Something Pithy Here

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." -- The King of Hearts

I'm an adopted Texan. As they say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" I post pictures and opinions as suits my mood, mostly because I can. Hooray Internet! 

So far I have three blogs here. By the Way is the oldest. I started it in 2003. I lost a couple of years to Vox because I was too lazy to bother to export when they shut down. I consider it an exercise in accepting impermanence. When I followed my husband to Singapore for his first expat assignment, I started (T)expatriate: A Southern Girl in Singapore. That covers 2010 and 2011, give or take. Next came Oslo, and (T)expat 2: Norwegian Boogaloo,  in 2012. Now I'm back home, and back on By the Way.

Pix live on Flickr. I toss links out on Twitter when I feel like it. I'm still not sure what to do with G+ but I kinda like it.


A Saturday Adventure

Today the MO and I went on an adventure. It all started with a need for ammo. (It's always all about the guns for us, isn't it?) The MO thought it was time to visit T's Guns & Ammo down in Texas City, and well, if we're gonna drive that far, we might as well do something else while we're there. So he said he'd take me to the Texas City Dike, since I hadn't yet been there.

Sounded good to me, so we hopped in The Petromuncher and headed out. First stop was brunch--Goode Company Seafood to the rescue. Campechana and hush puppies for me, fried shrimp and grilled trout for he, Bass Ale all around. Thus fortified, we hit I-45, pointed The Muncher south, and stepped on the gas.

We found T's with no trouble, snapped up 1200 rounds of various sizes, and five minutes later we were at the dike. I guess I was basically expecting a jetty, but it's a bit more impressive than that. This thing is five miles long and you can drive the entire length. It juts waaaay out into the Houston Ship Channel and so affords a fantastic view of the marine traffic.
Texas City Dike

The south side of the dike is big granite rocks, and many of these rocks are populated by fishermen. There are also a few shrimp boat slips, so I guess it gets relatively deep pretty quickly. The northern side is more beach-like--here the fishermen wade in up to their necks (insanity!) and little kids splash in the sloughs. There's not a wave in sight and the water is generally prettier than what I associate with Galveston (that would be "brown"). There are several parks with boat ramps, and there is room to pull off and park a car on either side of the road at almost any point.

We drove all the way out to the end, where the granite rocks curl around the tip of the dike. It's an easy hop to the top of the rocks, where you can sit down, prop your feet on the next row of rocks down, watch the boats go by and get the occasional splash on your toes. Talk about soul-satisfying.
Toes in the Ship Channel

If you turn north at the base of the dike, you can drive up a one-way road through another spectacular park. This road follows the water's edge up to the flood gates, but there is a broad meadow that slopes down to the rocks at the bottom. We saw windsurfers and kite fliers galore, and some crazy folks using kites as sails. (Or trying to, anyhow. I didn't actually witness what I'd call very successful movement this way.) Both on the dike and in this park we saw people with tents or awnings to provide shade. I think that looks like an ideal way to spend a day--in the shade but with that salt air blowing through.
Texas City Dike

We wandered our way north up miscellaneous little roads back towards Houston. The MO was intent on finding something but I didn't know what. I had the map, and I was instructed to get us to Morgan's Point. When we got there, we found a shipping terminal full of freight containers stacked four and five high, the huge cranes that move the containers, and rail lines running every which way. We drove around and ogled all the big equipment, but this didn't seem to be the MO's final destination. He wanted to be on the other side of the cut. After a bit of wandering we drove through a little residential section and then out a dirt road to the water again. Left turn, along the channel, and voila, The Point--one of the most delightfully situated ice houses I've ever had the pleasure to patronize.

We sat at a picnic table with our beers and watched the birds and boats go by. I had thought the ships were close when we were on the dike! At this place, you could practically flick your bottle cap onto their decks.


Suitably refreshed, we drove around in the residential section for a bit. It's a real mixed bag--everything from rambling shacks to new McMansions, but as a whole quite appealing. I'm thinking this is a perfect destination for The Eventual Parental Migration.

After that, back to town for a trip to Border's and Spec's, and then home for a leisurely evening. We had to give an offering of our time to the traffic gods on 610, but we'd had such a great day even that didn't dampen our spirits.

These impromptu road trips are a standing tradition in the Oilman household, and they never disappoint. It's amazing what wonder you can find in your own backyard.
Mr. and Mrs. Oilman

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