We can always tell when we've arrived in Texas by the condition of the roads. The lanes multiply and are surrounded by huge concrete edifices, supporting more roads up above our heads. In spots where the roads are only four lanes wide, construction is rampant to improve on the situation. If there's ever a concrete shortage in the US, we can blame the Texas DOT. Many of the bridges are decorated with stars or indigenous animal images or artistic swirls. Everything is bigger and better in Texas. All those lanes served us well as we zoomed around the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, but we always get bogged down in Austin. Recently a bypass road has been built, but it's a significant detour and costs $9 to drive. As we crawled past the entrance and exit of the bypass, it looked like everyone including us was too cheap to take it.
It's getting harder and harder to remember that it's Christmas week. The sun is out, temperatures are in the low 70's, petunias are blooming. We've stopped here in San Marcos before because the campground is across the expressway from a huge outlet mall complex that seems to get a bit bigger every time we stop by. It was buzzing with people returning Christmas gifts. We enjoyed wandering around in the balmy temperatures, but bought little because there is little that we need. Back at the campground we were serenaded by a herd of steers, another reminder that we're in Texas.
We're grateful that everything in the motor home is working. Usually after a few months of sitting, something doesn't come back to life properly. Last year we had to clean up after a little mouse invasion; sometimes a tiny bit of water in a line or appliance freezes and causes a leak when we turn the water back on. Often home improvement and repair projects consume our time the first few weeks at the campground.