September 06, 2004

How much crap piles up before you get a whole load?

Well, when we last spoke, I was tellin' ya'll that I was plannin' on takin' a trip down to the coast. I awoke early on Saturday mornin' and decided that if I was gonna do it, I needed to get on with it. Thankfully, there was very little packin' to be done, 'cause I have a plastic box in the trunk that contains several towels, swimmin' suits and tee-shirts. 'Cept for a cheap pair of deck shoes, which I already had upon my feet, there was actually very little else that I needed. I cashed in all my chips and came up with slightly over $200 in road trip funds. By 9:00 a.m. I was on the road. First stop, Blanco, for my, what is becomin' routine, visit with Denita, Eric and Zane.

I arrived in Blanco close to noon. I had tried to call as soon as I hit the road, but No Answer. There seems to be a long dead spot along the road, so I was unable to attempt the call again until I was fairly close, but, as always, I was welcomed. Of course, I never stay long. I could, because Zane is amazin'. His mother, father, and grandmother are workin' hard to teach him things. Just prior to his second birthday, when most children are still workin' on the concepts of shapes and colors, Zane is already showin' off his recognition of the actual letters of the alphabet. Not sayin' his ABC's, but actually choosin' the correct letter when instructed to find an "E," "J," or "Q." He, of course, tired of the game 'bout the same time as I got antsy to get back on the road. It worked out well, as, when all evacuated the house so as to wave me off, Zane was able to re-initiate his sidewalk chalk art production - the very same activity that I interrupted by pullin' into the drive.

It seems I did eat, but I am thinkin' it was some pizza I got at a gas station. I stopped often for gas and Dr. Pepper, and was quite occupied in watchin' the gas prices as I drove along. I actually made bad choices from time to time, stoppin' to fill at one town at a pump where the price was 165.9 per gallon to find it was 164.9 in the next town. Several times, however, I ran to almost empty tryin' to find a low price to instead find myself addin' $10.00 worth to my tank, somewhere between 5 to 6 gallons at 169.9 or more, while tryin' to find a cheaper price. The highest price I found was 189.9 and the cheapest was 162.9. I am proud to say that I paid less than 172.9 at every stop, save one, which was also my most minimal gas purchase at $5.00.

I did eventually arrive at Padre Island, headin' toward the National Seashore portion near Corpus Christi, bein' it was the nearest access to said Island from my place of residence. I was unfamiliar with the road south of San Antonio, so that leg of the trip, my quick car trip along the bay front drive through Corpus Christi, then onto the island. Guess what? It was a beach, it had sand, and it was about as fun a thing to do alone as I imagined it to be. I walked up and down the beach, I played in the water, I sat and stared out into the water. I got back into my car, drove into town and ate a Big Mac. I drove back to the beach, set up my camp and slept. I was sleepin' in the open and was quite shocked to have gotten soaked with a surprise rain storm durin' the wee hours of the mornin. It lasted all of 15 minutes, then it cleared off. The breeze died down, however, so afterward, it became very hot and sticky. I was unable to sleep soundly thereafter and by 7:00 am, I was ready to pack up and leave.

I did drive down 10 miles of beach eyein' the assorted people found along the beach line early on Sunday mornin', but mostly saw guys fishin', large family groups, and a solitary male here and there with an woefully unhappy countenance. Could it be that other lonely men did not find the mere positionin' of themselves on the beach to be of any assistance in riddin' their life of loneliness? Groups of cute gals were not to be seen, at least, groups of cute gals who did seemed to be unaccompanied by groups of guys.

I suspected that all this partyin' that supposedly occurred must occur on South Padre Island, so I drove 90 minutes through some of the most desolate, unpopulated area that I have ever encountered. Seriously, there was hardly anythin' but the greenery, not forests, that lined both sides of the long, straight roadway. Traffic was light. For one of the first times in my life, I found myself succumbin' to white line fever, continually havin' to slap myself, shake my head, and otherwise keep myself attentive to the road.

South Padre Island turned out to be all that I suspect it was. I can see this is the place to go if you are lookin' to party. Whereas the beach at the other end was not all that much unlike Galveston Island, with which I am highly familiar, the sand was a bit whiter in the southern section and the water more aquamarine in color. I jes' briefly went onto the beach, but was pretty well in the mood to return home. I figgered I was close enough to visit Brownsville, the southernmost part of the State of Texas, and, that by doin' so, meant I would not have to return on Hwy 77, the road that worked so hard to put me to sleep on my southbound trip, so I did drive through that little town. I was able to access Hwy 281, which is actually the road that I use to drive down to San Antonio, the very same road that goes through Blanco, the little town where Denita and family reside. On my return trip, I followed the track of US Hwy 281 from Brownsville, Texas all the way up to Hico, Texas (where I am not buyin' their claim of Billy the Kid havin' eventually settlin' in the town and dyin' there), where I have to jog off onto Texas 220 which connects with US Hwy 67 not too far from my home burg.

I did stop to visit with Denita, Zane, her brother Michael and her dad briefly on the return trip. I learned that Denita's dad has very little time to visit with his grandson Zane. I also was very eager to get home. I did not stay long. I actually arrived at my house just a minute or two before midnight. I had hoped to get this report posted before headin' for bed, but I was so worn out I passed on the opportunity as I passed the laptop sittin' on the floor as I entered my abode.

My navel was upset that it was unable to view the beach through the dark red cloth of my tee-shirt, but the area surroundin' it was too white to expose to the vivid sunshine blazonin' down and, additionally, as reflected off the water. End of report.

Posted by Tiger at September 6, 2004 12:39 PM