Galveston TX

Nothing has broken today.  So that’s good.  Maybe our luck is turning.

Since we had reached the Gulf Coast last week and need to head back to home base in Tucson this month, there was little choice other than to go west.  I toyed with the idea of taking Rt 90 from New Orleans through Morgan City and New Iberia, since it’s a more interesting route than I-10, but ultimately decided to make some fast progress on the Interstate so that we could spend more time in Texas this time.

We’re now in Galveston, for no particular reason other than we’ve never been here before.  Actually I have but it was in the 1980s, long before storms remodeled the place, and it seems entirely different now.  We’ve been roaming around the town freely in the absence of summer crowds.  No hassles for parking, all the businesses seem laid-back, the campgrounds all have available sites, beaches are empty, and the fall weather is fine.

Galveston SP floodingThe only downside is that there has been a lot of rain over the past two weeks and this has led to pools of flooding, which has in turn led to a massive hatching of mosquitoes.  In town they are barely noticeable but at the state park a few miles west they are, frankly, apocalyptic.  We can’t even go from the Airstream to the car without a mad dash and then a few minutes of swatting the dozen or so that seem to slip in. For any activity outside that lasts more than a minute I wear DEET, or come back with welts all over.

Flooding has also made access to the beach, bathrooms, and other campsites a slog. This morning I saw the park staff pumping water in an attempt to restore access to the bathrooms but this effort was unsuccessful. They’re just going to have to wait until it dries up naturally.

Galveston ferry

Don’t get the idea that this isn’t a good place to go, because the state park is actually very nice. We just caught it at a rough time. And Galveston has been very nice to us. We took advantage of the fine weather to walk the famous Seawall and some of the older parts of town, as well as ride the free ferry from Galveston to Port Bolivar (highly recommended; look for dolphins and lots of huge ships at sea), and check out a few spots like Seawolf Park, Hotel Galvez, Pleasure Pier, and The Strand.  Emma got a roadschooling lesson today about the conditions our WW II vets experiences aboard a submarine and destroyer escort ship.

Galveston seawolf park

The refrigerator remains on life support, or more accurately dry ice support.  With a little help from the -109 degree temperature of dry ice all is well, but that costs $20 a pop and I’m getting tired of having to buy the stuff.  I did manage to get Arcticold on the phone Tuesday (they didn’t return the call but I have the cell phone # of somebody and I’m not afraid to use it) and after hearing the anemic temperatures of the exterior coils during our two-day “hotwire” test he finally agreed that a warranty replacement was in order.

That situation is far from resolved.  The next step is an email from someone else in the organization, to confirm the shipping arrangements, and I haven’t seen that yet.  In any case there’s no chance of getting a new cooling unit until after we get home, so hopefully it will be in Tucson this month and I’ll have a chance to make the swap before our next trip at Thanksgiving.

Galveston Airstream sunset

We’re now debating our next few stops. As of this morning we are the owners of a $70 Texas state parks pass, which deletes the onerous daily per-person cost that all Texas state parks have these days.  In our case the pass is worth about $15 per day in savings, which adds up fast. And since we have it, we’ll probably hit a few more state parks along the route just to get our money’s worth, so their clever pricing ploy worked on us.

Texas has some pretty good parks, but they’re spread out across a lot of territory and connecting the dots involves quite a lot of driving. So far we’ve decided only to aim for Pedernales Falls tomorrow, and continue to take the trip day by day. We’ve got about nine days to get home and we want to keep the spontaneity level high as long as possible.  (Except that we’d appreciate it if nothing else spontaneously broke.)