Goose Island State Park Trip

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  • Goose Island State Park Trip

    Goose Island

    Last year, my wife and I were looking to go to the coast (Texas coast) for a long weekend. I had fond memories of some of the beaches on Mustang Island, and noticed that there was a state park there, so we called to make reservations. However, they were full the weekend we wanted to go. I was disappointed, but still determined to go to the coast, so I looked for other places. I found another state park a little north near Rockport. I'd never heard of it - Goose Island State Park - but it sounded interesting, and they had some sites available. We scheduled the trip, and took off.

    I was shocked. Though there's no swimming beach, the campgrounds itself was very nice. Our site was literally 30 yards or so off the water, and there was a constant breeze coming across the bay. The photo below is a sunrise view outside of the camper our second morning.

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    As an added "bonus", my wife and rode down to the Mustang Island state park, just to see what we missed. The park was basically a RV parking lot behind the sand dunes! We accidentally got the better choice, for sure. We enjoyed it so much, we planned on going again this year over Labor Day weekend.

    I had promised a write up and some photos after we got back, but frankly have forgotten, so better late than never, here it is. Unfortunately, I left my phone at home, so I don't have a LOT of photos, just the few my wife snapped here and there. I did remember to take a couple of pictures of our setup.

    This Year's Trip

    We were to meet up with an fellow 'Wing rider (actually I thought he had a Harley, until we met up with him on the campground) who also drags a Timeout camper (I know him from the forum). My wife and I (Gini) got up early Saturday morning, and got out of the house about 5:45am. I tend to take my time on trips, unless there's a reason to hurry, so with bio & gas stops and one brief stop to eat some Subway sandwiches, we arrived at the campground about 12:30pm. Turns out we should have left earlier, as even though we got a "premium spot", it wasn't a right on the bay like our last trip, but across the road next to the brush area. Not bad, but not quite the view we had last year.

    Dave Ketchum, the rider we were to meet, beat us by about 30 minutes, and got the last bayside site, so we picked one across the road from him. Saturday (set-up time) was pretty uneventful during the day and evening. Gini and I usually don't bring our food, we set up camp then go grocery shopping. This leaves us more room to bring "stuff". We bought extra shrimp in case Dave wanted to eat with us, only to find out he doesn't like seafood. I later found he also doesn't like mushrooms, which I love - so I offered to create a recipe that included shrimp and mushrooms which I would call the "MoreForMe" meal. Shoot, I might make a cookbook out of it, since I also love horseradish

    First Night

    Dave joined us for a chat while I tried to grill the shrimp on the Cadac Safari Chef grill I recently bought. The results were pretty poor. The grill just wasn't getting hot enough to heat the grill surface in the winds we had (probably blowing 25-30 pretty steady). I finally removed the "accessories" that make it into a flat surface grill, and put the shrimp in the lid (which also serves as a wok) directly on the fire, and they cooked. Not the way I wanted them to; but hey, it's shrimp, and I always like shrimp. We added some stir-fried potatos, and that was dinner.

    During the night, I got up for a "break", and as I got out I saw a raccoon take off running. I looked around to see what he might have gotten into, and found something funny. Nothing looked molested; however, we use the lid to our Campmate to catch the gray water from our sink, and there we wet footprints leading away from that. Apparently, he'd found something somewhere that he felt needed to be "washed".

    Later during the night (or early morning) a pretty good storm came in. Dave said his Timeout was rocking enough that he was a little worried a few times. I had put up guy lines on the windward side, so ours was pretty steady; however, the camper door was enough into the wind that it cause a small, but interesting leak (of sorts).

    The wind was pushing the doorway enough that it was bowed in. This meant the bottom of the door zipper was being pushed slightly inside the camper. This caused the zipper to leak water into the camper. Not a major deal, probably a square foot or so of slightly wet carpeting, but we had not had this problem before. I'm sure it's a combination of the zipper being pushed inwards, and the wind pushing the rain so hard into the zipper.

    Sunday's "Fishing"

    It rained pretty steady and hard until about 11:15 Sunday morning; when it lightened up enough for us to cook some eggs and heat some tortillas on the Safari Chef. It worked well this time, as the wind had died down. I cooked the scrambled eggs in a pan, then used the flat grill surface to heat up the tortillas (and I tossed in some of the left over shrimps for mine). Dave again joined us to chat, but he had already been up and about and eaten a muffin (he's going to stay skinny forever if he doesn't start eating some real food!!)

    By about noon or so, the rain had gone completely, and we all had a shot at fishing. I hadn't been fishing in at least 20 years (my wife said she didn't remember me fishing since we've been married, and that was 20 years ago), but Dave had said beforehand that he fished regularly, though no saltwater fishing. I was hoping having someone experienced would improve our results. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Dave tried his several lures, and got nothing. My wife and I both finally learned to cast further than 2 feet in front of us, but we didn't catch anything either. Dave gave up, and Gini and I went to the pier to try there. Dave again joined us to chat, but we still didn't catch any fish. I got a lot better at casting though, and finally was tossing them out there pretty far. Unfortunately, I guess I was trying too hard, and on my last cast (on my pole), the hook, bobber, and sinker went flying off without pulling the line with them. They were borrowed poles (from the Texas Wildlife Department) and while I had thought to buy some bait and bobbers (the poles didn't have bobbers), I had not purchased any extra hooks or sinkers; so my fishing for the day was done.

