Nice While It Lasted
Thursday, November 30, 2006 - Well, this morning saw the end to our beautiful summerlike weather. The forecasted Arctic cold front has arrived, dropping the temperature from 74°F/23°C to 47°F/8°C in a matter of an hour and still dropping.
Along with the colder air is driving rain and high wind, which as I write this is buffeting the RV and I expect will eventually turn the satellite dishes off track.
The power has also gone out twice. Fortunately, it was only momentary both times, but it still makes one nervous.
The only consolation in all this, from a snowbird's viewpoint, is that it's much worse farther north.
The photo is of the sunrise this morning. There was not a hint in the sky at that time of what was to come. It's warmer in Ottawa at the moment. That can't be right. Something is terribly wrong with the universe! Arrrggggghhhh!!!
Two Busy Days
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - The weather here on Mustang Island has been very warm and quite humid since our arrival and we're trying to enjoy it while we can because an Arctic air mass is heading our way, due to arrive on Thursday, and it will cool things down considerably. Lows at night have been in the low 70sF but will then drop into the low 40sF, so much cooler but still not close to freezing.
Yesterday, I was up and on the beach before the sun and had a thoroughly enjoyable time shooting photos there as the day started. The photo on the left is one of them. That's a pelican getting ready to dive for some breakfast.
Then, after our own breakfast, Sandra and I drove up to Port Aransas on the north end of the island to look at RV parks in that area. While there, we also visited Roberts Point Park, a city park by the water that had a lot of shore birds when we were there two years ago and it was the same this year, as well. The birds are used to people, loitering near fishermen, hoping for handouts, and while still wild, they are not skittish and will allow you to get to within a few feet of them. Great for bird photography. The photo on the right is one I took there.
The campground here in Mustang Island State Park is not large, so it was something of a coincidence to learn that someone else was here from Ottawa and we even knew some of the same people. Small world. Then we've also had a couple visits from people Sandra knows from the internet. Unfortunately we were gone when one couple stopped by, but were here for the second and we had a nice but short visit.
After they left, we went out in the truck again, this time in search of a good location for sunset photos. We did find a place but clouds moved in just before sundown and ruined the sunset, so since we were halfway to Corpus Christi at that point we decided to go on into the city and get my antiquated old (two years) cell phone updated.
Corpus Christi is where we got our cell phones and being here on the day mine became eligible for the upgrade was not planned but certainly convenient since we're familiar with the Verizon store here. They replaced mine with the same model Sandra got a couple months ago when she killed hers and had to replace it ahead of schedule. We now both have Samsung SCH-a870 camera phones, which have far more features than we'll ever likely use, but even for what we do use these marvels of technology for, they are definitely improvements over the older model.
Today, started out as a repeat of yesterday - me on the beach photographing the sunrise then back to Port Aransas, except this time we continued on, taking the ferry over to the mainland at Aransas Pass and going from there north to Rockport, one of our favorite little cities in Texas. We drove through town and continued northward across Copano Bay to look at the campground facilities at Goose Island State Park. They have essentially two campgrounds there, one in a forest of live oak trees and the other on the shore of the bay, so we are looking at moving up there for a week when our week here is done.
We then stopped back in Rockport at the RV park we had stayed at there two years ago, hoping they'd have room for us for over the Christmas and New Year's holidays but sadly they were booked solid. Sandra had been hoping we could participate in their Christmas pot luck dinner, but it won't be this year. So as of yet, we don't have a place lined up for a longer term stay.
On the way back to the RV, we opted to skip a return via the ferry and drove back through Corpus Christi instead.
For Sandra's account of the last two days, click here and here.
Now On Mustang Island, Texas
Sunday, November 26, 2006 - Today, as planned, we made the 155 mile/250 km move from San Antonio to Mustang Island State Park on the Gulf coast of Texas. We left around 10:30am and checked in here around 1pm. The move was almost leisurely, considering Sunday morning traffic was fairly light as it's supposed to be, there were few 18-wheelers on the road for a change, and we encountered no road construction, a situation that's become a rarity.
We were backed onto our site (no pull-throughs here) and completely setup by 3:30pm. It would have been earlier, but once again finding the TV satellite proved to be a bit of a challenge. But we eventually succeeded, so we are now ready for the week ahead with all our usual amenities, but literally out in the middle of nowhere.
Mustang Island is a barrier island and those are long narrow islands running roughly parallel to the shore of a mainland and separated from the shore by a lagoon. Barrier islands protect the mainland shore from the direct onslaught of waves.
So, in other words, we are on a very large sand bar, 18 miles/29 km long by roughly 2 miles/3 km wide, and the state park incorporates the lower third of the island.
The photo above is the view out our back window and one of the most scenic views we've had there. That's a grass covered sand dune and on the other side of it is a very nice beach on the Gulf of Mexico. We can easily hear the surf from the RV and that is the sound we will go to sleep by tonight since it will again (as it was in San Antonio) be warm enough to have the bedroom windows open while we sleep.
