Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: bridge city texas

January 28 1986

It is funny how I remember certain things as if they were yesterday, and then it seems like who years are missing from my memory.

January 28, 1986 is a day I remember quite well.

On January 28, 1986 I skipped school with Bryan, Eric, and my brother. We found out later that day the space shuttle had blown up.

If I remember right, Bryans truck had a flat tire as we were going through burger king for breakfast that morning. We agreed a flat tire was a good reason to skip school.

What did we do with our free time? We ended up shooting pine cones out of trees with 22 rifles for a couple of hours. I bought my Ruger 10/22 the day I turned 18 years old – January 17, 1986. I was itching to take my new rifle out and shoot something, so why not shoot pine cones?

After we got tired of shooting pine cones, we went to Erics house to watch TV. It was at this time we saw the news that the space shuttle had blown up.

Eric was upset because he changed the TV channel and his moms soap opera did not record on the VCR. Maybe “upset” is not the best word to describe the situation. Eric was on the edge of being in tears. He was worried his mother was going to beat him when she found out he skipped school.

Crabbing Baileys Road Bridge City Texas

Crabbing on Baileys Road in Bridge City, Texas

As the people who live in Bridge City, Groves and Orangefield Texas already know, crabbing on Baileys road is a local tradition.

Before the Rainbow Bridge was built there was a ferry that ran between Bridge City and Port Arthur.

Baileys road was constructed through the middle of a marsh. As you are driving down the road, there is a canal that runs parallel to the road on the right hand side, and marsh grass on the left hand side.

When the road intersects Sabine Lake, the road makes a 90 degree turn to the left.

From the 90 degree turn, Baileys road winds along the edge of Sabine Lake for maybe 1/2 a mile or so until the road crosses over a bridge and dead ends.

After the Rainbow Bridge was built, people no longer needed the ferry so it was decommissioned. Even though the ferry was gone, Baileys has remained a popular icon.

Baileys Road

Rain in June

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistEvery time we get rain in June I think about a 3 day camping trip some of my buddies and I went on back in June of 1985. We were a bunch of kids who loaded in a boat, traveled the backwaters of a bayou close to Bridge City Texas, picked out a camping spot, and spent 3 days in the woods. The only day we did not get rained on was the last day, the day we went home.

There were five of us – Allen, David, Jim, Kevin and Kevin. Between the 5 of us, we had 2 – 2 man tents. Which meant that one tents was going to be rather packed.

The three day camping trip is one of those times that you look back and wish you had kept a journal. Or at the very least brought a camera and taken some pics. I am not sure what day did we left on or what day did we got back. I think the trip was in June 1985, but can not prove it. School was out, and it was summer time, so the trip was sometime in June, July or August.

My gear included – some cans of food, sleeping bag, Montgomery Ward Western Field Model 550AL 12 gauge pump shotgun and some birdshot ammunition. Sometime around the camping trip I bought one of those hollow handled survival knives. I do not remember if I bought my survival knife before or after the camping trip. It has been over 25 years since my buddies and I went on the camping trip. Fading memories is just one of those things that happens.

Everyone knew we were in for a wet weekend. I had a small green backpack with a couple of cans of food, and my sleeping bag that was inside a plastic trash bag. The camping trip was supposed to be a true “roughing it” experience. We brought as little gear as possible – each person brought some kind of sleeping bag, a few cans of food, shotgun or 22 rifle, change of clothes, knife, flashlight, canteen with water purification tablets and that was about it.

Remembering Hurricane Ike Three Years Later

hurricane ike floodingIts simple amazing how much time has passed under the bridge in the last 3 years. On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall, and changed the lives of tens of thousands of people forever.

Mom and Dads house was totaled, sold to the insurance company and demolished.

One of my best friends has rebuilt and now has a nice place.

My brother has rebuilt and seems to be no worse for the wear.

It was somewhere around 10:00pm or 10:30 that I lost phone contact with my kids who were riding out Hurricane Ike in Houston. I figured they were ok, but I worried about them until I knew for sure they were safe.

The winds with Ike were not near as bad as Rita, but the storm surge with Ike was probably 10X worse the Rita. With Rita southeast Texas got a little storm surge, but nothing like what came in with Ike.

The next morning after Ike passed through, my family and I left the shelter we were staying at and went home. I hooked to pit up to my truck and pulled the pit around to the front of my house. I wanted to pit fired up and cooking something, so that the people driving down the street would be assured that life would return to normal.

Posting stuff on the internet

Posting stuff on the internetPlease Rate This Article When you’re talking to someone in real life, words are like dust in the wind. But when you post stuff on the internet, its like etching your words in stone. The difference is, people can go back and read what you posted. Once your words are spread […]

Buying and Stockpiling More Survival Gear

Stockpiling fishing and hunting survival gear for SHTF

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about stockpiling more survival gear for fishing and hunting after SHTF.

This past weekend my wife and I made a trip to Bridge City Texas to visit with my parents. While we were in Bridge City, my wife and I spent the night at La Quinta Inn & Suites, which is where the old Sparkle Paradise used to be.

