I shuddered as I watched the news report showing the devastation left behind Hurricane Ike. In April, just five months ago, Ed and I visited the Bolivar Peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico. We boondocked in the parking lot of a church and later along a new road cut for access to an oceanfront home. We enjoyed several days in High Island, Gilchrist, and Crystal Beach. We met people like Joe, a commercial shrimp and crabber. We watched wildlife in their natural habitat. I fell in love with a little blue house on stilts. Today, I wonder what happened to Joe, his boats and yard full of chickens. I suspect the bird sanctuary is in ruins. And, I wonder if that little blue house withstood the storm.
Ike devastated this area of Texas. I read that the peninsula road is impassable and rescue teams are using airboats to find the people who rode out this Category II storm. Photos of the towns show the roofless houses of the lucky homeowners; for the less fortunate, the houses are gone completely and only empty concrete slabs remain.
Traveling, as Ed and I have done, gives me a sense of people and place. It is heartbreaking to know that what was once there may be gone forever.