Posts Tagged ‘Texas beaches’

The Quintana Jetty lets me hike out into the ocean. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa

Travels With Maggie

I made many trips to Surfside Beach when I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas, many years ago. Getting there meant crossing a tall bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, which stretches for 3,000 miles along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Fewer trips were made to Bryan Beach, which is separated from Surfside by a mere 500-foot wide channel that provides access to the waterway and also to the port in Freeport, which calls itself the Shrimp Capital of the World.

In the past, getting to Bryan Beach meant crossing a drawbridge that was raised to allow boats to pass. Water vessels had the right of way, so it often took awhile to make it across.

Access today is provided by a tall duplicate of the Surfside Bridge. And since Bryan Beach is also now also home to the Quintanta Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, it’s the island beach of choice for me these days.

A ruddy turnstone sits on the rocks that line the Quintana Jetty. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A trip to either beach, however, calls for a walk on the jetties that line the shipping channel. Both stretch over half a mile out into the ocean. And while they might not be what one thinks of as a typical hiking trail, that’s how I consider them.

A walk on these narrow cement paths can mean a drenching, especially on a day when the waves are behaving rambunctiously. But the views are worth it.

I love to watch as the sea continually rolls into the shore, creating azure and white patterns of light and shadow that can be hypnotizing. If I’m lucky, I’ll see a string of brown pelicans winging by just above the water’s surface, or a cormorant dive beneath the surface and come up with a fish in its mouth. And I’ve never failed to spot sandpipers hanging out on the rocks beside the jetties.

Passing shrimp boats and dolphins are not rare either.

If there’s time, I add a bit more distance to my hike by strolling down the beach for a while in company of gulls, skimmers, plovers and sandpipers. Since I have a son who lives in the area, it’s a hike I get to take several times a year.

Life is good.

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