Well, we enjoyed our last few nights at Sea Breeze RV Park, night fishing and enjoying the company of other couples in the campground. Tuesday morning, we packed up and headed for South Padre Island. We wanted to check out three different campgrounds on South Padre before deciding where to stay. We drove past the South Padre KOA, which is basically a parking lot near the bridge. We then paid $4.00 to drive through Isla Blanca County Park to see what it looked like. It was ok, but nothing special and you can play frisbee with someone in the KOA park if you have a good arm. Then we drove up to the north end of South Padre to Andy Bowie County Park. So the story begins...
We had read that Andy Bowie RV Park was not originally designed to handle large RV's, and we would most likely hit the curbs trying to get in. At this point in the day, we were ready to stay anywhere and I don't mind a challenge. We arrived at the park following the GPS, so the park was on the right, not the left as the GPS had instructed. Luckily, the road was relatively deserted and we made the right from the left lane. We noticed what looked like 3-4 inches of sand blown across the entrance to the park and I thought, no problem... What we did not know, was that a contractor installing pipelines had removed 7 feet of asphalt, dug an 8 foot deep trench, layed the pipe and filled in the 8 foot trench (at the entrance of an RV park) with nice, fine, extra soft dry sand. When the rear wheels of a 30,000 lb rig moving at slow speed, uphill, hit deep, soft, dry sand... guess what happens. Needless to say, forward progress was no longer an option. The storage bins and trailer hitch were on the ground, along with other rather vital parts. We unhooked the Jeep with the help of the park rangers, (who were very surprised that the contractors booby-trapped their park) and managed to back the RV out of the trench and onto the street. At the advice of the rangers, we took a running start at the exit road, because it was not rutted...yet. A 15mph charge up the exit ramp got us in and free to search out which one of the 18 sites in the parking lot we would occupy for the next week, you know there is a one week discount... We picked a spot, set up, paid, and went to see the beach. I don't know how many people know what a Red Tide is, but... A Red Tide is basically an algea bloom/plankton growth, that results in a massive fish kill. The beach is covered with dead fish and a side effect is that humans exposed to the air around the tide experience irritated eyes, coughing, and lung irritation. Today, you could actually see the plankton in the waves. The tide came in and there are waves that look muddy, but are really deadly fish killers! It also hasn't helped that we've had three days with winds of 35mph or higher.
When we pulled in, we parked next to a school bus that has been painted red. It is home to a very nice super friendly couple hit hard by the economy. Jobs lost, apartment lost, but started a new business and working out of it. Tenacity at its best! This country is full of good people who have been hit hard and are doing their best.
This is the wind-surfing and kite-boarding place to be! The Gulf supplies waves and wind for the confident people, and the bay supplies shallow water and safety for those without a death-wish. There are huge sand dunes on this island, and the sand is desperately trying to bury the roads. You can drive for miles on the beaches, I mean miles, really. The beaches are accessable to vehicles and go on for better than 20 miles and remember, you are on your own. Do not get stuck and pay attention to the tides. The deserted beaches are amazing, but not pristine. The lack of population on the beaches also leads to a lack of clean up. Anything that washes up, stays there. Still, very much worth seeing.