Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Saturday, April 05, 2008
Winnie, TX to Galveston, TX
65 miles (1827 total miles)

Today was a much easier and more interesting day. The weather was dry but overcast and chilly when we left at 7:30 this morning and stayed that way until we got to Galveston. The road was smooth and simple for the most part and we even had a tail wind a lot of the day. The scenery was enjoyable - mostly large, grassy fields with some cattle and horses and lots of wildflowers. There were large swaths of pink primroses, red Indian Paintbrushes, purple Lyre Leaf Sages, blue Four o'clocks, white daisies and spider lilies, and various yellow flowers. We also went by lots of honeysuckle, inhaling its heady scent. We went over a bridge to the area called High Island which had an interesting marker giving some of its history. This area is a major migratory bird sanctuary and is visited by many birders each year.

We were now on the Bolivar Peninsula, and finally saw the Gulf Coast; we stopped for a minute by the first beach we came to. There were some campers on the beach (not an official campsite, but apparently not an uncommon occurrence). There were also several large pelicans roosting on some wooden pilings in the water. They let us come fairly close so we kept inching up on them, taking pictures as we went. Some of them flew off as we approached, but many stayed, seemingly unconcerned. We continued down Route 87, passing more large fields and wildflowers, and went through a few small communities with houses up on stilts. Clearly, the water often rose a lot higher than it was at the moment. We stopped for lunch at a place in Crystal Beach with an interesting shop across the street. A local artisan had many of his woodcarvings on display, mostly cut out of trunks of palm trees.

It was still chilly, overcast and damp-feeling and we were getting antsy to get to the ferry when it finally came into view. There was not a long line when we got there, and we were directed to a spot out of traffic to wait for the ferry to arrive. By the time the boat came, a full boat-load of cars had lined up. We went on last and parked at the back over to one side. The ride was uneventful but interesting; there were various boats in the harbor and in the channel, from sailboats to tankers. There was a group of motorcyclists from Louisiana who were headed to Houston for a big bikers' barbeque picnic. There were swarms of sea gulls that followed the boat; one boy was feeding them by throwing bread crumbs in the air - the gulls were good at catching them! We also saw another black bird, which turned out to be a grackle, that we'd seen a lot both yesterday and today.

When we landed in Galveston, the clouds were beginning to break up and the afternoon became quite sunny and warm. We had a very pleasant ride through Galveston with its large stuccoed houses, lots of palm trees and other lush plants, interesting shops, and fancy motels and condos. We rode along the beach for a long time and enjoyed watching the people strolling along the beach and the concrete boardwalk, and the waves rolling up onto the beach. We continued on another 10 miles past the end of town into Jamaica Beach where we were to camp at the Jamaica Beach RV Park, a lovely campground with great facilities - a pool, hot tub, club house, bathrooms, showers, and laundry. We arrived by about 4 pm, set up our tent, had some dinner and worked on our website and tomorrow's route until it was time for bed. Tomorrow we'll be in Houston, at Sarah's house, visiting with her and her husband Steve, and the grandkids, Amanda and Rand.

Starting out on Route 124 - wide, smooth shoulder, easy riding

Large grassy fields

An unusual load goes by

More grasses

We see a bridge looming in the distance

The view from the bridge over the Intra-Coastal Waterway

Land broken up by bodies of water

Pumps working in the fields - water or oil?

An explanation of the area called High Island

Pelicans roosting on pilings

A close-up of the braver ones

Shells on the beach

Campers on the beach

Pat and the bike just off the road

We continued down Route 87, still a good shoulder, mostly smooth

Still large grassy fields along the road

Houses had lots of water clearance below

More long-legged houses

Palm trees start to pop up all over

A view of the bay on the other side of the peninsula

Bushes covered with honeysuckle

A local artist's work

A yellow thistle, apparently more common in this area

A lighthouse near the Galveston ferry

We approach the ferry landing

A ship in the channel

The ferry approaches

The growing line of cars waiting to board

Unloading cars

An expectant gull

Pat keeps the bike steady

The group of motorcyclists ahead of us

Sea gulls follow us across

Sari's turn to hold onto the bike while Pat takes some pictures

A couple of black birds tag along, too

Galveston streets and palm trees

Cars and umbrellas on the beach

Waves hitting the beach

Fishing off a pier