Thursday 2 April 2020

Back in the USA

WHERE ARE WE? Winter Haven Resort, Winter Haven Texas

I got a few pictures of the compound that we stayed in overnight.  There are a few of these around the country and for like 100 pesos you can stay there with a fence around you and security guards on duty all night long.  This is mainly for truckers but they will let anyone who wants to spot them a few pesos, park there.

There is a nice Gas/Max truck stop called La Estation outside the fence with fuel and a restaurant made out of an old railcar.  It seems like they are trying to make this into some kind of a railway museum.  I'm sure there is a story that goes with this but we didn't have time to find out the details.

The truck driver next to us had a travelling companion and was all happy to let me take a picture of his mascot!!

So we took on 2000 peso's worth of fuel at 18.99 per liter and off we went.  I figured out what we would need to get us to Brownsville and added a little margin for error so we should be good without fuel today.

Our travels today took us through some gorgeous country and if we were not trying to make a few miles and get into the USA, I'm sure there are hundreds of sights to visit on this route.  Maybe on our return trip we will check out where our friends Kevin and Ruth have visited and check out those spots.  We did a little over 600 kms today plus the border crossing so we were pushing the envelope.

We went through a few neat tunnels today as well.

There are lots of overpasses along the route as well and when we came over one hill you could see them for miles in the distance. They are very pretty all painted white.

We had a funny thing happen today as we were travelling.  If you remember we are travelling with our generator running to keep the battery charged and after a while you get used to the hum and don't notice it.  We JoLynn radio's us that they are stopping for fuel so because we didn't need any, we chose to park in a gravel parking area next to the gas station.  JoLynn happened to have her camera in hand just when we pulled in.  Now the exhaust pipe for the generator faces down and the fan for the rad directs all the air down as well so you can imagine what happened.  Well you don't really have to imagine because here are the pictures she took.  I was sure she was going to pee herself laughing and I'm sure this will be a joke for a long time.  I'm sure she will make sure it gets on the La Penita Facebook site and for sure it will be on the big screen next year at the park.

To add insult to injury the AC intake must be near the front somewhere because as we are turning around I look over and dust is pouring out of the air ducts and filling the Ponderosa with dust.  Sue is yelling turn it off and I am trying to drive and turn off the AC.  Not sure why I didn't turn off the generator too, but like I said before, I sort of forgot it was running!!!  At least we will have some dusting to do while we are stopped at the RV Park for a week or so. Good thing there were no other people near by.

One of the things that has been quite expensive and slow you down a lot are all of the tolls.  In our 2 days of travel we have stopped at 15 toll booths and paid  3733 pesos ($212.35 CND) in tolls.  I think this was probably twice as expensive as our trip down last fall from Lukeville.   Although the tolls are expensive the highways are super.  All 4 lane and smooth.  If you want to make time this is the way to travel.  Most of the time the speed limit is 110 kms/hr.  Most of today we travelled mainly on highway 101 which is a free road so most of the tolls were paid yesterday.  Even the free road was pretty good.  There were a few roughish spots but nothing you had to really slow down much for.  We are totally impressed with the highways in Mexico but realize that some of the smaller free roads may not be so well maintained and if you are going to travel there, you have to take care.  We hope to travel some of those roads less travelled next fall on our way back.

So anyone travelling in Mexico on a lot of two lane highways will notice that there are white dotted lines on the shoulder side of the road and there is a fairly wide shoulder.  I love these because when someone is coming or someone wants to pass you just pull over and straddle the white line and the car can pass even if someone is coming the other way because they pull over as well making three lanes of travel.  The Mexican driving is amazing because they all accommodate each other and watch out for each other while forging aggressively ahead.  It is a whole different driving style but it works.

Another thing on my bucket list is to see the Monarch butterfly migration or where they winter.  Their winter grounds are quite a ways south of our travels but there are a couple of fly ways that we cross along the way and they have signs to warn you to slow down.  They say the sky is black with butterflies when they come through here on their migration either north or south.  Would be fun to see.  We did see a couple butterflies cross in front of us.  Better than nothing!!!

We didn't take any pictures of the border crossing at Veterans International Bridge Los Tomates but we did have to thread the needle to get in to turn in our immigration cards and TIPS.  You would think they could figure out something a little easier for us poor old RVers!!  Oh well we survived.  And the Americans decided they wanted to have a good look at us and pulled us over and checked all our bays and inside.  We think maybe something was going on today because we got searched by a soldier with an M16 earlier today as well.  Brian and JoLynn had the guy taking out their speakers in the ceiling and underneath looking under the insulated cover.   Neither of the searches were intimidating and we fully understand that they NEED to be doing this kind of thing.  That is what keeps us safe.  Any way we made it into Texas. 

And for anyone who was wondering how my old pilot skills were working figuring out the fuel consumption, I think I did pretty good.  I had to figure in an extra 40 liters for running the generator all day.  The reason I did this was because the difference in fuel prices even with the exchange on the US dollar indicates that fuel is about 30 cents a liter cheaper in the US.  On a 300 liter fill that is a $90.00 saving.  Sue and I can push the motorhome a long way with the Jeep to save that kind of money.  We have done it before!!!  Before everyone starts to panic I have run it down this low before and there is approximately 80 liters left when the needle touches empty.  I will let everyone know how much I put in it when we fill up when we leave.  Hope everyone else takes a chance once in a while too.  The adrenaline rush is good for your heart!!!

So we are all parked up with Brian and JoLynn for a while in Winter Haven RV Resort in Brownsville Texas.  We have booked in for a week so we can do some repairs and just chill for a while and let the weather warm up in the north before slowly meandering that ways.  Chillin is good, but not in your long johns type chillin!!!  Stay warm everyone.


  1. Glad you made it through Tamaulipas okay... that's not a route I would have recommended.

  2. There was no problem but certainly a military and police presence all the way.

  3. Barb starts to panic anytime we get below 1/4 of a tank. I am more like you and figure it is no big deal but dealing with her stressed out is just not worth it!

  4. Glad to hear you are back in the US safe and sound. Nope that is an adrenaline rush we don't need. At 1/4 tank, we are stopping the rig. :)

  5. Running out of gas is not my idea of excitement. Glad you figured good. I hope they put everything back when they finished their search. Welcome to the good ole USA.


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