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Just In! Sandblast Scouting Report

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The following photos (and a video now in editing) were taken today during a 200-mile* fact-finding trip to the Jamaica Beach RV Park–site of this year’s Sandblast Rally II.

Salmon Michael served with potato au gratin and steamed veggies. Ed ordered the same delicious meal, too.

Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant received the SCGT’s highest 5-scooter rating.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Ron the owner while he gave us a friendly, personal guided-tour of the newly-enhanced facilities–much improvement from last year, I must say. For starters, the loose sandy, grassy area (remember the accident last year) has been replaced by concrete driveways and a huge RV lot filled from one end to the other with homes-on-wheels. A man-made pond has been installed to the right as you enter the campground gate. And beyond that, there’s a naturalistc campfire area where people can sit (on slate benches) and chill (or warm themselves with the fire). Ron mentioned that he will have the tenting area further landscaped to accommodate the April rally crowds.

Amenities. The clean and freshly-painted bathrooms (we were only allowed into the Men’s Room, of course) now each has three showers (see pics)–two with glass doors and one wheelchair-accessible. The on-site laundry facility is conveniently located between the two bathrooms on Level Two of the main building on the opposite end of the office. From the office, you can go up to the club house area for a game of pool and such. The pool down below, a good-sized one, too, and the hot tub are crystal clear and inviting. On the ground-floor of the main building, more picnic tables have been constructed to meet the needs.

Overall, this visit was an important one because it demystified a few concerns that we had, namely, the amenities, the tenting area, and the impressions I had from last year. It really made me excited about the rally this year! By the way, Ron also had this to say when asked about last year’s incident involving “someone” who might have been permanently banned from the campground–“That was just a rumor which I am not aware of.” (Yes, Jon, you can come back, really.)

ScareBear” Ed and I also had a wonderfully delicious dinner with great professional service at Gaido’s. The parmigiana-cracker-crusted-pan-fried Salmon Michael was an excellent selection. I was rather taken by the relaxing yet elegant ambiance of the establishment, too.

Bright, sunny weather, high in the mid-60’s and not a drop of sweat. Catching a glance of the light turquoise waters of the Gulf, we bid goodbye to the Texas Riviera and headed back on the road. Overall it was another fantastic day, another spectacular ride to be remembered.–Lorenzo

On-site laundry facility.

(Men’s Room) Two showers w/glass doors and another one with wheelchair-accessibility. We also found a wall-mounted hair dryer by the sink. A no-smoking-in-the-bathroom was prominently displaced by the door, so you know what to do if you don’t want to get ejected from the camp.

*Round-trip totaling 200 miles. Fuel cost (@ $3.08/gal) <$8. Dinner, an iced tea and tip=$20. Another wonderful day riding scooter with a friend, priceless.

(Update: Video is ready, enjoy!–Lorenzo)

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