Big Bend National Park

10/27/21

Acrobatic Grasshopper

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-27-2021

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Very active and busy describes today. Tonight we will tell the tale of the Community Park walk.

We pulled Sierra into the parking lot in Mid afternoon and got settled in. The wind was howling like a love struck coyote. Check out these flags and Halloween decorations.



The flags were about to come apart it seemed as we started our walk. The mosquitoes did not have a chance in the 25 + mph winds we were glad of that.

We started on the walk and quickly noticed the contorted clusters of live oak trees swaying heavily in the breeze.



Live oak trees always grow in clusters of weird shaped trees.

We noticed a medium size grasshopper land on the path near us while getting the tree picture. As we watched the grasshopper, it gathered its legs and launched itself up into the wind. The next thing we noticed was the air born hopper flipping end over end in the wind for a few feet. It finally landed on the path and flopped around for a few seconds while it got back on its feet. This time it walked over to the grass to get off the pathway. Yep the wind was strong.



This is an attack stick from the trees. This was about the average size that was getting naturally pruned from the trees. They did not hit us hard enough to hurt or scratch our skin. But there was a lot of them for the whole walk of 1.5 miles.

The trees had another trick in their branches. The .45 caliber acorns were getting knocked out of the trees and attacking the walkers. They did not damage anyone we saw but you could definitely get a nice bonk on your head.



On the far end of the pond we noticed a 24 inch gar just meandering along like an OFM at the beach.



It just piddled around and slowly swam off into the main part of the pond.

By the time we got back to the start point for this 1.5 mile walk the OFM's feet were demanding new foam liners for the shoes. So we guess we will be at Walmart in the morning before we take Sierra to the repair place for the serpentine belts operation. Tomorrow looks like another busy day but will be expensive we are sure. And that is not a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.





10/26/21

Under Painting

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-26-2021

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It has been a very full day to say the least. A good bit of the day was spent learning about and practicing a painting technique for colored pencil art named “under painting”. It is showing great promise but the OFM will need a lot of practice to get decent results from it. The concept is to do fundamental water color painting on the paper before doing the colored pencil.

It is definitely a big chore to us. The color of the under painting has to be carefully chosen as far as hue and value to properly complement the colored pencil work that goes on top of it. It is a lot for an old brain cavity to find place to store but the OFM is lucky to have lots of room up there.

Late after supper we hit the beach park to try for a photo or eight for the blog. We were successful. Our first picture is of the beach park cleaning table at the boat ramp. It is a pretty first class set up and heavily used. If you look carefully you can see the three dedicated pelican guards on duty. They take their job seriously.



The lead pelican is very serious about keeping an eye on it all. Good luck trying to out-stare that professional.





While we were there we shot SEVERAL sunset pictures from the cleaning station pier. It was not a particularly spectacular sunset tonight. However the wind was bad enough to keep the hordes of mosquitoes blown away. But the wind was also bad enough the OFM had to lean against pilings or the cleaning shack to get steady enough for a photograph.




The OFM almost forgot. We had enough wind this morning to keep the mosquitoes at bay that we got in a great 2 plus miles of walking on a warm but not hot morning. Having enough wind to keep the mosquitoes at bay makes it a lot better for trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/25/21

Got Shot Again

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-25-2021

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Breakfast was at Whataburger in Aransas Pass with a couple of old friends. We covered a lot of discussion on many subjects. Sure enough we got wore out jawing and finally the younger guys headed on out.

The OFM headed next door to the Walmart to see about getting himself a Moderna Covid Booster shot. The pharmacy group was diligent and prompt in the responses to the OFM questions and soon it was time to sit in the stabbing chair.

The GENTLEman who gave the shot was very nice and to our surprise there was not even the feeling of a prick of the needle. It was the least noticeable shot we can recall ever getting.

We left the shot area and headed to the grocery for soy milk and bananas. We were soon out into Sierra and rolling to the Castle.

When we entered the Castle the bedroom clock said 0923. Good grief we were being efficient today.

Just to verify what the symptoms of the booster shot might be we logged into the computer and quickly found the normal folks reactions. Sure enough by 1000 the OFM had the head ache, aching and slight fever that was common. So we nursed the OFM all day and even let him nap a couple of hours in the afternoon. By supper time, he was all recovered and planning his next misadventure for trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/24/21

Hot and Humid Day

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-24-2021

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We got an early start at the Memorial Park this morning. Here is the view at the start of the 1.5 miles of HOT and HUMID brisk walking. It was a nice bright morning but very sweaty with no breeze in the area.



