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Friday May 8 — The King Ranch

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Of course, we had to take this photo. Had we shot it last night, the sun would have been perfect. As it was this morning, we had to play with the light quite to make this work.

We woke up early Friday morning with plans to drive north.


But, before we left South Padre, Ann wanted to walk in the surf. So, we drove to the beach. Despite the red-flag-beware-of-the-water warning, we walked out to the water. I had to deliver a reminder to my wife that she shouldn’t be playing in the surf at all, because I didn’t want to have to carry her back to the car. So, despite her inner-child, she behaved.


2015-05-08-southpadreisland-beachAs we left the beach we encountered the South Padre Convention Center and these large upside down head sculptures.



We didn’t stay long and soon rushed back to the hotel for a quick shower, before packing. Our next stop was at the nearby souvenir stores. Many of the souvenir stores (like Bobz world we stopped at on Thursday) have sculptures out front to attract shoppers. After visiting the two shops below, we understood why. They stuff inside seemed like pretty cheap junk to us. The only thing we could find of interest was a magnet.


This place was in front of our hotel.


Jaws was across the street from our hotel.

Finally on our way, we cross the causeway to Port Isabel, where we stopped for a few photos. After all, one doesn’t see the largest fishing rod in the world too often (note, we have verified the largest rod claim!).


Largest fishing pole? Who knows.


Ann was all excited to explore this alley.


More sculptures dotted the fishing pier in Port Isabel.

On our way out of town we spotted one more heavily decorated souvenir shop:

2015-05-08-port-isabel3From Port Isabel we drove about 100 miles north to the small town of Kingsville where former boat captain Richard King launched the King Ranch in southern Texas in the mid 19th century. The ranch is currently 825,000 acres, reportedly making it the second largest ranch in the world.

I’d learned about the King Ranch through a few of their custom hunting jeeps. Since learning about those vehicles, I’d hoped to see one at the King Ranch Museum, which is located in downtown Kingsville.


The “Running W” brand of the King Ranch can be seen on the sign.

On our arrival at the museum, we stepped inside only to find out that no photographs were allowed. So, the only photo from the museum is the one above.

That said, they also didn’t have any jeep-related vehicles on display, but they did have a beautifully modified Buick the family purchased for ranch hunting. The custom vehicle was so impressive, that Popular Science did a full article on it with lots of photos. You can read the entire January 1950 article online (pg 99). Below are a few clips from the article:


The King Ranch Buick landed on the cover of the January 1950 issue.


This car was really cool!


The front of the Buick hid a winch. You wouldn’t know it though when looking at the front of the car.


The car also came with a variety of items hidden in nooks.

We found the museum lacked a useful history or beginning place. For example, a simple timeline showing how the ranch grew, how large it was at its peak, and how large it is today would have been great to see. In fact, I’ve learned more online that I did at the museum regarding the ranch’s history. Still, there were some neat individual exhibits that demonstrated the ranch’s breading expertise.

After the ranch, we decided to head for Corpus Christi and get settled earl so I could finish eWillys before midnight 🙂

We have a couple places to visit on Saturday. We will probably end up outside of Houston Saturday night.

 (Want to see more of the 2015 Texas Trip? View the posts from the beginning)



3 Comments on “Friday May 8 — The King Ranch

  1. Bill

    I live on the edge of the old King Ranch finishing, or fatting up ranch lands in Chester County PA. It was the Buck and Doe Farms (formal name), the King Ranch to the locals,
    us. In the heyday there were thousands of Santa Gertrudis cattle here brought in by train. Used to be cowboys on horseback, yes jeeps and Dodge Power Wagons as the norm here in the 1950s. There used to be a stock yard, the same as Chicago, in Lancaster, PA. A family member still owns some of the old ranch and with the drought in TX, cattle were again shipped here a few years ago – it was like old times.

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Bill: I didn’t see a single mention of the Pennsylvania property. Interesting to know!

    Bob: We are in Houston tonight, so we are far away now.

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