FunStuff

Port Isabel / South Padre Island – Texas

Posted on: January 24, 2015

After completing our recent Volksmarching 10K in Brownsville we headed over to Port Isabel where we ate lunch before visiting the lighthouse.

DSCF1213

The Lighthouse Museum is under renovation.

DSCF1215

The Point Isabel Lighthouse was erected in 1852.

DSCF1214

The lighthouse was open and they only charged us $3.00 to climb up the 74 steps to the top.

DSCF1219

P1020131

DSCF1217

After that adventure we just walked around the area and enjoyed the shops and Pirate photo opportunities.

P1020135

DSCF1225

DSCF1220

We also enjoyed talking to the parrots who would mimic us.

DSCF1222

From there we headed over the causeway to South Padre and were surprised by some big heads.  We didn’t see them until we were past the parking area so we made a note to come back and take pictures of them.

We continued on to the Tourist Information Center where I had read that they had the largest sandcastle on Padre Island.   According to what I’d read, this Sandcastle was conceived and carved by island artist Andy Hancock.   It took him about 550 hours to complete and it is made from approximately 60 tons of river sand.  The wires coming out of the sandcastle are there to keep the birds off, but it definitely detracts from the beauty.

DSCF1228

There is a smaller one inside in the lobby.

DSCF1230

The receptionist informed us that there were lots of sandcastles we could go visit, and gave us a list. So we headed out to look for them. But it turns out most of them have been vandalized. We did find this one that is still in pretty good shape.

DSCF1231

We also spotted several carvings. These are just two of the many there.

DSCF1226

DSCF1227

We gave up the search for sandcastle and we headed over to the Convention Center where they have a Laguna Madre Nature Trail. We looked it over, but quickly decided we’d rather play on the beach. We did like the mural on the side of the building.

DSCF1234

We drove over to Isla Blanca Park to view the statue of Jesus. El Cristo de los Pescadores, rises at the very southern tip of the island. There is a $5.00 per car entry fee.

DSCF1235

DSCF1236

We left the statue and headed on over to walk on the beach and wade in the surf.

DSCF1237

DSCF1238

DSCF1239

DSCF1241

DSCF1242

The water was VERY cold.

P1020149

P1020151

P1020157

We remembered to stop in the parking area before the causeway crossing and got out to take pictures of the three heads.

DSCF1243

DSCF1244

DSCF1245

We also saw a memorial for the collapse of the causeway back in 2001.

DSCF1246

I Googled it and Wikipedia has this to say:   “In the early morning hours of September 15, 2001, four loaded barges crashed into one of the Queen Isabella Causeway’s support columns traveling at 2/10ths of 1 mile per hour.   Three 80-foot (24.4 m) sections of the bridge fell into the water, leaving a large gap in the roadway.   The collapsed sections were just next to the highest point of the causeway, making it difficult for approaching drivers to notice.   Eight people were killed as their cars fell 85 feet (26 m) into the water.   Five vehicles were recovered from the water along with three survivors.”

“The collapse had a significant economic impact on the region since the Causeway is the only road connecting the island to the mainland.   The bridge also carried electricity lines and fresh water to the island.   State officials brought in ferries to temporarily carry cars across the Laguna Madre.”

“In addition to the three bridge sections that toppled in the original accident, two adjacent sections were also replaced due to structural damage.   The Causeway was reopened on November 21, 2001.   Several safety features were added to the structure.   The support columns were reinforced, and a $12 million fiber optic driver warning system was installed.   News and discussion of the collapse was mostly confined to local and regional sources due to the September 11, 2001 attacks four days before.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: