Words from MarileeDecember 3, 2003
We have now been on the road for a little over 2 months. We spent 2 months seeing part of Texas. We started in the Northeast part of Texas taking our time getting down to the Gulf coast at Port Arthur. We mostly followed the coast around to Brownsfield, with a few trips inland to see areas close to the coast that we wanted to see. This included going to San Antonio to see a very dear friend, the Alamo and other attractions in the area. Along the coast, we spent a few nights dry camping on the beach where it was allowed. This was a wonderful experience, seeing the sun set over the Gulf when looking out over the Western horizon, the moon shinning on the water at night, looking at the stars in a clear sky, listening to the sounds of the surf, walking on the beach, playing in the water, seeing the different coastal birds like Pelicans and getting to watch some porpoises at play. At one area, we took a ferry over to the island. Then it was necessary to spend a few hours cleaning the sand off and out of our RV, but it was well worth it. The temperatures for Oct. and Nov. were generally in the 80’s in the day and upper 60’s to low 70’s at night. Perfect!
At Brownsville, we started North, Northwest following the Rio Grande River around the Southern border up to El Paso. The Rio Grande River is the dividing border of the United States and Mexico. This area had many interesting things to see and do. The Spanish that Howard remembers from over 40 years ago has been helpful to me, as I do not remember any of it. Many names of places are of Spanish origin, some street and highway signs are in both English and Spanish and it seems like most of the people in this area are bilingual. If I were going to be in this area for any length of time, I would be taking a refresher course to my High School Spanish. The landscape of this area started changing around Del Rio from the flat area that we had been in, to limestone hills and
Canyons, with an occasional road sign at a dirt cross road saying it led to a "Box Canyon". As we were close to the border, we saw many "Border Patrol" cars and several times, we were required to pull over at their checkpoints. At some of the checkpoints, they had what I presume was drug sniffing dogs. This was not a hassle as the just looked into your vehicle, asked if we were both United State citizens, and then told to have a nice day. A few times, we did see them searching a car for some reason, but not us, yet. We stopped at the Pecos River Bridge to take some pictures of us crossing to the West
Along the way, we have seen some things that we thought were unusual or humorous. One sign was "Tires for Rent". We are still trying to figure why someone would "Rent" tires. Another was "Bubba’s Beverage Barn", which was like a barn with a wide door that you could drive in, full up your pickup with beer and drive out the other side. Imagine, a whole pickup full of beer, (or any beverage) without having to leave your vehicle.
Gas prices have ranged from $1.18 to $1.40 a gallon in Texas. This was a welcome change as it is a lot less than we have been use to paying. Once we left Texas, the gas prices did start going up, $1.40 to $1.60. Driving on Texas roads is easy driving as most places have very wide shoulders and most all drivers will pull over on the shoulder to let you pass them. Most towns have center turn lanes so traffic moves well.
I will continue the narrative later. Be sure to check again for more about our travels.