"Welcome to Texas...
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
....the lone star state" - said the sign as Louisiana faded in my mirrors. How exciting! I have never previously been to Texas and was eager to see if everything truly was bigger here, as they say.
My first stop was in Bridge City where I saw some people gathering near water right off of highway 73. It looked like they were fishing so I though to myself, “hey, I might be able to catch me some dinner as well”.
A couple of rather delightful Texan girls were participating in the popular local activity called “crabbin'”. Crabbin' is the art of luring crabs to snatch on a piece of chicken meat tied to a string, and then artfully pull the little guys out for the purpose of dining on their tasty little bodies. The process is simple, almost too simple, and after some time speaking to the girls I too gave it a try. The three sweet Texans were kind enough to let me in on a few other local activities that are done for fun. One such example is Backroadin’ where the participants reach a high level of alcoholic intoxication and drive around the country roads in their trucks at higher-than-prescribed speeds. Another peculiar activity described by the girls is Muddin’ which needs no explanation. Besides ways to pass time in Texas we also spoke about the local cuisine. Two dishes of Cajun origin I was urged to try are Boudin and Crawfish Etouffee which the girls described in delicious detail for me.
After an hour of fun with the crabbin' Texan girls, we parted ways; they were kind enough to gift me a CD of Kyle Park, a country music idol in these here parts. Thank you ladies for being so lovely, and for the kind welcome to your fine state. I shall be back.
I spent that night in Houston couch surfing with Jon, a medical student from California. We had a blast enjoying the city’s Mexican cosine. In the morning we had breakfast at the famous Breakfast Club, a supposed culinary soul of the city. My amazement with it was not with the food, which was completely average, but that people would actually choose to wait in line by the tens in the morning just to eat at an overpriced restaurant that really should serve orange juice in reusable glasses and not in plastic bottles that just creates more unnecessary waste.
After an exchange of rather unorthodox gifts such as sandals and poppy seeds I continued west to Austin. Thanks to my friend Jon for a great time in Houston. Looking forward to sailing in CA.
Continuing west on the Bolivar Peninsula I witnessed houses on 3 story stills that are supposed to survive flooding of the gulf in case of hurricanes; and I couldn’t help but ask the question; what about the wind? It seems so unnecessary to build a house out of plywood in an area that is so prone to disastrous weather. I could understand, I suppose, if this was Rio de Janeiro surrounded by magnificent natural sights that take the breath away as the gaze falls in any direction; but it most certainly isn't that. The water is brown and the coast is rather bland.
I took a ferry to Galveston, just another town on the coast but a little more touristy. The ferry is free and is the main way of reaching the city, and it was on the ferry that I met a group of riders that immediately came to spend the 10 minute ride doing what we do best; talk bikes.
Then it was off to the world renowned metropolis of Austin, home of the Big Horns - the University of Texas where I was to meet up an old friend from Brazil and where new adventures surely awaited!
TIP: Give yourself plenty of time for chance interactions with locals - this has never been a regretful or disappointing experience for me, thus I always make sure to provide space and time for such things to happen. Don't rush yourself! Talk to folks - they are eager to hear your story and there is fascinating folks out there that is a privilege to meet and speak to.