December 10, 2005 - Saturday
South Padre Island, TX To Victoria, TX

Well - I left South Padre Island late - 2:30p - I might as well have stayed another day. Anne, one of the hotel owners, stopped by and we chatted for an hour or so. It's the folks I meet that really make this trip fun!

On the road I clicked out to the north end of the island, took some pictures, and turned around. Before heading north up the coast I dipped down into Brownsville - just because - and then headed north. A short while on the road, josteling through the construction / no construction / construction zones a new red convertible rabbit came up to pass - and it sat just behind and left of me for a half mile or so. I turned to look - just to see why - and he moved up and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up. He must have been checking out the bike for a few moments. Zip and he was gone. Mexico plates.

Miles later I had a freeze frame moment. It had been dark for some time and there was some on and off drizzle. Not much - just a little. The road was a divided four lane. Sections were asphalt or tar and gravel. The tar and gravel sections are well worn - the wheel lanes are mostly tar and the center line is raised a little and more rough.

I'd passed some cars and some others were coming up on my left to pass me. We were cruising along at 68 to 72 MPH. Straight and flat - nothing much going on - until the rear wheel kicks out to the right what felt like 10 inches (probably only half of that though). I immediately thought I'd be doing some road surfing right quick.

Letting up on the throttle just a little the rear swung left of center just a bit. The bike wanted to head towards the center line and I was more than happy to get there.

I sat on that center line for a mile or so - analizing what just happened. Road surfing was front center of my brain. There wasn't much to hit - just an easy slide - but there were some cars (sheesh - this is Texas - pickups, pickups, pickups). The temps were in the 50's - well above freezing. The amount of water was minimal so it wasn't hydroplaning.  Water wasn't even kicking off of the tires. I figure it was some slippery substance in an isolated spot - oil or antifreeze - mixed with the light drizzle. Move on.

With the temps being nice I pulled into Victoria TX and was greeted with a "Camping ahead" sign. I kept looking for the "next" sign or a campground - nope. Out the other end of town I turned back and was greeted by another "Camping ahead" sign - I gave up and pulled into a motel.

The closest parking spot to the room had a well worn BMW travelers bike parked in it. Being a double wide spot I joined in. Aluminum side cases - covered in stickers. Both front turn signals taped, retaped, completely covered in tape - unusable - but they were still hanging on. Fuel cap - bunches of duct tape over it as well. I should go out and get a picture of it... I did leave a contact card - perhaps some day I'll get an e-mail.

South Padre Island, TX
Gulf view

Near the end of the road - watch for sand drifts signs

Sand on the road - not quite visible until you see it picked up behind a vehicle

The causeway

I've yet to figure out this yellow line traffic control scheme.

Oil platform construction site?

Back in the construction zone - getting ready for the closed exit ramp.

The "invisible" frontage road I should have taken a couple nights prior.

Things are a bit flat and open. Farmed fields.

Ranch land.

Back Next Up JW Home Navigation