Port Isabel and Brownsville

After the Corpus Christi public library branch where I got my schoolwork turned in (thanks, libraries!), I headed south to the very tip of Texas, where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico. My goal here was the state historic site at the Port Isabel Lighthouse.

It was a beautiful day, balmy at about 70 degrees with blue skies and sunshine.

glorious T-shirt weather in Port Isabel, Texas

I paid $2 (student fare) to climb the lighthouse: 75 steps, and I was slightly concerned about my bad knees (the left one has flared up now, too), but should have been more concerned about my fear of heights! It all came out fine though and I was rewarded at the top by views like this one of the pass over Queen Isabella Causeway to South Padre Island.

After a night spent in Los Fresnos, we headed down into Brownsville to ride the trails at Monte Bella Park. I had a really nice time carving 8 miles of curving trail, and then walked Hops another mile so we both got to see the place. I’m pleasantly surprised: Brownsville has no elevation, and so building interesting trails is a challenge, but somebody did a nice job with this one. It turns quite a bit, reminding me at times of the old Lake Bryan race course (anybody?); and overall it reminded me of Memorial Park back before it got all washed-out and rooty. Not the most complicated ride in the world, and I wouldn’t recommend driving across the state for it; but a fun way to get on two wheels for a bit, and I would totally ride it again if I were back in the area. Hops would walk it again, too.

Sorry no trail pics; on to the next place…

for the birds

This one’s for my friend Katie Fallon, author of Cerulean Blues and Vulture.

On Goose Island, I saw spotted sandpiper, bufflehead, sanderling, turkey vulture, and black vulture – so many black vultures.

On Padre Island, brown pelican, great blue heron, long-billed curlew, laughing gull, grackle, and Wilson’s plover.

In Port Isabel, a field of snow geese – is that rare?? There is certainly no snow here! It’s T-shirt weather. In fact, I saw the most beautiful sunset, all pinks and purples behind palm trees over perfectly still water giving a pristine reflection of the same – sorry, no pictures, as I was driving. Views like this certainly make the Christmas decorations a little disconcerting.

On the road north of Brownsville, I saw a crested caracara and lots of red-tailed hawk, and a darker bird of prey of about the same size that I could not ID. And turkeys! A whole flock of turkeys, the first I’ve ever seen in the wild! What fun.

Here’s to more!