Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico

2/28/22

Sandy Visits The OFM

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-28-2022

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Charlie stopped by this afternoon with the family pup, Sandy. Sandy was an incredibly nice fluffy pup that was a delight to meet. They are heading on down into the Rio Grande Valley in the morning. It was a wonderful visit again. Thank you Charlie for bringing Sandy to see the OFM.

Today started out wonderful with bright sun and climbing to pleasant temperatures. The OFM set out to do the whole outer loop trail of the park. We think it is 3 miles. It was a successful effort but along the way the OFM twisted his left knee a bit and are for now having “fun” trying to limp around. At the rate it seems to be healing we expect the OFM to be mobilelating decently tomorrow for our search in trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/27/22

Propane Finally

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-27-2022

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When we got back from finally getting the empty LPG tank filled a wonderful surprise was awaiting us. Blog reader Charlie came by for a very welcome visit. We sat in the Castle our of the cold wind and enjoyed a wonderful visit until he needed to head back to his rig. Thank you Charlie for stopping by.



The next thing on the agenda was to get the OFM legs some action out in the natural. The chilly wind was still blowing so some good cold weather walking clothing was installed on the OFM body. We headed out in the gray cool weather expecting to be a bit chilled by the time we returned. The walking went well on along to a spot we chose to cut into the brush on the park's nice trail system.

After a mile or so the Teams ran into a couple with a very pleasant Golden Retriever doggie and we visited a minute or so until they mentioned where they were headed tomorrow. Did the OFM know anything about Big Bend National Park? About thirty minutes later we split up and they had a list 3.942 miles long of things to check out for the trip. And the puppy was ready to get on with the walk. Nice folks and we hope they have wonderful travels before heading back home to the north country.

One of the things the OFM is doing is collecting pictures of distinctive benches for our art archives. It is surprising how many styles of benches there are in the world. This next one might be extra memorable if you happen to sit on it wrong. We named it “ The Biting Bench”.



If that crack bites you, we bet you will remember it for a long time.

We finally made it back around to a trail that took us back to the Castle. We had been gone a big chunk of the afternoon and the sky was clearing and the temperature getting warmer. When we stepped out of the brush here is what the Castle looked like.



When we got over to the picnic table where the thermometer is located in the sun we did not believe it.



Sure enough when the shade moved onto the thermometer, the temperature quickly dropped to 55F. Once inside and settled at the computer we checked the weather predictions for a few places in the area and it looks like winter may have finished with us for a few months.

That means it is time to consider our options on where to roam and when to go there. But that effort is just another way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


2/26/22

SAFETY INFORMATION

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-26-2022

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When a MrBuddy or any other LPG heater is used, there is a zone around it that does not allow combustible objects in it.  This year we are publishing straight from the Mr. Buddy site the clearances required inside the RV in order to safely use the model referenced in the picture.





As reported many times before, the Castle does NOT have room for a Mr. Buddy or any other heating device we have reviewed to fit inside the trailer AND OPERATE SAFELY.



The cold blowing wet nasty morning turned into a dry cool afternoon that allowed the OFM to go for a walk. We stopped by the butterfly garden and grabbed three more pictures. 


We have no idea what breed this fuzzy seed is but it looked interesting. It was about the size of regular cherry. Cute like a fuzzy puppy.

As we passed another bush (shrub) this fresh growth called out of us to make it famous. The color on this overcast day was not very bright but we recall seeing the blossoms a couple of days ago in bright sun. WOW they were pretty. Any way this one seems ready to Spring out into the world.



Along one of the trails was this thorny plant showing off. For many years we have liked the coloring of these plants and enjoyed seeing them as spring comes along. And yes those thorns are very sharp and strong.



During the nasty part of the day the OFM got on the internet and found Thaynea McArdle's site and researched to find a better style of paper than we have been using for colored pencil. It happens that we had a small pile of the right stuff and got busy trying it out. WOW she was very correct on what we need to be using for colored pencil and wet media paintings. It was a very enlightening study session that will be put to use on the next painting.

