Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 16 – Padre Island, TX – Gulf Coast / Rio Grande Trip

No Travel Mileage Today

Today we explored Padre Island.

IMG_0003Padre Island is located along the south Texas coast. Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest IMG_0002 undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. There are 70 miles of sandy beaches, most of which one can drive right along the water’s edge.





Four nations have owned Padre Island at different times. The first was Spain, which owned Padre Island from its back-country-dunes-near-GriIMG_0001 entry into the New World until the Mexican Revolution of 1820. Following the revolution, Mexico owned Padre Island from 1821 until 1836, when the newly formed  Republic of Texas claimed the area between the Nueces river and the Rio Grande. Padre Island was under ownership by the Republic of Texas until its territory was acquired by the United States, following the War with Mexico of 1845-1848. Throughout these times, the island has been known by several names, with Padre Island being only the most recent. It has also been known as "la Isla Blanca" (White Island) and "Isla de los Malaguitas" (Island of the Malaquites, a band of the Karankawa people). 


The first permanent settlement on the island was located on the island's southern tip.  This area was established  IMG_0006around 1804 by a Spanish priest,  Padre Nicolas Balli, after whom the island is named. Prior to then, the only people known to have inhabited or visited the island were nomadic hunter-gatherers Native Americans, Spanish troops or ships, and the survivors of three shipwrecks on the island's shore in 1554.



Lunch today was at Snoopy’s Pier. Don, Karen and I had fried oysters. I also had a side order of fried okra. Raija had a  combination plate, fried shrimp, fish, oyster and french fries.

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