Sea Rim or Skeeterville?
We arrived at Sea Rim late in the afternoon. It was fairly cool temperature wise, and a steady breeze from the north made it even cooler. Yvette had made contact with the Park manager in advance that day so we were guaranteed a camp spot, we just didn't know whereexactly it would be until we arrived. As it turns out, our spot is on the outside of the loop, on the marsh side. As is the case with anywhere that has "facilities" we tend to use them instead of our own bathroom to conserve our resources. It can be interesting getting up in the middle of the night and venturing to the bathroom, such as the case this first night.
First camp spot at Sea Rim State Park, Texas
It was around 2 am when I awoke. Not normal for me, but I did drink lots of water on the trip down. I like to keep hydrated but I can sometimes pay for it during the night. No complaints, but this night as I stepped outside the coach a began to feel pins and needles around my ankles and legs. Maybe it was grass, wind-blown sand from the beach, who knows? Not concerned I continued to the bathroom. When I returned, unlike the route TO the men's room, I used my flashlight to find the curb near our parking spot. As I turned the flashlight on I simultaneously felt the same "tickling" around my ankles. Redirecting my flashlight beam, I revealed hundreds,... no, thousands of mosquitos that were circling my legs, waiting for a chance at some of my prime choice leg and ankle tissue. I swatted them as best as anyone half asleep could and quickly made my way back to the coach. Yep, you guessed it, a few hundred of my closest friends now followed. Nothing worse than trying to get back to sleep with that high pitched whine of a mosquito around the bed covers.
Mosquitos aside, we did see some great wildlife. Sea Rim is probably a birders paradise during the migration period. But even in the off season, we were able to clock in some 20 or 30 different types of birds while we were there. Herons, Ibis, hawks, and egrets of all kinds. Spoonbills and ducks in different flavors are here. And a great boardwalk that takes you through the middle of a huge wetland so you get to be right int he middle of it. There are alligators, but we are there when the temperature forces them to sleep and tuck away somewhere until warmer weather presents itself. If there isn't enough activity in the wetland, one only has to walk a short distance to the beach. At one point, we saw thousands of gulls of different varieties standing on the beach in between where the waves begin and end. Speaking of which, does that area have a name?
Boardwalk through Sea Rim State Park
I mentioned beach camping in a previous blog post. Well, apparently not today at this park because of recent rain, half of the beach is closed temporarily and the other half is permanently closed due to hurricane damage. The access road for the eastern half of the beach has been washed away and has not been repaired, perhaps it never will.
Beach access erossion from previous hurricane.
Still, there is good walking and beachcombing here. You can walk for miles in either direction without seeing a single beach house or building. When we are done walking we return to our camp spot to find another spot is available closer to the water with a much better view. Being the opportunist, we opt to move and our wish from the park manager is granted. In 15 minutes we move, remove the bikes, open the Turtleback kitchen and start dinner. But alas, we have company for dinner. The back of the trailer is now downwind and thousands of mosquitos take refuge in the eddy that is our trailer's kitchen. We take refuge in the coach. We kill all who followed us inside the coach. I feel like I am over Berlin. My wingman and I alone, against hundreds of Messerschmitts. But we are victorious. At least for now.
We stay in the coach and opt for a simple supper of chicken salad and corn chips. It's more than enough. During the night, the wind shifts and when on the rare occasion we decide to use the facilities, there seems to be a seize fire, the mosquitos have taken a respite. All in all, it is a good nights sleep. But beware, the Luftwaffe awaits.
Morning comes and the weather is cool, no wind and drizzle. I lift and turn my head to look out the small window. There are hundreds of mosquitos perched on the screen...watching...waiting. There is very little wind at the moment which can only spell trouble when I open the door. So we plan. I decide to close all of the windows and open the vent and outside fan pulling air into the coach. My thought here is to pressurize the coach in hopes that when I open the door, fewer awaiting mosquitos will be able to get inside. It works. We get out and try to make breakfast using a combination of the portable butane burner and inside propane burner. Bacon and eggs it is, mosquitos be damned!
"Road Check" after bugging out of Sea Rim State Park
Fortunately, the wind picks up and disperses our enemy and we strategize about the next onslaught we know will be coming come sunset. We take into consideration the coming weather, we make the decision early to leave. Our "bug-out" (sorry, I just couldn't resist!) takes about 30 minutes and we're on the road. We set our sights on Brazos State Park in Damon Texas as our destination. But John has an intermediate stop in mind. "Houston, we are go!"