Big Bend National Park

11/30/20

The Blizzard Arrived

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-30-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

The weather started it with a miserable cold blizzard that was in action when the OFM awakened at 0746. It didn’t take long for the OFM to get his new over the calf socks on his legs to help keep the miserable winter weather from freezing them. IF you get the idea, the OFM DOES NOT LIKE WINTER WEATHER, then you are right. Winter temperatures start at 55F.

The socks had been bought yesterday when the weather forecast predicted a severe winter front coming into town. Wind and temperatures way too cold for reasonable humans was predicted, thus the new socks.



While we were at Walmart the OFM had a very unusual experience. He purchased a piece of Christmas decoration to celebrate December’s arrival tomorrow. Here it is in action.



And he even has it lit tonight.  He must be getting soft at his ancient age. Or maybe he just wanted a fire for more warmth in the Castle. Who knows with that fool.

After running around and fishing in the blizzard conditions, he finally gave up losing lures to the ice floes and we went back to the Castle.

When it was supper time, he had half of a two day old sub sandwich. The good part was next. It was HOT CHOCOLATE time in the old Castle.



It was definitely a good beverage especially while it was very hot to warm the big belly in the OFM. That belly takes a lot of warming, you know. In a bit we are hoping he gets busy on the hot TEA. That is another favorite beverage for the OFM.

From all of this you can tell The OFM Teams are ready for the cooler weather and hot beverages while we are working hard at trying to have tooooo much fun

11/29/20

Great Supper

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-29-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Potato salad and poached pork chops are a wonderful supper meal we just found out tonight. That was some good eating.

It was chilly this morning but almost all of the storm residue water was gone from the area when we did a patrol of the area.  When Sierra got to the Memorial Park it was a pretty but cool start to the 3 mile walk.



The OFM got the idea from a comment on yesterday’s blog that maybe a picture now and then of a boat or two from the harbor might be of some interest to a few readers. So tonight we have a shrimping boat of the well used variety. There are several of those style of boats here since shrimp is a major area product. If there is a question about shrimping please feel free to ask since the OFM has done a good bit of it in his younger days in the Galveston Bay Texas complex.



Last night the OFM placed an order for more watercolor pencils from his favorite supplier, Dick Blick art supplies.  To our incredulous surprise when we checked our account to make certain everything was OK, we found it had been processed and shipped today. Since it was free shipping we expected a long wait to receive it. NOPE.  It is due here in Rockport next Thursday. How is that for good service!

The new header picture posted today is from the far end of the walking trail at the Memorial Park.  We think it is a nice scene. The surprise to many is the scenery is this type and is a little less than a mile inland from the salt water. 



That is one more example of why this is a pretty good place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/28/20

Rain

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-28-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

The storm that came through was a long nasty one. Internet is out so this will post when we get some Internet.

It was gently raining when the OFM awakened this morning. Soon it was blowing like a hurricane and raining heavily. During a daring ride around the Beach Park area we grabbed a few pictures to show how nasty the weather got. The OFM thinks the gusts were up in the forties with steady high twenties to low thirties for the continuous winds.  The rain was the biggest mess. It was lots of rain for several hours. As you will see from the photos there was some flooding of the low areas.

Let us start with the bulkhead fishing spot the OFM uses a lot.  



As you can see the waves were splashing over and sometimes washing over the bulkhead. It was not a day for an OFM to be standing there showing how stupid he is fishing.

We headed on into the Beach Park and sure enough a lot of the picnic and play area were under4 to 5 inches of water. At the first pavilion this is the parking area under a few inches of water.



The beach picnic area and volleyball spot were both under water. The rain was coming down so fast the beach sand could not drain it fast enough.



This next photo is where Sierra parks when we go to the wooden pier. Sierra normally park one slot past the yellow Portacan. It was under a few inches of water today.



We then looped the Christmas Tree and decorations area and sure enough nearly all the set up decorations were in some amount of disarray.  This weather is supposed to be with us for another day the last time we had Internet to check on the weather.



