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Busting Out

1/31/20

Cleaning Table

Adventure Location: Falcon SP, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-31-2020
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A cool overcast day was our fate. A bit of wind now and then and not much excitement around us. The OFM did a couple of walks and a drive around just for fun.  A little more cabinet cleaning out was very successful. we gained about another 2 feet of empty cabinets.

During one walk the OFM made his way over to the boat ramp. That is a very steep long ramp with the lake 30 feet down. Here is a picture from the top.



When he got to the bottom he suddenly realized it was a long uphill to get back to the top.



That ramp is 108 feet longer going back up as you can see. 

While the OFM was hanging around the top landing getting his breathing and heart rate back to proper, he decided to take a picture of the fish cleaning building. It is well done and heavily used. 


 It smelled of fresh large mouth bass fillets when we stepped inside. A nice facility like this makes cleaning your catch much more enjoyable.
Next it was about a half mile walk back to the Castle. 

And that was the big excitement of a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/30/20

Broken Breaker

Adventure Location: Falcon SP, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-30-2020
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Today was moving day. The rent ran out last night and new folks were due in soon.  To stay in the elec/water sites the OFM Teams had to move. We got online and chose a site two spaces down. It was not bad to have to break down camp since the holding tanks were getting close to dumping time anyway.

We pulled into the new site and got partially set up when the OFM took this picture of our new backyard.



Then he went into the Castle to find that we did not have 120 volt service. Back outside he went and did the check on all the things that he might have done wrong. Still no power. Sierra took him back to the office and told them about the power trouble. They made a call and said the guys will be there very soon. As we were getting out of Sierra at the campsite the guys walked up.

Within a couple of minutes the electrician fellow determined the breaker had failed. So off they went to get a new breaker.  The OFM continued the setup routine, but before he finished the fellows were back and ten minutes later a new breaker was in place and the Castle had power.
Big thank you to them and all was right at the campsite.

We messed around with a few things and then drove into Roma to the Whataburger. On the way back Sierra got an itch and we went exploring some of the “interesting” back roads of the area. 

Back at the Castle again more cleaning and arranging was done. then the OFM sat down to play with the art paints.  He was just trying out new techniques and types of paper.  

Suddenly he remembered he was supposed to be cooking chicken for supper tonight, so he got right on it.  The broth left from boiling the chicken sure smelled good, so he decided it would become chicken and rice soup. One breast was chopped into small pieces and added back to the pot. A cup of rice was added and a blob of water. The heat was applied. Then the OFM decided the soup needed a can of low salt whole kernel corn. In went the corn. Everything was slow cooked with added spices of choice.



It ought to be really good with the chicken salad planned for lunch tomorrow. 

Speaking of tomorrow we plan to do some grocery shopping at the local Mexican style grocery store.  It ought to be a fun way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/29/20

Odd Truck Location

Adventure Location: Falcon SP, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-29-2020
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We had no idea why the red pickup was parked behind a shade shelter in the tent area, much less why it was there most of the day yesterday. After the red truck was gone Sierra had to go sniffing around to see “What’s up?”

As luck would have it Sierra found a trail leading into the old lake bottom forest.  So this morning the OFM walked over to that place and headed out into the unknown territory formerly flooded by Falcon Lake for a few decades. The adventure begins here.



From the way the trail meanders it must have been an old deer trail for starters.  Now more critters use the trail but the only human foot prints we found was yesterdays adventurer. 

We meandered along the moderately defined path through the trees for a few minutes and suddenly the trees stopped and a view of the lake assaulted our vision.



As the trail exited the trees it faded into the sticker infested grass clumps covering the old lake bottom. The OFM used his years of experience at meandering silly places to chose a path down to the “beach” for us. A stop was made to get a picture of the beach and the old tree parts scattered around the area.  




Isn’t that water pretty? Well the OFM guessed rather well about where the hiker from yesterday would likely have walked. When we got to the sand and mud there was the fresh human tracks in the mud.

