Wordless Wednesday

I took a lot of photographs last month and while going through them, I realized it really is true; a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here’s a bunch of reasons why we enjoy visiting the Texas Gulf Coast…..Rockport

sandhill cranes
sandhill cranes

photography

Getting ready to find some babe's - "Hey Joe, do I have bad breath?" "Joe, smell my armpit"
Getting ready to find some babe’s – “Hey Joe, do I have bad breath?” “Joe, smell my armpit”
Morning yoga - proud warrior
Pelicans make me smile. Morning yoga – proud warrior pose
downward dog
downward dog
running into like minded folks!
Running into like minded folks! Although my equipment doesn’t come close, we all share a passion for photography and the birds.
Hearing their wings as they flew over me was exhilarating. I'm ok with the fact that I didn't achieve good focus. They were moving over me relatively fast and I got a little jittery excited. Taken at 300mm and almost no cropping.
Hearing the wings of this whooping crane and sandhill crane as they flew over me was exhilarating. I’m ok with the fact that I didn’t achieve good focus. They were moving over me relatively fast and I got a little jittery and excited. Taken at 300mm w/minimal crop.

Egret

photography

egret

photography

photography

birding

birding

Corpus Christi, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas

photography

The beginning of a new day!
The beginning of a new day!

 

 

Moving down the coast

Whew!  We made it back to Arizona and are now camped near the town of Benson.  All I can say is Texas is one BIG state.  Before I start posting about our Arizona adventures, I want to finish up with the places we stayed while in Texas…….Rockport Texas

After a very fun stay in Galveston, Texas it was time to hit the road again.  We had four days in between reservations.  That meant, we had four days to do a three and a half hour drive.  Now that’s what I call meandering.

We still hadn’t firmly made up our minds about where we wanted to stay during that four-day time frame.  So we just hit the road moving south along the Texas Gulf Coast.  We had two options in mind; the Matagorda Bay Nature Park or Goose Island State Park.  Hmm, decisions!

When you purchase the yearly Texas State Park Pass for $70, you and your accompanying guests get free access to all Texas State Parks plus you’re given four cyber coupons good for 1/2 off a night of camping.  With that in mind, we decided on Goose Island State Park and put one of those coupons to use.

Beach camping
Goose Island State Park – Bay side campsites

Goose Island State ParkWe opted for a bay side site wanting to bask in as much sunshine as possible.  The other camping loops are nestled in a grove of oak trees with lots of low-lying branches and plenty of shade.  The folks at Goose Island State Park are very accommodating and upon check-in they will allow you to drive through the campground first and pick out Beach campinga site.  That’s a huge bonus as many of the bay side sites are not very level.  Some have a huge hump.

The campsites located in the loops with the oak trees could be challenging for bigger RV’s, so it’s nice to lay eyes on the sites first.

We lucked out with excellent weather during this 3 night stay.  Keep in mind while camping close to the water that salt spray is very corrosive and it only takes a couple of days for rust to show up. Last year, when the wind and weather kicked up, we saw a wave or two actually hit some RV’s camped in these bay side sites, but it doesn’t take actual contact to start the corrosion.

FYI – this part of Texas has sketchy Verizon coverage.  We had no problem with our internet but we did have issues talking on the phone.  This is AT&T country.  We received about 3 TV channels with our Jack Antenna.

Texas State Parks
A view of the fishing pier out my RV window at sunrise at Goose Island State Park
Mustang Island State Park
Mustang Island State Park – parking lot style camping

Port Aransas TexasFrom Goose Island State Park we continued down the coast to Mustang Island State Park for our scheduled two-week stay. This was a 45 minute drive and included a ferry crossing.

The campground isn’t the greatest but we love the area.  Within a short walk from the campsite over the dunes are miles and miles of gorgeous beach.  Corpus Christi, Texas is an easy 20 minute drive away with plenty of sights and shopping.  The quaint beach town of Port Aransas is 10 minutes up the road.

