Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Last Pictures from Quintana Area

Location: Quintana Beach County Campground; Quintana, Texas  (south of Houston)

All Pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

The next campground is only about 2 hours away so I plan to pull out around 10:30 or so. There are two routes to get there, both of which are equal in travel time. One is passing over the San Luis Bridge that connects to the southern end of Galveston Island. It is a long and very narrow bridge. I crossed it many years ago while traveling in a car. At that time there was a shifting fog which varied from having to almost stop to being able to see out into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the kind of weather and narrowness that would make a person question why he's on the bridge. The second route is slightly inland and passes through the Coastal Plain. Like I said, both route are equal in terms of time, I wonder which way I'll choose,,, Duh,,,, I'm choosing the Coastal Plains. Wish me luck.

Since I'm on 30 amp service, I use propane to power my water heater. To do so, I have to flip a switch. It usually takes about 15 minutes to heat up the water, so I figured I would post the last of the pictures I've taken around the area while drinking my morning coffee and waiting on hot water. I hope I don't run out of propane. 

Here we go, last of the picture, with captions:

There are two man-made things in Texas that all visitors should see. One is a H-E-B grocery store (think Whole Foods, but better) and the other is a Buc'ees gas station. I've noticed some smaller Buc'ees on this trip, but make sure you see one of their "big'uns". 

Same Buc'ees except I liked the way the flag was flying in this one. I was waiting in the car wash line while taking this picture. It wasn't the best car wash, but it was worth the $10.00 to get Freedom almost totally clean.

This is the fishing pier that is part of the City of Quintana Beach.

A few guys leaving he fishing pier with their fishing gear as I arrived. They said nothing was biting.

Now it was a chilly morning and I'm in long pants with a wind breaker on,,,, but apparently surfing in a wet suit is warm enough. 
Apparently when a "rip current" warning goes out to warn swimmers of dangerous conditions, it is like a dinner bell for the surfers.

Surprisingly, close to half of the surfers were women. 

Night fishing capabilities

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fishing pier are the Surf Fishing Persons (again, about half were women)

From one of the wooden walkways in the campground. Freedom and Liberty is in the picture somewhere.

I think this metal sculpture is to warn Non-Southerners about our flying friendlies. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Moving Day Tomorrow and Pictures

Location: Quintana Beach County Campground; Quintana, Texas 

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

Nine days is too long to stay in one place when I'm traveling. I keep re-learning this lesson. But the porch lights are almost on and I'll be heading home soon. Tomorrow is moving day and I have reservations at an old familiar campground. I'll be staying 6 days at Bolivar Peninsula RV Park in Crystal Beach, Texas. It is just ferry ride away from Galveston Island while I will be taking several times during my stay. There has been lots of thinking time while staying here at Quintana since the weather restricted a lot of things I had planned. I may continue that and finalize some things at Bolivar. 

Until then here are a few pictures I was able to take when I was able to get out and about:
Another large ship entering Freeport harbor. There are a couple of large parking lots with new cars near the campground. I'm not sure if they are coming or going, but this ship looks to be part of the plan.

I was lucky in catching a small storm and high tide at the same time while walking alone on the south jetty. I wasn't able to make it to the end due to large waves crashing over the jetty.

You can see the waves crashing over the end of the jetty. It was a very powerful feeling. I liked it.

Looking back towards land. This was the best experience I had here at Quintana.

This was on a quieter day while driving around the community of Surfside. That is the north jetty on the right in the picture.

Looking at the north jetty. The tide was in again on this day. It was also very chilly outside with the wind blowing.
Old Glory is looking pretty good against the dark sky

Beach-house living anyone???

Maybe a little too close to the water???

