This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Monday, October 22, 2012

Smugglers, Margaritas, and The Presidential Debate

No news regarding butterflies today.  In fact, not much news at all.  It was a lazy day, most of which was spent inside the air conditioned coach.  Did I mention that it is very hot and humid in Mission, TX?  The "season" doesn't begin until November when the "Winter Texans" overrun every RV park in the area.  Hopefully, it will have cooled off some by then.

We did go out to a grocery store today because we were running out of food.  On the way to the supermarket we decided to take a look at the Bentsen State Park, a very popular "birding" location, and the National Butterfly Center, both within a mile of the RV Park.  We were surprised to find that the State Park does not allow vehicles, except for bicycles.  There is a parking lot at the gate from which you walk to the visitor center.  In this sticky weather we will have to think hard about visiting.

We found the Butterfly Center and saw an arrowed sign that said "Butterfly Park" and pointed down a small road next to the Center.  The road ran straight for about half a mile to the US/Mexico border.  We didn't see anything that looked like a butterfly park (although we had no idea what one should look) but we did find the Border Patrol at the end of the road.  When the agent asked where we were going (we were at the end of a road that dead-ended at the Rio Grande) we replied that we were looking for a butterfly park.  Then he asked where we were from.  I then asked him if the Rio Grande was on the other side of the berm that was in front of us.  He replied in the affirmative and told us that it was a popular crossing for drug smugglers.  The road we were on ended at the berm where there was a cut, or drive, through the berm that allowed vehicles to drive up and onto the berm.  The Border Patrol agent told us that many times when they were chasing a drug smuggler that the smuggler would race down this road, go through the cut in the berm, become airborne, and land in the river.  The smugglers would then exit the vehicle and run (the river is very shallow) to the Mexican side.  All the Border Patrol could then do was seize the vehicle and any drugs it was carrying.  There is now a new and very sturdy barrier at the end of this road to prevent smugglers form using this escape tactic.  I would really like to be there the first night one of the smugglers tries this tactic!  Apparently we didn't look like drug smugglers and after enjoying a friendly chat we turned around and left.

This evening we sat around enjoying frozen Margaritas before having a catered dinner.  Now we are getting set to watch tonight's Presidential debate.  I'm not sure I could watch if I were completely sober.

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