Bush Says 'America Loses' Under Democrats - washingtonpost.com

Reading the news over my morning coffee

It looks like the “Decider-in-Chief” has made another decision. Now a vote in our democracy is treasonous if it isn’t cast for a Republican. If you vote for a Democrat you are aiding and abetting the terrorists. How long now before your vote can cause you to be considered an “enemy combatant” in this new phase of the “War for Congress”?
Bush Says 'America Loses' Under Democrats - washingtonpost.com:
"SUGAR LAND, Tex., Oct. 30 -- President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week's midterm elections."
You know the President is in trouble when he has to visit my old district (Tom kicked me out in his redistricting plan) to campaign.
"However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses," Bush told a raucous crowd of about 5,000 GOP partisans packed in an arena at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, one of his stops Monday. "That's what's at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq."
They have been talking a lot about their plan to win in Iraq…Other than “Staying The Course”, has anyone seen a plan to win. Hell, do they really have a plan for anything but the enrichment of KBR and their other cronies?

I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone came up with something good on the Rumsfeld presser the other day. When I say the video it pretty much floored me. So when I saw Eugene Robinson’s piece in the Post I had to chuckle, even at something this sad.
Go ahead, people, you have your orders from Napoleon Bonaparte, I mean Donald Rumsfeld. "Back off" and "relax." Book a cruise to Chillsville. Don't worry your pretty little heads about the debacle in Iraq, because "it's complicated, it's difficult." Are mere mortals going to be able to get their minds around a problem that even Albert Einstein, I mean Donald Rumsfeld, finds complicated? Let's be realistic here.
We should all thank our lucky stars that "honorable people" are willing to do all this super-advanced thinking for us. Aristotle, I mean Donald Rumsfeld, was kind enough to phrase it that way rather than spell out what he really meant, which was "people who are smarter than you."
You really should take a look at the rest of the piece…and “Back Off”.

A quote from an email…

”Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”
– William Cowper

And another story about the fabled American food supply chain…
ATLANTA — A salmonella outbreak potentially linked to produce has sickened at least 172 people in 18 states, health officials said Monday.
Health officials think the bacteria might have spread through some form of produce; the list of suspects includes lettuce and tomatoes. But the illnesses have not been tied to any specific product, chain, restaurants or supermarkets.
The states involved are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
By Mike Stobbe
Associated Press
From the Houston Chronicle it’s just another example of how our nationalized food supply is going to end up killing us yet. Sadly, it wont even take terrorists to do it, though, with a little help from the wrong kind of people something like this could be much worse than a couple of days on the throne…

Looks like the road calls…later

Monday Coffee Reads

Monday Coffee Reads
If nothing else, this op-ed from the Washington Post has one of the best lines on the Bush Administration and Climate Change I have seen in a while.
Changing Climate on Climate - washingtonpost.com: "Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that the intransigence of Mr. Bush's administration on climate change will long survive his tenure, no matter who succeeds him. Will he take a hand in developing America's response to this global problem, or will he go down as the president who fiddled while Greenland melted?"
Let's hope they are right about the change coming next week.

This little tidbit from Robert Novak really hit me like a blast from the past…
Losing Nicaragua Again - washingtonpost.com:”Oliver North and his associates were leaving Managua last Tuesday on a private plane after a dramatic surprise visit when they heard news they could scarcely comprehend. The State Department had just issued a "public announcement" that, in effect, warned Americans not to travel to Nicaragua because of the prospect for "violent demonstrations" and "sporadic acts of violence" leading up to the Nov. 5 presidential election there.”
Does Oliver North still have the ability to bring out the high dollar donors for the Republican Party? Why this reference to the darling of the Reagan Republicans at this time.

Oliver North and the reaction the non-delegate attendees at the ’92 Convention had to him was one of the things that pushed me completely into backing only Democratic Party Candidates (unless, as happens often in rural Texas, you can’t find a Democrat which means you vote Green of Libertarian or even Socialist to vote against the Republican Party). I think it was the way they fawned over a man , who by all accounts I had seen, should have been in prison not walking around with bodyguards at a Political Convention.

