Island Time

Our RV neighbors that moved in beside us in Brownsville just happened to be the neighbors that we spent a few days on the beach with in Port Aransas.

Mona and Eduard from Quebec decided to join us as for a day on South Padre Island.

We had a great time visiting the island.

We all payed the $5 which was the day use fee for the Isabela Blanca municipal Park at the south end of South Padre Island and took a tour of the camping and Park area.

We did have thoughts about the possibility of camping down there, however after checking out the campground we decided that it wasn’t a good fit for us.

There was a great Christ the Redeemer statue erected in the island Blanca Park area to honor those fishermen who had given their lives to their craft.

We stopped at the second municipal park entrance at gate 6. It was a bit too close to the water for us to consider in an RV.

We felt driving through the ocean to get a beach camping spot. This picture really doesn’t show how unconfortably close the waves were to the RVs.

We then drove north on South San Padre Island as far as we could drive.

With the road closing in on us from sand blowing across the highway we drove right to the end.
It was just a beautiful sight to see!

This National Park with mounds of sand overlooking the Gulf of Mexico only 30 miles from the Mexican border was beautiful.

On our return drive we checked out the Adventue Park run by the Wells family.

The Wells family has served South Padre Island for 5 generations!

Their Adventure Park is located at near the end of Park Road 100 with forty acres of land spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to the Laguna Madre Bay.

Horseback rides are along the beach in a remote area of the Island that few people get to experience. No crowds here!

They don’t limit your number of Zip-A-Thon. With their unique quick zip-line transition system you are able to zip around the zip-line circuit as fast, or, slow as you want.

The Petting Barn is filled with birds and animals they have rescued or have been donated to us for a forever home.

We had Christmas cards to mail, so on our way south we stopped in at the post office to send our cards. It’s a big Post Office for such a small island but had excellent service.

Additionally I asked for recommendations for lunch… Customers and staff were happy to help!

Cafe Karma was a great choice… Just across the street.
Will Everett, of Brownsville, and Roin Khurami, from Kabul, Afghanistan, are serving coffee and lattes to beachgoers on the Island they have a unique story of how Will, an aid worker brought his friend Roin to the USA. It was Roin who served us.

We had great toasted sandwiches and lattes.

We continued south and were really surprised with the few number of people that were on the island. There seem to be many many buildings and homes that were vacant. Apparently we had just visited the island during the slow time. we were told that in the next two weeks people would be filling things up.

We discovered that the municipality had completed great planning and left spaces between each of the buildings along the shore with access points to walk to the beach.
This included free parking. here’s a picture of our friends on the mats that they put on the beach for those that are physically challenged to get out and enjoy the beach in a wheelchair.

Mona and Eduard enjoyed the dunes and the day with us.

We returned to our campsite but not without visiting Port Isabella.

The Point Isabel Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Port Isabel, Texas, United States that was built in 1852 to guide ships through the Brazos Santiago Pass to Port Isabel. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 30, 1976

A pelican pair peruse the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The GICW is an an improved navigable waterway along the Gulf Coast of the United States, extending from Apalachee Bay, Florida, westward to the Mexican border at Port Isabella, a distance of more than 1,100 miles (1,770 km). In part artificial, the waterway consists of a channel paralleling the coast behind barrier beaches, the channel being linked by a series of canals. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is an important route for barges, and several sections of it furnish access to major gulf ports for oceangoing vessels. it’s a great waterway refuge for recreational boats in rough weather.

Pelican landing along the shoes of Grand Padre bay.

Pirate’s Landing Restaurant in Historic Port Isabel, TX.

Well we had a great adventure in this coast of Texas. It’s not the last time we visit… We need to see the Turtle sanctuary. For now we are off to Brownsville and next time we settle in Donna Texas for the holidays. Sea ya!

All points south.

We had a great time on Port Aransas beach (Port A) but it was time for us to move on. We’ve talked before about towing our 2019 Toyota Corolla which we have affectionately named Lily but I don’t think we’ve ever shared any pictures or videos how we do this feat.

So here goes we’re hooking up Lily to Harvey and turning it around on the Port A beach. This will give you an idea of how wide the roadway is at the North end of this island. Kathy drives the rig 99% of the time because she is capable and loves doing it.