By now Sierra was tired of being pounded by the 28 pound rain drops and we headed back to the Castle.  Strong winds and heavy rain are good indications we should be inside looking for having tooooo much fun.

11/27/20

Swarms of Police

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-27-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Nothing special happened today except five police cars were at Walmart when Sierra got the OFM there for our groceries run. We masked up to go into the store and wow there were police all over the entrance area. The OFM sort of backed up and stepped over to an officer near him and asked if it was OK to enter or was there some trouble. The Officer sort of giggled a bit and replied (not his exact words) that Walmart wanted a show of force that trouble makers would be handled immediately on this Black Friday shopping day. We liked that idea and went on in to the grocery section.

The early start had us in and out of the store before it got even a little busy. We appreciate the extra effort Walmart put into trying to keep the shopping safe.

Tonight, while searching the Internet about how the areas of the Teams concerns were doing with the C-19 mess, we found a news item that Del Rio Texas was having a major excess boom in C-19 illnesses and deaths. The deaths did not surprise us since Del Rio has a larger than usual percentage of the population that is well into being elderly. But the major rise in new cases in the younger population did catch us by surprise.  We have been gone from there for over two months now so the OFM is not feeling endangered from his time in Del Rio for the summer.  However it means we have to make a point of watching carefully about our spring travels.

Then we checked grandkid land in North Alabama and they are also having a big boom in C-19 cases. That will also cause major changes in the spring travel planning. So now the OFM Planning Team has a serious job at hand.  We are not wanting to encounter or spread a disease that can hurt the OFM.  He is actually rated by the Federalies as a compromised person due to his age of 74.

To us, the situation seems worse that the first travel restrictions back last summer.  We definitely have to be even more careful about where we run around trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/26/20

Packery Channel Damage Report

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-26-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


The day did not go anywhere close to the plan when we hit the sack last night. But it turned out to be very valuable to the Teams so it was a good thing.

The OFM Teams ended up going to Port Aransas on Mustang Island to check out the status of the campgrounds there. We happened to hit the ferry  area on the day they were changing the ferry waiting lanes. They were doing an excellent job of it but it was still a mess since sinage was not all up yet.

As we meandered Port Aransas it was obvious that all the campgrounds were full to running over as well as very high priced.

Ok then what next. Well it has been a year since we were at a favorite fishing location named Packery Channel, so we headed down the island to check it out. It was a very fortunate happening as you will see.

When we got there we notice a few nice improvements at the boat ramp area you have to pass through. Hmm nice we thought. We headed on down the road to the shore fishing/ picnic area.  Oh my goodness what happened?

Apparently the wave action in the channel has washed away a lot of the shore protection along the channel and lots of serious damage is happening. We got Sierra parked and went on foot to see what is going on. We will only show a couple of spots but this style of damage is happening all along the shore fishing area. 

There is still enough of the shore line in good enough shape to fish there but it is changing fast it looks like to the OFM. Here is a picture of the opposite shore to show what is happening in general.



On the Mustang Island side here is a couple of pictures of two places as examples of the type of troubles.  There is several more spots with severe trouble, these are just two examples.

We walked across this “suspension” sidewalk going and coming.  The soil has totally washed out from under a 20 foot +/- section of the walkway.



Back in the parking lot is a section of the walkway AND the parking lot falling in. The first picture is from the parking lot side. The second is from the channel side of the trouble spot. What a mess!






This is a real loss to the shore fishing folks and picnic folks who normally walk and play along the waterway on these troubled spots.

The people who were down in the area were not generally wearing masks when clustered together nor making any attempt at distancing. So careful care was taken by the OFM to keep extra distance from most of the folks down there and it was a big turn out today for sure.

It seems that Mustang Island has gotten way too crowded for the OFM Teams as a place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/25/20

Saluki

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-25-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


The OFM did not roll out of bed until after 0800 this morning so we got a late start today. At least the weather was dry and warm for our late morning 3 miles at the Memorial Park.

The first thing we did after parking Sierra was get a new picture of the flowers of the Ti Plant.  They are very cute flowers about the size of a dime.  The OFM had to hold them in the breeze again, so that is his ugly hand in the background.  We think that the flowers are really nice.