Then you have this…
”That buttresses suspicion that the U.S. government wants to keep away meddling Americans like North, who seek to influence an election that now appears likely to return Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas to power after an absence of 16 years.”
My God, is Oliver North still “meddling” in Nicaragua after all these years?

Time to hit the road…more later.

I apologize for the political nature of the above, my only excuse is that is what is in the news…

Falling back...

After sleeping in, on this fall back Sunday, I spent the morning doing the email, political blog rant, cussing Blogger errors kind of thing. Then I did the morning talk shows before turning my interest to reading my way through my blogroll. Creek Running North was at the top of my list today, so I started working my way back through Chris Clarke’s posts. When I hit the post on Deborah Tall the following quote reached up of the screen and grabbed me…
Creek Running North: Deborah Tall
"No one’s about to step out of the woods and tell us what in another place would be subject of song and legend — oh whale who wandered from the sea, stalled in lake water, turned to stone...— the landscape brought to life as story. I need to learn the plot and poetry of this place, the outlines of time passing on it, in order that it not be merely scenery. But my neighbors are reticent, sedentary. They mumble and nod the rare times we pass on the road. No one, as in my rural fantasy, has come by with a welcoming plate of homemade cookies, with chat and advice, not to speak of legends. By nightfall, their houses give off the platinum glow of television. We’re left to our own devices."

After reading all of Chris’ post, I can understand some of the pain he felt on reading those words about his home and kin. But, I have too many times found myself on the other side too. The newcomer in a place with a history I don’t share, but would like to. Even wandering back to the places my ancestors once called home doesn’t give me an inherent place with those that stayed and lived the history of place. I may be trying to capture a bit of the same na├»ve nostalgia that seems to come across from the snippets Chris has chosen to quote.

Not having read Deborah Tall’s book, I can’t comment on it. But, the fact that Chris states he reads it annually leaves a desire to see what she had to say.

Oh well, time to get off my duff and go visit my own little piece of the American population explosion. He may not have been the 300 millionth, but he was close. Later…

Fall Color

Even in Texas we get one tree out of 20 - 30 acres that will show fall coloring this time of year... 
The only real problem is...It's tough to hold the camera steady as you beat yourself trying to kill the swarm of mosquitoes that is carrying you off over the standing water from the past two weeks storms…swat, splat…ouch…I think I know what they feel like living in the swamps.
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Saturday over coffee

Over coffee this morning I was checking out my email. Had a couple from Colleen, which made my day ‘cause it means I’m not just blathering out into cyberspace to myself. She pointed me to her post of this morning which led me to comment. Since my own posts have been a bit slow this week I thought I would go ahead and repost my comment here... So here’s the thread.

Jamming at the Jamboree with Jim Webb

It was “standing room only” at Floyd’s Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree, when Democratic Senatorial Candidate Jim Webb and former Governor Mark Warner came to visit on Thursday. By the look of the line of young people waiting outside for their arrival, I figured that a high school field trip was underway. Inside, the turnout reminded me of the one that gathered to hear author Barbara Kingsolver in September.


Reading Colleen’s post led to this comment…

Colleen, I have tried to not let my passion carry me away this election cycle as my wife doesn't like me screaming at the television when the President speaks. This is another of the reasons I have been light on my posting.

“I’m a registered independent, fiscally conservative who votes Democratic because they represent my interests in labor rights, civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental protections better than the counterparts,” I explained at one point during our back and forth conversations.


How well I relate...I had the "fun" of working at the Republican National Convention here in Houston in 1992 (it was my job, the firm I work for was the general contractor). I remember having the same conversation with some of the volunteers. When I said I was a fiscally conservative social liberal I saw a wash of blank looks spread over the group. Someone even asked what the hell that meant. Seems they all thought the two concepts were diametrically opposed.

Before the convention I had always considered myself an independent. I voted for the man, not the party…blah, blah, blah. I was at the convention that year for many more hours than the delegates. I heard every speech, saw much of the off the floor maneuvering. Had access to many of the hospitality suites of the big donors and the corporate sponsors. And after it was all said and done I walked out and voted my first straight party ticket in my life. What I saw that year was the beginnings of 1994 and the takeover of the Republicans by the religious right. I have to admit it scared me then. It still scares me now.