Port Aransas is a city on Mustang Island, on the Texas coast. It’s known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and fish-filled waterways. As Port Aransas is on an island we drive South until we get to the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge that will take us into the city of Corpus Christi.

Our trip has been primarily about smaller towns and villages, that’s what we really like, not the bigger cities and centers. On our trip South we actually bypass Corpus Christi and head south on State highway 77.

The land is extremely flat and from time to time we’ll see the border patrol doing checks on vehicles heading in the north direction. We love change in vegetation as it’s really beginning to look desert.

It isn’t until January that we will actually be stopped out of order station and that will be on the west side of Texas.

We’re heading to Harlingen, Texas and to the FedEx Depot to pick up a previously arranged shipment of a new Sailrite sewing machine. We’ve had our eye on this for some time and aren’t disappointed when we pick it up as planned.

Our plan is to use it for several of the projects that we have in mind including curtains and bike covers. Maybe some future boat projects as well.

We headed off to Winterhaven RV park, which is towards South Padre Island in Brownsville. The area that we were going to be going to is the southernmost area of the United States along the Mexican border, the intercoastal waterway and South Padre island. We stayed two nights in Winter Haven RV resort.

We got to enjoy a very simple RV Park. We also enjoyed seeing prickly pear cactus up close in person for the first time.

All along the road we are continue to be blessed by the changing dynamics of the scenery. Texas has been very flat along the gulf coast and we can see how hurricanes can do so much damage.

We are also quite surprised that we were not met with any of the uprisings that were being reported by national news agencies of the illegal aliens trying to infiltrate the border.

We decided even though we arrived mid-afternoon that we would take a drive and go down to South Padre Island.

… about 45 minutes away from our RV park.

We definitely weren’t disappointed as we went there’s a little town of Port Isabella.

It just happened to be that Port Isabella was celebrating their Christmas parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.

We took a quick trip over the bridge to South Padre island…

and came back to enjoy the parade.

The Point (Port) Isabel Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Port Isabel, Texas, United States that was built in 1852 to guide ships through the Brazos Santiago Pass to Port Isabel. Of the 16 lighthouses originally constructed along the Texas coast, Port Isabel is the only one open to the public. With a perch 50 feet above the ground, it is popular with photographers and other visitors, because they can enjoy great views of South Padre Island and the beaches. In fact, a number of couples have climbed the 75 winding stairs, including three short ladders, to exchange wedding vows at the top of the tower.

this is a beautiful lighthouse that you see when you come back from South Padre island and just before you go across the bridge that joins the mainland to South Padre island.


The two-mile-long Queen Isabella Causeway, located in southern Cameron County, Texas, is the only road connecting South Padre Island, Texas to the mainland. The Causeway was opened in 1974 and replaced the previous bridge, which had also been named Queen Isabella Causeway. This bridge also spans the end of the Gulf ICW.

Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway collapsed on the night of Sept. 15, 2001, killing eight people when they plunged from the roadway 80-feet below into the bay after a tugboat and tug slammed into the base.

Let’s say we looked differently at the bridge causeway after learning of its history. The bridge which is totally safe now with new navigation lanes had pelicans flying along the side of the road as we travel across.

The sunset was amazing over the water and up to the town of Port Isabella as we settled in for the towns Christmas parade.

It was amazing the number of kids and families gathered who almost all spoke Spanish which of course is no surprise as we’re only a few miles from the Mexican border and of no surprise as this part of Texas was once part of Mexico.

Next trip we take a look at San Padre Island.

It was USA Thanksgiving

We decided to take a week to rest, tour and rejuvenate at Goliad State Park, Texas. This state pass is certainly paying off with great benefits. We don’t pay daily park fees and we get discounted campsites. We’ve seen a few people who commented on blogs and on Facebook that they spend lot of time picking up and moving and we are going to take a break.

We’ve used the strategy of no more than 300 miles a day, staying a place for at least 3 days, and don’t arrive after 3 o’clock. We’re calling it the three three 3-3-3. Well we have broken our rule almost every time we stopped. We really haven’t gone over 300 miles in the single day however we have arrived after 3 p.m. and that has not been a great experience.

Onto our story, we’re in Goliad, Texas. Goliad was a mission station that was founded in 1759.

The Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the the Mission Espirito Santo from plans, remaining walls and artifacts found on site.

We got to visit and stay at Goliad State park, you get the opportunity to tour around the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Mission and imagine what it would have been like so many years ago.