One of the several benefits of walking at the Memorial Park is all the nice folks we meet on the trail. An even bigger benefit is meeting all the different breeds of dogs accompanying their care takers on the path.  The OFM gets lots of great puppy pettings without any of the upkeep a puppy takes.  Today's special was two saluki dogs being walked. To the best of the OFM’s memory this is the first time we have met saluki pups in real life. They were beautiful pups. Sometimes he over loads on puppy pettings.

After doing some miscellaneous chores we headed to the Beach Park to nose around and see what we could see. Not many folks were out today, so we got in a bit of fishing without any catching again. However we did get a nice color picture of the evening starting to happen.

This is a color photograph


As you can see there was a few of us out there on the pier trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/24/20

What Did That OFM Just Say?

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-24-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Nope. You don’t get poached from drinking fermented peach juice.    

Now where did that come from? The empty head cavity on The OFM’s body that is supposed to contain a brain is where.

It was getting to be lunch time this very busy morning and the pork chops were waiting in the refrigerator to become OFM food. So he cut them into bite size chunks and poached them in a pot. Poaching is cooking in scant water similar to simmering but less water. We think it comes out very close to steaming meat in a steamer.

Any way the meat was finished cooking. A Package of Knorr Mexican Rice mix was dumped onto the pork chops  and water added to the pot per the Knorr instructions. Then when the Knorr mix and pork chop pieces were finished cooking they were divided into four containers for storage in the refrigerator.

Then supper tonight was part of one of the containers of food.  GOOD GRIEF that is some great eating. And we have at least four more meals of that mix to go yet. Yummity Yum Yum.

Some painting was done on a cactus flower in the cactus coloring book. This painting is watercolor pencils and is a new to the OFM type of effort.  Here is a close up of one of the flowers after three layers of color have been applied.



We have no idea how many more layers will be required.  If today’s effort is any indication we are a long trip from the end. The two layers today just on the red leaves took the OFM just over two hours. Between layers the paint must dry and the Texas Gulf Coast is not a dry location.

The watercolor pencils are Prismacolor brand and top rated in many reviews. The OFM definitely likes the way they handle very well. Thankfully using the waterbrush for painting takes a lot less water than regular brushes.

Yes a little fishing got done with a lure the OFM is modifying to work in a way he prefers.  A report on this fun project will come when the effort is finished.

It was a very busy day ALL day it seemed and the OFM is pooped. But it was another great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/23/20

Load It Up

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-23-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

The long awaited new credit card to replace the one that got hacked two weeks ago arrived this afternoon to our delight.  It took a few minutes to activate and we were ready to overload it. So naturally this evening we had to put the first charge on it at Whataburger, where else!  The Whatacatch sandwich and sweet tea for under $5 was a great “catch”.

With the new credit card in hand and proven to work, we now have one more item out of the way for roaming. The big thing is, of course, the C-19 garbage shutting things down now and then. 

Today we signed up for another month of this bad winter weather we are having here in Rockport, Tx.  It only got up to 84F today and a chilly 71F breeze for this mornings two miles of great walking at the Memorial Park. Who knows it might get below 60F a night or two before Christmas gets here. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

The Ti plant that is the header for now, has flowers.  So today the OFM Photography took about 438 pictures trying to get one in focus of the flower.  The breeze kept on moving the flowers at the exact moment the OFM pressed the shutter button.  Finally he gave up and held the plant fairly still.  Here is the least out of focus shot we were able to get.



They certainly are pretty and delicate looking flowers. 

Tomorrow is looking good for a bunch more running around trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/22/20

Wintering Question Again

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-22-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

The age old RVing question came up a few times in the last month when the OFM was talking about fishing to folks with non-Texas license plates on their vehicles. “Why don’t you go to southern Arizona for the winter where it is warmer?” The OFM is never right ( according to the questioner) when he disagrees that southern Arizona is warmer.

If you go to https://www.usclimatedata.com/  and check the facts about where the lowest average temperature for the winter for Arizona is: Yuma at 46.0 F.

