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Thursday, November 25, 2010

AmeriCana RV Park…My New Home For The Next Month Or So.

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Above are my new digs.All set up and ready to kick back after over 3500 miles of travel covering a 6 week period.

I left Falcon Lake last Monday morning and an hour later arrived here and set up in my pre-selected site in uncomfortable heat.For the past week now the temperature has been hovering at the 90/33c degree mark with night time lows around 75/25c and a humidity of above 80%……..On top of all of this I’ve been suffering with what they call the “Texas Crud”for the past 5 days.Crud is crud whatever you call it and it pains me for I cannot remember the last time I was sick or even had a cold.But they say its hard to avoid as a first timer here.

The moist air just keeps pumping off the Gulf of Mexico a few miles away,and the forecast is for a high around 60/17c by Friday when all the cold air from the north arrives.

When I came down a week earlier to scout the parks,the only choices I had in this park for long term were spots in the back(below) The areas along the fence on the grass were ok,quite large, but not really defined,as were the gravel spots here in the foreground.When I went back to the office to asked,she suggested if I didn't care about traffic noise,there was a large site with a seldom used site next to it if I wanted some privacy, for $399. per month including electricity cost.So I took it,paid my deposit and headed back to Falcon Lake.


Some other views taken along the 4 park roads.There are some park models.

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The sites are nicely spaced in this older park,and with plenty of length.Everything from shaded to semi-shaded to open sites in all budget ranges.And for the birder,the huge “World Birding Centre”park is just 5 minutes down this road.In fact they call this park “The Birding Centre RV Resort.”


A small salt water swimming pool and the washroom/mail/laundry room.Behind this shot is the clubhouse.

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And in the back corner of this 154 space park,for the birder, is a 2.5 acre wooded bird refuge with bird houses and feeding stations set up at intervals.They have a population of wild parrots that seem to grow every year.

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I stopped and sat in one of the chairs for a few minutes and was able to get a poor shot of one of my favourites here…The Green Jay,with its distinctive blue and black head,and golden tail feathers,a delight to watch in flight also.To the right a better shot taken last January when I was here for 10 days.

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Unfortunately I mistakenly had my camera set on portrait for all of todays shots,so my scenes are hazy.

Here is another site nearby that is open until mid January that I could have taken.

But I didn't want to give up my orange tree.I hope they are worth it.

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So as you can see by the photos that there are many open sites at this time but they are spoken for and this quiet, older park will become a hive of activity very soon.There are many parks here on Benson Palm Drive on the outskirts of Mission Texas,some are luxurious,and some have seen better days and just like Goldilocks and the 3 bears,some are just right.

Now I must go out and do battle with my sugar ants………Hey! It aint perfect but I’m getting to be an old hand at battling ants.About 50 to 75 got into the trailer Tuesday while I was out shopping, but I beat them back and sealed their entry point and am now feeding them the good stuff outside….You know the stuff that locks their jaw….Heh heh!

Oh! And I don't have to go far for a propane refill.Funny thing,all the way down the valley I was searching for a propane refill place and found nothing until I arrived here.

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I think I’m going to like being a “Winter Texan”….Its a nice change of scene.Have to see if the wind ever stops blowing though…..Its not as bad as the desert winds…..Yet…And makes the heat bearable.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers.

And again,all bad grammar is intentional.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Enjoying Some Down Time At Falcon State Park.

The weather’s great and the park is almost empty,and its a weekend…go figure.31 sites and only 6 of us…Cant even see my neighbour….50 amp electric and water…$16.00


After one day over in the horrible full hook-up burr infested area,they made us all move over to the electric and water area,which is were I wanted to be in the first place.Nice paved semi-circles.This is because the construction crew had finished this area and wanted to start on the other.

When I was setting up in this new spot,I was busy brushing a couple of hundred burrs out of the truck and I look over into my site about 30 feet away and low and behold I got to see my first Armadillo.

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Unfortunately he didn't want to face me and just ambled off.I yelled at him not to walk away when I’m talking to him…..But he didn't care.Flirt maleI’ve been hoping to see one on my 2 previous visits to Texas and was told that probably the chances were slim, so I consider myself lucky.

