First Days at Port Aransas

Our past few days in the Port Aransas area have been nothing but fun and sun.

Aside from a little wind, the weather has been perfect.  The days get into the high 70s and the nights cool into the 60s.  The air is a little heavy from humidity, but the breeze helps.

Port Aransas is a very small town at the northern tip of Mustang Island. Much of the business here centers on the tourism.  Port Aransas is an area where families from the Texas hill country own a vacation home or come to spend a week camping with the kids.  The place has also been discovered by Canadians as a winter getaway.  Best of all, there is a Walmart Supercenter just a short ferry trip across the channel in Aransas Pass.

Our first two days here we explored the area and discovered you can drive along the beach, right on the beach, for miles and miles.  The beaches are virtually deserted.  With a permit, you can camp on the beach and even take your motorhome on the sand if you are bold enough to do so.  For us, we’re very comfortable staying in the Pioneer RV Park, which has it’s own beach access about 200 yards from our site.

Due to the prevailing winds this time of year, vast amounts of sea grass and ‘treasure’ washes onto the beach.  Most of the ‘treasure’ eventually gets hauled to the dump but once in a while you get lucky.  One morning, we found a hardhat from someone named John Dominique.  I took a picture of it and will try to contact John to see if he wants it returned.  I hope he wasn’t wearing the hardhat when it went in.  I’ll let you know if we receive a response.

For our workout, we run along the beach ‘roadway’.  Even though the damp sand is packed enough to drive on, it still has a soft feel underfoot and running is a challenge.  The steady breeze keeps us cool.  After the run, a quick dip in the pool is very refreshing.  From the stares, I suspect some of the campers have no idea what Pilates is.

Talking with locals, we discovered there are kayak trails laid out through the tidal flats surrounding the area.  After obtaining a map and setting the waypoints in the GPS, we set off one morning.  The tidal areas support all sorts of wildlife, especially birds and fish.  Fish were jumping all over the place, even bumping into the kayaks from time to time.  We really did expect one could jump into the kayak at any time.  After stowing the kayaks, we hustled to Walmart for salt water tackle and to upgrade our fishing licenses.  We’ll try to haul in the big ones another day.

Disaster was narrowly averted.  Exploring the tidal flats requires crossing an occasional patch of water.  On one crossing, the water was deeper than expected and the far side was nothing but mud.  There were some tense moments, but the Jeep’s 4WD got us through.  Barely.  A trip to the spray wash removed most of the sand and slime.

Generally, we feel like two kids spending a week at the beach.  It is really fun and we look forward to our next few days here before moving on.

Contemporary Note:  This is the closest we ever came to ‘sticking’ the jeep.  The tidal flats really were nothing but mud with an occasional puddle of water with mud at the bottom.  By the time we broke free, the jeep was covered with a mixture of saltwater mud and slime that took some scrubbing to remove.