When we finished we headed over to the Beach Park in hopes of some breezes to help cool off the Teams. There was practically none. The sun was so bright it made this picture seem like it was black and white.



But we pushed on and put in some more time sweating on the handicapped access ramps to simulate up and down hill walking.



About a half hour of that hot sweaty work was all the OFM could handle. So we sat on the upper open air pavilion to cool off some and watched the birds hunting breakfast.



Later in the day the OFM decided he needed a new belt hole in his belt. So out came the drill and drill bit to punch a fresh new hole in his belt. Now he can snug it up to fit his enormous waist line better.



We spent the hottest parts of the day messing with art stuff and trying to have tooooo much fun in the AC.







10/23/21

Big Ugly

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-23-2021

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Our after Rockport plans got blown to smithereens this morning. The RV park in Del Rio we planned to spend a month or so in has been sold and closed now. It is the only RV park with services we stayed in out there in the past. Now we have to rework our winter and spring plans to see what we can come up with. Broke Mill Rv Park was a first class competitively priced campground we really liked. The other campgrounds in Del Rio are definitely at least second best in our opinion.



The Amistad NRA boondocking campgrounds are still open for use and are pretty good for sure. We have used them for camping several times for one to two months at a time.

Onward to Rockport reports. We wondered what this fellow had on the line while he was fighting the fish. Form the bend in his heavy pole we knew it would be a fair sized catch. And it was.



The OFM fishing equipment will not handle a fish that large. We shot the picture with zoom but guess the fish to be in the twenty pound range. It is a large black drum also known as a Big Ugly. And yes they are decent eating.

We circled back by the harbor to see what was going on and found this work barge and tug at work pulling old pilings out of the water.



It is probably a continuation of the rework that was going on the last time we were in the area. And nope we do not know what the plans are for the future here.



This is what the folks who feed the birds do. They park and either get out like this lady or sit in the vehicle and throw edibles to the birds. As the birds crowd the folks, the folks tend to retreat into the vehicle and throw food out the windows. We have seen the birds get excited enough to try to enter the vehicle even while a person sits at the window. The birds like the free easy food and get very aggressive about going after it. Thus our recommendation to not leave windows down when you are not in the vehicle while around seagulls.

We had a good afternoon at the community park taking pictures of natural things in general. We gathered a lot of pictures for our our art references files to help the OFM do better with his drawing.



This bench pic is taken nearly every year and shown so our readers show how nice it can be just five blocks from the beach sand. We have sat on that bench several times in the last fourteen years when the old body needed rest during a walk or meander. It makes a great respite location when out walking trying to have tooooo much fun.



10/22/21

ZOOM

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-22-2021

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The day had a great morning walk at a brisk speed for a mile and a half, but shortly after that something put the OFM in a sickly like a flu feeling that lasted until after dark. Don't worry he still had to run his fingers and produce a blog entry.

The first important event was when we went to get Sierra repaired. As the OFM discussed what he had found out on the internet, Craig the owner, listened politely and went to check with one of his senior mechanics. He reported back that with the new information , they wanted to schedule it for a better time in case they ran into some bigger mess that we expect at this moment. So the job is now scheduled on Thursday at 1300 to allow for “some maybe worse mess”. We appreciate him being upfront and honest about the situation. Then immediately taking action to minimize the mess at hand.



We have had a few questions about the zoom range of our team camera. So today we stood at a concrete column in the Beach Park to rest against and hand held the camera for two pictures. The first is at the normal focus amount.



The arrow is pointing at a structure one mile away from our position leaning against the column.

This next picture of the structure is at maximum zoom while leaning against the same concrete column. So this gives you an idea of the zoom ability of this little cheap Canon pocket camera.



The last one of these cameras we purchased about a month ago was a bit under $200 drive out at Walmart.

It also has a macro mode that we use for a lot of the flower and bug pictures. Over all we like this model camera and are on our third one. One of them was even dropped in salt water, rinsed in fresh water then dried out with the hair dryer we use for drying art work.



More good news is that the OFM is now authorized to get his Covid booster shot to supplement his original shot from last March. We will be chasing that immediately.

The OFM is doing better tonight so we expect to be in full swing tomorrow trying to have tooooo much fun.

10/21/21

Time For A Diaper Bag!

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-21-2021

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The only thing we caught today was a ribbon fish. Then we lost the lure to another one that bit the line in two.

It was just a well because we had chores to accomplish today and they ate up a lot of daylight.

