February 11 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Okay, I just thawed out. Finally.
The temperature when I woke up in Corpus Christi this morning was 35 degrees. Not bad if you're in a car, but a little chilly if you're on a motorcycle. More than a little chilly, actually.
I went up to the eleventh floor of the Best Western Marina Grand Hotel and had a good, complimentary hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, flour tortillas and refried beans, along with plenty of hot coffee. I was going to need it.
The skies were clear as I loaded up the Electra Glide. I fired up the engine, and pointed the wheel north.
The Nueces Bay Causeway separates Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. It affords a great view of the USS Lexington , a decommissioned World War II era aircraft carrier that now operates as a museum on the Bay. Right near the USS Lexington, the Texas State Aquarium features the aquatic life of the Gulf of Mexico. On another trip, I will get back to both attractions. For today, I was eager to ride, and ride fast.
I picked up Texas 35 outside Sinton, and headed north.
The roads in this part of Texas seem to have been laid out with a ruler. They stretch for miles and miles without a curve in sight, disappearing into the horizon in the far distance. Speed limits can be 70 to 75 mph, and traffic is thin. Farms and ranches line the road for miles, broken intermittently by industrial installations and views of the Gulf. I passed through the towns of Aransas Pass and Rockport, then across the breathtaking Copano Bay to Lamar. By the time I hit Port Lavaca, I had to stop for gas, and coffee. It was really cold, but I was having a great ride.
Warmed by the coffee break, I was ready for more riding. The clouds darkened in the sky, but my mood didn't. I was flying along the road, enjoying the music of the Scott Wiggins Band on the stereo on the Electra Glide. Any day behind the handlebars is better than a day in front of the computer.
I pulled into the town of Bay City looking for some lunch. I rode around the quaint downtown until I noticed a sign that promised "Texas' Best Barbeque." I decided to test that claim at Glenn's Barbeque Pit. When I walked into the homey-looking establishment, the wood burning Franklin stove was fired up, lending a glow to the room. I ordered a pork sandwich, curly fries and an iced tea, and sat warming my hands by the stove. When the food arrived, I devoured it with gusto. I don't know if Glenn's claim to "Best" Barbeque can be defended -- but I'd be willing to give it my vote.
Back up on the Electra Glide, I headed for Galveston. I left the comfort of Texas 35, and swung over to Texas 332 to Surfside Beach. 332 hugs the coast and along the causeway to FM-3005, which runs the length of Galveston Island as Seawall Boulevard. Right in the middle of everything, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, is the Best Western Beachfront Inn.
I pulled in to the parking lot, unloaded the bike and checked into my room overlooking the Gulf. Nice. The desk clerk recommended a restaurant further down the boulevard, Gaido's`. Gaido's has been a Galveston institution since 1911, a family-run restaurant that specializes in local seafood. My waitress told me that it is oyster season, so who am I to argue? Apparently, any month with an "R" is the best time to have fresh oysters. My main course was a delicious Gulf Snapper Michael, a delicate filet rolled in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then lightly grilled. Desert was a chocolate mousse. Highly recommended.
On my way back to the Best Western, I dropped in at Academy Sporting Goods, and picked up a couple of thermal shirts on sale. The forecast calls for more frigid weather tomorrow, and I have a long ride ahead of me.
I'm going to have to add another layer.
Miles traveled: 266