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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) - Jan. 22-24, 2012

More pictures here!
Concerned that we were getting too soft, we decided to start doing mini-Salt trips in between Alan's knee treatments.  Since he has to have a shot once a week for five weeks, we have a lot of opportunity to explore the Gulf coast of Texas, three to four nights at a time.  

Truth be told, we were a bit anxious about how we would feel living in Salt after three weeks (yikes!) of luxuriating in a condo, but it felt wonderful.  Our adventuresome spirit was in high gear as we navigated Salt onto a ferry and began the short drive out to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS.)  True, PINS is only about an hour's drive away, but we still felt like we were "back at it."  

PINS is a remarkable place:  A 60 mile long, skinny piece of land, with a near empty beach on the east and the calm waters of the Laguna Madre on the west. It, like a lot of the areas around the Gulf, is heaven on earth for fishermen and bird-watchers.  

There are a lot of options for RV'ing, from the full hook-up sites found at Mustang Island State Park (on the way out to PINS) to camping right on the sand at PINS (courage not included.)  We opted for a middle-of-the-road solution; Malaquite Campground which does not offer any hook-ups but has potable water, cold showers and a dump station on site.  

Having returned to relatively warm and sunny weather, we are back on solar power (yahoo!) so we were good for 3-4 nights.  Sadly, not everyone loves solar like we do and the campground allows people to use their generators all day and until 11:00 p.m.  I can't figure out what these campers were doing all day (watching TV?) but it was irritating to listen to the generators.  (I am sure our P-90X work-out was equally irritating to listen to, not to mention the wonderful views offered by our contorted bodies, but at least that was over in 60 minutes.)

We drove over and fished in the Laguna Madre without any luck.  Clearly, the fishing to be done is right in the surf of the Gulf where multiple fisherman were pulling out multiple fish (and one over 20 lb Grouper!  )

There are two great highlights of the Malaquite Campground:  The number of pitches and the access to five miles of "No Vehicles Allowed" beach.  Many of the campgrounds we have seen in Texas are enormous and one, on South Padre Island, boasts 400 spaces.  That is not what we are after, so finding Malaquite with only two rows and maybe 40 spaces was refreshing.  Topped off with morning walks down the beach with The Noses and we too were in heaven.