the

The County Courthouse in Port Townsend, Washington.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? 7 Cedars Casino near Sequim, Washington.

Where are they going next? Somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We are now into the United States!

But boy, they don't make it easy. Having been to 34 different countries, we have crossed a lot of borders. The United States makes things the most difficult.

And of course we have to put up with the border circus because it's part of travel. But sometimes it just makes you shake your head. Such as it was yesterday.

We left our toll booth overnight spot in Monterrey and took the exit north towards Laredo, Texas. Easy drive that we've done quite a few times before. But we take the bypass around Nuevo Laredo to the west and go to the Colombia Bridge crossing.

Leaving Mexico.

And entering the U.S.
Doesn't look too busy, does it?

We use the Colombia Bridge crossing because it's easy, there's lots of room, and we've never seen it busy.

As you enter the border station from Mexico, there are signs that say "Cars" this way, and "Trucks and Commercial Vehicles" another way. Doesn't say anything about RVs. So we go into the car lanes. Lots of room, and the height restriction is listed at 15 feet something. Like I said, lots of room.

Kenny and Gail had carried on to use the Mission, Texas crossing, so it was down to just the two rigs... us, and James and Karen.

We're in the car lanes, and there are maybe five or six vehicles in front of us. But these two border guards come out and walk our way. They tell us we have to back up, and use the truck lanes because they want to x-ray our rigs.

Okay, so we do that. Then he points over to where the trucks are lined up and says we have to go in the line with them, and through the trucker lanes. He tells Ruth and Karen that they have to get out and go sit inside and wait.

And wait they did... it was about an hour before we got through. They give you a red sheet that you have to get stamped. James went ahead and did the x-ray (they were not x-raying any of the trucks... just us!) and the guy told me I had to get x-rayed, and then go to PC. I have no idea what PC means, but I think it might be pre-clearance. Anyhow, James got x-rayed and he was allowed through and over to where Ruth and Karen were waiting. I got done with the x-ray, and had to find "PC".  But there are a ton of buildings around, and none of them are marked PC. It's a real circus. I had to get out and ask a few people, and everybody I asked said "Why do you have to go there"?

I had no idea. Just doing as I'm told.

I finally found the desk with the guy who claimed to be PC. He took my red sheet and my passport and disappeared. Then he came back about 20 minutes later and said he didn't have the computer necessary to process my passport, and he was waiting for a phone call. I guess the call finally came and he gave me everything back stamped and good to go. No idea what that was about.

The entire process took two hours. Oh well. It is what it is.

We stopped for fuel in Encinal, and filled up at $2.39 a gallon ($0.82 per liter CAD). We purposely arrived at the border nearly empty because gas is so much cheaper in the U.S.

Then we parted ways with James and Karen, and are finally back on our own. We had a lot of fun with the group, but it's great to be able to do our own thing again.

We drove to Chaparral Wildlife Management Area. We've stayed there before. Nobody around but us!

Our spot in the shade.
GPS 28.293317, -99.388089

This Harris hawk was watching us arrive.

This little butterfly (a Hackberry Emperor), came and drank some of Ruth's rum punch.
He lost all inhibitions after that, and had no problem crawling up onto Ruth's finger!

Lots of wildflowers.

And so, we are back in the States. Mixed feelings, but we're looking forward to exploring more of Texas State Parks with our annual pass. We'll spend a couple of weeks here waiting for things to warm up a bit in Canada. Then we'll head back up to Cabri Park where we will work for a couple of weeks training the new managers. Then... north to the Yukon!

Yesterday's drive, 347 kms (215 miles).

Hope you enjoyed Mexico, and that you'll stick with us through our summer travels... lots more adventure coming up!

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Razor Jet Heel Wheels... half price!


And in Canada...






27 comments:

  1. Wow, what a trip, but I am much like you, don't really want to be with big crowds or deal with complications. Looking forward to your trip to the Yukon.

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    1. We really did enjoy the trip, even though we felt rushed and not really being able to do it our way but overall it was fun.

      Now were are really looking forward to getting back to our own routine and taking our time and spending lots of it in the nature and just exploring to our hearts content. :-)

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  2. Yukon...a remote area. Better have your rv doubled checked cuz the roads are bad like Mexico.

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    1. Trust us, we will have Sherman checked out but we will also be able to go at our own pace with will be nice and slow.