As I said before this is a birding paradise with all the thick foliage and lots of water with a 50 mile long and 5 mile wide lake out front.You have quite a nice selection like the Curved Billed Thrasher below.

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And the place is crawling with Pyrrhuloxia like this sunrise shot yesterday,along with this second shot of one of a pair of them feeding in the grass a few feet from my trailer yesterday afternoon.I’m wondering if they are eating burrs…..Ouch!

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And we cant forget one of the hundreds of Northern Mockingbirds here.They are so territorial,chasing all the others away…..But I could listen to them all day when they get warbling.


On my morning walks I see dozens of small rabbits and many deer like these two yesterday checking me out.


Haven't seen any Javelina’s since the first evening at the other site when a family of 9 came by and did some feeding on my burr infested lawn…..The little ones are cute…I didn't take any pic’s……I’m all Javelina’d out since Fort Davis St.Pk.

And here in the campsite I have a regular buddy who I named Rodger the Road Runner.He sticks around all the time so I guess this is his personal stomping ground.When I’m sitting outside he will walk to within about 5 feet of me.He got some wiener bits last night.

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Yesterday when I was doing my breakfast dishes I heard a lot of chatter coming from the bushes outside my door that sounded like chickadees,and when I looked I saw that they were Tufted titmice,which are only in this area and eastward I believe.No chance for a photo this time.Too fast for me.

This lake is a very popular bass fishing lake and yesterday morning by 7 the big parking lot down by the boat launch already had 2 dozen trucks and boat trailers.


Its a huge parking lot so I’d assume it gets very busy.I also noticed that 6 of the truck/trailer combo were from Mexico,so either they don't have any good launching facilities on that side of the dam,or things are just too hot with the cartels roaming around,so they fish this half of the lake.

I also discovered a nice Butterfly garden by the clubhouse here, with some interesting local plant life.

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The place was full of butterflies.Mostly Monarch but a few others too.


Some of the plant life that I found interesting was this Mexican Olive,explained below.

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And another plant which seems to grow in abundance here in this thorny thicket country, is the….

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With a few remaining flowers that look like this…


So!..Today is my last day here….On Thursday last, I drove into Mission about 50 miles down the valley and checked out a few RV parks that I could call home until after the holidays.It was a nice little daytrip with a Burger King stop included.And I took my first choice among my on line researches for a park.I had a choice of about 8 sites in this park that were still available into January and took a site close to the road but BIG with no close neighbours,and my own orange tree….full and ready for picking….And the owner says,enjoy them…They are yours to eat…Until next time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A little Too Close To The Cartel Action.

At noon on Wednesday I arrived at Falcon State Park after a nice easy hour and a half drive down from Laredo.Little did I know what was happening a couple of miles away on the Mexican side that afternoon until I read this mornings “Borderland Beat” website.


This is a remote area and I can see the Falcon dam from my window here.

A little more of the story of what has been going on below.

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A map of the area….From the top to bottom covers about 15 miles as the crow flies.The green part is the State park I’m in.

Mier is the small city that is almost empty of all its citizens because of the cartel takeover.Most of the people have fled to Miguel Aleman on the border.


The Falcon Dam,near where the closest fighting was, is at the spot where the blue line is coming out of the lake. Of course that blue line is the Rio Grande river which is the US/Mexico boundary.

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There is more on the website….Its amazing how bold and dangerous these cartel members are to be now threatening the US authorities.

This is the Dam area as seen from the park.Taken from the picnic area which is under water,due to high levels this summer.


When I arrived Wednesday the elect/water sites were closed off with only the full hook-up area open, due to some road repairs in this almost empty park.

As nice as it might look, its crappy.The hook-ups are poorly positioned and the BURRS! That's the worse I’ve ever encountered,they are everywhere in the grass and every time I entered the trailer,I brought a couple of dozen in with me and Boy! Do they hurt! And to top it off the temperature was 90 degrees inside the trailer and not much cooler outside…………But!…..What a birding paradise….One of the top 3 spots in the whole valley.


There's much more to tell as things are looking up and after 4 days of driving I’ve got the next three days of R and R here in another camping area that's burr less and maybe I’ll get to hear some gunfire from the assault rifles across the way.Send a kissMore next time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On The Move…..Just An Update.

