Sunday, February 19, 2012

It’s Official. I Now Qualify for the America the Beautiful Senior Pass :)

Of all the campgrounds we have stayed in, our very favorite remains the Corps of Engineer Parks found throughout the country. They are always on the water and there’s always nice trees buffering you from your neighbor. They are clean, well cared for and the cost is very reasonable. Each time we stay, we’re always asked if we have a senior pass. This gives you a 50% discount to make their reasonable fee down-right cheap! :) Well, neither of us had reached that magic age yet and seeing as how Rick is the younger of us 2, it looked like it was going to be up to me to get there first :)

Well, today was the day. I woke up a year older, although it only felt like mere hours! After our normal morning routine of coffee, blog reading, showers etc., we were finally on our way…at noon. No one will ever accuse us of being quick to go in the morning. Now, if we HAD to, we probably could. But if we don’t HAVE to, what’s the point? :)

We headed to Padre Island National Seashore, the closest National Park facility that issued the Senior Pass. It was a beautiful day for a drive.


Once we arrived at the park entrance and stated our business, I handed over my drivers license to prove I really was “that” old and $10 and I got my new shiny card. As a friend once told me, “It doesn’t expire until you do!” Such a deal.


Not only is it good for RV sites, it’s also good for free admission into all the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands. It truly is an incredible deal and, I believe, the first time in my adult life that I was looking forward to turning a year older :)

Once we were there, we decided we may as well check out the facilities. They were now free admission for us. We drove into the park and checked out Malaquite Campground which is right on the Gulf of Mexico. They have 50 sites, 43 of which are RV sites and 7 for compact vehicles.




The sites were nice enough, although, some would be too short for our 40’ Lucy.  No reservations are accepted. It is strictly first come, first served. Their literature states that most of the year plenty of space is available. That may be because there is no hookups. These are boon-docking sites only. There is a water station where you can fill your tank and there is a dump station. Power is on your own. We saw several generators and a few solar panels. If you’re into boon-docking, this would not be a bad place to come. It is way out in the middle of nowhere, just quiet and water.

When we left there we started driving down South Beach.



This is a 60 miles stretch of primitive, unspoiled beach. It is beautiful. The literature states that the first 5 miles are suitable for 2-wheel drive vehicles but that after Mile Marker 5, 4-wheel drive is required. We headed out for a short drive just to get a taste. When we came upon the 5 Mile Marker, here was the warning sign about 4-wheel drive vehicles.


We continued on for a bit (we have 4-wheel drive) until we came across these fellows. Clearly, they didn’t pay attention to the sign.



To top it off, the tide was coming in. We don’t have the correct tires, a winch or even a rope to render aid so we were glad to see another Jeep approaching with all of the above. Hopefully they got him out of there sooner, rather than later. Bet he doesn’t do that again :)

That was the point at which we turned around and headed back. Once back on the main road, we saw the turn to North Beach. Might as well check that out too! It was a nice stretch of beach that led to Padre Balli County Park. We drove that entire span before turning onto a “real” road in Corpus Christi.

After a Linner stop in Port Aransas we arrived home just in time for Rick to start a fire for the park Weiner Roast this evening. Somehow, he ended up resident fire tender here :) We call him our little fire bug :) I was too full to participate but I did hear through the grapevine that the fire was great! :)

I think that’s about it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. That pass is one of the few perks of getting older. I have had mine for three years:)

  2. Well happy birthday to you Gail!!! Sounds like you had a super day..shiny new card and all! Betcha that guy was sweating on that beach with the tide coming

  3. Happy Birthday Gail!! The Senior Pass is a nice gift to yourself.

  4. My grandgirls gave me my Senior Pass one of the the years I turned 24 -- it looks just like yours - I couldn't think of a better gift and every time I use it I am reminded its the gift that doesn't expire.

  5. Happy Birthday Gail! The senior pass really is the only good thing about getting older!

    The Senior Pass is a great gift to yourself. Enjoy!

  7. I haven't tried driving on the beach yet, makes me nervous, worried about getting stuck. I need one of those cards, but have several more years to wait. Happy Birthday!

  8. Happy Birthday and Congrats on the Sr. Pass. I think Thursday is looking good for a paddle.

  9. Happy Birthday Gail!!!

    That Senior Pass is about the best gift I think I have ever received. It just makes so many things I love available to me. Hope you enjoy it as much!!
    Getting older really does have its perks don'tcha know;o))

  10. We love our Senior Pass and it is definitely a perk. It's been years since we've been to South Padre, so thanks for the pics.

  11. Very happy birthday to you. You sure made the most of it by exploring after you got your pass.

  12. Really good posting. I fully agree, the USACE parks are the way to go when camping. The only drawback I know of, is that most don't have full hookups (sewer) unless you are a volunteer.

  13. We are looking forward to the Sr pass although not wanting to wish our life away. :)

    So glad you had a good Birthday!

    Bruce and Laura

  14. I've gone back to the beginning of your blog, and enjoying every post. I'm up to April 2011 so far. ;) Hope you don't mind me posting a few of your photos to Pinterest...just as reminders of places I want to see. Hoping to full time soon. We retired early to do that, but my cowboy hubby just can't leave his horses...yet, anyway!


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