Cigars, Surrealism, and Socializing in Tampa Bay

After a glorious stretch of camping at the beach in two places along Florida’s Panhandle, it was time for us to start heading down the peninsula to the Tampa Bay area. Unlike the Panhandle, which was mostly new to us, Tampa Bay is familiar. My aunts, uncles, and cousins have lived in the area for … Read more

Christmas Week in Houston

From reading the news, I get the impression that some of our fellow Americans would consider it a sign of the apocalypse if they pulled into a state park campground and discovered that their neighbors were a Chinese family and the over-the-air TV options included several stations in Vietnamese. This is exactly what happened to … Read more

Stalking Cranes at Goose Island

After leaving Padre Island our journey north along the coast presented a few routing choices, mainly because watery areas like barrier islands and coastal marshes tend to have limited roads and bridges. The Texas Department of Transportation operates two ferries as part of the state road system, one crossing Aransas Pass at the north end … Read more

Seeking a Cure for Beach Withdrawal at Padre Island

It is my civic duty as a blogger to inform the public about an unusual new malady that we recently discovered. Signs that you might be suffering from Beach Withdrawal Syndrome (BWS): You giggle with glee when you realize you have tracked sand all over the inside of the rig. You smile smugly when you … Read more

Big Skies and Big Distances at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is not on the way to anywhere. Situated at the southern point of the “dip” in West Texas, it is essentially a peninsula of the US with Mexico on three sides. The park is located in the heart of the harsh Chihuahuan Desert, and the park’s southern border is also the … Read more