CROWN OF THORNS

8/31/20

An Escort

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: 8-31-2020
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The OFM hit the walking road at a decent pace this morning but we soon picked up a couple of interested followers.



Now why would those two buzzards hop from tree to tree to keep up with the OFM as he walked along the old highway. Maybe it indicates that he stinks like 4 day old road kill in the mornings. It certainly isn’t because he is such a sweet fellow we are sure. At least the OFM did not end up being breakfast for the buzzards. (yet)

During the afternoon it occurred to the OFM that spending some time camped around Foley Alabama might be a lot of fun since there is a good amount of history things to go experience and photograph.  It is only a one day tow from grandkid land. 

This evening we headed down to the lake to attempt some decent sunset pictures.  It was a moderately ok trip.  The better pictures were of the near full moon rising in the evening sky. Here is a nice picture of the moon we have for tonight.



When we returned to the Castle it was still pretty hot and Sierra agreed. Check out this temperature and the evening time. 


We are ready for cooler temps. Cooler temps would make it easier for trying to have tooooo much fun.


8/30/20

Looking Sheepish

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: 8-30-2020
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At the intersection of the Pecos River and Hwy 90 is a part of the Amistad NRA.  The picnic area sits on the edge of a cliff at the mouth of a canyon that joins the Pecos river canyon.  The opposite side of the canyon is home to many caves that can be seen from the picnic area. However to see the caves well you need eye help. Binoculars, telescopes or zoom camera lenses do well.

The fun is that there is usually some wild critters in one or more of the caves to see.  On this day it was sheep.  Here is what your normal eye will see from the picnic table.



Then we ran the zoom all the way out and looked into the many caves until we found the sheep.  They were all resting comfortably it seemed to us.


In just a minute or two after the shot above the lead sheep stood up and looked very intently at the OFM Teams a long way away. Apparently an order was given and all the sheep stood up. There was about three times as many sheep as we saw in the first picture into the cave.


Then they all exited the cave to our left by sliding down a steep sloped rock ledge. 


All of the sheep seemed to be very comfortable sliding down the slope and then calmly walking away on the rough terrain.

We never know what we will see in the caves but so far we have not seen any of the mountains lions that live in this area.  We have been coming to this spot to see the caves and critters since 1971 (we think).

Maybe the sheep went on their way to search for somewhere to try to have tooooo much fun.

8/29/20

Nothing Exciting

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: 8-29-2020
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The morning walk went well.
The morning house cleaning went well.
The sorting out of art supplies that the OFM plans to get rid of went well.

And then it was time for lunch.

After lunch we tried to color in the coloring book but the OFM’s mind kept wandering off to think about where to go around Oct. 1 when the visiting time in Grandkid land is over. We don’t have a good answer to that, YET. But you can be sure we will be somewhere trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/28/20

Better Here

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: 8-28-2020
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The OFM knew he had chores to do today so no walks were taken. Right after breakfast we got busy on changing the anode rod in the water heater.  Usually we managed to spray and splatter water all over the campsite.  However, today it went very nice and neatly with little water other than the washout water being splattered around.

The anode rod was removed and the usual corrosion stuff came flowing out with the water.  It only took three more rinses to get all the residue out of the water tank.  Here is what the old rod looked like.  



It was only half used up so we put the new one in anyway. We do not want to risk eating out a water heater tank.

Next on the list was drain, flush and sanitize the fresh water tank. So the OFM crawled slightly under the Castle and opened the drain valve. The water coming out after sitting in the tank for five months straight look fresh and clean. 



 We finished the drain, flush and sanitize procedure we use and cleaned up the tools and equipment from the two procedures.

During this time we remembered a couple of RV things that we had been meaning to acquire before we pull out. So we grabbed a cap and headed to Sierra to go to Walmart.  Hopped into Sierra, inserted the key, turned it to the sound of complete silence. Not even a click Brrrrrr.

OK. Better here than out on the road.



A few minutes of charging and Sierra reluctantly started up. So we left Sierra running and put the charger away. Then we got our warranty paperwork from the files and headed to Walmart.


When we pulled in to the service bay the nice fellow said go ahead and turn it off. He thought we were there for a lube job. When I told he what was wrong, he said OK he would move it to the next bay and gave me the work order tag.

