Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Travelogue: ‘Galveston

… oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'

While my daughter was here, we decided to make the drive to Galveston.  My children are all very much in tune with the Gulf and with Galveston in particular, I think.  Me too – I still miss it every day.

So, just in case you don’t know:

Galveston Island is one of a string of sand-barrier islands along the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.  The island is about two miles off-shore, twenty-seven miles long and less than three miles wide.  (Put this into your useless information for a star-studded cocktail party file.)

No, there are no white sand, blue water beaches.  That’s because (1) our sand is brown and (2) there are many rivers that flow into the Gulf carrying sediment.  Because of the geographic location of the Gulf and the rotation of the Earth, the silt sort of swirls around west and south before swirling out to the Caribbean or settling to the gulf floor.  On calm days, the water is fairly clear and green.  On stormy days – not so much.

We decided to drive over, have some good seafood, walk around Strand for a while, visit Seawall and generally absorb the air (feels softer, smells briny) and listen to all the seabirds sounds (I miss that sound – silly, but I do).

OK – there are several ways to get to Galveston from Wharton.  You can take Hwy 59 (the 59 that’s under construction for 30 of the 50 miles – aaarrrggghhhhh) to Houston, then Loop 610 to Hwy 45 south.  I figure that will take anywhere from 2-87 hours of white knuckle driving depending on traffic.  Or you can go the back way which takes you through several small towns and is mostly county roads.  That’s the way we went.  It’s not a bad drive.

Lunch – Pier 21 on Harborside.  Great place, good food, good service, easy parking.  And, you can sit on the patio to enjoy interesting views.

We walked across the street to Strand and wandered up and down looking at and going in the various shops.  We both have certain places that are on the “I have to go in here” list.  


The Christmas Store

Hendley Market
I can find 80 dozen things I need in there!

This is new - 
The Spice and Tea Exchange
I need one of these closer to me!

La King’s Confectionery

Then we drove down to Seawall. 

 Just a quickDid you know?

Built in 1902, the Seawall is about 10 miles long, 17 feet high and 16 feet thick.  Materials used in constructing the original seawall included 5.200 railway carloads of crushed granite; 1,800 carloads of sand; 1,000 carloads of cement; 1,200 carloads of round wooden pilings; 4,000 carloads of wooden sheet pilings; 3,700 carloads of stone riprap; and 5 carloads of reinforcing steel.  Pretty stout wall.

In 1903, concurrent with construction of the seawall, the city of Galveston was also raised 17 feet.  In addition to all the utilities, about 2000 buildings/homes were raised on hand-turned jackscrews.

Then we drove home.

It was a very nice day.

Take care
Home again, home

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