Nearby is the Presidio La Bahía, which was created to protect the mission but also famous for the location where Colonel James W Fannin and his men were massacred by Mexican troops.

We enjoyed our time in this state park, however we were put in the back parking lot, as I call it and not in the pull through sites where a lot of other campers were located. In the end it was really nice and quiet and there was only two of us back there for the second half of the week.

The first half the week we got to meet a family of folks originally from the Philippines.

We moved our vehicle so they could all camp together and we were invited to join them as they celebrated there annual gathering. Some of the folks that we met there were teachers from Houston and their kids. It was interesting to see them cook their food in a traditional Philippine way.

One of the reasons why we stayed in Goliad for a week was that it was the American Thanksgiving weekend.this is our first time to cook Thanksgiving dinner two times in one year and we took advantage of it because we both love turkey and had an awesome turkey dinner.

We also got to meet up for the couple of campers, Tim and Patty who stayed on Magnolia Beach at the same time. We have become Facebook friends with them and their two dogs.

With time on our hands and hours on haRVey’s generator we determine that we should take on the generator’s oil change.

We successfully changed the oil and put in new synthetic oil, the generator runs like a gem, giving us reliable electricity when we throw the switch.

With a week we decided to tour the small town of Goliad. This gem had a handsome town square.

With the down turn in economy over the years many the buildings although restored and looking in apparent great shape we’re not occupied.

One very large shop,

Square Gallery was full of antiques and collectibles from days gone by and even newer collectibles.

This included books and treasures collected by the two owners Kathy and Gaye. We got to visit with them and it was a great time. Lots of laughs and lots of history.

The county courthouse was a gem in the crown in the middle of this town square.

What also made this town special were the living oak trees that we’re not destroyed as the town was developed.

These trees were living right in the middle of many of the streets and we loved driving round the streets taking pictures of them and seeing how the street have been routed to go around them even the middle of some blocks of houses and stores.

Our location, afforded us the opportunity to go to the nearby town of Beeville.

Although there wasn’t a lot to see in do in this town there was some nice architecture and another great county building.

It was only about 30 miles to the west of Goliad so it was a quick trip.

We decided that we would drive back to haRVey, but then like every other trip we took another side trip and we thought we should investigate Cuero.

We decided to head north to small town called Cureo.

We had been told by other campers with their grandchildren that there was a really nice Christmas light display located in this town.

We drove the 30 miles north and definitely not disappointed. I think this is the biggest display of Christmas lights at we’ve ever seen.

The community had closed the summer playground swiming pools and county grounds and turned it into a magical drive thru with millions of lights or that’s what it seemed liked.

I don’t know if I mention there was an any snow!

Another day we got to visit the clinic here in Goliad. Kathy stepped on the side of her foot and we thought that she might have fracture to bone.

After an xray and a nurse practitioner visit, we received confirmation that all was okay….we could move along.

Before we left Goliad we went 30 miles to the east to a town called Victoria. We decided that we would buy some snaps and install our curtains directly to the wall around the windows instead of hanging them from a rod.

The curtains fit tight and provided some nice protection.

Victoria is the town with every store that you’d ever want to shop in. We got the snaps and headed to haRVey.

The next day we packed up and drove south though to Port Aransas. Here we took the free ferry across the harbour and ICW to the Padre Island National Seashore.

After we tested out the Sand to ensure that we would be comfortable parking on the beach here, we purchased a $12 annual pass for the Port Aransas Beach.

We took our car Lilly for a nice 7 miles drive up the beach.

The only sharks that we saw what were those that were selling souvenirs. Any RV has very little space to store trinkets.

haRVey and Lilly cathing some beach time in Port Aransas.

We took the opportunity to pick up provisions and set up on the lovely beach area.

Next time we head down highway 77 to Brownsville area.

Texas!

We arrived in Texas and stopped at the welcome centre.

The staff gave us Winter Texans a very warm welcome. “You’re ours until you leave” they said. We received lots of tips maps and hints for our travel.

After a free but noisy stop at the Texas Rest Stop…

… we returned to Winnie Texas and headed to the Gulf Coast.

This was our first sight and drive along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Isn’t she beautiful? And the coast is wonderful too!

