This week we landed in Port Aransas, Texas, thirty minutes east of Corpus Christi…just in time for spring break 2017 😳😳😳 Uhh, oops. This was totally unplanned.
We arrived on Saturday and stayed two nights at Pioneer RV Park. It backs up to the beach, and is just a few minutes walk from RV to ocean. It was a great park with everything you need…wifi, pool, laundry, rec center, store, etc. But rather than continue to pay $50.00 per night we decided to move the rig onto the beach and boondock for a few days. All we had to pay was $12.00 for a beach parking permit…actually $24.00 since we had to buy one for the rig and one for our tow car. The permits are good for the entire year, but technically you’re only supposed to park for three days in a row in any 21-day period. We may or may not have stayed six nights. No one checks, and even if they did, there’s no way of telling how long you have already stayed because the permits aren’t dated. Besides, soon there would be thousands of spring breakers parked everywhere on the beach. Thousands… everywhere.
Monday morning after leaving Pioneer, we scoped out what we thought was a fairly open, fairly empty area and set up camp away from where we figured most people would congregate. At the time there were only a handful of people here and there, with no one directly next to us. It seemed to be just far enough away from the madness of spring breakers, but within hours was close enough to have them walking by our setup on their way to the debauchery.
After a few hours I decided to make a run to the store to pick up a few necessities (rum), as well as some fire wood and s’more fixin’s for a beach bonfire later that evening. The drive down the beach to the paved access road wasn’t more than about a mile. Traffic on the beach had picked up considerably in both directions, but it was moving. There were a couple “hot spots” along the route, where spring breakers congregated in heavy volume. One was a giant enclosed circle of 20 or more trucks, with each truck bed over flowing and weighed down with a mass of humanity. The music volume was insane and came from every direction, simultaneously, with bass was so intense it rattled my poor little CRV. I mean, I could barely hear Coldplay on the radio. By the time I made my stops and headed back toward the beach, the access road was at a crawl. Aimee called to make sure I was on my way back, because it was filling up around The Beast fast.
At first it was pretty funny. I would just stare from my folding captain’s chair/throne, sip my High Life, and pass silent judgment on, well, everyone. Never mind that these kids were me 20 or so years ago. (Yeesh.) All I would do most of this day though was smile, occasionally nod to “bros” passing by, and consider the colossally bad decisions being made today. Like this outfit…
It wasn’t all cowboy boots and shorts though. The ladies sported the hungry butt-kini look. Apparently the style now is to buy a bikini bottom that’s three sizes too small so it appears your butt is devouring the fabric. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t thongs, there’s just a whole lot of extra cheekage. (Sorry, didn’t take any creeper pics, I happen to enjoy being married.)
For a while we just kinda laughed as we were slowly enveloped by partiers, shaking our heads at the ignorance of our short-sighted decision. Every hour that passed, more and more spring breakers would park next to us until there were lines of double parked cars, blaring music, beer cans and trucks. Holy crap, the trucks. I’m fairly certain that the state of Texas issues each natural-born Texan, upon their sixteenth birthday, a loud, lifted, and illuminated truck. That, and a giant flag of Texas. Regardless, there we were, right smack in the middle of Spring Break 2017.
By about 2:00 on you could hardly get in and out of the beach. Traffic just crawled along as revelers hung out of windows, danced on truck beds, and woven in and out of traffic on golf carts. What had we gotten ourselves into?!
It was more the music that got to us…predominantly rap, graphically explicit, and horribly unoriginal. In the beginning it was off in the distance. You could hear the beat, but not make out the lyrics. Once the music crept closer and became discernible, it wasn’t so funny anymore. Doesn’t matter that I grew up listening to rap. I did all kinds of dumb things I don’t want my kids repeating, so yes, I will absolutely shield them from the garbage that comes out of that genre. They’re 11 so they know most of those words. Maybe not in those particular sequences, but they get the gist. More importantly, they see how dumb they sound coming out of people’s mouths. Of course the kids bringing the music brought their drunken mouths with them. Unfortunately it was too late in the day and too crowded to move. We would just have to wait it out until morning and move further down the beach.
To be fair, the kids around us were very respectful towards us. Their music sucked but no one, at any point, was disrespectful. In fact, a few approached and said hello. Most everyone would at least nod or wave. A couple actually chatted me up. Someone called me “sir” on the beach, driving home the point that I’m 42 on spring break. Of course everyone loved Beedo and asked to pet him. The occasional car that would drive right through our set-up did so apologetically. We never complained or got upset. After all, this was their spring break and we kinda accidentally crashed it. So we just smiled and nodded in kind.