As you can see it has been a busy day of trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/25/22

Butterfly Garden

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-25-2022

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Last night was good with the heater keeping the Castle a little cool so the OFM could have his security blanket over him to protect him from all the goblins here at the USA border. Morning got here after 9.5 hours of sleep.

However it was 43F outside with what here is called rain. Over in Rockport it is called heavy dripping fog. No matter the name it was a nasty mess when we took a short walk in it.

Somewhere in the day we found a fog drizzle free hour to tour the butterfly garden. Through the brush along the trail to the garden we went and soon there we were.



Nearby was a sign about the migrating butterflys that come through the area each year. Those are some tough bugs.



Here is a migrating butterfly picture taken here last year as I understand it.





Another thing interesting that we will have to check more thoroughly when it is not wet and cold is the signs about the unusual plants they have in the garden. Here is a couple of them.





Now we have another goal during this stay here.



We have this study we did for another painting we are planning. This is not a finished painting. 




Doing a study is relatively new to the Teams art effort but looks like it is worthwhile.

The disaster to report is that two days of photographs got deleted tonight before we got control of the situation. So now we get to run around getting more things for blog stories as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/24/22

Sudden Camping Style Change

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights,Texas

Adventure Date: 2-24-2022

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Another night of cold and having to sleep in a sleeping bag all zipped up tight to stay warm. Doing the normal OFM bathroom runs during the night with all the bother of the bag was the last straw he thought.

But fuel was added to the fire when we checked with the propane supplier in Rio Grande City if propane was available yet, the answer was nope and garble garble voice twice.

OK. The OFM Teams do not do this style of living to be uncomfortable. We know the good solution to this mess and sat down an made a reservation at the State Park next door for a water/electric site. In fact we got our favorite site right across the street from the bath house.

The packing went very well. The Castle seemed to know what was happening and it was a fast get ready. Three miles over to the check in station went gently and comfortably. A few minutes of nice conversation with the wonderful lady that runs the campground paperwork and we were rolling on. Pulled into the site right on the correct spot and setup went very well. Here are two pics of the site. The first is from the bath house area and the second from the back corner of the cleared “yard”.









It is really wonderful to be really comfortable again tonight. The electric heater is keeping the Castle at the OFM's preferred warmth. As you might guess the OFM is not a fan of cold weather and cold starts at 55F in his world.

The OFM was feeling sickly all day like a fever was running but checking the body temp found

him at 98.6f on the money. After an hour plus nap he was back to healthy again.

We headed to the butterfly garden for some gentle exercise and ended up shooting 37 pictures for fun. Now we have more to catchup on.

Supper was a large salad with bell pepper chips topping it. On the side was a burger patty fried in a 2 liter pot that was great.



Hopefully we will have a calm and peaceful night for a change. The whole team could use it.

While over at the Butterfly Garden we noticed a bird blind that was new to us. So off we went to check it out. Here it is for your joy.



Now we are going to kick back and relax and try to figure some new ways for trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/23/22

Education Is Good

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-23-2022

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A lot of stuff happened today and on into tonight. Mostly good but a couple of not great things. Then the cold front hit hard and fast and here it is past posting time and the camera hasn't even been unloaded yet. Looks like tomorrow will be a day of reporting catch up instead of new adventures.

One boondocking thing we dramatically learned about is parking the rig in cold weather try to have the tow vehicle upwind and close to the trailer. It makes a lot of difference we are finding out tonight.



But no matter what we will be trying to have tooooo much fun somewhere around here.

2/22/22

100deg F

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights,Texas

Adventure Date: 2-22-2022

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A trip to Walmart is a big event for the teams since it is a bit over 60 miles. That translates into a cost of $18 in gas and tires etc. Sierra has a NOT towing operating cost of about $.30 a mile, so we try to plan our trips for maximum effect.

