I grabbed a cup of coffee from the OXXO store across from the Dolores Hotel and left Aldama about 7:30, heading North on Federal highway 180, which I have been following off and on from Merida, toward the border crossing at Matamoros and Brownsville.
The roads were excellent all day so I was able to travel at about 70 mph for most of the day. I drove until 8:00 pm, with only a brief stop about 11:00 to eat a cantaloupe from my garden and once for gas.
I crossed the border, paying the $23. peso fee to leave Mexico only to find that no one at the gate would stamp my Mexican FM 3 visa to note I was leaving the country, which is required. So after passing through the USA border control station the USA customs folks very nicely helped me do a U turn. I entered Mexico, paying $23. pesos to enter, was waved over by Mexican officials for a look in the back of my truck, and was instructed that to have my visa stamped I must go to another border crossing, the Puerta Nueva. So off I went to Puerta Nueva, passed through the gate, again paid $23. pesos, the Mexican authorities showed me where to park and opened a gate through which I could pass to access the immigration office, and eventually got my visa stamped. So now I know.
From Brownsville I followed US highway 83, that snakes its way along the Rio Grande. It was almost as though I hadn’t left Mexico. I stopped for the night in Carrizo Springs, Texas, a hundred milesor so f rom Del Rio, where I happened upon a nice motel for $45. per night that consists of one story concrete block buildings constructed in the 1950s before construction of the interstate freeway system cut into its business. Though the building is old, the room is very nice, with air conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave, and a TV with a zillion, or so, channels. A very nice fellow from San Francisco bought the hotel a year ago and is now remodeling and modernizing the buildings.
To complete my day I watched a Bob Dylan documentary.
Along the way during the day I happened upon a fellow with his herd of cows grazing along the side of the highway confined within an electric fence which I assume the fellow moves along the road, thus obtaining low cost feed for his herd. All through Mexico, as well in Texas, one happens upon cows, horses, goats, and donkeys tethered along the roads feeding.
Along Highway 83 there were tornado evacuation route signs, which struck me as more ludicrous than the tsunami evacuation signs one finds along the coast in Washington State. I mean, if one encounters a tornado wouldn’t one head away from the twister? At least with a tsunami one knows where it will land, even though the two lane tsunami evacuation routes leading away from the coast will be so bollixed that folks won’t be able to escape. A tornado, on the other hand, has no established route. So how can one establish an evacuation route?
Tomorrow it’s on to Eagle Pass, where I will again join the Rio Grande and then on to Del Rio from where I will take US Highway 90, still trending to the Northwest heading for Santa Fe.
The Courier has not skipped a beat and is remarkably comfortable for the cheapest little pickup truck I could find. I have now had two days of driving for 13 hours and am without aches and pains.