We got to watch a number of kids being arrested, so there’s that. All kinds of life lessons to teach my boys here. The boys mostly shook their heads at the drunken shenanigans. At one point one of them mumbled “idiots” in reference to a group getting arrested right behind our rig. I tried to explain to them how awful their night, and maybe future, is about to get and that we should have compassion. That I did many of the same things growing up because I didn’t know better. And that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. This judgemental side of theirs must have come from their mother.
By nightfall the majority of people had cleared out, but the beach was still very active. There were plenty of travel trailers and lots more tent campers. Cars passed by frequently. You could hear their bass before you could see them coming. Trucks would race and do donuts at all hours, followed closely by woohoos and yeehaws echoing through the night sky. At one point around 11:00 Aiden asked if we could just go ask a group to turn their music down. I explained to him that would probably not be a good idea. By 3am only an occasional bass-thumping ride would pass by. Sunrise was sometimes met with a car or two blasting deep bass as they passed by. Who needs that much bass in the morning? I don’t get it. Nobody’s THAT awake at 7:30am.
One morning I stepped outside the Beast and there was a bag of weed (just shake) sitting 5 steps away. Our little beach shovel and football were missing though. Maybe a stoners idea of a fair trade? We had a good chuckle over that and I brought it inside the rig to throw in our trash can. 15 minutes later our rig wreaked of weed, so I opted to take out the trash to one of the nearby dumpsters. Later that day as I was setting up the grill, four police officers and a K-9 unit passed through our set-up. One of them complimented us on our motorhome as she tugged at the dog sniffing around my beach chair, more for Beedo’s scent than anything else, but I couldn’t stop smiling at the coincidence.
Even after moving down the beach, we were still hangin’ with the spring breakers. The crowd thinned out enough to where we felt a little more comfortable boondocking, obviously, because we did stay another 5 nights.
On our final day we had two different people ask to use our bathroom. Frankly we were surprised it took that long for anyone to ask. There are only a handful of port-o-potties scattered about, and they’re always jam packed. Most opt to walk over into the sand dunes to take care of business. Really, we hoped it would never come up. I think there’s an unwritten rule about never asking to crap in another man’s camper. But these were kids and probably didn’t know that old adage.
The first time it happened we were having dinner inside the rig and suddenly Aiden’s talking to someone through the window. My immediate response to Aiden after he said someone wanted to use our bathroom was “it’s broken”. He just stared at me blankly, and then Aimee chimed in, “it’s fine, go ahead.” Ya, it’s all fine until it gets clogged and I’m the one elbow deep in Charlie Brown. A second later there’s a kid climbing on board to handle his business. A couple minutes pass so I tap on the bathroom door, “hey, if you’re using toilet paper, please throw it in the trash can to your right.” Response: “okay, thank you sir.” Man, that’s the second time I’ve been called sir. It just feels wrong. A few minutes after that a visibly relieved young man emerges and tells us we’re the nicest people on the beach. He says the port-o-potties out here are absolutely disgusting. With all these spring breakers I could only imagine. The senior from Beeville, Texas chats for a bit and then heads off down the beach with his friends. After he’s gone Aiden explains to us that the kid, through the window, had actually told him, “I’ve gotta poop.” I think we all lost it right then… that someone that age would be so desperate as to say they had to “poop”, through an RV window screen, to an 11-year old stranger. Awesome.
Next up was a fairly desperate 45-year old woman who approached me on the beach and said she was “too old for all this, and would gladly pay to use our bathroom.” Ya, I can relate lady. Climb aboard. Thankfully that was the beginning and end to the potty parade.
This week wasn’t the most relaxing ever. Our sleep was broken at best. A couple nights I was awake more than I slept, but it didn’t seem to matter much. We all had a great time and shared plenty of laughs. But after a week of public urination, kids getting arrested, and hungry butt-kinis, we were ready to move on. Sand was just about everywhere, despite our best efforts to keep it out, and the rig was…moist. The ocean breeze was amazing, but it got a little damp inside at night. So on Sunday morning we said goodbye to Port Aransas, dumped our tanks at the State Park, and headed east. About 3 hours later we’re back boondocking on another beach. This time in Freeport. This time no spring breakers. We’ll relax here a couple days to reclaim some of that lost sleep before making the short drive over to Galveston Island. After all, beach hopping takes a toll. You need to be well rested.