The OFM noticed a single bird in the area and it flew to a dead limb way out in the lake to watch the Teams mess around on the beach. The OFM set the camera at the electronic zoom of 20 power and tried to get a shot. If you can recognize the bird from this fuzzy shot, please leave the identification in a comment for us.



Here on the shore were a lot of well weathered tree remains. We know for sure they were under water for a long time. Most likely they have been water washed until everything that could be washed away was gone. Now the desert wind and sand is getting its chance to weather the wood some more.  It reminded us of looking at fingerprints. Each one had different swirls and squiggles to make it unique. This is only one of them. We took about ten pictures and chose this one to display.



It was time to head back to Sierra but there was no trail to be seen.



This will be interesting the OFM thought. So what happened? We don’t know because we are still out there looking for a way back to Sierra so we can report this adventure of trying to have tooooo much fun again.

1/28/20

Volcano Sun

Adventure Location: Falcon SP, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-28-2020
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Tomorrow is the last day in this campsite. It is reserved for new occupants so we have to move out Thursday morning.  We spent a good while looking at the free camping just outside the state park and a lot of time looking at the dry camping area here in the state park. So tonight we still have no idea where we will end up for next week. It is still a little too cold much farther up north. It needs a couple of more weeks to warm up in the Del Rio area. 

As the OFM was fixing supper he suddenly realized that we were finally going to have a nice sunset. He turned the fire off and we took off for the boat ramp area. Sierra got us the closest parking spot to the cliff the OFM wanted to shoot the sunset from. 

Out of Sierra and at a fast walk suddenly the back side of the OFM belt tried to ram the front side of the OFM belt. You would not think somebody that obese could stop that quick. But he did.

A really neat scene with sunlight and grass was in front of us. There was time for a few photos and here is the best of the bunch.

Sun Washed Grass


Then we hurried over to the edge of the cliff and found a nice spot for the sunset. We made it with about five minutes to spare so the OFM meandered carefully to the edge of Death Valley below us.  The sun cooperated and we got about a dozen shots  of which this was our chosen one.

Sunset on the Lake


As he watched the sunset some more, the OFM realized that a different viewpoint might give another pretty good picture for tonight’s blog of the sun volcano that was about to happen. How do you like the volcano picture below.

Volcano Sunset


Tomorrow is house cleaning, and general straightening up of things so we can roll Thursday morning to wherever we go in our efforts at having tooooo much fun.

1/27/20

The "Beach"

Adventure Location: Falcon SP, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-27-2020
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The OFM Teams glorious leader declared that it was time to report on the picnic area of the park and off we went. It is down at the end of the park next to the Federal Dam property. With the lake so far down it was a new adventure for off road driving for Sierra. We took it very slow and careful to make sure Sierra received no more damage than some desert pin striping. The exposed lake bottom is now called a beach.

Sierra went all the way to the softer ground near the water before it let the OFM out to take pictures. The OFM stood next to the lake and took this picture looking back to the picnic area. The base of the tree/brush line up the hill is the “normal” full lake line.  As you can see the water is a smidgen  down. In fact when BillyBob and the OFM terrorized the bass many years ago, the water was about halfway up the hill.



Then the OFM went inland behind Sierra to get a picture of Sierra looking out over the lake. The lake portion in view is all USA water and land. From here Falcon Lake runs about fifty miles up the Rio Grande.



Next we got a picture of the “beach” that is down from the picnic area. It is big enough to handle some pretty big crowds. We plan to get in some fishing time in the near future so see what mayhem we can create.



And to top off the evening we made the 30 minute run into Roma for an exploration trip and a WHATABURGER. It was delicious.  We will likely go to the grocery across from the Whataburger when we need more food. Since shopping takes lots of energy, we will need to stop at Whataburger before going to the store.

Here is the last painting that the OFM has been working on. It is done in colored pencil, Prismacolor to be exact, using alcohol as the blending solution. At least the OFM had a lot of fun wasting another sheet of art paper.

