The Pack Came By


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-31-2021

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We started the day with a very nice 2 mile trail walk. Pictures were taken along the trail to take our readers on a trail for a change. But other things kept on happening today so that story will come along soon.

We hit up the Rio Grande City Walmart for groceries and gas this morning. Gas was $2.089 a gallon which is good price for this area. It is a 70 mile round trip to the Walmart.

A really good idea while using the waterbrushes yesterday came to fruition at Walmart. They had a very heavy small quantity measuring cup on the shelf for about $3. We wanted a heavy container to put the waterbrushes in tip up between uses. Otherwise the tips get too wet between uses when painting and have to be dried some and then used. The OFM likes to just grab and go. The container had to be heavy enough that the very clumsy OFM would not easily knock it over. We hope this one does the job!

On one of the trails around here a day or so ago, we spotted a prickly pear cactus growing from the crotch of a tree. It is about 8 inches tall and looked very healthy. Now if the OFM can remember where it was we can check on it again.

Sunset tonight was very bright but we were coming back from Roma when the sun was going down. So we stopped alongside the road to grab a picture of whatever was offered to the camera. Once again the mountains are in a starring role.

And now as we start page three, the pack showed up for the first time this year. The OFM was sitting inside near the open door of Sierra when there was a little commotion near him. A glance showed that the roaming javelina pack of the campgrounds had returned to our campsite for a change. It looks like a couple of adults and the rest are equivalent to a human teenager.

A late arrival was left front leg limping badly but was still holding its own on the eating front. They even put up with the OFM opening the screen door to take a few pictures. They are obviously used to the camera being trained on them. And the campsite got a thorough cleaning of all food particles.

Yep it was a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Sierra Gets Old


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-30-2021

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We got in a nice two plus miles of walking today with part of it in a section we had not yet been to this visit. A bit of trail was attempted but the extremely heavy dew set was getting the OFM's shoes wet so we ducked back to on the road.

At the end of the cabins and large picnic area is a fence to keep visitors out of the Dam property. They originally had just the barbed wire fencing but some vandals a couple of years ago pulled a bunch of it down. The new wire even has nice new signs identifying the area.

After the fencing repair they hauled rocks in for a few months to put a better physical barrier to vehicles busting into the area. Those rocks run down to a point that at full lake level has them several feet below the surface of the lake. We could not see just how far the rocks stopped from the low water level.

It was not a cool day out here today. It has been a pretty warm “winter”. Our thermometer is kept in the shade on the picnic table so it does not get any solar direct heating.

But check out his reading taken about 1530.

And one more big event. Sierra turned 100,000 miles this afternoon. Here is a pic of the odometer just before we took Sierra to town.

We do not know exactly where it will lead to but the water color pencils and colored pencils started a new page in the cactus coloring book today. We are fairly sure it will lead to a nice time of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Unknown Objects


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-29-2021

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The OFM tries really hard to SEE everything around him. He actually does a pretty good job most of the time. However this next event was a couple of days ago. It happened behind the fish cleaning facility near the boat ramp.

We have been here many times over the years and the OFM has no reasonable excuse for it taking so long for him to notice these items.

The pipe in the circle is not really hard to see once proper attention is paid to actually looking at what is in front of him. The next picture is a close up of the pipe. We could not tell why it was there or its purpose.

When we stated to move away to the trail entrance, the OFM suddenly froze and stared. There is another pipe in there he said. Here it is.

We still had no idea what they were for. But on moving around a bit we found a spot clear enough to identify what the pipes are for.

They are lantern hooks like at some of the campsites.

Now what used to be there in the now overgrown scrub brush is well beyond our ability to guess. However we do plan to question some of the old timers around the park to see if they know what used to be there.

Finding old things in a state park is normally a pretty neat way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


New Trail


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-28-2021

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This is what yesterday's scene looks like by daylight this morning. Not nearly as nice as the sunset picture is it?

We got in lots of walking today and all of it was in 2 mile or less spurts. Sure enough the OFM joints seemed to handle a lot of exercise with rest intervals much better.

Our first walk found a trail to the lake front on a finger off the main body of the lake. It starts from tenting area and meanders like a good trail should until you can see the lake ahead.

When we got to the water we could tell this cove is shallow. But when we headed west to the rocky point the water was much deeper on the west side. This might be a good place to try a bit of fishing.

From there we took this picture that looks east toward the end of the lake finger. We walked a bit of that beach area but it was a bit too soft for comfortable walking.

After returning to the tenting area, we meandered around looking for new pictures that needed taking. There none to be found that we had not already taken before. So it was just a nice 2 mile walk around the area and back to the Castle.

