Thursday, November 17, 2011


This morning we took a six mile walk along the Gulf side of the beach at Galveston, Texas. Then we drove around the park where where we're staying -- Galveston Island State Park -- to scout out a hike for tomorrow, and looked around the city.  
Galveston was one of the largest ports in the country until it was devastated by a hurricane in  September 1900; between 6,000 and 8,000 people on the island were killed in the deadliest natural disaster in US history.  Shortly after the hurricane, the Port of Houston was created and Galveston never came back to its previous level of economic importance.   But Galveston is still a port plus a cruise ship terminal and a big tourist center.  And just like other places along the Atlantic and the Gulf, Galveston still gets hit by hurricanes.  The latest big one was Ike in 2008, which, among other damage, destroyed all the buildings at Galveston Island State Park.  They've done a great job of rebuilding.
When we started out this morning, it was so windy the sand was streaming by our feet.
Jim did his part to make his corner of the world a nicer place by picking up trash along the beach. 
Birds guard the Gulf of Mexico.  
Bev found three nice shells on our hike. It looks like the entire Gulf side of Galveston Island is a public beach.
Our camping spot.  Our only neighbors left this morning; they have a tow system similar to ours and Jim talked with the guy while he was attaching  his car to his rig. He told Jim he once pulled away from his campsite with his rig still hooked up to the camp's water and electrical systems.  Bev will now be triple checking everything before we leave instead of double checking.  


  1. Earlier, you asked me for suggestions regarding East Texas. My first response would have been Galveston, which you have found all on your own. If you are still in the neighborhood, be sure to catch the old and seedy downtown, which is reminiscent of Galveston's “mobster” past. Also, Sandy has a great Galveston story which you should someday coax out of her. It has to do with her killing some guy off, and then she raised him from the dead. You may not have known that your college friend possessed these kinds of biblical powers! This is from the “Thelma and Louise” era of her practice, and is full of mobster research, sleuthing, excitement and a visit to more than one Galveston bar. She did end up in a passing shot on one of those hour long drama/documentaries like “Dateline” or something.
    Other suggestions, Houston, of course, if you want the big, oil town, experience. Downtown Houston is easy to walk around as many of its buildings are connected with enclosed pedestrian bridges and tunnels, much like the more famous pedestrian walk in Minneapolis, though built for the opposite reason. Favorite big city is San Antonio for all the touristy things that you would do anyway. (Alamo, River Walk, Missions). On the small town side I think Fredericksburg is my favorite, mostly because I spent the night at a Bed and Brew, which beats the hell out of the best bed and breakfast. A cool geological location is Pedernales Falls, a little west of Austin. And, if you are in that area, you might as well go to Johnson City, and visit the LBJ stuff.
    A Culinary Note: Texicans, are Texicans first, and they don’t think there is any need to modify their eating habits. When you order Barbeque in Texas, it is going to be BEEF. Don’t go asking for any stinking pig without expecting to be disappointed. And, a warning to Jim, once you get away from the coast, and want a beer, don’t go inquiring about their FruFru organic IPA choices. No, sir, walk straight up to the bar, tilt your hat back, (hopefully it will be a cowboy hat by then) and order yourself a Lone Star Long Neck. Protocol, requires that you drink the first bottle in one chug while standing at the bar, and then order a second which you are free to carry with you outside, or to your car. And since we are talking beer, the Texans use beer in determining distances. For instance, I’ve been told the distance from Houston to San Antonio is about one six pack.
    Enjoy your time in the Lone Star State.

  2. Thanks for the tips. You need to open a travel agency. Or write a travel book. Or just keep sending us ideas. We're leaving for the Corpus Christi area (Mustang Island) this morning; have any thoughts for that neck of the woods? I'm hoping no Texans sees this, but I like the Carolina vinegar bbq better than the red sauce version-- but in all honesty I have yet to tray real Texas bbq. (But we did nearly OD on bbq in Memphis.) Jim has found his beer nirvana in a place called Specs and is hoping they will assist him with his IPA quests. Can't wait to ask Sandy about her gangster.