Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Port A

We've been here almost two weeks now, and have settled into the rhythm of the Texas Coast.  Port Aransas, or Port A as most people call it, is a welcoming small town on the north end of Mustang Island.  During the summer it throbs with life and swells with tourists.  Its beaches are teeming with surfers and sun worshipers.  In the winter, however, Port A seems to move and breath with the tides rather than with the throb of music from bars and boom-boxes (or whatever they're called now).  The locals have been joined by refugees from the chill of northern winters and (in our case) cedar pollen.  The population is older, perhaps wiser, but no less vibrant and fun-loving than the summer residents.

For a solid week-and-a-half, we were also refugees from the cold and rain of the Texas Coast and spent most of our time inside the RV.  Over the weekend, however, the weather turned seasonable and everyone came out.  Saturday found a packed house at "The Gaff," one of Port A's venerable bars.  If you've never visited a beach bar, download Guy Clark's album "South Coast of Texas" and listen to some of his songs.  You'll get a feel for it.

In addition to pints and pizza, Saturday’s entertainment at The Gaff included the Belt Sander Races.  If you’ve never seen belt sander races, you should.  The belt sanders are modified by replacing their motors with router motors which pull more rpms.  In addition, most of them are also given “personalities.”  When attached to a 60-foot extension cord, they fly down the course with a high-pitched whine.  Here are photos of a couple of the participants.

We were a little late for the competition, but arrived in time to see the winners accepting congratulations and having their pictures taken.  

The winners, “Team Viagra,” were sporting funny hats and T-shirts with the slogan “Go Hard or Go Home.”  It was a great day.

In addition to the belt sander races, The Gaff was also hosting another sport called Hammerschlagen.  Participants wore "Get Nailed" or "Get Hammered" stickers.  The object of the game was to be the first to pound a nail into a large block of wood using the pointy end of a mallet.  This woman, wearing a Happy New Year hat and a shirt that said “Trust Me, I’m Famous,” put her money down and took the challenge.  When she was successful, the guy with her was thrilled!

The warm weather has allowed us to take the dogs walking on the beach several times.  They were very excited, snapping at the waves and chasing the gulls and sandpipers.  They never caught one, but entertained themselves with dead fish, seaweed, and investigating their first sand castle.  They were all very curious about it, and fortunately we were able to call them off before they destroyed it.  

The walk ended in the fog, with pelicans soaring overhead and then disappearing into the mist.

When we can’t go to the beach, we visit Port A’s dog park.  It’s big enough for chasing balls, and gives the Pack plenty of exercise…Colt and Rue, that is.  Kota is more interested in socializing with the other dogs and stealing an occasional ball.

And, at the end of the day, they retire with a Nylabone, engage in just one more dog tussle, or present a toy to ask for a little petting.  

Here is John with his fifty-pound lap puppy.  Keep your comments coming, and we wish you were all here to enjoy the coast with us.

No comments:

Post a Comment