Friday, December 10, 2021

Bebop on Beignets

We are in my dad hooman's old hometown. Today we had some fun adventures. I got to ride a ferry across the Mississippi River to the old part of New Orleans. I had easy access to the life jackets which were under the seats.

Me on the ferry - need a life jacket?
We walked around some old streets and there were street performers, artists, and a lot of "authentic" voodoo places - whatever that is. I could barely find a patch of grass or dirt to pee on. Also the water in the edge of the street was not very clean - muddy, oily, and smelled of alcohol. My hoomans brought some clean water for me to drink.

Then we went to this magic place that made these things called beignets. They are fried squares of dough covered in powdered sugar. They were delicious. 

I am VERY interested in that delicious smelling beignet

Mmmm . . . beignets
Later we rode the ferry back across and drove down to a place my dad hooman called his high school. It apparently closed in the late 80's, but the big oak tress and the gymnasium building were still visible.

Me and hooman dad at his old high school site

Then we had some delicious fried shrimp. I'm eating well here. We walked around my dad's old neighborhood and all the children wanted to pet and play with me. Time for bed now.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Gulf Coast

The last couple of days we traveled along the Texas and Louisiana coast. We started with a camping night on the beach, just a few feet from the high tide line. The Brazoria County beach near Sufside is hard packed and easy to drive on - even a large camper van. We enjoyed walks on the beach and the sound of the surf all night. The weather for our coast days was around 57ºF - 61ºF and mostly cloudy. 

Our seaside camping spot on the beach

The second night was at Sea Rim State Park at the far SE corner of Texas. Our van got its first ferry ride across to the Bolivar peninsula. There were quite a variety of birds there and many signs warning of alligators. It was cool, so we didn't see any gators, but apparently there was a large one in the adjacent campsite. Our adjacent campers showed us the photos. There were many mosquitoes. 

Bebop on the striped beach

After we left the park, we drove past a large oil refinery. The parking lot looked like a pickup truck dealer. Almost every brand, type, and size were represented - hundreds of pickup trucks. Before we crossed into Louisiana, we made a short detour into Port Arthur for a quick van cleaning and gas fill. It was only four miles each way, but it took forever. We caught every red light - and they were all really long cycle lights - even when no one was coming on the cross streets. It was so bad, it seemed they were intentionally programmed to make you stop at every one. At least the car wash and vacuum were inexpensive.

Elena contemplating the Gulf of Mexico

Then we crossed into Louisiana and took Hwy 82 across the coast. There were hardly any vehicles along the entire road. Marsh, swamp, and water birds dominated. We took another ferry and passed through Cameron, which has been hit by many hurricanes, including one in Aug of 2020. There were numerous destroyed or damaged structures for many miles. Finally, we turned a bit inland to our evening destination of Palmetto Island State Park. It was easy to tell when we got close - palmettos appeared everywhere along the road.

Bebop checking the Palmettos

Here are a few birds along the coast.


Monday, December 6, 2021

Central Texas Adventures

We've been busy visiting hooman friends, so there hasn't been much blogging - just adventures. After we left the dinosaur place, we stopped at Colorado Bend State Park and hiked to Gorman Falls. It was a rocky hike, and some rain just before we arrived made the rocks extra slippery. I had no problem with my four legs and paws, but it was a little dicey for the hoomans. At the end there is a steep rocky descent to the falls viewing area. I was like a mountain goat, and my hoomans made it safely with the help of the cable rail some park rangers had built. The falls were scenic, and I looked at the Colorado River. This is the Texas version of the Colorado River. 

My hoomans by the waterfall

Bebop at the Colorado River in Texas
We then set up camp at a ranch very close to our next day's adventure. The ranch owner only took cash so "Biden wouldn't track me." He had two funny looking creatures that waddled around the campsites. His dog had emphysema, which he blamed on his wife's smoking. That guy made me really appreciate my hoomans. 

These animals were right outside our camper door

The next morning we visited a big granite rock called Enchanted Rock. Dogs can't hike on the rock, so I napped in the van while the hoomans went. Then they returned and took me on the loop trail where dogs were allowed. It was a warm December day, and I often stopped to drink and splash in the adjacent stream.

I'm going to lick Mom on the face at Enchanted Rock

Next we visited Pedernales Falls. It was really rocky, and I could show off my mountain goat skills again. The water was fairly low, but it was pretty.

Bebop pondering the waterfall

Then we visited some hooman friends and stayed in their driveway. I saw some deer and miniature donkeys. One donkey was quite loud. I met a friendly dog who lived next door too. We sniffed each other and wagged tails. His name was Muttley.  

The next day we visited Hamilton Pool and Reimer's Ranch State Park. The pool was closed to swimming and walking up under the ledge because the Feb freeze loosened a lot of rock, and we didn't want to be flattened. The incoming water flow was very low. We went to the other park and I got to splash and wade in the Pedernales River. It was fun.

The hoomans at the Pedernales River

Hamilton Pool

We just arrived at the Texas coast and are parked right on the beach just 100 feet from the water. I liked running on the beach, but that water tasted yucky. We get to sleep at the beachfront spot.

On the Texas Gulf Coast   
- Bebop

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Walking with Dinosaurs

We are on day 2 of our December trip. Fairly modest miles planned for this trip before we take a longer trip in Feb/Mar. For this trip we'll head down through central Texas all the way to the Gulf Coast. Then we'll run along the coast all the way to my hometown of New Orleans, LA (unincorporated Gretna, LA to be exact). 

Our first stop is Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX. Just a mere ~105 million years ago, some sauropods (big vegetarians) and theropods (the bitey kind) strolled along an ancient shoreline, leaving their footprints in the mud. The footprints became buried, compressed, and fossilized. Then, the Paluxy River exposed those long buried footprints. Yesterday we arrived and did a nice 5.4-mile hike in the amazing 75 degree December 1st weather. 

Today, I began with a 3-mile run/walk to find Elena's phone. Last night she couldn't find it, so we used the "find my phone" feature, and the last known location was on the trail we had hiked. I got up early and found it on the bench where we had taken a break at a scenic overlook. Later, we went searching for the dinosaur footprints. There are several sites in the river with distinct footprint tracks. We even put on our water shoes and waded knee-deep in the very cold, but clear water. 

Both saurapod and therapod tracks

My shoe in a theropod track

Those vegetarian sauropods had large feet

Bebop studying the dino footprints

Sitting on the rocks in the Paluxy river
I'll close with this Far Side dinosaur classic.

- Paul

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Bebop is Traveling Again

I saw my hoomans packing the Bebopabago and kept jumping in to make sure they didn't forget me. My plan worked and we are traveling together. Today we drove through the slow DFW traffic for what seemed like forever, until we arrived at Dinosaur Valley State Park. 

My hoomans took me on a nice 5.4 mile hike. I got to splash in a river a couple of times. We haven't seen any actual dinosaurs, but we'll go to the river tomorrow and find their footprints. I modeled next to a dinosaur footprint replica.

Dinosaur footprint and Bebop

Bebop crossing the Paluxy River

Scenic overlook

Our big hike today

I missed a couple of naps today, so I'm going to sleep now.

- Bebop