Ocean Breezes At The Road’s End

Ocean Breezes At The Road’s End

Thursday morning, leaving the dogs behind, we drove 80 miles to the Costco in Pharr.   We wanted to pick up a few items that the local grocery stores don’t seem to carry.  Arriving 15 minutes after their opening, the parking lot was full so we parked off to the side by the outside work bays where they replace tires.

Pharr Costco Propane Filling Station
Pharr Costco Propane Filling Station

I’ve seen Costco gas stations but never a propane filling station.  This is a first.  It makes sense.  Pharr is next to McAllen.  McAllen is next to Mission.  McAllen and Mission together are the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) center of the Winter Texas phenomenon.  RVers use lots of propane.

The Pharr Costco carried the items we had come for.

Red Robbin Restaurant in Pharr
Red Robbin Restaurant in Pharr

On the way into Costco, we spotted a Red Robin restaurant next door.  That sounded better than our original lunch plan so we stopped in there.  I got the Southwest Chicken Salad, my favorite Red Robin salad.  The waiter was most considerate and helpful.

After lunch, we stopped in at the Pharr HEB Plus to get some Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Muesli.  This muesli has no added sugar in it.  It goes nicely in my favorite non-fat plain Greek yogurt – Fage.  Fage isn’t available everywhere so recently I’ve had to substitute with Chobani.  No joy – Apparently only the Brownsville HEB Plus carries the muesli.

Andy Bowie Park, Cameron County Texas
Andy Bowie Park, Cameron County Texas

Back at our campsite, we decided to take the dogs to the beach for a walk.  We didn’t want to walk the beach at Isla Blanca Park again.  We drove north up Padre Boulevard to Andy Bowie Park, a different Cameron County park.  The park is across the street from the South Padre Island Convention Center.  Like the Isla Blanca Park, it cost $10 to get in with our Jeep.

Andy Bowie Park RV Campground
Andy Bowie Park RV Campground

Two things jumped out at me when I drove through the gate.  The RV campground was organized like a parking lot (not uncommon but not necessarily welcome).  RVs appeared to be boondocking overnight in the beach access parking lot.

Overnight Boondocking In Parking Log
Overnight Boondocking In Parking Log

On the way from the parking lot to the beach, we walked up a dune between a concessionaires stand and restrooms.  Then past a large multilevel pavilion with picnic tables where the surf condition flag flies, the ocean appeared before us.

The Gulf of Mexico From Andy Bowie Park
The Gulf of Mexico From Andy Bowie Park

The sand got deeper the closer to the beach we got.  Once on the beach, the sand was strong and firm.  For the past few days, the onshore winds have been strong and gusty.  Not quite Hawaiian surf but pretty good for South Padre Island.

Breezy Day At The Beach
Breezy Day At The Beach

But this day, the wind had switched direction, the offshore wind blowing the dog’s ears straight back.  For fun, the dogs and I chased sandpipers along the edge of the surf.  Advancing and retreating, driving the sandpipers to flight.

Looking South Down The Beach
Looking South Down The Beach

Looking south down the beach, one would think this was summertime.  It is winter and a comfortable 75 degrees.

Pavilion Facing The Ocean
Pavilion Facing The Ocean

On the way back to the parking lot, we stopped at the pavilion to admire the views.

When we left the park, on a lark, we turned north, to drive all the way to the end of Padre Boulevard.  Immediately, the road turned from four to two lane.  Past the last development, the road continued, sand blowing across the road and piling up on the mainland side.

North End of Padre Boulevard
North End of Padre Boulevard

Padre Boulevard ends where the road has been reclaimed by natural forces, wind and sand.

Looking South From The North End
Looking South From The North End

At the end of the road, we turned around and headed back to camp.  Back through the mini sandstorm raging across the road.

Hope to see you on the road ahead!

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