An easy three hour drive took us north from the Valley and east to the barrier islands outside Corpus Christi. After driving almost an hour we were stopped at an extensive immigration check. It seemed odd that they would be checking so far from the border, but the signs boasted of thousand of illegals arrested here and the confiscation of hundred of thousands pounds of drugs. Agents with dogs checked some vehicles with great care, but we two gray haired geezers got a quick wave. It felt like we were coming back into the United States even though we never left. We also passed a number of vehicles pulled over along the way, getting the once over. Inevitably the drivers looked like Mexicans. The police presence is certainly pervasive here at the bottom of Texas. In addition to the border patrol police force, every school district had its own police force and then each town and county have another layer of those who serve to protect. All this police presence should make us feel safe, but it seems to have the opposite effect.
We are camped on Mustang Island, a barrier island just north of Padre. We've left the rich Hispanic culture of the Valley for a more affluent, touristy part of Texas. There's lots of empty land, but every so often we saw a housing development with many of the home perched up high on stilts. Our new campground is fairly large and also caters to Winter Texans, but its activity schedule is not nearly as extensive as what Tropic Star offered. We are perched on one side of a large dune; the ocean waves crash into the the other side. It will be a treat to fall asleep to the sound of those waves. The beaches are huge and the sand is as hard as concrete, so we look forward to riding our bikes on the sand. We'll take some nice blue sky photographs once the fog and humidity lessen.