    Gini tried a few more casts, then asked if I would cast for her, since mine were going further. I laughed and said "I just broke mine, are you sure you want to risk it?" as I cast her line out - and watched as it did exactly as mine had done. I still think it was mechanical failure, since there's no way I could be that inept, right?

    The Beach

    Anyway, we decided it was time to do something I did know how to do, ride a little. I suggested Malaquite beach, about 60 miles away (it holds fond memories for me from my teens and early twenties). Malaquite is on the northern part of Padre Island, and has beautiful white sand. It was one of my favorite places long ago. Dave decided to pass on the 120 mile beach trip, so Gini and I headed out. However, when we got the ferry, the was a long wait (40 minutes or more) with the traffic backed up half a mile. The trip without using the ferry is twice as long, so she and I decided to try the public beach in Rockport. Ironically, Dave later told us he ended up taking the ferry and riding around Port Aransas for a while.

    Rockport city beach was OK, but not like the white sand beaches of Padre Island. Entrance was $5 per person, the beach was a little crowded, but not too bad. The water was shallow for probably 200 yards out, so there was plenty of room to swim away from a crowd.

    Burgers and Raccoons

    We made it back about six, and I grilled us all burgers (Dave ate with us this time) on the grill and sauteed some mushrooms (for the wife and I, Dave declined the mushrooms), and we all chatted until well past dark. The wind had picked back up before we got back, and I had a little trouble with the Cadac grill again, but finally figured a way to get them cooked. Pulling out the "splatter shield", and using the open grill worked, but was messier. It did make up some pretty decent burgers though.

    First photo here is of Dave and the second is of me.

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    While we were sitting around talking, right after the sun set, we suddenly were set upon by more raccoons. I couldn't believe how bold they were. They literally came right up to the trashcan (which you can see in the photo to my right) about 10 feet from where I was sitting. Even yelling at them didn't phase them. Finally, when my wife started trying to take pictures, the flash from her phone apparently convinced them to leave. Here's a photo, though it's pretty dark and blurry, you get the idea.

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    The next morning, as we were cleaning up the mess they made, I noticed a trail through the brush behind our camp site (you can sort of see it behind me in my photo). Apparently, our site was right next to their little "home." We spent the morning breaking down our "stuff", and got headed out right before 2:00. Dave headed out a bit earlier than us, but I think he had a good time. I know that my wife and I did. We really like this park, and though our fishing didn't involve any fish, I'm sure we'll be back.

    I've exceeded the maximum number of photos, so I'll continue about the gear in my next post.
    Attached Files
    2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper

    Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

  • #2
    The Gear

    I say it a lot, I'm not a "minimalist camper" and that's probably an understatement. Someone somewhere said they'd like to see the setup, so here are some photos. The first is when we first pulled in. The next two are different views after we got (most of) the "stuff" set up.

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    You can see the Campmate strapped on to the back of the Timeout in the first photo. You can then see it spread in the second photo on top of the portable kitchen unit. As mentioned earlier, we use the top to catch gray water under the sink, so it doesn't make a big mess at the camp site.

    You can see the portable kitchen in the second photo. I made a little faucet arrangement that gives us easy "running water" for cleanup. The Coleman stove on the left side of the kitchen stores in the lid of the Campmate during transport. The kitchen itself folds up and we store it on the tongue of the trailer right behind the cooler (see the first photo). My wife really likes the portable kitchen. I do most the cooking, but as long as she likes it well enough to do the cleanup, I'm happy too .

    To the right of the kitchen is our Flip-Box cooler (brand name). This is a high-density styrofoam cooler that I picked up a few weeks back. I didn't like storing food with our drinks in the regular cooler, the food invariably got too soggy. I ran across the Flip-Box, which is designed to be a "no ice cooler" (you put cold foods in it, and the high insulation value styrofoam keeps it cold for up to six hours). We actually use ice in it anyway, and just let it leak out underneath as it melts (it's not completely water-tight). Because we're not opening it as often as the drink cooler, one bag of ice has last 3 days all three long weekends we've used it. Frozen food has come out still frozen in the middle, and everything has stayed cold the whole weekend. This is in 100+ degree Texas summer weather. The box folds down to 4" thick, and is extremely light.

    The last photo shows the Kelty shelter. I like this shelter, but it's really too lightweight for the winds we were getting, and started catching the wind too well. I finally collapsed it, and only set it back up when the wind was down. We'll probably start leaving this packed if there's any wind at all.

    That's it. If anyone has any questions about the campground or any of the gear, please feel free to hit me up.

    In the last photo, you can see the "bowed in" effect I was talking about with the front of the camper. when the rain hit later that night (or early morning), it was the only time in about a dozen uses that we've had the camper leak. I suspect I'll be better about not putting the doorway directly into the wind in the future.
    2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper

    Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)

    • #3
      That looks like a very nice place to camp. I am impressed with your ability to pack as much equipment and things as you do. I have read elsewhere that raccoons can be very bold and a real PITA. Regarding the traffic and waiting, I guess it happens anywhere it is nice and we just have to deal with it. I just have no patience for it anymore and will avoid it like the plague.
      Dave - High up in Arizona - Black Metallic 2019 DCT

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)

      Moto Camping

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