Texas

I'd never seen much of Texas before. After passing through El Paso, I took Highway 90 east as it edged up close to the Rio Grande. I was reminded that I was on the border, with Border Patrol checkpoints on the road and a farmer's stern sign about not eating his nuts. Other roadside curiosities included Diesel Fried Chicken, Fancy Junk, a tethered blimp, and gas pump stickers reminding you to pay for your gas.

Texas - Sign about Stealing Nuts, in SpanishTexas - Road - Border Inspection CheckpointTexas - Border - Rio Grande - Western TexasTexas - Diesel Fried ChickenTexas - Fancy Junk StoreTexas - BlimpTexas - Gas Pump Warning StickerTexas - Road

The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande, at Amistad National Recreation Area.

Texas - Rio GrandeTexas - Old BuildingTexas - Rio Grande

I spent the night camping in Amistad NRA, driving down past the end of the boat ramp onto the dry lakebed. The Amistad Reservoir water seemed to have been at a very low level for quite a while. The old road which used to cross the area before it was dammed now served as a "temporary boat ramp". See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 29.54463, -101.0124  And, somehow my car's front bumper somehow acquired new tooth.

Texas - Amistad National Recreation Area - Old Boat Ramp, Now DryTexas - Amistad National Recreation Area - Camping in Former ResevoirTexas - Amistad National Recreation Area - Camping - JeepTexas - Amistad National Recreation Area - Sign - Temporary Low Water Boat Ramp, which is the Old RoadTexas - Amistad National Recreation Area - Old Road into Water - JeepTexas - Jeep with stick stuck in the bumper

The next day, I followed the road southeast along the Rio Grande, past Eagle Pass where it was signposted as ending, and became a dirt track. But I continued, and this dirt track went on for another 50 miles or so, until it became pavement again at Laredo.

Texas - Mexican Border Road Along Rio Grande From Eagle Pass to Laredo - Where the Pavement Ends - Sign End Farm Road 1021Texas - Mexican Border Road Along Rio Grande From Eagle Pass to Laredo - Big Hole in the Road - JeepTexas - Mexican Border Road Along Rio Grande From Eagle Pass to Laredo - RoadTexas - Mexican Border Road Along Rio Grande From Eagle Pass to Laredo - Eagle Pass Road - BridgeTexas - Mexican Border Road Along Rio Grande From Eagle Pass to Laredo - Jeep - Ford

The End

Now, my border exploration journey was reaching an end. The last town in Texas is Brownsville.

Texas - Brownsville - JeepTexas - Brownsville - Sign - International BoundaryTexas - Brownsville

Past Brownsville, was Boca Chica State Park, where I could drive the last 2½ miles south on the sand to the Mexican Border at the mouth of the Rio Grande. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 25.95558, -97.14638  Amazingly, the mighty Rio Grande doesn't actually reach the ocean! The last of the water not sucked out for irrigation fizzles out into the sand a few hundred yards from the ocean itself. Unlike the other end of the Mexican border at the Pacific Ocean, this border has no fence. There is only a series of logs and signs, and a wary border patrol truck watching for those who might attempt a crossing. There were beachgoers relaxing on both sides of the logs, with the Mexicans and Americans in easy talking distance.

Texas - Mexican Border - Beach - Border PatrolTexas - Mexican Border - Beach - Border PatrolTexas - Beach - Boca Chica State ParkSign at the US-Mexico Border on the Beach says, "100 FT BORDER LINE CROSSING INTO MEXICO"Texas - Mexican Border - Beach - End of the Rio Grande, where the water fizzles out into the sand before reaching the oceanTexas - Mexican Border on the Beach

And, that's it! The rest of the trip was on highways, visiting friends and relatives, and a wedding, so I won't bore you with those details.

Google Earth View of Route Taken 2002