Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Before I Built a Seawall

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall*

As much as the Astrals love the beach and as much as the seawall is necessary for Galveston to protect itself from hurricanes, still "something there is that doesn't love a wall" indeed. And this wall is pretty damn high and it's hard to grasp it's height until you get down onto the beach, which we did this morning after breakfast. The beach is narrow and the sand dark and dingy. Add to that the freighters and tankers off-shore waiting to enter Galveston Bay and it's not the most beautiful of coastal vistas. We also rode our bikes along the seawall as far north as the inlet to the bay and let's just say: you really want to stay on the wall because the drop-off is steep and immediate and the landing area is comprised of jagged granite boulders.

Still, there are worse places to have a morning cup of coffee. Only
anxiety: will I find a groovy seashell?

While I mill around, Astral Wendy takes lots of photos.

This is a shot of our motel from beach level, which gives a
good perspective on the seawall. 

A curiously pitted seashell.

Further north, when we were riding, the beach got a little
wider. Still, the sand is dark and grim and the water doesn't
look that appalling. I'm not sure if people swim here or not
and it's still too cold to find out.

Some commercial concern owns a piece of beach here and they
charge to park on it. They also advertised availability for weddings 
and other events. Believe it or not, the boat on the right was their
concession stand.

I suspect the city just got tired of having wooden benches
destroyed by storms and just installed these concrete slabs
as replacements.  The colorful painting helps.

When riding north on the seawall, we saw this area where the island
widened out enough to include some salt marshes and a pond.

Some of the areas of wetlands below the seawall had some
pretty yucky looking water. Not sure what's going on in there
but it sure isn't pristine. Cool psychedelic patterns but even the
air had a chemical smell, like riding past a fragrance factory.

We did reach the fort at the north end of the island.
I should the site of the former fort because the only
thing there was a flagpole and a plaque. This did
not prevent me from claiming the land in the name
of the Astral Nomads.

Astral Wendy watched me claim the land but
seemed singularly unimpressed. She's quite
used to my blathering

Someone asked what we had for dinner last night. (This one's for you Barb!)

One block from our motel is the Saltgrass Texas Steakhouse.
I think it's a regional chain or something but the beef was
quite good and the decor is right off the range.

In order to get served, you first have to make it past
this snarling wild boar. Now I'm really glad I didn't run into
one of these guys when we were hiking in Florida. Surprisingly
enough, there was no wild boar on the menu.

Astral Wendy had this fine slab of Prime Rib. You
in Texas now girl. I had a filet mignon (not pictured)
and both pieces of meat were superb.

*Robert Frost, Mending Wall


  1. That last picture reminds me of a Foster's commercial: picture of a large slab of red meat on a plate. A hand enters the picture and deposits a tiny sprig of parsley on said slab. Voice-over: "salad".

  2. @Thomas: Ha! We're in beef country now.

  3. The sea water in the Galveston area is always brown and foamy from the silt etc from the Mississippi River--the sand is the same color for the same reason. Usually we swim in it but after the oil spill, not sure I am going to this year.

  4. @kornberg: thanks for the read and for the clarification on the water. much obliged.