I think this election is important in so many ways, but mainly it is about stopping the erosion of or constitutional form of government. If the administration manages to keep control of both houses this election, they will probably consolidate the Presidential powers to such an extent that we will never have the chance again to back them up.

Politicians have managed to get caught often enough with their hands in the cookie jar to convince most of the public not to vote. That actually works for the politicians. The lower the vote, the smaller the base needed to mobilize. Gerrymandering accomplishes the same thing. If you are a liberal in a conservative district, you don’t vote because there isn’t any use…Your voice won’t be heard, the same holds true for the conservative in a liberal district.

To my way of thinking this is what has stifled the conversation in America. The lack of an egalitarian process of running elections is killing democracy. The fiction that money equates to “free speech” is an outright attack on democracy. The fiction the corporations are “people” entitled to “free speech” is the main stumbling block to clean politics...And I’ve run on way to long. I apologize for the rant.


So, now that I’ve ranted in two places today, Ya’ll have a great day yourselves…

Long week with no posts....

Sorry for my absence, if anyone noticed. I never know how many readers might actually lurk out there (if any). It has been a long week at work, I am behind and getting even further behind by the day. But I am glad to be over the hump and headed for the weekend. I haven't even made it out on any photo expeditions. The weekend weather for the past two weeks has been quite unappealing. Hopefully, this weekend will invite me out to enjoy the conversation…

Most of what I am reading these days is political in nature, even when I try to limit my political intake. And, though, the polls lead me to be optimistic, I do not want to get my hopes up to high before Nov. 8. As anyone who wanders through these musings will be aware my political leanings are definitely leftward.

So...In order to push my thoughts in another direction, I found today’s "A Cook's Garden" an informative read. What with the history of Halloween and jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pies and soups, Barbara Damrosch manages to capture my interest in a subject I didn't expect to find interesting...And she starts out this way...

"A big red pumpkin sits on my kitchen counter, the color of the sun when it is just about to set. It lights up the whole room. About 15 inches across, with a flattened shape, its name is Rouge Vif d'Etampes, a French heirloom introduced by Burpee in 1883. I will be enjoying it long after Halloween, but right now it is part of the celebration."

All Hail the Great Pumpkin - washingtonpost.com

Oh well…gotta run. Work calls.

Photo of the day



The mighty hunter...

Logan's First Visit

On the way home from the hospital the proud parents stopped by for a visit. Of course they brought the bundle of joy...

Grandma, Great-Aunt, and Mother

Proud Papa...

It's been a long day...

Grandpa and Logan, all tuckered out.

For more pictures go HERE

New Boyd - Logan Christopher

Logan Christopher Boyd
October 19, 2006

It's official I'm over the hill. Just call me Grandpa...

The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media

An excerpt from todays "The Writer's Almanac". Go read the whole poem or listen to Garrison Kieillor read it...

The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media:
"Map

A hill, a farm,
A forest, and a valley.
Half a hill plowed, half woods.
A forest valley and a valley field.

Sun passes over;
Two solstices a year
Cow in the pasture
Sometimes deer

A farmhouse built of wood.
A forest built on bones.
The high field, hawks
The low field, crows"

"Map" by Gary Snyder, from Left Out in the Rain. © Shoemaker & Hoard

Wednesday Morning Coffee Muse

The rain I spoke about on Monday really caused problems on Tuesday. You have to understand, the rain stopped on Monday evening before sundown but the waters kept rising. My Tuesday morning commute was compounded by the fact that young son needed a ride to work...naturally, his job is on the opposite side of Houston from home and my job. In addition there were a number of major cmmuter arteries shut down with high water. SO to start off the morning what is normally a 25 minute run bcame a 90 min run. Added to that was the round trip to his office and back with all of the other folks who were running late. Then the evening commute added another 90 minutes to the drive home. Talk about a long day...

