Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Padre Island National Seashore

After slaying the laundry monster & drying out from the rain, we took off to Padre Island National Seashore.  The sun actually peeked through the clouds and even showed us its face!  What a refreshing change from Padre Balli Park!  This was a popular spot, and it's easy to see why! At just $8/night for dry camping here, the view is way better, and the beaches are way cleaner.  No doubt, there's still plenty of trash that washes in from the strong currents in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is waaaay cleaner than at Padre Balli.  And if you're not a wimp when it comes to cold showers, you can even have showers here.  Note...I AM a wimp.  I have to be pretty desperate to take an icy cold shower.  Odd thing is, they have hot water in the faucets in the bathroom, just not in the showers.

We were impressed with the volunteers manning the Visitor Center here at the park when we arrived.  They really took to our kids and shared a lot of knowledge with them!  The touch table with the various shells, bones, and sea beans was really awesome!  The big girls and I also went on a birding tour one morning  and saw 30 different birds!  We even learned to identify a few of them. :)  We're not birders, but the couple that led it did such an awesome job of catering to our inexperience and lack of knowledge and made it interesting.  I'm pretty glad that God didn't make us humans like the white pelicans that grow a large bump on their beaks to attract a mate!
The girls impressed the lady at the visitor center with their marine knowledge
The paved road ends here
The road continues on the beach for miles and miles

The weather here was still pretty cool and windy, but we did enjoy ourselves.  The girls built sand castles, Jake tried his hardest to catch shore birds and sneak into the surf, and we all dodged the seemingly millions of dead Portuguese Man-of-War on the beach.  There were also lots of dead fish and even some birds.  We were told a red tide had just ended in January, and animals that eat the fish get neurotoxins that often lead to their demise.  Kinda gross but all part of the circle of life.  We were a bit bummed that there weren't more shells though.  I got the big girls up early on our last day for a final walk on the beach to see if there were more shells at low tide, but there still wasn't much!
Loggerhead Shrike that Mom and the girls saw on their birding adventure
Jake man had a grand time playing in the sand
Then he decided to just walk into the ocean
Alyssa's sand castle
Shanan's sand castle
I will admit that I was also a bit bummed that we didn't make it down to South Padre Island, but that would have been another 200 miles each way to get there (think $$ for diesel), and since the weather wasn't that much better than on North Padre, Steve wasn't persuadable.  Oh well....maybe one day...

1 comment:

gretchen said...

thanks for sharing your blog