For Sandra's account of the day, click here.
Last Night In San Antonio
Saturday, November 25, 2006 - Tomorrow we are moving to Mustang Island State Park on the Gulf coast of Texas, so we did the town this evening on our last night here in San Antonio.
We even found street parking again, something I wasn't expecting, although we had to walk a few blocks to get back to where the action was.
As expected, they had turned on the Christmas lights along the Riverwalk, although they weren't as awe-inspiring as I had expected. Still nice though. However, the crowd on the Riverwalk was as dense as I had expected, often shoulder to shoulder, front to back, and very slow moving.
We had decided to eat dinner somewhere along the Riverwalk if we could find a place reasonably priced and that had an outdoor table available. Almost all the places were overpriced or had a waiting list over a half hour long, but we did eventually find a place, The Original Mexican Restaurant, which actually isn't the original one, but within just a few minutes wait we had an outside table, although not right by the water.
The photo above is the view I had from our table. It's kind of hard to see in this small view, but if you click on it for the larger view you'll see the crowd as it was slowly moving by the restaurant. As with our meal on Beale Street in Memphis, our food last night was adequate but far from great and the service was fairly slow. Feleena's, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Ottawa still serves the best Mexican food we've eaten anywhere.
It was a fun evening though, despite feeling like a sardine, however we quickly tired of fighting the crowd and shortly after supper we walked back to the truck and returned home.
San Antonio has proven to be an interesting stop with the Alamo and Riverwalk both worth seeing, but the real bonus to me has been the four old Spanish missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, which I've had a great time exploring. However, I'll be happy to get away from big cities for a while and am looking forward to finally getting to the Gulf coast, where we should at last be away from the incessant noise of 'civilization' and exchange that for the incessant sound of surf breaking.
For Sandra's account of the day, click here.
Happy (American) Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 23, 2006 - Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it today. We did, since we're in the US and the RV park here hosted a Thanksgiving pot luck at noon that we attended. These pot lucks we participate in at the various RV parks are great for meeting our fellow nomads and we always learn something useful from them.
One thing we learned today was that tomorrow night starts Christmas on the Riverwalk, when they turn on the Christmas lights along San Antonio's Riverwalk, so since this sounds like a photo op to me, the odds are pretty good we'll brave whatever crowds are there for the event and attend it ourselves, cameras in hand.
No turkey pictures for today, but I thought the above would do instead. It's one of the ducks that frequent the 5 acre pond here in the RV park. The photo was taken at sundown the other day and is a scene we've seen nearly every evening we've been here.
We are looking at Port Aransas on Mustang Island as our next location. Mustang Island being a barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Texas northeast of Corpus Christi. We extended our stay here in San Antonio to Sunday so we'll be driving through Corpus Christi on a Sunday morning when traffic should be at its lightest.
For Sandra's account of the day, click here.
We Cruise The San Antonio River
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - Yesterday Sandra and I played tourist and took a Riverwalk Cruise along the San Antonio River where it flows through downtown San Antonio.
Although it flooded the downtown area in 1921, putting it under 12 feet of water as a result of a deluge from a hurricane, the San Antonio River at this point along its course, near its headwaters, is normally little more than a good-sized creek.
But the city makes the most of it with the Riverwalk, which is essentially a 2.3 mile/3.7 km long city park looping around the downtown core with sidewalks running along both banks of the river that is lined with trees, flowers, hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and historic buildings. It's quite scenic and the cruise along it was quite enjoyable.
However, one of my only complaints with downtown San Antonio is that it's not all that easy to drive a one-ton truck around in. Traffic is heavy and the lanes narrow. Finding parking can also be a challenge since the truck is too tall for most parking garages. However, yesterday we got lucky and found street parking near where we thought a ticket office for the Riverwalk cruise was located. However, it wasn't, so we walked along the Riverwalk until we found one. Downtown San Antonio isn't so large that one can't walk around it fairly easily.
In fact, for being the seventh most populous US city, San Antonio just doesn't feel that big. The campground here is 3 miles beyond the freeway loop around the city, but only 15 miles from the Alamo and downtown, so it is a relatively quick drive to get there from here.
So far, our stay in San Antonio has been very nice. Weather has been almost ideal during the day, although it's getting quite chilly at night, which is nothing unusual for the American Southwest.
San Antonio isn't as clean a city as Austin and I don't feel as safe here as I did there, but that's not to say I've felt particularly unsafe either. Just more young males loitering around, which makes me nervous no matter where I am. None of them have done anything even remotely threatening, but I didn't see much of that at all in Austin.
Pictured above left is the Navarro Street bridge over the San Antonio River, taken during our Riverwalk cruise, and above right is Sandra on the Riverwalk stairs up to street level near where we parked the truck.
For her account of the day, click here.
For Older News
To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.
Updated Sunday, December 3, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Gordon L Wolford .
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