Sunday, February 28, 2010


The Katy FFA parade had lots of cool vehicles in it. They ranged from farm tractors to four wheelers and sure nuff’ go fast cars. Here is a look at a few:

Then there were some bands that were riding.

Look at one of the band members in this marching band, you will know which one. Man, what if they all were doing this  ! Now that would have been a show stealer !

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today was the FFA Parade. The future farmers of America sponsor the rodeo and the parade here in Katy Texas. It was cool, but clear and sunny for the parade today. We went and enjoyed a two hour long parade right on main street. Here are photo and videos of the parade.

Police Motorcycles led the parade.

A pickup full of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders ended the parade. In between the two was two hours of fun and enjoyment.


One high point for me was when I saw two kindred spirits connect somehow, in the large mass of humanity that was the parade. Maybe it was because of the colors, I don’t know, but it went like this. A very large street legal monster truck in the parade was grumbling slowly along in the parade, with the driver throwing candy occasionally. There were sirens wailing, people chanting, bands playing, loud exhaust blaring, yet somehow, the driver and a young man’s eyes met and kindred spirits recognized each other. Auto enthusiasts seem to just be that way, I think. Pointing right at the young man, the monster truck driver, perched up high behind the steering wheel said, “ I have one here for you”. I don’t know how he heard it, I mostly read the driver’s lips, the young man somehow knew it was right, left his Mother’s side and in front of the large crowd, approached the monster  truck. Here is a look. Amazingly, I snapped the shutter at just the right time:

100_1458 There were several semi trailers of FFA Chapter Members.

100_1454 100_1433 100_1434 100_1435 100_1437 100_1439 100_1442 100_1443 100_1444  100_1446 100_1447 100_1448 100_1449 100_1450 100_1451 100_1452


Friday, February 26, 2010


Today was a good geocaching day in Katy Texas. Tee shirt weather but occasional light showers.

100_1430 We found several caches in and around some of the cool places in these photographs.

100_1425 Look at the trees beginning to blossom out in this playground.100_1428 Great craftsmanship on this historic old home.100_1429 A geocache near the Police Department, the Library and a off the leash dog park complete with K-9 swimming pond that is off limits for humans, is a cool thing, especially for geodogs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Katy Texas is a Railroad town.100_1422

Founded out on the Texas Prairie as a Support point for railroad business. This most gracious Lady was on duty at the depot museum and was most informative and helpful.100_1415

Proud of it’s historical past, Katy’s

city fathers have faithfully restored

the old original  train depot.100_1416

Kept original to the extent that the

Period graffiti on the walls of the baggage handling area, drawn with coal lumps, some very talented, are still retained. Some of the charcoal work depicts of the era political statements and cartoon sketches.

100_1417 Admission is by donation and the souvenirs are very reasonably priced.


This is located right by I-10 and is easy to locate. 100_1419

If you are a steam rail fan, as we are, there are lots of cool steam era  displays here.


The Katy High School FFA Rodeo starts tomorrow night. The arena is located behind the High School and the Carnival rides started showing up today. Admission is $7. for Adults.  This rodeo has a good National reputation and is always a good show.  Yeh, we just couldn’t help ourselves, we had to go snoopin’ roun’ over there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


33* outside our window here at Camping world in Katy Texas. Snow flakes drift gently down as we near the end of  a very cool rainy day. A lazy day for us. Toured several brand new RV’s with sales staff friends. Man, were they ever big. Some ideas were good, some bad, and some were just plain old ugly.

They told us that this past Saturday they had sold seven new units. Three of them were large class A’s. Maybe the economy is turning around somewhat. We can only hope. I mean, hey ! We would like to order a new 22’ Oliver with lots of solar and batteries on it. Bet we would leave the King Dome off this time, to make more room for solar panels.

As Betty sits across the small dinette from me and we chat, our conversations keep drifting back to good times at Padre Island. I remembered one day when I was grumbling a bit about being stuck inside while I paid bills on the internet. Here is a short video about that grumbling session. It seems like it was actually a pretty good day compared to today:


Looks like it is time to turn the cube heater up a notch and hunker down to weather out the snow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Armadillo Eggs for lunch today at T-Bone Tom’s in Kemah Texas. Today we drove from Katy to Kemah to scout out cool near or on the beach campsites. We heard the weather forecast about a fast approaching snow storm that will dip deep down into Texas tonight. It caused us to put extra milk and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies in the fridge. And to think that we might go out for lunch since we could be denned up for awhile. We have a Net flix movie that we have saved up for such an event. Now, with a belly full of Armadillo Eggs , we will keep an eye peeled on the weather and wait for parts to arrive. We are at Camping World in Katy Texas. Here is a look at the lunch eggs, just look at the size of them crusted jalapeno honkerz !

 100_1410 The eggs are featured in an episode of Diners, Drive inns & Dives on the food network.100_1411 Hosted by Guy Fieri. Note the sign in the background behind the jeep.

100_1412Yeh, you know we had to have tee shirts from the restaurant. Here is a link to T-Bone Tom’s web site which includes the Armadillo Egg making video.

