2014 Western Road Trip Day 6, Saturday May 10th

This morning Babs awoke early, dressed, and left the room before 7a.m. to go across to the beach in time to photograph the sunrise. She got these nice photos of the sunrise, as well as, the beach and some people camping insight of the Holiday Inn.. She also saw a pickup truck that left the graded part of the beach and got himself stuck.

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After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed the 17 miles south to the Padre Island National Seashore. First we stopped at the visitors center so that Babs could get her National Parks Passport Book stamped and check on the condition of the beach as far as driving on it was concerned. We were told that the first five miles or so should be alright but to first stop at the end of the pavement and walk out on the sand to check its stability before proceeding onto it.  For the most part the beach above the high tide line is pretty hard packed and handles much like snow does.

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Wheel full of sand

We only saw six other vehicles while we were on the beach. Most people were fishing but there were a few campers. The beach is pretty but almost hostile as far as swimming goes. There is several inches to a couple of feet of seaweed piled on the beach making it difficult to walk to the waters edge and there is basically no sand beach between the seaweed and the water. There is also a considerable amount of trash washed onto the beach by the waves from the Gulf.

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Seaweed

 

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After driving on the beach, we returned to the visitors center which also has beach access and Babs walked down to that beach to try to once again dip her toes in the Gulf but was kept back by the seaweed. She did snap these shots of the dunes and an heron.

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Someone shoveled a path through the seaweed to access the water

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Heron in the dunes

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From Padre Island we continued on our trip heading to Brownsville, TX. While passing through Corpus Christi, Babs wanted to make a side trip to the retired aircraft carrier USS Lexington. The Lexington saw extensive action in the Pacific during World War II, even being hit by a Japanese suicide pilot killing 55 American seaman and wounding 110. I never realized how high the flight deck was off the water. It was a challenge for me to climb the steep narrow stairs. The deck had many aircraft from different eras displayed. It took over an hour and a half to tour the ship but it was a stop well worth taking.

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Looking the length of the flight deck toward the stern

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Corpus Christi Skyline

It was well after lunch time when we left the USS Lexington. As usual on our route there were no fast food places, or any food places for that matter, and no rest area with picnic tables. Around 3:45 p.m. we finally came to a rest area and fixed ourselves a sandwich which we enjoyed in 91 degree heat.

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Our last National Park stamp site for the day was Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park. This is where the battle that began the Mexican American War took place. It was here that the US basic goaded Mexico into a war by building Ft. Texas  next to the Rio Grande River which Mexico claimed as their territory and staging 1700 troops and ten cannon there. The whole thing sounded a lot like what is going on in the Ukraine today. We watched the film and looked at the static displays and then the ranger basically asked us to leave because they close and lock the gates at five p.m..

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Next stop our hotel which turned out to be another Comfort Inn & Suites, dinner at Golden Coral (what else), write the blog and go to bed. It’s now 11 p.m. and I still need to load the pictures.

Tomorrow, we’re off to San Antonio.

Babs Says: Insider tip: When Frank & Babs say they are going on a road trip, buy stock in Pilot gas, and Golden Coral.

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