Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Okay--How's Bayou?

Shorebirds! Sunshine! Humidity!

McDonald's, Galveston, Texas, 11:15 a.m.

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 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!


  1. Great update. Love the photos. And good luck on your next flamingo sighting. I'll think pink for you.

  2. Love reading your blog and am fairly familiar with where you are. I would like to suggest you go farther south to Port Isabel and South Padre... just gorgeous and visit the

    Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge...

    great drive through the refuge where you will see tons of birds including the Roseate Spoonbill which many mistake as a Flamingo ...

    Here's Wiki's page

    So much of Texas to see ;) You can also stay on south Padre free in some places and $19 or so for a pass ... you can camp in the overflow on the beach ... watch the dolphins play while having a drink on the open flap door kiosk Oyster Bar... just wonderful...

  3. Enjoy reading your blog. You are headed my way now. I live an hour south of New Orleans - deep in Cajun Country. I plan to head to the Texas coast at the end of this year. Good info from Carolyn's post. Thanks

  4. I don't know if you all are aware of a travel group recently started by a blog I read... Jennifer... this is for women who travel alone called womengosolo a Yahoo group. There will be a GTG May 5th in Ellijay, Georgia at the Coosawatchee River Resert... prolly spelled wrong... haaa.. anyway... I just read your profile Gypsy... bravo! Your Island home is just wonderful! It must have been quite a decision to sell. Hope to meet both of you down the road!

  5. Carolyn, thank you for telling me about the Yahoo group. May 5th in Georgia? I'm there!

  6. Dang, they weren't flamingos! Roseate spoonbills are still pretty cool, though :-)

  7. Soaring? haaa great name but ... you're welcome ... did you join the group? This is a new group and the person who has organized this got reservations at a private resort thing... I will submit your name for a reservation but you might want to check the group out. She has to have 'real' names for the reservations... ;) I can list you as a guest, I think so but I'm sharing a spot with someone because I travel in a van and don't need hookups. Here's the group link and the GTG link ---- y'all come!

  8. My given name is Sue Sorensen, but I unofficially changed it to Sue Soaring Sun and usually go by either Sue or Sun. I did sign up to join the Yahoo group. Looking forward to hearing more about the GTG. It would be fun! Not absolutely sure I could be there in time...I travel pretty slowly.

  9. Thanks Carolyn for the info on Yahoo Groups. I signed up for the group. Not sure I can make the May 5th date. Need to stay close to home for the closing on my property. Hope to meet up with you all later on.

  10. Great! See on the group ... and there are a lot of members that can't make this trip ... some are still selling homes as you are Gypsy and rebuilding their 'homes' or too far away for this GTG. This group started with just the followers of Jennifer's blog then last I noticed ... it was around 180! unbelievable....

  11. That's the first I've heard of a Vixen RV. Very cool looking rig. I'm curious why it doesn't have a front plate. Or did you take it out of the pic?