By Linda Elissalde
Neil Diamond sang out, “They’re Coming To America.” However on March 4, 2017 the lyrics could have been, “They’re Coming To The Peninsula!” The Houston Area Trails & More (HATs) and Aquila District Boy Scouts arrived by cars, buses, trailers, and/or ferry to the Bolivar Peninsula for very special reasons. HATs are people who enjoy hiking and camping around Houston and beyond. The group was founded on November 2, 2010 and now boasts 12,671 members. They hike many places, mostly in Texas, but are affiliated with a group in San Francisco, California. The peninsula hike is an annual event. Over 85 people signed up this year to hike 8 miles around the area near the ferry.
Dewitt C. Greer landed joyful participants at 10:00 AM on Saturday. Organizer April Matteis stated that the group included beginning, medium and advanced hikers. Everyone walked at their own speed and level of ability. Upon arrival they hiked along the coast line as far as tides and weather permitted. Next they turned toward the North Jetty. Here the walkers covered 300 yards of paved surface while looking at oyster beds and birds. Ft. Travis came next. Hikers covered the perimeter of the park and climbed up and over the bunkers. The finale was a visit to Port Bolivar with a return by the old lighthouse and Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary. Left on Overton Street brought the group back toward the ferry. What an exuberant crowd they were! No one looked tired.
Now when the HATs traveled through Ft. Travis, they discovered the Aquila District Boy Scouts from the Sam Houston Area Council. These Boy Scouts were celebrating their annual Spring Camporee. Bolivar weather was windy, overcast, cool and rainy, but it was no problem for Aquila District Scouts. Program Chairman Gordon Start graciously expressed his gratitude. Gordon stated that Ft. Travis is a prime destination each year, and everyone is most pleased with the facilities.
WOW! It’s a wonderful tribute to our peninsula that such fine people want to come and enjoy what Bolivar has to offer. We want to thank them for choosing our wonderful spot for their endeavors. As we in the South love to say, “Yawl come back now, you hear.”