The day before my birthday in the place where the Texas coastline holds the Gulf of Mexico like a lady, or so the Clint Black song would have it, I spent the day walking the beach at Mustang Island State Park, watching birds.
Big pelicans in huge flocks, filled the sky at the ferry terminus.
It wasn’t really warm at all, with really dense coastal fog until afternoon, so I just walked the shoreline and paddled up to my knees in the Gulf of Mexico for hours on end.
I didn’t get to take the kayak out.
There was a red flag warning and a small craft warning due to fog, dangerous winds and rip currents.
The next day the wind was even stronger and colder.
The red flag warning was still in place.
I made a picnic lunch and took a drive down the length of the barrier island - Padre Island - where I had my picnic in Bird Park Basin National Wildlife refuge. The wind was so strong that, after a bundled-up walk, I ate in the car, watching the wild white horses prance and two brave windsurfers battle to stand up. It was definitely off season at this coastal marine reserve.
This spot had been recommended as an excellent place for windsurfing. Indeed. But I had a sit on top, plastic bath tub toy of a summer fun kayak, and no wetsuit.
Again no paddling took place. It would have been really cold, splashy wet and bumpy.
It was a long 12 hour drive back to the hacienda in New Mexico. Texas is so big, with so much to explore, that I’m going to have to plan more trips.
I managed to do the trip with really little contact with other people. I carried and prepared my own food, avoided restaurants, and masked up for grocery shopping, in attempts to remain as safe as possible from infection from the virus. At the time of my trip, Omicron seemed to be tearing across the USA like a wildfire.
Gulf Of Mexico
The Texas coastline holds her Close just like a lady And in their time they've Weathered a storm or two. The river feeds her waters like I feed your memory. The deeper I go the more I'm turning blue.
The sandy beaches drift in time And the changing tide I know Won't bring me back to yesterday And the Gulf of Mexico. The sails out on the water will Come take you away.
When your ship comes in I know its time to go And the waves along the seawall Tell me nothing’s here to stay And no man is an island but I'm still all alone.
I'm weighing anchors from the past As the south winds start to blow Sailing out of yesterday And the Gulf of Mexico. I'll be sailing out of yesterday And the Gulf of Mexico.
Clint Black 1989