Clearly some things worked well today, and other things not quite so well. We headed back onto hells highway first thing – Galveston Road south. We made good time, cutting from one shady spot to the other, with regular stops for fresh water and malts.
The interesting part was to come, how to cross the I45 interstate to the island. We rode until we got to the last gas station south. It was there Horse spied the local policeman keeping a watchful eye on a vagrant who was smoking way to close to the bowsers.
He told us ‘we could risk it’, but that the bridge was outside of his jurisdiction. We were contemplating our options when a whale of raised 4WD drifted in our direction. It was then we heard him, “where ya’ll going”. It was Ricky and his girlfriend Ann.
They offered to take us over to the island and within seconds we began hauling our bikes onto the small mountain of empties littering the rear tray of the ute. We climbed up and wedged ourselves into the back just as Ann and Ricky returned. They’d just filled up on a few cases of beer and cigarettes from the forecourt shop.
Now, with ice cold beer in hand, we made our escape. Racing headlong up the on-ramp to merge with the flow of traffic to Galveston.
Ricky is an offshore oil and gas worker, two weeks of work, followed by two weeks of what seems like some serious play. He refers to work as rehab and judging by the pile of empties in the rear I can understand why. He’s Cuban American, having moved here at the age of two, but now he refers to himself as a true Texan. There is a fire and a maverick in the man. Ann was more patient. She’s a local nurse specialising in liver transplants. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I sat in the back… finishing off my beer.
I have a feeling this isn’t the last we will see or hear from Ricky Escauriza. What a legend.
We rode on through salt weathered back streets to the Seawall, where murky grey green surf rolled onto an empty fawn and fading shoreline. Ships and oil platforms scattered across the horizon – that’s the price for $2.58 a gallon of gas here in Texas.
We stopped at Gorditas restaurant to get out of the early afternoon sun. I ordered a torta and beer which would have been the envy of any antojitos back in México City. Then as planned we caught a late afternoon ferry to Bolivar peninsula.
We didn’t get far. Somewhere along the day, my wheel had weakened and thrown not one, but two spokes. It wasn’t worth the risk. We returned to Galveston.
We could see it, and felt the tail wind at our backs but for a moment, and then it was lost. Escape again seems to have eluded us.