We made the run and picked up some groceries and a new drinking water hose for RV use. But back at home we realized we forgot to check out outdoor chairs. We have spent seven nights here so far at a camping cost of zero dollars, so we think we are still ahead on the dollars.

We need to mention that all the local folks we have crossed paths with in the border towns have been really nice and pleasant. Yes, sometimes there is a few seconds of language figuring out but it is a way of life here along the Rio Grande River.

We had a hot day today that topped out at 100F. But the next week or so is supposed to be back into very nice temperatures again. It certainly has been nice in this dry climate.

We have a new painting to show tonight. This is a colored pencil, graphite pencil and watercolor combination that worked out decent on the second try. The first try is in the Rockport city dump.



Now we need to get busy trying to have tooooo much fun at the lake.

2/21/22

Home With A View

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-21-2022

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Last night the OFM went to the boat ramp area to get a picture of the sunset. While passing by the fish cleaning house he grabbed a picture of these two of several boats waiting their turn at the cleaning station.



Today the fish cleaning station did a good business starting about lunch time.

We meandered on over to the cliff that overlooks the lake to wait for the sun setting to happen. It was a bit of a wait but enjoyable as we meandered the old boat trailer parking area from decades ago.

When the time was right the OFM grabbed a few pictures and back we went to process one for tonight.



Today we finished the latest painting Home with a View. Here it is for your entertainment;





Now we plan a bit more walking around the park looking for scenes to inspire more paintings as a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/20/22

A Crappie Story

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-20-2022

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Here is a picture of an area folks walk way out there to fish from the shore. The Teams have never walked more than a little way out there. It is not fun walking in our opinion.



However there are lots of folks on weekends that will walk way out there to fish. We have never been around when they came back in from way out there.

Here is a telephoto of the three guys in the first photo. The Teams are very willing to enjoy not walking way out there.





As we continued our meandering/walking it occurred to the OFM that the trails around here are not rough or difficult BUT they are definitely aerobic in the smooth up and down of them. He found himself deep breathing even though we were at a moderate pace. When we thought about it we decided that there were no level places in any of the numerous trails.

We finally made our way to the fish cleaning house and went in to check on any evidence inside. The first thing we noticed is all the half dollar and larger size scales left on the cleaning table.





Then a moment or two later the OFM noticed the fish in the trash can.





The best we can recall these are carp and are prized locally for making Ceviche to eat. We hope to try it some day.



Then we were out and about some more trying to get great pictures for this blog. The OFM legs were starting to tire out after a good while. We checked out our location and headed over to the cleaning station again and the parking lot with Sierra waiting.

As we attempted to pass the cleaning station again, we had to stop and check out these nice folks luck on the lake.



Check out that stack of fillets. His buddy had a bigger pile than that at his station. This fellow only had these fish to go to be finished filleting his pile of crappie. The OFM guarantees that crappie are superior fish for eating.





So now we know Falcon still has lots of fish for catching if you are wise enough to find them. In the mean time you can wear yourself out trying to have tooooo much fun.

2/19/22

Nice Puppy

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights,Texas

Adventure Date: 2-19-2022

Click the pic to enlarge.



Now we continue the adventure report that started yesterday.

As we meandered the beach area on toward the back of the cove, we noticed the spring vegetation began to have some pretty pink coloration. Then in a little while the plants got a lot bigger and were pretty. So we had to work on getting a nice picture of the flowers in the strong wind. We have no idea of the name of the plant but you can guess along with us.



Another interesting item was this long straight pipe protruding from the lake bottom.



The couplings look like the old time standard Grinnell bolted couplings. The pipe lines up with the old ranch house on the other side of the state park. The other end we are guessing ran down to the Rio Grande River to a pumping station to send fresh water to the ranch for human consumption or other uses. Also that route would take the line near the old airport inside the park boundaries. We doubt any of the newer folks that work here have any idea about it but we will ask when we get the chance.

