Normally, you can take RVs and big rigs on the ferry; however, not when the tide is out. Luckily, we had our 5th wheel parked, so when we saw the sign that the tide was out, we were glad we weren't hauling the trailer with us.
On our way to the ferry, we passed a dock where work was being done on three seadrills. These look like the oil platforms used out in the gulf.
|Seadrills at the dock, West Sirius.|
|Propellers stacked on the ship.|
|Off-loading propeller parts.|
|Port Aransas Ferry System.|
|Ship and seadrills. Seadrills are in the water.|
Today, we're doing a 10k Port Aransas Beach Volksmarch that starts at a motel. We got a little turned around at the beginning of the walk, because the map on the back of the directions did not match the written instructions. That's okay because I got some great pelican photos.
We apparently were supposed to follow Cotter from the front of the motel directly south to the beach. However, the street did not have a sign on it. The map showed going over to the beach park by the ferry and doing a loop around there. Anyway, we figured it out and stuck to the written directions from then on.
On Cotter St. we found some pretties to look at.
|Me in one of the guppies at a seafood restaurant.|
|Close-up Skipper Cat in Farley boat.|
From the historical marker in front of the inn:
In 1886, Frank Stephenson, a boat pilot and assistant lighthouse keeper, opened an inn here in an old barracks. He called it "Tarpon Inn" for the abundant trophy fish in the Gulf waters. For a short time Port Aransas was known as "Tarpon."
In 1897, the Cotters bought the two-story inn from Stephenson. When that building burned to the ground in 1900, two new structures were built in 1904. When the 1919 hurricane destroyed the main structure, the dining facility was used until it was sold in 1923 to the Ellis's. They rebuilt the inn to resemble the old barracks. However, James Ellis placed 20-foot poles in 16 feet of concrete with pilings at the corner of each room to reinforce it against future hurricanes.
Franklin D. Roosevelt fished here in 1937. Duncan Hines (of cake mix fame) spent his honeymoon here and recommended the food for the next 25 years.
The hurricane reinforcement put in by James Ellis worked, and in the intervening years the inn has housed many area residents during storms and served as headquarters for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and military units.
This is where I'm coming if I'm ever stuck in a hurricane in Port Aransas!
|Love the surfboard at Potter on Cotter.|
|For Sandcastle Lessons call...|
|I always like to see what's on storm drains.|
Just past the history markers is the Marine Science Education Center of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. They have a trail by their building which the Volksmarch club may want to investigate and include in future walk directions. Plus, if the Marine Science Education Center is open when you walk by, it may be worth a stop to see what's there. We did not go in today. They were re-roofing it and it didn't look open.
|Roofing the Marine Science Education Center.|
|Quite a few people out on the jetty.|
|Still damaged from Hurricane Harvey.|
|Gulf of Mexico.|
|Horace Caldwell Pier.|
This is where our biggest walk issue started. To me, fourth beach exit after Caldwell Pier means you don't start counting beach exits until the next one AFTER the pier. And what exactly are "beach exits?" Are they only roads or do they count all the driveways accessing the beach? If we HAD counted the beach access road DIRECTLY ACROSS from the pier instead of AFTER it, we would have been okay.
There was NO sign on Sand Castle Drive. We had only counted three beach exits (we assumed roads) AFTER the pier. We continued to walk another 1/4 mile down the beach but didn't see any more exits as far as we could see.
We went back to the last road we had seen and turned there. A long block later we saw a road sign for Sand Castle Drive. Suggestion for the directions: Instead of saying fourth beach exit, name the two hotels that are at that beach exit since there is not a road sign.
Enough rant, back to the beachy part of the walk. It was a Sunday morning and people were building sandcastles on the beach. The grouping below were of churches and they had a bowl out for offerings.
As we walked the beach, we saw a huge tour bus pull up from Pennsylvania. A lot of Amish kids piled off the bus. The girls had on the long dresses and hair caps. The boys had on pants with suspenders and long-sleeved shirts. They were all wide eyed and enjoying the weather and the beach. Many of them made a bee-line for the Port-a-Potties. LOL.
|Kite flying was another popular activity.|
|Close-up of tower.|
|Port A Strong...through Harvey, hell, and high water.|
|Debris pile in Port Aransas, Texas.|
A Farley boat installation at an intersection. This looks like New England to me.
|Farley boat decoration at an intersection.|
|Bob in the maw of the whale.|
|"Tarpon" dedicated September 27, 1986.|
No artist mentioned that I could see.
Dave and Faye Malouf came over for dinner. They are staying in Port Aransas until February when they depart for points north and east. We had a fun time chatting with them about the East Coast and we will hopefully see them near Bar Harbor, Maine in the late summer when we're on our trip.
Tomorrow, we're off to tour the USS Lexington. Can't wait!