We finally did it. We left Corpus Christi. After almost two months of life on the sandy beach of the Gulf Coast, we are heading North. Last Sunday Ward and I spent the day at North Beach in Corpus Christi and were able to remain there overnight. But when we awoke the wind had picked up. The weatherman, Bill said winds would be gusting to 50 MPH, so we took that as a hint and got off the beach. Our plans were to head over to Portland, on the other side of the causeway from Corpus Christi. They had a Walmart there, and we were going to stop there for a day before going further down the Gulf Coast.
With the high winds being forcast we thought it best to be in town and at the Walmart. That way, if needed, we could go inside the store, or assistance would be easier to get in town at a store rather than on an open beach. Ward drove the sportster the five miles over the causeway and to the Walmart, and I drove the RV. The winds were already pretty bad, and I could feel the wind pushing the side of the RV as I crossed the causeway. When I arrived at Walmart, Ward pulled up with a sigh of relief. He said it was quite a ride, and he was glad to be stopped. The wind was throwing him around quite a bit over the open causeway and it got a bit tricky when big trucks passed by him, changing air currents. But we both made it safe and sound.
I parked the RV with it's back to the wind. Next time it will be facing the wind. I could actually feel the back wall of the RV pushing in when the winds were gusting. We spent the afternoon in the RV watching the wind whip the trees around and watching old movies on our TV. During the evening news weatherman Bill said the winds were steady at 53 MPH, gusting up to 63 MPH and said they were tropical storm speeds. He said winds higher than 39 MPH are classified as tropical storms. Bill also said Amarillo, Texas had hurricane force winds with 6 inches of snow falling. Lubbock, Texas was also hit pretty hard with snow and strong winds.
We survived our wind storm, with the winds dying down from 6pm to 10pm. By the next morning the sky was clear and winds were light, and it was time for us to move on.
Aransas Pass was our next destination. We stayed at the Lowes Home Improvement parking lot, as we were working on the bicycle rack for the front of the RV. I found some shelf supports that would work fine and fastened them to a bracket of angle iron that was attached to the frame behind the front grill. It worked good enough for the first bike to be mounted on it, but still needed a bit of tweeking.
Ward and I took a ride around Aransas Pass in search of a park. We came across a harbor with some people fishing along the banks, and several shrimping boats. As we drove around the harbor we came across a park, but it was under construction and we were not able to go onto the pier or have a picnic anywhere. We did end up talking to one of the construction people there, and some other folks who came down to feed the birds. They told us about another park down the road that we might enjoy. So, after spending a bit of time with them, we headed down the road for a picnic.
The next day we managed to go another 10 miles down the road to the town of Rockport. City park was right along the highway into town, so we stopped there for the afternoon.
The tourist information said there was an aquarium in town which did not charge. But it was Wednesday and the aquarium was not open. Instead we went for a walk along the harbour, past some sailboats, and onto a jetty.
Then back to the parking lot by City Park. Rockport has a giant crab statue that was reproduced from an earlier one which was originally mounted on the roof of a local restaurant and later purchased by the town when the restaurant went out of business.
Later in the day we drove to the Walmart and found an area specifically assigned to RVs and trailers. We made the hard decision that night that it was time the motorcycle was put onto the back rack. As much as we have enjoyed riding it, it would be nice for the two of us to be in the same vehicle again as we travelled down the road making our way slowly back to Canada. So, after four months of riding the motorcycle through Texas, it was time to put it away for a bit.
The next morning we started rearranging things on the back rack so the motorcycle could go put on. I took off the second set of solar panels from the back rack, and removed my bicycle as well. We took the opportunity to do some maintenance on the two deep cycle batteries we have mounted on the back rack that are used to store power from the solar panels. The connections got a bit rusted from being on the gulf coast and being exposed to all sorts of sand and weather during the trip. So they got cleaned up and put back together. I also did the final adjustments on the front bicycle rack so it would hold both bicycles, and got them mounted. Then the motorcycle was pushed onto the rack and tied down. Finally, the solar panels were mounted on the back rack and secured so they would not move around.
This morning we left Rockport, together again, making our way down the road. Destination Goose Island State Park.