First Days in Palacios

Getting off Mustang Island was a challenge.  At the north end of the island is a ferry that runs between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass.  We knew they would accommodate big rig trucks and RVs, but there was something about driving the coach onto a boat that I didn’t like.  Having the Jeep in tow didn’t help.  Taking it very slow, we managed to get on and off just fine and were soon on our way to Palacios.

The drive to Palacios was uneventful and we arrived to find a sleepy town along the South Texas coast.

You can see the town was once prosperous but had fallen on hard times.  The industries are ranching, fishing (mostly shrimp), oil and gas.  The place is mostly undiscovered, but the town looks like it’s making an attempt to pull in tourist dollars.  The waterfront is nicely developed with a long park, walkway and fishing piers.  This is a perfect venue for our workouts.  During the week these very nice facilities are mostly deserted.  The streets fall silent around 6:00 pm.  The residential areas are a mix of new, old and dilapidated.  Some of the old homes have been lovingly restored and the town is generally clean and well maintained.

The campground is a little unusual — the RV park is built around a small marina.  The campground was recently sold and the new owners are making a serious effort to improve the facility.  You can see a lot has already been done and there is activity all day long.  Next year, there should be a very nice place to stay.

Our first evening here, on the recommendation of locals, we dined at a Mexican restaurant that immediately goes on the ‘A’ list.  It was excellent and very reasonable.  We’ll definitely hit it again before leaving.

The first day was spent exploring the town, such as it is.  Afterwards, we headed for a visitor center at a nuclear power station about 20 miles from town.  We found the visitor center had been closed because of the 9/11 attack, but  we enjoyed the drive through the countryside.  We spent the remaining afternoon hours by the pool and were kept cool by the breeze off the bay.

Contemporary note:  The ferry was an interesting experience.  To balance the load, the crew had a semi truck on one side and our rig on the other with few cars were loaded behind the larger vehicles.  I knew the the gross weight of the rig and jeep to be about 32,000 pounds and guessed the truck was about the same or heavier.  The ferry handled it fine.  When Jeanne asked what would happen if the rig fell overboard, I said “we call the insurance company.”