Now do the same research for Texas and you will find the lowest average temperature for the winter for Texas is: Brownsville at 51.0 F.

Now on to things more fun.

The day was a pleasant one for sure. Warm breeze and clear sunshine is great. We did some non-organized meandering around the area re-learning the layout of some of the away from the water places.  Then as the day aged we went back to the salt water to wet a hook or a few hooks in reality. But no fish were to be found. Part of that is probably since it was a big visitor day here in the area. The regular junk market at the marina area draws in a pretty good crowd every month. This month was no exception.

 Today had been declared No Exercise Walking Day to rest the OFM’s leg joints. It seemed to work as the leg joints felt better as the day went along.

The most exciting thing that happened was when we were meandering around in Fulton near their harbor. A huge number of several types of birds decided to raft together out a little ways from the bulkhead.  We had seen this in the past a couple of times. They were not feeding and just seemed to be floating on the water together. This picture is just the middle section. The actual raft was about five times as long.



They stayed like that for about thirty minutes and we left before it broke up. If anyone knows what was going on please let us know.

Meandering around the waterfront on a beautiful day turned out to be a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/21/20

Ugly Critter

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-21-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Apparently we are in for a new style of Christmas decoration in the Beach Park this year.  The tall lights Christmas Tree will still be there.  It is actually pretty well installed by now.

However, this year they are already installing themed decorations near the loop road that goes around the lighted tree.  Each little section of the loop road has a separate decoration by a group from in the community. ie Scouts or a High School group.

They are well on their way to getting the decoration in place and ready for the festivities.



Part of the day was not spent fishing.  It was spent working on another cactus painting in the coloring book. The flowers are a tedious effort on this painting. The paper in the book is not built for watercolor. We are using water color pencils and water brushes to do the flowers. Water brushes barely use any water to activate the pencil marks. Regular watercolor paints use teaspoons of water to do the same thing a water brush does with about ten drops of water. We hope the paper will let us get away with the efforts. There is still a lot of work left.

When we were leaving the bulkhead near the Allegro Channel, the OFM was absent mindlessly stepping near the edge of the concrete when he noticed this monster coming out of the sand to get him. He jumped back very quickly and then looked to see what it was. It is a vicious looking critter for sure.



When careful observation was put into action, it is easy to see that it is a bit of sand screen and sand with pebbles in it shaped by the wind and water in the area. But that was good enough that the OFM will remember to look first next time we are in the area.

Fishing, walking, painting, visiting with friends, looking at Christmas decorations and being outside on a warm breezy day is a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/20/20

Four OF Them

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-20-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


The OFM had a fitful night since he was anxious about being up and ready for the new toilet install. He did not want to accidentally oversleep and delay the installation. So he was up, water lines drained and everything ready for the 0800 appointment when the crew arrived at 0740.

We greeted them with open arms and they went right to work. In quick order one fellow had the old toilet out and handed to the #2 fellow. Then before the OFM could take a picture of the floor without the toilet, the new toilet was in place being fastened down and water connected. Testing was done very carefully and they cleaned up their mess.

#1 made out the bill, printed it out and handed it to the OFM.  The OFM wrote the check and away the repairmen went by 0815. The job was meticulously done, tested and accepted by the OFM with no reservations at all. WOW. Here is the new toilet in all its glory.



Well now what to do next? Go fishing of course. So it was off to the Rockport Marina area and fishing at the free pier at the marina.  Four 16“ trout later we quit to do something else. All fish were returned to the water immediately after being unhooked. No pictures since there has been lots of trout pictures posted in the blog, we figure our readers are tired of seeing trout laying on the ground next to the OFM’s foot.

We went back to the Castle and did a little more cleaning and The OFM took a nice nap.

While fishing late this evening the clouds and sky were ODD looking. It was an odd greenish cast to the natural lighting. The clouds were mixing things up like something was about to develop but nothing special really happened. It was an interesting sunset or more like a sun fade away.



Sometime during the day we met an artist out in the area working away on her canvas.  She was painting an interpretation of the crazy clouds we had today. Our conversation was very nice and we hope to see her working in the area again soon.

This is just a few of the things that worked out well today for our effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/19/20

Very Satisfied

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-19-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


Around the middle of July 2007 we moved into the Castle. The Castle was about 1 1/2 years old by then.  The previous owner used the Castle for weekend trips in Oregon twice. Then traded it in for a much larger model Arctic Fox.

Until late last year the Castle had not given us any significant trouble about much of anything. BUT after living in the Castle full time since July 2007 some appliances have worn out as would be expected.

Here is a list of replaced items due to wearing out.
11/26/2019 refrigerator
3/9/20 tub valve
6/12/20 air conditioner
 And tomorrow is
11/20/20 toilet

and that is all the appliances so far. We feel we have had good luck with the original appliances.

Now understand that we have had a few other troubles with the Castle but those troubles had help from the OFM errors in living. A couple of leaks come to mind from bumping items. Do not bump things with your RV!

The toilet replacement is due to a small persistent leak in the water valve. We feel that we have had excellent service from this RV especially considering some of the “interesting” places we have been with the Castle in the past over 250,000 miles.




Yep we are very content with the performance over time of the Castle. It has supported the Teams well in our chosen task of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/18/20

Shower/Tub Surround

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-18-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


Last night while researching another item, we ran across a video about tub/shower RV surrounds. This was all brand new information for the OFM Teams.

According to the RV repair shop owner, tub/shower surrounds last about 6-7 years before the racking of the RV structure going down the road breaks the surround caulking at the top edge.  This leaves a crack that catches water and holds it against the wall.

The OFM in his normal reactionary style jumped up and went to check the Castle’s surround. Lo and Behold he found several places the caulk had cracked clear through leaving a 1/8“ seam opening when the surround was flexed. VERY BAD!

The first chore on today’s agenda was to recaulk that seam. It was a bit of a challenge since the bath tub is not the best location for tip toe work. The seam in contention is just a little above the OFM’s eyebrows when he stands bare foot in the tub. He was afraid to wear shoes in the thin plastic tub.

Anyway the caulking job went well if slow. Squeezing a caulking tube with arthritic hands is not fun. Here is a picture of the caulking location.



While finishing the seam we noticed two more spots. One spot at each end of the seam needed a bit more work, which he supplied. Now we have to wait until tomorrow for the caulk to cure and be ready for the tub to be used.

From this experience we recommend that every RV owner that has a surround should check it at least twice a year to make certain the caulk has not separated and is letting water drain down the wall. The OFM just reached up and gently pulled on the surround and the bad spots pulled away from the wall easily. There seems to always be something else to check on a RV instead of running around trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/17/20

Swell Belly Attack

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-17-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Walking, lots of walking was the activity for this early morning. We hit up the normal loops of the Memorial Park as well as a couple of the non-paved semi-trails through the brush.  All in all it was a great time of walking and photography. None have been downloaded yet but we plan to do that tomorrow. 

After a bit over two hours at the Memorial Park, we headed to the Rockport Beach area to see what the wind was doing to it. The wind was making a mess of the water and the fishing so Sierra pulled in and parked at the gazebo across from the wooden pier.  Then the OFM got out and did some more walking around the area.  Finally he got the “brilliant” idea to use the wheelchair ramp for “hill climbing” exercise like he did in the past.  So we went up and down the ramp several times. Sometimes walking forward, sometimes walking backward but the tough time was the walking sideways up the ramp.  We only did that once before the hip joints announced that they would jump out of the OFM body and go home by themselves if we tried that again. So we quit on that exercise and headed to the Castle to do house work like vacuuming and washing counters etc.

Next was a walk around the outside of the Castle with the caulking compound we use on the vertical walls of the Castle. All places that normally have caulk were carefully examined for need for action.  We did find four small 1/2“ - 3/4“ long cracks in the window trim that had formed since last years “crack patrol”.  The roof was already done last summer right after the new A/C was installed. So now we are ready for the winter snow and ice here in Rockport, Tx.

