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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: January 23, 2005 -- Harlingen, Texas
Future Travel... Follow the Rio Grande River to New Mexico and then to Arizona.
Gulf coast travel... from Florida to Texas. Many times the driving is over miles of water on causeways. In addition, there are bridges and even higher "nose bleed" bridges to accommodate ocean going ships. These bridges are the high points with expansive views to the horizon. Unfortunately, I am unable to enjoy the scenery since I am driving. A glance is all I get.
For a guy who has spent most of his life in the west driving on roads that are most always firmly planted on the ground, driving on these elevated bridges is stressful.
Rockport, Texas... is near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is winter home for the whooping crane. The best way to see them along with numerous other birds is to take one of the "birding" boats. With binoculars, there were lots of birds to see including the main reason for the tour -- the whooping crane.
Since I don't have a telephoto lens for my camera, the whooping crane statue at the Rockport harbor is the best I could do. In downtown Rockport is "4 The Birds". This store has the photo work of Diane Loyd. Her photo work include great pictures of the whooping crane and many other birds that are found along the south Texas Coast.
Harlingen, Texas... was the last long term stop in Texas before I head west. Less than 20 miles to Mexico and less than 30 miles to the Gulf, this was a place to stop and enjoy more warm weather. Along with the warm weather, there is an almost daily wind. More than just a breeze.
The winter migrating "human" population is called Snow Birds in Florida and Arizona. Here they are called Winter Texans. Within the Rio Grande Valley there are numerous RV parks with very attractive winter rates for those who commit for a three month stay with even better rates for five months.
Nearby South Padre Island was a place to get some walking exercise. After passing through the tourist part of the island with its building boom, I headed north to the wind swept sand dunes that make up most of the island.
The Rio Grande Valley's major farm crop appears to be cotton. Most had been harvested. The milo and sorghum had already been harvested. Seeing sugar cane here came as a surprise. Several fields were awaiting harvest. First year plantings were waiting for water and warmer weather to mature for the next harvest.
Texas Road Sign...
"Observe Warning Signs -- Texas State Law"
It appears that not seeing a sign is no excuse in Texas; you were told to observe signs.
NI-CAD --- on a Honda Insight; gasoline/electric hybrid
SUN4FUN --- Michigan plate spotted in Harlingen, Texas
"Salt A World History" by Mark Kurlansky. More than just a seasoning, this very abundant mineral has been an integral part of economies, revolutions, wars, trade routes and nation building for millennia.
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