Sometimes a trip to the beach is just a trip to the beach.

I celebrated one year of 24-hour trips with 24inTX last week and I just happened to be at Mustang Island State Park.

It was late August, which meant that the kids were back in school and the family vacation season was officially over.  It was prime time to take advantage of something I’ve always wanted to do – camp on the beach.


Mustang Island State Park is just south of Port Aransas, where I was about this time last year.  The difference between the two is that you can set up your tent directly on the unmanicured beach at the state park.

I had no real agenda on this trip.  No museums to visit, no restaurants to eat at, no one to interview.  The only sights to see were the sand, surf, sun and stars.

I drove down the beach and found a good spot near a picnic table and an outdoor shower.  A prime location with no one around.  (This is primitive camping.  No electricity or running water except for a few rinsing stations.)  I set up my tent, keeping the rain-fly on to prevent sand from getting in my sleeping bag, then put on my swim suit and hit the waves.


I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I’m a pretty good boogie boarder.  I know how to catch a wave.  I’m also really good at wiping out.  Like water up the nose, sand in the swim suit, “omg, is she okay?” type wiping out.  (No, no kind sir, I’m fine.  Just let me um…find my glasses…)  I took a camera with me to document my unbelievable skill.



(I know you’re pretty jealous right now, especially of my hair, but I have to move on.)

After some time in the water, it was time for dinner.  I built a fire right on the sand, no fire ring necessary.  That was really just for fun since I used my little camping stove to make some just-add-water camping food, and watched the sun set behind my tent.


There was a new moon that night and the stars were amazing!  Just gorgeous.  I spent the next few hours gazing and marveling.  (And shooting.)



I turned in for the night and let the waves lull me to sleep.  Then woke up to the sun rising over the water.



I ate some breakfast (grapes and a blueberry scone that I brought with me) and watched as the birds went about their business.





Then I took a drive down the beach to look at the rest of the park.  There wasn’t much to see, other than the water/electric camping area (which isn’t that impressive), so I came back and got my car stuck in the sand in the process.  A nice couple from Austin helped me out.

Back to the water I went.  The tide was coming in and the undertow was strong.  I didn’t realize how strong until the next day when my legs were very sore.

Before packing up, I walked up and down the beach, looking for shells or driftwood.  I didn’t find a lot, other than seaweed, but I did see these tiny crab shells.  Every time a wave would uncover them from the sand, they’d stick out their little legs and burrow themselves deeper.  It was cute to watch.


Just before I packed up my tent, a ranger came by.  It was the usual conversation, “that’s a mighty big camera for a little girl like you.  Are you out here all by yourself?”

He helped me pack up and followed me off the beach.  Thank goodness for that because I got myself stuck again.  He pulled out a shovel and after a few good holes, he told me to floor it and keep my wheels straight.  Worked like a charm.

I stopped by the showers to rinse myself off and then went to Snoopy’s Pier for lunch.  Snoopy’s and Doc’s Seafood and Steaks are right next to each other just before the bridge connecting Padre island to Corpus Christi.  They’re local favorites.

After a stop for gas and a quick car wash to rinse off the salt, I headed home.

Here are some links to help you plan your trip:
Mustang Island State Park  (official TPWS web site)
Port Aransas  (my post, just in case you’re looking for something else to do on the island)
Snoopy’s Pier  (good food on the water)
Doc’s Seafood and Steaks  (also good food on the water)

  1. jp thomas says:

    Ashley , thank you again for trip #48 ,after working in today’s 104 temps your story bring me sa big smile ..Love the star photo , any details .30 secs @f/8 ?

    Glad you had a great time ,your wonderful ..

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