Four Grapes


Now we need to figure out what to do tomorrow for trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/26/20

Zapata Fun

Adventure Location: Zapata, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-26-2020
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The OFM Teams decided that it was time to explore Zapata Texas since we had not been there in many years.  So as lunch time neared, Sierra took us on this adventure. It is about 33 miles to Zapata from the Castle’s location. The road was welcoming and the traffic very light as in two vehicles in the whole 33 miles.

We rolled on through Zapata checking out the changes we could remember and looking for things of interest. There was a huge pile of new interesting things we saw just on the main highway north\south.  Then there it was a restaurant we had had good food at in the years past.

 As we whizzzed past, the OFM told Sierra there it was. Sierra made a wild sliding turn and went into the parking lot sideways. Sierra aimed at a parking spot and we slid in with 3/16 inch to spare.

Inside it was still the same. A table was chosen and the waitress quickly grabbed the drink order.  The OFM zoomed through the menu and chose his lunch item. The he carefully took a small nibble of a delicious chip with what turned out to be fresh still burning lava on it.  That was the end of the salsa for the OFM. WOW.

The order came out in reasonable time and looked great. The chicken tacos were the best he has had in a long time. The rice was fresh and the refried beans definitely had not been sitting around for long.  An excellent meal all around. Drive out including 20% tip for the fantastic service was about $11.

As we were leaving the OFM wondered out loud how he was going to fit through the wide open double doors. It was a tight fit but Sierra saw him coming and whimpered at the sight of that load. As the OFM climbed into the seat of Sierra the frame of Sierra bent down about three inches. Sierra let out a groan that could be heard all the way to Mexico City.

Sierra valiantly carried the Teams onward to more adventure.  There were bright flowers blooming all over town. 



The OFM remembered it is mid winter time now. He glanced at the outside temperature  read out on Sierra’s dash and WOW check that out.



We like those winter temps. Don’t you? We meandered around looking at RV Parks and checking prices. Here is the first place we checked and they were pretty reasonable on their prices.


While we were messing around looking at RV Parks we also noticed that there were a huge amount of citrus fruit trees producing. Nearly every third house has at least one fruit tree. We did not get close enough to be sure these were grapefruit or large oranges but either would be delicious.



During all this looking around, we also checked on lake access for the well down lake. There was plenty of room for shore access and boat launching. This next picture was taken from the county boat launch parking lot.



By now it was getting time to head back.  Sierra agreed and turned toward home. For the thirty miles back to the Castle it was a lot more traffic. The best the OFM can recall it was about eight vehicles on the road for the trip back.

With all the neat things we saw and all the services available in town, especially the several good restaurants, Zapata needs to be considered for our next winter stay. Sure is a lot of stuff in the area for trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/25/20

Good Neighbor

Adventure Location: Falcon Lake State Park, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-25-2020
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Another really excellent night for sleeping was wonderful.  Each of the camping sites in the water/electric area is on a loop off the main campground road. The sites all have heavy brush on three sides and is open to the loop side.  By the time an RV and tow vehicle is parked in the loop, you have a very private area for the shade shelter and other amenities.

So the OFM decided to show the road out front looking toward the campsites north of ours.



Literally from in the yard of our campsite we cannot see any other campers.

Last night when the Teams were down the trail to the lake and it started getting dusky, this was the sunset. Not the big flashy types of a lot of desert sunsets but we think it was nice anyway.



What has the OFM been doing with all this quiet and free time out here in the middle of nowhere? He is working diligently on wasting paper while attempting some art. Here is a picture of his messy dining/do everything table.



On one of the many walks we take every day, the OFM decided we needed to show you some of the pretty foliage along the trails. It is very pretty and you can get really stuck on them.



And we even have a friendly neighbor who stops by twice a day to check in on the OFM to make sure everything is going OK. 



There are still several trails the OFM has not lead the Teams onto.  He claims he needs to rest more since the milage has so suddenly gone way higher than it was for the three months in Rockport. He is right about one thing, every path and road is uphill going and coming back.

It is wonderful to be back into the desert environment with the clean air and low humidity for trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/24/20

A Little Excitement

Adventure Location: Falcon Lake State Park, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-24-2020


What a wonderful night for sleeping!  It is dead quiet around here about sundown. WOW it was a great nights sleep. In fact the OFM was so rested he spent a lot of the day walking or hiking according to your preferred definition. 