Along another part of the meander we spotted two Cara Cara birds negotiating about eating something. By the time we got way over there one of the birds decided to leave the discussion. The other one stuck around until the OFM got too close for its comfort and flew off.





It turns out they were eating the left over carcass of a large fish that had been filleted. We could not tell for sure what the fish was but it stepped off at about 34 inches long.





But the best find was this nice puppy laying on its back waiting for the OFM to scratch its belly. It was a friendly pup that just kept on waiting on the OFM.



That takes care of yesterdays events and today made yesterday look like we did nothing. But we know for sure that there is a lot of stuff around here to occupy you while you are trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/18/22

Antelope Head

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-18-2022

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Morning was chilly but we got busy and in reasonable time we went out to play. Check out this beautiful day the Castle brought to us.

The choice for the walk was the “Lakeside Picnic Area” that was lakeside back when there was a full lake at this location. We got our day pass at the state park check-in station and the folks there are really extra nice. Sierra took us right over to the good parking spot.



From there we walked out onto the former lake bottom.

One thing that has been consistent at this location is the very rough and difficult “roads” when you leave the picnic area. There is one long looping around road that most cars can navigate to the right of the picnic area. The rest of the “roads” are volunteer roads made by wild truck fools. This is a moderate road but we never even thought of driving down it in the former 4x4 big tires truck we had.



When we got to the lake we stopped walking and started looking around at the new stuff the lower lake was no longer hiding. This next picture is of the view from the current lake edge looking back to the edge of the picnic area where Sierra is waiting. That dark green line at the top of the steep slope is where Sierra is waiting.



There is all sorts of driftwood around the area that great artists like Patsy C. back in Rockport could make into all sorts of memorable pieces of art. In this six foot long one, the OFM first saw a antelope head with one antler missing and then several other wild ideas splattered on the inside of his forehead.



As we continued the meandering lots more stuff popped into view and we will get to them tomorrow. It was a very successful day of trying to have tooooo much fun.





2/17/22

Wrong Trail Morning

 

Adventure Location: Falcon Heights, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-17-2022

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We awoke to a nice cool interior. The plan was an early morning trail walk so we were ready for the sun to get up also.



By the time breakfast was done and the OFM was ready to walk the sun was up and away we went to the State Park next door. The OFM drove us to the trail head to get started.





We have walked this trail many times in the past so off we went. Hmmm the trail has been changed it seems but there was a trail so we followed it. Sure enough the trail kept on being different than the OFM's memory said it should be. But a new adventure is not bad. We finally arrived at the lake after about twenty minutes of overgrown rough trail walking. The end of the trail was welcome.



At the lake we surveyed things and finally figured out where we were instead of where we intended to be. So we made a left turn at the waters edge and went for more walking. Along the way we noticed that the lake is still producing nice quantities of mussel shells that have nice pink interiors. The camera did not pick up the shiny pink interiors.



We finally arrived at the rock point that we originally intended to head for.



From there we got a wonderful view of the lake and the far shore of Mexico.
The OFM noticed the trail we had intended to be on nearby. So when we headed back, we took it. We came out about a hundred yards from Sierra so it was a lot easier trip back than outward. But it was still a great morning for trying to have tooooo much fun.



2/16/22

Lake Water Levels

 

Adventure Location: Falcon State Park, Texas

Adventure Date: 2-16-2022

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It was a nice windy cool night leading to a hot 83f day for us. The OFM is still getting used to the techniques of boon-docking but we are doing fine in the final analysis.

We took a morning tour of the nearby state park to see what all had changed. Falcon Lake is now 42 feet low.





When we entered the park our destination was to check out the boat ramp area for future walking. We pulled up to the top of the main boat ramp and took this picture of no water available to launch a boat.





We meandered around a bit and ended up at the lake end of the original park boat ramp that was only used a short while before the water level dropped and never returned.



The rest of the park camping areas and trail areas were also checked out. We plan to hit those areas for walking starting tomorrow. Maybe we can find a way of trying to have tooooo much fun on the trails.