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Rockport Beach Leaves

2/28/21

Goliad State Park

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-28-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



It was rather nice to have the white coupler on the Castle when we were getting ready to roll this morning. The OFM can see the ball on Sierra and the white coupler on the Castle to get them lined up fairly easily. It has been a great help in doing the chore single handedly.





We rolled out right on time this morning to a gray sky and a nice cool temperature. This is the view for the first 150 miles.





For the last 60 miles we had nice broken sunshine and fairly warm temperatures.



Check in went very well and a few minutes later we were in our spot for the night. The site was LEVEL of all things. WOW.





This park is conveniently near the towns gourmet dining location, Whataburger. As far as the towing went, the fuel mileage average was about 11 mpg. Road construction caused a bit of slow down a few times but really was not really bad.



The park has a good amount of walking trails for enjoyment including some very historical locations to view. The OFM has been coming here on occasion for over 50 years and still enjoys the park. It is a good location for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/27/21

Connection Maintainence

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-27-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



An important part of trailering is having the electrical systems of the trailer properly connected to the tow vehicle. To the OFM Teams thinking the most important part of that umbilical cord connection is the trailer brakes contacts. So the OFM regularly cleans the contacts for all the wires where the trailer plugs into Sierra.



It can be a pain at times but we like to be sure we have trailer brakes working when we need them. Here is how we do the cleaning. This has proven to be very necessary when we are at the coast and the salt environment.

A finger nail file is notched to fit the size of the contacts in the connection.



The small end then is gently rubbed on the plug contacts and the tow vehicle contacts to help have a fresh metal to metal connection. Here is the file fitted into the female part of the plug assembly.





It does not take a lot of grinding usually but only a few in and out movements to give us good electrical contact.



About all we did today was minor get ready to move things. We filled the fresh water tank full. The gray and black water tanks are not even half full yet so they will hold another 8-10 days of use. The trip to Grandkid land is only 4 days so when we hook up to the sewer in Decatur we will have an easy opportunity to dump and flush all the tanks..



The view of the Castle in the rear view mirror should give the Teams a good dose of trying to have tooooo much fun.









2/26/21

Preparing

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-26-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



Two days until rolling time with an Arctic Fox in the rear view mirror. So the OFM took it easy to help the brain healing and be ready for the road on Sunday morning.



Grocery shopping was the main effort for the day. $60 after entering the Walmart got us fixed up with food for a few days. Now we have no excuse for not doing meal preparation, right?



The Castle and Sierra each got a taste of the vacuum cleaner to lighten their loads. It looks like we will have water again tomorrow so the Castle will roll with a full water tank as well as full food pantry.



This afternoon was spent on last visits and good byes with folks. We have been in the area since January 21, 2021. Many folks have already left the area for northward camping locations. There has been a major large number of Michigan license plates in this area this year. Even the free county park is clearing out since we are seeing warm to hot days again.

Tomorrow we hope to get to continue on a water color painting we have started. With a little luck we might finish it in 2-3 months. In the mean time we will be working hard at trying to have tooooo much fun.


2/25/21

Kitty and a Deer

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-25-2021

No pics tonight



The OFM started the day off feeling pretty rough for no particular reason so we forced him to get out and walk a little bit. The route took us past the Butterfly Garden and on down to the large picnic area.

As he walked slowly he saw something odd in the brush about twenty feet away from the road. He gave it a long hard look and finally figured out it was a deer bedded down in the thick brush. The deer was looking straight at the OFM. The camera was being slowly eased from his pocket when the deer decided she had had enough and slowly stood up and walked away. Man o Man that would have been a great picture.



So the OFM continued his slow walk on back to the Castle. Then as he was cooling off from the 2 mile walk and trying to decide what was going on with him, the vision distortions of an oncoming migraine headache hit with a vengeance unmatched by even a volcano erupting.



OK. Now we are on ground the OFM knows how to traverse. The big dose of ibuprofen went down easily and the horizontal position was wonderful. The best we could tell he was out for about an hour. When he awoke his eyes could see again and the major headache had started. Therefore it was piddle around the Castle time for a good couple of hours.

Finally he was ready to move around a bit more so we took Sierra for a little spin around the neighborhood with the camera in the OFM's pants pocket. Bad mistake we soon found out.

As we cruised the road near the back side of one of the camping loops, a beautiful bob cat came sauntering out of the thick brush ignoring the truck slowly meandering along the road.

We got Sierra stopped while at the same time the kitty was just standing in the middle of the road about twenty feet in front of us. The OFM was trying to get the camera out of his pocket to get a fantastic picture of the orange and dark grey kitty. Blaaaa Oh Rats the OFM hit the horn by accident and the kitty obeyed and slowly walked on across the road and into the brush. It certainly was a beautiful kitty and really pretty large too.



