The entire length of Bolivar Peninsula is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. My mother would love this place. Birding enthusiasts flock from all over the world, packing binoculars and cameras around their necks. They stand around in their safari attire, books in hand, at the ready to witness the spring migrations. There’s over six hundred different species of birds here and they all woke up at five thirty this morning singing. What’s even more impressive than the famous fowls are the monstrous blood sucking mosquitos that took up shelter inside my tent.
After a brief phone chat with my friend Eric, I pedaled south out of Brenham, Texas. That was the morning before last. Eric lives in a Houston suburb and offered to put Jo and I up for the night. He’s spending his summers in Galveston Bay renting standup paddle boards to the bazillion tourists who visit the area. I know him from Twin Falls, Idaho where he was once a bar manager at the Anchor Bistro, a venue I would often make music at a few summers back.
At the end of the day, when I reached the event-less town of Sealy, Eric fetched me from the McDonald’s. We drove to his place and sat around eating tacos and catching up on the good times we’ve had.
In the morning, after resting well, we loaded up and set sail for the bay front. The plan was to hop in the ocean and surf the boards that he brought with. Jo ran on the beach, Eric surfed and I sat on the sea wall writing my last blog.
The Dewitt C. Greer is one of five ferries that float autos and humans across the bay. Jo and I hop aboard and make our way over to Bolivar Peninsula.
The folks over here seem to be just as kind as those on the other side. I met Pat who was working at a convenience store. He asked how far we were riding. When I told him, his jaw dropped, the concept appeared to baffle him. In his well stocked store, Pat looked at me, pointing around, wanting to help us along, saying “you can take anything you want, free”.
Charles was casting his rod, reeling in catfish from one of the best fishing holes in Texas. Jo and I took a break there and chatted with him for a few minutes.
The air was warm and moist, the humidity level at 97%. It felt like steamy grilled cheese sandwich’s being pressed against your cheeks. We rode twenty seven miles along the breezy shoreline, passing by countless RV Parks and second homes. Every one of these dwellings are built on stilts to protect them from the hurricane floods.
When it was time to turn ourselves inland, I stopped and took a rest on the beach, looking out over the water at sunset.
At High Island RV Park, they left the light-house on for us. Upon arriving, Jo and I meet a few of the campers who are hanging around under the community canopy. Maria Baker, a bird watcher from California, walks over and slides a plate of smoked ribs under my nose. Rick comes out from his post and offers me a Pepsi and a map of Louisiana. And another warns me of the fearless raccoons who would’ve eaten the last of my granola had I not brought my rations inside the tent with me.
And there are alligators here too. The best way to avoid being eaten by one is to tie bells to your shoes and carry mace. It’s the same tactic that some use to discourage bears in the woods from snatching a picnic basket from their hand. However, on occasion, alligator droppings have been found to contain silver bells and the sent of pepper. The safety precaution isn’t guaranteed to prevent an attack.