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  3. Trouble at the border because Trump warned there were "caravans of illegals heading for the US border"! LOL. We enjoyed following your adventure but it confirmed we are not cut out for caravans. I don't do 6 AM well. That trip would have taken us our full six months!

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    1. Lol... I knew someone would bring up Trump!

      As paying customers, we also are not cut out for caravans. However, we treated it as a job... which it was. And, we tried to do it to the best of our ability, and with the customer in mind. I think we were pretty good at it, even if we do say so ourselves. And yes, travelling alone, that trip would have taken us five months.

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    2. It would be interesting to hear what your total gas and toll bill was.

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    3. Yes, I will do a blog post about the expenses and our thoughts regarding this and future caravans.

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  4. You're right, in all the border crossings that I've done in my sheltered life, the US border can be one of the most onerous. And this goes way back before the days of the orange haired Muppet on Pennsylvania ave.
    At least you made it, and they didn't tear the RV apart. Happy Motoring!

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    1. We have had a couple of times coming back into Canada, once by ground and once by air where we were really grilled about our travels but other than that, if there were lengthy waits and questioning it has always been going into the US, either by ground or air. And yes, this was even before "Trump" came into the scene.

      While I was waiting for Kevin the thought of them ripping Sherman apart did cross my mind, thankfully that wasn't the case!

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    2. Wow! Two collectivist baby boomers just admitted that bad things happened BT (Before Trump) Someone alert the New York Times! Stop the presses!

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  5. Don't know how specific your plans are, but Garner State Park about 115 miles north is really nice, it should be pretty empty and you might get a nice spot on the Frio River. If you're going west, Big Bend National Park is great, and right next to it is Big Bend Ranch State Park, which has incredible scenery too. That might be out of your way.

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    1. That is exactly where we are headed tomorrow! :-)

      We really want to go to Big Bend National Park but it unfortunately won't be this trip, we will make it there one day though.

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  6. I so enjoyed your blog and pictures. Thank you for sharing your México adventures. Welcome to US. Apologize for the border mess. Our country is having a bout of insanity that I hope we will recover from soon.

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    1. Thank you Cindy and we are so happy that you enjoyed our travels through Mexico.

      Not your fault about the border mess, it is just the way it is. I hope your country recovers soon as well, somehow I think it may get worse before it gets better. :-(

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  7. If I remember correctly, Garner is in the Texas Hill Country! Oh, goodie! You will get to see all of Lady Bird Johnson's beautiful wild flowers in full bloom this time of year. She was a First Lady with a large passion for wild flowers. When I was in my early 20s, I remember she would appear on my family's black and white tv screen and (in that thick Texas accent) encourage everyone to beautify America by "planting a tree, a bush, or a shrub." Usually, the word "shrub" was spoken long and drawn out, like "shr-u-u-ub." It's funny how little things like that stick in your brain after almost 50 years.

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    1. Never heard of Lady Bird Johnson but we will keep our eyes open for the wild flowers there. :-)

      I see now that she was a First Lady!

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    2. Texas history, for your edification: Garner State Park was named for John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, US Senator from Texas and FDR's Vice President (before Harry Truman). He was called Cactus Jack because he always wanted one of the cactus blossoms for Texas state flower. (No chance against the bluebonnet...). Garner SP was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era works program. The main buildings were build of native stone and are wonderful. They have dances every night on the big patio in the summer, but not this early in the year.

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    3. The park is wonderful and we have already seen some of the CCC built buildings here. Many buildings built by the CCC are very similar all over the States. I think that program was a great one at the time.

      I can see us staying more than just our original two nights!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your trip. When are you planning to hit Yukon? Are you doing Alaska also while you're up there? Hopefully we sell our house soon and head that way....

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

      We are planning to start heading up there mid May but it will take a while just to get there traveling at the rate that we do. If we have time we will do Alaska but it isn't our priority, we will see how things go.

      Good luck with the sale of your house.

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  9. Welcome back!!! Don’t know what buttons I pushed but our picture popped up and we can post again! We enjoyed your caravan trip thru Mexico. Job well done, you two!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry!

      Glad you pressed something right and are able to post comments again. Computers work great when you can finally figure them out. I am still trying to figure them out! ;-)

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  10. The butterfly heard you have excellent cocktail hours :)

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  11. Yukon, huh? Hmmmm, what a great idea! :-)

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    1. We sure think so! It has been on our list for a while but because of managing the campground in the summer it just wasn't feasible to do the trip. Now that we don't have that responsibility this summer, we can! :-)

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