OK that was another fiasco out of the way. However sometimes an accidental fiasco comes about from trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/24/21

Beach Meander

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-24-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



We had no target for today's walk so we just went off into the trails looking for adventure. And we found it several times today. Tonight's report is about a beach walk.



It started with a glance down the boat ramp and there it was for a change, water. It has been many days since any water was visible at the bottom of the ramp.





That happen stance made the OFM think of walking the beach for a change of pace. Since we were at the top of the “road” going down to the beach it seemed to be a good idea.



So we meandered on down the hill towards the boat launch area and the beach. It looks like a nice walk and it was.



There are lots of “sea shells” on this beach but only two main varieties. One is a spiral shell and the other is a clam shell style.





The beach meandering went well but there is not near the amount of “finds” available that we find on the Gulf of Mexico beaches. The clam shell inside is a brightly polished mirror with all sorts of pretty swirls to see. The camera could not catch the swirls nearly as well as the human eye did. But here is a look at what the camera could do.





As we followed the beach on around we finally came to the end of the beach that you are allowed to drive. The sign and bob war fence (barbed wire to you non-Texans) has been here for many years. But you are allowed to bike or walk on past the fence if you choose. The OFM chose yes many times in years past.



From this point we meandered our way back to our start point by way of the brush, stickers and deer/javelina trails up the hill. A little cross country travel is good for the soul now and then, even if you have to watch for rattlesnakes.

The rest of the day has been very eventful also. By the time things settled down the OFM was tuckered out and the heat was a bit nasty.





But naturally we had to grab some energy from some where to run over to the picnic area to photograph the evening sunset. We like how the Mexican mountains show in the sun light.




Back to the Castle we went only to find out the park water is off for the night at least. Oh well that is just one more thing to add to a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/23/21

Crazy Pictures

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-23-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



During one of our long walks today we spotted new growth already on many of the plants. Here is a bush with fresh new leaves already bursting forth with great vigor.





Next we have three pictures taken here in the area. They have been cropped a little to fit the blog page. Enjoy.

Number one is Rio Grande River cliffs.





Number two is Ugly Critter





Number three is Toothy Critter





So now it is time to tell where the pictures came from.  All three are the tops of the poles in a parking lot. Just a little cropping is all that was needed to make a car stop post interesting.

And that is another way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

















2/22/21

Freeze damage

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-22-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



Texas State Parks HQ is at it again. Now they have canceled the first stop on the trip to Grandkid Land at Choke Canyon SP. So we went to hunting another overnight spot and grabbed one of the two available at Goliad SP for Sunday night. I hope they honor this one.



Apparently the several days of hard freezing here damaged the native vegetation quite a bit. On a short walk this morning we saw massive evidence that a spring out break is set back noticeably.



As we came out of a trail at the butterfly garden, we noted that all of the special trees at the front of the garden that were well leafed out and starting to bloom when we left here about 9 days ago, are now full of dead leaves. We are hoping the trees survived the cold.





On around the corner this row of shrubs had pretty green leaves and hundreds of flower buds just about to burst forth. Now they look totally dead.



When we got off into the trails it was still showing great damage. The OFM tried to get a good picture of the damage on this Yucca bloom but it was too deep in the leaves. Most of the bud was turning yellow instead of white and part of it was black where it has already started to rot. There are many like this in the area.





As we went on along this trail we came to a picnic area. It was quickly apparent how much foliage was no longer on the brush. Before the cold this was too thick in foliage to see the picnic shelter and water faucet. Now you can see through the left over stems to all the picnic shelters.





We are certain the south Texas brush country will survive but we are wondering if we will have much in the way of blooms for spring. It was already running sweat hot here today. What screwy weather we have had.



This is make the OFM have to work harder at trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/21/21

Surprise Change

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-21-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



Tired is the descriptor that fits the OFM tonight. The early trip to Walmart 40 miles away was the first of an active day. $50 plus of groceries were purchased. However the store was not in good supply of food.

We asked a stocker what happened. He said that the first supply truck in three days just arrived this morning about 0830. So the stockers were in for a busy day. We have enough to keep the OFM fed for a couple of days until Whataburger opens again.



Then a bit after we returned to the Castle we were in for another big surprise. We headed for the state park to get a day entry pass. The reservations we had had for the coming week had been cancelled when we got an email from the TPW main office that the park would not be open. So it was a major surprise when we pulled up to the window in the state park and the nice lady mentioned she had been waiting for us to return. A brief discussion sorted it out. The reservation had not been canceled yet on her equipment, so she checked us in and we headed back to Falcon County Park to grab the Castle and move into the state park. Now it will be their trouble to figure out.