We were on a mission to find the right bag to carry the art stuff in so we could do more of the coloring on location that is so much fun. The local Walmart was severely searched with minor not just right luck until we finally gave up and started out of the store. The OFM took a short cut through the baby stuff and guess what showed up a nearly perfect for the job.

Those baby bags for infants built to carry bottles, diapers and half the world so a person can get out of the house now and then even with an infant along.



The pockets seemed to be just right and the padding is a good asset to protect the breakable art items. The more the OFM looked at them the better they got. So tomorrow the chore is to put together the art supplies we would like to take on these excursions and see how well it matches with the bag. We had no idea a 75 year old fat man might need a baby diaper bag again.

Tomorrow is a serious maintenance time for Sierra. Sierra has 111xxx miles on it and the serpentine belt is still the original one. According to the manual it needs to be changed no later than at 100,000 miles. We will be getting that taken care of as well as an inspection of all the pulleys and etc that needs to be evaluated.

The OFM did take a look at doing it himself but the belt is noticeably worn and WAY down in the depths of the engine compartment. There is also several air ducts running around over the area of access. Then to top it off Sierra is tall enough that the OFM would have to work off the tall ladder head down in the engine compartment. It is just too much for the OFM to safely do by himself much less alongside a road in the Texas desert. We are sure it will not be a ten minute job for $23.87.



At least we have a very good and fair priced shop here in Rockport, TX by the name of Craig's that has repeatedly proven for 14 years to be reliable, thorough and fair priced.



So now we will sleep well tonight knowing that we will NOT be on our heads inside the engine compartment in the morning trying to have tooooo much fun.



10/20/21

Door Window

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-20-2021

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We caught two types of fish today. One small speckled trout grabbed a lure early.





Then during the day of off and on fishing we caught several more of the ribbon fishes. They are all about the same size with mean teeth and not any significant fight in them.



Check out this picture.



When we were across the parking lot from the saltwater pool, we heard a guy scream bloody murder. Glancing around we saw this guy headed at full speed to his truck. Sure enough he jerked the driver door open and about six gulls flew out of the interior of the vehicle. He got the driver side window closed before we got the camera in action. He was on the way to the passenger side to close that window also. He seemed to be irritated for several minutes afterward!!!


In the later afternoon we took some art supplies and went to the second floor of the open air gazebo at the saltwater pool to do a little art work up there.



We had a bunch of COOOOing pigeons in the rafters and flying around to keep up company for a while. Then a couple of groups of folks with kids came to the pool down below to play. 




Overall it was a wonderful afternoon of gentle pigeon interaction and listening to happy folks running around in the water having a great time. Top that off with about two hours of art effort on a painting. It will be hard to beat for a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



10/19/21

Ribbon Fish

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-19-2021

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An excruciatingly busy day again with all the fun to attempt to use up. We failed. The flu shot left overs is pretty well finished after a short nap that was required about 1400 this afternoon.

Here is a few of the high spots of the day for your enjoyment and amusement.





The morning water at the rock pier was pretty and pleasant. The early sun was sparkling off the water as we meandered out to see if there were any fish biting.

There was this ribbon fish that hit the lure. They do not fight very hard but they are vigorous in the water splashing department.



Check out the teeth in that mouth. It is another fish where your fingers do not belong anywhere near the mouth.





While getting a puppy pet over by the harbor art garden this picture opportunity came up. That is an art sculpture on the left. It is pretty neat when you can see it closely. We liked the sun, clouds and boats in the picture also.



Then after supper we caught the moon showing off over the Rockport Beach. It was another nice photo. 



We watched it for a few minutes then the OFM got a wild hair. We headed on down the beach to get away from the area lighting. The OFM stopped Sierra and got it turned the right direction to prop the camera on the door to help stop the shaking for a long telephoto picture. This cheap little pocket camera did a decent job of getting this picture of the moon we think.



We actually shot five frames of the moon and they all came out just about alike.

We had a pile of other pictures left from yesterday to add to today's unpublished pictures and events but they will have to wait.

We are wondering if there will be anything else for us to do tomorrow for trying to have tooooo much fun. What do you think????





10/18/21

Flu Shot Results

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-18-2021

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The day was flying by and the fun was enormous. The chicken taco salad was a wonderful lunch. We headed on over to Walmart to get our flu shot.

Check in, doing paperwork and getting the shot went flawlessly. The OFM hit the rest of the store for a couple of items and headed back to Sierra to get reorganized and hit the waterfront with a great roar. ERRRRKKKKK.



The cautions on the flu shot included within two hours you can get several symptoms that may last as long as two days. Sure enough those symptoms drop kicked the OFM right into an hour long nap. The OFM has long been a major flu magnet so he was expecting some physical reaction to the flu shot. Yep here it is. It is a small price to pay to prevent more serious trouble later.