To our surprise a nice fellow went to work on Sierra immediately.  Nobody seemed to want to see my receipt from when the battery was installed 23 months ago. It turned out the battery has a serial number that told them every thing they needed to know.  About thirty minutes later the service fellow told me the old battery was bad and the new one would be ready to go in a few minutes when their “verifying” computer said the battery was ready. Sure enough we were soon on our way with no cost other than our time waiting. We were back to the Castle at 1210. It certainly was good service.


Now all that is left to do before we roll is check air pressure on the Castle’s tires. Then we will be ready to roll out looking for somewhere for tooooo much fun again.

8/27/20

Too Many Hills

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-27-2020

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Not a lot done today. The morning walk was at Governor’s Landing to have steeper hills to climb. It involves two loops of down to the water under the highway and back up to the upper campground and back to Sierra.  Do it twice and the OFM knees are telling him it was foolish. They are right it should have been one loop is all.


The heat hit hard and early today so we spent most of the day in the A/C.  We did get the freshwater tank loaded with chlorine solution to purify it if there is trouble bugs in it.  Tomorrow we plan to change and flush the freshwater tank so it is ready for travel.


Also tomorrow is change out the anode rod in the water heater day. It took the OFM a bit of hunting today to find where he had moved the hose nozzle to for storage. But it was found and is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to go to work in the morning.


And that right there finishes out our day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/26/20

Nipple Cactus

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-26-2020

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We got in a nice 2.X miles this morning.  It was not very hot but there was absolutely no breeze at all.  So we were glad to be back at Sierra and the A/C.

The rest of the day was not anything special. Shopping at Walmart for fresh fruit and vegetables went well.  Then it was laundry time and everything was finished before noon.

Right after noon the last item on order was delivered.  It is an anode rod for the water heater. Tomorrow is the planned installation day. 

We are tracking hurricane Laura since it will be going right down our path to Grandkid Land a week before we leave Del Rio. Hopefully all the rain will be drained away and we will have clear sailing.

We finished a coloring. We guess that since we are coloring in a coloring book we should call it coloring instead of painting. Well anyway here is the latest coloring for your amusement.



We have 12 days until rolling time and we are  emotionally VERY ready to roll. It is scheduled to be a five day travel with some nice stops along the way for trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/25/20

Walking Surprise

 

Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-25-2020

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We hit the trail this morning just before sunrise and it felt really good with the mild temperature and gentle breeze.  The trail started out dropping into an arroyo and winding around the contours of the hill. The OFM was watching for early morning rattlesnakes when something in front of the Team moved slightly.

We made a sudden stop and looked up the trail to the turn about twenty feet away. There he stood with velvet still on his 6 point antlers.  It was a fine specimen of a West Texas white tail deer. He calmly stood there in the middle of the trail while the OFM got the shakes while trying to get the camera into action.

About the instant we got the camera into action the deer turned slowly and started to walk off. So this is what we got. This is no zoom at all and just about the same image the OFM was seeing at our close distance.


We kept the camera at the ready and walked gently, slowly but not creeping like a predator. Moving like a poor foolish trail walker the deer likely sees every day. And sure enough there he was camouflaged by the vegetation watching for our next action.  Not afraid by any means but still being careful.


As we moved a little more down the trail, the morning sun started to peek over the brush line and gave us this great light show along with the buck deer.



We continued out journey this morning and there were doe deer out and about all over the place.  But the buck event was so special it was all the OFM could think about for quite a time period. 

Sometimes a special event like this makes the whole day great and is a days worth of trying to have tooooo much fun all in about five minutes.


8/24/20

THE KITTY

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-24-2020

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1. It seemed like an ordinary morning. 

2. Get up.

3. Meander into the bathroom and look at name on mirror to find out who I am. This no memory mess is tiresome.

4. Eat breakfast.

5. Get dressed for walk including water bottle.

6. Take Sierra to Spur 454 for nice mundane walk.


We got Sierra parked at the boat ramp and headed out on this beautiful morning.  The body was a bit stiff at first but we soon “got into the stride” of things. Up over the first hill and down into the valley. So far so good. Nothing special but nice anyway.


THEN there was the KITTY about a hundred feet out in the valley grass. The OFM was so excited he could not hold the camera still.  Several pictures were taken and the kitty and the OFM looked at each other for a few seconds. Then we got on with the walk.


