The very first car that passes by stops to see if I am all
right. It's a Caravan and a fatherly looking man pokes out his head.
"Is everything ok? Do you need any help?" He asks.
"No," I say walking up to his window, "but
thanks for stopping, just taking a picture."
"Oh, well you never know, nasty weather we're having,
especially to get stuck out here," he says looking at me then up at the
dark gray clouds then at the pounding surf to his left. He drives on and the
next car slows but doesn't stop as I search for just the right angle. Then the
next car stops and the gentleman inside asks if I'm all right. I better get
out of here or I will have the entire town coming out ensuring my safety. With a
grin I assure the driver all is well. Rather friendly people.
As I reach the middle of the island, I come to a toll bridge
at San Luis Pass. As I climb the long arcing path of the bridge, I discover that
below is a wide open expansive beach and beyond that only the crashing waves. In
the spirit of picture taking, I turn around to pull out onto the beach. The sand
of the beach is hard packed from the rain so the bike glides along. I look for a
spot and the right angle against the boiling sea.
I find a small dune and place it between the tires so the
kickstand will sink in but the bike will stay upright. It works and the bike
balances. I hop off careful not to upset it and step back. No good, I think.
Doesn't look right. Mounting the bike, I'm careful starting off not to spin
the rear tire. That would be a disaster. Then I would need the townspeople to
rescue me. I circle around to come in from the other direction. I'm not careful
enough though and the front wheel plows, down the bike plops into the sand.
It balances at an angle on the crash bars that protect the
bike from things like this so I hop off, plant my feet, and grunt the bike up. I
suppose any touring purist would be aghast at me dumping the bike but bikes come
and go, the picture lasts forever. I dump it two more times circling around
looking for the right angle and dune. Finally I get it right, hop off the bike
and decide there's too little light since it is now dusk. So I didn't get
While riding through Galveston, I've decided this would be an
interesting place to live, on an island along the gulf coast. Because of the
storm, I decide to get a room for the night since there is no way I can sleep
out in this weather. I can't even feel my hands anymore. The rushing wind and
rain have slowly sucked out all their warmth. So upon finding an inexpensive
motel at the water's edge, I settle in chatting with the mom and pop couple that
run the place.
They're curious where I'm from and where in the world
could I be heading in this weather. They seem surprised at the motorcycle parked
outside the front window. The bike just sits there, steam rolling off the motor
in the steady rain. After all, this is January. They tell me a little about the
island. It's 32 miles long and only 2 miles wide at it's widest point. There's
a couple cool museums here and even an off-shore oil rig. Lotsa retired people
They hand me a portable heater to help dry my things. They
also say there is an unusually large cold front coming down from the north
that's expected to reach quite far south into America's midsection. Not much I
can do about that. So I don't give it a second thought. Just as long as it
doesn't rain I feel confident.
Nothing could be worse than this last Monday out in New
Mexico. I am amazed still at the temperature the other day. 22 degrees? Nothing
could be as much of a hardship as that was.
I've settled into the spartan little room here, and I can see the storm on
the weather channel. Hopefully it'll be gone by morning. The weatherman seems to
be as confident as I am. I also see the cold front good 'ole mom and pop were
talking about. Seems that where I am originally from up in Wisconsin,
temperatures are in the single digits.
It can't get that bad, not this far