Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fun, Food and Belt Sander Races

As our month in Port A neared its end, we naturally tried to finish all the things on our “bucket list” for the trip.  It's a great little town, and does its best to live up to this sign (versions of which were posted in many shops and restaurants). 

We didn't get to do any fishing, but we did eat a lot of it.  We also took the local garden club’s tour of homes and were inspired to go back to Austin and begin work on our own place.  Unfortunately, photos were not permitted, so I can’t show you any of the lovely homes we toured.

Of course, we continued our almost-daily visits to the dog park.  The Bagley Dogs enjoyed playing with their many new friends, but especially lively was the day seven representatives of the herding breeds showed up at one time.  In addition to our three (and Kota’s credentials as a herding dog are suspect) there was another Border Collie, an Australian Shepherd and these two magnificent Old English Sheep Dogs.  Too bad there weren’t any sheep!

After attending the belt sander races a couple of weeks, ago, we also wanted to get front-row seats to watch the last races of the month.  

We arrived at The Gaff in time to meet one of the stars of “Chicken Bingo” which is held on alternate Saturdays with the belt sander events.  (We’ll put that on our list for next year when we return.) 

The bar was filled with the usual cast of colorful characters, including this ginger-haired woman and her matching bright-eyed friend.  

The action got underway promptly at 3:00 p.m. with the singing of our National Anthem.  

The stands were full, and the track stretched some 30 or so feet to the finish line, where a judge was poised to determine the winner of each heat.

There were a number of belt sanders entered.  In addition to Pepe le Pew (the belt sander with balls), 

contestants included Mustang Island Express, Purple Passion, Turbo Trout, Low Life 

 and an unnamed belt sander entered by “Team Horny Goat.”  

I never got the name of the captain of Team Horny Goat, but the team mascot was Bruce, whose white coat had been tinted orange to match the team colors.  He was a great favorite with the crowd.

We watched the teams preparing their belt sanders, 

then lining them up for the race.  

When the “Christmas tree” lights came on, the sanders were off in a flash, trailing their power cords behind. 

Winners of the heats took a victory lap to slap high fives accompanied by the raucous cheers of the crowd (fueled I’m sure by the pints and bottles of beer in everyone’s hands).  

The beer came from the bar inside, as well as from the spigots sported by this lovely mermaid on the patio.

It was an afternoon filled with fun, fellowship, and of course, beer!

On Monday evening before we headed back to Austin, we sampled food from a number of Port A’s restaurants in the annual “Dine Around Port Aransas.”  

We can argue about which had the best food, but one highlight was certainly the gumbo from Castaways.  

Our last couple of days were filled with sunshine, thank goodness!  We enjoyed the beach and a last excursion to Rockport to stock up on oysters and grouper filets.  Then, on February 1, we said goodbye to Gulf Waters RV Resort, loaded up and came back to Reality.  

It was a great trip.

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