Friday, March 17, 2023

Crop Circles and Coconuts on the Beach

Camping on the beach on Padre Island National Seashore has been great for a couple of weeks.

It was very quiet when we arrived, but it got a lot busier, due to the nice weather and/or the onset of spring break.  I drove down the beach about 12 miles on a sunny weekend day, and I'd say that there could easily have been a thousand vehicles in that stretch - mostly day users, but plenty of camping rigs and tents as well!

Hailey was always out to check quality control of the sand.  It was tiring at times!

At times the wind was busy moving the sand all around.  Some things were buried, others were exposed.
High tides started to get close to the rig, drowning out the travel lane along the beach.

Went for a drive one day, down adjoining Mustang Island, and crossed over to Port Aransas on the short ferry.  It is a very short crossing, but there are between three and five parallel ferries zipping back and forth dodging the occasional ship - all free too!

One of the locals out for a look around in the morning.

 Typical Texas fishers truck.  They all have racks to hold multiple rods, and coolers, mounted on either the front or back of the truck.  Not sure if the coolers were for the bait, the catch, or the beverages!
Local Park Rangers having a chat with a possible violator on the beach?
Later, there was a 'safety meeting' between two Rangers, and a possible unmarked police vehicle.  I think those are cellular antennas sticking up above the roofs, as cell coverage gets spotty as you go down the 55 miles of beach.

Some more of the local 'fishers' taking a break on the beach.

I had no idea what the new iPhone 14 could do with night photos, but the next three photos were taken in the middle of the night, with only moonlight for illumination.  The camera takes exposure of up to 3 seconds long, but despite being hand held, the resulting photos are crisp and clear.  It was a lot darker than it appears.

Tides and winds got higher, flooding out the road along the beach. Sun also took a day off.

Park maintenance trucks make regular patrols down the beach collecting all the stuff that keeps washing up with each tide.  This is despite the possible 30 tons of trash that was removed by volunteers the previous week.

I would often go out in the morning and fill a couple of grocery bags with the stuff washed up overnight.  The park truck would usually stop by and collect my haul, but there are also huge dumpsters available at the beach entrance.
High winds overnight blew the sand right out from under the trucks wheels.  I shoveled a bit of sand around the wheels and jacks of the trailer to prevent it from settling!

Width of most of the beach route during lower tides.

How it looked the morning I left, after my two weeks was up.

I found quite a few coconuts that had washed up on the beach from somewhere across the gulf, I guess.

Mysterious beach 'crop circles, after an overnight wind.

We're off on the road again.  Tune in later to see where we end up this time!

Hope you enjoyed the stay on the beach with us.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Life's a Beach - Padre Island National Seashore, Tx Pirate treasure?

Padre Island National Seashore protects sixty-six miles of wild coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, a narrow barrier island.  Most of the beach is open to vehicles and camping.
We've been enjoying our time here, especially the warmer weather, and warm nights!  I think it was a good plan to escape the unseasonably cool temperatures in Arizona, and snow storms in California!
Driving on the beach!
There is lots of wildlife along the beach, though some spend a lot of their time hiding!

Morning tracks on the freshly swept sand tells the story ...

I've also seen quite a few deer tracks on the beach, as well as some 'deer beds' back in the dunes.

Coyotes also patrol the beach at night.

Sometimes, if you are patient, you can watch a local resident doing some morning house cleaning!
Or a former resident of the deep washed up on shore.

Sometimes, you might even see the beach cougar out and about in the giant sandbox.

You might even see an Alberta RV attempting to blend in on the beach 😀

One day, blog reader Dale stopped by to say hello and meet Ms Hailey.  He said he's been unable to post comments on the blog.  Anyone else having the same issue I wonder?

Lots of room to spread out on this 50 mile long beach!

An abandoned oil or gas pipeline terminal I discovered hiding back of the beach.  I assume this was related to offshore oil platforms?

Sometimes at high tide, there is not much road left to drive on, as water approaches the rigs.

At low tide, you could run a six-lane freeway by in front.
I thought I might have stumbled onto some long lost, buried pirate treasure. 😀 Overnight winds exposed these coins on the beach.  It could be true - if there were pirates using nickels - in 1984?
Big garbage dumpsters at the beach entry point.  Very handy, as there is always new stuff washing up on the beach.  I see a park truck most days hauling a full load of 'valuables' they've collected on a daily patrol

There is some Border Patrol action here, with occasional trucks and helicopters patrolling the beach, as well as this Coast Guard plane making a low pass down the beach.

That's it for this time ...