Tuesday, January 15, 2008

South Padre Island, Texas Just for Fun

“I can no longer take care of the women, so I take care of the beach,” said Ricardo.His skin was the color of a chestnut shell and his jeans hung as if he had once been a bigger man.

He stood with his arms dangling over the bed of his weathered pick-up truck where rope and chains lay in a tangle dusted by sand. The truck’s right front tire looked soft, under-inflated or perhaps going flat. Ricardo holds a license to rescue vehicles trapped by the sands of South Padre Island. He waits at Access #6. For $3, you can buy a beach permit allowing you to drive on the sand from Access #5 north some 15 or so miles until the beach turns to private land. For $40, Ricardo pulls you out of the sand.

“At mile 14, there is a nude beach,” Ricardo smiles. “But at this time of year, the Winter Texas women sunbathing there have holes between their tits.” He laughs, “That hole is a navel between their sagging breasts. Wait ‘til spring break, then go there,” he advises.

Ed and I were on South Padre Island on January 12th. Without a tide schedule, we resisted the temptation to drive the beach with our pearl white Sonata convertible – a rental while the conservative Corolla is being repaired. And, it was too far to walk to mile 14.

We watched a jeep and SUV make a running start to plow through the deep sand at Access #6. They fared better than I. They gunned their engines and roared through the troughs of sand sliding side to side as if on an icy road. I made a run to catch up to Ed and fell on all fours into the soft mounds of sand.

The Gulf water was cold when I rinsed the sand off my legs and hands. The sand was hard packed near the water and that’s where people actually drive. I walked in the surf holding my shorts up to my thighs. Ed strolled an inch shy of the foaming surf wearing his jeans and tennis shoes. Vehicles passed us by.

PS: This is one place in Texas where you can go barefoot, and perhaps bare breasted too at mile 14.

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