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PORT LAVACA:  Our first stop was a private boat dock where I edged as far as possible past the "Private No Trespassing" sign for a few boat pics.  Then it was on to the causeway... 

PORT THE COW
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

How a port city ever came by the name of "The Cow" is odd to say the least.  I mean, with all those water critters and birds and such all along the coast to choose from you'd a thought someone back then would a said, "Hold on fellers!  Let's give this a little more thought."

After all, who wants to say, "I was born in The Cow"?  But that conversation never transpired.  So the town was named after a barnyard animal.  I reckon if you don't know a lick of Spanish, La Vaca sounds kinda poetic.


P.jpg (7100 bytes)ort Lavaca and Indianola are both in Calhon County.  And quicker than thought, the drive from one to the other is history.  Both communities suffered so much bad luck in their early years you'd assume they got along.  Evidently not.
       While settling on the location of the county seat these two towns took the game of musical chairs to a new level.  Consider this: When Calhon County was formed in 1846 Lavaca was named the county seat. Then, in 1852, it was moved to Indianola. In 1864 it was back to Lavaca.  1865, back to Indianola. Then, in 1886 it was back to Lavaca again. The Hurricane of August 20, 1886 wiped out Indianola. So, you might say, it took an act of God to settle the County Seat War of Calhon County. ( You won't find mention of that war in any history books 'cause I just made that part up.)
       Back in 1916 Lavaca went bankrupt and didn't get back in business for another three years. During that time I reckon the county seat was in the Late Port Lavaca. The good news is Port Lavaca is back in business.
       Thanks to Hurricane Carla in 1961 the causeway between Port Lavaca and  Point Comfort (now there's a name a sailor can take seriously) was nearly wiped out.  That event made it possible for Port LtHse1.jpg (17766 bytes)Lavaca to have a causeway and a half-causeway.  One for cars and the other for people. (Do I need to explain which?)  It's the city's primary attraction.  And a fine one it is.  This was one of those places that is right pretty most any season, day or night.  
       You'll know the spot by the sight of the Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse on your right.  The lighthouse was actually built on Matagorda Island in 1858.  I reckon it just washed ashore one day and Port The Cow kept it.   Which is okay by me.
WindTree.jpg (32960 bytes)       We parked in the Lighthouse Beach, Bird Sanctuary and RV Park "which offers a sand beach, full RV hookups, camping, boat ramp, restrooms with showers, playgrounds, picnic areas, .8 mile nature walk, boardwalk, and observation tower."
       The place was deserted.  I can't quite describe just how windy it was at the Lighthouse Park where we let Nigel the Land Rover rest a spell.  Let's just say I had to face downwind to exhale.
       ( It crossed my mind that maybe there were lots of   folks there before we arrived and they just got blown away, transportation and all.) 
OverCaus2.jpg (26033 bytes)        You weren't there.  I'm telling you that the wind was out of control.  For example, I knew the place to be a Bird Sanctuary -- the sign said so.  But I only saw twenty or so seagulls hunkered down on the rocks, using the half-causeway for a wind breaker. Only one bird, a seagull, was fool enough to try flying in that gale and he was nearly slammed into the pier.  After taking more than enough pictures we headed for the causeway
       I've only met one person who has a serious aversion to bridges.  For most of us it's like a carnival ride.  Something we seldom come across.  And the longer the ride the better.
       Being from the Hill Country the most common body of water is a stock tank (pond for folks back east).  But they don't have bridges, andTurnA.jpg (4971 bytes) the ride over all the bridges crossing our rivers are finished before they get started. I reckon if we had stock tanks this size...

PAGE 1: INDIANOLA  /   PAGE 2: PORT LAVACA
PAGE 3: PALACIOS  /  PAGE 4: EL CAMPO  /  MAP   / 3-D PIC


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