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)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Matagorda Bay and Colorado River (Texas)

Location: Matagorda Bay Nature Park and RV Campground; Matagorda, Texas

This is stop #9

The weather front finally pushed on through late last night. It brought chilly weather with temperatures in the mid 50's but no fog. It wasn't perfect weather but it was good enough for me to do some exploring. The clouds are suppose to clear out and bring in clear skies with plenty of sun over the next few days. But, I'll be seeing that nice weather from a different location since tomorrow is moving day. Even with the poor weather, I think I've seen what I came to see and won't need to come back. This place is sort of out of the way and off the beaten path. It does have a great beach to beachcomb, but in much better weather. I doubt that will be enough to bring me back.
A nice picture of Liberty out the side window of Freedom.
The campground is at the end of a peninsula of land that runs parallel with one of the legs of the Colorado River (Texas). It empties into the Gulf of Mexico about a thousand yards from the campground. The nearest town, Matagorda, is about 7 miles north of the campground. It's a small, two gas station, town. There isn't much activity or many places open since it's the off-season. I imagine it is really hopping during the summer though. 

Long straight highway from Matagorda to the Nature Park. That is the Colorado River on the right side and on the left side is the back water from East Matgorda Bay.
How is this for lucky timing. I stopped to snap a picture of the Welcome sign and a small shrimp boat was underway going down the Colorado towards the Gulf. 
This place is close enough to San Antonio, Austin and Houston for people to come on the weekend. I'm glad I came without the crowds. I was able to wander around and explore essentially all by myself. 

One of the things I wanted to see was the ship locks on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) where the Colorado River crosses it. Even though they are called locks, they serve more as flood gates when the Colorado River gets high. The Corp of Engineers and others have screwed around with the water flow in this area for many, many decades. Mistakes were made and corrected by shifting the river around. There are now essentially two legs of the Colorado with the  locks/floodgates installed sometime in the 60's (I think). I drove around trying to find a way to get a closer look at the locks but I couldn't get past some of gates across the access roads. Lots of these restricted access points are a result of 9-11. Oh well, I did get one picture that is worth posting.
I got this picture by stopping on the top of the new bridge that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway. It is a new, elevated bridge and replaces an old lift bridge. Timing my crossing so no traffic was coming, I was able to stop and take a couple pictures out the side window of Freedom. In the picture you can see the lock in the far background is open on both ends. The middle portion of the water is the main leg of the Colorado River that empties into West Matagorda Bay. Upstream is to the right and downstream to the left. The lock in the foreground has one gate open and one closed. The water meandering off to the left is the east leg of the Colorado that goes on to the campground and the Gulf. 
While driving around Matagorda trying to find an access to the locks, I stumbled on an old abandoned house. It must have been one of the best houses in town during its day. A two story house with several dormers and a large spire with windows must have been really elaborate when it was new. I was hoping there was a local museum so I could ask about the house but there wasn't any listed on Google Maps. Oh well, it will be just another one of those things that will rattle around inside without any definitive answers.
It's hard to estimate the age but I would guess it may be from the 1920's. I doubt something like this would have been built during the Great Depression or the War Years. It seems older than the 50's or 60's plus the style doesn't match for those decades. It must have been something when it was new. If only houses could talk.
 The last thing I wanted to do was walk the elevated boardwalk from the Nature Park to one of the jetties. It's about 1/3 of a mile long and goes out over the beach and surf. I noticed it on Google Earth a few years ago when I planning a different trip. It was out of the way on that trip so I put it on my list of places to see later. Well, later was now and I saw it today. It was a little chilly with the wind blowing but was a great walk with a really nice view. As usual, I was the only one there which made it extra nice.
The beginning of the walkway headed to the Gulf

Looking back at the walkway and up the coast at the surf line. 

Looking ahead to the end of the walkway. You can go down to the beach or to the jetty.

Have to look backwards every now and then just to make sure you remember where you came from. 

The view of the open Gulf and jetty from the end of the walkway.

A view up the coast from the end of the walkway.

Looking out to the Gulf and beyond. It was a nice viewing spot.
Like I said, tomorrow is moving day and it will be another short tow to a place I've been to before. Last time I was there, I didn't finish something that I started, so I'll give it another go this time. The weather seems like it will be in my favor. 

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


  1. The last time (well, the only time) I was down that way I picked up the book Matagorda by Louis L'amour. A good story. I'll be back that way again.

    1. Hello Rob. Louis L'amour was my favorite author many years ago. I read dozens and dozens of his books. I liked them because he would research the setting of his stories. If he mentioned the name of a mountain or valley, he had been there before writing about it. Be safe out there, where ever you are. Your last post talked about Texas, picture of Florida but your post before that was on the West Coast.

    2. My blog is bouncing around, I'm working on getting it around to my current reality.
      My grandson got leukemia (right before we were going leave) so we are hanging out in western Washington to help out while he goes thru the cure. He is doing well & is on the road to being cured!

    3. I read all the Louis L'Amour years ago too, one of the reasons I picked up the book when I was down that way.

    4. Hello Rob, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandbaby, but happy that he is doing well. Emotional roller coaster when family members get sick, especially kids or grandkids. Ya'll take care, thoughts and prayers.

  2. It seems you are having a great trip ---that big old house looked interesting - would love to know its history ---I love old things-- travel safe --o

    1. Thanks Jenny. Places like that just stand out to me when I'm wandering around. I hope your trip was a good.