Here is our new campsite for a week.





The rest room across the street is closed at the moment according to the sign on the door.





That doesn't cause the teams any trouble since we have the Castle.



Later we went for a walk looking for another great sunset picture but all we got was a picture of a ghost that follows the OFM around.





Since we have ample 120v electricity again for the microwave, we had pancakes for supper and they were very good. We use the Walmart house brand buttermilk pancakes from the frozen foods section.





Here they are all dressed up in peanut butter waiting for the thirty second session of the microwave to soften the peanut butter and then the syrup is added. Yum.



We are looking forward to some more good trail walking and stumbling onto some great pictures to prove we are trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/20/21

Gentle

 

Adventure Location: Falcon County Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-20-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



It has been a nice gentle day of warming temperatures. Mid morning the refrigerator announced that the LPG bottle was empty. So the OFM went out and swapped to the full bottle. A bit later we confirmed that Tractor Supply in Rio Grande City had LPG and was filling bottles. So a nice east trip was made to them for a refill. The freshly refilled bottle was installed in the rack ready for use when needed.



The whole day has been gentle with a few visits with folks who are also boondocking in the park. Bright sunshine helped the warmer temperatures make this a beautiful day.



Yesterday evening the OFM headed out to photograph the sunset and turned around to gat this photo of our campsite. The rig is looking very comfortable in the campsite don't you think.





When the sun was setting, it had a few moments when it looked like it has set fire to the base of a tree in the field next to the park. Yep the sun was extra bright during sunset last evening. At least the fire did not spread to the rest of the area.





Sometimes gentle is a good way fo trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/19/21

Got There

 

Adventure Location: Falcon County Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-19-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



We made the trip back south to Falcon County Park about 1030 and arrived very safely. We even got the same spot that we had in the previous visit. Got in some howdys to old friends and new arrivals. The Teams are really looking for ward to the warmer weather coming tomorrow and through the rest of the year. It will be great for trying to have tooooo much fun.





2/18/21

Near Term Plan Disintegrated

 

Adventure Location: Zapata, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-18-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.



Nothing much but waiting for warm enough weather to move around a bit. We had about four minutes of power around 1315 just to tease us. The Teams rent runs out tomorrow so we will be moving back to Falcon County Park for several days.

We were going to Falcon State Park for a week but a notice that FSP has closed came in by email at 1600 today. That reservation is now canceled. So now we are looking at about 9 days of free boondocking before we start our journey to Grandkid Land in north Alabama.



Here is a painting that has been hiding in the Castle for a few months because it was ashamed to be seen in public. Not much of it worked out well.





Sitting around in the Castle with miserable weather outside has been an effort. Yesterday we took a short walk down the boat ramp to the lake bed and meandered a bit. But there was no pictures worth taking and plenty of household trash scattered around. We really plan on not coming to this area again to stay. The whole Zapata area is not on our recommended list. It is a good place to buy gas between Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.



The forecast for today/tonight is 46/28F. Compare that to the weather records average for this time of 74/50F. Usually it is decently warm here by now.



WOW The electricity came back on about 1630 and is still on at 1830. Maybe we will have power all night tonight. We hope so since the 28F can be a bit chilly. However this should be the last cold night in this area for several months.

Well this has been an interesting day of ups and downs and plans being destroyed. But power was still on at supper time and the OFM had pancakes with peanut butter and lite syrup. He really likes them and considers having them a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/17/21

Education Results

 

Adventure Location: Zapata, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-17-2021


It has been an interesting time with several educational events for our future reference.



About 0300 on Sunday morning the area from south Laredo to down the Rio Grande River to Rio Grande City lost all electric power. Zapata is right in the middle of that area. This is Wednesday night and there has not been a hint of repairs for this area. So in essence the Teams paid $160 for 1 night with electricity and 6 nights of boondocking parked in a Lakefront Lodge rv site. What a deal!



Finally tonight we have a hint of part time internet. Since the adventure started we have had two nights of 21F and two nights of low 30F. The first cold night we awoke to high winds, sleet and Sierra covered in ice. The good news is there has been good sun for the solar panels so there has not been any trouble keeping everything powered. Heating is by stove top burner and has worked very well. We learned that a heavy sleeping bag would be a lot better for the OFM than 48 pounds of blankets. We also learned to stock at least three sets of thermal underwear. Another lesson is to have a couple of pair of heavy duty WARM socks for sleeping in.



