Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, June 10, 2013

On The Border

First off...  here's wishing my brother a big "Happy Birthday".  He's the best brother a girl could have and while we don't see each other often these days, I know he's always there for me.  What a great "growing up" we had...  those memories bring a big smile every time I think of him.  So... Happy 74th, Larry!

Bill and I are no longer "guarders of the gate"...   
Yesterday morning we got our rig ready to go...
 All's ready except hooking up the Scion...

Shortly after 9am our replacement arrived...
 That huge rig will take up a lot more space then our Lazy Daze....  
We turned over our safety vests, our paperwork, and our name tags.
We worked a total of 8 weeks...  checked off one more item on our bucket list, and headed south.
I know not everyone wants to be a gate guard, but we did....  and enjoyed it far more than we expected to.

We drove down Rt 83 to Laredo...  
 We never did figure out why the center line is divided.  Of course we made jokes about it being the bicycle lane...  yeah, right!  Can you imagine riding a bike with those huge trucks whizzing by you on both sides.  Got on I35 for a short distance...  then back on Rt 83, from Laredo to McAllen.  Our destination was Alamo, Texas, where we'll stay at the Alamo Rose RV Park for a few days.

Rt 83 runs parallel to the Rio Grande River...  which is, of course, the boundary between the USA and Mexico...  
 That controversial fence is visible at times......  

We arrived at the RV park last evening and quickly got settled into a site.  The park that holds 500 rigs now has about 40 occupants.  Our arrival was quickly noticed. Although the office was closed until today, we were told to pull into any site we wanted.  In fact, the person (maintenance?) even found us a relatively shady spot.  We've stayed here several times in the past so are familiar with all the facilities. 

We came here for several reasons...  it's been a year since I had my teeth cleaned and I felt long overdue.  A trip across the border into Nuevo Progresso was at the top of today's agenda..
 The Rio Grande looks really lush and beautiful here.  I'll have to say that most times we're in this area it appears more muddy and not so pretty.

We park ($2.00... all day) on the US side and walk across the International Bridge...  midway is this sign...
 Bill's smack dab in the middle....  half in each country.
I think the last time we crossed it cost 25c to get through the turn-stile.  The cost has gone up... now it's 50c 
Ahhhhh....  prices go up everywhere!

The first thing you see after crossing the bridge and entering the city is this...
 I love the monuments and statues that we see so much of in other countries.  Am I not looking or is this something the US doesn't do as much of?

Well, the "Winter Texans" have all returned to the US or Canada by now, so the main street isn't nearly as crowded.
 The vendors are still set up and wanting your business.  The streets did get quite a bit busier before we left a couple hours later, but still, these folks must have to make their money during the winter months - just not many tourists when it gets hot.

I found the dentist office where I usually go...  got a thorough cleaning for $25.  Guess I'm good to go for another 6 months... or maybe longer.

Of course we had to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants...
 Bill had "camerones veracruz"...  and I had bacon wrapped shrimp....  Yummy!
This was the first time we've eaten out since early April, so it was a real treat.

We headed over to Jessica's Farmacia after lunch.  I use (over the counter) Zyrtec to help control my allergies, and can buy it so much cheaper in Mexico.  The cost for a bottle of 100 tablets is $20.  I could buy my prescription drugs there as well, but am fortunate in that our drug plan is comparable.

The wind started blowing and a few sprinkles hit us as we headed back across the border.
Interesting...  it only costs 25c to go through the turn-stile to return to the US....
Although we had our passports with us, that young couple in this photo don't have passports and had their birth certificates with them.  They had been here to have dental work done...  the guy had 2 teeth extracted, and had them replaced with either implants or caps (I'm not sure)... but I couldn't tell his "new" teeth from his own.  He said it cost $400 for the work.

We headed back to Alamo...  made a stop at Santa Ana NWR along the way.
You can sure tell it's off season for everything!  We saw one white-wing dove...  we did hear the kiskadees calling, but didn't have our binoculars with us.

Tomorrow we'll head for a Barnes and Noble, as well as one of the RV supply stores here.  Neither of us are big shoppers, but every now and then a person just has to get caught up on stuff.  A few days and we'll be ready to hit the road again.

That's All For Today!


  1. Did you know that the Camping World store in Mission has closed?? That was the very first Camping World that we ever visited, and it seemed huge at the time. Each time we went back it seemed a little smaller and dingier, until last winter when we found it closed!!

    Have fun in the Valley...


  2. I will miss you at the gate, taking all those bird and other wildlife pictures. I sure did enjoy your stay.

  3. Been a while since I've been there... that's exactly where I saw the turnip wagon ... ;)

    I looked up camerones veracruz... shrimp! sounds deeelicious and yes, the Rio Grande is usually not very pretty ... first picture I've seen of 'that' bridge... not as mean looking as I had imagined.

  4. Inquiring minds have to know--did you operate the turnstile with quarters one way and pesos (or the 25 centavo equivalent) the other way? And, happy wandering.

  5. I'm thinking I need to break down and do some clothes shopping too. I think it's been about five years.

    You really are down south. It's a long way to anywhere from there. Where are you going next?

  6. Wow it's amazing how fast those 8 weeks of gate guarding have gone by and it has been interesting and informative for me to see your wildlife captures. You and Bill do have the most unusual adventures, Sharon, and I am looking forward to the next one. Hope you will be able to get back to reading and commenting as well.

  7. Boy, that gate guarding time went by fast, or so it seems.... maybe not so fast for those doing the work :) can't wait to see where you are going to next. love all the bird picture that you get...

  8. Am anxiously awaiting your next adventure! I've had lots of dental work done in both Nogales and Algodones--no problems. I am going to remember that about the Zyrtec which I also take.

  9. I wonder if the double yellow lines down the middle of the road are to accommodate extra-wide loads. It sounds like all the Minnesota "snow-birds" have left Texas.

  10. You folks sure stay on the move! It seems your gate-guard job went by awfully fast!

  11. Yeah there is not much to see at Santa Ana at this time of the's a good time to get out of Dodge.

  12. Have fun in the valley. Lots of good TexMex at Don Beto's. They now have several locations. Love their breakfasts not to mention their lunch specials. Progresso is always a fun day trip. What's next?