Up the next hill and down to the bottom to turn around and start back. The OFM was still excited to see the KITTY again.  We were having a nice walk again when we topped the hill to see the KITTY crossing the road down in the valley!

So the OFM took a couple of long zoom shots that were too fuzzy.  So it was just a nice walk back down to the first valley thinking how lucky he was to have seen the illusive KITTY twice now.


As we walked along the valley low point, WHAT IS THAT?  It is the KITTY near the road. WOW but it will likely run away pretty quick.


Talk about good luck. The KITTY just hunkered down to hide in the grass near the road.


The camera was put to work.  Then we walked gently closer along the road. The KITTY hunkered down some more. Then we were about fifty feet away is all and stopped to admire the KITTY.


We took a few more pictures that were shaky again but got this one that was pretty decent.

And the KITTY seemed to be enjoying being admired.  The OFM even enlarged the  picture to show the head of the KITTY even better.

Then we moved on down the road and left the KITTY to find breakfast and have a fine day.

When we came back by in Sierra the KITTY was gone, so Sierra had to take our work the KITTY had been there. This certainly put a lot into the FUN part of trying to have tooooo much fun.


8/23/20

Day and Night

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-23-2020

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Mr. L Knee and R. Knee were ready to walk this morning they said.  So the OFM got himself set and away we went to do the campground desert loop.  Sure enough the two Knees were able to traverse the up and down of the trail and the 1.5 mile distance with no trouble at all.  Maybe that means that about every fourth day needs to be a knee rest day. The nearly total lack of pain was wonderful. This did not mean that the OFM was about to attempt running again!


You may notice some slight changes on the OFM blog tonight.  We learned how to change a few things for the better and will be fooling around with settings for a few days.


Most of the day was spent in the Castle playing artist and learning about Line and Wash style of art.  It was very interesting to the OFM.  He is going to give it a go as the Brits say.


In the mean time we have another painting done in colored pencil ready to show.  The trouble we had with this one is the paper in the coloring book. It is not very good at all for wet washes like the OFM uses uses for leveling out the line marks of the colored pencils.  He likes to use alcohol washes as a smoothing solvent and it played the devil with the paper.  Anyway here is what it turned out to be like. Please welcome Day And Night.



The heat has turned back the thermostat a couple of degrees it seems. During the later than usual time today, the breeze and the temps were tolerable for the OFM Teams walking.  We are looking forward to the cooler weather in North Alabama in two weeks. Hopefully the dual hurricanes will skip Grandkid land.  


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


8/22/20

L&R Knee Discussion

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-22-2020

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Mr. L Knee and R. Knee had a discussion with the OFM yesterday evening about a rest day for some healing. It seems that they were not getting enough rest with the every morning miles.  So after some polite but spirited discussion, the OFM agreed to a day off from the walks. Both the knees were ecstatic at the rest time and made great use of it.

In the mean time the OFM used the rest day to color some more of a cactus page in his coloring book.  Only this time the coloring is with watercolor pencil mainly.  Colored pencil is much better for small details so it is being used in appropriate spots.

The OFM also got busy and lined up the four camping reservations for the trip to Grandkid land.  It is still too hot along I-20 to Alabama for dry camping at the rest areas so Teams settled for electric sites to run the AC. As Mr. Gumo pointed out a few weeks ago, in HOT weather it is money well spent.

So how about jumping off cliffs into the lake water. That sounds like fun or stupidity doesn’t it. Here is a picture taken a few days ago of a popular spot for folks to leap off the cliff into the lake water.



Notice the shadow of a shallow boulder to the left of the jumping spot.  The water to the right is about 20 feet deep we were told. The water to the left over the boulder is about 8 feet deep we were told. We are very happy to NOT participate in this FUN. Remember this is a fool that jumped out of perfectly good helicopters in Viet Nam and slid down 200 feet of rope and thought it was fun during training. It was not so much fun when it was the real air combat assault events.

How about a good evening sunset and kayaker picture?  


We thought this picture turned out pretty nice of a paddler trying to have tooooo much fun late in the evening.

8/21/20

Is Fall Starting?

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-21-2020

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The OFM Walking Team got off to a good start this morning and by the time Sierra got us to the chosen walking trail/area the sunrise was in its full glory again.