Another important item is to make certain of the exact food supply in the Castle AND how long it will last. When the power is off the grocery stores do not open and you could go hungry.

The Castle (an Arctic Fox product) has proven to be very easy living all the way down to 21F. OF course we thought having wheels would keep us out of this mess. We were wrong this time.

It has been interesting and educational but still not a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



No Electricity/ No Internet

 Boondocking in an RV park in Zapata due to no elec. and occasional no water. See you when I can.

2/14/21

More Whatizits

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-14-2021

Click the picture to enlarge.



Why is it that when you put your mug of water in the microwave that no matter where the handle points at the end of the hearing cycle the handle always points as away from you as possible?



A couple of days ago while walking at Falcon County Park the OFM noticed an odd object hanging from the boundary fence. It was definitely old and rusted. The OFM finally got close enough to figure out what it was. AH HA it is an old chain saw chain. Now what in the world would it be doing hanging around here for years?





On another walk along the lake beach we saw several birds of prey gathered on some old trees. We tried to get close for a photo but the birds did not like the Team getting even a little close. So here is what we could finally get at maximum zoom hand held. It is close to a miracle.





All around the area of the state park and the county park are these mud tubes surrounding grass leaves or twigs. We have no idea what they are but hope a reader will know and let us know.





And tonight is supposed to be 21F. We are exceptionally glad to be on 120v hookups for this cold front. Even though we have propane it is nice to be able to have heat all night long with the electric heaters. The OFM refuses to sleep at night with any type of open flame heater running in the Castle. One little oops could be the end of ever trying to have tooooo much fun again.







2/13/21

Around The Neighborhood

 

Adventure Location: Zapata, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-13-2021

Click the picture to enlarge.



Cold and wet drizzle welcomed the OFM Teams to our first morning in Zapata. We went about house hold chores and breakfast. Then nearing noon it was fix some stoup for a few meals.





can of chili, cut up carrot, big pile of cut up onions, can of corn, can of black beans and the pot was full. So some chosen spices were added and it was cooking time. About a half hour later the Lawlers BBQ sauce was added. About ten minutes more simmer and it was lunch time. And a wonderful lunch it was with tortillas to sop up the juicy parts. Close to fantastic it was.



After the dishes were cleaned and put away, the vacuum was put to use inside and it was quickly more comfortable going barefoot with the pebbles removed.

A little later in the day we went for a ride around the neighborhood. The temp according to Sierra was 35F. And a dark gray for lighting.

This particular yard had a large crop of huge cactus growing in it. The taller ones had to be over eight feet high.





Then on down the street a bit, and actually several places in the neighborhood, were oranges still on the tree waiting to get frozen tonight. That sure is a waste of good oranges.





Down around the corner was a pile of yard decorations. It went from a giraffe to chickens to an alligator and plenty of other critters. We plan to go back and photograph the critters with individual pictures.





Then it was back to the Castle. We did notice several more photo opportunities but we want to wait for a more bright day for them. So far it has been easy to get out and around for trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/12/21

A Gentle Awakening

 

Adventure Location: Zapata, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-12-2021

Click the picture to enlarge.



The LOUD piercing scream of the electronic alarm coming from inside the Castle gently wakened the OFM to a slight trouble in the making. So he politely arose and calmly decided it was the refrigerator alarm telling the Teams it was hungry for more propane.



The OFM gently removed the mass of warm blankets and other items from his body, put on his shoes and gently caressed a flashlight into the palm of his hand. Out the door he went into the wonderful cold light rain to swap the LPG over to the full tank.



He felt fortunate to have had the adventure of being awakened at 0300 to take care of that chore. We hope every one of our readers believes the OFM was that calm and collected.

This morning while eating breakfast watching the battery level slowing heading down from 12.18 volts, a command decision was made. We packed up and rolled north to Zapata and the Lakefront Lodge to a run of the mill RV slot with great Internet service, water, sewer, 120v electrical and a laundry close by.


It wasn't really quite this bright outside.





Three days of heavy overcast was more than the solar set up on the Castle could compensate for. The 45 mile trip getting to Zapata was long enough that Sierra had the Castle's batts back up to 12.53 volts when we started setting up.



So here we are enjoying not having to wear 4 inches of clothes just to drink hot tea. Thinking of how nice it will be to sleep in a cool atmosphere tonight with only a light cover. The temperatures are going to be even lower for the next few nights.

This blog entry is being totally done from our seat in the Castle without any need to go out and about in Sierra and the wet cold to find a spot with Internet to post it. Yep the OFM is a softy and enjoys not being miserably cold.

Driving to Zapata was a really wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.