiment. All the articles we could find said the reel will not handle stronger line than 10/12# test. It would be too stiff.

So the reel got spooled with the new line and we went back to the waterfront to see how bad it was. The reel listed up to 10# test on the reel.  The first cast was a cautious cast and everything went very nicely. We progressed with the intensity of each cast increasing. Finally the OFM gave up and went for the hero cast and it worked just fine. Casting distances seemed to be the same and accuracy was still decent.

So the big event for the day was proving the reel could handle 14# test monofilament  fishing line. That works out really well because the rod is rated for 8-14 pound test line.  The OFM has landed a 9 pound fish before and that is larger than he wants to catch these days. The 14# breaking strength line is plenty for our fishing efforts.  

The wind is blowing well outside the Castle now. The light rains so far have been mild but persistent. The Castle is chilling down somewhat from the cold rain. We are supposed to get down to 44F tonight and cool again tomorrow night. Then we will be much nice warm for the next several days.

Even though it has been a gray cold day we did get the rod and reel fixed up with new line and tested. Then late this afternoon and evening the OFM Art Teams were looking at inspirations for some oil pastel paintings. The OFM is getting  itchy fingers for smearing some oil pastels all over some paper to make a mess. For some silly reason he thinks that is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.  

10/29/19

Ray Wrestling

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 29, 2019

As the OFM Fishing Team meandered onto the pier this morning we noticed a full time rver headed out to sea. It was all packed up and ready for adventures. It was definitely making tracks.



Since we were there for fishing and the weather was very nice naturally there is a few fish pictures. We went back and forth all day and had fish action most of the day. Here are the first three fish caught.

 

This was first and very vigorous in its efforts to reel the OFM in. 



A few minutes later this 18“ skipjack hit a surface hard plastic fishing plug and the big fight was on. A lot of jumping and aerial acrobatics ensued before the fish was landed. Getting a picture was hard because the fish never stopped jumping around. Finally it was deposited back into the bay.




Then the last fish photographed was the third for the morning. It was another speckled trout. 

A little later the OFM had a major hit on his lure.  Drag pulled out for a long ways and the fight lasted several minutes before the OFM found out he was hooked to a ray of some sort. After looking on Google we think is was a manta ray due to the “horns" on its head.The ray was not giving up and the OFM did not want to attempt to manhandle a 24“ across ray with his bare hands while balanced on loose, wet, mossy boulders while unhooking the ray. So a mighty tug was made to break the line and the ray swam off to tell its kids about the big fight. The OFM did not get a picture. He was too busy handling the rod and staying upright.

On the way onto the pier the OFM stopped to get this picture of a rock and grasses in the water at the Rockport Beach. We think it makes a nice scene.




After a full day of fishing, manta ray wrestling and hot temperatures the OFM is pretty sure he came close again to having tooooo much fun.

10/28/19

Stomach Punch

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 28, 2019

The OFM Fishing Team did not make it to the pier first thing this morning but it was still doing the sunrise thing when we did get there.



Then the OFM went to work trying to catch fish. After about an hour he managed to catch a nice 17“ speckled trout and get its picture.



A few minutes later trout 2 hit the pier deck for its picture. It was only 15 1/2“ long but still fat and legal.



Both of them went back into the bay. Several other fishermen managed a fish or two on the deck before the school moved away. It was a fun few minutes.

For the rest of the day the OFM Teams either shopped or fished as the mood struck us. A wonderful horizontal event even happened. Things were going great until the OFM stepped crooked on something in the yard and got a twist in his left knee.  We will have to carefully let that heal a bit.

A gentle trudge out onto the pier in later evening resulted in a punch in the stomach for the OFM.  He had attached a silver spoon to the fishing line. A cast into the water was made and the but of the rod placed in its usual place right below his rib cage. Ok all comfortable now. KAPOW WHAMMM the rod butt slammed into his stomach knocking a bit of air out of him.

The rod has 20# test braid line on it and something BIG and FAST hit the lure and let go. The resulting jerk on the rod tip is what slammed the rod butt into the OFM.  That was certainly not expected. Worst of all we have no idea what it was that hit the lure. The OFM took a look at his stomach and there was a nice bright red circle where the rod butt poked him. WOW that was exciting.

The rest of the evening was nice a pleasant.  The sun cooperated and presented us with a nice harbor sunset.