Oh well, today is a new day. Unfortunatly, they are predicting more ran with the cold front (this is Texas so that mean highs in the 70's for a few days) headed our way for the afternoon commute...

Then the first headline I read in the Washington Post is Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority
"President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests."

"Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power," the policy asserts in its introduction.

Our priority in space is defense? Against who? Maybe I've read to many SciFi novels in my mis-spent youth, but if anyone comes at us from space, I don't think there is much our government is going to do about them...So that leaves...Ahhh, another round of contract for KBR. Got-cha.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does our government really think they can dictate to the world who can use the rest of the solar system? And here again, our Imperial President is going to disavow existing treaties when he disagrees with them. I know it's a lot to expect from Mr. Bush but could someone give the man remedial lessons in government, at least enough so he understands that we have a constitution and it's not up to the President to ignore the parts he doesn't like...

Then there is Bush Signs Terrorism Measure. The key paragraph in the story falls way down in the story...
"With the midterm elections coming on Nov. 7, congressional Republicans immediately seized on the new law, which was opposed by most Democratic lawmakers, as evidence of their commitment to protect the country against terrorist attacks."

And so goes our Bill of Rights...

Time for another adventureous commute...more later

Weather - Rain and More Rain

You really have to enjoy rain when you live on the SE coast of Texas. It doesn't rain all the time, as a matter of fact, we've been through a bit of a dry spell. But when we get rain...We get rain. The past couple of days have brought anything from 4-18" of rain. And it's still coming down...No photos no fun.

Oh, and did I mention the wind and the heat....I heard the weather man say we were headed for 88 degrees tomorrow. Where did autumn go?

I took advantage of the weather to finish One Foot in Eden: A Novel by Ron Rash. I really enjoyed the read. I had to put the book aside last week before I read the whole thing in an evening. The way Ron Rash told this story through the eyes of the different characters was novel. The way he got into the minds of his characters and let you almost fell what it was like to hoe tobacco or cabbage. I look forward to picking up another of his stories.

Today I've gone back to reading some more of Finding A Clear Path by Jim Minick. I downloaded some of his essays through a link on Fred site last week and enjoyed putting a voice to is words. I am trying to read just a few sections at a time to drag out the enjoyment. 'though, its nice to know that I'll be able to earn a living in the mountains now growing "sang". I like that it only takes a decade to harvest a crop...And I just love my ginseng tea.

The Industrial Agricultural Complex

Michael Pollan had an article in the New York Times that spells out many reasons for locally grown food. Writing about the recent E. coli contamination he had this to say...
The Vegetable-Industrial Complex - New York Times: "...if industrial farming gave us this bug, it is industrial eating that has spread it far and wide. We don'’t yet know exactly what happened in the case of the spinach washed and packed by Natural Selection Foods, whether it was contaminated in the field or in the processing plant or if perhaps the sealed bags made a trivial contamination worse. But we do know that a great deal of spinach from a great many fields gets mixed together in the water at that plant, giving microbes from a single field an opportunity to contaminate a vast amount of food. The plant in question washes 26 million servings of salad every week. In effect, we're washing the whole nation's salad in one big sink.

It's conceivable the same problem could occur in your own kitchen sink or on a single farm. Food poisoning has always been with us, but not until we started processing all our food in such a small number of 'kitchens' did the potential for nationwide outbreaks exist."

He also points out what is becoming increasingly clear to me...We shouldn't be worrying so much about planes flying into buildings, we need to worry about one person in the processing plant with a bag of contaminant in their pocket...When the E. coli outbreak first started and the papers started reporting the outrageous statistics on the production of salad greens in one California valley I was already seeing the writing on the wall. Talk about having all of your eggs in one basket. When I commented on my fears to my wife she was unused to hearing me express such pessimistic thoughts about terrorism.
When Tommy Thompson retired from the Department of Health and Human Services in 2004, he said something chilling at his farewell news conference: "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do."” The reason it is so easy to do was laid out in a 2003 G.A.O. report to Congress on bioterrorism. "“The high concentration of our livestock industry and the centralized nature of our food - processing industry-make them - vulnerable to terrorist attack." Today 80 percent of America'’s beef is slaughtered by four companies, 75 percent of the precut salads are processed by two and 30 percent of the milk by just one company. Keeping local food economies healthy -- and at the moment they are thriving -- is a matter not of sentiment but of critical importance to the national security and the public health, as well as to reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
I can already envision the government answer to this and it isn't mine...More security on fewer places...A green zone, so to speak, where food is processed. Outsourced, of course, to KBR...