Anyway the camera has gotten a serious work out and lots of pictures are awaiting their turn to be reviewed.

The OFM chose instead of reviewing pictures to prepare to paint another picture. So the rest time between the four hikes was wasted on art effort preparation.

There was one thing that happened that was interesting. We are located about 1.4 miles from the Mexico border and 2.4 miles from the nearest Mexico land. At night you can see the lights on houses and cars.

The OFM Hiking Team was out for an exercise hike through some of the not developed trails to the back of the state park. Not developed trails are basically deer and coyote paths through the brush.

We followed one down through the area that used to be under Falcon Lake to the waters edge/beach. We were taking pictures of the shells and contorted tree parts and generally enjoying the quiet with no one in sight.

Suddenly from across the lake was several rifle shots, followed quickly by a few bursts of automic rifle fire. By the time that ended the M-60 machine guns started to talk (as we called it in Viet NAM) and that all continued for a short few minutes. It was the first time to hear that sort of action since August 1970 in Nam. But it was over quickly and the quiet in our area quickly took over again. We have no way of knowing if it was just a training event or a criminal event. The OFM is definitely glad it did not involve him again.

Gunfights are never a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/23/20

Touched a Tree

Adventure Location: Falcon Lake State Park, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-23-2020
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We awakened to cold wet fog covering everything with drippy dew. That is not usual for this area. We got the rig ready to move and moved to the state park about 1000. It was about a five mile tow. A nice visit with the rangers proved to be fun. Then on to our site.

Our new site is approximately 100 miles south and 150 miles west of Rockport and seems like it is on a different planet. Dry semi-arid brush country is the environment. Already it is feeling much better than the coastal WET with mosquitoes.

First walk around the Castle after arriving at the State Park revealed we got a bit too close to a mesquite tree along the way.



Here is our home for the next seven days. The water and electric site is moderately private, but not isolated. Here we are from the road.



This is taken from the back corner of the “front yard”. We are right across the street from the restrooms and showers. That might get handy. But check out that sky. It was still cloudy and foggy when we arrived at the SP. Thirty minutes later it was like in the photo. WOW.

Sierra took us on a tour of the park to refresh the OFM memories of it.  A little has changed for the better but mostly it is the same. It quickly became obvious that it will take several blog entries to cover the opportunities for adventures here.

Too soon it was late and supper time. How about a couple of pork chops with stir fried bell pepper and squash again. A nice topping of BBQ sauce really hit the spot.



We are having a bit of difficulty getting back into traveling mode after three months sitting still in Rockport. BUT we will do it and report the adventures. We have three months of freedom before we need to be back in Grandkid land.  

Look out world, the OFM Teams are running loose trying to have tooooo much fun again.

1/22/20

Rough Trip

Adventure Location: Falcon Lake, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-22-2020
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The first two hours.



The second two hours.



The last hour.



We made it to  boondocking freedom.



Home for the night.



Boondocking heaven near the Rio Grande River. When the OFM gets well from the rain traveling we will definitely get in some serious trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/21/20

Lot of Wind

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-20-2020
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The OFM Team was not prepared for the fabulous morning sky we met as we exited Comfort Castle. Even the moon looked special in the sky. 



So we fired up Sierra and headed out for adventure as we waited to see if the awaited package would arrive.  Nothing special was set to happen today except the waiting.

HOWEVER we spent long time at the beach park taking pictures of birds and plants that interested the Teams. It was great fun with the wind ripping everything around. The flags on the flag pole were holding on for dear life. Check it out.



This gull was hiding on the boat dock and we took the picture from inside Sierra to get the wind wiggle of the OFM out of the picture. After all the waiting and messing around we finally got everything ready just as the gull looked over the rail as if to say “I SEE YOU”. And the picture was taken and to our surprise came out decent.