And now it was time for a late lunch.  We rewarded the OFM for such a busy morning with a chicken tacos lunch at the San Juan restaurant in Aransas Pass about 12 miles toward Corpus Christi from the Castle.  He, The OFM, started with the chips and salsa but the salsa was a bit to hot for him. So he stuck with sweet tea and chips until his meal arrived.

The OFM ate every crumb of the three tacos, the beans and the rice. He washed it down with the huge glass of sweet tea. It must have been enough calories to last a week and a half.

On the way home we stopped to check several locations for future fun. A couple of the locations had changed a lot since the Hurricane Harvey rebuild.  We need to do some detailed looking around at a couple of areas.

Back in Rockport finally, the OFM did wet a fishing line and have a fish tear up a paddle tail lure.  Mostly we just meandered around at the harbor while letting the OFM get some of the swell belly from lunch under better control.

One thing we realized is we have a lot of area yet to cover as we run around trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/16/20

More Paper Wasting

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-16-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

This painting in tonight’s blog entry is one that had been on a back burner for a while. The OFM decided finally that it was a good as it was going to get.This one gave the OFM a nice education on shading that he really needed. We hope you enjoy it.



At least it was a lot of fun to create. It is amazing to us that art efforts are such a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/15/20

Lighthouse Lakes Park Update

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-15-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

It had been a few days since we checked out the Lighthouse Lakes Park so we headed on down there this afternoon. WOW a lot had changed. This park was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.  Other more important things for repair had priority with good reason. Suddenly this park had gotten high enough in the list of things to do to have a nice bunch of work done to it. It does not look like they are through yet so it likely will be a very nice place again when the rebuild is finished. With all that said let us take a look at the progress.

This is the entrance sign to let you know you are here.



The viewing platforms are well under way and readily usable as they are now. The boat and light house pictures were taken while leaning against the platform pilings to steady the OFM from the strong winds today.



Over there a looooong way across the marsh is the namesake  Lydia Ann Lighthouse.  We are amazed that the little pocket camera zoom worked this well, especially with the OFM holding it in the wind.



All sorts of boats come up this channel to reach the Intracoastal Waterway or Conn Brown Harbor. On any given day and time all sorts of boats use this channel. Here is a work boat coming in from the days duties.



And this large pleasure sailboat was making very good time in the strong wind.



Many small things caught our attention as we walked the length of the park. The most interesting to the Teams was this picnic table full of shells someone had collected. There were all sorts of them. 



This pile of shells reminded the OFM he needs to get busy and assemble his beach combing kit for the cool weather times coming up soon. He has to get in some beach combing type of meandering. It is always lots of fun. Sierra has turned out to be a good beach driving truck too. It is nice to float on top of the sand instead of trying to plow through it.

Driving and walking the beaches is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/14/20

Heavy Duty Supervision

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-14-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

It seemed like a good morning to head out on a meander with the primary priority of capturing any and all photos waiting to be captured. Naturally it did not work out quite like we hoped.  On the way into the beach park this scene popped up and Sierra had to back up a bit to get the scene right. The OFM managed to operate the camera correctly and we got a decent view of the new bird viewing platform across the bird area.



Next we let Sierra take us to the end of the park for a bit of a walk.  But it turned out we had some steady supervision for the walk. This heron supervised every foot of the walk. We could not figure out why except it must have thought we were going to feed a wild bird. Here it is deep in paying attention to our every move.



By now we had been out about a couple of hours with only two pictures so we moved on down the road to the Fulton Harbor area.  When we got there nothing was happening so the OFM got out the fishing rod and sent to work.

The first fish was an undersized trout that tore up a $1.75 lure.  We chunked that fish back in and away it went.



A new lure was attached and the fishing continued. A few folks passed by now and then and some pleasant visits and happy smiles happened.  Then suddenly fish two hit the lure and the fight was on. It fought rather harder than the first on.  The OFM was amazed that it was only about 2 inches longer that the first one. Number two put on a lot stronger fight. The sand on the fish is from the walking surface of the bulkhead. Here is no. 2 just before it went swimming on its way.



