March 3 to 10, 2006 - Rockport and Rio Grande Valley of Texas

March 3rd we drove over to Corpus Christi and shopped for yarn for Diane's Plastic Canvas projects.  After lunch at an On The Border we drove to Gulf Waters RV Resort in Port Aransas to visit with Jan and Chris (Chris is male, Jan is female, these are both names for either sex.).  Bill and Chris had exchanged emails since they both frequent some of the same user groups.  We had a wonderful visit and ended up leaving after 8PM.  While we were visiting another couple that both Bill and Chris corresponded with came by, Geri and Bruce, who also have a website:

We worried it was going to be a long ferry wait to get home and we ended up driving right on and the ferry left a couple minutes later.  We ended up at the Whataburger in Rockport for dinner, we didn't eat a big enough lunch to skip the meal.  Whataburger is nothing special, but they are open 24 hours.

On the 4th we drove 172 miles of good road, mostly US77, to Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley.   On the way Bill saw a pair of Aplomado Falcons in a tree, he was happy to see such a rare bird.

The campground office was supposed to be open, but was closed and wasn't going to be open until the 6th.  They left us a note saying what campsite to use so we went to it.  There was a pickup truck with Quebec plates in the spot.  Luckily another Quebec neighbor helped us find the owner and they moved the pickup.  We thought we were getting a 50AMP spot and this one was 30AMP, so we would only be able to run one air conditioner and it was supposed to be 89 on Wednesday.  We barely fit in our campsite, though we found out later we could extend behind us since they were not going to rent the spot.

March 5th we went to South Padre Island.

March 6th we drove all the way west to Penitas and then came back via the Military Highway/Road.  Here are some views of the houses and such on our trip through the windshield:

This is the outside of a "Ropa" where they sell clothes by the pound.  The clothes come in bundled like this:

For some it is a lot of fun to dig through the clothes and buy new outfits for just a few dollars.

Somewhat rundown houses and nice new ones:

Some nice landscape plants:

This house has a Norfolk Island Pine and an internet satellite dish:


There are also large warehouses from the companies that manufacture in Mexico, all within eight miles of the border.  The Mexican trucks can only come in eight miles since Mexico does not have air pollution laws comparable to the United States, so the goods are brought to these warehouses and then U.S. or Canadian trucks move them further north.  Name a major manufacturer and you will probably find their name on a building or sign in this area.

March 6th came and the office was open so they gave us a nicer spot with 100Amp service, which is two 50Amp plugs.  This is the equivalent of 200Amp house service and some fancy 45 foot motorhomes use it.  We only used one of the plugs.  Here is our new campsite:

It took 25' of sewer hose for this site.  Our neighbor in front feeds and waters the birds so Evita has entertainment.

We were close to a small lake in the campground, here are pictures of the lake area and wildlife.

The forecast was for it to be breezy on the 7th and windy on the 8th so we headed to Santa Ann National Wildlife Refuge on the 7th.  Unfortunately it was fairly windy, but here are our adventures.

The 8th was very windy and the locals complained about it, so we knew it was worse than normal.  We did manage to get out and get haircuts, $5 for Bill and $8 for Diane, and we were very happy with the results.  Reney's Hair Salon in San Benito gets our recommendation.

We did not do much on the 9th and 10th, just some exploring without taking pictures.  The wind was way down the 9th and it was almost calm on the 10th.  It did get hot and Brownsville tied its high record on the 9th of 90 degrees. 

We found we liked the Rio Grande Valley and expect to be back.  Next time we will stay further west since that is where we expect to spend our time.

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