It made for some really nice photos of the desert starting into the fall mode. Two were chosen to present tonight. The first one caught the sunshine ripping through the fading shrubbery giving it all a special effects look. We thought it was wonderful.


Then a good bit on down the trail the sun was from behind the OFM and caused a noticeably different but just as beautiful scene. The OFM wishes he could paint that well.


The rest of the walk was really nice and the breeze was almost chilly for the first half hour and then things began to warm up.


As we passed the old Marina Office we noticed that the storage room door was open and nobody was around.  So when we were leaving we stopped at the Visitor Center to let them know that something might be wrong down there.  They thanked us and immediately called the proper authority to let them know. 


The OFM also found out that the kitty pictures will most likely be put on the Facebook site of the NRA where lots more folks will see them.

More good news happened later when the Amistad NRA published that most of the area is back open for full use starting today.  That is great for the town.

Now we can hit the NRA trails on Saturday and Sunday again. Also we have been wanting to get back down to the Pecos River to get some more pictures to go with some stuff we have photographed in the Visitor Center.  We still have a lot to do before we head for Alabama on Sept.8. to try a new area for having tooooo much fun.


8/20/20

Rough Road???

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-20-2020

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The OFM Walking Team got off to a decent start this morning and headed to Diablo East for the “heart treatment” otherwise known as walking for old folks. 


As we entered the parking area the OFM got a wild idea to hit the backcountry road to the Cliffs picnic area. It is closed to most activity except walkers that maintain social distance. But the reality is no one goes in there with the current restrictions in place.


Sierra grabbed the usual parking spot next to an area light.  The OFM got his stuff together and away we went. Most of the area is dried out from the lack of rain so it is not an exciting walk but it is nicely remote when the entry gate is closed like now.

The road is a bit rough, we think on purpose, and slows the vehicle traffic somewhat when the gate is open. It is not really bad but the “low riders” groups in the area have fits with it. Here is a typical “bad” spot in the gravel road.


It was a very pleasant 3.3 miles of desert walking.  There is even vault toilets a couple of places in the picnic areas.


But the big surprise was the shade shelter for one of the picnic tables had been ripped off the foundation by a storm.  This particular shelter is very near the edge of a pretty high cliff.  We are guessing one of the storms this summer must have been too much for the shelter.


The anchor bolts held just fine, but the mounting for the feet was held to the shelter by two sheet metal screws in each leg.  It was interesting to note that all but one of the sheet metal screws held.  The legs seem to have fatigue failed right above the anchored footing piece.


It would not have been fun being there to see the failure happen.


We finished our walk and the OFM had one last drink of water in the bottle when we got to Sierra.  We need to be very careful about carrying more water when we are going to go more than two miles or so. This morning was decently not hot but the water supply ran too close for comfort.


Running out of water on a desert walk is a very BAD way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/19/20

Sunrise

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-19-2020

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The OFM woke up for a necessity visit and noticed it was 0615. So he went ahead and had breakfast and got the Teams ready and rolling for the morning walk at 277North campground. It is closed to camping but open to walking Mon- Fri.


Sierra was surprised at the early starting time but still got us over to the gate in fine fashion.  As the OFM stepped out of Sierra the sunrise started putting on a show to rival most sunsets.



After admiring the sun rise and COLD 73F temperature, the Teams go moving. We crawled through the gate and double checked our gear. About then the sun lighted the valley we were headed to.



Then we started off on our walk. But it was soon interrupted by a huge highway of red ants moving locations. The line was about ten feet long and the line about four inches wide. It was solid large red ants moving to a new apartment it seemed. The line went from one hole in the ground over to another hole in the ground.

Check out this traffic jam.

We watched a minute or two and decided that they were moving to this hole near our feet. So here is a closer look at the mob scene.



After all that excitement at the start it was a very pleasant walk all the way down the hill to the old creek bed at the bridges.


When we got there the OFM was meanderthalling around a bit and kept on hearing an odd sound. His worn out Viet Nam ears finally got a line on the direction of the sound.  It was coming from about a half mile away near the foot of the bridge. 


 Finally he got the camera in super zoom mode and could see it was some sort of critters milling around. A couple of pictures were attempted. Here is the least shaky one showing that a herd of goats were having a feast for breakfast.



