Tuesday, November 25, 2008

South Padre Island

Location: Rio Grande Valley, TX

Click for Larger Image of South Padre SignFirst, let me apologize for this post to all of you "up North" who are shivering in below freezing temps or -- gasp -- shoveling the "S" stuff so you can get to the store to buy bread, milk, and toilet paper! But here in south Texas it's beach weather, and the lovely barrier island, South Padre, is less than an hour away.

Click for Larger Image of BeachSouth Padre is actually in the "off season" now -- things really get going around spring break, when all the sun-worshiping kids who don't go to Daytona show up here. There were ads for snorkeling, para-sailing, horseback riding on the beach, dolphin watches, and, my favorite -- taking sandcastle-making classes for -- get this -- $75 an hour! Whoever thought up that career should get an Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award!

Click for Larger Image of Boy on BeachWe were there on the weekend, and the sun was shining, the waves were high, the pelicans were hunting, the surfers were paddling (and sometimes riding, sometimes falling), and the beach was perfect for walking. The sand is very compacted here, and soft on the bare feet. A lot of children were playing in the surf, but I'm guessing the beach would be almost deserted during the week when they are -- hopefully -- back in school.

Click for Larger Image of John WadingThe Padre Islands are a group of barrier islands that run from Corpus Christi, 160 miles to the north, to Brownsville, the southern-most point in Texas. The upper portion is a National Seashore, while the lower portion is the spring break playground. The island almost runs into the spot where the Rio Grande used to dump into the Gulf of Mexico -- I say used to, because the amount of water siphoned off for drinking and irrigation is now most of the river. This site on Google Maps shows the water puddling just short of the Gulf, its exit blocked by sand -- sand that the Rio Grande itself may once have deposited there.


Anonymous said...

Hi ZoAnn!

Glad to hear your foot is on the mend and that you're doing good. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you get a sunburn ;-)


ladynomad said...

I left Phoenix a week ago and it was in the mid 80s. I arrived in Mitchell, SD, 6 hours later and when I stepped off the airplane it was 29 degrees. Burr.... I like the sound of the beach better, but I will be heading back south on Monday.

Richard said...

How did South Padre Island compare to Assateague island? -- Now that you have at least two barrier islands under your belt. I bet those Assateague mosquitoes made whatever insect life you ran into at South Padre Island seem pleasant.