Monday, February 22, 2010


One thing about beach trophy’s is that there isn’t much invested in them. Sometimes the simplest things, with a little thought, can be fun, and even a useful campsite item. We already had a couple of yard sale solar sidewalk lights. But the Malaquite campground is all asphalt covered and there was no place to put a solar light in a traditional manner. And, there are no electric lights in the campground, except in the bathrooms. So solar lights, when we let a dog out at night, would come in handy, not to mention saving on the coach battery’s. We first saw some solar lights on one of the neighbors cement picnic table. They were in a container with beach sand in it to hold the lights up straight. Later we saw a couple of lights in a jar with small sea shells in it. Betty couldn’t resist. It was going to happen. Here is Betty’s completed project.

100_1409 Finding the fruit juice jars, locating the tiny shells, cleaning them so that each tiny small shell would glisten through the clear jug, took a bit of time.

The half gallon jugs hold down a tablecloth on the picnic table and are heavy enough that a good stiff wind can’t blow them over. However should they be knocked over, the plastic jug won’t break and can just be sat back upright.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Sooner or later, where ever we are, anchor day arrives. That’s the day when you hoist the anchor and sail off to another port. Today was anchor day for us. We got a call from Camping World in Katy Texas that our circuit board had arrived and if we would come on up there they would install it for us. Simple enough one might think. But, he, he, now that’s a very big BUT, we had collected up stuff.  Beach Trophy’s to be specific. Way too many cool, just gotta’ have it, found on the beach, trophy stuff.

So, we culled, and loaded, then culled some more.

Here is what the beverly hill billies jeep looks like now:100_1406Under that pile is five buoys and an authentic, like new, offshore oil platform work life jacket, several pieces of netting and on and on.100_1405Note that

for some reason I decided to keep a large braided rope tug boat fender. The heck of it is, I’ve already got one hanging on the fence at home !

100_1403 Here is the cull pile by the campground dumpster.100_1404  As we walked towards the dumpster, folks were walking out to ask us what we were going to do with all of that stuff. The white bucket was found on the beach and used to rinse and clean sea shells and is still half full. There is a coconut in the bucket. Yep there is a perfectly good Nike basketball, two duck decoys, more buoys, and two plastic chairs there, all beach trophy’s. Then there was the blue horseshoe. I never did figure out how it managed to float in with the tide. I wonder how long that stuff stayed there by the dumpster, maybe till we were out of sight ? Yeh, anchor day, time to move on to another adventure, on down the road somewhere.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The wind on Padre Island is almost a constant presence. Sometimes it can be fierce, but usually it is mild.

Many here at the Malaquite campground fly one or more wind socks, twirlers or other wind powered action items. We couldn’t resist either. Here is a look at our campsite with our twirler flying as Betty and neighbor Sharon sort through and discuss their sea beans and sea shells.


Because they come from Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart is from Arkansas,

folks are beginning to call them  ARKANSAS TUMBLEWEEDS. Note the Urban Dictionary definition at this link:
Those startling white plastic bags that react wildly to the slightest of breezes and become tangled in bushes and trees to die a slow lingering photo degrading death as they mar the beauty of America.

At first, they had their bags made in the readily identifiable Wal-Mart blue. However that quickly associated them with this blight upon America so the color quickly changed to the present generic white.

The truth is that Wal-Mart can’t control how their bags are handled after the sale and the bags leave the store. But they do chose the design of their bags based on cost.

So, how about a design change on those awful bags ? Are you listening Wal-Mart ? If the bags weren’t so prone to being carried by the slightest of breezes, then maybe this blight wouldn’t spread so badly.A mesh bag maybe ? From what I’ve heard about Sam Walton, he loved America and he loved Arkansas. I’ll bet that if he could see this farmer’s field behind his Corpus Christi Texas store, Sam Walton would turn over in his grave. This BLIGHT on America’s landscape needs a solution.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Yarborough Pass through the barrier dunes is the only legal road through from the ocean side to the Laguna Madre side of the island. It isn’t maintained and is usually silted up pretty heavily. Lots of evidence of folks getting stuck here. 
Padre Island National Seashore Yarborough Cut

With our stock tires not aired down, we didn’t go through to the Estuary side of the barrier island.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Padre Island National seashore, Mansfield Cut, sixty plus miles down the beach from the end of the road.
Padre Island National Seashore Mansfield Cut

Look how Dillon keeps going back to the drivers side front tire. I think he had figured out something that we hadn’t discovered yet, that tire had been punctured by  the skeletons of hard heads and was loosing air. Before the trip was over we would be racing time, stopping occasionally to add air to the tire. From here back to the end of the pavement it is sixty plus miles of raw beach driving. We made it back ok, but the tire was fit to only be used as a temporary spare. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Great view from the Malaquite Beach campground’s boardwalk and observation deck.Talk about a great place to spread a picnic lunch ! Many of us here at the campground start or end our beach walks here.

Malaquite Campground Boardwalk and Observation Deck

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Stuff that drifts up on the beach comes in all forms. We are constantly amazed at the never ending supply of debris. Here is a look at some of it:

Friends Brian & Sharon share a hot tub with Betty, It has washed up 50 miles down Padre Island.100_1380 Jelly fish.100_1174 Star Fish100_1175Container.100_1221 100_1252 From Galveston.100_1261 Tar.100_1262 Shoe tree.100_1318 Dolphin.100_1332 Rope pile.100_1334 Fender.100_1336 Trailer.100_1343 Wrack line.100_1374 John Boat.100_1375 Coca Cola Box.100_1376 Kiddie 4x4100_1378 Buoys.100_1379