The hotel is in a perfect location. Not only does it back up to a pond for your fishing enjoyment, but the twin bridges are viewable from the hotel for a picturesque nighttime scene.

My wife and I arrived at La Quinta, at which time I realized that I did not think about bringing anything to fish with. So off to wal-mart we went. I have been wanting to pick up an open face reel, so I bought a Shakespeare E-Z Cast Low Profile Baitcast Reel with 6 foot rod and a couple of lures. As luck would have it, I did not catch anything but a bunch of mosquito bites.

Shopping For Survival Gear

Are you taking care of yourself

camping hiking backpackingMy wife got the text message last night at around 2:30am – we have a very dear friend of the family whos mother passed away last night from lung cancer. She was around 46 years old, and she had been a heavy smoker for years. She leaves behind a couple of children, and a couple of very young grand kids. The grand kids are only about 1 – 3 years old, not old enough to remember the time they spent with their grandmother. There will never be a chance to pass down stories, never be a chance to go to birthday parties, Christmas, no Thanksgiving,,,,, nothing but a visit to her grave from time to time.

While thinking about our friends mom, I also started thinking about my other friends that have passed away.

When my brother and I were growing up in Bridge City, Texas, we had some friends in the neighborhood that where the same age as us. There was Bret and Troy, Steven and Gene , John and David, Bobby and Mike. Steven was the same age as my brother – 2 years behind me – and Gene is my age. When I was a senior, I heard that Steven had gotten into drugs pretty bad. It was so bad that his mom and dad kicked him out and he was having to look for a place to live. Steven went to live with Bret and Troy for a little while, but the parents of Bret and Troy found Stevens drugs and was told to leave the house. From there, Steven left Bridge City and went to live with his sister in Port Arthur. That was probably one of the worst things that could have happened. From what I understand, drugs were a lot easier to find in Port Arthur then in Bridge City. This meant that Steven had easy access to all kinds of illegal drugs.

Where your at right now

Why are you where your at right now? What are you doing there? What course of events drove you to be at your present location?

As I get older, I think about my life, and the course it has taken. There is some regret, there is some happiness and some sadness.

A couple of weekends ago my family and I were up at the camp having a relaxing weekend. One of the people there was a long time friend of mine – we have been knowing each other since around 1977 or 1978,,, somewhere in there. At the day turned to night, we built a camp fire, grabbed the lawn chairs and talked about past times.

Trip to Bridge City

Trip to Bridge CityPlease Rate This Article My wife, my 2 daughters, 2 grand kids and I made a trip to Bridge City today to go see mom and dad. Moms birthday was on July 17th and they are getting moved into their new house this weekend. Its been 10 months since hurricane Ike passed […]

Becoming complacent with disaster preparedness

As Hurricane Rita was making its way through the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the projected path was towards the Houston and Galveston, Texas area. An evacuation was called for parts of Harris and Galveston counties. Which is where the cities of Houston and Galveston are located.

The way evacuations are “supposed” to work, the areas that are nearest the Gulf of Mexico are evacuated first. Which is Galveston, and lower Harris county. That is how its supposed to work in theory. In reality, how does one of the largest cities in the USA evacuate? They dont. There were stories of people spending 18+ hours on the highway and not even going 10 miles.

There are 2 major highways going north out of Houston – HWY 59 and HWY 45. Going east and west, there is Interstate 10, 1960, old HWY 90 and 105. HWY 105 is north of the Houston area. It goes from Beaumont, through Cleveland, Conroe and finally hits HWY 6.

FEMA camp myths

It seems that ever since Hurricane Katrina there has been a of misinformation going around as to what FEMA really does.

Lets just set the record straight right now – FEMA is here to help people, not throw them in some type of FEMA prison camp.

The law makers in congress have setup a government agency that tries to help people in areas affected by a disaster. Most of the time, the relief efforts are composed of – food, water, and temporary shelter. After Hurricane Rita hit the Southeast Texas area I got to see “some” of what FEMA does. There was an immediate response of MRES, donated canned foods, ice and bottled water brought into the affected areas.

After Hurricane Ike, it became very clear as to what FEMA is designed to do. Bridge City Texas was flooded by the storm surge of Hurricane Ike.

The families there lucky (or blessed) – only got about 4, 5 or even 9 feed of saltwater, mixed with marsh mud in their houses.

The families that were not so lucky – their houses were destroyed by a combination of storm surge and wind damage.

Thousands of families in Bridge City had nowhere to go. People were living in tents, or in RVs and some families left Bridge City to go live with relatives. Out of several thousand homes, only about 12 had not been flooded. FEMA has been working for months to fix that problem.

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

These pictures were taken in Bridge City, Texas after Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas. Using Google Earth, and measuring from where these pictures were taken, its estimated that 20 miles inland, there was about a 14 – 15 foot storm surge. This is not a scientific measurement, its just an estimate.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018