The beach is about 20 yards out the back door. I wonder if you get tired of the view after a while? 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Weather, Weather, Weather

Location: Quintana Beach County Campground; Quintana, Texas (south of Houston)

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

Ever since I've left on this short trip the weather has been an issue, one way or the other. It seems if it wasn't cold, it was windy or raining. Well now that I'm on the coast, the temperature has gotten right with the daytime temps in the low to mid 70's and the nighttime temps falling into the mid 60's. But even though it has been dry, warmer and only breezy, the weather people have still found a way to mess things up. This time it is fog. Not just morning fog that burns off once the sun comes out,,,, nope, this stuff stays around all day long. It gets dense too with visibility down to a couple hundred yards. Being unfamiliar with the area, trying to drive in it would be crazy. It will tease you a little bit and lift for a few hours but then comes back that evening. Strange stuff. 
I found a pair of benches to watch a large cargo ship enter Freeport Harbor. The fog had lifted just enough for the ship to safely enter. It started fogging up again a few hours later. 

A close up of the ship as I enjoyed the benches.

The ship made it safely into the harbor leaving behind the two long jetties that protect the harbor and guide the ships in and out. If the weather cooperates, I hope to walk to the end of one of them. 

This is the beach in front of the county campground/park. The fishing pier in the background and of course the umbrella/Copacabana like things on the beach. I'm sure it is packed with people on a nice summer day. 
I've been forced to follow the current weather and forecast closer than I usually do because of this strange weather pattern that seems to be following me. It seems to this uneducated traveler that the cold fronts coming out of the north are just strong enough to make it to the Gulf coast before stalling out. After they sit here for a day it changes to a warm front and moves north to collide with the next cold front coming down, causing rain and wind. This pattern seems to be repeating itself over and over. What is needed is a strong enough front to blow everything through the area an into the Gulf. Almost like erasing a blackboard. Oh well, even though the fog has kept me inside more than I wanted, at the wind is strong enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay when I am able to get outside. Always a silver lining, just have to look for it.
From my favorite National weather site. It is from the National Weather Prediction Center (1/2 to 2 1/2 days out). Just a mess everywhere, but Kansas better watch out. 

I'll be here through Sunday before heading on a little farther north and closer to Louisiana. I'm thinking about heading to the Bolivar Peninsula after leaving here. I've stayed there a few times in the past and it suits me well.  

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Gulf of Mexico; Quintana

Location: Quintana Beach County Campground; Quintana, Texas 

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

I pulled out of Jim Hogg Campground in a cold drizzling rain. It stopped long enough for me to empty my tanks but lasted long enough to give me the shivers. I towed in and out of this little rain front all the way to the coast. Luckily, I was able to arrive and set up camp before the rain reached Quintana.

I've known of this campground for some time now but have never been in a position to camp and check it out. I've known others who have camped here and said great things about it. So, we will see how it is since I'm registered for a nine day stay. That is really a super long stay for me when I'm traveling. 

I'm writing this post on Monday morning after arriving here Saturday afternoon. I have only been able to see the Gulf for just a short time due to rain and fog. Yeah, fog. It rolled in Saturday night and didn't start clearing until late Sunday afternoon. Looking out the window, it is foggy again this morning. It is suppose to get better by Wednesday, but me and the weather-people haven't been on the same page lately. 

Just a few pictures until I get a chance to do more exploring. 
This is still at Jim Hogg while sitting at the picnic table the afternoon before leaving.

Same time at the picnic table but looking back at the trees that I've been admiring since being here.

Still at the picnic table. I'm putting this picture here for two reasons. One: this is the same angle of Liberty that I took at Quintana which is posted later in this post. Second: to remember the old Hippie couple in the van. They have been here for the last few days. Today they have been listening to Crosby, Stilles, Nash and Young's Four Way Street album, 8-trackcassette, CD, ??? I knew every song, wow, it's been awhile.

It was an overcast day with on/off rain showers all the way. But traffic was light and the condition of the roads good.

That's a swarm of birds over the road. I'm assuming the grain silo on the left has something to do with it.

