Day 8

One week ago we left mile zero at key west. Today we are in South Padre Island, Texas for the night. Our ride started in Corpus Christ, Texas, about 336 miles ago.

I am the first to arrive at the hotel for the night. The miles just flew by today and yesterday. I started out the day riding with Russ but, lost him when I stopped to take pictures about 50 miles into the ride. Texas roads today just begged for speed. I opened her up and now that she has over 2500 miles on the odometer she seems to run faster and is more responsive. I really, really love this bike. So responsive. Makes me feel like a kid again when I give her all she has and then coast back down to near the speed limit. Sometimes I rest my feet on the highway pegs I installed back home. I also love my cruise control. Its a device you tighten up that hilds the throttle for you. You can let go and ride with one or no hands, make an expresso and keep right on going.

Yes I cheated. Especially during the winds and downpour, I took a more direct route by passing many of the coastal route scenery. I call it risk management. The same goes for having a support van on this ride. All of us flew to Florida to start this ride and shipped our bikes and carried our luggage. I gave my luggage away, the others did not plan on doing the same so we are using the van for storage. I also cheated by not carrying all my extra clothes and underwear on the ride. This is because i was in Miami for three weeks before the ride started.

The guy who crashed on this ride has his foot amputated today. By having a support van we made him and his wifes life allot easier. She flys in today and the van will catch up with us soon. The rider whose 690 KTM was not cutting it for this ride is also using the van as bike storage. He bought a brand new Hinda Africa twin three day ago and is now riding it.

From the nps:

For almost its entire existence, Padre Island has remained undeveloped wilderness. Because the National Seashore endeavors to preserve Padre Island in its natural state, visiting the island is very much like stepping back into the past.

With few exceptions, visitors can now see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it is described in the few extant descriptions by the early explorers.

Four nations have owned Padre Island at different times. The first was Spain, which owned Padre Island from its 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).