It was an easy day of walks and talking with folks from all over the USA. That is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Mexico Sunset


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-27-2021

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The OFM Photography Team was sitting on a long unused wooden bench deep in the south Texas brush waiting for a spectacular Mexican sunset when they started up. One coyote pack was somewhere off to our north and sounded like a large pack with several juveniles in it.

When they finally took a break another pack to our south started up and was very loud also. In fact we did not recognize any youngster type yelps in the southern pack. Hopefully they would not decide to meet halfway at our resting bench. So we were very quiet and listened carefully.

Naturally this late in the evening other critters were out and about. Some critters were down the hill in front of us rooting around tearing up bushes and who knows what. Those were likely a javelina pack. They shouldn't be a trouble unless they had little ones with them.

Sure enough in a few minutes more as it was getting darker the brush along the trail we had followed to this perfect spot to take the picture, started emitting unfamiliar sounds quietly as something starting looking for supper.

By now the OFM imagination was running wild. He was afraid we might be at the wrong spot at the wrong time with all this wild animal activity so close by. But he kept watching the sunset waiting for the right moment. Occasionally a picture would be taken and examined on the camera screen to see if it was the one. NOPE.

Then he remembered it was time for the night predator snakes to start moving around also. Naturally since the OFM was out of practice for this kind of adventure, he did not bring a flash light. The moon is bright, he will not need a flash light. Yea right.

So the sun finally went down enough. He took a few frames to be sure we had at least something to show for getting eaten by a coyote pack. We carefully tip toed out of there trying to look like slop that no self respecting critter would attempt to eat. The most reassuring thought he had was that it had been three decades since the last mountain lion encounter in the area.

We finally made it back to the Castle safely. Then the photos were edited and the shot came out very nice we think. Maybe it was worth all the worry.

And that is how we closed out a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Bagged Mirrors


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-26-2021

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A question for our blog readers. Why are lots of the vehicles in this park bagging their mirrors? We know the answer but it seemed like a neat question to ask.

We hit the road walking right at sunrise this morning and the sunrise looked more like a sunset.

Then just a few minutes and yards down the road this is what the sunrise had changed into.

The Teams should have taken all this as an omen that it would be an incredibly busy day. The first couple of mile walk went well with lots of neat little things to notice. The OFM has been having trouble with the walking in this rolling terrain with his joints by the time we get to three miles in one walk. Then they seem to never recover during the rest of the day. So today we targeted two walks of about two miles each separated by a few hours of “rest”.

It seemed to be a good solution but the day was so busy we ended up with three walks of about two miles each but rest between each one. The third one was very interesting. We walked with a friend and his new blue heeler 6 month puppy. One huge ball of go go go.

We got lucky this morning also. An opening in the campground for a week popped up exactly when our current stay runs out. We quickly reserved it and now we will be here until February 11. It fits into our planned meander in early March to Grandkid land perfectly.

Skipping all the rest, we will now go to this evening and a big pot of stew, not stoup, stew for sure and it was great. Two boneless pork chops cut into bite size chunks, bell pepper chunked, a carrot thinly sliced, chunk of onion, black bean w/out added salt, freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Simmer for a good while and at the last add minced garlic to taste. Simmer to blend the flavors and serve with two flour tortillas for scooping. WOW WAS IT GOOD. And enough for two more meals.

Between all the walking and visiting and dog adventuring it was a fantastic warm day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Lost and Lost Again


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-25-2021

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Coyote packs are howling off and on this evening out in the brush. We are hoping there are no more lost or "turned around"

folks out there since it is now dark. The coyotes can sound neat from at your campsite but out lost in the seven foot tall brush after dark they don't sound as nice.

The Teams have been here four days and twice we have helped “turned around” folks to find their way back to the correct part of the trail system.

Here you are wandering along the trail having a wonderful time looking at everything. Birds are going every which way and your binoculars can't seem to keep up.

You are really enjoying the walk in the wild when suddenly you encounter this wye and you have no idea which way to go. You are only six feet tall so you cannot see through the thick brush nor see over the brush for anything to orient yourself.

You get lucky and along meanders the OFM. He orients you and away you go. Sure enough the next day he meets you again lost in the brush again even though you stayed on the trail. The OFM greets you warmly and helps you again but this time recommends that you get a copy of the trail map from the office to carry with you.

Over the years this has happened several times in different parks. Some places can get plumb dangerous to lose you orientation and spot knowledge. Think Guadalupe Mountains NP and many others.

Each part of each trail in this park is started and ends with a sign similar to this one.

Several places among the trails are signs showing you the layout.

The trails are dots and the roads solid lines. The developed trails are the ones shown on the map. If you are on a trail not shown on the map, it is called a volunteer trail likely started by a deer or javelina headed for water or food.


