Gulf Coast

Sometimes it takes a while for Texas to shake off the summer heat. Having traversed the state from Texarkana to El Paso as if in a furnace, I was looking forward to a cool weather ride. In November, I rode south and east towards the Gulf Coast with lots of layers, a heavy jacket, and warm gloves.

On November 1, I rode through Floresville (Wilson County), Karnes City (Karnes County), Goliad (Goliad County), Refugio (Refugio County), Rockport (Aransas County), Port Lavaca (Calhoun County), and Victoria (Victoria County).

Floresville, seat of Wilson County
Karnes City, seat of Karnes County
Goliad, seat of Goliad County
Refugio, seat of Refugio County

I was disappointed in the Aransas County Courthouse, until I learned that this is their temporary location. Hurricane Harvey destroyed the courthouse and the Rockport city hall in 2017. New facilities are being built.

Rockport, seat of Aransas County
Port Lavaca, seat of Calhoun County
Victoria, seat of Victoria County

I ate supper at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant in Victoria. I met a couple staying at the same place I was, who were also riding. They asked if I was going to Galveston for the rally. I didn’t realize there was a biker rally going on, but yes I would be headed to Galveston the next day.

On November 2, I rode through Edna (Jackson County), Bay City (Matagorda County), Angleton (Brazoria County), Galveston (Galveston County), Anahuac (Chambers County), Liberty (Liberty County), and ended up in Houston (Harris County).

Edna, seat of Jackson County
Bay City, seat of Matagorda County
Angleton, seat of Brazoria County

As I approached Galveston, the biker traffic picked up, and by the time I crossed the bridge it was bumper to bumper. I’ve never ridden with a group, I’m always alone. But in a large group of motorcycles, you realize that “bumper to bumper” isn’t really the right phrase. First of all, there are no bumpers. And because of the smaller footprint and agility of motorcycles, traffic is much more fluid and what seems like a big mass of traffic moves pretty quickly. Maybe someday I’ll ride with a group just to have the experience, but I think I like the independence of riding solo.

Galveston, seat of Galveston County
Anahuac, seat of Chambers County
Liberty, seat of Liberty County

Before reaching Houston, I skirted Trinity Bay and visited Anahuac, then jogged north to Liberty. It was clear I had reached the edge of a different region of Texas, with its tall pines shading the road. I’d get a chance before long to ride through east Texas. But after Liberty, I turned back west to stay in Houston for the night.

Harris County is the most populous county in Texas. With more than 4.6 million residents, if it was a state it would be the 25th or 26th largest state by population. On this Saturday late afternoon, however, I had no trouble finding a spot to park and take this photo.

Houston, seat of Harris County

On November 3, I headed home by way of Richmond (Fort Bend County) and Wharton (Wharton County). Believe it or not, it was more difficult to get this photo of the Fort Bend County courthouse than the one in Houston. There is no place to park in front, and there were no good views from a different angle. I’m on the street here, and on a Sunday morning found about 30 seconds with no vehicles coming to get a not-so-great shot with the glare of the sun to the left.

Richmond, seat of Fort Bend County
Wharton, seat of Wharton County

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