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Ferry Tales

When you take a break and wander off, you’re supposed to engage in activities that are relaxing, unwinding, or qualify as moments that take your breath away. Some may find this a bit corny, but I enjoy riding the Galveston ferry. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s full of thrills and dangers that only a bored tourist would likely enjoy. Just my cup of tea.

ferry1.jpgOur ferry service shuttles cars and passengers from the eastern end of Galveston Island to the Bolivar Peninsula and has been running more or less consistently since 1930, ceasing usually for hurricanes and other rough weather. The three-mile crossing takes folks over to a long stretch of mostly nothing. I’ve yet to figure out why people want to go over there. It’s a very long way to anything, and seems mostly desolate miles of sand, bogs, and seagrass. Several times I’ve crossed in the ferry via car and driven miles into the peninsula, trying to find the allure for thousands of cars and people crossing Galveston Bay on the ferry. There are a few houses, but other than the same proverbial reason the chicken crosses the road, it’s a mystery to me.

ferry2.jpgOn a pretty weekend, the car lines to the ferry are snaked many ferry loads deep (each ferry takes about 80 cars), so I find it best and most relaxing to bypass the hot lines and park in the pedestrian lot, an area reserved for those brave (or na

4 comments to Ferry Tales

  • Walt Whitman wrote one of his best poems about riding Brooklyn Ferry. The ‘crossing’ of water made him think of death & immortality, and the fellowship with other passengers made him think of the communion of heaven. So you’re not alone in your fondness for ferries.

  • The Ferryman is also an image for the gatekeeper to hell and heaven….take your pick!

  • That reminds me of a funny part of Aristophanes’ THE CLOUDS:

    Student: The day before yesterday Socrates was robbed of a great thought by a lizard.
    Strepsiades: How on earth did that happen?
    Student: Well, he was studying the path of the moon, or its orbit as we call it, and he was gazing up at the sky with his mouth open, in the dark, you see, and this lizard — this lizard on the roof shitted right in his face!

    Seriously, though, the birds really always poop on me, especially when I am NOT in my car.

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