Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (mostly pictures)

 Location: Goose Island State Park; near Rockport, Texas

Yesterday was day 2 of 5 here at Goose Island and I backtracked a little for some exploration. The route here from the last campground came in from the north and passed through a flat coastal plain. I knew it was part of or near the Aransas NWF. I've never really gotten turned on by NWF's in the past because after a mile of driving or a half mile of walking, they seem to repeat themselves. It's like what Ronald Reagan said about the Redwood trees, "If you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all". I agree, that may not be fair and I'm prejudging NWF's, but that's all in the past now since I explored one yesterday. 

Once I decide to explore a NWF, I knew I needed to look up an old blog for some information. One of the many blogs I followed, before and after I hit the road, was by a woman named, Judy Bell (RIP). She traveled in a Class A motorhome and volunteered her time at NWF's around the country. The NWF's would give her a campsite, usually with full hookups, in exchange for her volunteer work. She was a true bird expert and knew almost every bird by sight. If you're interested, her blog is still online and the name is Travels with Emma. Emma was the name of her dog. I was hoping she had volunteered at Aransas and would give me some useful tips about the place. Surprisingly, although she visited it on the way to another place at which she volunteered, she never stayed here for a while. Oh well, I guess I was on my own. 

Aransas NWF has been around since the 30's when FDR first helped establish it. After he signed the papers, the CCC began work on building the infrastructure of the area. Although I didn't see everything in the area, I also didn't see any of the tale-tale signs of CCC work like I have seen all over the country.

The rest of this post will just be pictures to help remind me of the place in the future.

The scenic way to the NWF is through privately owned fields that have been recently planted. I initially thought it was NWF property that had been leased but found out later it was privately owned.

As regular readers know, I look for places like this. They all tell a story, at least in my mind. There are never anyone around to ask about the place, so I have to believe what the wind and vibes tell me. This place is located on the side of the roadway and the edge of a massive field. It looks to have been abandoned decades ago and built many decades before that. The first question: Why is it still there? My guess is it has some sentimental value to the owners of the property. Perhaps and old home place? Maybe the old home of a friend or kin? It has been saved for some reason. 

This is the welcome center. There are two very nice ladies that work inside. After talking with them for a while, I found out they are following in the footprints of Judy. Both are work campers volunteering their time at the NWF. Well done, Ladies.

I didn't see any gators, just a nice view at the end of the walkway.

Tidal flats where lots of stuff live.

How about lunch under the Coastal Oaks with a nice view of the bay. I started to bring my lunch on this trip but didn't because I knew I would receive grief from someone about Bologna not being healthy and I should be eating turkey.

This 40 foot observation platform is what originally caught my attention and prompted exploration.

Looking down at Freedom from the first leg of the ramps with the bay in the background.

Beside a nice view of the backwater of the bay, notice the plastic on the post caps to keep birds from resting there and leaving surprises behind from their behind.

That is where we're headed.

View from the top looking out over San Antonio Bay

View from the top looking towards Mustang Lake

The walkway over the Tidal Flats. I'm guessing the thinking bench is from when you come back and need a rest. Not so much a "thinking bench".

A little like the infinity lines. It's a nice walk to be able to see all the tracks and various things in the flats.

The end of the trail. 

A nice "thinking" bench at the end. The plate said it was donated by someone. I wonder how many hours they spent here looking out over the bay and dreaming or remembering.

The walk back to Freedom. As with most things in life, it's usually not a straight line.

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

1 comment:

  1. I liked riding my bicycles on the roads and paths there when the mosquitos would let me.