|Tue, 07 Jan: Another cool day, but not as cool as other places...
OK Al Gore! Just where is this "Global Warming" we've been hearing about? It feels more like our "Nuclear Winter" which was the threat de jour before that. Know what? We're beginning (just beginning?) to doubt just about everything we hear from politicians and their media lapdogs.
It was a balmy 31°F when we awoke. We'd left the heat off in the salon where it dropped to the mid forties prior to firing up the front furnace. We have adequate propane so we were soon comfy. That didn't last long as we got Carpe ready for the road which, by necessity, entails some outside activities.
We survived, and Bob took the coach while Sandi drove the car 1¼ miles to a nearby fuel station where we topped off the diesel tank at "only " $3.569/gallon (the "new norm, right Barry?) After fueling we connected the car and hit the road a few minutes after nine.
Our route took us across the Corpus Christi Bay Causeway on Texas 35 to Corpus Christi. We then took Texas 268 to Texas 70 and eventually US 77 south. We stayed on US 77 most of the way to the Brownsville area, where we took US 83 a few miles to our current location in the Fig Tree RV "Resort" in Harlingen.
US 77 is an interesting drive thru this stretch of the state. It passes thru Kenedy County, the fourth least populated county in the U.S. It, along with three neighboring counties, contain the King Ranch, the largest ranch in the U.S. (and the third largest cattle operation in the world—the other two are in Australia.)
Today's total drive was 163 miles with very little traffic and minimal construction. We stopped for lunch at the Wal*Mart in Raymondsville. Weather was overcast, but otherwise no problems. It has warmed up now that we're further south (ha!), it's 50°F.
For right now we're staying put with the heat on. We're planning to visit a local steakhouse for dinner and play tourist tomorrow. The weather is forecast to warm up to the seventies with sunny skies. We can handle that...
Wed, 08 Jan: Tourist time...
Before we recount today's tourist activities, let us tell you what a great dinner we had last evening at a local Longhorn Steakhouse. We both ordered steak, a "flat iron" for Bob and a petit filet for Sandi. Both meals came with a salad and veggies, but the steak stole the show. We'll definitely revisit one of these anytime we in the area.
Today dawned cloudy and cool, but not at all cold. Following a relaxing breakfast we hopped into Carpe Dinkum and headed south along US 83 / I 2 to the South Padre Island causeway and South Padre Island. As expected, owing to the weather, it was pretty deserted. That made our progress thru town worry free.
North of town we took the sole road toward the State Park, but turned back as winds had blown sand across most of the northbound lane. We did, however, get a pretty good feel for the place and would guess it is loaded with tourists when the weather cooperates. The town obviously (see pix) caters to them as there were almost as many T-shirt shops here as in Aruba...
Back across the causeway we drove north on US 83 toward Mission. We almost made it but traffic started to get a bit crazy and we discovered a Costco in Pharr. We made a beeline for Costco, our first visit since Florida. Dinkum got sub $3/gallon fuel, we got Costco pizza, and our larders are now stocked and stuffed.
Back to the coach around two we topped off our fresh water tank, dumped the holding tanks, checked tire pressure, and did a myriad of other chores. A DishHD channel was having a Mel Brooks marathon so we watched Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, and Naked Gun (OK, Zucker, not Brooks). We'd seen them all before but always get a good chuckle during a revisit.