My Verizon 3G/4G modem that plugs into my laptop has not been very useful down here on the Gulf Coast, so I've been spending a fair amount of time at McDonald's lately, catching up on email and finding out what's sold on eBay and needs to be shipped. I have not yet sat in a McDonald's and listed a stack of vintage designer scarves on eBay, but the day may be coming.
I left San Antonio on Saturday morning and headed south towards Corpus Christi. I hadn't even gotten out of the greater city limits yet when I realized that taking the freeway was no fun that day. It was windy, so I had to be especially careful to hold my Dolphin on the road at a low speed--I swear, some days it feels like I'm driving a billboard--and the only view was the rear ends of cars that impatiently passed me. So I took a left and found a smaller highway that headed south to Rockport, where I stayed at Bay View RV Resort for Easter weekend.
I don't recommend this RV park--it's under new management and there is a great deal of work that needs to be done on it. There were two swimming pools, but one is being rebuilt from the ground up and the other had water of a sickly shade of green that I'd never seen in a pool before. I also had no Verizon service there, neither phone nor Internet. Despite these disappointments, I had a really good, quiet weekend. I finished sewing the curtains for the other side of the Guppy; I worked on the faux marble finish I'm doing on the worn out old interior wood; I played my flute; I wrote poetry.
On Monday, I headed further east and stayed that night at the Walmart at Bay City, Texas, where the Guppy had its first 3000 mile oil change since getting the new engine in San Francisco. My friend HikerBob asked me if the engine is running strong, and I said I think it is, for a 4-cylinder engine that was overloaded from the moment the Dolphin was built.
I've stuck to the Coast pretty much since I got here, and yesterday I got to some really great beaches along the road from Freeport to Galveston. I got out and walked on beaches several times. I've seen huge numbers of shorebirds, including more pelicans amassed in one place (driving into Freeport) than I had ever seen in my life. I even saw a couple of big pink birds in a drainage ditch that I think may have been my first in-the-wild flamingos! I almost slammed on the brakes to take a picture, but, of course, I had traffic behind me, so I had to let it go and hope I'll see more. For a girl who has had the flamingo as her lifelong totem, it took all the patience I had to pass up that photo op. I could do an entire blog post on the role of flamingos in my life up to this point...
I joined another membership campground club recently, Passport America. I've heard it recommended by RVers all along my trip. For $50 per year, you get half-price stays at many RV parks that aren't included in the more expensive clubs (Thousand Trails, RPI, Coast-to-Coast, etc.). This has really increased my choices. So, about 3 pm yesterday, I was headed along the coast and expected to turn north to take advantage of one of these inexpensive RV parks when I saw Galveston Island State Park, where RVs were camped practically on the beach itself, and I was done for. I turned in and took a spot for $30. I was just steps from the sand and surf. I spent a good part of my late afternoon and evening on the beach. This morning, I got up expecting to spend a couple of hours doing eBay listings from my beachside campsite, but surprise! There was a big power outage all along the island. Even the bathrooms were closed, because they use some sort of electric valve to flush...so no shower, no power, waaah-waaah, poor me. So I took a bird bath and was on my way.
One of the really fun parts of my Galveston stay was meeting the folks next door, a couple from Texas and Chile (great love story!) who own a Vixen RV, an awesome vehicle that was made for only three years in the 1980s. They love it, and I can see why. It is extremely easy on diesel and it has sufficient battery power to not be very much affected by the power outage this morning.
OK, I'm finishing the free refill on my 50 cent Senior Coffee and it's time to shove off. I'm heading east to Louisiana this morning. I don't know how far I'll go or where I'll stay tonight. Exciting, huh? I just need to make sure it's someplace where I can sell me some scarves on eBay!