Sunday, January 3, 2021

Boca Chica

SpaceX SN9 on the launch pad in Boca Chica

Road trip to Boca Chica today.  Going to the beach and checking out SpaceX, who incidently may be scheduled to launch Weds.  

I've said before that when they are moving things, or possibly preparing to launch,  the roads in the area are closed. Watching for road closures is one way to tell when they might launch.  Since SpaceX is a private company they don't usually announce launch dates.  For a launch, airspace is cleared too, another thing to watch for.   On Boca Chica Blvd., about 17 miles from the beach, they had a sign today saying this road, State Highway 4, would be closed due to SpaceX testing the 4th-6th.  This may confirm what Pat saw that said they may launch Weds. 

We drove right past SpaceX and the launch pad.  SN9 was on the launch pad and what was left of SN8, following it's crash on descent a couple of weeks ago, was to the right of it. I didn't expect we would  get so close.  Of course it was behind a fence and there were security guards.  It seemed like a lot of cars there for a Sunday.  Normal or maybe another indication of an impending launch?

The launch area

Where the rockets are built. 

They are building something.

The SN9 and, if you look to the right below the red crane, what's left of SN8.

You can see one of the rockets they are building.

 A couple of miles past the sign indicating there was an upcoming road closure was an inspection station going the other way, trying to catch smugglers. When we were headed back down the road the border patrol only asked us if we were residents of the U.S. and sent us on.

Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of over 90,000 acres and is located north of the Mexico/United States border. Driving through the Wildlife Refuge today we saw lots of cacti and what we think were yucca plants. Falcons can sometimes be found perched on the Yucca.  We didn't see any.

We passed 3 historical markers. The Battle of Palmito Ranch or Hill, a post civil war encounter, is considered by some as the final battle of the Civil War.   It was fought May 12th and 13th,   1865 just east of Brownsville, TX.

Stone remnants (see above picture) of pilings from a railroad crossing on the Rio Grand during the Civil War.

Established in 1846 this was the site of one of the largest encampments of volunteer soldiers.

A month after Robert E. Lee surrendered, the Battle of Pimento Ranch occurred on May 12th and 13th, 1865.

Just past SpaceX was the Boca Chica Beach.  It was pretty.  Several vehicles on the beach and lots of loose sand.  With our little, light-weight car we joined others parking on the road.  Glad we did as we witnessed someone get stuck.  The beach is a nesting ground for sea turtles during summer months.

When we left someone trying to exit the beach got stuck here.

Krikkit enjoying the beach.

He was body surfing, not signaling for help!

Pat checking out the rocket from the beach.

We continued on to Port Isabel, not far from SpaceX, as the crow flies anyway.  It could be a great place to watch a rocket launch from.  We found a park, but bathrooms were boarded up.  Pretty sure I wouldn't make it 2 hours, let alone a whole day, as we waited for a launch!  Hope Pat finds a better spot.

Lots of shrimp boats in Port Isabel

We had a fun time exploring and are once again sitting by the firepit tonight.

Krikkit can drink forever. Just when you think she's done and you bend over to pick up her dish she goes in for more.  This repeats several times.

Oh no, looks like I was shorted 2 donuts!  We stopped at Harlingen Donuts coming home.  Very good!!

Something to keep me busy


  1. So were you shorted donuts? Or did you eat them when Pat wasn't looking? Sounds kinda like what happened with the chocolate...

    I'm a bit jealous we aren't with you to see some rocket launches. Looks like fun!

    1. Well, I'm thinking SOMEONE may have eaten them.😁 As well as missing all of you, I know you would enjoy the rocket launches a. Even being this close it's a gamble if you can get close on the actual day. Cyrus would have the patience to sit with Grandpa all day, if needed, to wait for it! He would love it!

  2. I'm also jealous. If you need a bathroom can't you just park the RV there?

    1. Finding a place to watch with the car, let alone a 35' motor home, is tough enough. We want to see what crowds are like first. First launch attempt may be Friday. I have a mid-day dental visit that day which takes priority
      I would like to spend a couple of nights on South Padre Island but matching that with a launch us just a gamble.