Monday, October 27, 2008

Angleton, Texas and the local beachfront

Deb and I have spent the majority of our assignment camped out at a KOA (Kampgrounds of America) on the northern side of Houston. The folks there were nice enough, and after all it was an emergency (we moved in before the power was restored) but the place just didn't give us the warm fuzzies.

For one thing, the KOA campground flooded easily:

For another thing, it was expensive for what I'd consider to be a B- place. We were charged full price for the days when there was no electricity and we had to run our own generator, and that hurt.

So we packed up, ran up to the Flying J truckstop off of I-45 where we took on 100 gallons of fuel (at $3.37/gallon, which is a far cry from the almost $5/gallon fuel that we were seeing earlier this year in Florida), and set sail for an RV park that we had spotted a few days earlier near the small town of Angleton, Texas.

Now this is the life - we are right on a bayou and have been getting up at sunup and fishin' for the last few days:

This campground seemed like a nice, safe location to let the cats out so they've been given the opportunity to roam a bit:

Here's Coyote hangin' with the resident RV park tomcat. Obviously none of them are too traumatized:

We will be keeping a wary eye on the cats in the future, however. I spotted this guy within a few hundred feet of where we have been fishin' :

That's a 'gator friends. The RV park management assured me that the 'gators 'round here were all hibernating but I guess that this guy lost his calender during Hurricane Ike. He's not a real big one, but he's about 5 ft. long, and that's big enough to ruin a housecat's day.

Angleton is a small town not too far removed from Houston so once we return from Mexico we'll come back here and hang out while we look for jobs. The RV park is about 10 miles out of town and almost 5 miles from the nearest biker bar so it's well out in the boondocks.

There are some really interesting seaside towns near here. Surfside Beach is actually large enough to support two small bars/grills, both of which are just reopening following Ike's departure. Freeport is a fair-sized town on the mainland that has an unincorporated portion on the eastern side of the Intracoastal Waterway. No bars and no stores on that side of Freeport without crossing back to the mainland as far as I could see.

In between the two towns is a massive chemical plant and a ship channel. There is no bridge directly connecting the two towns - you need to drive back to the mainland and then recross the Intracoastal to get from Surfside Beach to the coastal community of Freeport, for instance.

Here's the coastal portion of Freeport which, by and large, showed little damage from Ike:

Talk about a bridge to nowhere! Quite a massive structure considering that there is little more than a few dozen houses, a small state park, and a marina on the oceanfront side of Freeport. Some politician must have a house over there:

Surfside Beach seems to be a bit more blue collar. They have a couple of RV and tent campgrounds (full of construction folks at the moment). By and large the houses there look like they took a harder hit from Hurricane Ike. Even among the standing houses you can tell that large portions of roof are gone and the interiors have been ruined.

At least the two bars/grills on Surfside are coming back to life. We were among the first to have a drink at this place as they were unloading the booze (first rule of hurricane evacuation when you own a bar - save the hard likker!)

One thing that I really like about this area is that you can get seriously up close and personal to the ships coming through the channel. There is a small park in Surfside and the locals were all out on the breakwater fishing as the ships passed. Notice the two guys wading in the shallows as the ship passes - can we say "bow wave" guys?:

The Angleton/Surfside area of Texas is pretty entertaining and I have heard from others that it's popular motorcycling territory, so we'll be looking forward to exploring there a bit more when we get back.

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