Just a few miles from Quintana and the coast. If you see a high bridge like that one ahead anywhere along the coast of Texas it can mean only one thing. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

Sure enough, the ICW. So little traffic, I was able to take this from the top of the bridge. Tugs working, working, working. This is just a small part of the 3,000 miles of the ICW.

Coming down from the bridge. The Gulf is in the distance but I turn left at the intersection.

All set up at Quintana. This is the same perspective as the picture above at Jim Hogg

That's Liberty from the road on the backside of the campground leading to the ship channel. Alongside the road is the local mosquito hatchery. I hope I leave before they come out to play.

As with most of Texas, you can drive right out on the beach if you want.

I had to see the Gulf when the fog lifted. This is a quick picture of it and I hope more to come during this stay. Also looking for a nice sunrise. 

If you are ever in this area, stop in at Sweet T's Diner in Freeport (nearby town). It is just a few miles from the campground. I've tried Reuben Sandwiches all over the country and this one, at this little diner is definitely in the top 5. 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Location: Jim Hogg Corps of Engineers Campground; Georgetown, Texas (Near Austin)

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

The weather has finally warmed up some with the temperatures predicted to be in the low 70's for the next couple of days. I'll try not to complain about the heat like I did the cold,,, maybe, maybe not. I was able to wander around the campground a little.

Lookie there, I found a bench. First one in a while.

Taken from one of the fishing docks. The campground is in the far distance.

The sky always looks great after a front comes through

Looking back at the lake while going to the parking lot.

Deer are everywhere around here. Those are some of the trees I've been trying to find the name.
Blackjack Oak??? Strangely, a lot of the local don't know

One of the reasons for coming here besides escaping the cold weather up north was to visit the Longhorn Caverns. They are part of a Texas State Park, but sadly, the park doesn't have a campground. I was interested to see how they compared to Carlsbad Caverns that I visited a year or so ago. I knew the entrance fee was higher for Longhorn than Carlsbad so my expectations were spiked a little.

The cavern was "supposedly" formed over 300 million years ago when the ground rose up thereby cracking the limestone. This cracking allowed water to begin dissolving the limestone which created the caverns. That is about as brief as I can make it, but again, it was "supposedly" created this way. There is always the "expanding earth theory" that can be used to explain things as well. 

The caverns are about an hour drive from the campground. It passes through the edge of the Texas Hill Country with its Oak and Cedar Trees. I haven't been able to find the name of the smaller and broader Oak trees. I've asked several people and all they say is it's an Oak Tree. Oh well, one of the good suggestions was a Blackjack Oak. I like that name and may just call them that and quit asking.

The beginning of the Texas Hill Country

This is a busy picture. The building in the background was built by the CCC in the 1930's, when they cleaned out the cavern.

My tour group going into the darkness

Looking up through one of the openings near the entrance.

There is a nice path throughout the cavern

They said this was naturally formed and was a million plus years old. 

Typical cavern

Some of the improvements to capture the water 

There were places where you had to bend over to keep from bumping your head

I caught up with the tour group again

Some places almost looked fake

Better duck your head

Stairways to the light and the Exit.
After getting back from the caverns, I went to the H-E-B grocery store. It has been a few years since I've been in one, and boy howdy I had forgotten how great they are. They have anything and everything you could want plus their prices are really great. I picked up a couple Chuck Eye Steaks for $5.00. I had them last night and they were tasty, tasty. I guess two of the main things for anyone passing through Texas to stop and see are a Buc'ees gas station and an H-E-B.

Moving day will be Saturday and of course they are saying rain with a few thunderstorms for both here and where I'm going. We will see how bad it gets and how much dodging I'll have to do. By the way, the next stop will be on the Gulf of Mexico at Quintana Beach County Campground in Freeport, Texas. I look forward to seeing the Gulf again, it's been way too long.
First decent sunrise I've seen in a long time. I hope to see more at the next campground.
 Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.