So now we faced up the one mile long hill we had come down. Ok feet git goin. And we started back to Sierra. The good news is that we had plenty of drinking water and early like this means the tall shrubbery alongside the the middle section of the walk back up was shading our pathway.  So we made good time and when we got back to Sierra the sweat volume was small.  It was only 84F when we climbed back into Sierra to head for the Castle.

By the time we got back it was hot, so we spent most of the rest of the day doing things inside the A/C areas trying to have tooooo much fun in comfort.




8/18/20

Red Fruit

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-18-2020

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It is 2100 most nights before we get time to start on the photos taken during the day, much less the blog entry. Tonight was no exception. At 2030 Sierra and the Teams was on top of a bluff over the lake shooting sunset/late evening pictures. That puts us after 2100 to start processing pictures and starting the beautiful literature the OFM is famous for  writing.


We had a couple of nice events on the rugged morning walk. The weather is a bit less hot first thing in the morning for the last couple of days. But this trail down onto the side of the canyon and back up for a grand loop of about a mile and a half was just calling loudly. So we listened and were well rewarded.  


Food first please.  The prickly pear fruit on the cacti now is very bright reds or brilliant purples that seem to glow in the sunlight. Today we only encountered the red model.



Then along the lower part of the trail we noticed a doe meandering along and we did not seem to bother her much.  When we got ready to take a picture of her, her protector raised his head from behind the brush to make sure we had honorable intentions. He was a good looking fellow wasn’t he.  We just got the picture and moved on with our walking.


Lunch ended up being a stir fry of diced potatoes, bell pepper, onion and a sliced up ham steak. Seasoned to our choice and gently cooked it turned out wonderful.



As the OFM was devouring the delicious meal a thought hit him in the back of the head.  He wondered how some Red Delicious apple peels chopped and put in the stir fry would taste. We bet they would be great especially with a dash of cinnamon in the assembly.  Nothing like a promising change to a recipe to excite the taste buds. Yum Yum.


We have over a hundred pictures waiting for processing so the OFM needs his rest. We bet he drifts off to sleep and dreams of some of the things we have waiting to do for trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/17/20

Smart Rabbit

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-17-2020

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We finally have a comfortable walking route at the Spur 454 recreation area. It starts at the boat ramp and heads back toward the entrance gate a few miles away. Our route takes us up and over two good hills and three valleys.  


Along the way we get to see lake views and usually some wildlife, not the human kind, to enjoy.  This is the route we recently got pictures of the kitty. The route is a little bit over 2.8 miles and very good footing for all but a few yards down by the boat ramp.


Today there has been a bunch of buck deer running around in the area. Most are 4 or 6 point deer but late this evening we saw three 8 point bucks down near the boat ramp.


We met a smart rabbit today while on the morning walk. We were on our way back and crossing the second valley when the OFM noticed a large rabbit sitting in the shade of a slender shrub. That rabbit had got lined up just perfect to be in the shade. Notice the rabbit is shaded but the nearby vegetation is in bright sunshine, and it was hot sunshine.


We think that rabbit must know something about trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/16/20

Colored Tape

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-16-2020

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The best the OFM can recall, Sierra never even moved today and that is unusual. The morning walk went well on the campground desert loop. The only thing of special interest was new surveyor colored tape in a few spots along one of the fences between the campground property and the neighbor to the east.  Maybe something is eventually going to happen along there.


Laundry was done today. While waiting on the machines a fellow and the OFM got to talking. It seems that a couple more pipelines are coming through here in a week or three.  The campground will likely fill up for a couple of years again. If that happens then the OFM Teams will not be able to get a spot here for a good while.


And part of the re-ordering the inside of the Castle was completed with good results.  The OFM is hoping to “stream line” our living style a bit more. We have not a clue as to what will be next but you can bet it will be an attempt at making trying to have tooooo much fun easier.

8/15/20

3 Bags Full

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-15-2020

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We got out to Sierra to run into town for a Whataburger about 1830. The shade from the parched peach tree was covering Sierra but the dash temperature read out declared 106F. Wow. We did notice the AC had not been cycling this afternoon. There is a sprinkler system to water the trees in the campground at night so the peach tree is probably going to be OK.


In the meantime the OFM was messing around with getting rid of more things that are no longer useful to the Teams. When he quit this afternoon he had culled out three Walmart plastic bags of stuff and taken them to the dumpster. 