It was a great day of hot nice weather and lots of trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/27/19

Beach, Birds and Fish

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 27, 2019

That fool the OFM is going to kill himself if he doesn’t slack off a bit on the running around.

First thing this morning was fishing and more fishing. Then in the evening more fishing. Let us start with the morning effort. We managed two fish. They are not good food fish but do make great cut bait for other good food fish. Both of them were ladyfish. They make a pissed pit bull look mild by comparison. Both were about 12-14 inches long and excruciatingly active. Here they are in a moment of calmness. This is all that was caught all day but they were exciting.






These were caught near the Fulton harbor. Then we went on back to Rockport to hit the fishing pier. As you can see the weather was not doing to badly. Tonight it is supposed to get down to 71F. The Sunday weekenders were having fun on the pier when this picture was taken.



We have no idea why there are no people in the next picture. For the whole time we were in the area there were lots of folks enjoying the beach and water.  We were surprised that no folks were on the beach when the picture was taken. May be was all the bad weather at the beach.  Sierra’s thermometer was showing 81F at this time. The birds were definitely enjoying the weather.



We met up with another old friend as the shadows were starting to form for evening. Good grief did we have a lot of catching up to do.  So you can probably tell we are working really hard at trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/26/19

Where Did Today Go?

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 26, 2019

The OFM cannot even remember all that went on today. It seemed like from the moment he woke up that it was a really busy day. We do recall him flapping his jaws with friends several times. Fishing and adjusting his equipment took up several minutes or hours today. However there was no fish encountered during these efforts.

The day was very pretty and cool. He did take one picture while at the fishing pier of Rockport Beach that shows the bad fall weather here in the area.



What he can recall is that he stopped at Mac’s BBQ and picked up a BBQ sandwich. Brought it home and ate it. His aching back from all the casting called for a lay down and stretch effort. BANG he was out like a busted light bulb for over an hour and a half.

We are pretty certain that  the Teams must have come awfully close to having tooooo much fun today.  YAWN good night.

10/25/19

G Rock meets Saltwater

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
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Adventure Report Date: October 25, 2019

The OFM spent a lot of last night until early this morning getting out of bed to mop up water from a roof leak. It was a very tiring night. The good news is we found a spot that looked like a fresh tree limb bite on some caulk. It has now been caulked.

Then we got to do some fishing and tour guiding for G Rock.  The winds were very high most all day and the fishing was tough. So the OFM swapped to tour guide duty for G Rock.

The first place was the foot of the fishing groin at the Rockport Harbor. G Rock hopped up on a view point to see what was what as the OFM explained about saltwater, tides and fishing. G Rock was impressed and ready to get busy fishing.



Then we went to the harbor entrance so G Rock could get the feel of the area. G Rock hopped up on a piling and was having a blast looking at everything. G Rock was really impressed with the suicidal dives of the pelicans into the water. Then the OFM fished a little bit but had no luck at all.



As we toured a bit more of the road and groins in the area a large bird landed close by and G Rock dived into the OFM’s pocket and peeped out over the top of the pocket to see what that monster bird was going to do.  The OFM told G Rock that the bird just stopped by to see if we were ready to donate some food for it to eat. Since we like wild things to stay wild the OFM does not feed wild animals.



Later after we returned to the Castle and the new caulking was examined and passed inspection we meandered the campground a bit. There was some new flowers blooming so they volunteered to be the picture of honor for tonight.



Sure enough we ran into another old friend at the Whataburger tonight and got to visit for about 45 minutes. She caught us up on  lot of things that happened during our time away from the area.

G Rock suggested we head to the Castle and rest after this very busy day of trying to have tooooo much fun. All the team members agreed to that suggestion.

10/23/19

Arrived

Adventure Location: On the Road
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Adventure Report Date: October 23, 2019


Another tired OFM day. After waking in the Del Rio Tx Walmart parking lot, we headed to the campgrounds of Lake Amistad to decide which one to set up in. Checking the lake level and finding it way below all normal access points was enlightening. More thought resulted in a dominating vote to move on. So we did.

We eventually ended up in , Rockport Tx to visit old friends. Our arrival went easy and some visiting got to be done. It was nice to see some friendly faces. More set up tomorrow after some rest from 835 miles in two days. At least we knew we were heading toward having tooooo much fun.

10/22/19

Trip Pictures

Adventure Location: On the Road
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Adventure Report Date: October 22, 2019

It is late but the OFM insisted on putting up pictures taken on our road trip today. Here they are in no particular order.







Hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them. It was a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/21/19

Crutches Time

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Report Date: October 21, 2019

It was a very pleasant day with little excitement. This fellow in the picture goes by every morning and evening headed for the shower house.



It is a fairly heavy duty walk up the hill to the shower house but he keeps on doing it. We know there is a vehicle at their campsite but he always crutches himself up and down the hill. Good For Him. 

Now we get some pretty flowers to oooh and awwww over. The first is a fresh ocotillo blossom with early morning sun making it glow.



Next is this blue beauty that was nestled in some rocks. It is about an inch across in real life. Once again the sun was making the flower shine forth.



We went to lunch at Si Senor restaurant and had the most wonderful chicken tacos a person could have. YUMMITY Yum yum.  Back at the Castle we worked with the OFM trying to figure out when we will roll. Right now tomorrow is on tap for rolling but we will see what really happens. We have definitely been here long enough. Other locations are calling for us to come on over for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Details

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Report Date: October 20, 2019

A beautiful day but a very windy night so far. We do not know what the OFM did but he is one really sore body fool today. It is muscle soreness so that is good. He met a few new folks today and wore out his jaw flapping it. His jaw is not sore because he stays in good muscle shape with it from running his mouth so much.

Any way we have some details some folks might be interested in. The Castle ran out of water this afternoon and a LPG tank swapped over early this evening. So what does that all mean. Hang on here it comes.

We last dumped waste tanks and refilled fresh water on10-6-2019 at Martin Creek Lake SP. Today we had to break camp with the Castle and dump waste tanks and refill fresh water. That means we have dry camped water wise for 14 days with the on board system. Now we know what to plan on in the future. The Castle has 40 gallons for fresh water and 40 gallons for gray water and 35 gallons for black water.

Onward we go to LPG usage. On 10-10-2019 we switched to a full 20# size tank. We have been doing a little comfort heating at night and early morning. The refrigerator runs from the LPG. About every third night we run the water heater for warm water for a good scrub down of the OFM body. Today in the evening that tank ran out. We switched to our full one and kept on keeping on.

 Tomorrow the empty will get its usual 4.7 gallons of LPG for a refill. This all means we got 10 days from $12.75 of LPG. This was in very moderate weather.  When it gets cold we bet the usage will easily double when doing lots of comfort heating. So we can look forward for about 20 days of LPG usage in moderate weather with our two tanks.

All these are great statistics to know so we can plan the trips into nowhere country much better. And the OFM Teams think nowhere country is a fantastic place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/19/19

That Loving Feeling

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Report Date: October 19, 2019

As the OFM was meandering around the area he began to feeling great love surrounding him. Naturally it did not feel like something he often feels. A bit of searching and he found the source. It was a prickly pear cactus with a heart shaped pad. This was a first for him. 



But you can be sure he was not interested in a big hug.

This next plant is a succulent from the desert but we could not find one with a name tag. Of course the OFM has no memory since the fairy and right ear incident last year, so if you recognize the plant please comment. We do know that the native Americans used the hair and tip of the leaves for needle and thread type of things. Here is the plant with all the curly strands coming off the leaves.



Then when we got within getting stuck distance you could see lots more supplies of “thread” down in the center of the plant.



Last night we had a very nice moon rise. The OFM did his best with a hand held resting against the Castle photograph.

 The real scene was fantastic that night. The picture does a nice job but you really need to come to the desert to see it for yourself. Yep you can tell we are really liking the country side.

We have been too busy taking pictures and meandering to even think of getting started on another painting.  There certainly are a lot of ways for trying to have fun out here.

10/18/19

Resting Rock

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Report Date: October 18, 2019
Adventure Date: Recent few days

First the current events.

It was another nice day of 72F and bright sunshine. The breezes were just right. Then in late afternoon the OFM happened to look out to the west across the valley except it was a total light brown out. Something was coming and boy o boy did it come.

First was some Castle rattling winds. We guess in the 40 mph range for about ten minutes. A couple of minutes after the wind started, the driving rain hit and lasted about two minutes. Then it was a light rain for another few minutes. Within a half hour it was all over with. The clouds from the storm were very dramatic.

The OFM also has decided where the Teams will head next when we leave here. We are going over the San Andres Mountains to the I-25 corridor between Socorro and Las Cruces to see what we can see. There is a lot of good camping along that area. 