At Mustang Island State Park we had good Verizon coverage – internet and phone.  We pulled in a dozen TV channels with our over the air antenna.  When you book a week, the rate is discounted. The on site bath house is probably the oldest and most rustic we’ve encountered in the last couple of years.  I’m trying to be diplomatic, but between you and me, I thought the showers were pretty bad – old with lack of privacy. But overall we enjoyed our stay at Mustang Island State Park and would definitely stay here again.

Sand dunes
Me relaxing amongst the dunes and listening to the waves at Mustang Island State Park

How about some other camping options on Mustang Island?  Trust me when I say, you won’t run out of choices.

Mustang Island State Park

Boondocking
These tents were pitched along the shipping channel near Charlie’s Pasture Nature Center
Port Aransas
This RV was parked on the beach in Port Aransas near I.B. Magee Park

BoondockingBoondocking in the area?  YES!  Overnight camping is allowed in quite a few areas on Mustang Island but requires a permit from Nueces County for a fee.  Padre Island National Seashore has miles of sandy beach geared toward tenting and offers two dry camping campgrounds for RV’s.  Fees are very inexpensive

On the Aransas Pass side of the channel there is free boondocking and usually one or two RV’s at any given time can be spotted.  On weekends it can be busier.

Do note; the ground is rutted with some soft, sandy spots.  It would be wise to be able to read the lay of the land and have a good understanding of low tide versus high tide.

Mustang Island offers a multitude of private RV parks.  My folks used to winter at Pioneer RV Resort and it’s a very nice RV park.  If luxury is your thing, check out Gulf Waters RV Resort.  There are at least 3 more RV parks I drove by in the town of Port Aransas but they all seemed cramped and something I wouldn’t be interested in, not to say they aren’t nice, just not my cup of tea.

Polly Anna
Buy shrimp right off the boat in Port Aransas

Ok, let’s wrap up this post with the RV park where we spent the month of January.  This was our second January at this park and I viewed it a whole lot differently this year than last year.  I found it more enjoyable this go around, perhaps because I knew exactly what to expect.

Hidden Oaks RV Park
Entrance – Hidden Oaks RV Resort

First, the park was chosen by Al’s buddy and if you recall the whole reason for us being in Rockport, Texas, was for the guys to do manly things with manly men.  That said, Hidden Oaks RV Park is a no frills, rustic kind of place and located just down the road from Goose Island State Park.  It’s an ideal place for Sportsmen.  There’s even an apartment available in the club house for a nightly/weekly rate.

Although there aren’t any Park Models on site, there are trailers kept here year round as second homes.  The sites are close together, grassy with some gravel.  There are oak trees and low branches making maneuvering a bit of a challenge in spots.

Hidden Oaks RV Park
We stayed in one of their newer sites this year

The unique oak trees are pretty much a theme around Rockport as are goat heads…. you know, those tiny little burrs that stick to everything including pooches poor paws. We’ve encountered those little suckers everywhere in southern Texas and boy do they stick…. and hurt!

Last year I did check out a bunch more RV parks in the Rockport area and did not find anything more inviting than Hidden Oaks. On that note, let me share what I DID enjoy about the place.

Hidden Oaks RV Resort is located in a rural residential area and just down the street from the state park making it great for bike rides and walks.  Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes hang out just a couple of blocks away and I could hear the cranes from my RV.  On occasion they even flew over the RV Park.  Management and guests are ALL extremely helpful, friendly, and engaging.  And the price is right at $300 for the month plus electric.  It fits our needs and interests and we would stay here again.  Remember this part of Texas is a birder’s and angler’s paradise.

Verizon and TV coverage is sketchy – same as I noted for Goose Island State Park.Corpus Christi Texas

So that’s it for my Texas campground review.  Let me know if I missed something or if you have any questions.  Happy trails!

