After leaving South Padre, we moved north along the Gulf. We didn’t go very far, we were starting to experience the beginning of the months of rain that Texas experienced this spring.
Along the way we stopped to check out North Beach in Corpus Christi. The USS Lexington and Texas Aquarium are here. The day after we came through local news announced that most of the fish in three of their exhibits died. They were trying to treat a parasite that they had detected in the tank and when they added the medicine, it had an adverse effect and all but 2 died. Very sad!
We stopped off at one of the nicest little parks in Aransas Pass, TX. Not much to the town but we were just a short ferry ride away from Port Aransas. The ferry ride is the only way to get to the island and is free. That weekend they had 4 running non stop, back and forth from the island. You would think it would be worth it to just build a bridge, but the waterway between there and the mainland is used by the shipping industry and it would have to be a very tall bridge for the short distance between the two.
We decided to check out Sand Fest one afternoon. This was right on the beach in Port Aransas. The sculptures were amazing, the weather…not so much! Sorry for so many photos, but we couldn’t decide on which to post.
They had an amateur sand sculpture competition too, however vandals got ahold of those the night before. I just don’t understand some people. There were food stands, live bands and vendors of all kinds.
Most of the homes were rentals and the main means of transportation were golf carts.
There were even pirates walking around.
I think he was looking for his ship.
The weather was rainy and dreary our first week there, however the second week was beautiful with low humidity. The mosquitos were horrible, you couldn’t even step outside without getting them in your mouth or eyes. But finally the town sprayed a few days and they went away. We found ourselves staying longer than we anticipated because of the weather. North was the tornado outbreak and here, the constant threat of storms. When living in an RV it’s a little scary to be in storms or potential threatening weather. At one point we were under a tornado warning There are no shelters in the park since they are only a foot above the water table. We saw some suspicious looking clouds and it turned out there was a F1 tornado touch down a few miles away.
The rain came down hard and flash flooding was an issue everywhere. Even in our park we started to see the signs that Mother Nature was telling us to get out of Texas. This is the road into our RV park. The only way in our out and more rain was on the way.
So we finally decided we couldn’t put it off any longer, the forecast was for rain, rain and more rain, but we needed to keep heading north.
We drove north to the Houston area to Brazos Bend State Park and stayed there for 2 days. Texas has some of the nicest state parks. This one was lush wetlands with huge trees with Spanish moss hanging down. Deer roamed everywhere and one of the first signs we saw was DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS! WHAT? Yes, alligators live in this park, but luckily for us we didn’t have any come and visit us. There were lakes in the park where you could go to observe them, but again, it rained most of the time and mosquitos were as big as dragonflies! A few days after we left they closed the park until the threat of flooding was over.
It was hot and the humidity was near 100%. This poor guy was exhausted.
It was becoming a reoccurring theme, more rain was coming. We thought for sure we would beat the approaching storm that was heading through Houston, no luck, it met us right smack in the middle of downtown. Houston highways are not designed to drain water off the roads. In fact, in no time rain water was pooling everywhere and some areas were starting to flood. How Steve kept his cool and drove through that storm is beyond me, traffic was thick and everyone was in a hurry.
Minute Maid Park – home of the Astros.
We would have liked to have gotten better pictures but the rain wouldn’t cooperate. Much of what we drove through was under water 2 days later.
Louisiana wasn’t looking much better, any more rain and these roads would be covered in water…pretty sure within a day or two, they were.
Stopped for the night at a casino in Shreveport, it was right on the Red River which was expected to crest in a day or two, by watching the news I think that it crested and then some. I don’t know if the RV park we were in flooded, it was pretty high up the bank, but a lot of the area has. There was a really nice Prevost Marathon bus parked next to us. Someday maybe….we can dream…..
At this point, the news was going crazy about what had been going on in Texas. We could only imagine what life would be like if we were still working in the oilfields. Not only the rain and mud, but some folks were stuck on their gates with no way out and no one could get in to fuel them or bring fresh water. One couple even had to get airlifted out from their RV, leaving all they owned behind. Many people ask, why didn’t they just leave, didn’t they know was coming? It’s not that simple, you have no idea which way the water will go when roads wash away or dry creeks fill up and crest. Our prayers go out to all who were affected by this horrible flooding.
After reaching Missouri the weather was beautiful.
Drove by the Arches – St. Louis
Illinois – great on gas mileage, nice and flat! Stayed in Peoria, nice city with great Riverfront district.
Next stop, Wisconsin where we managed to pull a few surprise visits off (which is the reason for the delay in blogging) and get some work done on the RV. Not sure where we head next….until then here’s a Sami Selfie!