If nothing else, these outbreaks and their massive and overnight spread around the country should be a wake up call to the American consumer. Locally grown food is the best protection to any number of disasters - natural or manmade.

Fall Color


About the only tree around here that is beginning to show fall colors is this little maple in the yard next door. I used a bit of flash to bring out the colors against the sunrise on Friday...

Friday 13

My Grandpa Sewell always thought 13 was his lucky number. His place in Orchard, TX was 2.13 acres by deed. The “ranch” he bought before he retired was 213 acres…maybe 213 should have been his lucky number…
He would have considered Friday the 13 as a most auspicious day, and enjoyed it immensely. It would have tied in well with his favorite “holiday”, April Fools Day. My how he enjoyed catching you in an April Fools Day joke.
In his spare time he ran a nursery out back of the house. His specialty was Live Oak trees. Even the scar on his arm looked like the silhouette of a Live Oak. He always had a few hundred growing in 1 and 5 gallon paint cans he recycled from the highway department…They always had splatters of white and “highway yellow” around the rims. I can remember, as a young child, following him down the rows of trees as he drug a hose behind him splashing a couple of inches of water into each can. As a I grew up I thought how monotonous that job must be.
Now I envy him the meditative nature of the sameness. I understand the reason for the daily recording of rainfall. The monitoring of the windmill and the cement tank that held the water until it was needed for the trees (though at the time the cement tank was nothing but our private swimming pool). The slow but steady movement from tree to tree, the swing of the arm to move the stream of water from can to can. Filling each to the rim before moving to the next, up one row…down the next…back up again.
Another memory is of the small clay pots he filled with dirt and spread under the White Oak Tree that grew behind the old chicken house. Talk about taking the long view…Grandpa placed those pots to catch the acorns which would fall and sprout under the parent tree. You don’t get a lot of trees this way, but the ones you do get tend to grow on. Where this old white oak came from I don’t know, it was unusual for the area in which we live. I don’t know that I have ever seen another in this part of Texas. Grandpa always could grow things that were commonly not grown where he grew them. I think his thumb was green all the way to his shoulder.
Grandpa Sewell died on the 12th of January 1995 at the age of 88. I miss him.

Howard Eugene Sewell
7 Jan 1907 – 12 Nov 1995

TGIF Coffee Thoughts

It seems the morning email list is beginning to follow a pattern. The first couple of emails concern my blog traffic (and yes I do look), followed by my My-Cast Weather Report, followed by the Washington Post Headlines. From today's Weather Report I see there is a nip in that mountain air with both Boone, NC and Floyd, Va reporting temperatures in the upper 30's. Seems the temperatures should be right for the festivities coming up in the next couple of weeks...

The Post is reporting that the President is praising House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Is that the kiss of death or what? "Way to go Coach". It really is time for a change. The wife and I were discussing the Kinky campaign here in Texas. We both sign his petition, but now she is feeling ashamed of her support at that time, seems Kinky really doesn't know when to shut up. Oh well my support was a protest to start with but I think I'll be voting for the only tacitly liberal candidate in the race, Mr Bell.

Time to hit the road...catch ya later.

Following my thoughts...

I read this phrase way down at the end of an interesting post...
the Contrary Goddess: This is me, this is who I am: "If it were not illegal, I could milk three cows and support my farm and family. The state prohibits me from the right livelihood my grandmothers knew."

Which set me to thinking about how many of these "health" regulations are actually protecting the publics health or how many are just protecting the health of business's bottom line?

Whatever happened to government of and for the people. Did it all change when the lawyers managed to get corporations fictionalized into people with bigger checkbooks?

