Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sea Rim State Park

My husband first discovered Sea Rim State Park on one his loops back from a science fiction convention back in the 1980's. He could not wait to bring the rest of the family. And we were truly charmed.

We came to Sea Rim from the Galveston ferry when highway 87 still existed. It was a cool route because the waves came up so close to the road (eventually washing it out). Sea Rim is out in the "boonies" far from the city lights. We loved the hermit crabs that were present in so many of the shells. The bath house was great for rinsing off the kids after their romps in the sand and in the waves. (I have not ever been successful in keeping sand out of my bathing suit when swimming in the ocean.)

One of the unique aspects of Sea Rim State Park was the marsh unit. Crabbing near the boat ramp provided several meals for us. I have always wanted to go back with a canoe and explore the marshes across the road from the beach unit. I also remember the great nature trail, the Gambusia - a boardwalk through the marsh.

Henry has visited Sea Rim more recently than I. At that time, with a four wheel drive jeep you could still drive from High Island to Sea Rim, but it was a very deserted drive. It seems to me he ran across some skinny dippers in the surf and on the beach. But they were so far from "civilization" that they really weren't expecting visitors.

Hurricane Rita did sufficient damage that Sea Rim has been closed the last three years. The reports I've heard are that it was just getting ready to reopen.

From my Texbirds digest last night, I found links to see photos of what happened at Sea Rim.

Aerial of Sea Rim Headquarters

Sea Rim State Park Headquarters

The bathrooms This one is really sad, because when the kids were little and we were in a truck camper, the shower area was large, with plenty of stalls for getting everyone clean after a day at the beach.

I suspect that the boardwalk through the marsh has also sustained extensive damage as well as the bird blinds and camping platforms. What a shame!

With today's economic crisis, I fear it will be a long time before Sea Rim is rebuilt. If we really are headed into a new "Great Depression," I think that it would be a great idea to take public money and fund new jobs rebuilding places like Sea Rim. But Texas has had a hard time funding its state parks in recent years. I'm glad I have the memories and I'll pray that some day other young families will get to experience Sea Rim.


Christina said...

I am the current Office Manager for Sea Rim...although not for long. I love reading about your memories of the park. The park holds many memories for me as well. My husband and I both work at the park and our teenage sons spent many long summer days fishing the surf there. I wanted to share my recent photos of the park with you. I'm not sure that TPWD will ever open this park back up. there has been talk of turning it into a wildlife management area. My husband and I are going to have to relocate if we want to continue to work for TPWD. It is what I love, so I'm sure I will have to hope that there is another gem of a park out there waiting for me and my family. my photo album:
god bless

Mary Ann Melton said...

Oh, Christina! I am so sorry to hear that this time the park may not reopen. The pictures were heart wrenching. I seem to remember a great visitor center at the top with wonderul displays - obviously all gone now. What happened to the marsh unit? I wonder if it becomes a wildlife management area, if they will keep the marsh area and the camping platforms (if any are left after the storm) available for use. I had dreamed someday of taking a canoe and exploring the marshland.

I will hope and pray that you and your husband find another state park to love. There are many gems in the system - I'll hope that you get sent to one that you will enjoy.

If there is anything that someone like me, a Texas citizen, can do to help get Sea Rim rebuilt, please let me know.