Two Toe Track


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-24-2021

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The OFM is getting in LOTS of walking. In fact he wore out about 1400 and flopped onto the bed and passed out for an hour this afternoon.

This morning we encounterd a damp spot in a trail (actually we encountered lots of stuff) that had tracks of wildlife in it. We have been reading about another blogger having encounters with ostriches. She said those birds have two toes. Then we find these two toes tracks. Do you think we have ostriches in this area?

Winter was a long way away today. By noon we had 84F and bright sun again.

The OFM went to the Falcon County Park free camping area to visit an old friend, Rick. We found him and had wonderful conversation for a couple of hours. Like the OFM he is trying to figure out where to go next when it warms up a bit. We are both thinking north on the Rio Grande would be best. Rick has a new blue heeler puppy to occupy him. Shawnee is a really nice pup.

Then when we got back to the Castle is when the OFM passed out for an hour.

The sky was looking like it would be good for sunset pictures this evening, so we meandered over to one of the picnic areas nearby to see what we could see. It was definitely a good sunset day.

This was getting near sunset and was pretty good.

Then soon after we got this shot up in the sky as the clouds and sun worked back and forth to make a great scene.

And we can't let the sun hog all the blog so here is the super clear sky moon out mooning the earth. The fuzziness is due to the hand held camera by the OFM.

Seems meandering south Texas can be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Don't Fall


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-23-2021

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Falcon State Park is a walking park with LOTS of different and pleasant trails, paths and roadways for your walking exercise. The OFM got his money's worth of walking today. Mostly this is a bring the kids to the park or bring the boat to the park. The lake is the biggest attraction. However after spending time here for decades, the OFM considers it an outstanding walking park. We are working up a blog about the trails and what they offer for a future blog.

Today the OFM went out to take a normal exercise walk. Well he got in about 2.1 miles before he had to rest. There is no flat trails here. They all are slightly uphill or slightly down hill. Even that little bit makes a big difference from the flat paths of the Rockpot Texas paths.

We ended up at the top of the boat ramp and took this picture from the top of the ramp.

Not too bad is it. So we went to the bottom to see what there was to see. A bunch of small animal tracks in the mud was the main attraction. Then the OFM looked up the ramp to go back up.! "Good grief it got steeper it looks like!”

Sure enough it was a lot steeper going up than coming down. We went up it at a much slower cadence of steps than coming down. Then the OFM had to go lean on a post and breathe for a little while. We are beginning to think the 74th birthday a while back is starting to have an effect on him.

At one spot next to our path was a spider web covering a ant hole in the ground. We did not see any ants or spiders this morning but it looks like a spider is hoping for a feast soon.

And we are now up to about 0900 for today and still have lots to talk about. But it will have to wait for tomorrow to tell more stories about trying to have tooooo much fun.


Sunshine and Blue Skies


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-22-2021

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The day started with sunshine and blue skies and got better from there. By noon the mud was mostly dried enough to walk on without sinking in on our morning walk. It will take a day or two to regain our knowledge of the park trails. Once today we came out at an unexpected spot and had to regroup. But the walking was very nice. We even managed to stay out of the two inch thorns in the bushes along the trails.

We made a pass by the Butterfly Garden but some sort of activity was going on there so we will visit another day for pictures.

Out on another trail we managed to get a nice view of the very low lake and Mexico on the far side. It was about 80F by this time and dry. WOW.

Then it was over to the county park to visit old friends boondocking there. We talked so much that the camera in the OFM's pocket was forgotten about. So no pics from that event.

Back at the Castle we pulled out a 2x8 we had salvaged from floating in the bay waters at Rockport. The OFM short saw was put to work and we now have several nice new to us leveling boards for the Castle. The old boards are over ten years old and some are still in working shape. But it was time for a few new ones to join the gang.

Overall it was a very pleasant gentle day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


A New Thought Happened And It Feels Good


Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 1-21-2021

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The stress knot in the OFM stomach was a needless worry. Everything rolled just right all day and we safely arrived at the Mexico border about 1330.

After a few miles the OFM realized that an Arctic Fox in your rear view mirror was a wonderful view.

Yep we needed to roll for sure. Even the rainy roads all the way to Falcon Lake did not diminish the wonderful feeling of just plain old rolling down the highway.

The campsite that we are in was a muddy mess due to all the rains this area has had in the last two weeks. The desert dust of years past was mud about an inch deep. But the air is dry and wonderful.

Our wild critter for the day was this horrid attack creature that spreads fear in all directions it looks.

The sky this evening was a little less than spectacular but still interesting.

The State Park is under a 50% lockdown so only every other site is open. Looks like a nice quiet night before a big day of trying to have tooooo much fun.