Sunday, July 19, 2009

Arroyo City Adventure

The picture above is the Arroyo Colorado in Arroyo City, Texas. It is a man made waterway emptying into the Laguna Madre which lies between the Texas coast and South Padre Island. My daughter's boyfriend has an interest in some nice waterfront property and occasionally gets to spend a little time there. This was one of those rare weekends. His father was visiting, and so the kids thought it might be good to have more old people to round out the card. Bebe and I decided to take the Jeep and go out for the evening. The property is quite large and we were invited to spend the night. However, it is only thirty miles or so from my house, so I was inclined to stay until bed time and return to my own casa. We were working on supper, but decided we needed more charcoal and some ice cream to go with a blue berry cobbler Bebe brought. My daughter and I headed for the Jeep. I put the key in the ignition and made ready to back out. However, the battery was completely dead. There was no indication prior to this trip there was a problem. Now that I think about it, the battery is five years old, but it started just fine when we left home. Now, I was trapped. I didn't have my ride in working order. I had no overnight items and neither did Bebe. We delivered the bad news to the rest of the gang. I tried with the help of several fishermen and their jumper cables to start the Jeep and keep it running to no avail.
Now this place in not exactly roughing it. This is a picture of the upstairs living area. The bottom floor has similar, but separate accommodations. It is waterfront, with boat slips and lighted fishing pier. The view is very peaceful with a rugged beauty. I should have relaxed, but the task I was facing on Sunday morning had me agitated. I still had a few tools in the back of the Jeep, but most had been used during the week to work on my motorcycle and had not been returned to my Jeep toolbox.
This is a view of the back of the property from the Arroyo Colorado. I saw it very early this morning. After tossing and turning all night, I awoke at 5:00 AM and put on the coffee pot. I took a cup down to the dock and watched the mullet and other fish jump and strike at the bait fish gathered around the lights. The sun rose over the Gulf of Mexico near 6:30 AM and I watched the early birds heading out for a day of fishing. When the light was good, I set about getting the old battery out of the Jeep. If you have ever done anything like this, you know the auto engineers try to keep mere mortals from working on their cars by placing easy to repair items in the toughest of locations. New batteries are OK, but old batteries are very heavy and nasty. I had to keep reminding myself that it was the Lord's day, and even though I couldn't make it to church, I should watch my language and behavior as I struggled with corroded terminal connections, and rusted nuts. I finally managed to retrieve the old battery and put it in the pickup truck for its final trip to Wal-Mart. It was only 7:00 AM and nobody else was up. By nine the others were up and after a cinnamon roll, I left for a twenty mile drive to the Wal-Mart in San Benito, Texas. I was in and out in record time. However, when I tried to start the pickup, I discovered it also had a dead battery. I got the guys in the auto department to give me a jump and was on my way hoping against hope the truck would not leave me stranded on those lonely farm roads between town and the arroyo. I parked the pickup so the front had easy access to the driveway, and I installed the new battery in my Jeep. I rounded up Bebe and said good bye to my daughter and we headed home. It was noon by now and I was ready for bed. As soon as we got home, I showered, shaved, and sank deep into my leather couch. Later I discovered that an unusual number of folks who visited the Arroyo yesterday ended up with dead batteries. I think it was an electro-magnetic pulse that drained the batteries. Bebe was sure it was aliens since our cell phones wouldn't work either. It couldn't have been my five year old battery.

People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
Abraham Lincoln