Lost sea turtle

I woke up early just after six, very early for me lately and I did not try to go back to sleep.  I had slept okay, just in my shorts and the mummy bag.  There was a low of sixty six (after a high of eight five yesterday,) however it was also very windy.  I had the bag unzipped mostly and could easily control my comfort that way.  As sore as I was, I decided not to use the mattress in preference of the solid sand ground.  Up where I am camped, it is as hard as concrete. On occasion, it feels good on my back to sleep on a very firm surface.

I did not want to miss the sunrise, as I had planned to photograph it.  Once I got out of the tent, I saw the clouds had other plans and I decided to go for a walk instead.  Last night, my second walk for the day I went seven tenths of a mile to the north, before returning.  Today, I wanted to go south and explore the jetty. South across the entrance to the restrooms, then continuing to the channel separating this from Padre Island.

Walking along sidewalk, looking at the birds fly in the high winds was delightful.  I’ve found that I’m looking at my feet less often and they seem to be doing their jobs.  I was stoping often to watch the birds and read the signs on the way, one warning of sea turtles protected status.  Watching a bird soar to my left, the wind caught my hat and carried over the rail and into the giant cut stones holding back the waves. At just the same time I was looked over to find it, a man coming back down the jetty yelled “I’ll get it! Hold my dog” and handed me a leach.  Over the rail and on his belly on the wet rocks, he reached his arm as deep in the crevice as he could without falling and came up empty.

Pulling back and looking down at my hat, then to me, he apologized.  “I’m sorry, my arm is at least a foot short”.

I didn’t even have time to respond, he jumped up saying “I got it” and leapt down to the level next to the water.  On his belly again, this time reaching sideways he came up with my hat in his hand – soaked in the salty water – raised it high, fist pumping it into the sky, then bounded up the rocks and handed it to me in exchange for the leach.  A quick introduction as Kent from Alaska.  I thanked him profusely and he suggested a better hat with a chin strap.  We chatted briefly, both marveling at this wonderful place.

Have you seen a jellyfish he asked me, there is one just washed up in good condition!  Most of Kent’s sentences have exclamation points, actually, most of his words do too.  Interested I thanked him for the tip and with both kept walking our opposite ways.  A few minutes further down, I happened to look down and notice the- I think it’s a broach- above pictured gold and silver sea turtle.  Just a small medallion with a pin and latch on the backside.  Looking around, there was no one anywhere close and I picked it up and kept walking.

Last night, I went to bed a little sad.  I usually carry a cross in my pocket, a small one made from onyx I think.  The Catholic Shoppe sells them for a dollar or two, and I’ve probably bought have a dozen.  I really like them, yet they are slippery and often slide out of my pocket if I sit the wrong way.  Over the years I’ve bought them, found them, lost them, broke them, and replaced them. I just like to pick it up and put in my pocket each day.  Sometime yesterday, I lost it and will not be able to as easily replace it this time.

Walking with the turtle in my hand I started to think about the cross.  It’s just a sacramental, not even blessed, just something to make me think of someone, my Lord.  He is important, not my pocket trinket.  This turtle is more durable and fits like a bump in my fifth pocket of my jeans.  I’ve tried putting my cross in that pocket, yet its so small it’s hard to fish out of there. For now, until I can find the person who lost it, consider this a lost and found post, I will keep it safe for them.  Each time I’ve put my hand into my pocket today, I have felt that bump.

I continued to the end of the jetty pausing to take a video to share with friends online, then turned to go find the jellyfish.  Looking at it, it’s kinda gross and kinda sad in a circle of life kind of way.  It looks like something took a chunk out of it, and the gulls were working on the tentatcles.  Back to camp to relax and clean up camp.  Ha, now I don’t have to clean up camp and the car, it’s an all in one deal with the primitive camping.

There are no specific sites or boundaries, just miles of beach until the Mustang Island State Park.  With the parking permit you can just go camp anywhere you’re willing to risk it – tides rise and the sand can be just as bad as snow to drive in.  Working on the car, Jaun with beach enforcement had driving up to ‘count’ me as a camper for the day (one of six days this month down. I’m not sure if he checked this site or not, yet he had some good tips for me out here and was blown away by my impact video.

Cleaned up I started to make a list of projects to work on, mounting my solar panels on the car, rewiring the radios to run from the solar rather than the engine, etc.. I like the idea of being very mobile and trimming myself down to the bare essentials. A shopping list formed at the same time – no shade here and very sunny – I wanted a light long sleeve shirt, more propane and food stuffs.  Of course to drive away, I had to break down camp. As I was working on the mast, Kent drove past on the road, stopped and hollared my name.

Looking up I waved him over and he drove up to my area. I will find a good place to type tomorrow, so I can even try to tell you all of his stories.  To start, he is a retired railroad worker, now traveling nine months a year.  We kept talking.  He kept talking.  His three months in Alaska each year, he spends dredge vacuuming for gold.  He likes to find buried treasure.  Perhaps seeing some doubt in my eyes, he was quick with “do you want to see?”

Ahh, yes.  Out came pill bottles that rattled with a different sound.  Dust, fines, chunks, nuggets, uniques.. he showed me a little of everything and had a story that never stopped. I stood and listened, sat and listened, stood and listened.  The very definition of an animated speaker, each story re-enacted as if a skit.  I was immersed.

Pausing only for hunger, I told I had to finishing breaking camp to go to Walmart.  “You don’t need to do that, I can watch it for you.” I told him I didn’t want to impose, yet- with another ten minute story- told me how much he loves sunsets.  You’ll understand when you get to Alaska in the summer- then explained it.  The land of the never ending sun, it just rotates in a circle in the sky all summer.

Walmart, a Superwalmart here, had everything I needed apart from another stop at a smoke shop.  I am starting to like these hemp joints.  It is ‘real’ marijuana, just bred to the Texas specifications of legality.  Less than zero point three percent THC.  Michigan has no limit, and thirty percent THC is commonplace.  This stuff does taste better though, smokes easier with no coughing.  Also, you don’t get high.  Yet, after two weeks, I’m noticing a nice thirty minute ‘relaxation’ period perhaps.  Plenty of CBD’s and the other good natural stuff too.. just not THC.

Back to camp to find Kent had pulled his truck around to face into the sunset and watch my tent simultaneously.  More conversations.  A great steak for dinner (H.E.B. down here has AA quality meat.)  and writing this post has wrapped up the night.

Juan had asked me about the sand, had even warned me of it yesterday with the winds.  Didn’t bother me at all I told him, it is great to walk in for my ankle.  Tonight as I entered my tent, zipped tight all day, I found a half inch layer over the mummy bag.  There is a lot of sand here Jaun.

Time to rest.


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