One of the drawers in the bedroom had a lot of small stuff in it. As it turned out all of the stuff but two small items now reside in the dumpster. What all the rest of the gone stuff was doing still in the Castle is beyond the rest of the Teams comprehension.


Then a plastic box was noticed hiding in an upper cabinet in the bed room, tucked back in a nearly blind corner. Lo and behold that started another frenzy of clearing stuff out that is not needed anymore.  One thing led to another and before you know it there was a two arm load of excess never worn clothing headed to the free table at the laundry. But right after that I mentioned it to the lady that keeps this space sparkling clean about the clothing that might fit her husband.  A couple of shirts she said would be just right for her. Then she picked up the rest of the clothes and headed over to discuss it with her husband. I hope it all gets put to good use.


And finally here is a picture of shadow man looking across the dry lake bed at the 377 highway bridge. There is certainly a lot of roaming room (square miles of room) in the area with the lake down 47 feet. It is all open to public use and most of it is seldom meandered except for an OFM seen in wild place now and then with the critters. But you can be sure he is out trying to have tooooo much fun. 

8/14/20

Why Socks?

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-13-2020

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For some reason socks are a major item of left at the lake clothing. Everywhere we go there are socks laying around. And it is usually a pair not just one of them. Some are little like baby socks, many are kid size but probably a third of them are adult size socks. They are just hugging the rocks around the parking places for the most part.


SOCKS

But there is a good number of pairs of socks left along the shoreline. In a full week we find one or two other types of clothing but plenty of socks to supply a large chunk of the city. 


 However, the slow but steady supply of towels is wonderful. Everything from hand towels to gigantic beach towels are left for others to acquire. The latest style of debris is used face masks caught in the sticker plants ( mostly blackbrush plants) and left to rot.


The OFM’s DIL introduced him to adult coloring books several years ago. He thought they were neat but he wanted to do his own drawing to paint.


Fast forward a few years and the OFM was at the Amistad Visitor Center dropping off a kitty picture.  He happened to look at the books for sale. Hmm a nice adult cactus coloring book. That looks nice.


Now to back up a bit. The OFM is having trouble getting his shading correct when painting with pencil work, be it colored pencil, graphite or watercolor pencil.  It suddenly dawned on him this would be a great opportunity to practice gradient shading and a couple other techniques without having to make decent drawing first  or keep on scratching on left over paper for learning. So the book came home with us.


The front page has been colored.  Good grief it was a MAJOR learning effort. It came out nice but full of flaws that need to be prevented if he plans to get any good at this art stuff. 



There is about 30 more drawings in the book to work on. It should be a wonderful bunch of study and learning. In other words a fantastic way of trying to have tooooo much fun learning.

8/13/20

Sewing Surprise

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-13-2020

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The mask the OFM wears for virus protection is the Buff he has been wearing while fishing for several years. We guess the years have caused it to stretch some and slip down. 


So for the last couple of weeks we have used a small black binder clip to take out some slack. While sitting around waiting for more healing on yesterdays migraine, the OFM decided to attempt to sew a permanent repair to the Buff.


Sewing is a trouble for him with his old arthritic fingers and trifocal lenses. But he gave it a go and got it done. Threading the needle was difficult but after two or three hundred tries we had the thread installed for sewing.  


Simple whip stitching was all that was done to take up the slack. After a couple of the best fishing knots known to mankind finished off the sewing job, a drop of Super Glue finished off the ends. We hope will hold for a few years.



In spite of the 103F heat we had a couple more adventures but the best one was supper. The OFM got the bell pepper, squash, onion and two fresh eggs out of the refrigerator. Chopping, make that CAREFUL chopping of the vegetables was done. Then it was olive oil in the pot, with fresh ground black pepper and Italian Spices for a stir fry party.


While the vegetables were simmering, the OFM prepared the dinner plate with a layer of BBQ sauce. The vegetables got gently ready. The OFM pretty much cooks everything gently. Then the vegetables went onto the plate to soak in the BBQ sauce.


Two eggs were scramble with additional not hot spicy spices and slid out onto the rest of the BBQ Sauce. And it was feast time.



In the mean time we had a great time trying some new things to play with in the future. This evening is looking like a good evening to try for a good sunset picture down at the lake as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun again. 

