Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Random Thoughts on the Way Home

Location: Port Arthur RV Resort; Port Arthur, Texas
On a map, it's along the Sabine River were the Louisiana/Texas border meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Stop #12.
Last one before home.
It's been a while since I've made a post to the blog. Nothing is wrong, I've just been lazy at doing it. I'm at my last stop before heading back home to Louisiana but this post will include some pictures from the Galveston area that I didn't post yet. My plan was to stop here for two nights but ended up extending an additional two nights. The extension was to allow a cold front to pass through Louisiana plus two additional drying days for my campground site in Mansfield to dry out. The owner of the park had to do some digging to unplug a sewer blockage. I'll see about the condition of it tomorrow. I hope it is OK, because the owner said the campground was full due to a large pipeline and other work going on in the area. I asked Brandon to drive around the area to see if the other RV parks were full and he said, yes they are. So, if I can't get into my old site, I'm not sure where I'll be staying tomorrow.
My campsite here at Port Arthur. It is the most crowded campground I've stayed at on this trip and am feeling a bit claustrophobic. 
I really enjoyed my stay on Bolivar. It is just a relaxing place. It was windy, rainy and chilly for several of the days though. I took a few rides on the ferry to go into Galveston for eating and a little exploring. I didn't make a night crossing on the ferry this time and that disappointed me some. I celebrated Mardi Gras with a parade that passed down the highway directly in front of the campground. Crystal Beach put on a nice parade with lots of decorated four wheelers and a few floats. It was a good way to pass a few hours.

Riding the ferry is always a great thing. I make it a point to cross with Liberty in tow so I can get on the platform and look directly down on her roof. I discovered a minor problem that way many years ago. It is a peaceful trip.

As always, I had to check out the "teapot house". Over the years, I've watch it fall into disrepair but the time I was here, someone had started fixing it up. They are doing a great job.

Looking directly at the "teapot house".

I got stopped at a red light in front of the old motel we used to come to when the kids were small. It was a great location, directly across from the beach with a balcony overlooking the Gulf and Seawall Blvd traffic. Great time, great memories. 

One of the better views while driving the Seawall in Galveston.

Crystal Beach Mardi Gras Parade. Directly in front of the campground and within a stones throw of Liberty.

These two ladies were camped next to me in the campground. The dog's name was Emily and she received lots of beads and dog treats from the parade. I posted this picture for "you know who" who liked Elvis a lot, crazy lot.

The view from Fort Travis on Bolivar. That is the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Chanel. Most of those ships are riding at anchor. On a nicer weather day, it is a great place to sit on the benches and watch the ships go by.
Port Arthur and the surrounding area is currently going though a boom town expansion. I was here about five years ago and it seemed like a dying town about to close up shop and blow away. Now though, there are dozens and dozens of new stores and businesses opened with more being built. Several new RV parks are being built with all of the existing ones full. I was lucky to get into this campground. The Texas economy has been looking good at all of the places I've been on this trip, but the coastal cities are doing really good. It's nice to see an old town get new life. 
I'll be passing over the bridge on the left tomorrow when I leave this area. The bridge I'll be using is the newer one. The one on the right is the famous Rainbow Bridge. 

This picture gives an idea of the steepness of the old Rainbow Bridge.
I know I'll never permanently live near an oil refinery or gas plant. When I was camped near the plants at Quintana Beach, I started getting a tickle in the back of my throat with some sneezing thrown in for good measure. I thought I was getting sick so I started some self-doctoring. But when I got to the Galveston area on the Bolivar Peninsula and much farther away from any plants, the symptoms went away. Once I got here to Port Arthur, the symptoms came back within a few hours after setting up camp. I'm anxious to see if they go away when I get back home.

The booming economy down here is largely due to the advent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling used during the oil/natural gas well drilling. This process has dramatically increased the amount of oil/natural gas being recovered. The U.S. is now not only energy independent, but energy dominant. This has been wanted since the late 70's during the oil embargo by the OPEC nations. It's now here. In fact, a natural gas "import" plant was built about 15 years ago just across the state line in Louisiana. Their plan was to unload natural gas tankers and pipeline it into the country. Before it could be completed, so much natural gas was being found and pumped out of the ground in the U.S., the plant was converted to an "export" plant instead. Now, ships are going there to be loaded with natural gas for shipping overseas. This is a great thing worldwide. But, the Democrats want to change all of that and take us back in time. We will see how that goes for them and the country.
This is a picture of the Cheneire Natural Gas export plant. It was a cloudy day when I drove by.

Same Cheneire plant. You can tell by the number of cranes, they are still expanding.

A trip to Sabine Pass on the Texas side. The river on the left is the Sabine River and is capable of receiving ocean going ships.

This picture was taken between Freeport and Galveston. Just a large refinery located in the middle of nowhere.
For those of ya'll familiar with the Bolivar Peninsula, I'm sure you know where Rollover Pass is located. It's a cut between the Gulf of Mexico and the East Bay of Galveston Bay. It actually makes a large chunk of Bolivar Peninsula an island instead of a peninsula. Well, I was shocked as I was leaving the area to head here and saw Rollover Pass was filled in with dirt. Apparently, the pass was causing such large amounts of siltation on the bay and nearby Intracoastal Waterway that the state decided it was better to just fill it in. A lot of fishermen in the area are up in arms about it. I can remember my father talking about fishing at the pass in his younger days. It seems things are always changing. There was so much work going on at the pass, I wasn't able to take any pictures as I passed through. Oh well.

A view along a canal near Sabine Pass on the Texas side. I could tell I was going to get that lens flair when I took the picture. It just sort of adds a little bit to the picture. A little lagniappe. 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.



  1. Thank you for all the reports. I used to have relatives living in Crystal Beach and it was a fun town for a ten year old boy.

    1. My uncle used to have a beach house in Gilchrist that we visited a couple times when I was young kid. It was nice and fun.

  2. Wow hard to believe all the campgrounds are full! Nice the Texas economy is doing well, hate to see towns go down the hill. Some Canadian friends we ran into said they were amazed at the crowds in Texas. They were there for month and always had trouble getting into the State Parks. 4 years ago, no problems. Hoping you find a home base when you get there!

    1. Hello K&S. Yep, reservations are a must now-a-days. If you don't have a reservation, you better have a plan-B on where to stay the night. Most of the RV'ers are people who are working in the area, but most are very well mannered and quiet. I would estimate you should be able to find vacancies and get reservations at COE or State Parks about 2 to 3 weeks in advance. However, some have all the weekends reserved for a few months. Watch out and plan carefully if ya'll bring your new RV this way.

  3. favorite word I learned when we were in the south. Thank you for the gift of seeing it again.

    1. Your welcome Barb, it's one of mine too. I hope Walt is still on the mend. May be time for a brief update on your blog so readers know how he is doing. Take care.

  4. Thanks for the tour of Galveston and especially the shot of The Commodore! Growing up in Houston, I spent many days as a youth on the island. As an adult, The Commodore was my go-to spot for a weekend getaway. Good to see it still doing well.

    1. You're welcome TYR. Galveston and the area has always had a peaceful, good-vid feel for me too. Good memories at the Commodore from family vacations. It looks to be still in good shape. Take care and stay warm with these cool fronts blowing through Texas.

  5. Thanks for the pictures of my wife`s hometown of Galveston. I enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Hello Shawn. Every time I see a marina I think of ya'll in your new sailboat. Be safe out there and enjoy your new toy.