After 2 days of quiet,relaxing travel,I’m in the border city of Laredo Texas,at a nice State Park called “Lake Casa Blanca,”and as I write this at almost 3 in the morning,I’m awake because some clown came roaring through here a little while ago and woke me up.

I’m in a nice little semi-circle pull-through down by the lake.

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The park is quite large and situated on the bypass ring road around the eastern side of the city,across from the airport,and at 2:30 a.m. a big jet took off breaking the nightly silence, and the sound of sirens seems to be regular through the night.So even as its a country setting,it is close to a city of almost 200 thousand with another city,Nuevo Laredo Mexico,even larger I believe, joining it at the border.

As I entered the city yesterday afternoon,I was amazed by the amount of trucks on the roadways here.I don't think I’ve ever seen such a concentration of big rigs in one area.I figure it is because of the cross border trade here,with so many big factories on the other side in this general area of Mexico.

And all along the highway this day all the way from Del Rio were hundreds of transmitter towers.I counted 6 in my line of sight at one point.Another unexplained thing that I would like to know the answer to.This is flat land…No mountains.Why so many?

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As you can see my selection of photos is limited and I do like to record what a camping area looks like at each stop,which in the long term creates a lot of boring photos of my truck and trailer.But this is not the point,they are just fillers.Eye rolling smile

Going back to Monday morning,I got a 9 a.m. start out of Big Bend one hour behind that big tandem rig I showed in the the last blog entry,but caught up to them after about half an hour,as an accident shut the highway down on a bridge over a dry wash…no pics but a pickup truck somehow jumped up onto the 2 foot high cement wall and wiped out about 50 ft of pipe railing,so there was a long wait until a wrecker came all the way from Marathon about 70 miles to the north…My wait was only about 10 minutes,just about enough time to listen to the life story of the guy in the truck stopped ahead of me,and tell him mine….So much for the early start for my cross the road camping neighbours.

I must say that so far in Texas,I have experienced nice quiet 2 lane roads,(until just before Laredo) its really relaxing to bumble along without traffic chaos.Just set the cruise and enjoy the changing scenery.I remember travelling highway 90 about 10 years ago with the wife,and the memory of a quiet relaxing drive on this highway was etched in the old memory banks.

Around the small burg of Sanderson a couple of hours into the days travel,the mountains disappeared and the flat desert landscape was the norm,doted with shallow canyons.

Below is an example of the many picnic rest stops that dot the highway system here in Texas.This (below) is one of the smaller ones.Just a wide pull off along the highway with one or more table set-ups.


My 1st overnight stop was a familiar one as we had stayed here 10 years ago after coming out of central Mexico….Its called Seminole Canyon State and Historic Park.


And it was a blustery hot afternoon about 80 degrees with a tail wind all day that gave me great mileage.Like many of the parks this time of the year….Nice and quiet,just a few neighbours further down the road.

Pretty thick desert, but all paved and clean.And no flies…..Just wind……The reason for no flies.In love Ya think?…..No flies or wind here at Laredo I might add.

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So I’ve been on the road for just over a month now and covered over 3000 miles,saw many wonderful sights that will forever be etched in my mind,and I wouldn’t have missed this experience for anything…But its time for a slight change of pace,so my next stop will probably be my last State/National Park stop for awhile.

Today I will travel another 75 miles southeast to Falcon Lake State Park,(This is the spot much in the news lately)where a young couple riding sea-do’s were intercepted by Mexican Narcos out on the lake, and the husband is still missing.

If I like this spot I may stay a few days and take a day trip into the Mission/McAllen area and search out a nice park to hunker down in for a month at least.I just wish that I had foreseen this last January when I spent 10 days in a motel there.I could have been checking out some of the area’s 500 RV Parks then. I have a park picked out near a big birding area,but want to check it out personally and if Its not what I want,this will give me a chance to drive around and check out a few others without having to drag the trailer with me.

Last but not least….I wanted to show you my little travelling companion who mysteriously appeared at my door one morning whilst in the Roswell area.


And that's the truth…I opened the door and there he was…….How strange is that?