8/12/20

Famous Maybe

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-12-2020

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While talking to a NRA Ranger yesterday the OFM mentioned the kitty pictures to him.  He said that I could take them to the Visitor Center and offer them for putting on the web site. 


So first thing this morning The OFM and Sierra went down to the VC.  The ladies in there are very friendly and competent. After our usual greetings the pictures were brought up. They were excited that the pictures might work out well even if they are a bit fuzzy.  So now the kitty pics may end up in the web site for Amistad NRA with the OFM getting credit for taking them.  That would be a nice event for sure.


After taking a few pictures of some displays in the VC, we headed for Walmart. As the OFM walked into Walmart a migraine headache started to develop and we turned around and headed for the Castle.


From then until supper time it has be recuperation time and nothing else.  We have sun this evening so the OFM feels good enough to go to the lake area and try for some sunset pics as a way of salvaging a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/11/20

Nice Kitty

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-11-2020

Click the Pic to enlarge


So here we were about a mile into the morning hobble. It was definitely a hobble this morning. As the OFM was crossing from the first hill down into a small plain area he noticed a black object off to the left about a hundred yards in the grass. Then he realized it was looking at us. Then he realized it was a cat head. Then the critter stood up and it was definitely a large black cat. Our size guess was about the height of a German Shepard.  But the all black had us worried that it was a juvenile mountain lion from next door in Mexico.


So we paused to check out the situation. Since it was all black we did not think it was a bobcat. It was also larger than our normal bobcat. So we took several pictures and eased our way back to Sierra.  


When we got the pictures into the computer and brought up on screen, the OFM realized the black was caused by the sun being behind the cat and in our eyes.  As soon as the first picture got opened on the computer, it was obviously a normal colored HUGE bobcat. See for yourself. These are telephoto shots that have been enlarged.






Anyway we spent most of the day trying to make some sort of plan of what to do for the rest of the year for trying to have tooooo much fun.





8/10/20

More New Toys

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-10-2020

Click the Pic to enlarge


Nothing much happened today. Some art toys were delivered and the OFM danced a jig in his excitement.  So he spent some wonderful time creating swatch charts for his new colored pencils.


A nice call back to grand kid land in Alabama confirmed that we will be rolling right after Labor Day weekend unless something else new pops up to stop us. We have started out sixth month at this very nice RV campground. We have nothing but great compliments for Broke Mill RV Park and Del Rio.


The Castle had some cabinets and other storage spaces cleaned and cleaned out today. Now we have even more empty storage in the rig. The OFM still cannot figure out why we are still in this huge trailer when a lot smaller one would fit us better. We think that will be a major consideration going on for the next few weeks.


In the meantime we need to work on getting out into the desert more while trying to have tooooo much fun.






8/9/20

HUGE Electric Bill

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-9-2020

Click the Pic to enlarge


After the trip to buy groceries this morning it was already too hot for the OFM to be out walking.  The Amistad NRA is still totally closed down on weekends so there goes that playground.


The rent and electric were due today and Stacy, the owner, read the electric meter and processed the credit card. The invoice showed the Teams used about $95 of electric in this triple digit every day heat. Sierra reported 103F this afternoon when we went to check for where the OFM left an item.


Then the OFM tried out some new type of art paper and found it to be OK but not worth the price due to his lack of ability.  We will keep on using the mid grade stuff.


Very little time was spent outside in our efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun.




8/8/20

Snake Crossing

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-8-2020

Click the Pic to enlarge

Blogger is up to no good again. Had fits posting this entry.


It has been a good day in the desert out here north of Del Rio, Tx. The OFM got out under the overcast sky this morning with a good paced walk around the desert trail here at the campground. The only special happening was as he walked along the gravel trail, he noticed a snake had crossed the trail sometime before we got there. The squiggly markings in the desert dirt showed the path. We stopped and looked carefully around but saw no snake in the area. Onward we went with careful watching the trail and close brush. But it was just clear walking under the wonderful cloudy skies.


Later today we found out Oregon has started charging out of state park users extra fees up to 30% more to use the facilities. You can read their feeble stupid excuses at the Oregon parks web site if you want details. That takes Oregon state parks of the OFM travel locations to consider.


This heat here has really shut the OFM down for outside fun in the afternoon.  We meandered a bit this evening and did not last long in our effort at having tooooo much fun.


