Katie enjoying our patio deck upon our arrival at Emerald Cove Resort.

Katie enjoying our patio deck upon our arrival at Emerald Cove Resort.
Open Range 3X388RKS pulled by a Ram 2500

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Corpus Christi

So while we were still at Bay View RV Resort, we needed to take a trip to Corpus Christi, which was the real reason that we were going to that part of Texas to begin with.  But after spending all the time that we spent in Rockport and Fulton seeing all the sights there, we didn't have a lot of time left for Corpus Christi.  I mean there were plenty of things to see there, just that we had a limited amount of time, and it wasn't as close as we thought we'd be staying.

So we figured we'd take a trip from Rockport southwest down TX-35 down to Aransas Pass, head southeast on the Redfish Bay Causeway, TX-361 to the Port Aransas ferry crossing.  Even though at that time there were three ferries crossing the ship channel, it took about 1/2 an hour to be loaded onto the ferry to head over to Port Aransas.  We tooled around a little, then continued southwest on 361 on the barrier island called Mustang Island.  It's called that because there were at one point many wild horses on the island, with the story being told that horses were brought there and left by Spanish explorers.  There aren't any wild horses there now.  Lots of homes, rv parks, motels and condominiums as well instead.  And sand also since there's a beach.

Heading south out of Aransas Pass.

What a day for a drive, huh?  Of course, right now, we're stopped at the ferry landing, so we're not really driving right at this moment, ok?
Waiting for the ferry to unload.
Our ferry.  Not sure who he was, couldn't find out anything doing a cursory internet search, but he got a small ferry named after him.  
Welcoming sign (really, it's a water tank) after getting off the ferry in Port Aransas, Tx.
Apparently I have a pasture in Port Aransas, Tx.  Actually, it's a recommended nature preserve, click here!

Port Aransas has a building with a octopus on the roof...
And a shark coming out of the ground to welcome folks to a store.
If ya look at the above map, you can see that Mustang Island is really part of another island, Padre Island.  Or maybe it's the other way around with Padre Island being part of Mustang Island.  Route 361 goes the length of it and t's into Park Rd 22, where we turned left to travel further southwest, making our way to Padre Balli Park where we had a lunch of Subway sandwiches and walked the doggies for a while.  We thought a lot of Padre Balli Park as there were quite a few roomy RV sites there, although it looked like a parking lot with 30 amp and water only hookups, not unlike a lot of other RV parks.  But it's only $25/night, or $150/week, it's not bad for staying at the beach.

The beach at Padre Island, used by people and motorized vehicles.
The beach at Padre Balli Park with Bob Hall Pier in the background extending 1,240' into the Gulf of Mexico...
with Mikel May's just off the beach.
As it was getting further on in the day, we went through Corpus Christi towards the USS Lexington, which is now a floating museum.  You can find out more information about the museum part by clicking here.   We toured it until it we'd seen just about everything we could see on the ship, which was a bunch, and it was getting near closing time anyway.  It was very interesting seeing the many parts of it and getting to know a little about it's history.  It was nicknamed "The Blue Ghost" due to it's camouflage and the fact that the previous Lexington (CV-2) had been scuttled on May 8, 1942, and the new Lexington (CV-16) arrived at Pearl Harbor on August 9, 1943 to take part in the remainder of war in the Pacific.  It was decommissioned in April of 1947, recommissioned in August of 1955, and decommissioned again in November of 1991, when it was donated to the City of Corpus Christi as a museum ship.  It was very interesting to see the various parts of the ship and compare them to what I remember of the USS Wabash, which was more than a few years newer, but not necessarily better.  If you're in the area of Corpus Christi, I recommend that you take the time to tour the USS Lexington, especially if you're a history buff.

Picture of the USS Lexington taken as we're traveling over the Harbor Bridge.  That's why it isn't centered well.  Sorry.
USS Lexington Stats.

Katie in the XO's chair on the bridge.  Or is it the CO's chair?
Our day was going to last longer as we wanted to stay in Corpus Christi and watch the lights turn on on the Harbor Bridge crossing the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.  This is a nightly event, and you can see a short youtube.com video about it by clicking here, and see images of it here.  The lights were installed in December of 2011 and have since been thought of as one of Corpus Christi's iconic landmarks.  We were just too tired to stay and see it as we had to go some 30 miles to get back home, and I wanted to find an HEB with their freshly squeezed orange juice.  But as the HEBs in the area aren't that big, I didn't get any.  Darn the bad luck!

Our time was running out there and we headed to Carlsbad Caverns in a couple of days.  More about that later.