Section 12: Del Rio to Carrizo Springs
Technically this wasn’t a day off. We walked a couple miles down the highway to a better hotel that was conveniently on our route. Eagle Pass feels spread out. It’s a decently sized town but the businesses all seem to want their own space. The walk was industrial and boring and not designed with pedestrians in mind. We were glad to reach the new hotel and return to air conditioning and invisibility. Let’s churn some more blogs out.
Will the hotel computer work or shall we walk to the library? It's the usual predicament.
We also had a date tonight! Kenneth and Kellie lived in Comstock, TX and had found us through Jax Austin’s YouTube vlog when he interviewed us back in Arizona. We had planned to meet up when we passed through Comstock but had dropped the ball and forgotten to get in touch when we passed through. Luckily for us, Kenneth and Kellie were willing to drive an hour down the road to meet us for dinner in Eagle Pass. Kenneth is a devoted supporter of the adventure community, and follows a lot of people and trips on YouTube. Kellie joked that while Kenneth watches YouTube videos she watches Netflix adventure shows, so they both have their ways of following cool trips. We are thrilled and honored to be one of the trips they were following! The two of them had a warm energy that made them easy to talk to and a lot of fun. We went out to dinner but ended up sitting at the table for hours trading all kinds of stories.
Kellie works for the Texas Department of Public Safety, and is responsible for an enormous area from Val Verde County (80+ miles to the west) to the Gulf of Mexico. Basically the remaining 300 miles we have left are under her supervision. It explained why they were willing to drive so far to see us - she’s used to the distance! Earlier today she was east of Eagle Pass on the Kickapoo Reservation. We had twenty thousand questions. The Kickapoo tribe owns a casino that’s responsible for the bulk of the money within the reservation. Like Tohono, the tribe’s jurisdiction over their land is complicated by their position on the border. The road we might take in our next section goes past the casino so we were naturally interested in her opinion about the safety and condition of the roads in that direction. We gathered that all the roads continue into a mess of tribal and county roads that bleed together. Who knows what we’ll chose to do, but we’re always thankful for further insight.
Kellie described the sheer number of people who are taken into custody crossing the border further east with nowhere to go after they are transferred to ICE. Texas facilities are so overflowing that the government started transferring people to Arizona, but Arizona has also reached capacity. She briefly mentioned the children who are handed across the border for a better life that have no working system to accommodate them. (This story is particularly relevant given the recent revelation that the government has lost track of 1,500 migrant children. Click here for the link). This is so heartbreaking and shameful. We need to do better.
Ken works for a heating and cooling company based out of Del Rio. The other 30 some employees are practically extended family.
Without delay he offered to connect us with a coworker who lives 50 miles northeast of Eagle Pass. A plot of land we might be able to stay on? Yes please.
His enthusiasm expands to a love of this countryside in general. When he was a kid he was caught on the Pecos High Bridge (one of the skinny bridges we got a ride across a couple weeks ago) with some friends when a Greyhound Bus flew past, causing what we could only imagine was a narrow escape! He chuckled at the fond memory. Or he spoke of local attractions like the White Shaman Caves, an archaeological site with pictographs dating back 4,000 years. The locals are concerned about it's preservation because higher humidity levels caused by the creation of the Amistad Reservoir may weather the paintings more quickly. We enjoyed all of it.
Together Ken and Kellie travel all over in an RV, up to two times. They constantly had us all laughing with stories about their own adventures. It was truly wonderful to find a shared love of travel, exploration and genuine interest in this big old goofy world we all live in. Thank you Kenneth and Kellie for a memorable evening and for the friendship! And especially thank you for driving down all the way to see us!