2009 Spring 2 Fall travel blog

red sky in the morning - camper take warning

our campsite in Fulton with the sky full of clouds from Hurricane...

there is a little pet cemetery on the hill with the graves...

we took an early morning walk around the campground which is very...

Madolyn photographed this spoonbill but we didn't see the resident alligator

the lake is low due to the drought

but there is still enough water to attract these egrets

and to support a large population of turtles

one of the campground's permanent residents decorated for Halloween

I photographed these two dog owners near our campsite

they didn't appear to know each other previously

so they just stood around awkwardly while their dogs got acquainted

the harbor in Rockport

in a park by the marina are these two bronze sculptures


lower Rockport

here the boats are a little saltier

but the bait shops are all the same

shrimpers are going as far as Nicaragua now

a boardwalk you probably want to stay off of

gone fishing

beyond the piers the bridge to the ferry landing

the rest of the bridge

the Aransas Pass waterfront


Deep Sea Champion

these are big shrimpers

a barge tug hauled out

now it's time to take the bridge


the road out to the ferry landing

the ferry landing at Port Aransas

arriving ferry

starting to unload

they have drive-ons and walk-ons

now it's our turn to go aboard

our view from the front of the boat

mid channel

the landing on Mustang Island

return ferry ready to depart

their resident pelican

he takes a last dip to catch a fish before we dock...

strange architecture on Mustang Island

their county beach and this is the open Gulf now

otherwise the island is like any of a thousand beach communities



you get the idea

but farther south the island is cleaner and less populated

and Padre Island is mostly National Seashore and protected



this is a place we will want to come back to

but it's getting late and we have a ways to go

so we take the causeway into Corpus Christi


you can see this bridge from anywhere in Corpus Christi



the carrier Lexington is now a museum

Corpus Christi was once a landlocked bay until the Army Corps of...

now it's a deep water port and a scenic one

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Ferry Ride

A day on the barrier islands - Wednesday, October 21

Today we took a drive, first south to Rockport and then on to the bridge and ferry that take you over to Mustang Island. The ferry to Mustang Island is such a short ride you wonder why they don’t just build a little bridge and be done with it. But the ride is nice and we had to laugh at two big brown birds that seemed to be just riding the ferry back and forth.

I first noticed them when they flew off an incoming ferry and landed on ours. They rode it across with us, and as we were landing at the other side, they flew off of ours and onto another ferry that was getting ready for the trip back. The ferry is free and I guess they just like the ride.

The island is a typical beach community with seafood restaurants, souvenir shops and a Coast Guard station. There is a nice long pier out over the water and since you are now on the ocean side of the barrier island the sea is darker with surf rolling in. There is a county park with a campground on the beach. It’s a little funky, but isn’t that what we like about the beach? We checked it out as a possible place to move to later.

We continued on to the south end of the island where we found a state park that was nicer. You have to walk over a few dunes to get to the beach here. We put it on the list for future reference, and continued on. At the end of Mustang Island there is a very small bridge, and crossing it you are then on Padre Island. Padre Island runs all the way down to the Mexican border, and most of the island is now a National Seashore.

Thank God somebody had the good sense to save it before the developers got to it. Most of Padre Island is as pristine and wild as the Outer Banks once were. For some reason nobody seems able to build just a small modest beach house anymore. The beach homes now are huge, ugly monstrosities that are monuments to tasteless excess. Most of them are three stories high, and by the time you put them up on stilts they look ridiculous looming over the dunes. Fortunately a hurricane comes along once in a while and wipes them out, but like cancer they always seem to grow back even bigger and more pretentious.

We found two more campgrounds on the Padre Island National Seashore. They are primitive and one sits on the ocean side, and the other is on the Intracoastal Waterway side. This side is good windsurfing, and a lot of the campers there had boards strapped to their rigs.

We drove home at dusk, crossing the bridge into Corpus Christi and driving north on Highway 35. Corpus Christi is a deep water port, and the aircraft carrier Lexington is tied up there and has been converted into a museum. We traveled 130 miles today and we saw a lot of coastline, but back home it was the memories of wild and empty Padre Island that stuck and resonated. Too bad there aren’t more places like it, left as God created them, for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.

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