So we had a great fun morning and lunch and now we will pay the piper for a day or so. In the meantime someone needs to get busy having tooooo much fun so the fun does not pile up tooooo high and become unmanageable.

10/17/21

Lots To Tell

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-17-2021

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It twer a busy day with lots of new experiences, new folks to meet and got busy on a new painting finally. We will only cover a small part of the great adventures tonight. Something like 75 pictures were taken during the day.

The morning started with leg joints being uncooperative for fast walking. So we turned the morning walk into a meander along the Rockport Beach with treasures in mind. And we found them. The legs got better was we meandered along and after a half hour or so we had no other trouble from them the rest of the active day.

The first treasure we found was in the shallow water near the beach.



It was just laying there at peace with the wavelets lapping over it. If the OFM Fishing Team had needed a new reel handle we could have taken our shoe and sock off and stepped into the water and grabbed it. But it did not fit any of the OFM Fishing Team reels so we left it for another treasure hunter.



Since we know EVERYONE who reads this blog really wants to know what the inside of a palm tree looks like we took this picture to educate the team on an important subject.


Palm Tree Innards



The city is cutting down all the dead palm trees to prevent them falling on someone at the beach. We feel it is a good idea but we do not know where they are taking the tree trunks. Those trunks are definitely big enough to injure some one very severely.



Then shortly after the tree trunk event we met a really wonderful nice fellow named Steve from upper Texas. We talked about many things for probably nearly an hour. He had a lot of information that the OFM was excited to learn. He travels in a rig a bit different than most RV set ups but we have seen a few like it in our fifty years of Rving.


He has a very nice Lance camper on his truck and pulls the jeep behind it. What caught the OFM attention first off was the excellent kayak he has on the jeep. From that we talked for a long time. He is a very personable fellow to visit. So if you see that rig and get a chance give him a shout and tell him the OFM sent you.

And now for the last item for tonight but far from the last item on the list to write about. The OFM finally took time to get a new painting started. It is in the extremely early stage of the art work but already is making the OFM smile in joy.



We are using some new techniques on this one also. It has been on a back burner for over three years while the OFM tried to learn the techniques needed. It is time to find out. So in a couple of months or so we may all "git a giggle" from the results.

As you might have guessed it was another great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.



10/16/21

Sanity Day

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 10-16-2021

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The crowds were large and rambunctious all over town today so we stayed out on the fringe of things for our sanity safety. The wind was horribly strong and unpleasant so we ended up doing shorter walks several times in different locations, which turned out to be pretty nice.

The first location we tried was in the beach park early. Well it was not too bad at the start but before we finished a huge pile of vehicles parked in the main parking lot with Sierra. It appeared they had a morning event to prepare.

Anyway as we got over to the loop where the bonfire was held, there was a large group of folks working in the burn area. Apparently they were smoothing the area out and reseeding it. It is nice to see folks taking proper care of public areas for a change.



We finished that walk and hopped into Sierra to get out of the way of the event whatever it was. We hit the nice community park for another walk and this one did not get out of the parking lot. About two minutes after we parked, thirty or more vehicles came swarming into the parking lot. Each was loaded with two thousand screaming laughing kids. Something was going to happen in the really nice playground they have there. Even though we totally agree that the gathering is a great thing for kids to be doing, we did not feel we would enjoy the chaos. So we moved on with a good feeling to see all the kids out playing in the outdoor air instead of nose to the screen on an electronic game. Save those for bad weather days.

After lunch and a bunch of internet research we decided to find a place to take a walk and think about all we had just researched. We ended up in Fulton near the new fishing pier. There were a good number of folks around but not a massive crowd.

After walking around a bit the OFM decided he could not think clearly and walk at the same time, so we sat on this nice view bench for a while and enjoyed the cool air, bright sunshine and calm thinking.



What all the research was about it trying to plan a bit for when our rent runs out at the end of October. We like to plan our trips in general but not too specifically so we do not waste much of our fun times.

Some good thoughts happened but most importantly several impractical thoughts were discarded due to OFM physical limitations. Just being practical is what we call it.

Overall it was a very peaceful, practical and nice day of thinking about the next few months of travels and play.



And last for tonight here is a painting we did a couple of months ago. Tonight we decide we are finished with it. Maybe a few folks will like it. The OFM had a good time with experimenting with new to him techniques that he was trying to learn.



Learning new things is still a favorite way we have of trying to have tooooo much fun.