Saturday, December 29, 2018

On the beach at South Padre Island

Parked on the beach

After our short visit to South Padre Island, I wanted to get back there and actually spend some time at the beach, so when we had a couple more 80 degree days after Christmas, we decided to take advantage of one.  Colder weather was on the way, and we didn’t know how long it would take to get back to the 80s.

We headed out after breakfast, taking a drive through Brownsville on the way . . . not much to see there . . . and stopping for a quick lunch in Port Isabel before crossing over to the island.  I had determined that we didn’t drive quite far enough north to reach the vehicle access points to the beach last time, so we needed to go a little further and look for Beach Access #5 and #6.  From what I found online, there was a $3 charge at Access #5 and entry at Access #6 was free (although more suitable for 4x4 vehicles, as it is not maintained).

We found Access #5, and the fee is now $12 – whether you are driving onto the beach or parking in the lot and walking to the beach.  We kept going another couple miles and found Access #6, which is still free.

The unimproved entrance to the beach - FREE

The sand is deeper here, and we could see people stuck at the entrance to the beach,

Unprepared people getting stuck

so we stopped at the road and aired down the tires slightly. 

Spinning tires, but made it

We only took them down to just under 30 psi (unlike at Silver Lake Sand Dunes where we typically take them down to 8-10 psi), since there was only a small area of loose sand before the beach, which was more hard-packed.

As Tom was letting air out of the tires, I was watching this guy throwing sand all over his truck as he spun his wheels getting out of the sand – he made it though!

With our tires aired down,we made it easily through the loose sand and onto the beach.  We drove north to an open area and parked the Jeep, quickly realizing that it was much windier here on the island.

As soon as we got out of the Jeep, this girl came running up to us . . .


She was waiting for somebody to throw a ball for her, and kept following me around thinking that I looked like a good playmate.

She followed me to the water,

She kept following me around

I made a new friend

where we watched the pelicans fly overhead in a very straight line,


and walked the beach while Tom chatted with her owner.

Big waves and lots of wind

Lots of people at the beach on this warm day

Tom chatted while I walked

The surf was pretty active this afternoon.


I walked along the beach, and then back toward the dunes to see if I could find a spot to sit out of the wind.

Small dunes

Footprints look like little turtles

It was still pretty windy back there, and the wind was whipping the sand around quite a bit.  There wasn’t really anywhere to get any relief from the wind.

Look at those footprints in the sand – don’t they look like little turtles!?!

Back at the Jeep, we found out that leaving the top open might not have been a good idea . . .

Uh oh!

Oh yeah, nice layer of sand there!

We drove a little further on the beach, where it was mostly people fishing along the shore.


After a while, we turned around and started driving back toward the first access point. 

Driving on the beach is pretty easy

The further south we got, the more vehicles we started to see, and the beach narrowed up somewhat.

Getting narrower

Although high tide wasn’t until 8pm, we were a couple hours past low tide, and it was coming in pretty quickly.  We continued on, hoping that the beach would widen back up again.  It did, but not soon enough . . .

Uh Oh - Waves getting closer

. . . and then this happened!


Blurry, I know, but I think you get the idea . . . one of those waves washed up over the beach as we drove through and water sprayed everywhere – including inside the Jeep!

Tom wasn’t happy, but I just laughed!  Of course, I was on the side of the Jeep away from the ocean, so I didn’t get too wet!

The beach finally widened back up, and we found a place to park, angling the Jeep so I could use it as a windblock.  I got out my chair and my book, and soaked in some sunshine.

Enjoying the beautiful day

Sitting in the sun, with the Jeep blocking the windTom found some people to talk to for a while, then came back and sat with me for a little bit.

His turn to walk, while I read

It was a nice, relaxing day at the beach, but around 3:30 we packed up the chairs and headed out. 

We caught a nice sunset over the canal on the way home.

Sunset over the canal

We had to find a manual car wash to stop at on the way home so we could spray the sand and saltwater off the Jeep.  That took care of the outside, but we would still have to get all the sand out of the interior.  That was a job for the next day.

Getting rid of the sand

We actually spent several hours the next day cleaning up the Jeep – it was sorely in need of the good cleaning, even before our little adventure at the beach!

We got it all washed and waxed, and it’s shiny like new now!

All clean and shiny

Just in time, too . . . today was cloudy and windy, and the temperatures started dropping.  We’re supposed to have about a week of cooler temps, then we’ll be back in the 70s . . . we’ll be ready for it!


  1. Glad you are Enjoying the beach and your time in Texas.
    The sand in the Jeep reminded me of what happen to us. To keep the Truck cool in the daytime we left the windows cracked a bit. That was the day the Wind picked up. Took months to get it out of the defrost vents.
    Be safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. You will be getting sand out of the jeep as long as you own it. You will always laugh and think of this day.

    1. Yesterday I flipped down the visor and opened the mirror. Oops! Missed a spot! 😂


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