My 8:15 bus to Brownsville (fare $25.50 one way) finally left at 8:38. The passengers included an Army soldier going home for 4 days leave, a family with 5 small children, and two young men of unknown purpose. Not very many of us! I sat in the second row, on the right side of the bus, with a clear view of the road.
When we pulled out of the Houston station it began to rain HARD. Four out of the six hours we drove, it rained. Sometimes harder, sometimes softer... this tropical air from Hurricane Alex was persistent as we drove down US 59 and 77. The bus driver began singing along to his Spanish music station, and I watched the road unroll across south Texas.
After Victoria, there is another landmark - a small field that has charming goats. The road rises and falls over rolling hills, and there is one spot where I once saw a group of feral pigs. We pick up US 77, and head further south. The land becomes more and more rural, with large expanses of pasture and fewer cultivated fields. The next town is Refugio (pronounced Re-furrio). There is a McDonald's here, and also the HEB grocery store and gas pumps.
Just south of Refugio are the Urrea Oaks. The road divides around a small clump of ancient live oaks that are an historic Texas landmark. I've stopped there several times to stand under these trees and think about the history they have seen. So glad that TXDot has preserved them. The Historic Marker text:
By tradition, camping place in March 1836, during Texas War for Independence, of Gen.Jose Urrea of Mexico. Strategically located, this was Urrea's staging area. Capt. Amon B. King came form Goliad with his Texas volunteers to support the Refugio townsmen, who were taken into the safety of Mission Nuestra Senora Del Refugio. Then Lt. Col. William also arrived on March 13, and the "Battle of Rufugio" began. Both King and Ward left protection on the Mission, and Urrea won final victories over them, capturing King's command on March 15 and Ward's on March 22.Woodsboro, Sinton (home of a famous rodeo), Odem (where trains often hold up traffic). Odem used to have a great sign that always amused me. Sadly, the sign was taken down a couple years ago.
South of Odem, we pass the turnoff for Corpus Christi. Then Robstown, where the bus is supposed to stop but didn't. The fields around here are very very flat and usually planted with cotton or sorghum. Far off to the left are many wind turbines catching the sea breezes. To the right, there is a large oil refining plant that on night drives looks like a fantastic city of lights and fire and smoke.
Driscoll has a large fruit stand which sells fruit of questionable quality. My one purchase there has discouraged me from ever stopping again. Falfurrias is next, then Bishop, where we often stop at the Dairy Queen for chili burgers and a pit stop. It's fun to listen to the families that come in from the surrounding ranches and small towns.
All photos taken by me, at various times over the past few years.