We parted company with the Bob and Pat and set out for Falcon State Park on the Rio Grand River where the Falcon Dam creates a large reservoir. It is midway between Laredo and MaCallen, if that helps at all. The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) extends from Brownsville on the gulf to McCallen. It is called the Texas Tropics. It is the home of who knows how many winter Texans. Sort of Florida for the Midwest. The tropics dry out north of McCallen and so do the number of people. The nearest towns to us are Zappata and Roma with fewer than 10,000 each. The BIG city is Rio Grande with 11,000 and a Wal Mart and a HEB (not quite Wegmans). We have been here two weeks, reading, birding and schmoozing. If you are interested in the birding et me know and I will provide more information, we have seen many interesting birds, many of which you woujld have to go into Mexico to see if you were not here. They include Brown Jays, Green Jays and Kiskadees among others.
Tomorrow, Sunday February 25, we are finally moving out. It seems a shame as the weather has been marvelous this past week with day time temperatures in the high 70’s to low 90’s and the evenings cooling off to the mid 60’s. Other than deep into Florida we don’t see those kinds of temperatures, especially with the low humidity here. We will be descending into the LRGV and then following the gulf coast north to Port Aransas. Port Aransas has very little to say for itself, especially as we are not fisherman, but there is a county park on the beach and it will be a pleasant couple of days and then the plan is onward to Gulf Shores, AL where I can catch a flight out of Pensacola to Rochester and we may be able to visit family in Fairhope.
All plans are always subject to change. We actually got to Mustang Island (north of Padre Island and where Port Aransas is) but we stopped at the Mustang Island State Park because we had been talking with the Topfs and this is where they had decided to head. We are not directly on the beach. We are sheltered the frontal dunes from the wind and sand that is part of the beach experience. We still think we want to spend a couple of nights directly on the beach. Another year!
Today we took the car to Padre Island National Seashore and after a stop at the visitor center we drove on down the beach to find a place to enjoy our lunch and do some birding. We got to make a couple of new entries in the book and saw two Great Blue Herons sitting on the dune looking over the beach and out to sea. (Out to gulf just doesn’t scan). The day was clear and bright and the temperatures in the 70s, not to rub it in to much.
We hope the Topfs and Ploessers will be joining us tomorrow. Shelley had a painful experience injuring the shoulder she recently had surgery on and they had to delay coming north a couple of days. We are still playing with our schedule. I do not want to arrive in Gulf Shores on a Saturday as they may well be full, but by Sunday we ought to be able to get in. So we play around with the schedule each day.
Here is the route from Falcon to Mustang Island and beyond: just click on it.