Thursday Morning Coffee

As I read the morning news I see that fall has returned to the Blue Ridge. I was starting to worry. The daily temperatures were beginning to look to much like here. I am sure there are many folks in the mountains that were not complaining about the warmer than normal temps, but warm weather is not part of my dream.

The mornings Washington Post has an article that was interesting, In Pursuit of the Elusive Pawpaw. You know, like Barbara Damrosch, I have never had a Pawpaw. As a matter of fact I actually ate my first persimmon just last week.
The old children's song makes it sound easy. "Where, oh where, is sweet little Susie? Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch. . . . Pickin' up pawpaws, puttin' 'em in her pocket. "

But where, oh where, are the pawpaws now? So scarce is this delectable fruit that most of us have never tasted one, let alone found a patch where they litter the ground, even though they're native to most of the eastern United States.


If you are interested go read the article, she has links to resources at the end.

The clock says it's time to hit the road...Ya'll have a great day...later.

North Carolina Mountain Dreams

The name of this blog comes from my Dream that in the next few years I will have the opportunity to make my way to the Mountains to finish out my life there. The North Carolina comes in because it is where I first discovered the Blue Ridge. I spend my time between trips to the Valle Crucis, North Carolina area dreaming of the next chance I’ll have to walk these mountains of my ancestors. And each return trip home is that much more depressing.

For all of my guests who end up here looking for a blog based in the mountains, all I can say is come back often, one of these days it will be. Until then I’ll live my mountain dream virtually here online.

Since my interests are varied, and I’m still trying to find my voice, expect some experimentation along the way. One of the things that is important to me is photography, so expect to see regular posts with pictures. Sometime they will be from my mountain trips, but, mostly they will be from here in Texas. Texas is home, and therefore that’s what I have the opportunity to shoot…Believe me I would rather be shooting mountain landscapes.

Also, since this is my blog, I may post something totally out of left field (usually). Please, hang in there and we’ll find our way back to the mountains. Right now I’m only three months into the long…long spell between mountain vistas, so, mentally I haven’t started getting too terribly weird…yet. I get regular “fixes” from my blog friends in the mountains of NC and Virginia. I also have subscriptions to both “Blue Ridge Country Magazine” and “Our State” bringing in regular doses of the medicine I need to stay sane.

Leon Hale - Piddling

Ever since they gave Leon Hale a blog life has been better. Now he drops little thought pictures out there that wouldn't make a whole column...Check out his thoughts on piddling.
Leon Hale | A blog featuring Houston Chronicle columnist Leon Hale: "People are always asking me what I do here in the country. What I do is not much. Mostly I piddle. I just checked Mr. Webster to see if piddle is a valid word. He says yes. 'To deal or work in trifling or petty ways.'

Piddling comes naturally to me. When I was a day-dreamy kid my Methodist mother would accuse me of 'piddling around' when she wanted me to be constructive. I feel that here at Winedale I've taken piddling to new heights. I am able to spend an entire day on trifling tasks that should require no more than half an hour."


Go read the whole thing, you might discover what has made him so popular in Houston for the past 60 years or so...

From Sunday morning in Galveston


This is the entrance to the Old Quarter Acustic Cafe a venue for singer/songwriters just off the Strand in Galveston. The last time I made a show it was a friend from high school, Freddy Steady Krc playing ( who I see I just missed a couple of weeks ago,damn). Wrecks Bell owns and runs the place. It's a pretty good tribute to Towns Van Zandt.

Another shot from Sunday Morning


Elizabeth Point, Galveston Bay
Oct 1, 2006

Looks like I need to do more of these Sunday Photo Trips. So far they are turning up some really nice shots...to work, I must now go. Have a great day.

Fishing the Sunday Sun Up



I got out of bed earlier than normal this Sunday morning 'cause I wanted to make the 30+ minute run down toward Galveston to try and catch some shots as the sun came up...I almost didn't make it. This shot is of a fishing boat close to the railroad bridge on the mainland side of the bay. Galveston is on the opposite shore. I enjoyed a couple of hours of early morning photog time before heading home...

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