Overland Expo Road Trip, Day Five


I camped just, and I mean just, outside Houston. The place claimed to be KOA, but was easily the worst KOA I’ve ever stayed at, and perhaps among the worst campgrounds in general. The tent area was tiny and doubled as the dog walking area, something not clear until after I’d paid and set up.

It seemed to house long term tenants, few of the cars I sae could pull the RVs they were parked next too. And despite the wifi I could barely get email to load.

They place just felt off, somehow.

There were huge storms around 2am, all the thunder and lightning you could want, and most of the tent area flooded (I planned for rain and claimed a high spot). It had stopped by the time I got up, and there were hints of sun. It wasn’t to last.

The goal of the day was to tour the Dreadnaught USS Texas, built before WWI and the last one on display here in the states (the Olympia is older, and not really a dreadnaught).

We got there after the park opened, but before the ship did, so we walked around some. The Texas is located in Battlefield Park, near the monument to Texas independence.

(Bigger than it looks).

I won’t get too much into the history, but Sam Houston (leading some Texans) beat some Mexicans (part of Santa Anna’s army, tho he wasn’t there), and this led to Texas being granted independence. Mostly.

The ship opened and I headed aboard. It was clear another storm was coming this way and I wanted to see the outside before (potentially) being forced inside.

Blue said he was ready to go, he just needed some help with the pedals.

We couldn’t find the way into the superstructure, there was a lot of construction and not all the parts of the ship were open. With it getting darker inside seemed like a good idea.

Little of the interior is finished in anything like a display. Lots of empty rooms and bare corridors, and and indications of how far the ship had decayed before renovations started.

Hard to tell, I guess, but the door was closed and that’s water on the floor.

There were some signs up,

And stuff on display

But on the whole it was clear the ship was a work in progress rather than a complete museum. I’ll need to come back when it’s done.

Back on the main deck it was very dark out. Refineries were sounding warning sirens and there was a lot of lightning in the distance.

Typically, we also found the way up to the Flag Bridge, and had to go. It started raining on the way up.

Impressive view, though.

We managed to get back to the visitor center as the rain really started to fall. And then it started to fall harder. One of the rangers came out and said we didn’t have to worry unless the sirens went off, and I mentioned they had already. He disappeared somewhere.

Tried to capture the water blowing off the gangplank there. It was raining mostly sideways.

Half an hour later or started to slacken, and 45 minutes after that it had stopped. The parking lot was mostly missing.

But Curiosity was okay, since I’d found higher ground.

Since it was right there I went over to the monument. It really was tall.

But they wanted money to go through a small room of displays so I passed. I’d spent a lot more time at the ship than I’d planned (with the monsoon and all). And felt the need to get moving.

100 miles west and I was desperately stripping layers under the bright sun and oppressive heat. I guess I shouldn’t complain.

50 miles or so short of San Antonio I found a state park to camp in. With more storms on the way and some doubt in my tent, the hammock went up.

It attracted attention, which surprised me a little, but it also won’t leak through the floor.

Next on my “I’m a tourist!” list – The Alamo.

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