Set of 20 Red LED Mini Valentine’s Day Heart Christmas Lights – White Wire
BoldLoft “Say I Love You” Couple Pillowcases-Christmas Gifts,Romantic Anniversary Gifts,Wedding Gifts,Valentine’s Day Gifts,Gifts for Him,Gifts for Her

Corpus Christi, Texas

It’s time to pull up stakes and roll out-of-town as our stay in Rockport, Texas has come to an end, rather reluctantly I might add.  The month of January seems to have flown by.  As I scroll through all my photos, I realize I still have more to share about the Texas Gulf Coast.Corpus Christi

ChristiAlthough the majority of my time was spent in the Rockport area, I did venture into the city of Corpus Christi and over to Mustang Island.  Al and I are somewhat familiar with the area and it doesn’t take long for us to easily reacquaint ourselves.

Years ago, long before moi, Al was stationed at the Naval Base in Corpus Christi and learned how to fly on and off the USS Lexington.  The Lex has since been taken out of commission and turned into a museum.  Hmm, wonder if that makes Al feel old?  I have to admit, I was surprised to see how small the USS Lexington is in comparison to other aircraft carriers I’ve personally seen.USS Lexington

In my humble opinion, it either takes a large set of cojones or stupidity to land an airplane on such small square footage.  Hubby insists I note; “he is not stupid” 😉

Moving on…..I cross the bridge and find myself in downtown Corpus Christi.  All along the shore is a park like setting complete with a wide concrete walkway. Further down Ocean Drive are parks and beaches that I’m sure are crowded during warmer weather months.Christi

I’m drawn to all the boats docked in the Corpus Christi Marina.  I’m a huge fan of boating, although partial to fresh water, but never the less it’s always fun to check out the various watercraft……almost as much fun as checking out RV’s.Christi

The city of Corpus Christi offers several museums as well as a state aquarium.  Even though we did spend an entire month in this part of Texas, I kept very busy and therefore did not have the opportunity to visit any of the museums myself.  Busy doing what you ask…….well posing…..naked in Corpus.nude sculptureI’d say a rather nude likeness of myself, wouldn’t you agree?  Yay, yay, yay…..in my dreams, but hey, that could be my long tresses blowing in the wind. Mustang IslandFrom downtown Corpus Christi, I head over to Mustang Island where a friend and I share lunch on the beach.  This is the beach my mom and dad fell in love with years ago.  After traveling around the country in their motorhome, they settled in at the Pioneer RV Resort near Port Aransas.  It’s easy to understand why they spent 6 months in northern Illinois and six months in Port A, quickly becoming ‘winter Texans’.  Well, maybe I don’t understand the 6 months in Illinois, but I won’t go there.best beach in TexasThe beach is gorgeous on Mustang Island and just doesn’t end, not that you’d want it to.  Did you know you can even boondock on the beach?  Yep, park your RV on some packed down sand and set up house.  Just be forewarned, it doesn’t take long for the corrosive effects of salt spray to take hold on your equipment.  Our bikes are sporting a fair amount of that lovely rust color that we’ll need to tackle as soon as we return to the desert.Mustang IslandAfter a great lunch of fried shrimp and fish and a nice long walk on the beach, it’s time to return to Rockport and experience another first for me.  I take Highway 361 toward Aransas Pass and although the map looks like I’ll be crossing via a bridge…. NOT.  I get to take a ferry.  It’s a very short ferry ride and actually takes longer to load or unload than the ferry ride itself.taking a ferry

ferry a RV

I’m the first vehicle on the right with no vehicles behind me.  Vehicles and RV’s of all sizes take the ferry.  You can see an Airstream trailer on the ferry next to me.

I really enjoyed my day of explorations and would highly recommend this scenic loop.  I barely touched the surface of all the things to see and do in the Corpus Christi area.  I think it’s a safe assumption to say, “I’ll be back”.
Moon Texas (Moon Handbooks)Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket (Bridwell Texas History Series)