End of Kleberg County Road 1120
I didn’t know whether or not the Michael Troy was named for the Olympic swimmer who won gold in 1960, but finding the boat’s lifeless hull shore-bound on this remote lake did give me pause. Laguna Salada is a quiet, little-known backwater that connects Los Olmos Creek to Baffin Bay and is largely protected from the Coastal Bend’s persistent winds. Frequented by only a few hard-core fishermen, it is a truly lonely place; as I lowered my kayak, stepping gingerly into the soft mud, a startled blue heron croaked at my presence. I launched into the water in a reflective mood. Snowy egrets worked the tide pools. A clutch of white ibis flew overhead. Trying to decide whether to head inland to Los Olmos Creek or cross Baffin Bay and paddle the ambitious 25 miles to South Padre Island, I compromised, following the shoreline to the north, past Williamson Boat Works and its maritime cranes and boat ramp. I continued some 6 miles, rounding the bend to Cayo del Grullo, paddling until I spied the fishing pier and bright-white seashell beach of Kaufer-Hubert Memorial Park. When I returned to Laguna Salada, I felt at peace, lost to the scene’s tranquility, like the Michael Troy.
To get there: From Kingsville, drive 17 miles south on Interstate 77, then turn east onto FM 771. If you plan to kayak or try wade or bank fishing, take Kleberg CR 1120 to the access at road’s end (keep straight when the road bears left onto CR 1145). If you have a motorized skiff or don’t want to leave your vehicle unwatched, drive to the Williamson Boat Works, at the end of FM 1546, where there is a boat ramp and parking strip (though little else). Leave $2 in the mailbox at the ramp.