How many sand castles have I built on South Padre Island since I started in 1983?
Thousands, certainly and possibly even tens of thousands if you count all the lessons I have given. I have joked that it is a good thing they all turn back into piles of sand or you'd be tripping over one every time you turned around...
But what it you could make them last?
My partner, Amazin' Walter (the other half of the Sons of the Beach) and I have long had good luck keeping sculptures standing in our sandbox at the South Padre Island Visitor's Center -- not so great a challenge when you consider it is protected from rain, wind and high tide by the building itself -- and from naughty children by the people who work there. But what if we could build them in such a way that they could withstand tropical rains and the occasional freeze and grabby-handed kiddos and drunk spring breakers and business-doing dogs and so on and so forth?
Well, if we could do that, we could create a sand castle trail the length and breadth of South Padre Island -- and folks would come from miles around to marvel at what can be done with sand; to have their pictures taken with them; perhaps to play a "scavenger hunt" type of game to see as many of the sculptures as they can during their stay. The trail will drive traffic into businesses and it will give tourists another reason to visit South Padre Island - especially in the off season.
Over the past year I have been refining my technique and am now confident that I can cover this island up with sand sculptures that look like something that you would find on the beach -- but are in fact as hard and as durable as concrete.
Welcome to the South Padre Island Sand Castle Trail: Please don't kick the sculptures -- you might hurt your foot!
"Pedestal" (SandBox Inn)
Built in July of 2010, photographed in Sept. of 2011