Section 13: Carizzo Springs to Laredo
The alarm clock woke us up, but we didn’t move until the sound of an approaching vehicle startled us into action.
Is someone coming to bother us?
No, it was Juan bearing gifts, oranges and water! He was on his way to work and wanted to make sure we were ok. Good start to our day. Thanks Juan.
Gabriel, Maria, and Matthew helped us reach the beginning of a hot and rough day. They were a very sweet family on their way to Laredo to visit relatives from the nearby small town where they lived. It was Matthew's sixth birthday and for his birthday he asked for a day without electronics! Wow way to go kiddo.
Aside from Gabriel, Maria and Matthew (and Juan in the morning) the day honestly sucked. It was long and hot and boring along a remote stretch of highway truly in the middle of nowhere. We walked and thought very few thoughts, at least not ones worth recounting. Every couple of miles a Border Patrol or sheriff vehicle would dramatically pull up, lights flashing, and grill us as to what we were doing out here. Unlike the agents of a few days ago, they remained suspicious and unsmiling throughout the conversation, moving through their questions with minimal warmth. This must be, as all reports have suggested, a high activity area.
No time for small town Texas charm?
A desert turtle crawled past us at lunch!
We passed another massive Border Patrol stationary checkpoint right on Hwy 83. No one challenged us as we walked past, although all the vehicles had to stop and be waved through. The excitement of the checkpoint perked us up for a moment but we were quickly drooping again as the highway stretched to infinity out in front of us. Time to put our heads down and earphones in.
Another RV park loomed in front of us, this one in much better shape than the last. We are getting close to the outskirts of Laredo, the third largest city on the border after San Diego and El Paso, and you can literally see the striations from how the money radiates outwards from the border. Laredo is a major hub for international trade with Mexico and most of the shipping companies are based here due to Laredo’s advantageous placement between the productive regions of Guadalajara and Mexico City in Mexico, and I-35 in the US.
We stopped in at the RV park office and went through the now-familiar spiel about how we didn't have a vehicle and just needed a spot to pitch a tent. When we didn’t have enough cash to pay for the night due to their no credit card policy, the manager generously invited us to stay anyways, and to mail the remaining $8 another day. Thank you sir!