• Sage Webb

Places Poetic, Pirates, and a Practical Joke Gone Perfect

For years, the Bosun and I have mocked Segways. They just lack *everything* ... ruggedness, sexiness, adventurousness. So for this past RV weekend on Galveston, as a joke, I booked a Sunday Segway ghost tour with SegCity Galveston. The thing is: the tour rocked! What started as a chuckle ended up giving us another nearly perfect day.

The tour started at noon, so it didn’t offer the creepy, spine-tingling goosebumps of hardcore nighttime ghost gallivanting, but it included some of the famous Galveston tree sculptures (carvings from the trunks of trees killed in Hurricane Ike) and lots of nice sightseeing, along with ghost stories. On the nimble little Segways, we covered the historic Strand district, the east-end historic homes (creepy! one includes an upper-story tomb!), and the seawall.

For the story lovers, we passed the home where one of the directors of the Wizard of Oz was born. A tree sculpture that includes the Tin Man now stands on the lawn. And we saw the house that inspired Psycho. Apparently, Alfred Hitchcock spent some time at a bed and breakfast on the island and felt the muse at work when he gazed out at a rather ominous-looking residence nearby.

After the tour, we headed to the ruins that now stand atop the foundations of Maison Rouge, the home of storied late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century pirate Jean Lafitte. Sitting across from the harbor and wharves, the ruins speak of spooky things and stories not fully told. And given its location behind an unimpressive cyclone fence, with an unremarkable historical marker, one could easily miss the place, but it constitutes one of the island’s top off-the-beaten-path sights.

Wrapping up with ice cream, we waved goodbye to this fabulous sandy, history-heavy, lazy spit of Gulf Coast beach and legend, and I jumped into Traveler’s pilot’s seat for the trek home. From that high up, even the road going the “wrong” way, and leading away from a great stay, looks good!

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