A bit farther along near the cleaning table at the boat ramp, this pelican was in a grumpy mood it looked like.  There were no boats out, so there were no fish parts being thrown his way to eat. “Don’t they know I am supposed to be fed. I don’t want to have to work for my food.”



These small birds all have turbo chargers in them. They run around at high speed pecking at this and that. They are cute little birds and no other birds seem to bother them. 

THAT'S ALL FOLKS


Chasing pictures in a nice location like this one is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/20/20

New Cooking Toys

Adventure Location:Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-20-2020
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A pretty good chill was in the air this morning so the OFM Teams stayed inside until late morning. Then the day became gorgeous and nicely cool.

Since we are in get ready to roll mode, the OFM made up list for any “travel” items we wanted to acquire before we roll out into nowhere land.

Our current bed cover came with Comfort Castle 15 years ago. My darling D-I-L modified it to fit the OFM customizing of the mattress. The cover is showing its age and starting to unravel. We have been looking for one we like for over a year. Today we found a Good Housekeeping beach towel that we liked and was close to the right size. It came home with us and is now the main bed cover.



While we were having fun in the Home section of Walmart the OFM decided to buy a 3 quart pot to replace one of our two 2 quart pots. The 3 quart pot will also handle a steamer strainer we have been wanting for some time now. The new toys look right happy sitting on the couch in the Castle.



After the purchases were stored and the excess pot taken to the free table, we all headed to the beach park for some sunshine and exercise.

At the beach park the OFM did his reps on the ramp without any trouble at all, not even a small slowdown. That was a surprise and a wonderful development. Then he made a lap of the big parking lot “at speed” and kept on going to cover more parts of the area until the mosquitoes started to be a trouble.

Several pictures of critters were taken and are now part of our arsenal of critter pictures for reference when drawing.

While doing all that stuff above a nice sail boat came along in the Allegro Channel heading out for fun. It was such a nice day I bet they get in a great day sail.



When we returned to the Castle, it was automatic that the new pot had to show its abilities in cooking a big pot of stoup. In this case it was small sausage stoup. Several meals are now in the new refrigerator awaiting being a meal.



Tomorrow is planned to be a recheck day and prepare everything for rolling Wednesday, IF the package we are waiting on comes in.
We found out yesterday the Teams are ready for some rolling time to help us have tooooo much fun.

1/19/20

Free Camping Beach

Adventure Location: Magnolia Beach, Texas
Adventure Date: 1-19-2020
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The OFM Teams had never been there before but the OFM in his previous life had been there several times to attend paddling events. We had heard while we were recently up in New Mexico, that it had improved greatly.

Magnolia Beach was just about the first free RV  camping the OFM had known of back in the early 70‘s.  It is well known in the RV traveling world but not talked about much.

So it was with some excitement the Teams hopped into Sierra and told Sierra to head over to Magnolia Beach. Sierra rared back and hollered “Lets go” and away we went. It is about an hour from our current campground and about 10 miles SE of Port Lavaca. 

The roads are very good and the drive was nice. The wind was not friendly but Sierra showed the wind it was not the boss. Sierra got 17 mpg going into the wind and 26 mpg going with the wind on the return trip.

We meandered carefully up to the entrance to the beach.  It is a shell beach and you camp next to the water. There are some decent rest rooms there. No dump station or water supply that we know of. Of course you have to create your own electricity. Here is the entrance to the beach and camping area.




The rules are posted on a large sign at the entrance and are very reasonable rules in our opinion.




The camping is a long stretch of waterfront beach. Part of it is right against the water. Part of it is at the cabana area which puts you back about fifty feet to the water but gives you a table to use.




This next rig is parked at the water and rigged for serious boondocking. Two wind generators and look at those racks on top that have solar panels on them.




It is about ten miles to Port Lavaca. PL has a Whataburger and a SuperWalmart as well as a few other stores. The town is well stocked and probably can supply any normal thing you might need. We know there are lots of good fishing spots in the area.

We saw about 25 rigs there and feel that another 50 or so rigs would fit in without crowding each other. 

Overall we found it a nice looking place for a few days of free camping while trying to have tooooo much fun.