Mexico Bound - Winter 2007 travel blog

where did everyone go?

Well, they've let us back into the country. We got up at dawn right along with a multitude of mosquitoes. Doubtless we have imported some of them along with our battered rigs and dirty bodies. The drive north was smooth and easy and the CB radios crackled with lots of last minute jokes, comments, and plans. Many of us will stay in the Rio Grande Valley for a few days and put ourselves back together, but then we will all head off in different directions for new adventures.

Crossing the border is always somewhat stressful. We all stopped for gas a different stations; for diesel users the saving was fifty cents/gallon. We ended up locating the crossing point by ourselves and debated which of the long lines was appropriate for us. The truck lines were endless. The total crossing took us less than an hour, but it looked like they were there for the day. On the Mexican side we had to turn in the stickers we had purchased for our truck and trailer and turn in our visas and get our passports stamped. The sticker we bought for the car was good for six months, but the sticker for the trailer is good for ten years. We might bring the trailer back in again within the next ten years or we might have a new rig by then. If we didn't turn in this one and tried to buy a new one, the Mexicans would assume we had illegally sold our old trailer in their country and fine us $400. Considering all the border crossings there are between our two countries, it's hard to imagine that their computer system will keep track of us for ten years, but we turned the sticker back in just in case.

On the US side we were more worried about getting our leftover food confiscated. Most of our colleagues lost fruit; apples seemed to be confiscated from anyone who had them. Our leaders gave us many possible scenarios, but in our case, the agent looked in our rig and saw that with the slide outs closed, he could not get to our frig. We told him we would be happy to open the slides, but that would shut down the road on either side of us. Suddenly he was no longer interested in viewing our left over produce and we were on our way.

When we fly between countries there are always forms to fill out, listing the purchases you have made. Although we don't feel like we have bought a lot, we were here 42 days and every so often a purchase would be stuffed in some remote spot in our rig. I can't totally remember what we bought or where I put it. There will be some surprises when we get home and totally empty the trailer. But just like the last time we drove across, there was no form to fill out and no one seemed interested in viewing our T-shirts or pottery purchases.

We decided to return to the Tropic Star campground in Pharr where we spent a month pre-Mexico. Two of our fellow travelers came with us and another couple stopped by between errands, so the party isn't totally over yet. The Tropic Star was a beehive of activity when we were here last, but almost all of the Winter Texans have already gone home. We'd be feeling kind of lonely here without our Mexico travel buddies. That also means we'll have the laundromat all to ourselves.

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