It sure would be a lot easier to get to Big Bend National Park if we could drive through Mexico. Instead our route takes us north, west and south again following the Rio Grand River. It isn't that we are reluctant to drive in Mexico. We have spent two winters visiting this colorful country rich in culture and history. But going into the country requires special car insurance - insurance for both vehicles in our case. We had to buy it in six months chunks; just not worth it for this drive. Last time we drove in, we also needed to do a lot of paperwork to get stickers for our vehicles that were collected again when we drove out. It seemed to have something to do with regulations about importing vehicles.
There wasn't much to please the eye as we drove through this flat land. When we were near the river, we saw irrigated fields of onions and melons. When we veered away, the land was dry and scrub, full of cactus. Occasionally cattle were grazing amidst the cactus thorns. I shouldn't be critical. Driving through 300 miles of Illinois corn fields isn't all that exciting either. We passed numerous opportunities to cross the border into Mexico. Inevitably a short time later, we would see border patrol vehicles. We passed two road blocks and were stopped at one of them. They took our word for it that we were on our way to Big Bend and didn't come inside to find the smuggled illegal aliens. Our tax dollars at work.
Every time we went through a town, vendors were set up on the side of the road selling Valentine's Day baskets. These colorful gifts contained candy, stuffed animals, and flowers. There were so many for sale, it was hard to imagine that all of them would be sold by the end of the day, even if every TexMexican male waited until the last minute to buy one.