Today we headed down island to check out the Galveston Island State Park. The island gets skinnier the further south you go. There's also still quite a bit of evidence of hurricane damage. Not sure, but I suspect much of it is from Hurricane Ike, which slammed into Galveston back in 2008. Even with the seawall, the island seems pretty low and it's easy to imagine a storm surge just washing over everything. The seawall is right on the gulf so there's very little if any beach along the seawall. At any rate, the sun came out and it almost hit 60F with very little wind. Perfect for hiking.
But before we get started, here's seagull lady. I suspect
this is a daily ritual.
This hotel is out on a pier over the water and still looks pretty
wrecked. Wendy said she remembers seeing this on TV
when Ike came ashore.
Galveston Island State Park spans the island from the gulf to the
back bay. There's a huge area of salt marsh where we did some
hiking. Once again, the Astrals were virtually alone here. Just us
and a bunch of water birds. We packed a lunch and ate it on a
bird-watching platform in the middle of windswept desolation.
Here's some beautiful washed-out sea grass.
Have van, will travel.
The park itself seemed to have a bit of hurricane damage. I don't
know what this used to be, but whatever it was, it ain't no more.
Hiking through the salt marshes has its own austere beauty.
HERE I am, an old man in a dry month, Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain. I was neither at the hot gates Nor fought in the warm rain Nor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass, Bitten by flies, fought.*
Here's Astral Wendy crossing over one of the
footbridges. There were lots of ponds and fingers
of the bay here.
We spotted a lot of the more common water birds. We'd probably
see a lot more if we came at dawn or dusk.
This next set of photos is representative of the colors and patterns
we saw today. I will wisely let them speak for themselves. Enjoy.
Ok, back to blather mode.
Way out at the end of one peninsula, past the end of
the marked trail, we saw these old pilings, which from
a distance looked like a mini-Stonehenge. So we trekked
out to check it out. Looked a lot cooler from the distance
and we had to hike through some wetlands. Astral Wendy
got a soaker and now her Ed Hardys are cooked.
I'd say we were the only people to sit on this bench in a long.
Houses on stilts seems to be the main hurricane defense, but some
go full Buckminster Fuller.
And some go one step beyond. Not sure if the joke here is about
a free bowl of soup or a Mission to Mars. But I do know I would
not want to ride out a hurricane in this death trap. And I hope the
air conditioning works in the summer. Otherwise, just add the peanut
oil and stir-fry.
Everything IS bigger in Texas, including
big stacks of big containers of big cheese balls.
*T.S. Eliot, Gerontion