8/7/20

Boring Trailheads

 Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas

Adventure Date: 8-7-2020

Click the Pic to enlarge



There was no hopping out of bed this morning. Every joint in the OFM had an ache or five in them. Apparently no serious damage was done in the fall yesterday but the OFM joints definitely let him know two things.

1. Today you will be taking Ibuprofen in normal doses to help us.


2. Don’t be doing fool things like messing around on loose rocks or we will HURT you bad next time.


YES SIR the OFM replied. And by the time we are writing the blog post the joints have quit complaining and it is wonderful.


OK now let us talk trail heads. There has been some folks tell us about trails they passed up because they did not look exciting at the trail head. Having walked/ day hiked hundreds of trails in the USA and South Viet Nam, the OFM knows that the beginning of a trail is usually no indication of how neat an adventure it can be.


To show you what we mean we have a photo of the start of four trails here in the Amistad NRA that have starred many times in this blog. They all have great vistas and experiences to give the walker a thrill. and when the wild flowers, both cacti and succulent as well as other flowers are blooming all four of these are incredible experiences.


The first trail head is the Nature Trail at Diablo East. If it wasn’t for the sign lots of folks would miss the entry. This is the trail where the OFM Teams have photographed dozens of flowers and other scenes this summer.

Next are the three trail heads for a looping around trail with three entry points that runs along a canyon allowing huge opportunity for great viewing and enjoyment. Probably this year we have posted at least fifty pictures of scenes from this trail. The trailheads do not look Disney style exciting so folks don’t come look to see what is here.



None of these trail heads looks exciting which means normally very few other folks show up on the trails.


We have found this symptom to hold true in major advertised Federal Parks all over the west like Yellowstone, Arches, Capital Reef in particular and even Mount Rainier. So please do your self a favor and go take a look for yourself. Don’t forget your water and camera, you will want both while you are out trying to have tooooo much fun on a trail.

8/6/20

Acrobatics

Adventure Location:  Del Rio, Texas
Adventure Date: 8-6-2020
Click the Pic to enlarge

We made an early morning trip to the white flowers again today. The plan was to get a better picture of the white flower for identification and then head out for a walk. Yep that was the plan.


Look at the picture from yesterdays blog. Notice the loose rock filled slope. The OFM tried to use his zoom from on top of the slope.  The top of the slope is the road to the boat ramp.  He was unable to hold the zoom still enough for a decent picture.

After a few minutes of study he decided to attempt an approach from the bottom. So we looped out and around and came at the challenge from the bottom.

Oh Yeah! This looks like it can be done. Going up loose rock is a lot easier than coming down. So the OFM makes the attempt and is successful with not too much trouble. The flower is only about 10 feet up from the bottom starting spot.

We took several good pictures of the flower including this one.


Now it was time to go back down without falling. The camera was put away in a pocket so both arms could be used for balance.  The OFM was glad to be in long pants to hold the scratches from the bushes to a minimum.  

So with a careful balancing on his right (stronger) leg we started to step with the left foot. It turned out to be of no value. Before we could get the left foot down the rock under the right foot let go.

Now you scramble enough rock slopes in your life and you learn to always be ready to sit down quick no matter how dirty the landing spot is. So the highly experienced at sitting down quickly OFM just plopped himself right on the sharp pointed rocks and sat down. BUT the rocks he sat on decided to head down the slope also. It was panic time for a second before the sliding stopped.

Examination of the situation showed we were in a precarious position for walking down the slope now and there was a bit of pain from the twisted left knee.  After a bit of careful consideration, the OFM decided we needed to just do a butt slide slowly down the slope for about five feet and then check if the rocks were stable enough to attempt to stand up.

So we scooted on down SLOWLY until the OFM’s shoes touched the more embedded rocks. Very carefully he got himself up and we were clear of danger.

A few gingerly taken steps proved the left knee was only slightly damaged and we then walked gently and carefully back to Sierra.  Absolutely no thought was given to going on a morning walk.

Soon we were back at the Castle taking care of the knee.  We have the great pleasure of announcing that tonight it seems the knee is totally healed, so the damage must not have been much.

The flower has been identified as a local weed named Jimson Weed.  And tomorrow is open for another day of trying to have tooooo much fun NOT SCRAMBLING ON LOOSE ROCK ON A SLOPE.