Shortly after that it was lunch time and we headed on to eat.  Then after lunch we did some more campground checking including a return visit to the most promising one so far. The OFM Hotspot even had signal at this campground.

That was about the end of the excitement for the day. The OFM even took a 30 minute nap after we got home. He said he considered a late afternoon nap a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/13/20

Touring Campgrounds

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-13-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


Mr. Right Ankle was pretty well healed this morning so we headed over to Memorial Park “for as much gentle waking as it could stand.”  The big surprise was that it was a bit over two miles before we quit.  Sometimes all this super high humidity seems to make the walks more difficult than out in the desert.

After a bit of a break we started in on the big task for today. Check out a bunch of campgrounds in the area to see what the campground situation is now.  We made it through about fifteen of them.  Most of them had empty spaces which is odd for this late in the year.  Prices were up about 25-30% over last year.  That is a lot of jump in our opinion for a no improvements campground. This chore took until near dark.

So we had Sierra make a quick run to the Rockport Harbor where the OFM tossed lures a few times to no avail. Then the sun was setting and this nice picture was found floating around in the sky.



Then it was back home for some serious rest after a very busy day of running around and also trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/12/20

Flat Fish

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-12-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


The OFM awoke to a swollen and very sore right ankle. So a good dose of ibuprofen was taken and back to bed for a little while to let the medicine get to work. About a half hour later we got the lazy bum up and headed for the fishing areas.

By the time we got to the wooden pier, the maintenance crew was hard at work finishing a job started last January. All of the pier had had any and all trouble spots replaced except the ramp up to the main deck. It is only about a nine inch step but the pier is supposed to be wheelchair capable so they replaced the soft sloped ramp with new treated wood.

As the OFM was there watching and visiting with the workers he kept his lure in the water “fishing”. Suddenly he had a fish on and the fight started. When the fish was finally brought to the top, it was a nice size flounder. Now we had a real trouble. November is a special season for flounder here in Texas and the OFM had no idea what the special rules required. His rule book was back at the Castle!

Neither of the workers were sure either. OK a quick jerk and the flounder was gone away. When we got back home we looked up the fall rules for flounder. It turns out we could have kept the flounder. Oh Well, it will be out there making more flounder for us so it is not a bad deal after all.

The rest of the day was rather laid back to rest the injured foot. We have no idea what happened but tonight it is doing very well thanks to the good careful care it was given during the day.

We fished a lot but no more fish were caught and did not walk the areas anywhere close the the normal amount. We met several nice new folks and had some great conversations. It was a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/11/20

OFM Wets His Pants

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-11-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.


The early morning start towards some fishing at the Fulton Harbor was met with very dense fog. Here is a photo of what we were looking at from the bulkhead.



The fog lasted for about an hour and then faded off slowly until we had some sunshine. After thrashing the water to a frothy mess we gave up with nary a bite.

It seemed a good walk should be next so it was off to the Memorial Park trail system.  The OFM was ready to give the new insoles some good testing.  They passed very easily as it worked out.

The big surprise was all the hundreds of spider webs hanging everywhere in the vegetation.  The fog had condensed on the webs and coated the strands with large droplets of water.  When the sun started to hit them it was fantastically beautiful.  Photographing them was not so easy.

Here is one that was at least four feet high.




Another of the many webs was next to the walking path. It was quite impressive in person since it was tall as well as “thick” with layers.




About this time several photos had been taken and the OFM noticed the front of his pants were wet like he had had an old man accident. He had not but pushing the tall grasses and foliage around to “get the picture” had certainly created that illusion. But that did not stop us.

On down the path was a very pretty smaller web about one foot across but well made.  It was a mess to get to but since the OFM was already wet from the dew, he went for it.



Then on down the path a little ways was several sticks or stalks. Between the sticks was a several webs vying for space.  It looked like a web convention.



The walk took a little over two hours because of all the photo opportunities, puppy petting opportunities ( about a dozen) and meeting four new folks and having short visits about what the Teams were doing. 

It was definitely a great morning of trying to have tooooo much fun.
 