When will we leave? No later than 10-24 morning when our allowed two weeks here runs out. It will be about 165 miles towing at most. The weather is trying to turn cold next week so we are seeking a little warmer climate.

On the Riparian Trail is a resting or thinking rock in a nice alcove that lets you see down into Dog Canyon to the creek bed. It is a very pleasant place and extremely peaceful. Lots of flowers were in the surrounding vegetation to help make the location special.




Soon we will be meandering down the road or trail in a new area for trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/17/19

Screaming Rock

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Date: October 17, 2019

Tonight the pictures and adventures come from four different meanders in the desert.

On this meander the OFM found a bath tub near a fence at the gate to the Oliver Lee ranch house. Then a couple of days later the OFM tried to show Brian the tub and could not find it again. It is amazing how inanimate objects in the desert can move around at night.



It was likely used as a watering trough at one time.

Another time the sunset was pretty nice and different than the normal ones we were used to. In this one the sun seems to be funneled by the mountains to our west. It was more like spot lights shining up. We liked it anyway.



Now we come to the mystery mine in the side of the mountain. This was taken from the base of the mountain where the long MEAN trail starts. Notice the square hole in the rock. It looks like a mine to us.



The OFM did a 20X telephoto hand held attempt at a picture. To everyones surprise it came out pretty well. Now it looks even more like a mine in our opinion.



So the OFM went into the visitor center to see what kind of a mine it was. A park person told the OFM it was really just a natural formed cave and only went back into the mountain a few feet. The OFM has to take his word on it since there is no way the OFM can make the climb up to it. It sure had the Teams fooled.

On another desert hike we found this rock about the size of a human head. Check  out the face molded into the rock. It looks like it is screaming in agony to us.



We have been here seven days now and it has been a busy time of trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/16/19

To The Far Mountain

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Date: October 16, 2019

Brian showed up right on time for out next desert adventure. The goal was up the mountain a ways until we hollered UNCLE real loud. It did not take near as much as we thought to get the OFM to scream UNCLE. But we did have a great time.

Brian led the way and we soon stopped to consider which exact ravine we wanted to attempt to get to. Here is Brian thinking about our objective.



Now remember that what is called a trail in this story is nothing but a less dense stretch of thorny plants. There are no actual trails we found. After the considering we did Brian led off as the pathfinder. 

Here Brian is working out a way for us to move on forward toward the goal we had chosen.



We made a good effort but sometimes the going was tough. Unseen from our eye level were the many 3 -4 feet deep ravines in the desert floor. Those ravines are not much of a trouble for a savagely able bodied person such as Brian, but for the decrepit OFM they were serious obstacles. We plowed forward for hours and hours (editor note:about 40 minutes) but we finally made the half worn out point way up on the side of the mountains. ( Editor note: At the bottom of the mountains). 



After a few seconds of rest we were ready to get on the trail again. (Editor note: The OFM was screaming uncle and nearly crying to go back to the starting point.) In reality we rested for about ten minutes as Brian checked out the land around us for more places to go exploring.



We made it back to the Castle and were ready for another mountain to climb. (Editor note: Yeah right. The OFM almost could not climb the steps into the Castle.) We gossiped for a good while and made a date for tomorrow at noon for another great lunch at Si Senor restaurant. 

We are very certain that this Team adventure came very close to having tooooo much fun.

10/15/19

Desert Garden

Adventure Location: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, NM
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Adventure Date: October 15, 2019

As the OFM was walking up the hill today, the nice looking gentleman coming our way said  you must be Gavin’s grandpa and the OFM was stunned. Charles turned out to be a blog reader and fan of Arctic Fox travel trailers. We had a great time visiting and swapping good places to go visit. Thanks for all the good suggestions.

Tonights pictures came from a desert plants garden here in the park. It has labels on most of the plants but the OFM missed the labels with the camera.

The sun was just starting to peak over the mountain tops when this picture was taken. That is the park sign on the way into the park.



We thought this might make a pretty picture with the pink flowers showing off. Was the OFM right?



Here is the whole HOG. The label displays the name of the sticky bush.



New thorns on the HOG were a beautiful red that seemed to glow. We bet they hurt when they stick in you.



Then this is a neat bush with special shaped leaves with points. When the new leaves come into growth they are a gorgeous shade of red.



When the flowers are blooming, you can sit on the bench with red ribbons in your hair and the hummers will be swarming you along with the plants. That sounds like a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.