Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Laredo, Texas

Heading out of Utopia yesterday morning, there was a lot of deer. And a few antelope. I guess this part of Texas is where the deer and the antelope play. And we think we saw an elk, but it was behind the fence of one of the hunting ranches, so although it was wild, it was captive.

And quite a few roadkill deer as well. It’s no wonder people who live around that area have big “cow catchers” on the front of their pickup trucks. And even some of the cars had them. But we were lucky and so were the deer we drove by!

Stopped in Uvalde and used their library internet, but only for a short time because we had some driving to do yesterday.

A tree growing in the middle of the intersection.

It had been fairly scenic up until Uvalde, but after that it was just flat scrub brush land. A few oil and gas companies at work, but not really much else. Can’t see why anybody would live in the area between Uvalde and Laredo unless you’re in the oil and gas business.

Our goal when we enter Mexico on Sunday morning is to have full fuel tank, full propane, full fresh water, and empty holding tanks. So as we entered the Laredo area, we got on the I-35, but only for a few miles. At one intersection, there is a Flying J, a Travel Centers of America (T/A), and a Pilot Travel Center. All three were huge truck stops, and the truck traffic was heavy. I remember this from the last time we were in Laredo, that there was an awful lot of truck traffic. Anyhow, we figured that one of these three places had to have propane. We saw a big propane tank at the T/A, so went and filled up with gas first at $2.659 ($0.73 per litre). But that tank was located in the truck parking area and we couldn’t get to it without exiting the car and RV area first. As we were exiting, we saw the propane tank at the Flying J. So, across the street to Flying J.

For those of you who aren’t RV’ers, Flying J is known to cater to RV’s. They have special lanes for fueling, and they have dump stations in those lanes. The dump stations used to be free, but last year they started charging $10 to use them. You can also park overnight at Flying J’s for free. But we’ve never been big on Flying J. Staying overnight would be very noisy, and given a choice we’ve always been able to find a Walmart when necessary. Also, Flying J’s are usually beside an interstate highway, and we are usually not near an interstate.

So we pull into the propane lane at the Flying J, and there’s a telephone there that you have to pick up for service. I get on the phone, and a girl comes on saying “sorry, we don’t have anybody available to give you propane.”
The place is a zoo, and obviously is busy nonstop. I couldn’t believe they didn’t have anybody on staff to serve propane. The girl gets the manager on the phone for me. I ask him to serve me the propane, since I figure if he’s the manger he must be competent in all areas of the business. Apparently not. He says they don’t have anybody licenced to fill propane. I ask if he knows anywhere close that sells propane, he says he thinks the T/A across the street does.

So, back across the street, and into the truck parking area. Nope, they don’t sell propane. The tank we saw on their property was for their use. So, across the highway to the Pilot Center. Nope, no propane there either.

So now, even less impressed with Flying J, we headed into Laredo.

They’ve done some construction here recently, our our TomTom GPS hasn’t kept up with it. Not very impressed with that either, but we’ll save that for another post. Anyhow, made one wrong turn but got ourselves back on track and with the help of the GPS coordinates listed in our new Mexican Camping book, we made it to Lake Casa Blanca State Park. We’ve decided that this is where we’ll stay for two nights to relax a bit and make sure we have everything in order for crossing the border.

Using the internet at the campground entrance, I found a propane place a couple of miles away. Went in the office and asked the ranger if this was the most convenient place to buy propane, and it was. So before getting parked up in the campground we went and filled up with propane. Now Sherman has a full fuel tank, and a full propane tank.

The campsite is $15 a night, but the day use fee is $4 per person, so really it’s costing us $23 a night to camp. Next time we do Texas, we will buy a yearly state park pass for $60 that eliminates the day use fee. This way, we will not feel bad about stopping at a park just to go for a day hike. We figure the park is slightly less than half full, but it seems quite a few of them are here long term. We did stop and talk to one couple from Quebec who have been to Mexico before, but are sticking to the U.S. side this year.

The sign said to watch for snakes at this park, so we did. And we found a pair having a little wrestling match. Or a funny kind of mating game. Not sure.

Watched “Hidalgo”, and “The Other Man in the Moon”, or something like that. It wasn’t a very memorable movie, so we can’t remember the exact title! But Hidalgo was good entertainment.

Whiskey’s leaking problem seems to be pretty much gone, so the pills are doing what they’re supposed to do. Keeping fingers crossed!

Yesterdays drive. 175 miles (280 kms)


  1. Kevin and Ruth,

    Save travels tomorrow! Also happy that Whisky is doing so much better. Take care for now.

    John and Ellen

  2. Happy and safe travels!!

    Big hugs coming to you from Gulf Shores, AL!!


  3. Glad to hear that Whisky is doing well. Travel safe.

  4. John and Ellen...Thanks John and Ellen, we will take as much care as possibe. Whiskey thanks you too. She is happy she is doing better.

    Freely Living Life...Thank you. Hope you are enjoying the gulf coast.

    Gail...Thanks you as well.

  5. Glad to hear Whiskey is doing so much better.

    Good luck crossing into Mexico and travel safe.


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