Our campsite was next at the Galveston Island State Park on the beach. We met new friends from Louisiana. Little did we know that 3 campsites over folks from Germany who had ship there RV to Baltimore would be in the next campsite on Magnolia Beach. We loved the water and sand and our time at this park. Unfortunately there was no space to stay however we did find out later that there were lots of empty campsites that evening.

A stop over at the Walmart and laundry the next day to take care of business. We find the grocery section very big in the stores.

We took a couple days rest on our way back to the coast at Farm Road FM 521 River Park.

An awesome boondocking camping site. Got to meet local river fishermen Glen and Dusty from Wadsworth. They were trying to top their friends catch from the day before of a 30 pound catfish.

After a short drive through Port Lavaca we camped only a few feet from the water’s edge on Mangolia Beach. Our first time bringing Harvey and Lilly on to the beach. The roadway is about 60’/20 meters wide and hard packed with shells. Beautiful sunsets and large boats passing along the coast.

We had only one night on the beach and really want to go back here because it was so beautiful.

It was great for us to travel here as little did we know we would meet one of the people that were camping here at our next stop. A couple, Tim and Patty from Wisconsin with their motorhome Betty ended up being right beside us in Goliad State Park and historical site.

Next time we pick up in Goliad…..

On the road

We took the trip south via Fort Wayne Indiana and had an awesome stop at new friends and Three Red Barns hosts of BoonDockers welcome. We had a great visit with lessons in some favourite card games.

A trip to Elkhart and the RV museum was in order.

Because of a golf ball size rock our windshield needed replacement.

A trip and stay in Elkhart had us set up with a brand new windshield. The trip afforded us to Notre Dame University. The home of the fighting Irish.

We got on the road south again and had a great overnight visit at more new Boondocker Welcome hosts. An awesome stay, albeit short.

And then we were off for for the 444 mile Natchez Trace. We had stays in the free parks. Meriwether Lewis, Jeff Busby and Rocky Springs. Even with a downed tree and rain it was a great trail.

A trip to the deserted town of Rocky Springs. All that remains a church, a couple of wells and old trusting sages in the woods.

Our only departure from the trace was a trip to Tupelo Mississippi to the Tombigbee State Park for two nights. We also had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

Then back on the trace to Natchez where we departed the and made tracks south towards Texas. A great but really rough drive over I10. We got to boondock in a Cracker Barrel. We had a beautiful sunset and a frosty morning.

…. And then we’re off to Texas…..

Manitoulin Island trip and an Ontario mini-loop

We decided it was a great opportunity to see the fall leaf colours and explore Manitoulin Island.

We felt that this trip would be a good opportunity for a shake down trip for the RV and our new car – “Lilly”.

We had the opportunity to boondock in the Tobermory ferry terminal.

We disconnected Lilly and explored the area around Tobermory before settling in for a sub-zero night.

Its amazing when you look at the world from differing g perspectives. Here a photo of the Chi Cheemaun ferry with the bow open looks very inviting.

The same black and white photo appears uninviting and a bit scary.

We got to board the ferry for the two hour crossing about a 45 minute wait. The crossing was restful and we felt like having a sleep but enjoyed the rocking and rolling.

We enjoyed a lovely trip along highway 542 to Gore Bay. It was our intended stop for the night.

Gore Bay permitted us to Boondock right on the waterfront and we had a great spot looking at the harbor. The leaves are beautiful the water was we had a great time

The leaves were beautiful and made for a great background.

The next day we headed for a two day visit to Sudbury. Home to Science North we had a great day visit to the museum.

We could have had lots more time but got our nickel’s worth.

After a short drive we arrived in beautiful Port Carling. We visited with our friends Joy and Dave.

We had dinner out and visited the local movie set in Bracebridge complete with snow.

We then toired the the local cranberry farms nearby. Downtown Port Carling with the beautiful wall of photos was a highlight. The larger photos on this wall are made of small individual photographs of years gone by.

Timing could not have been better as one of the last boats to transit the canal came through as we visited.

A great visit but dipping temperatures and the threat of snow flurries meant it was time to head to Barrie.

We were treated to dinner by Suzette, Dave and Melissa and had a great visit with Nicole and Paul as well. Barrie was our last stop on our fall tour north .

The next morning before we left our Walmart boondock we had a visit from our Friends Clarence, Sizzette and Nicole’s Mon. It was great way to wrap up our trip.

Next time we wrap up out loose ends and head south!