11/10/20

A/C Time Again

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-10-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

It was a busy day here in hot paradise. Here is the dash in Sierra to show why the OFM turned on the Castle’s A/C this afternoon. We were just plain HOT and Sweaty.



A trip to the Beach Park for a long walk was shortened to a slow walk of a lot less than hoped for distance. The humidity and nearly completely still air was just too much for the OFM.  From the scarcity of others walking we guess it was a bit much for most folks.

At least when we got near a bulkhead we were privileged to get a picture of another shell critter. This critter was well and feeding. They are just plain old mean looking to us.



In the afternoon we chose to head over to Fulton Harbor area to do some fishing where we had a lot of hits yesterday. It was a beautiful day as you can see. That is the replacement Fulton Pier that is being rebuilt after Hurricane Harvey destroyed the previous pier.



We fished where the concrete bulkhead/walkway takes a sharp right turn.  Here is the first of several under size trout we landed and returned to the water to grow up. At least the OFM got to catch fish again. The fish must have been hungry since we used several different lures and all of them caught fish.



When we decided to head back to the Castle we happened to past close to the Fulton Harbor area kids playground. This time we noticed it had lots of neat kid things our grand kids would go nuts to play on. I bet that is a crowded play on weekends.


It is nice to winter over in a place with lots of options nearby for trying to have tooooo much fun.


11/9/20

World Changing Information

 Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 11-09-2020
Click the pic to enlarge it.

Sometimes the OFM just has to find out the answer to a question that bugs him.  Today we set up to answer the critically important life changing and universe saving question.  How much casting difference is there between his 6‘-6“ fishing rod and the same model in 7‘-0“?

First we took the lazy way and searched the Internet for a well done test on the subject. There was not even one test to be found. LOTS AND LOTS of opinions without any factual testing.

Here is what got tested. The OFM uses mainly the Storm Wild Eye Shad lure in 1/4 ounce size for his fishing. He had been happy with his rods performances except he could not tell when casting into the water how much farther the longer rod casted the lure.

The rods are Shimano Sojurn rods that are lower end good performing rods. We use 10# Power Pro braid line. The reel is a well experienced Shimano Syncopate of lower end  also.


We used the same lure, reel and line on each rod. We do not care about a couple of inches difference like some of the more rigorous Internet nonsense that we found. We were concerned about only real use situations while fishing.

So bright and early this morning we got over to the big sandy open area of the Rockport Beach Park to do the test. A line was scratched in the sand near Sierra where the casting would be done from.

The 6.5 foot rod started the party. The OFM made several casts to make sure he was warmed up and could be fairly consistent. Then he made three casts for the record. After the first cast he went down and scratched a line in the sand. This picture shows the layout and the beautiful hot sunny day with nearly no wind we were working with.



The red line is where the first distance scratch in the sand was made.  After two more casts we got a surprise.  All three casts were within a spread of only about 6 inches in distance.

Now the reel, line and lure was switched to the 7 foot rod.  A couple of casts were made to let the OFM be sure he was adjusted to the new rod length feel.  Then he did three for the record casts. To our surprise all three casts were also clustered in a 6 inch spread like from the shorted rod.  We were feeling good the results seemed to be so repetitive. 

In this next picture there is a line shown for the 6.5 foot rod and a line shown for the 7 foot rod. Yep there was only about two feet of longer casts from the 7 foot rod.  This is great to know. Keep in mind this applies only to using a light weight very wind resistant lure.



How far did the casts go?  The 60 feet mark was centered between the two  marks in the sand. So for all practical purposes we can consider the casting distance for each rod with this frequently used lure to be the same. We are pretty sure the OFM’s repeatability of casting is much less than the equipment. We had expected at least ten feet more from the longer rod. WRONG.

We got very lucky also because the Castle is needing some more 2x8 leveling blocks after 15 years of use. Right there on the shore was an old treated wood eight foot long 2x8 just waiting for us. Now all the OFM needs to do is dry the board out and cut it up to the correct lengths.



With the news about the rods and a good board all  before noon, we were definitely on our way to a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.