Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free Camping On The Beach, Gotta Love It!

That's it, we're moving to the beach. I think we could do it, we could just live on the beach and become surfing hippies. Ward has changed his name to The Big Kahuna and he keeps calling me Gidget. We bought tiki torches and an umbrella, all we need are the surf boards, dude! Yes, I think we could get used to this.
When Ward and I first pulled into Corpus Christi, we went to the shoreline in town, drove around a bit, and started looking for an RV park. We figured there was no way we would be able to stay at the Walmart here, and would definitely be paying for camping. I was sure we would find RV parks along the shore in town, but alas, none were found. Google was kind enough to give us directions to the Sams Club and Walmart, so we got supplies and I spent a bit of time checking out camping in the area. There were a few RV parks in Corpus Christi, along the shore toward Padre Island, but I also found free camping in at the Padre Island National Seashore. All you had to do was buy a pass for $20, good for a year, and you could camp for free on the beach. Oh, and the Walmarts don't mind RVs staying overnight at all.
Our first night in town was spent at the Walmart. There was a fellow from North Dakota who had been there for a night already and was spending his second night while I decided where to camp.

The next day we headed to Padre Island National Seashore to check out the free camping on the beach. The ranger at the entrance told us we could camp anywhere we liked, and gave us a registration form to fill out. All we had to do was deposit it in one of the camping station deposit boxes to let them know who we were and how long we were staying on the beach.  We were told to stick to the wet sand because is was more hard packed and it was less likely we would get stuck. That was a good tip. The spot we found was on the North Beach inside North Padre Island National Seashore. It was just off the pavement and high enough on the beach that the high tides did not reach us. That is something to get used to when you are from the prairies. When we got to the North Beach we had the beach all to ourselves except for one vehicle from Minnesota. The fellow was tenting and had been there for several days already, but would be leaving soon.
On the beach there were people from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario and even Winnipeg. Some visits lasted only minutes, others are becoming daily visits, as we get to know the people coming and going from the beach area.

A few days ago the weather warmed up enough to take the motorcycle off the rack. We went for a drive back into Corpus Christi to get supplies, and did a bit of sight seeing. We stopped at the Bob Hall Pier, just north of the National Seashore. (That was actually where I stayed back in 1984 when I came down to the area, craving a beach in the spring.)

It turns out you could camp free on the beaches all up along the coast between the National Seashore and Port Aransas, about a 25 mile span. But you need another camping permit, which costs another $12. That will come in handy when we decide to head up further north on the seashore.
But for now, we are very happy on the North Shore of the National Seashore, watching the birds, and relaxing with the sound of waves. We have been taking pictures of the different birds we see along the beach.

Some fly away when you get close, but not the herons. They seem quite used to people. In fact, fly right up to the fishermen who come to the shore and cast their lines in. The herons just stand on the beach next to the fishing poles, waiting for dinner.

We named this heron 'Scruffy'.

The gulls are the most popular, and congregate in groups on the sand, and along the wood posts in the ground set up as a barrier for vehicles going south along the beach.

I tried doing laundry by hand on the beach, then hanging it to dry. Nothing actually dries out here, something about the humidity, so I guess we will be going to the laundromat with those wet clothes.
When we first got to the beach the temperatures were in the mid 50s during the day, with 30 MPH winds. Yikes, it was cold. Both Ward and I got our winter snowmobile suits out and put them on. It seemed a bit silly slipping into them and walking on the beach, but they stop the wind and help a lot with the humidity.

We found we were both quite comfortable walking out on the beach with our winter 'bags' on.

Others on the beach were also in their winter gear, keeping warm in the cold damp air.
In the mornings I would slip into my big brown bag and take my coffee outside to sit beside the RV, watching the ocean waves. Does it get any better than that? I don't think so.
It's been raining a bit since coming into the area, and last night there was a severe storm warning, with Thunderstorms and strong winds being predicted. Being from the Prairies we decided not to take any chances by staying on the beach. Besides, we were sure the Rangers would advise us to leave anyway. We made the decision to come into town and spend the night at Walmart. It turns out several other RVers made that same decision. There were several RVs in the parking lot for the night. We needed to get more drinking water, and could use some other supplies as well, so the trip to town worked out best all round.
The sun will be coming out this afternoon, with a high of 70 degrees, and the next few days are expected to go to mid 70s and as high as 80 degrees.  Maybe we'll venture into the water on the hotter days. Then cooler temperatures will return again for a few days. We go exploring on the warmer sunny days, and enjoy the beach rain or shine, hot or cool. And evening temperatures never go lower than 45 degrees, so there is no need for turning the furnace on.
Tonight The Big Kahuna will set up our new tiki torches, dig a pit in the sand for the tin foil charcoal briquette BBQ system, and we will enjoy an evening of BBQ'ed steak and potatoes, followed by s'mores by Gidget. Can't you just hear the waves.
Hang loose dudes and dudettes!

No comments:

Post a Comment