We had met people back at Village Creek who extolled the glories of Goose Island State Park. They had spent two weeks there, the limit for a park stay, and were heading back for another two weeks. Our anticipation was high.
The drive to the park entrance ran through the most atmospheric stand of live oaks. The trees were old and quite large but bent and craggy from the winds and weather. A herd of deer were grazing under gnarled limbs of the trees. It was quite an entrance.
We checked in at the ranger station and were given a choice of potential camp sites. The park has two camping areas. The Lantana Loop was in the interior of the park. The camp sites were tucked amongst more live oak trees and palmetto. The Bayfront Loop ran along the shore of the bay and formed the top of a “t” and we chose a site the right hand arm towards the far end.
Here was yet another installment in the Great Texas State Park Mystery. Why was it impossible to make park reservations, but when you got to the park, it was half empty? This had happened at Brazos Bend as well. Since we had been unable to get reservations at so many Texas parks, we had to wonder if they were all really full or similarly empty once you actually got there. A puzzle.
We backed into our site. We were literally 20 feet from Aransas Bay. Holy cow we had won the lottery! We set about unhitching. Next to each site on the Bayfront loop was a cement structure sheltering a picnic table. At first we thought they seemed ugly and clunky. But it did make an excellent shelter from the sun. We set out our mat, the chairs, the flamingo, the wind balloon and I established my desk in the shelter. We settled into our chairs with a drink and enjoyed the late afternoon looking out across the water. This was close to paradise.
The next morning was a bit cloudy. I enjoyed coffee in my office outside and was preparing for a nice morning reading the paper on my laptop when the wind started to blow, the skies darkened and it began to rain. I ran for the trailer with my laptop. A real storm whipped up and tossed the chairs, upended the table, blew the flamingo down and ripped Jim’s happy wind balloon to smithereens!
It rained all day and all night. The wind buffetted the trailer and the rain lashed everything. We huddled in our Airstream warm and dry but after a while we felt pretty cooped up. The next day there was a brief break in the onslaught and we headed outside to walk the Bayfront Loop and the Lantana Loop of the campground. We wanted to explore and we really wanted to move around a bit. The bugs were ferocious. Clearly these mosquitos had been starved and were making up for lost time. We made it back to the trailer dry and just in time for the next spate of rain.
It was still grey and overcast the next day and we decided to take a drive. We headed over to Rockport to poke around. This is clearly a beach and vacation destination for people from all over Texas. Rockport had all of the accoutrements of a beach town: lots of vacation homes, little shops, restaurants and several marinas with boats. Even sodden it looked like a nice place. We hit the local H.E.B. supermarket and when we emerged the sun was shining and the air was very warm. It felt so good to see the sun!