Katy, Bar the Rain (But Not the Door)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

To Big Bend and Back, Day 21 

KATY, Texas— Yesterday's fog and gentle rain seemed but a sweet memory when we were startled awake before dawn this morning in San Antonio by a pounding thunderstorm.  As it moved east, this springlike weather system dipped into the Gulf of Mexico and dumped six to eight inches of rain across central Texas, hammering our plans to drive across the area today.

By the time we left San Antonio, the storm had moved out and blue skies held sway.  Having no desire to drive through torrential rain, we decided to head east and monitor the system, making sure we stayed behind it.  San Antonio still dominated our rearview mirror when we spied the edge of the front ahead.  As long as we played tortoise to its hare, we thought we might stay dry.

We know you're out there.
So we slowed our pace and poked along, stopping frequently to search for letterboxes.  In the town of Seguin, we were hit with solid evidence that we were not in west Texas any more.  All the dry, pristine letterboxes we came across in that arid climate were a thing of the past.  Two of the three letterboxes we found in Seguin were waterlogged.  In both boxes, the logbook had become saturated to the point of disintegration and the container was no longer in tact.  The first box we were able to rehabilitate by putting the stamp in a new container and adding a fresh logbook.  The second was a goner.  Even the stamp, which had been carved from an eraser, was crumbling.

Geronimo Creek near Seguin
Seguin also gave us our first look at the flooding left behind by the vicious weather system we were trailing.  Geronimo Creek was the first of many creeks we encountered that were swollen well beyond their banks by the excess rainfall.

San Marcos River
Near the town of Luling, the normally quiet and mild mannered San Marcos River had stormed into River Trail Park.  Luling promotes the river as part of the Texas Paddling Trail.  No canoeists braved this river trail today.

Better find another letterbox or two...
Thanks to the weather info on our GPS system, we were able to keep a constant watch on the storm system, speeding up to move along when it did, and stopping to search for a few more letterboxes when it stalled over Houston. 

Since Ken has an affinity for feral cats, the Bengal Tigers letterbox in Columbus, Texas, was a must-find for today.  The clues for the box told the story of a colony of feral cats that live in the city's Beason Park along the Colorado River (today, the raging Colorado River).  People in the town feed the cats and have even built houses for them.  At the park, we readily located the letterbox, which also needed major first aid, but the feral cats did not come out to see us on this cloudy day.  As chance has a way of compensating, however, we did see a herd of about six dozen white-tail deer running across a field next to the park.  What a treat!

(Our little point-and-shoot pocket camera's feeble effort at capturing the deer 200+ yards away)
Rather than our original destination of Beaumont, near the state line, we decided to call it quits for the day when we caught up with the storm in Katy, on the west side of Houston.  After 15 days in the Lone Star State, we'll move on to Louisiana tomorrow, weather permitting.


DAILY STATS:
  • Started in San Antonio, TX; ended in Katy, TX
  • Weather:  Cloudy to Stormy, 55° to 67°
  • Miles driven:  231          (Trip total:  3,648)
  • States: 1 (TX)          (Trip total:  6)
  • Letterboxes found:  8         (Trip total:  92)
  • Creeks outside their banks:  13
  • Rivers taking over the neighborhood:  3
  • Soppy, goopy letterboxes:  4
  • Opportunities for wrong way drivers to enter freeway:  87
  • White-tail deer:  76 
More Photos from Today 

The back of the front
Part of Seguin's historic section
Huh?
Write down this number.  You never know when you might need it.