Although the park is only about 10 mile below the city of Galveston and within sight of a beach house community, there is something about being along the dunes that feels elemental. This isn't some well-tended beach of a resort; no, this is natural seashore with seaweed, driftwood, a dead fish or two, and lots of willets, dowitchers, dunlins, plovers, and sanderlings scurrying about the surf looking for a meal. The dunes have natural vegetation that is scrubby with an occasional bright patch of flowers. And in the evening you can often see a harrier flying low over the scrub in search of dinner.
Here's a nifty new kick -- kite-surfing. You stand in the surf on a board that seems to be a cross between a surfboard and a wakeboard. Then you launch a large, controllable kite that pulls you along the shoreline. We watched four of these guys go down the coast. It sure looked like a lot of fun. I'm thinking we might be able to rent one of these and give it a try sometime. I'm psyched!
If it made the news in your part of the world, fighting through all the pervasive non-information about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, you know that we had an oil spill in the ship channel at Galveston as an incoming ship collided with a barge. We were very fortunate that prompt response by emergency personnel kept both the spill and the damage to a minimum. Few birds were affected and the great majority of the oil was contained and cleaned up. What remains has now moved down the coast some hundred plus miles and is coming ashore in the form of tar balls. We saw no evidence of the spill along the coastline.
Since Galveston Island is a barrier island, it lies between the gulf on one side and a bay on the other, and the park stretches the width of the island, from gulf to bay. Along the bay are wetlands and flats that are entirely different in character from the gulf shore. Here is where you can see the herons and egrets, the spoonbills, and other shorebirds. Walking the paths and trails here is a totally different experience than the beach just a mile to the east.
We took a ride down the island to its end at the San Luis Pass. The 1-1/2 mile bridge across the pass connects Galveston Island to Follett's Island. We spent some time at the pass having a picnic lunch by a small tidal pool, enjoying the birds, seeing some wildflowers, and watching other folks.
Well, the weekend is over, but the sand and salt will stay with us if we don't give Bam-Bam a bit of a rinse. So here is Don at the coin-wash putting things back in order. Boy, do these places eat quarters!
On our way home we experienced an event I have never experienced before in 55 years of driving. We blasted into a huge swarm of bees at 60 mph!
When I say a swarm of bees, I mean it sounded like a machine gun going rat-a-tat-tat as they hit the windshield. At first I thought it was gravel, but there was no gravel truck nearby or any loose gravel on the road.
The entire front of the RV was covered with bee carcasses -- and this was only 60 miles after it had received that good washing! When we arrived home it took me over half an hour to clean the windshield and front of the coach. And this was not a good cleaning job, but one to allow me to put it away without feeling too guilty.
Forget chickens crossing roads; the real question is why would a swarm of bees want to cross an eight lane tollway?
Thanks for visiting.