jenn June 21st, 2016
So there was the time, back in 2013, that we met Doc Baxter. We were camped at Gilchrist Beach, a free spot ¼ of a mile up the beach from Rollover Pass. Well, we thought it was free. The paperwork said it was free. However, on the weekend, a lady rolls up and tells us we have to move or buy a pass. She said that we weren’t in the free area and handed us the paper that shows the designation. Funny thing, the paper was the same one I read online before we got there. It said we were OK where we were. I pointed it out to her, to which she said that she had never actually read it before. She went on and later came back with a revised version that said we were in the wrong spot LOL. She said that we could finish our stay but next time, we had to get a pass or stay in the other area.
Anyway, this is the story of Doc Baxter, not how we camped in a pay area on the Texas Coast for free due to outdated paperwork.
One afternoon, while walking Rain, I ran into a man fishing with a kitten at his side. Rain took an interest in the kitten and the guy seemed cool with it. We started to chat while Rain and the kitten play. Nothing too memorable. Just small talk.
Later that afternoon, he stops by and offers us some fish. We’d already eaten, so we declined. He takes a seat, and we chat for a while. At one point we talk about camping down on Padre Island. That’s when he tells us his story.
A couple years back, he had let a couple of Navy SEALs camp in his rig on South Padre Island. They had to go somewhere in a hurry and didn’t want anyone to break in. They wrote a note and left it on the door. It said that the camper was booby-trapped and anyone trying to gain entry would be maimed. They taped a fake grenade to it.
Someone got curious and wanted to see what the sign said. They called the police and reported it. It became a huge deal. The area got shut down. The bomb squad was called in. It was all over the news.
He said that while all this was going on, he was sitting in the hospital unaware of any of it.
We sat around joking and talking about other things that don’t really stand out anymore. Eventually, we called it a night and he headed home.
The next morning he shows up and asks if we can help him. His RV was stuck in the sand. Of course we said we would.
We ended up hooking our van to his truck that was connect to the RV. One of us manned each vehicle. After a few tugs and some broken straps, we got the RV out. We helped him get it to his new spot and then parted ways. We’ll probably never see him again, but I’ll never forget the days spent with Doc Baxter. He’s had quite a journey.