Houston 2012: Awl Bidness, Big Bridges, Too Much Food, RUSH…

Hadn’t missed a RUSH tour since about 1988, seen them a total of nine times.  This tour, not only did they give Omaha a pass, they missed KC, Des Moines, Denver…and I refuse to give Chicago my business if I can avoid it.  Had it narrowed down to ATL or HOU, but American wouldn’t let me use my miles to Atlanta.  Houston was on a Sunday which meant dirt-cheap Enterprise rentals.  And it ain’t like you have to twist my arm to get me to Texas!

Four American legs on MadDog-80s, but by way of comparison United wanted me on Regional Jets and multi-stop is more fun, anyways.  I liked United better when it was called Continental…Due to fog in Omaha, I had fifteen minutes to get from one end of DFW terminal A to the other!

Strange, last year I flew to DFW on United, this year I flew to Houston on American.  Nothing sez Ghe-tto like flying to another airline’s hub 🙂 although I did see my first Airbus A380!


Minutes after leaving Bush Intergalactic Airport.  Kia Optima–nice car, needed to be RainX-ed but that goes for every rental car.  I don’t see why Sarah’s all gripped, She’s driven in LA and I haven’t…

First stop, Tanger Outlet Mall in Texas City.  Got out of the car and I could smell the Gulf.  Almost cried.  Marriott SpringHill Suites in Baytown.  Red Lobster for dinner, mercifully Nebraska v. Wisconsin wasn’t on the TV in the bar.


Staying in Baytown meant I would be doing a lot more driving this weekend than necessary, but I had a reason.  I mentioned on Facebook on Sunday morning that I was going to treat Sarah to the Goose Creek Oil Field, and I wasn’t playin’.  These photos are within fifty feet of the site of the first scene in Wayne/Hutton’s Hellfighters, the best damn movie ever made.  (To be fair, a lot of reviewers absolutely hate the flick, and I can see why.  Hutton had one facial expression, and his idea of dialogue was to wait until Wayne stopped talking then go “Uh-huh” or something similar.  And lots of aggressive cigarette smoking.  A different time…)


And this is the offshore portion of the field.  At one time, this wasn’t offshore…

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Couple views of a workover rig, the only time you’ll see anything close to a drilling rig in this old field.  Really, I had to go out of my way to find an oil field in Houston, counter to the popular opinion.


Tanker in the Houston Ship Channel, seconds away from the ExxonMobil terminal.

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A few views of stack interchanges.  Beltway 8 is a beautiful road.


Webster, along IH-45.  Click on the above photo and you’ll see a Steak ‘n Shake sign.  Building’s been up since February and the store still isn’t open.  Some franchisees are more equal than others, I guess.  The official line is that they want to make sure the staff gets trained, but nine months?

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Galveston.  I suppose there are prettier beaches, but this one didn’t cost anything to get to.  84F each day, gloriously humid.  The distance shot up the beach shows blowing sand and sea mist.

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Some representative views from the beach and the Galveston-Bolivar ferry.     Ships are backed out miles into the Gulf, waiting to get to the ports on Galveston, Texas City and all along the Houston Ship Channel.

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Views along TX-225, my new favorite urban freeway.  Mile upon mile of petrochemical plants, along with container docks and assorted heavy industry.  I would never get tired of this drive.  I wish I’d had time to drive it at night.

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The Fred Hartman Bridge (TX-146) in Baytown, over the Ship Channel.  I’ve seen ocean-going ship-height cable-stayed bridges in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia, but they never get old.

DSC00037And this wouldn’t either.  The BW8 Sam Houston Ship Channel Bridge.  Built before cable-stayed became commonplace, and more impressive because of it!  Not every bridge has warning signs to tell you that it might be closed for ice or high winds.  Ice on a two mile long bridge is nothing to sneeze at, neither is fifty-mile an hour winds when you’re 150 feet up!  The most outrageous bridge since the old Chain Of Rocks in Saint Louis, but more so because you can still drive on this one…

28739_10152283708750063_1531797027_nDinner at Cheddar’s…And, finally–our view of the RUSH concert, the raisin d etter (like they say in Texas) for the whole enterprise.  High up on Geddy’s side, bass PA right in front of me, so I barely heard Al’s guitar or the strings.  Heard Neil’s drums, though…and a sucky seat at a RUSH show is still a great seat!

(Ahem, ten shows now!)

Monday, outlet mall again, Steak ‘n Shake in Pearland, Baskin-Robins in Pearland, and forty miles on BW8 to get to the airport…during rush hour…after the white-knuckle plane-change going down, we only had to go from the south side of A to the north end of C in fifteen minutes, (grumblegrumble).  Last flight DFW-OMA on a Monday night meant the plane was 25% full, we had rows to ourselves.

There will come a time when RUSH will cut way back on their touring, so I better get ready for hauls like this in the future.  I really have no room to complain, lots of my friends go cross-country to see the first show of each tour, and while I’m puffing my chest about my tenth show, more than a few see ten shows a tourI’m ready to travel…


Author: Damon Hynes

Used to chase tornadoes, until Ma Nature ran out of them...

3 thoughts on “Houston 2012: Awl Bidness, Big Bridges, Too Much Food, RUSH…”

  1. Looks like a great trip and good scenery but I would not be able to go into water that brown. Spoiled by the Atlantic off New England which is clear as drinking water (and, unfortunately, cold enough to float an iceburg ).

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